As one of the most prestigious programs on the West Coast, it's odd to see UCLA recruiting someone from the other side of the country so hard. But the Bruin coaches have invested a lot of time and energy into recruiting running back/cornerback Mikell Simpson, and it seems to be paying off.
"That's one school I'm real high on at least for right now," said Simpson. "They've done a good job of selling the total package -- the school, the location, the type of football they want to play. They're looking for speed, and I've got plenty of that. The coaches have told me I'm one of their top priorities in this recruiting class. UCLA isn't my favorite, but they've done a good job of recruiting me."
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound running back/cornerback from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania runs the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and is rated the No. 5 overall player in the Keystone State. Who else is he looking at?
"There are a whole bunch of others," he quickly said. "I don't mean to give off the impression that I'm about to commit, because I'm not. Schools like Nebraska, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Virginia, Syracuse and Michigan State are still doing a good job of recruiting me. I like all those, and a few others.
"I'm really going to have to take some visits before I'm even ready to start thinking about making a decision. Hopefully I'll be able to get out to some schools on official visits that I wouldn't be able to see otherwise.
"I'm setting up an official visit with UCLA for their game with USC if I can fit it into my schedule."
As a junior Simpson rushed for 862 yards and 21 touchdowns, caught 23 passes for 520 yards and five scores and intercepted five passes on defense. He was an all-conference selection as both a running back and cornerback.