January 3, 2012
Prep football recruiting updates for Cosumnes Oaks, Shaq, Armstead, Cope-Fitzpatrick

shaq.jpgFootball season over yet? Almost.

The only downs left for high school seniors are this week for prep All-Star showcase games, including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday that includes Pleasant Grove's Arik Armstead and Grant's Shaq Thompson.

Last week in Dallas, Cosumnes Oaks cornerback Marcus Rios had five tackles in the Offense/Defense All-American Bowl.

Rios is headed to UCLA, one of three Cosumnes Oaks players to give verbal commitments. Receiver Michael Thomas is headed to UNLV and all-purpose Andrew Williams is off to Idaho. Tailback Tavon Willis has been offered by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is awaiting his test results from SAT/ACT exams.

On Thursday, Whitney tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick will suit up in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando. Cope-Fitzpatrick has had some dominating moments in practice, according to reports, which comes as no surprise. We're talking a man disguised as a teenager here.

We will talk to Cope-Fitzpatrick via phone this week. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder has narrowed his college choices down to Oregon, Colorado and USC, and all three programs had coaches make home visits in Rocklin in recent weeks, including Oregon coach Chip Kelley, who also visited Cope-Fitzpatrick's Whitney quarterback teammate Jake Rodrigues, who is off to Eugene.

Cope-Fitzpatrick will visit Colorado on Jan. 13. Cope-Fitzpatrick gave USC a verbal commitment over the summer and very well may end up there, too.

Armstead, a mammoth 6-8, 290-pound All-American lineman, has narrowed his college choices down to Cal, Notre Dame and Oregon. If there's a favorite, it just might be the Bears of Berkeley, though at the moment, that's just a sense I have. Armstead wants to play football and basketball in college, and he has met with Cal coaches Jeff Tedford and Mike Montgomery who are both receptive to the idea.

Thompson, a ballistic safety with size, power and speed and The Bee's Player of the Year, also likes Cal, as well as Washington, Notre Dame and USC. Cal is where Thompson's brother Syd excelled as a four-year starting cornerback (and is now with the Denver Broncos); Washington is where his pal and former Pacers star James Sample is; Notre Dame is always unique, and USC could make a real push for a national title next season.

There were Internet reports this week that Thompson had scratched USC off his list. We'll know for sure when we talk to him - and Armstead - this week for updates on their Texas experience.

At the moment, none of the recruits knows for certain where they will wind up. Sometimes it changes by the day or hour, like golden job offers that each promise to change and shape your life forever.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter: sb_joedavidson
Reminder: The SureWestSports Radio Show airs each Saturday from 9-10 a.m. on ESPN1320 (and linked later to ESPN1320.net). Mike Finnerty and I will talk prep recruiting and hoops madness this week.

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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