James Sample is still figuring out the recruiting process but the Sacramento (Calif.) Grant safety, one of the hardest-hitting players on the West Coast, said Cal and Washington are his two favorites early in the summer.
Sample, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound prospect, recently worked out at Cal's camp and the Golden Bears have offered. Oregon has also recently offered but the Ducks haven't been able to overtake Washington on his favorites list.
"Cal was cool, it was a cool camp but we didn't get to do much because it was a fully padded camp and our coach didn't want us to pad up," Sample said. "We did a couple footwork drills with the defensive backs coach and that was good. I like them a lot. Their coaching staff is cool, too."
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Washington's coaching staff is what mainly stands out about the Huskies and Sample said he believes they could help him get to the NFL. That will play one major factor as he navigates his way through the process.
"It's the coaching staff at Washington," Sample said. "My choice is going to be based on how the coaches are. If I feel like they could help me get to the next level that's how I'm going to make my decision. They're all energetic (at Washington), just like at Grant, and that's why I like them."
Rivals.com rates Sample, one of the top defensive players at the Palo Alto NIKE Camp, as the seventh-best safety and No. 122 prospect in the 2011 class. He's No. 14 in the California preseason top 100 of 2011.
Arizona, Arizona State, Nevada, San Diego State, Utah and Washington State have also offered along with Oregon.
"That was big," Sample said of the Ducks' offer. "I was surprised. I talked to the coach one day and I felt they were interested in me and they liked how I looked on film and played and three days later I got it in the mail."
Sample said he's still hearing from Alabama but hasn't had a chance to call its coaching staff. He's in no major rush. The Grant standout doesn't plan to make a commitment until after his senior season, probably at a postseason all-star event.
He was planning to attend the USC Rising Stars Camp this week but said those plans have now been cancelled and he won't be attending.