Defensive end J. Forrest West has already made a name for himself as one of New England's top prospects in the Class of 2009. He should draw several offers as soon as coaches can start handing them out and he already has three favorites. With so much time left in the recruiting process, why is the Salisbury, Conn. prospect causing such a buzz?
At 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, a quick look at West probably doesn't tell you the whole story. With at least two more years until he plays in his first college football game West has turned heads with his pass rushing and explosiveness coming off the edge. Depending on how much he grows he'll project as either a defensive end or pass-rushing linebacker.
"Pass rushing," West said confidently when asked what area of his game was strongest. "I do a good job of getting to the quarterback. I'm just playing defensive end right now but I'm not sure what will happen down the road."
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Last year at Salisbury School, West recorded 40 tackles and seven sacks. But he really started turning heads in early May of this year, when was named the Overall MVP of the NationalUnderclassmen.com Showcase in New England. West has run the 40-yard dash in 4.79 seconds, and that's bound to improve as his body progresses with age.
Given all that it should come as no surprise that West has plenty of college coaching staffs looking down the road to the Class of 2009. Several programs have already made him a top priority and three seem to have the early inside edge.
"I'd say my three favorites right now are Boston College, UConn and Penn State," West said. "I've been hearing from those schools and I just like what they've had to say so far. Both my parents went to Boston College so that's why they're up there pretty high."
In addition to those three West said he has heard a lot from Florida. He has not had as many opportunities to take visits this summer as he would like.
"I went to a couple of combines this summer but I really haven't done that much," said West. "I've mostly just been working out with my buddies. Next summer is going to be pretty busy. I plan on taking a lot of my visits then, and also during this next spring break."
West plans on majoring in sports management so he'll be looking for a school that offers something along those lines.
"The biggest factors in my decision are going to be the graduation rate for the players at each school I'm looking at and the overall education they can offer me. But I would like to play for a good football program too."