Sickels Wanted By Many

With the versatility he brings to the field, It's easy to see why so many programs are after Garrett Sickels. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound junior from Red Bank Regional High (Little Silver, NJ) is competent as an outside linebacker and defensive end, providing any defense with a lot of options.

"I really just like to come off the edge hard and fast and get after the quarterback, coaches say that I have a motor and I can make plays across the field, and that I'm a good outside contain guy," Garrett Sickels said. "I could play linebacker in the 3-4 or d-end in the 4-3 and I can rush from a two-point or three-point, so it's just fun to play the outside."

Sickels has offers in the double digits, but he says the schools he talks to the most are the ones standing out to him at this point. He regularly talks to coaches at Florida, Miami, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Alabama, and Ohio State.

Sickels grew up watching the Gators and says it was always a dream to play in the SEC. He's talks to offensive line coach Frank Verducci and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn often about the program at Florida.

"Coach Verducci, he's from Jersey, so I talk to him, he's always cool, just about how he wants to recruit guys that can really help turn the program around, how this class, my grade, (can) contribute and keep moving on and keep moving forward, we can really turn the program around, and that's something that really intrigues me to be a part of that," Sickels said.

"Whenever I talk to Coach Quinn, that's always fun because he's a high intensity guy and he worked with guys like Jason Taylor, so that's always fun to know that your defensive coordinator has a good resume."

Sickels talks to coaches at Miami about once every two weeks, and he says it's a similar feel to Florida in that they really want to get the program turned around and moving forward.

Ohio State is also in the mix for Sickels, especially after the hiring of Urban Meyer has head coach, which has certainly caught Sickels' eye.

"They always talk to me about offense and defense and it's just awesome because, Urban Meyer, a great head coach is now there, so that's something that really opens up the door there for me," he said.

And let's not forget about Rutgers. For Sickels, it's essentially the home team, and he hasn't ruled them out either.

"I love the staff at Rutgers, the main thing they want to embody is having a strong Jersey team with the best guys in Jersey," he said. "When you have so much talent from Jersey staying in state now, their main goal is to really make Rutgers a national contender. That's something that's awesome to think about too, if I did stay in state, what I could contribute to Rutgers."

With multiple strong options on the table for Sickels, he has a tough decision process ahead of him. When he finally chooses a program, the two big things for him are academics and playing time.

"I want a school with a great education, to have a degree that can really sustain me after football. Life after football is something that my dad and I always talk about and that it's unavoidable," he said.

"Academics are the main thing. The second thing I have to say, I want to play. Whatever schools provides me with the best opportunity to get on the field and play and ball out and do my thing, that's probably one of the main things. And I want to have a great coaching staff I know will be there for hopefully all my time at that school and a staff that really embodies the same principles I do."

Sickels was planning on making his decision before the start of his senior season, but since his recruitment has really blown up, he's starting to think he'll wait until after the season. He says the effect of former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano leaving the program earlier this year helped him realize he doesn't want to commit to a school and have the head coach leave. At this point, he says, it's all still up in the air.

Follow Amy Campbell on Twitter @msamycampbell

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