Hayes Pullard considering six

It's no secret to USC fans that the Trojans need to add depth at lineback in its 2010 recruitinmg class. We had an opportunity to speak with Crenshaw midddle linebacker Hayes Pullard after the Lancers defeated Lakewood 28-27 on Friday at Crenshaw. Pullard is one of the elite prospects on the West Coast and one of the finest linebackers in the nation.

Ken Norton was in attendance at the Crenshaw/Lakewood game to show his prized linebacker prospect, just how important he is.

Pullard considers Norton one of the top linebacker coaches in the country. One of his first opportunities to experience first-hand what it's like to be coached by Norton was at USC's seven-on-seven tournament in June.

"He's very fired up," said Pullard of Norton. "When I went to the USC seven-on-seven he was all hype, just hype. I love to be hyped at all times. I had to get fired up for my team and for him."

And Pullard had plenty of hype and energy on Friday night, and his teammates/coaches are looking to him for leadership, a role he welcomes.

"My coaches always tell me I have to take on the leadership role and the team's on my shoulders," said Pullard. "Guys are looking up to me, and they're feeding off of me. So now I have to keep my composure and stay hype even when we're down and making mistakes."

Although Pullard has many more than six scholarship offers, he told us on Friday night he's narrowed his list of schools he's still considering to six.

Those schools are Florida, Notre Dame, Washington, USC, UCLA and Arizona State.

It's likely Pullard will take official visits to a majority of the six schools, but he said he hasn't set any dates, yet.

"I was focused on this game," said Pullard about the Lakewood game.

We asked Pullard what interests him about the six schools he's considering?

"USC is very talented," Pullard said. "They're a powerhouse team and they're always fired up. UCLA is calm, but they're a powerhouse team also. They're come silent but deadly. "Arizona State isn't scared of nobody. They're always fired up and they always come to play. Notre Dame is a new poison that I just found out about. They have a high graduation rate, which I love. They also have a powerhouse team playing against SC, Washington and other teams like that. With Florida I love the speed and the intensity. I love the SEC."

USC hasn't fared very well with Crenshaw players in the past, with most of the elite Lancer prospects ending up at UCLA in recent years. But USC does have a solid shot at Pullard and where former Crenshaw players have signed in the past is irrelevant to him.

"I've got my own mind," said Pullard when asked if the destination of past Crenshaw players will influence his decision on a school. "I'm making this decision on my own, with my family and with God. That's all I'm going to take."

Whichever school ends up signing Pullard, there are a few specific qualities the school will need to offer.

"Good graduation rate," said Pullard of one of the qualities he's looking for in a school. "A good business program and a winning program at that. A coach that's going to ride me until the end and be able to play on the next level."

We'll continue to cover Pullard's recruitment and have reports as the recruiting process unfolds.

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