Prospect Likes UCLA Early

The two-year starter from Long Beach Poly, junior <b>Rodney Van</b>, is considered one of the best defensive back prospects in the west. His father recently provided an early look at his son as a football player and a student -- and, of course, revealed his son's early leaders...

Rodney Van, 6-1, 185 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, might be a good candidate to build on a UCLA-Poly pipeline.


Van, who is considered one of the early best defensive back prospects in the west and will be going into his third year as a starter at Poly (which is quite a feat), has indicated that UCLA is among his two top favorite teams. His father, Rodney Van Sr., exchanging message board posts with Greg Biggins of Pac-West Football recently, said that UCLA and Notre Dame are his son's current leaders. "His top choices thus far are Notre Dame and UCLA," Mr. Van said. He said he has received attention and mail from "Tennessee, Florida State, Colorado, all the Pac-10 schools, and all the other mid-west schools."


Mr. Van emphasized his son's potential for participating in track at the college level since Rodney is a champion long jumper and sprinter.  "Ultimately it will come down to the school who allows him to compete in both track and football," Mr. Van said.


Having played safety last season for Poly, he very well could be considered a cornerback in college. His father said, "Personally, I feel he is best suited to play cornerback. That's where he played as a sophomore and where he was slated to play his junior year, prior to the departure of Randy Estes (the elite recruit who transferred to Los Alamitos).  He then moved to free and Freddie Parish moved to strong safety, to better balance out the defensive secondary. His speed, size, aggressiveness and cover ability would suggest that he will be a corner in college. His intelligence, leadership ability and knack for quick reads would suggest safety. Deep down inside, he wants to play corner, but he will do whatever the coaches feel will help the team.  He will also be playing a bit of quarterback next season as well."


Rodney Van Sr. wanted to also emphasize that his son is a very good student.  He maintains a 3.5 GPA and is part of college prep magnet program called the Center for International Commerce (CIC), which consists of college-level classes with an emphasis on global economics.

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