LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Anthony Chickillo admits he isn't the biggest, fastest or strongest defensive lineman. That being so, he has found another way to gain an advantage this week during preparation for the Under Armour All-America Game.
With effort and tenacity.
During the first three days of practice for Wednesday's event, the four-star defensive end has routinely made plays and beaten the opposition, whether in one-on-one drills or 11 on 11.
"I felt good [Monday]," Chickillo said. "I made a couple sacks today. I've been doing good in one-on-ones. … It's great competition, and you ain't gonna win them all, but if you win more than you lose, you've had a good day."
Chickillo, who is from Tampa, Fla., is one of the more intriguing prospects here this week. While he has been committed to Miami, where both his father and grandfather played, since September, he still is talking with several other programs, has visited one of them and plans to see a few more. This all came about because Chickillo, who once seemed like an absolute lock to end up in Coral Gables, wasn't happy about the recent firing of Miami coach Randy Shannon.
"I was really close with Coach Shannon at Miami, so when he got fired, it really upset me a lot," Chickillo said. "So, I wanted to reopen things up and take a look at other schools. I'll know by signing day where I'm going to sign."
The coaching change at Miami has opened the door (nobody knows how much) for many others, Chickillo said.
"Florida is recruiting me really hard right now -- [so is] Miami, Southern Cal, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida State, USF," Chickillo said.
Thus far, Chickillo has only officially visited North Carolina. He will check out Florida on Jan. 7 and Miami two weeks after that. Florida State also will get a visit (a date hasn't been finalized), leaving everyone else to fight for the final spot.
"A lot of schools are still talking to me," Chickillo said. "It's real hard for me to tell a coach 'No' I'm the kind of guy who doesn't want to disappoint anybody."
Not only does Chickillo have coaches tugging at him, but so too is one of his closest friends, FSU commit James Wilder.
"James Wilder Jr. is one of my closest friends, and he's always trying to get me to FSU and get me to do the tomahawk chop," Chickillo said. "Honestly, I could really see myself doing well at Florida State if I went there."
Chickillo certainly is doing well in Lake Buena Vista. And he's enjoying the experience.
"It's been great," he said. "It's great competition. It's a whole bunch of great players. It's been a lot of fun. Everyone is big here. Everyone has good technique. You've got to come up with you're 'A' game."
So far, so good for Chickillo.
"I've been feeling good coming out of my stance," Chickillo said. "I've been getting to the edge a lot."