The recruiting trail does not often lead to Canada's capital in Ottawa, Ontario, but St. Peter's defensive end Eli Ankou is giving college coaches a reason to update their passports. Still, the 6-3, 255-pound defender knows he has to work harder than prospects in the States to garner college attention.
"Camps are essential in the recruiting process, especially with the fact that I come from Canada," Ankou said. "It's something that you have to do for the exposure."
Ankou has backed up his words with action, attending the U.S. Army All-American Combine in January, the Rivals.com/NUC Five-Star Showcase as well as several Badger Sports events. This past weekend he took part in a Badger Sports 7-on-7 tournament in Pittsburgh. He more than held his own playing the linebacker position for his Canada team, but his college future will be on the defensive line.
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"Right now I am being recruited at defensive and, and that's where I am focusing on," Ankou said.
Ankou's hard work on the camp and combine scene paid off last month when he picked up his first scholarship offer of the process from the UCLA Bruins.
"That was really nice and quite exciting. It's pretty far from home, but which school isn't because they're all out of the country," Ankou said. "One thing I know about that school is they are really good academically and football-wise they are a good school. I've done research on them and they have the program I like, which is Human Kinetics."
The only school Ankou has made a recruiting visit to recently was Rutgers. "It was really nice and a really good school."
He is planning to see other college campuses later this spring and summer, but has not scheduled any dates for those trips.
"UCLA, Stanford, Rutgers and Virginia, those are the schools that have been the most aggressive in the recruiting process and they are schools I am strongly considering," Ankou said.