After two of his official visits, defensive tackle / offensive guard Carl Howard is leaning towards staying close to home. But that doesn't mean things won't change after he takes his other visits.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound lineman from Matawan, N.J. runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds and college coaches love his strength, quickness and tenacity on the interior line, whether on offense or defense. He's already visited Rutgers and Maryland, and has upcoming trips to NC State (Jan. 16) and Virginia Tech (Jan. 23) scheduled. Where do things stand right now?
"I enjoyed both the trips I took earlier," said Howard. "I'm starting to think a little bit more about staying close to home, so Rutgers might have a little bit of an edge there. But things could change after I take the other visits. All the coaches are recruiting me hard, but I see different things in them.
"Maryland and Virginia Tech have built reputations for toughness, so that's what I like a lot about them. NC State is really up-and-coming and they're a really exciting team. They played a lot of young guys on the defensive line this year, so I think I could compete for playing time too. Rutgers is really emphasizing how important it is for them to keep the New Jersey talent at home. So there are things about each place I like -- I just have to sort through all those things."
Howard doesn't know whether or not he'll take a fifth official visit, but said four would probably be enough anyways.
"I'm mainly looking at the four schools I've talked about," he said. "If I did plan a fifth here at the last minute it would be because someone has really impressed me or something new happens. But right now those are my top four."