Caruthersville, Mo., defensive end Aleric Mullins is one of the top junior defensive line prospects not only in Big 12 country but across the country.
Mullins has moved positions and schools frequently. His impressive career began at Caruthersville, where as a sophomore he was an all-state selection at linebacker. His junior ball was at Knightdale (N.C.) East Wake and his success continued. Now he's back home and has settled on a position.
"I moved to North Carolina and lived with my uncle to play against bigger competition," Mullins said. "I've played so many positions, but I really think that defensive end might be the best fit due to my size."
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Apparently colleges agree with the move as offers from North Carolina, North Carolina State and Missouri are on the table. Missouri garnered a junior day visit from Mullins Feb. 12 which helped their cause.
"It was nice," Mullins said. "Meeting the coaches and players was really enjoyable. I'm going to go to as many camps and junior days as I can but that was a good first trip."
Assisting in his recruitment is Caruthersville coach David Gilmore, who is excited to have his star player back on a thin defensive line.
"Coach Gilmore wanted me there to help out as much as possible," he said. "It's great for me because I think it fits me the best. I put on a lot of weight and this is where I'll probably stay throughout my career."
Mullins grew up watching the Oklahoma Sooners and though the Big 12 power is not sending mail yet, the star prospect appears to be favoring their conference over others.
"It really doesn't matter exactly where I go, because I just want to play and I've been everywhere in different climates," he said. "The Big 12 seems like it's the most competitive so that's something I really like about this area."
With his coach's assistance, Mullins' recruitment looks to go the distance.
"We've talked about it a lot and he wants me to weigh out all of my options and decide late," he said. "So for now, I'm planning on waiting it out and seeing what I get from different schools."
"I just want to be at a school that is good for me as a football player with a good community and good people around me."
Indiana, Iowa, and Arkansas are also showing early interest in Mullins.