When you talk about elite recruits from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, the list of stars is rather long. And that's definitely true even for this season with three players already listed by Rivals.com among the top 250 players in the nation.
The one name that comes to mind most quickly for most people, though, is defensive end Wes Horton.
The 6-foot-6, 230-pounder is being called the best defensive lineman to come from Notre Dame since Travis Johnson destroyed Southern California quarterbacks before heading to Florida State.
"My best thing is that I'm a great pass rusher," he said. "I also have great closing speed. I see the quarterback and I go get him. The coaches here say my closing speed is the best since Travis Johnson, so that's a really, really big compliment to hear."
But success in football shouldn't be a surprise to everybody. Horton has football in his blood. His brother, Shane Horton, just recently signed with UNLV and his father, Myke, played football at UCLA for Dick Vermeil, and started on the offensive line for the Bruins on their 1975 Rose Bowl Champion team.
That's where things kind of get interesting when it comes to recruiting for Horton. He admits he grew up watching a lot of UCLA, but he also admitted earlier this week that he's thought hard about playing for USC if the Trojans were to offer him a scholarship.
"UCLA is the school I grew up liking because my dad played there," Horton said. "But I'm also really high on USC and UNLV. Probably now if I don't go to go to USC, then I'll go to UNLV to be with my brother.
"I have offers from UNLV, Ole Miss and Oregon. There are a lot of schools that (mess) around with kids and tell them they're going to offer a kid a scholarship and never do, or they offer and then pull it away. It can kind of get to be a hectic process, and I might want to commit early and get it out of the way."
In fact, he'll be taking an unofficial visit this weekend to UNLV to visit the school with his brother.
"I'm going to UNLV to see what it's like," he said. "We're going to hang out a little bit, look at the school and have some fun. We're going to see if I like that, and then I'm going to see USC and see if I like that. If I like something, I might just go ahead and commit."
Regardless Horton admits he's excited about the process and knows what he's looking for in the perfect school.
"I'm going to be looking for a school that is strong academically, a place where I'll be comfortable for four or five years and somewhere close to home," he said.