Decision on the horizon

Kingsley Opara has Wake Forest in his top four as his decision date of July 20th nears. The 6-foot-3, 282-pound defensive tackle, from Mandarin High School in Jacksonville, Fla., was extended an offer by the Demon Deacon staff after Tom Elrod watched him during spring practice.


"Coach Elrod watch me play in the spring game against Wolfson in May," said Kingsley Opara. "He said he couldn't offer, so he called Coach Mac, the defensive line coach, and he flew in. Coach Mac said he wanted to offer me, but needed to talk it over with the head coach. A couple of days later I talked to him on the phone, and he let me know I had an offer.

"Both coaches told me they liked my film, but I was a way better player in person, and that's what they look for. Coach Elrod said he thought I was one of the better defensive lineman he's seen in the [Jacksonville] area. He liked the way I get off my blocks and make plays, my hip movement, and how well I run and move around.

"He asked me to keep Wake Forest on my mind. I just talked to Coach Mac on Sunday. I know a little bit [about Wake Forest] from Jared Crump who went to Bartram Trail. I'm hoping to make a visit to campus by the end of summer."

Opara lists 13 Division 1 offers from Arkansas State, Connecticut, Florida A&M, Furman, Georgia State, Maryland, Middle Tennessee, South Alabama, Temple, Tennessee State, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky, and West Virginia. He's also very interested in Florida International, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Miami Missouri, North Carolina, and Rutgers.

"I think by July 20th I'll know where I stand with all of my offers," he said. "I'm going to make a commitment to be safe in case anything happens to me during the season. It's not set in stone though because I want to take all five of my [official] visits.

"It's subject to change during my senior year depending on how my official visits go. If I make a commitment then get up there and I'm not feeling it then I'd look at opening things back up again.

"My top four are UConn, Maryland, West Virginia, and Wake Forest in no particular order. Ideally, I want to go somewhere I wouldn't have to redshirt and could play early. I want to receive a good education. I'd like to be in a program where I feel like I could do something special. It's every college player's dream to go to the NFL, and I want to go to the place I feel can best prepare me for that opportunity."

Opara plans on a July visit to Maryland. He also is looking at going to camps at Georgia Tech and North Carolina. If he goes to the UNC camp he wants to take a trip to Winston-Salem on the way back to Jacksonville.

Opara had 30 tackles as a junior, five and a half sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble, but missed the final four games of the season due to a concussion.

Opara reports a 3.1 GPA and will graduate in spring of 2013.

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