Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra's football team had a strong 2011 season, going 8-3 and undefeated in league play, but linebacker Christian Herrera predicts that season will be even better.
"Overall, our team is just trying to mature. Last year our team was young and we only had six seniors. It's only going to get better this year. We're going to Salt Lake City in September and our game will be televised by ESPN, so that's exciting," he said.
Herrera, who also plays tight end for the Cavaliers, thinks that the off-season workouts have been helping.
"Our coaches have been on us totally, just lifting and speed training, talking about nutrition and all that kind of stuff," he said.
Aside from spending the spring training and improving, Herrera has also started the recruiting process, as he's had some contact with a few big programs.
"Missouri has been sending me letters, as has Stanford and UCLA. Stanford is my top school, and I like USC, UCLA, Washington, Pac-12 schools. I also like Missouri, Baylor, and TCU," he said.
The linebacker, who currently maintains a 3.5 GPA, says his interest in the Cardinal stems from one key criteria: academics.
"I love the academics at Stanford, first and foremost. That's really the first thing I'm looking at. I also like the location; it's a beautiful campus. I love all the coaches there, linebackers coach Lance Anderson and Head Coach David Shaw. I like how they play as a team; it's hard-hitting, tough football," he said.
Herrera was impressed after watching the Cardinal this past season.
"They had a great year. Obviously with Andrew Luck, but they had Jared Lancaster and A.J. Tarpley, just an outstanding linebacker crew," he said.
Though this process may have just started, Herrera does feel that linebacker is where he'll stay at the next level.
"I think my biggest strengths at linebacker are hitting hard, my speed, my intensity, and just the work ethic that I have. Hitting somebody is one of the best feelings in the world, just being able to control your opponent. It's awesome," he said.