New York Lineman Making Visits

Melville, N.Y., native Austen Fletcher comes from an athletic family. His brother is an offensive lineman at Stanford and both his sister and father were scholar-athletes at Princeton. Fletcher is looking to blaze his own trail into collegiate athletics though and won't be swayed into either direction because of family ties.

Austen Fletcher, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound offensive lineman from St. Anthony's High School in New York projects best to center at the Division I-A level, however he could also play offensive guard if he ended up in I-AA. He has already been able to make visits to Vanderbilt, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest and has others planned over the next few weeks.

Vanderbilt - "I went down with my father and liked it a lot down there. The facilities were great, the stadium was really nice and they seem to have an excellent strength and conditioning coach on staff. Obviously you're talking about very good academics when you talk about Vanderbilt and I feel they're an up and coming football program. The atmosphere on campus was just great and the people I met were all very positive. Vanderbilt is really a dream school for me."

Duke - "I met Coach (Peter) Vaas and he showed me everything. We saw the stadium and facilities and then even caught a lacrosse game later in the day. It was just a great visit really. Duke has great academics and is an up and coming program in a tough ACC conference."

North Carolina - "It wasn't a scheduled visit, so a graduate assistant took us around the campus and showed us the stadium. Chapel Hill is a beautiful town and the atmosphere was something I really loved. Just that entire area is somewhere that is really appealing to me and I could definitely see myself fitting in there."

North Carolina State - "We met with a recruiting coordinator who took us to the weight room and facilities which were very impressive. They have a great stadium and it seems like a very good school, so overall is was a great experience."

Wake Forest - "I liked it a lot on campus at Wake Forest. It's a smaller school and it's really the picture perfect college town. They have great support for their football program which obviously only got bigger this season and as I said, the campus just really stood out to me."

Fletcher is completely open in his recruiting at this point, but did state that Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt and UCLA are the four schools that stand out at this point. Academics will be priority number one in his decision making process and apparently the reigning judge of schools in the family is Mrs. Fletcher, his mother.

"My mom limits our school choices based on academics," Fletcher laughed. "It's very important to all of us that education come first. I'm also hearing from UCLA, Stanford and Syracuse which are all quality schools as well as the Ivy Leagues."

This Friday Fletcher has plans to attend the UCLA spring game and will then fly to Stanford on Saturday to catch their spring game. He also tripped to Yale on Saturday and visited Princeton last weekend. As mentioned, Fletcher is completely open in his recruitment right now and will be checking out a great number of schools before he makes his college choice.

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