Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty High defensive end Matt Akers is one of the best players in California that never gets talked about. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder racked up 117 tackles and 15 sacks in 2007 on his way to first-team all-area honors and honorable mention all-state underclass recognition.
But Akers isn't satisfied where he's at now. He's spent a lot of time working on getting better so far this summer.
"I've gained a lot of weight," he said. "This off season I've been eating like crazy trying to gain weight."
The results have paid off. He's kept his 40-yard dash time to around 4.7 seconds, but he's now bench-pressing 380 pounds, squatting 500 pounds. The biggest gain though came on his frame. He said he's now around 240 pounds after finishing last season at 215 pounds.
Put all those things together and obviously you have the building blocks for a special player.
"Fresno State and Colorado have offered," Akers said. "It wasn't really a set deal though. They kind of said that if I get everything squared away, and I want to come then there will be a spot for me."
Other schools are interested, too.
"I hear a lot from Fresno State and San Diego State," he said. "Washington, Ole Miss and USC came by the school. Pete Carroll came to school and talked to my coach. I thought that was neat."
"I think I'm going to go to USC for their Rising Senior Camp. Then I'm planning a trip to San Diego State. I just recently got back from the Nike camp at Stanford."
Akers said he would love to get a Trojan offer, but he's also very interested in all the Pac 10 schools.
"I would say USC is my dream school, but I like a lot of different schools," he said. "I would like to maybe go to maybe Washington or Cal. I'd like to stay in the Pac-10 and stay close to home. Location is a big key for me. But I'd like to also see what they have to offer for what I'm going to be majoring in, and then of course a good football team."
Akers has big expectations for the 2007 season.
"Our first game is at Clovis West," he said. "We came up short twice against them last year, but I feel strongly about it this year. We played them at the beginning of the season and then again in the semi-finals. We fell behind by a couple touchdowns both times."