Mentor (Oh.) Lake Catholic defensive end John Stepec was originally set to see double-digit schools this summer to match the number of offers he has, but the plans changed and four colleges were paid a recent visit.
The schools of choice were no coincidence.
Out of those four schools, Stepec admitted each was a finalist for his services, but he ruled out Syracuse soon after. Instead, the three-star defensive end will look to stay in Ohio. He explained his interest in each of his three finalists shortly after visiting each.
"That's the nice thing about it, everybody can come out to my games," he said.
Cincinnati: "I love the college and the coaches there. I don't know if they want me to play D-end or D-tackle, that's the only thing I'm unsure about right now. But everything else about the college, I love it there."
Bowling Green: "The coaches down there are phenomenal, I love them. And they said they want me to start right away once I come freshman year, at D-end. I don't want to play D-tackle in college."
Toledo: "The coaches there, I really bond with them and I love them. They're a great group of guys; the players are awesome, too. They want me to play a 9-technique, which is outside the tight end – so I get to rush every play. That's awesome for me. "
With the final schools in place, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Stepec is closing in on a decision. The only hurdle left is to separate one school from the other two.
"Right now, I'm looking at the coaching staff and seeing how well I can get along with the players there," he said. "Also playing time, like how early I would play and what position I would play."
There won't be any more visits or traveling before the decision is made, so it's crunch time for each school to close over the phone.
Said Stepec, "I think I'm going to commit in the next week or two, actually. I'm just going to call the coaches and talk to them one more time and that's it. I've evaluated all my schools, I just have to think it over and figure it out."