Players always talk about how crazy the recruiting process can get but Jesse Aniebonam is trying to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. The junior defensive end from Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel has been accumulating a lot of offers lately and is ready to make cuts.
"I'm finished formulating my top five right now," said the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Aniebonam. "I'm not going to drop every school from consideration and I'm still going to keep in contact with the others.
"In no order, Notre Dame, Maryland, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State," he said. "Auburn is not in my top five but they were my first offer and they just missed making my top five."
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Aniebonam broke down why he is considering each school
Notre Dame - "The visit to Notre Dame was really good but it was pretty cold," he said. "The campus is beautiful and I really liked my time there. I met pretty much every single coach and got to talk to Coach Kelly and Coach Diaco. I definitely want to go visit again in the spring.
"Notre Dame wants me to play that hybrid outside linebacker/rush-end position," Aniebonam said. "They said that they would offer me when I'm ready to commit but I definitely need to go back for another visit before that."
Maryland - "Other than Notre Dame, I feel the best about Maryland," he said. "I've been there several times and have had a ton of contact with all of the coaches and I know the players personally. It's that local school that you know everything about. I know their entire program and they're pretty high up there."
Clemson - "Clemson was one my most recent offers," said Aniebonam. "I've talked with the head coach and a couple of the other assistant coaches. They came up to my school before but I don't know too much about the program. They're also thinking about me for that rush outside linebacker position. I need to get in more contact with their coaches and start familiarizing myself with that program so I can former a better opinion of the school."
Ohio State - "Ohio State was pretty much a dream school for me," he said. "They really improved their standing with me when I talked with their coaches over the phone. They're one of the defenses that want me to play as a pass rushing defensive end.
"I'm a little more familiar with their program and their defensive scheme because I got a chance to go through a few plays with their coaching staff," Aniebonam said. "When I take my visit I'll meet the rest of the coaches at Ohio State."
Michigan - "I have been back and forth with Michigan," he said. "I talked to the coaches when they came down to see me at school. I my interest in them just started to grow a lot. One of their coaches is coming to my school soon to talk to Sam Mustipher and me because they want us to come up for a visit. They want me as a rush defense end also. Hopefully they offer me then."
Why did Auburn not make the cut?
"Auburn was my first offer and the coach has come up to see me at my school," Aniebonam said. "I didn't have too much contact with them in the beginning but it's picked up as the process has gone on.
"I haven't thought about planning a visit down there but I might look into it," he said. "I know a lot about the program now and they would want me to play as a rush outside linebacker. I want to get in contact with the head coach to see if I really should take a visit down there."
No that Aniebonam has narrowed his focus, when will he make his final decision?
"I'm thinking about committing in the springtime probably around the end of my school year, probably March, April or early may," Aniebonam said. "I still might take visits after I commit because the recruiting coach at my school so that might be the best move but those visits might be more on my own as opposed to really being a guided tour with the coaches."
Aniebonam knows what he is looking for while trying to pick his school.
"When it comes down to it, my decision is going to be based on my feelings towards the coaches and how they run the program," he said. "It will also depend on how I feel towards the school itself, how I fit in and how it could shape my future if something goes wrong."
Last season, Aniebonam helped Our Lady of Good Counsel to an 11-1 record and a conference championship.