The season is over at Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus, Ohio, but for linebacker Zakee Bashir that means the recruiting process is going to start heating up. Heading into his senior season the 6-2, 218-pound Bashir held two offers, but his play this fall has ushered in some new interest.
"There are no new offers. I am taking visits, though, and sending my film out," Bashir said. "I got a lot of good response back from my film."
Bashir made the transition this past off-season from defensive end to linebacker, and he responded by recording 71 tackles and five sacks for Walnut Ridge. Considering linebacker is the position most colleges are projecting him to play, coaches wanted to see how he could handle the elements of that position in a full time role.
"They said they liked the way I transitioned from d-end to linebacker and I've got a lot of film of me dropping back into pass coverage," Bashir said. "As far as making tackles and chasing the ball down, they knew I could do that from my previous year. Their main concern was being able to defend the pass and they said they liked that on this film."
Now that the season is over Bashir has been conversing with coaches over the phone more often and several schools have showed increased interest this fall.
"The coaches at NC State and Central Michigan are all giving me good feedback. The coach from Purdue came down when they played at Ohio State," Bashir reported. "Michigan State is showing a lot of interest. The coach said they are kind of low on scholarships so they are trying to get as much film as they can and make sure they get the guys that they want."
Prior to the start of his senior season, Bashir held offers from Toledo and Marshall. Toledo head coach Tom Amstutz and his staff were let go by the administration earlier this fall, but Bashir still holds interest in the Rockets.
"I actually talked to my recruiting coach the week before all that went on, but I haven't had a chance to talk back with the staff at Toledo since the whole firing," Bashir said. "That doesn't really affect me that much at all. If I get down there and like the school and like the program, then coaches are just coaches."
Bashir plans to travel to Marshall the weekend of Nov. 29 to see the Thundering Herd take on Tulsa. He has also visited Miami (Ohio) and NC State for games this fall, but is especially looking forward to the Marshall visit.
"I'm definitely liking the Marshall coaches a lot. I watch their games when they are on TV and I just can't wait to see what it is like down there at Huntington," Bashir said. "I'll take an official down there in December or January. I'll get down there on a Friday so I can see campus. I want to get down there and see what the school is like."