March 21, 2008

California quarterback target wants to visit

When it comes to Texas Tech recruiting, the most interesting position to watch is often quarterback. Mike Leach's offense places a premium on decision making, leadership, and accuracy, and if a prospect meets those criteria and Leach likes them, they could potentially be a candidate to one day hold the keys to Texas Tech's high octane Air Raid offense.

Though the state of Texas is flooded with talented signal callers this year, Leach and Co. haven't hesitated about offering out-of-state prospects, extending their second out-of-state offer this week to Californian Allan Bridgford.

"It's been going pretty good actually," said the 6-foot-4 signal caller of his recruitment. "I just got offered by Texas Tech two days ago, which was awesome, and then there have been just a ton of schools lately who are talking about offers. Cal, Notre Dame, Boston College, Boise State, UCLA, Colorado, and some others have been really stepping up the interest and sending me letters and e-mails and calling the school a ton asking me to call them back. It's been a bit hectic but it's been a lot of fun too."

The big passer from Mission Viejo High School says the offer from the Red Raiders came as a pleasant surprise.

"The night before, I had just received my first letter from them and it just said to call them, so I did," he explained. "Then the next morning I walked into my coach's office and he said they had watched my film and wanted to offer me, so that was really nice."

Though the prospect of running Tech's offense is certainly attractive to Bridgford, he says the manner in which they extended the offer caught his eye as well.

"I mean, obviously it's a QB school, they pass the ball like 60 times a game," he said. "I talked to Lincoln Riley and he just told me when they offered me that they take QB offers very seriously down there and they usually don't go out of state unless they really like a guy, so obviously that meant a lot to me that they think that highly of me. He also said they wouldn't offer me if they didn't think I could run their offense, so that felt good too. He was just a real cool guy and it was a good conversation."

The 6-foot-4, 217-pound passer, who completed 62% of his passes last season, says he's working on improving his strengths and fixing his weaknesses.

"I'd say my strengths are probably that I'm a good leader, I'm mentally and physically tough, and I have a strong enough arm to make all the throws, but can still put the touch on it when I need to," he answered. "As far as my weaknesses go, I'd say my main problem was my size. I was weighing just a little more than 170 during the year, but I've grown an inch and I'm at 217 pounds now. I'd also say I needed to get a little faster, and I've worked on that, so I'm in the 4.7 range now. There will always be a ton of stuff I need to work on, so I just have to keep working hard."

Having thrown for over 2,500 yards with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions as a junior in California's largest division, one might think Bridgford is looking to stay in-state, but he says that's not necessarily the case.

"It really doesn't matter where it is, as long as I feel at home," he said. "It can be wherever. I never really grew up rooting for any teams, I just rooted for a good game, so I don't have a favorite team here in-state or anything."

The standout QB, who lists Stanford, Texas Tech, Cal, UCLA, Notre Dame, Colorado, Boise State, and Boston College as his tentative top eight, says he'll visit as many schools as he needs to before making a decision.

"I'm going to Colorado at some point and I want to see Texas Tech, and I'm going to visit Cal on April 26th and I'm going to try to get out to UCLA too," he said. "I just want to take my visits right now and see who all offers me, because a lot of them are saying they're close. Then, once I know all that, I don't know when I'll decide, but I'll start looking after I feel like I know what all my options are."

As far as his visit to Texas Tech goes, Bridgford says that trip could happen sooner rather than later.

"I talked to Texas Tech on the phone recently and I want to come out there and visit," he said. "I think they're starting spring practice next week and I'm trying to come down for their spring game and catch a practice on Friday and then watch that on Saturday, so we'll see how that goes."

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