football

Five-star has four favorites

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Aziz Shittu has pretty much narrowed down his list to four programs and some upcoming visits in January could be crucial as the five-star defensive tackles approaches his decision.
"Texas A&M is out and it's down to four," Shittu said Friday at the Cal State Game. "It's down to Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA. I'm a family man so I'm going to stay by my family so I can go see them or they can come see me any time I need to."
The Atwater (Calif.) Buhach standout plans to visit Stanford on Jan. 13, USC on Jan. 20 and UCLA on Jan. 27. He has already visited Cal and Texas A&M but the Aggies have been eliminated.
After the all-star games, Shittu will head back to Stanford, where he had been committed earlier in his recruitment.
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"My relationship with them hasn't changed at all," Shittu said. "I still talk to them as much as I used to. They have no bad blood because they know how the recruiting process works so there was no problem there. I'm ready to go up there to see what they have to offer. It's going to be a big recruiting weekend for them."
Shittu said USC continues to diligently recruit him and he likes that the Trojans will be ranked among the top teams in the country next season especially after quarterback Matt Barkley decided to return. USC is definitely a strong contender in his recruitment and a visit to Los Angeles is crucial.
"SC got Barkley back and a couple boys on defense so it's going to be nice," Shittu said. "SC is going to be a really nice squad so I'm definitely thinking about them.
"Coach (Ed Orgeron) is coming after me and so is coach (Clay) Helton. They're at my school all the time and they call every chance they get. If they want something they're going to try to come get it."
The five-star said his top three would be Cal, Stanford and USC but added that UCLA is a "darkhorse" and getting down to meet with the Bruins' new coaching staff is going to be important.
"I want to check out UCLA to see what they have to offer," Shittu said. "With the new coaching staff there I want to see what they're going to do. UCLA used to be my favorite team back when I was younger so I want to see what they have and I want to see what the new staff is going to do."
Shittu visited Cal in early December and the Golden Bears are definitely a contender. His relationship with defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi is well-established and the proximity to home is also a factor.
"I'm familiar with both Northern California teams, I know almost all the guys on both teams," Shittu said. "Tosh is a really cool defensive line coach. He's one of the best I've seen out there. He'll get you right."
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