Kouandjio Looking for Early Playing Time

Arie Kouandjio, the 6-foot-6, 320-pound offensive tackle from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., says he has around 45 scholarship offers and still no favorites. He visited Cal earlier this year and recently returned from a visit to the states of South Carolina and Florida...

"I'm still completely wide open," Arie Kouandjio said. "I'm going to take all my visits but that probably won't happen until after my season because we play most of our games on Saturday. I probably won't make a decision until around signing day."

Kouandjio says he followed LSU and Michigan as a youngster. "I just liked their uniforms a lot when I was a kid," he said of the Tiger outfits.

"Michigan has good tradition too and I feel like I've already got a pretty good relationship with their coaches," he said. "I like coach Rich Rodriguez."

Both the Tigers and Wolverines have offered as well as Alabama, Florida, Maryland, Penn State, California, South Carolina, Florida State, South Florida, Miami, West Virginia, Rutgers and many others.

"I just got back from a road trip," he said. "I went to South Carolina, Florida State, Florida, South Florida and Miami. It was a great experience.

"It was really cool to see all those schools and fun getting to know the coaches better," he said. "I liked getting to spend time with them and talk to them. My favorite thing about these visits was just all the cool people I met. They all showed me a lot."

Kouandjio, ranked as Scout.com's No. 30 offensive tackle nationwide, says he's also already visited West Virginia, Rutgers and even Cal.

"That was my first time in California," he said. "It was definitely different from the East Coast. It seemed more laid-back in California. Things were a little slower too."

Another thing that Kouandjio liked about the Bears was the coaching staff.

"The coaches are great," he said. "I really got along great with them and liked the players I got to meet too. We bonded pretty quickly."

With offers from coast-to-coast, Kouandjio says that distance will not be a factor.

"I'm not thinking about the distance at all," he said. Maryland, the local school, is only seven minutes from Kouandjio's house. He says the Terps were his first offer last November.

He likes Florida too. "The Gators have great coaches," Kouandjio said. "It seems like the kind of place where you could get better and really develop."

Kouandjio says that the school recruiting him the hardest is Alabama.

"They show me a lot of love," he said. "They send a lot of emails and the coaches are cool. They are great people and I like the Alabama tradition a lot. They are a very prestigious program."

Although Kouandjio continues to deny favorites, he knows what he's looking for in a program.

"I really want an opportunity to play early," he said. "I need to have a great relationship with the coaches and get to know them well.

"I also want to be in a nice environment," he said. "I like it where there is a lot of support and a place that is a football school."

Kouandjio says he can bench 330-pounds, squat 605 and has a 28-inch vertical jump.

"I've got a great lower body," he said. "I'm pretty strong and quick and feel like my quickness allows me to be ahead of the defensive lineman that line up against me.

"But I still want to get faster and improve my footwork," he said.

Kouandjio reports a 2.9 core GPA and has a 1020 two-part SAT.

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