Checking In With Daron Rose

In their biggest recruiting victory to date, the Duke coaching staff simply out-worked Vince Oghobaase's other potential suitors before coming away with the five star lineman's signature. In the class of 2006, the Blue Devils have once again found their way into an all out battle for one of the best line prospects in America. And, once again, the Blue Devils are going full throttle.

Not much has changed for Tampa Jefferson All-American lineman Daron Rose in the last month. The 6-foot-5, 315 pounder still has offers to any school he'd like to attend. He's still working hard to improve in hopes of making the US Army All-American game in January. And he's still fielding questions about his decision on a near daily basis.

"I get asked about it a lot from the media, friends, and family," said Rose of his looming decision. "Right now I'm not to the point of choosing anything other than narrowing it down to a few schools for official visits. And, even if I don't visit a school officially, that doesn't mean anything. Just that I've already seen a lot of it."

And while that could prove to be a tenuous hold for some programs hoping to get Rose on campus for an official visit sometime this fall, one thing it will place a premium on is the amount of time and effort spent working with him. That would seem to bode well for three programs in particular.

"Right now it's Duke, Florida State, and Florida who are recruiting me the hardest. Duke, in particular, is always right there with me. They've been there the longest and aren't letting up. I think I'm probably most valuable to them."

Most valuable?

"The other schools on my list have all been good every year. Duke is trying to build up to that. That's why they are working as hard as they are. I think they have the right staff to do it."

And while Rose is impressed with the Blue Devils, Seminoles, and Gators, don't expect him to rush into making any kind of decision early on, as has been his mantra from the beginning: "I'm going to take my visits and see everything I need to see."

Though he's reluctant to give a list of favorites, in fact he's quick to point out that there are no programs who could be considered as such, Rose rattles off a list of Duke, Florida State, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Southern California, and South Florida. However he does note that he's got offers and interest from a lot more programs.

So without any desire to jump the gun, Rose is going to take small steps towards a decision in the coming weeks. While juggling his practice and academic responsibilities for Tampa Jefferson, he's also going to be working to set up official visits to five lucky programs. But which five?

"I know I'll probably visit Oklahoma, since I've never been able to get out there. Then I may look at Florida State and Duke. But I don't know if I'll need to see them again. It's something I have to think about."

So, in the end, what is Rose really looking for when it comes to choosing a school?

"It's a combination of things, but mainly I want to go somewhere that has great academics and somewhere that has a good coaching staff. I want to have good coaches at my position and I'd like a shot to play early. I'm willing to work hard for all of it."

And so are a number of big time programs.

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