The California junior college ranks seem to be loaded with speedy linebackers in 2005 and Long Beach City College linebacker Antonio Steele ranks right up there with the best of them.
Utah, Cal and Oregon have all been out to get an early look at Steele and many more schools seem to be on the way.
Despite being a two-time all state player, Steele was an under-recruited player out of St Peter Chanel High in Cleveland. He had bites from several MAC schools and a couple of Big 10 schools, but nothing ever materialized so he headed out west to play JUCO ball in California. With one year under his belt at Long Beach, Steele now hopes to stay out west in the future, but will not deny any opportunity.
"I want to go to any prestigious school where I can play right away," Steele said. "I'd love to play in the Pac-10 but I'd go anywhere where I have a chance to play right away."
Steele is 6-foot-2, 215 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash around 4.55 seconds. He was a first team all-Mission Conference American Division selection as a freshman, finishing with 63.5 total tackles and two interceptions in 11 games.
Steele was an academic qualifier out of high school and could leave at any point, but he likes the idea of playing one more year at Long Beach City despite getting nearly 50 letters a week.
"I expect to go undefeated this year," Steele said.
Steele describes himself as a speed guy who is aggressive.
"I'm a sideline to sideline player," said Steele. "I like to come up and hit, that's why I like to play defense."
Long Beach City will open up the 2005 season on September 3 on the road at Ventura College.