Somerville, Ma. offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus has suddenly become the top prospect in the state of Massachusetts this year. So what's the real deal?
"Everyone who has seen Gosder this year has offered him," said Somerville Head Coach Tony Gulla of his 6-foot-7, 270-pound star. "He's still a bit raw, but his potential really has a lot of teams recruiting him hard."
Among those teams are Miami, Boston College, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Pitt, South Carolina and others. Cherilus has written offers from all of them except for Miami and the Hurricanes are expected to pull the trigger early in the season.
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"His dream school has always been Miami, but obviously staying closer to home is a preference as well," said Gulla. "He camped down at Miami but it was just for a day and things were very hurried for him. He flew in late and left early so I don't think he got a great feel for it down there. Starting out in the process, Miami was his top school but he really liked Iowa a lot when he camped there. They have a slight lead right now."
After Iowa, it seems that Boston College, South Carolina and Pitt have the best chance.
"BC is local and, although he's originally from Hatii, the Boston area is now home and being close to home will be attractive. South Carolina is a warm weather state and the only other warm climate he's looking at aside from Miami. The coach who's recruiting him there was born in Somerville (offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo) and knows the area. Pitt is a school he's been interested in because they're somewhat close to home and they're recruiting his teammate, our running back Michael Neal. He wants to possibly take a trip to Pitt in August."
Cherilus has impressed on each camp stop, but perhaps Iowa was his most impressive performance.
"He ran a 5.0 flat in the 40, a 4.6-second shuttle and had a vertical of 27 inches," Gulla said. "That was better than any current offensive lineman they have."
Gulla initially expected an early decision from his prodigy, but now that more teams have entered the picture it could take longer.
"We took a trip out to the Midwest to see some places like Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame and he's already seen Boston College," he said. "I half expected him to get a feel for one of those schools and make a decision. But he has so many great options now, he wants to take his time and I agree. He'll know when the time is right. I think the Midwest trip really opened his eyes to how good some of these campuses look."
Cherilus is expected to take a few official visits and then decide.
"The family didn't like the phone calls in May and it's just going to get much worse after September 1st," he said. "It will be a big distraction for him so I think he'll want to decide sometime after his first few visits."