Playing the Waiting Game

When you think of the 'Clearinghouse', it's probably the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. For high school football players, they deal with a clearinghouse of a different sort - an academic clearinghouse. When positive news comes down from the NCAA Clearinghouse, it can feel a lot like hitting the jackpot. For two Huskies-to-be, all the pieces are in place for good news to come 'round the bend.

"When I checked in with my school, they told me that everything had been sent in Thursday," Los Angeles High School Offensive Lineman Jovon O'Connor told Wednesday.

According to Jovon, he received a qualifying score June 18th after taking the SAT June 5th. "It was kind of expected," he added.

Chula Vista's Nathan Flowers finds himself in a similar situation. He's taken care of everything he can on his end, now all he can do is wait for the Clearinghouse's approval. "My Dad went to school today to make sure my transcripts were sent to the Clearinghouse and to Washington," the 6-4, 290-pound Flowers told Wednesday. "The people at school told him that they had already sent my transcripts to the Clearinghouse and that they were sending a copy to Washington today."

Nathan was a steal for the Huskies, arguably the top offensive lineman in the entire San Diego section of the CIF. A big reason Washington won this recruiting battle with little fuss was because Flowers had a lot of academic ground to make up in order to qualify. Well, Flowers received a qualifying score on his ACT, much to his delight and relief.

"I definitely did have some academic issues," Nathan said candidly. "For a long time I thought I might make it, but I also might not. But all my teachers and family stood by me and I made it. It was a big burden off my shoulders."

Because the qualifying scores happened so close to the start of school, Clearinghouse notice might not happen until just a week or two before fall camp starts. "I know that I need to be there (Seattle) by August 11th, but the coaches told me I would need to get word from the Clearinghouse first," O'Connor said. That's all I'm waiting for right now."

Flowers is playing the waiting game too, but he's going on with his plan as if the Clearinghouse notice will be mere formality. "I have to report on August 12th, so I'm going to fly up on the 11th," he said. "I'm only going to be bringing up with me the bare necessities, because it's going to be just like going to a regular football camp. My Dad and Stepmom will drive up with everything I need, like my computer."

In the meantime, Jovon and Nathan are trying to engage in as many football-related activities as possible. "I've been working out with the offensive linemen at Compton College," O'Connor said. "I've just been working out, running and lifting weights." It sounds like Jovon has also grown a little bit. "I think I might be an inch taller now, around 6-6."

Flowers was named to the South Team for the 14th Alex Spanos All-Star Football Classic, a game in which the South soundly defeated the North 43-7. "It was a really nice way to finish out," Nathan said. "Our last game (at Chula Vista) we lost in the playoffs, so it was nice to leave my high school career with a victory."

He mentioned Patrick Gates (Marian Catholic), Mundrae Clifton (Mira Mesa) and C.J. Bryant (West Hills) as three players he enjoyed playing with. "Really, everybody stood out," Nathan said. Top Stories