Ekanem Working To Cut List To 5

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In August, Centreville (Clifton, VA) star defensive end/tight end Ken Ekanem narrowed his list to nine schools – Boston College, Michigan State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He would like to narrow the list further to a final five, possibly as early as the next few weeks.

“I’m trying to cut it down to five, but it’s just hard to plan out all this,” the 6’3″, 245-pound senior said. “I feel like I have to visit all the schools before I cut it down, but I’m going to try and cut it down in probably a couple of weeks.”

Asked if there were any schools likely make the next cut, Ekanem listed Notre Dame, Oregon and Virginia Tech. One school seemingly certain not to make the cut is N.C. State, as the Wildcats star says he has not heard from anyone with the Wolfpack since the September.

Focused on his senior season, which has been a success so far (the Wildcats are 3-0), Ekanem has not visited any schools in September. He knows he will take official visits to Notre Dame and Oregon. Are there any other schools he knows he wants to visit?

“I know I definitely want to go visit Virginia Tech, either unofficially or officially,” answered Ekanem, who added that he is keeping tabs on how each of the nine finalists are doing this season. He said he is “seeing how well they operate.”

Certainly, there is a real possibility that Ekanem takes his talents outside the Commonwealth. In terms of the in-state BCS programs, Virginia Tech has captured the standout senior’s interest recently, but Virginia is not being ruled out.

“[The Virginia Tech coaches] have stressed that they are saving a spot for me at defensive end,” Ekanem said. “They said I’m their main priority for the defensive end spot right now. That stood out to me.

“UVa is pulling in big targets. That’s a big plus. The only thing that concerns me is they have already two high profile defensive ends committed.”

As a junior last season, Ekanem totaled 75 tackles with 17 sacks. He feels he is an improved player in 2011.

“I’ve definitely started using my hands more. That’s helping a lot,” he said. “I went to the VTO Combine in Richmond. Bruce Smith was there, and he gave me pointers on how important hands

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