The state of Ohio boasts an elite crop of defensive end prospects in the 2012 class. One of the headliners of that group is Akron Hoban's Greg McMullen, who boasts several BCS Conference offers and is already deep into the recruiting process.
The 6-5, 255-pound McMullen has received offers from the likes of Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State and Purdue, but his focus is on a mix of four schools at different stages of their evaluation of the Ohio native.
"Right now I have been talking to Ohio State, Nebraska, Oregon and possibly Notre Dame," McMullen reported. "I have just been laying low and not talking to too many people. I don't want to get a wide variety of college [offers]; I already know in my mind that it is already out of three or four different choices.
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"I think it is kind of ridiculous to have ten or 15 different colleges when in the back of your mind you know you're not going to go to a few of those schools - a waste of their time and a waste of my time. It's a lot less drama and a lot less stress."
Of the four schools McMullen is currently considering, Nebraska and Ohio State have already extended scholarship offers, while Notre Dame and Oregon could be on the verge.
"Notre Dame has been talking about it, and so has Oregon," McMullen said. "Notre Dame invited me up for their Junior Day where they wanted to meet with me and our other defensive end, LaTroy Lewis, so we can talk in person about what they are looking for in a player. Oregon, I have talked to them through email and Facebook, and will possibly get out there this summer for a camp."
Both Nebraska and Ohio State offered McMullen after he attended their camps in the summer and he visited both schools for games this past fall. He detailed what interests him about the Cornhuskers and Buckeyes.
Nebraska: One thing about Nebraska is I know their defensive staff, as well as their offensive staff, pretty well. They are fairly young and energetic. When I went out there they were trying to get to know me as a person outside of my athletic talents. I connected with their defensive coaches, John Papuchis and Carl Pelini, really well.
"It's a small town and I went there on one of their game days against Missouri. The stadium was rocking, and it was like, 'Wow.' I wondered if those people ever sat down… it was pretty intense."
Ohio State: Obviously, when you are from Ohio you are going to want to go to your state college, especially when it is a dynamic program like Ohio State. That's my top choice, but you have to really evaluate it. In this  recruiting class, they got a lot of my buddies like Steve Miller and Kenny Hayes that I know personally who are going down there to play defensive line.
"You have to break it down and say, 'What's going to be my position? If they are stacked at one position, would my position change?' That's my biggest thing because they've got some players going down there and I'm not trying to go down there just to get my position switched."
Although McMullen has quickly progressed into paring his list of suitors to a select group, he is in no rush to declare his final choice.
"I will probably know for sure during the middle of my football season next year, but who knows what will happen," McMullen said.
As a junior, McMullen tallied 55 total tackles and 8.5 sacks from his defensive end position for a 4-6 Akron Hoban team. He is playing for the Knights' basketball program this winter.