Atkins is ready for breakout season in 2009

After signing with a Pac 10 school after a standout prep career, College of the Canyons WR C.J. Atkins (6-3, 210) thought he was on his way. However a coaching change resulted in him leaving and now he's looking to sign with another school after he finishes his second season with Cougars. spoke with the talented athlete recently and he updated us on how things are progressing...

"Last year I played primarily on defense, but this year I think I'll be more at wide receiver," Atkins told "We had a lot of great wideouts already here, guys that greyshirted and one All-American (Hayo Carpenter) so I wasn't going to get a lot of time right away there.

"The coaches usually put me on the best wideout a team had and told me to shut them down and that's where my focus was last season, but this year I'll be at wideout where I can make plays."

Atkins has ideal size as well as speed (4.38) and signed with Washington State after high school, but after head coach Bill Doba left and new head coach Paul Wulff and his staff came in, he decided it was time to move on.

"I loved coach Doba," Atkins said. "I felt a loyalty to him. I thought I was good enough to be recruited and play for any team in the country, but none of them offered me because of my grade situation, but then Washington State came in with an offer and they stuck by me, so I decided to sign with them.

"Then when coach Doba was let go, I talked with coach (Mike) Levenseller (the Cougar wide receivers coach) and he and I disagreed over my role and stuff so I decided to leave because things were just different there."

After that he headed to Canyons, one of the top JUCO programs in the country.

"The coaches here are incredible," Atkins noted. "They care so much about their players and they have so much knowledge, I sorta feel I should have come here out of high school because I feel like I would be that much more ahead of things.

"They all will help me get ready for D-1 ball and for the NFL in the future as well."

On the recruiting front, because he didn't play much for Canyons last season, Atkins doesn't have any offers yet, but he's getting plenty of interest due to his outstanding physical skills.

"UCLA, USC, Oregon State and Arizona State are the main ones right now, but I'm getting a lot of interest from Tennessee, LSU, Nevada and Oregon as well," Atkins said. "I'm interested in everyone though and I'm going to make sure I make the right decision on where I want to go for my next step."

Atkins is on pace to graduate in December and he'll have two years to play two wherever he ends up.

C.J. Atkins Scout Profile

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