Elite 2010 OL Has Two at Top

Erik Kohler, the 6-5, 285-pound junior offensive tackle prospect from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, already has four scholarship offers, and two Pac-10 schools leading for him...

One of the elite offensive linemen in the West for the class of 2010 is Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian offensive tackle Erik Kohler.

The 6-5, 280-pound Kohler already has a handful of scholarship offers, and more schools have been maintaining contact with him.

"It's been going really well, it's a fun process and it's very interesting," Kohler said. "It's been a very cool experience, I'm excited to go through it. It's been going pretty heavy for me from a few specific schools. Since Signing Day, I've been getting a lot of attention, but it's been cool getting the attention."

His four offers come from the Pac-10, and the majority of his contact comes from the same conference.

"My offers are Cal, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State," said Kohler. "And there are a few more schools like Stanford, Oregon and Washington who've been talking with me. It's basically the Pac-10. I think I primarily want to stay in the Pac-10, that's my biggest focus right now."

And the two in-state programs who have offered stand out for him. "My top schools would be Cal and UCLA," said Kohler. "They're pretty even. Those two are the ones I'm pretty focused on, they've both made a great impression on me."

Later this month, Kohler will get a chance to visit Berkeley for the first time. "I've not yet been up there, but I plan on making a trip up to Cal on the 28th," said Kohler. "I'm looking forward to it. Frank Cignetti, the offensive coordinator and Steve Marshall, the new offensive line coach, are recruiting me."

Meanwhile, he's planning to visit UCLA for the first time too. "I've been to plenty of their games at the Rose Bowl but I haven't had a chance to go to the school yet. The new defensive coordinator, Coach Chuck Bullough, is recruiting me for UCLA."

Kohler said that every school is recruiting him to play tackle, and this fall he'll switch sides. "Last year I did play right tackle, but this upcoming season, I'll play left tackle," said Kohler. "In college, I'll play where the coaches want me at best."

Kohler said he doesn't want to drag out the process, wanting to make a relatively early decision. "I'm hoping to decide either before summer or at least definitely before the season starts," said Kohler.

That's because Kohler and his Lion teammates may have their best squad in school history, even better than the loaded 2006 version, this upcoming fall.

"I think comparatively, we might be at least equal to them but we'll be playing a lot more competitive games," said Kohler. "We'll be playing in Washington (against Skyline) and I think we have 8 D-I athletes, so overall as a team, we're one of the better teams. Of course, I came in and got a state championship ring, but I want to leave with another. It's not just my primary goal, but our team's primary goal as well. We have such a great, talented team and so much talent. I look forward to the season and to prove we are a great team."

When Kohler got to Oaks, he was just planning to play baseball, but as he grew, he realized his future was on the gridiron.

"If you asked me that, freshman year, that thought would have never popped in my head," said Kohler. "I came into Oaks Christian a baseball guy, I had been playing it for 13 years. Football was essentially a backup thing. I thought I'd stick with baseball after my freshman season. But I was able to play with the whole Jimmy Clausen class, and really learned to love football. I never imagined I'd be able to be ranked that high as one of the better football players."

Kohler said when describing his game, he looks to former NFL #1 Draft Pick, Jake Long. "I like to think of myself like one guy I've always looked at and revered and that was Jake Long from Michigan," said Kohler. "He was just big and he was quick. He's an amazing lineman and tackle. I remind myself of him, mainly because we're both big, both quick, both good. Overall, I want to be a good lineman. But I'm nowhere near his skill level, yet."

Academically, Kohler is in fine shape, carrying a 3.3 and he took the ACT on Saturday.

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