January 1, 2002

CaliFlorida Bowl: Cal's Rivals100 Stars

Not to be outdone by their Sunshine State counterparts, Team California is loaded with several players to on the Rivals 100 of this year's class. Here's a quick look at the Rivals100 players suiting up for this week's CaliFlorida Bowl III in Torrance, Calif.

No. 2 QB Ben Olson (Thousand Oaks): Was rated the No. 1 player in the nation before Vincent Young overtook him late in the season. Olson committed to Brigham Young in October and hasn't nudged. The 6-foot-5, 205 pound Olson can also run and is the nation's top pro-style quarterback.

No. 35 TE Marcedes Lewis (Long Beach Poly): The No. 1 rated tight end prospect in the nation is a sleek 6-foot-6, 233 pounds. Throw in his 4.65 forty, 36-inch vertical with his soft hands and you've got an offensive weapon every college desires. Lewis committed to UCLA during the fall despite offers from the likes of Florida State, Oregon, USC and Washington.

No. 53 Safety Darnell Bing (Long Beach Poly): Part of a stacked Poly High squad, Bing still managed to turn heads and become one of the most desired safeties. The No. 3-rated safety in the nation runs a 4.5 forty at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. With a reportedly positive trip to Washington complete, Bing will await visits to Florida (Jan. 4), USC (Jan. 11) and Oregon (Jan. 18) before making a decision.

No. 56 DB Jarrad Page (San Leandro): Page was instrumental in leading San Leandro to a CIF North Coast Section title game in 2001 (lost to No. 1 De La Salle 48-13). The 6-foot-1, 190 pounder is one of the top cover guys in this year's class. Rated the No. 4 cornerback in the nation, Page has visited Illinois and his reported leader, UCLA, but says he will not make a decision until he finishes trips to Oregon State (Jan. 4), Washington (Jan. 11) and Oregon (Jan. 18).

No. 57 OL Winston Justice (Long Beach Poly): At 6-foot-7, 297 pounds, Justice is a presence on any football field. A swift-footed big man and the No. 4-rated offensive tackle, Justice has solid skills in both pass and run blocking. With only one visit down, a trip to Washington on Dec. 14, Justice is scheduling trips to Tennessee, USC and UCLA.

No. 64 RB Hershel Dennis (Long Beach Poly): Finished 2001 rushing for 1,709 yards and 24 touchdowns for No. 3 Poly, this three-year starter is one of the biggest and most recognizable names in this year's game. Dennis (pictured) hasn't listed any favorites, but did have a successful visit to Washington. The No. 4-rated all-purpose back in the nation is also considering Florida, Oregon, USC, and UCLA.

No. 75 DB Aaron Miller (Fresno Edison): Another tall safety much like Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln's Pat Watkins, at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds and a 4.4 forty, Miller is an impact player. The No. 5 safety in the nation has already visited his early leader UCLA and has set up visits with USC (Jan. 18), LSU (Jan. 25) and Oklahoma (Jan. 25). He still has scholarships from all of the teams on his list - except Oklahoma.

No. 90 WR Blake Mackey (Bakersfield): Mackey 's stock rose quickly in 2001 with his rare combination of size (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) and speed (4.38 forty). After helping his team to an undefeated season and CIF Central Section title, Mackey committed to Colorado.

No. 83 DT Manuel Wright (Long Beach Poly): This 6-foot-7, 315 pound defensive tackle's future is becoming more mysterious by the second. In a recent conversation with OUFans.com, Wright mentioned that he didn't think he would take his scheduled visit to Oklahoma and listed Washington, USC and Miami as teams he's looking at. Wright also mentioned to RealDawg.com that he will visit Florida. Regardless, the university that Wright signs with will gain an instant impact player who can stop the run and has surprising quickness to rush the passer.

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