Corey Bender

Illinois and Minnesota Take Next Step With 2018 Three-Star Defensive Lineman, Mayan Ahanotu

Mayan Ahanotu, a Tampa-based defensive lineman that's equipped with double-digit offers, says two suitors are really going all in for his services.

A versatile defensive lineman with nearly a dozen offers to consider, Mayan Ahanotu isn't ready to label one school as the clear front-runner in his recruitment, but lists the two suitors currently pushing hardest for his coveted commitment.

IllinoisBoston CollegeMinnesotaIowa StateBowling GreenSouth Florida and Toledo are just some of the scholarship offers on the table for the three-star defender out of Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep.

"I think Minnesota and Iowa State are recruiting me the hardest right now," Ahanotu said. "I am planning on visiting Minnesota and Iowa State during my spring break, which is between the dates of March 18 and April 2."

It wasn't that long ago when the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive lineman held just a single offer from the Iowa State Cyclones.

Ahanotu is forever grateful for each of the opportunities that have came his way, but understands that additional offers are likely en route with the spring evaluation period vastly approaching.

"Well, my recruiting these past few months has just been a blessing," Ahanotu said. "I have received a lot of attention from schools lately, and I'm just really grateful for all of the opportunities that have been given to me.

"I couldn't be more thankful."

It was just this past Friday when the Illini joined the Golden Gophers by serving up a Big Ten offer to Ahanotu, who has somewhat of a history with Lovie Smith's coaching staff in Champaign.

"For Minnesota, I like the fact that they are an up-and-coming program with coach (P.J.) Fleck," Ahanotu said. "They make sure at least one part of their staff contacts me every day.

"With Illinois, they are my most recent offer, so I don't know much about them. Some of the coaching staff, like coach Lovie Smith, (defensive coordinator) coach Hardy Nickerson and (defensive backs) coach Donnie Abraham, used to play with my dad.

"That's what I like about Illinois."

As a junior, Ahanotu piled up 54 tackles (27 solo), three and a half sacks, two forced fumbles and a pair of pass deflections for a 9-3 Berkeley Prep team.

Stay tuned to Scout for the latest developments in Ahanotu's recruitment.

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