February 24, 2011

Rose thinks it over

Kansas City (Mo.) linebacker Michael Rose was supposed to have his recruitment settled long ago.

Rose committed to Nebraska last July, before the start of his junior season at Rockhurst High School. But coaching staff changes in Lincoln have left him up in the air. A phone call from USC on Wednesday muddled things further.

"I went into my coach's office and he told me we had to make a phone call because I had a scholarship offer," Rose said. "I asked him what school it was from. When he said USC, I didn't think I heard him correctly. But he told me again and I just started smiling and getting excited.

"We called Coach Joe Barry and I talked to him for about five minutes and he extended the offer then."

Rose is maintaining his pledge to the Cornhuskers for the time being. But he is interested in looking at other schools.

"Right now, I'm still committed to Nebraska, but I'm very open," Rose said. "I'm going to Nebraska Saturday to discuss where we are. I haven't talked to Nebraska in about two months because of the coaching changes. I'm open to anyone who will let me prove myself worthy of a scholarship at their university."

Saturday's meeting with Nebraska could be a deciding factor in Rose's future. Rose is looking for more dialogue with the Huskers following former linebacker coach Mike Ekeler's departure. Ekeler, who recruited Rose to Nebraska, became the co-defensive coordinator at Indiana.

"I'm going to sit down with Bo Pelini and get a sense for who they hired," Rose said. "I don't even know who filled in the positions. I want to come out with a better understanding. If they don't want me looking at other places, then maybe Nebraska isn't the place for me. Then you have to fold up the tent and find some place else, because it's about finding a place for the next four years to be productive about football and academics."

Regardless of his standing with the Cornhuskers, Rose finds USC to be a school of great interest. He cited the school's balance between football and academics as a selling point.

"I've seen what USC has accomplished on the field and have a lot of respect for them," Rose said. "They put players in the NFL, which is my ultimate goal along with getting a great degree. USC understands the academic player, but they have a different approach when it comes to football."

Rose found both benefits and drawbacks to playing far from home.

"I think of Southern California and I think of sun 365 days a year," Rose said. "We probably don't get half that here in Kansas City. I think it's a place where I can grow and be a little bit more independent. I'd like for my parents to be able to see my play. But if that's where I'm supposed to be at, that's where I want to go."

The summer and fall could feature several visits for Rose. USC appears to be on the itinerary for both an unofficial and an official visit.

"I have family 15 minutes away from Berkeley, so I'll be making trips to Cal and USC this summer," Rose said. "I'm definitely going to take all five of my official visits. I'm definitely going to be out to USC, Nebraska depending on where we're at, and definitely Iowa."

USCfootball.com will keep you updated on Rose throughout the year.

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