Uko Getting In Unofficial Visits

After unofficially visiting both UCLA and USC, George Uko, the 6-4, 285-pound defensive tackle prospect from Chino Hills (Calif.) Don Lugo, will now make the trip up to Eugene to check out Oregon...

George Uko, the 6-foot-4, 295-pound four-star defensive tackle from Don Antonio Lugo High School in Chino, Calif., finished his junior season with 88 tackles and five sacks. He also caught two receptions for 37-yards and one touchdown.

"I can block and I'm always moving," Uko said. "I'm very physical and aggressive but have really good technique too."

Uko says he'd like to improve both his run stopping and pass rush. "I want to work on beating the double teams better too," he added.

He says he can bench 310-pounds, squat 465 and has a 27-inch vertical jump.

Uko,'s No. 8 defensive tackle nationwide, has scholarship offers from Tennessee, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon and Nebraska. Although he still denies a leader, he says he's considering all five of those plus USC and UCLA.

"I actually just went to a USC practice," he said. "And I was at UCLA last week.

"I really like both of them and they said they'd love to see me at their camp this summer," he said.

Uko is planning on attending both the Trojans and Bruins camps.

"I just love how USC is," he said. "The coaches are really involved with the players and their practices are super high energy. I love how Pete Carroll runs around and gets really involved with practice.

"The UCLA practice was pretty intense too," Uko said. "I was impressed with how hard they were going at each other and really hitting each other."

USC and UCLA are the only two schools that Uko has visited but he says he's also planning on going to Oregon on May 2 for their junior day. "I've heard a lot of great things about Oregon," he said. "It's supposed to be a really nice place to be.

"I also like the coaches," Uko said of the Ducks. "They are real chill and easy to talk to. They make you want to play for them because they are so fired up.

"I got to talk with (new) coach Chip Kelly and he seems to know his stuff," he said. "I like him. He should do fine there."

Despite the several Pac-10 offers that Uko has, he says the school that is recruiting him the hardest is Tennessee. "They seem to really like me," he said. "I get a lot of mail from them and I'm supposed to call coach Lane Kiffin later this week.

"I'm pretty excited to talk with him," Uko said. "I haven't talked with him yet so that should be cool. I love how he got his dad (defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin) to coach there too. I think they are gonna have a really good team."

Another program that Uko believes will have a successful 2009 campaign is Nebraska. "They are winners out there," he said. "They've won a lot of national championships and have great tradition. They are getting better and going to be on top again.

"I love how football crazy people are in Nebraska," he said. "The whole community gets involved."

Although Uko hasn't visited the campuses of Arizona or Arizona State he says he's got plenty of family in the Grand Canyon State. "I like being in Arizona a lot," he said. "I've got a bunch of family there and I've got an old teammate that plays for Arizona State."

Uko's former teammate is A.J. Pickens, a redshirt freshman for the Sun Devils. "He loves it there and says that I might like it too," he said. "I talk to him a lot and he told me to take my time and all my visits. He told me to have fun with recruiting and that's what I plan to do."

Uko plans on following Pickens' advice and says he won't make an early commitment. "I'll go through the whole process," he said. "I want to take all five of my visits and really enjoy everything.

"I want to get out and see different schools and experience different environments," he said. "I want to live in a good environment and make sure I get along well with all my coaches and players."

Uko genies following a specific program as a youngster.

He plans on majoring in criminology and reports a 3.0 core GPA and is awaiting his SAT results.

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