20-Plus Offer DE Garrett Sickels In-depth

Defensive end Garrett Sickels has more offers than he dared dream about, and they are from all over the nation. He went in-depth with Scout.com to give his thoughts on his recruitment, including schools standing out and what he thinks of the handful of new offers he received in the last week.

The offers seem to come on a daily basis for Red Bank Regional (Little Silver, N.J.) defensive end Garrett Sickels.

One day it is Ohio State, another day Alabama, another Kansas or Nebraska or Mississippi. It is enough to make the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder's head spin, and he is grateful for every one of them.

As Sickels nears the two dozen offer mark he said a few are standing out, but it doesn't mean he has cut his list, or has a top three. It is just an early feeling in the recruiting process.

"Rutgers is still standing out to me," Sickels said. "The staff is still a big part of my recruitment. After speaking with coach (Urban) Meyer and coach (Mike) Vrabel from Ohio State, that is one that really stands out, and Notre Dame really stands out. Those are the three that really stand out at this point, but there are a lot more schools I want to see.

"It's going to be an interesting year to see how everything plays out."

Another big offer could be coming Sickels' way as well since he will spend Saturday at Penn State's junior day. The Nittany Lions haven't offered, but that should change.

"I'm hoping I do (get an offer)," Sickels said. "I've been there but it was back when (coach Joe) Paterno was there, and he really wasn't available because he was doing an ESPN documentary with coach (Mike) Krzyzewksi from Duke. It was cool and it was a nice campus, but at the time it wasn't big for me. I'm eager to see what it's like with the new coaching staff.

"Penn State is still Penn State. Regardless of what happened, it's still an awesome opportunity to have an education from there."

Sickels will cap his weekend with a Sunday visit to Rutgers to meet the new staff and take in the basketball game against Syracuse.

"When I was a freshman I was hoping for a Rutgers offer, and that would be the main one and that would be it," he said. "Now it just blew up, and now it's like, ‘Where do I begin?' Rutgers is still a place that's fond in my heart, but there are also so many other opportunities. It's pretty crazy."

Even with all the coaching changes at Rutgers, Sickels has a strong relationship with the coach Kyle Flood and assistant coaches Robb Smith and Phil Galiano.

"I talked to coach Flood (Thursday) and I talked to coach Smith and coach Galiano," Sickels said. "It's always fun to talk to those guys. I always love talking to coach Galiano, with his energy and coach Smith is my area recruiter. I just look to further that relationship so I'm looking forward to Sunday."

Sickels is also in the process of planning a few spring visits, and it appears the midwest will be a target area.

"I was thinking about going to Florida in April, but I'm more likely going to go to Notre Dame and Ohio State," he said. "I talk to (Notre Dame assistant) coach (Bob) Diaco a good amount, and they think I can play inside linebacker, outside linebacker, the CAT position they like. It's just an awesome opportunity. That's another team I watched growing up."

The Irish are a program Sickels has followed for a while.

"I was actually going through my attic the other day looking for a winter coat and my mom was going through jackets and I saw my Notre Dame sweatshirt and it was a medium," he said. "I was like, ‘Oh, wow.' I'll try putting that on.

"It's another awesome opportunity to go see a place like that. It's a beautiful campus and to play there …me and my friends were talking about it the other day, about all the big schools like Notre Dame, Alabama, the SEC, Ohio State, and they were like, ‘You have all those schools, all those chances.' It still hasn't sunk in that Rutgers was an offer back in May of my sophomore year. It still hasn't hit me."

Sickels also gave his thoughts on a few of his new offers.

Ohio State: "They're a winning program. They're just one of those big-time programs, like a Florida, like an SEC school, and they're in the Big Ten, another huge conference. Ohio State has a lot of winning tradition and a lot of winning they're going to do in the future and keep getting better."

Ole Miss: "Ole Miss .... Eli Manning …the quarterback of my favorite team went there. I talked to a coach there the other day and he said, ‘How do you feel about the south?' I have family in the south. I have aunts and uncles and cousins and my sisters are both down there.

Nebraska: "My one coach played for Nebraska back in the day. He was like, ‘Yeah, Nebraska.' That's another huge program. It's all about winning and that's the only team they have out there."

Kansas: "I talked to (coach Charlie Weis) when I was at Florida with my dad and they had the itinerary and it was meet with the defensive staff and go around campus. And I'm going past his office and he says, ‘Hey, you. It's not on the itinerary, but I'm from Jersey and I need to talk to you. I need to talk to my Jersey guys.'

"So my dad and I sat there and talked to him. It was awesome. He is a real personable guy."

Sickels is unsure when he will make a decision, but he knows it will come after long debate.

"For me, I know some of thing it's going to come down to," he said. "Academics are one thing, but I just want to play. I'm not going to want to wait two years to play, or even one year. I just want to get on the field and have a great coaching staff that is going to stay around."


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