Four-star linebacker prospect, Josh Shirley (6-2, 211, 4.53) from Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser has been one of the most impressive prospects on the recruiting trail. To give you an indication of his athleticism, he recorded a 34-inch vertical at the IE combine without warming up. This explosive athlete has over 200 offers to his credit, but he has narrowed things down to an elite eight.
"I have narrowed things down to eight schools," Shirley said. "In no particular order, they are USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington, Miami, Cal and Notre Dame."
"I'm working on setting visits right now," Shirley said. "Most likely, I will probably take all of my visits to out of state schools, and take unofficial to USC and UCLA."
What is it about these eight schools that Shirley likes?
"With USC, it is just the intensity," Shirley said. "How everything is upbeat, from everybody, to the kicker, to the running back, everybody feels the intensity and the competition is through the roof.
"The atmosphere at UCLA is very comfortable," Shirley said. "It is a very comfortable feeling when I'm there. I like the defense, but the atmosphere is good.
"Cal is a school I would like to see and I'm interested in," Shirley said. "I want to find out more about their program, get to see their campus and talk to their coaches a little bit more.
"Everybody tells me that Washington beautiful and when I see I'll fall in love with it," Shirley said. "I just want to see for myself. The coaches are good and I have a good relationship with them. Coach Nick Holt, and Coach Demetrice Martin, I've talked to them a couple of times. I just want to see the campus and see how their program is run.
"With Arizona, I've known Coach Tim Kish, their linebackers coach, he saw me at one of our practices," Shirley said. "I've been in contact with him since my sophomore year. That's when he first noticed me. I would say that Arizona was the first school I was in contact with.
"I talked to Miami coach Mike Barrow," Shirley said. "He saw my highlight tape and that's how I got an offer from them and for all of the out of state schools, it is pretty much going to be all the same. I just want to learn more about them and see their campuses, for myself. That will be the same thing for Notre Dame.
"I'm going to make my school announcement at the US Army All-American game," Shirley said. "I will have all my official visits over by then."
Shirley is planning to take in local games on weekends that he isn't taking official visits. He is scheduled take in both UCLA's and USC's scrimmage games.
As a junior, Shirley earned League defensive MVP, first-team all-county, first-team all-area, first-team all-CIF and first-team all-state underclass after racking up 123 tackles, 17 sacks, 12 knockdown passes and three forced fumbles.
In the wright room, his current bench is 355, squats 495, power cleans 285, dead lifts 605 and has recorded a 35.5 vertical jump.
Shirley earned a spot on the Rivals.com Rivals250 for the class of 2010. He is also ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 9 outside linebacker prospect. He was also selected to the Rivals.com California Preseason Top 100 landing as the Golden State's No. 18 prospect at any position.