Linebacker Bani Gbadyu out of Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard just received his first offer of the recruiting season.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder received his first official tender from Kent State.
"I was very excited, you always lean towards your first offer and it always means a lot to the prospect," he said. "They saw something in you and that's always good. The program is pretty good, the defense is pretty solid and I talked to the coach for 45 minutes and he sounds like someone I could get along with. They also have a great academic program too."
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Gbadyu also thinks he's close to receiving an offer from Marshall.
"Marshall says they're going to offer me," he said. "That's a great school to go to and a great program. They're not known for good linebackers, but the defense they run is really good."
Gbadyu recently turned out an impressive performance at the U.S. Army All-American combine at Duke.
"It was really nice, it felt good to dominate and do what I was supposed to do," he said. "I sat down with my coach the night before and we talked about what I had to do and at the combine I used that for motivation and just stayed focused. I'm pretty happy with what I did there, but there's always room for improvement. I could have gotten a 41 inch vertical (he jumped 39 inches) and a 3.9-second shuttle (4.16), but I'll have to work a little harder and prove I can do it."
Gbadyu has two schools at the top of his list right now.
"Clemson is my favorite and Virginia Tech is right at the top too."
This weekend the linebacker was headed to Clemson, who already told him they'll offer at camp this summer if he attends.
"I'm going to Clemson to ask about the program, see how the players like it and get closer to the coach, see if he's someone I'd like to play for," he said. "If they give me an offer, they seem like someone I'd want to go and commit to right now, but they have told me their not going to offer till their one day camp. I've grown up liking Clemson and coach Tommy Bowden is a great coach. I just want to learn more about the school before I make a decision."
What does the prospect like about the Hokies?
"I like the way Virginia Tech uses their outside linebackers," he said. "The way they use them really showcases my talent and that's my specialty, pass rushing. Coach Ball is a great recruiting coach and he really took the time to care about me, it made me feel like they wanted me there. I went to the school and it's huge, the weight room is nice and it's a great environment to be in. The scrimmage we saw was nice and they're going to be good next year looking at Marcus Vick. It was a great feeling to be there, next to the college players, it was hard to contain myself. This was the first time I was close to Division I players. I'll remember that no matter where I go.
"Both Virginia Tech and Clemson have good defenses and good reputations. Virginia Tech was ACC champions, but Clemson is in bowl games just about every year. I'm just looking for a school that wins and gets you onto the field at the same time."
After his trip to Clemson this weekend, Gbadyu plans to head to Maryland on April 23rd to watch practice and then to the Virginia spring game.
Currently, Gbadyu is also working out in preparation for a few combines including the Maryland junior combine, Adidas Camp at North Carolina State and the Nike Camp at Penn State.
"I'm hitting the weight room every other day, working every muscle group in my body," he said. "I'm getting special work with my gym teacher who's helping me with what I need to be eating and doing stretches. We run all the tests before the combines and do specific exercises to help on the ones I didn't do as good on. I'll probably do that again before the Nike Camp.
"My biggest improvement is my speed. I've run track and I'm now at like a 4.5, while last year I was at a 4.6. My strength is up too and that helps me to shed blocks quicker."
Gbadyu has some lofty expectations for next season too.
"I'm trying to break 2,000 yards rushing and I'd like to break the single season sack record of 32," he said. "I also want to take the team to state. That's my number one goal and the number one thing on my mind, because we were so close last year. I'd take winning state over a scholarship any day."
This summer Gbadyu plans to head to camps at Virginia Tech, Maryland and Clemson.
Last season he ran for 267 yards and three touchdowns, he added 78 tackles, 15 sacks and three fumble recoveries. Gbadyu was named honorable mention all-metro, honorable mention all-state, all-county, defensive player of the year and defensive lineman of the year at Quince Orchard.