One of the many things fans look forward to during the recruiting process is having a highly coveted player visit their school. With over 30 offers, Sam Mustipher is one of those players. The offensive lineman from Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel has a series of visits planned for his spring break starting on April 1.
"Next week, during spring break, I'm going to Northwestern, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State," said the 6-foot-4, 286-pound Mustipher. "Then during the spring or summer time I'm looking to go down south and maybe hit Tennessee, Clemson, North Carolina and possibly Florida State and Georgia Tech.
"At Northwestern I have a good relationship with Coach Heffner," he said. "He lived in my area when he coached for Maryland. He came down twice during the wintertime. I'm just trying to keep that relationship going with him, Coach Fitzgerald and Coach Cushing. The academics speak for themselves and they have a very good ball coach. I'm just looking forward to seeing what they're like and helping them get a Big Ten Championship and go to the Rose Bowl.
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"I love the Michigan fans, they're some of the most rabid fans in the country," Mustipher said. "I really want to see what Ann Arbor is like. I want to get a feel for the town and the program. It's one of the most historic programs in the country. I want to see what that tradition is like for myself. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see (Good Counsel alum) Blake Countess. I've been talking to Coach Mallory regularly and getting a lot of hand-written letters from the coaching staff.
"This second visit to Notre Dame is so I can see a spring practice," he said. "I want to see how the coaches interact with the players. Last time I went up there I got to talk with Zack Martin and Ronnie Stanley. The first time I went up there it was just my dad and I and this time I'm bringing my mom and little brother so they can get a feel for the campus. It's always important to see how the coaches interact with the players during a practice.
"This will be my third visit to Ohio State," said Mustipher. "I think I'll get to see and scrimmage. I was talking to Coach Smith about it. I think we'll get to see a live scrimmage and then they have a family dinner afterwards. I'm looking forward to continuing to build my relationship with them. I talk with Coach Meyer and Coach Warriner almost every week. I have a good relationship with that staff. They'll probably be on the list when I make my cuts."
More offers continue to roll in for Mustipher even as he plans this round of visits.
"I picked up offers from Virginia Tech and Oklahoma today," he said. "I'm pretty familiar with the Virginia Tech program because of (former teammate) Kendall Fuller. I've been in touch with Coach Moorehead and Coach Grimes a lot recently. We have been developing our relationship. I spoke to Coach Grimes on the phone the other day actually, that was a good conversation. Developing a relationship with the staff and talking with Kendall and all his brothers that have gone through the program, I know they develop well-rounded man and well-rounded athletes.
"At Oklahoma, Coach Bedenbaugh was the offensive line coach at West Virginia and he noticed my talent over the summer time and I guess he put a bug in their ear about me," Mustipher said. "Coach Heupel was telling me that they offered me because I could come down there and make an impact on their football team. I'm looking forward to setting up a visit here soon and hopefully getting to meet coach Stoops in person and solidifying that offer."
Mustipher says there's no telling where the next offer might come from.
"I don't really know which school will offer me," he said. "The two main schools I'm waiting on right now are Oregon and USC. I've been in touch with a coach from Oregon and also the USC coaching staff and Coach Orgeron. I'm also hearing a lot from Coach Dews from Arizona. He was at Pittsburgh during my freshman year and we meet then and Coach Kirelawich at Arizona coached my dad in college as well."
With so many schools to choose from, when will Mustipher start making cuts?
"I might narrow it down during summer time," said Mustipher. "Hopefully some of these visits help me narrow that list down. I'm not trying to close any doors too early. A lot of these guys in my class are committing early and I'm not trying to do that. Once I commit to a school I want to stay loyal to them, the program and the fans. Once I narrow that list down I'm looking to keep it that way and only talk to those schools. I think these visits will help me narrow these choices down to a top ten and a top five then take my official visits but if I'm really feeling one school before the officials I'll commit then."
Mustipher sounded very excited when he talked about the upcoming Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour
"I'm looking forward to the exposure I'm going to get at the Rivals camp," he said. "I want to see if I can get my ranking up a little bit and just to compete with some of the other top guys in the country. I look to get better in any way possible and I guarantee we're all going out there for the same goal."