Days from a decision

Long-time Northern Illinois pledge Mitch Kimble thought his recruitment was over, but a pair of coaching staff changes there - as the staff got the N.C. State gig - and at Syracuse led to late offers from each BCS-level school. Now, the Illinois quarterback is less than a week away from making his final college decision.

After officially de-committing from Northern Illinois earlier this week on the heels of offers from Syracuse and North Carolina State, Jerseyville (Ill.) Jersey Community High School quarterback Mitch Kimble hosted each school at his home.

The Orange sent a pair of coaches to his home on Tuesday evening.

"Things are going very good," he said after the meeting. "Coach [Scott] Shafer and Coach [Tim] Lester from Syracuse just came by for a visit, so we had a good time.

"They basically told me I'm the QB that they want and they would love to coach me. They also said I could step in as a true freshman and compete for the starting job."

The staff was in St. Louis earlier in the day, and they solidified the commitment of another former NIU pledge in wide receiver Corey Winfield, who officially visited Syracuse with Kimble last weekend. They were sure to remind the signal-caller of their effort.

"Yes they did, which is awesome," said Kimble. "I couldn't be happier for Corey."

But what stood out the most Tuesday was the fact that SU's defensive-minded head coach was in on the trip.

"Coach Shafer being there made me feel like they truly want me," he added. "My parents really enjoyed their visit and sitting down and talking with them. They think Syracuse is a great fit for me, and they will support my decision no matter what."

The next night, it was N.C. State's turn to talk shop in the Kimble home.

"They basically told me the same things the Syracuse coaches told me," he said. "They want to win championships and they think I can be the QB to get the job done.

"It was coach [Dave] Doeren, Coach [Mike] Uremovich and Coach [Matt] Canada."

Kimble will be officially visiting Raleigh this weekend before getting back to Jerseyville and evaluating the pros and cons of each of his two finalists.

"I should know for sure after this weekend," said the late-rising quarterback.

Kimble has no visit plans after the weekend.

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