"My friend Brandon Rutley plays running back up at San Jose State and he really got the ball rolling with them because he got them my film," Atkinson told JCFootball.com. "They asked me to come up there last week, so I went up there and met with the coaches and coach (Mike) MacIntyre said they were offering me for this fall.
"It all sort of caught me off guard because I was thinking they were recruiting me for 2011, but when he told me he wanted me this fall because they needed a linebacker right away, I definitely had to think about it.
"I got home and thought about it and I called him back and told him that I was thankful they liked me and wanted me, but I was going to play for DVC this fall and see what happens."
After hearing the disappointing news, MacIntyre told Atkinson that his offer would stand for the 2011 class as well.
"They kind of did the same thing that Utah State and UTEP did," Atkinson said. "They both offered me to come this fall, but when I told them I was going to wait, they said my offers stood for the next class too."
As a redshirt freshman last fall, Atkinson was a difference-maker at the middle linebacker position, posting 82 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."
Atkinson is a down-hill linebacker, able to stuff the run using his strength and instincts to make plays inside or using his speed and quickness to track down plays on the edges.
"I feel like I can do whatever a team needs me to do to be successful," Atkinson said. "Coaches like that I'm a leader and a sure tackler, so they like me in the middle, but I could play outside too."
Josh Atkinson Scout Profile
First three offers in the books for Atkinson
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