Thank You Godfather

There are great athletes and there are special athletes, those who make your eyes pop out when you see them perform. Donovan Warren (6-0, 175, 4.47) from Long Beach Poly is a special athlete who will be one of the most sought after cornerbacks in the country.

He's already become a national recruit with USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, Nebraska, California, Oregon and UCLA expressing high interest. Warren could have continued naming schools, but he simply said, "I'm hearing from just about everyone."

Ole Miss and Oregon were the first two offers for Warren, but he said he's not too familiar with what they have to offer.

"I don't know much about them (Oregon & Ole Miss), but I'd have a chance to play early there," Warren said. "I do know Coach Orgeron from his time at USC, but that is all I really know about Ole Miss -- but I'll take a look at them."

Warren said his favorites are USC, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon, California, Ole Miss and Notre Dame, and touched on what he's looking for in a school.

"I'm looking for the best coaching staff to get me to the next level -- and also academics," Warren said. "You need an education after football, you know?"

Three of Warren's teammates signed with the Trojans this year: Cornerback Vincent Joseph, wide receiver Travon Patterson and defensive back Alfred Rowe. There have been a lot great Poly players over the years, and Warren had the opportunity to face some of them in practices.

Warren was asked which Poly receiver was the most challenging.

"Without a doubt and hands down, DeSean Jackson," said Warren. "Jeremy Childs of Boise State was a good one my sophomore year and Richard Sherman (Stanford commit) from Dominguez is another one"

He said he craves competition, but sometimes the only competition Warren finds is on the Poly practice field.

"We have great competition in practices, but in games I get kind of bored," Warren said. "It definitely is frustrating that teams don't pass against us sometimes, but you have to be ready so you don't get caught off guard."

Warren certainly hasn't been caught off guard very often and he's started at cornerback since his sophomore season, earning first-team all-state honors last season. Warren's partner in the backfield, Vincent Joseph, also earned first-team all-state honors.

So what can one of the elite prospects in the 2007 class do to improve?

"I want to see myself get a lot bigger and improve my technique," Warren said. "At the higher level you can't only depend on athletic ability."

High school level cornerbacks are generally lacking with fundamentals, but that's not the case with Warren – and he's learning from some the best in the business.

"I have the coaches at Poly and my godfather is Mark Carrier (Defensive backs/Baltimore Ravens), and he helps me a lot, too," Warren said. "It's great having him on my side, teaching me things that will help me get to the next level.

"Last summer we had Sammy Parker show up at practice. It's a great help working out with someone in the NFL. I used to work out with Darnell Bing, Ricky Manning Jr. – there are a lot of NFL players I've had the pleasure of working out with."

Warren talked about the high expectations at Poly and the whispers about their program losing its edge.

"We need to get back to that level of excellence," Warren said. "People are starting to doubt us, but that's all the motivation I need to work hard this off-season and prove everyone they were wrong."

Warren said he will attend a Nike Camp at Stanford or USC, and the Scout.com Combine at Cal-State Fullerton.


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