For those who have already turned an eye to the Class of 2011, it was only a matter of time until Absecon (N.J.) Holy Spirit linebacker Anthony Sarao picked up a scholarship offer.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound prospect from the Garden State had a huge junior season that gained him recognition across the region. On the year he tallied 123 tackles and 11 sacks. He recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown, blocked two punts and picked off a pass.
Few New Jersey junior linebackers have displayed the versatility and athleticism of Sarao, who has run the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds. His ability to move sideline to sideline, as well as his aggressiveness at the point of attack, make him an attractive prospect.
One school has seen all they have needed to see, in fact.
"I got my first offer from Maryland," Sarao said. "I talked to them yesterday. They said they were going to offer me. They've seen me twice in person. I guess their linebacker coach and defensive coordinator have watched my film and they loved it."
What does Sarao think of the Terps? Are they high on his list, or is it too early to say?
"I like them but I'm gonna keep my choices open," he said. "I'm open to anybody right now. I've been talking to Boston College, Alabama and a lot of others lately."
This should just be the beginning for Sarao, especially if he performs well at upcoming events. He plans on attending the U.S. Army All-American Combine in early January, and he will attend a NIKE event a few months later.