Washington (D.C.) Ballou defensive tackle Marvin Austin is two games into his senior season and has begun to think about setting up his official visits. Which teams are on the mind of the nation's No. 1 defensive tackle?
"I'm thinking about visiting Illinois for their game against Iowa (Sept. 22 weekend)," said the 6-foot-2, 291-pounder. "I know they lost to Rutgers this past week but Rutgers is turning into a top program. Greg Schiano should be the Coach of the Year for the job he's done up there. I'm still interested in Illinois, I know they give me a good opportunity to impact and Melvin Alaeze is up there. I also like coach Mike Locksley.
"I also think I'm going out to Southern Cal for their game against Notre Dame (Nov. 24 weekend), that sounds like it would be the best game. I'm not really sure of any other dates."
So what teams will get visits other than Illinois and Southern Cal?
"I'm still deciding that," he said. "Miami and Florida State are in there and Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland. I've been to Maryland a lot and I was there a weekend ago so I don't need to take an official visit there. I've also been to Virginia and saw a lot there. I might take two visits to Florida or just one and one to Tennessee."
Austin was watching the Miami-FSU game a couple of weeks ago very intently.
"Talk about some great defense," he said. "Both defensive lines looked great. FSU rotated in more guys but both teams used a lot of defensive linemen to keep everyone fresh."
Was he pulling for one team over another?
"No, I was just watching the defenses to see how I fit," he said. "They utilize their defensive linemen a little differently but they go after it."
Austin visited both Florida State and Miami this summer on unofficial visits. If he had to choose between the two for an official visit, which would he pick?
"I guess Miami because I didn't get to see as much and hang with the players much on my first visit," he said. "At Florida State I met a lot of people and hung with Myron Rolle the whole time. FSU was almost like an official visit for me so Miami I'd like to see again. But I might visit both again."
Austin has been double and triple-teamed already this season but had a very good game in a loss last weekend to Germantown, Pa.
"I had seven hurries, four quarterback hits and two sacks," he said. "I'm playing many different techniques. I play a one, a five and a nine at times, I line up all over the place. They still find me and pay most of their attention my way."
Austin is not in a hurry to make a decision.
"I'm taking it until the end," he said. "I thought about enrolling early but I don't think I will. I'll take all five official visits and use those to help me determine things."
And does his family want him close to home?
"It's my decision," he said. "I'm always on the move anyhow so I'm not home much. I like Maryland but being close to home isn't a factor at all."