Andrew Mike may stand 6-foot-7 and weigh more than 280 pounds, but the Tuscon (Ariz.) Sabino tackle manages to tread lightly when he speaks. He doesn't make distinctions between schools or name favorites. Even after wrapping up consecutive visits to Stanford and California over the weekend, he gives no hint as to which experience he enjoyed most.
Months before he'll take the first rep of his senior season, he has the whole recruiting-speak thing down pat.
"I really loved both of them," said Mike, a four-star prospect, as he made the trip back to Arizona from California. "I got to hang out at both and experience both their staffs and how they work. They both have high academics and great football. The atmosphere isn't bad at one and good at the other. They're both great."
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You have to press to get Mike to make any sort of distinction between the two trips. Even when does note a difference, though, he makes it clear that he doesn't see it as an important one.
"One's urban and one's more farm, so it's a little different campus-wise, but that doesn't matter," Mike said. "They were both cool to see."
Perhaps the most important distinction Mike can make for now is the fact that he already holds a scholarship offer from Cal. He can't say the same for an invitation from Stanford as of yet. But ten months before he'll sign a letter of intent, there's plenty of time for that. Mike is still firmly in the information-gathering stage. He intends to stay there for a while, too.
"The best part about the Stanford trip was we got to have lunch with the coaches that we picked out and they explained how they do it there and how they teach you," he said. "That was really eye opening.
"At Cal, the coolest thing was getting to go to class with them and be one of the students like I would if I went there. It was pretty cool to experience that."
It's by no means a window into his soul or a look at the particulars of his decision-making process, but it's all the tackle is willing to offer for now. Mike is content with slow playing the process. But while there isn't much news to speak of at the moment, opinions are being privately formed.
"Every school is the same right now," Mike said. "I have to see them all first and see what they have to offer before I have favorites."