Heading in to the spring evaluation period, the top rated offensive lineman on our board out West, at this time, will be Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs Rodney Picou. Picou, 6-4, 300 pounds is a tremendous talent who will be a national prospect next year.
We first started to hear about Picou his sophomore year and then saw him in person at last year's SoCal Nike Camp. Although just a rising junior at the time, Picou was clearly one of the dominant linemen in the camp and tested very well running a 5.13 in the 40 and a 4.92 in the shuttle.
"His athleticism is his best asset on the field," Canyon Springs head coach Shane Prosser said. "He can really move and has great feet. He plays tackle for us but could be a great guard prospect as well. With his height, I'm sure that's where colleges are looking at him and he's already advanced when it comes to pulling and trapping because we do that a lot here."
Picou played soley on the offensive line last year although Prosser said he'll be going both ways as a senior. Following his junior season, the lineman earned 1st team All-State Underclass and Student Sports Junior All-American honors. He'll again compete for national honors as a senior and looks like one of the top 10 players in the state for the class of 2005.
On the recruiting front, it's no secret where Picou would like to play his college ball. The lineman's former teammate, Drean Rucker, signed with USC two years ago but drowned tragically while swimming in the ocean late at night at Huntington Beach.
"USC is where I want to go and I might even commit early to them if they offer," Picou said. "I've gotten to know the coaches so well the past few years through Drean and that's definitely where my heart is at. Tim Davis is a great offensive line coach and I really like Coach Carroll as well. They came by the school the day before Signing Day and have been recruiting me really hard. I hear they're close to offering me but just want to be sure about my academics."
According to Prosser, Picou is hovering around a 2.5 GPA and should qualify.
"He's been doing a lot better in the classroom but the test could give him some problems," Prosser said. "He's already taking some special classes to prepare for it and is working hard to get himself qualified so I think he'll be OK. He really wants to go to USC and I know they want him bad as well. Arizona State has also been by the school and he's hearing from schools all over the county. He has mentioned wanting to take a visit to one of the Florida schools but if USC were to offer him, that might be it."