Michael Barton has picked up two new Pac-10 offers from Arizona State and UCLA and the Concord (Calif.) De La Salle linebacker could be close to others as well.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect visited with the Bruins last weekend and really hit it off with the coaching staff, especially defensive coordinator Joe Tresey and linebackers coach Clark Lea.
Because of his good experiences with both coaches, Barton said the UCLA offer is a big deal and he loves how the coaching staff envisions the program's future.
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"That's the main reason I got the scholarship offer from UCLA is because I visited on Sunday," Barton said. "I really had some good one-on-one time with coach Tresey and coach Lea and we really bonded. One thing they really said, one reason why they gave me an offer other than my film, is because they really liked my character and my intangibles and they said that's what they need in their program.
"They're changing that program around so I'm really excited about that UCLA offer. The feeling I got just from being at UCLA, they're ready to be competitive again. That's one thing I'm going to take into consideration when I'm picking my college - how is the team going to be when I'm there? Are they going to be competitive or mediocre? That's one thing I'm definitely looking at."
The Arizona State offer was a surprise to Barton, who also has offers from LSU, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. He hadn't talked at all to the Sun Devils' staff but they apparently loved his film and now the Northern California recruit is considering a spring visit to Tempe.
"It was surprising because I've never talked to them before," Barton said. "I sent them my highlight tapes and so this one really surprised me. Our dean said Arizona State is going to call and offer so it shocked me.
"They said they saw my film and they like what they've seen and that they were evaluating me for the last two weeks. I'm really excited about the Arizona State offer so I'll probably get down there this spring."
Last Friday, Barton and De La Salle teammate Bart Houston visited Cal and Barton got the feeling that the Golden Bears might be close to offering as well. That would be another big one to add to his growing list.
"I went to Cal last Friday and I met all the coaches," Barton said. "We sat down and talked and they said they wanted to talk about a scholarship offer so I'm pretty sure I'm going to get another offer."
Barton also visited USC last weekend. While the Trojans are interested, they have to be extra picky with offers because of their scholarship reductions. The De La Salle standout said he was asked to come back for Rising Stars camp and there is a chance he could get offered if he performs well.
"I just talked to coach (Clay) Helton (Tuesday) night and I talk to them every week," Barton said.
"I really like the coaching staff there, they're a great staff. It's just that they're so limited on scholarships they want me to come to their Rising Stars camp. They're evaluating me really closely and they want me to come to their one-day camp. If I do well there I could receive another offer."