Eckerson Names Favorite

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6-6, 270-pound offensive line prospect Hutch Eckerson , fresh off an outstanding performance during the Shrine Bowl week and feeling refreshed from the recent recruiting dead period, will head back out on official visits beginning next weekend. And it may not be long before the Lumberton (N.C.) star will make a decision.

“Everything’s pretty much the same with me,” Eckerson said. “I was thankful for the dead period, because it gave me some time to collect my thoughts. It was a nice break. I’ve been talking to Coach Beamer a whole lot and Coach Spurrier just called [last night] and left a message. Coach Belin from Virginia was here [yesterday] visiting my house.”

While Virginia has not been eliminated, it remains on the outside looking in following the departure of Ron Prince.

“Coach Belin said he was feeling like Virginia was out of the race,” Eckerson said. “Virginia isn’t out of it, but I’m definitely considering other schools a lot. Virginia’s been great to me throughout, so it’s hard to have to tell it like it is.”

One school has the lead right now.

“I’d say Virginia Tech probably has the edge right now,” Eckerson said. “They seem to have a solid base with their coaches and they have a winning mentality. That mentality keeps them on top for me.”

Are there any schools near the top with Virginia Tech?

“I really liked what’s going on down in Raleigh,” Eckerson said. “I had fun there hanging out with the players. And I also really like Steve Spurrier from South Carolina. Those are the other two I’m looking at most seriously.

“I’m not going to sell myself short. I’m not going to get caught up in the moment and make an early decision. I’m going to look at my decision from all angles and make the right decision for me.”

While he wants to make another official visit (he has one remaining), Eckerson may not be able to make it.

“I want to take another one, but right now there aren’t any schools there for me to go to,” said Eckerson, who is scheduled to go to South Carolina next weekend and Virginia Tech on the 20th. He has already been to UVa and N.C. State. “It might be showtime after my Virginia Tech visit.”

A very good prospect, Eckerson’s stock improved after his performance during the week of the Shrine Bowl. He helped the North Carolina team