Recruiting picking up for Morris, Poage

Redlands offensive lineman Brock Morris has set up a trio of official visits for January, as he looks to pick between Army, UC Davis and Portland State.

Morris, a first-team all-Citrus Belt League selection the last two seasons, is visiting West Point on Jan. 16, UC Davis on Jan. 23 and Portland State on Jan. 30. The Portland State visit was moved because it conflicted with the Inland Empire All-Star Football game.

“I’m pretty excited,” Morris said. “Those are the three schools that have been with me the entire time. There are a few schools that have come in at the end, but these three have stayed with me the entire time and are whom I’ve built a relationship with.”

If Morris chooses Army, which he is still high on despite the recent resignation of head coach Stan Brock, he’ll be close to teammate Michael Poage, a defensive lineman. Poage, an all-CBL first-team selection, verbally committed to Columbia University earlier this week. With Columbia being in Manhattan and West Point roughly an hour north of New York City, the teammates wouldn’t be that far away.

“I guess you are right,” Morris said when I pointed that out. “That’d be pretty cool.”

Rice resigns at Eisenhower

Eisenhower coach John Rice resigned as head football coach because of a desire to spend more time with his family. The resignation was tendered last week according to Rice.

“I made the best decision for myself and my family,” Rice said. “The Eisenhower administration, faculty, staff, and students are a fantastic group of people, I wish them the best. At this point, I’ll probably seek an assistant coaching position somewhere.”

Rice, 47, has been in coaching for 25 years, starting in the San Diego area. He spent time in the Denver area, as a defensive coordinator at Louisville Trinity High School – one of the premier programs in the nation – in Indiana and as a defensive coordinator at Moreno Valley Canyon Springs High School in 2004-05. He became the head coach at Eisenhower, leading the Eagles to an 11-19 record.

Ike was 1-9 in his first season in 2006 and 5-5 the last two years. The Eagles have increased their league victories in every season under Rice, going from 1 in ’06 to 2 in ’07 to three this past season.

There will be a more in-depth story in Wednesday’s Sun.

Jefferies commits to Fresno State

Eisenhower wide receiver Alex Jefferies left for Fresno State on an official visit this weekend. After spending the weekend on the campus, Jefferies – who had official visits to Utah and Nebraska on his itinerary – knew where he wanted to go to school.

“I commited to Fresno State this morning,” Jefferies said. “I wanted to go to a school that really was with me the entire time and showed that they wanted me. Fresno State was always around and I really liked my trip up there.”

The Bulldogs indicated to Jefferies that they wanted him to play wide receiver, which seems to be a pretty smart choice. Jefferies has been an all-Citrus Belt League first-team performer the last two seasons, catching 47 passes for 815 yards and nine touchdowns this year. He also ran for 298 yards, playing quarterback at times because of an injury to starter Anthony Lucero.

“I really want to play wide receiver in college,” said Jefferies, who was also being looked at as a safety. “I’m just so relieved to get this whole thing over.”

With the verbal commitment, Jefferies is forgoing official visits to Utah – which he was set to go on this upcoming weekend – and Nebraska, which offered him recently and wanted him to visit in January. But Jefferies is content with that.

“I’m happy that I’ll still be in California,” Jefferies said. “It’s close to family and I don’t have to worry about it being cold.”