Hazlet (N.J.) Raritan offensive tackle Shane Mertz has picked up an offer from Illinois and he is giving the Illini serious consideration.
While Illinois wasn't one of the first schools to offer Mertz they are a school of interest, and as such he plans on learning more about them in the coming months. These next few months will be especially important, as Mertz would like to have a decision made before his senior season begins.
"Right now I'm thinking I'll wait until the end of May to see who all is going to offer. Then I'll pick out my four or five top schools and make visits to those places in June or July. For now I'm just taking everything in," Mertz said.
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Mertz said there were several schools that haven't offered that have aroused his interest.
"Michigan State and Northwestern are supposed to be coming back to see me before the end of the month and they would definitely be at the top of my list if they offered," he said. "They're both great schools academically as well as for football.
"I definitely have a lot of interest in Notre Dame because they have an excellent engineering program. I'm interested in that as my major, so any school with a big-time engineering program is one I'll look at.
"They've been to my high school and I've met my recruiting coordinator from there," he said of Notre Dame. "I'm hoping that will be one of the schools that offers."
For now the schools that have offered in addition to Illinois are Boston College, Buffalo, Duke, Maryland, Rutgers and UCF.