Most of Dallas Cowboys scout Jim Abrams’ life has been dedicated to football.
The former player transferred from junior college to play safety at Kent State, then coached linebackers at three different FBS schools in the late 1980s and early 1990s and has spent more than the past 20 years as a scout for the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It was only natural for his son Aleks to be interested in playing football, too.
“I was,” Aleks said, “I played one year and had a couple concussions, and I was like, ‘Nah, I’m done with it.’ ”
That was in eighth grade. Now, going into his senior season at Oaks Christian, the 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward is ready to devote his life to Cal Poly basketball.
Aleks Abrams said he has given the Mustangs a verbal commitment to sign a national letter of intent when the early scholarship signing period for men’s basketball opens Nov. 13.
Abrams said he will make an official visit to the Cal Poly in October, has already attended a basketball camp at Cal Poly and made an unofficial visit during the Mustangs’ 62-60 victory over Cal State Fullerton in Mott Gym this past March.
Coaches are unable to comment publicly on recruits before they sign letters of intent, and verbal commitments are non-binding, but Abrams said he was excited to be able to make a decision.
Living just a moderate drive down Highway 101 in Thousand Oaks, Abrams will play close to home, and a healthy amount of Big West Conference road games will be within driving distance for his family, too.
“I’d say I’m a local,” Abrams said. “Two and half hours from my house, I like the fact that I can come home and my parents can see me play most of the games during league.”
Abrams described himself as a dirty-work player who prides himself on rebounding and low-post work.
He said he will enjoy being able to learn under 6-9 center Brian Bennett, who was second on the team with 9.3 points per game as a freshman and had 4.3 rebounds per game last season.
In his junior year at Oaks Christian, Abrams averaged 7.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks for the Lions, who went 16-12 and lost their second game in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4AA playoffs.
Abrams said he chose between offers from Army and Cal Poly. Portland was also in his final three. He said he also received attention from Santa Clara.
“I just wanted to get it done before the season,” Abrams said. “I’ve been up there a couple times, so I just felt like it was the right place.”
The Mustangs will need to replace three seniors after this season, Chris Eversley, Jamal Johnson and Kyle Odister. The addition of Abrams leaves two more scholarships on the table, but head coach Joe Callero might not hand those out until the regular signing period, which opens April 16, 2014.