December 14, 2006

Clausen sets first visit

Riverside (CA) North High School quarterback Michael Clausen is taking his first official visit of the recruiting season with a trip to UNLV this weekend.

"I'm excited for my first trip," added Clausen. "I want to get a feel for the environment, the coaching staff and the players."

But Clausen is already impressed with the coaches.

"I really like what I've been hearing from the coaches. They seem to be really cool," he said.

The young quarterback has plenty to be excited about, especially after posting some very impressive senior statistics. Through 14 games, the neophyte had 166 pass attempts, completing 102 for 1,870 yards, and had 1 interception against 19 touchdown passes. On the ground, Clausen had 380 yards on 102 carries, with 10 touchdowns and no fumbles.

"I handled the ball a lot and only turned it over once," said Clausen. "I think my decision making and my natural athletic ability are my two biggest strengths."

Clausen is not the only one impressed with his impressive turnover numbers. The UNLV coaching staff seems to be as well.

"The coaches at UNLV [said] they liked my decision making, and they said that they would feel comfortable with me in there," said the quarterback.

As strong as Clausen's senior statistics are, they are backed up by some decent workout numbers. At 6-foot-3 and 197 pounds, Clausen is a pretty big and mobile QB, with times of 4.6 in the 40 and 4.4 in the shuttle run showcasing his speed. The California product also boasts a vertical of 31 inches and pounded out 15 bench reps as well.

Other programs besides UNLV are interested in the young QB, including Utah State, which has tendered Clausen his only other offer. Other schools interested are Arizona, Colorado State, Oregon State, Fresno State, Idaho State and Washington.

"Utah State has offered, but I haven't heard from them for a while," he said.

Considering all of the interest Clausen has generated, the senior plans on making a few more visits.

"I'm visiting Fresno State on January 5," he said. "I'm also going to visit Washington and Colorado State later in January. I don't know if I will visit Utah State."

The offensive threat out of California believes that UNLV will stay near the top of his list throughout the process because of the offense they run.

"They run the spread offense, and we ran the single-T in high school, so it is a lot like what UNLV does," said Clausen. "A lot of roll outs and options."

Speaking of options, Clausen has many, but he is not ready to make a decision yet.

"I just want to take my visits and find a place where I fit, and I'll know it," said Clausen. "I want to try and make my decision before signing day."

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