The Central Region boasts some of the top defensive line recruits in the state of Virginia. None have as many offers as Hermitage High School defensive end target Jeffrey Fitzgerald , who has now received 12 official scholarship offers from Division I-A programs. For that matter, no other defensive line prospect in the state has received as many offers.
Florida and Kansas State are the most recent schools to join a list including Boston College, Connecticut, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia. Fitzgerald does not expect to be able to narrow his long list of schools any time soon.
“Not really,” Fitzgerald said when asked if he had any favorite schools. “Not right now. I’m seeing what my options will be [after the evaluation period] and then I’ll go from there. I’m going to research as many schools as I can on the Internet and go on some visits. I want to see some more schools before I get things down. Hopefully I’ll be able to cut down my list before the start of the season to help relieve some of the pressure. It will be nice if I could have a base amount of schools before the season.”
Fitzgerald has made unofficial visits before to four schools – Maryland, NC State, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. With relatively little knowledge of other programs, Fitzgerald hopes to make many more visits this summer to help make his narrowing process an easier one.
“I’ve been to Virginia Tech, UVa, Maryland, and NC State,” Fitzgerald said. “Those are the only ones I’ve been to. I’m going to try to take some unofficial visits this summer. I already have a packed schedule with camps and summer school. I’m going to summer school to get a course out of the way so I don’t have to take it next year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to fit in a few trips.”
When he does narrow his list, Fitzgerald says the most important factor will be “just where I feel comfortable. There will be other factors I need to think more about, but where I feel comfortable is the most important.”
As a junior, the 6-4 ½, 250 pound prospect made 49 tackles (28 unassisted), five sacks, six tackles-for-loss, three fumble recoveries (one returned for a touchdown), and three forced fumbles on defense. He earned first-team All-Region, first-team All-District, and second-team All-State honors (coaches) at defensive end, which is where every school is recruiting him to play.
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