Duke Not Among Top Two For Sands

Boyertown, Pa., offensive lineman Tyler Sands recently took a visit to the Midwest to visit Illinois and found more then just another program on that trip. After his visit to Champaign, Sands has now named two favorites among his nearly two-dozen offers and plans for a July decision.

Tyler Sands took a visit to Illinois with his mother this week to spend a few days learning about another one of the many schools that have offered him, but upon leaving campus he has come the realization that this is not just any other schools, but one that he could eventually end up at when all is said and done. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive lineman is ready to name favorites after this visit and expects a decision within a month or so.

"After my visit to Illinois I can now say that I definitely have two leaders," Sands said. "Boston College and Illinois are now my top two schools, however I am not counting anyone out and if Penn State comes in with an offer they could get up there with those schools as well."

"My visit to Illinois was absolutely great," Sands exclaimed. "I spent the day with Coach (Jim) Pry and Coach (Eric) Wolford and basically feel in love with the school while I was on campus. I talked to a lot of the players and they were really the type of guys that I would like to spend the next several years playing with and Coach (Ron) Zook wasn't there because he had a family obligation, but he took the time to call me and speak with me for a while. Coach Zook, Pry and Wolford also spent a good amount of time talking with my mother while I was out there and she likes what they have to offer."

One big factor in this recruiting battle is the relationship that Graham Pocic has been building recently with Sands and Montini Catholic High School standout Garrett Goebel. The three have spent a lot of time recently getting to know one another and it seems that Sands and Pocic's relationship could drastically affect the outcome of this situation.

"I talk to Graham a lot and he was actually supposed to drive up on campus and tour me with the coaching staff, but he couldn't get a ride up, so we were on the phone together for a while during the visit," Sands added. "I told Coach Wolford that if I went to Illinois I wanted to play right guard and be next to Graham at right tackle so we could just dominate the line of scrimmage on that side. They said I could also end up at center because a spot may be available there first, so we will see what happens. I found out that Illinois also has one heck of a science program and that is what I plan for my major to be, so that was something I was happy about as well as my mother because her main concern is academics with these schools."

Sands currently holds 22 offers from Utah, Louisville, North Carolina State, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Army, Delaware, Villanova, Illinois, Akron, Duke, Navy, Nebraska, Temple, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut and the other school that he says is a favorite in Boston College.

"I like everything about Boston College," Sands explained. "They are a great academic institution and I feel like when you walk away with a degree from Boston College you really have a chance to do big things with your life. They also definitely have an amazing tradition for producing excellent offensive linemen and I have a great relationship with the coaching staff there. The city is right there which is cool, however Chestnut Hill has that rural feel to it as well and is very beautiful. I went to a junior day all the way back on March 25th and am going to take another unofficial visit to Boston College on July 22nd. That will be my last unofficial visit of the summer and I plan to make my decision soon after that and end this so that I can focus on my senior season."

Sands could play any position along the offensive line at the collegiate level, but given his build and skill set he would probably be best suited to play the interior line positions. Right now he reports strength numbers of 350 pounds in the bench press, a 515 pound squat and also has a 27-inch vertical leap. In the classroom, Sands reports a core GPA of 3.7 and scored a 1710 on his SAT test.

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