The top lineman on the West Coast and one of the best in the entire country is Bellevue (Wash.) standout Stephen Schilling. Schilling narrowed his list down to four some time ago and things remain fairly status quo at this time.
Schilling 6-5, 290 pounds is an incredible talent and should be considered one of the top line prospects to come out of the West region in the past five years. Anyone who saw him completely manhandle a pretty good Long Beach Poly (Calif.) defensive line earlier in the year in a game that was broadcast on Fox Sports saw why the lineman could be the top college prospect out West regardless of position.
"Poly was good, they had a lot of speed and some big guys," Schilling said. "It definitely wasn't an easy game for us but we played well and came out on top."
Schilling plays tackle and has played tackle his whole career but he said he's being recruited by his final four to play guard or tackle.
"I really have no preference, either one is fine for me," Schilling said. "I've only played tackle but I'll play whatever gets me on the field the fastest. Right now, Washington is the only school that is really specifying where they want me. They said they like me as a left tackle. Cal, Michigan and USC all say guard or tackle and it will be determined when I get there."
Regarding his final four, Schilling said he has set up visits to two of them and is working on setting visits to the remaining two shortly.
"Cal is (Dec. 9) and USC is (Dec. 16)," Schilling said. "I didn't want to take any visits during the season and those were the first two weekends I have available. The last two will likely be after Christmas. I'm playing in the Army All-American game and then I'll take my trips after that game. They wanted me to decide during the game but I really wanted to take all four of these trips and I can't set those until January."
After naming his final four, Schilling is not ready to name a leader in that group just yet.
"No, I really like all of them equally," Schilling said. "Washington is close to home and they have a new staff that I like. They're not doing as well on the field as the others but I can see them getting better and they're competing hard every game. Cal is a good team that loves to run the football and that's really all we do at Bellevue as well. Plus it's a great academic school and is rated one of the top public universities in the country.
"Michigan was one of the first schools to offer me. Washington and Oregon were the first and then Michigan, so they were my first offer outside of the NW and it was a big honor to me. I took an unofficial visit there in the summer and really liked it. I'm excited to get back there again.
"As for USC, they just compete hard and they have a great football program. I have a brother who used to live in Los Angeles, not any more, but he used to and he liked it there. I watched the game with Notre Dame yesterday and the whole time, even when they were down, I kept thinking, 'you can't count USC out.' They just always seem to find a way to win the close games and they did it again yesterday."
As for what he's looking for in a school, Schilling said it's not so much about depth charts, early playing time or prestige of the program, the usual things most recruits base their decisions.
"For me, it's just going to come down to where I feel the most comfortable," Schilling said. "I would like to play early but it's not that big of a deal. I'll compete wherever I go. I want to win of course but I think all four schools will give me that opportunity down the line. I just want to take my trips and the place where I get that special feeling or vibe that tells me, 'this is the place,' that's where I'll be going."