Atkinson returns to DVC for sophomore season

A middle JUCO prospect who had four-year schools offering him this past year, but decided to show patience in the recruiting game is Diablo Valley LB Josh Atkinson (6-1, 230). This spring, he's been hearing some promising things from BYU, the school he enrolled at back in 2008 before deciding to give football another try…

Atkinson didn't get much recruiting attention after he finished high school, so he decided to give up the game of football to concentrate on earning a degree at BYU, where he had enrolled as a regular student.

However, after watching his brother, Jordan Atkinson's success at Diablo Valley and realizing how much he missed playing the game he had played since he was a little boy, he decided to give it a shot and he's now one of the leader's of the Vikings' talented defense.

"I really missed it a lot," Atkinson told last summer. "I think it was a situation where I didn't realize how much I loved to play until I wasn't doing it. It was a great situation for me to come here to DVC and have a chance to play ball again."

As a redshirt freshman last fall, Atkinson was a difference-maker at the middle linebacker position, posting over 80 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for a team that 3-7.

"I started every game except for two," Atkinson said. "I had a hamstring injury, so I had to sit out, but I did pretty well for my first year back in the game."

Shortly after the season was over, Atkinson was offered by UTEP and Utah State, two schools with a need at middle linebacker.

"They wanted me to sign in February, but I just wasn't really that interested in them," Atkinson said. "I talked with my family and my coaches about it and we all agreed I should come back this year and play and see what other schools I could get to look at me."

One that has picked up the proverbial "recruiting ball" and run with it is BYU, the school where he originally enrolled and where his older sibling is currently playing.

"BYU's coaches have told me they like me a lot and that they could be offering me pretty soon," Atkinson said. "I've been talking with coach (Brandon) Doman a lot and he said I fit what they are looking for with my speed (4.6) and my instincts. It's encouraging to me, but obviously they haven't offered yet, so I'm still waiting on that.

"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and working hard and I think things will pan out in the end."

Atkinson admitted that should he not get a scholarship offer he wants to take, he may end up walking on at Cal, a school who continues to show him interest and actually asked him to walk-on this summer.

"They wanted me, but just didn't have a scholarship to offer me," Atkinson said. "If I don't end up signing with someone, then I might just head there to play ball and get my degree."

Atkinson was a full-qualifier out of high school, so he's still eligible to sign with a school at any time, but he expects to finish up the 2010 season, sign with a school in December and enroll with two years to play two once he arrives on campus.

Josh Atkinson Scout Profile

Josh Atkinson 2009 highlights

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