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Jake Kradel, like so many prospects, thought his recruitment was coming to a close.
The Butler (Pa.) Area offensive tackle had a handful of offers, built strong relationships with a few schools and was thinking about a decision,
Then, more schools offered, and it meant more trips. He made one to Rutgers, will be at West Virginia on Sunday, and there is a chance Kradel could visit NC State, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt late this week. He also speaks regularly with Syracuse, Maryland and Pittsburgh.
"My goal (for a decision) was the beginning of May, but I'm definitely pushing that back to hopefully before mid June," the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Kradel said. "I'm waiting for the (spring) evaluation period to be over, right before summer, and once I feel comfortable, that's going to be my team."
Kradel's latest visit was to Rutgers. He went for a junior day and met with offensive line coach A.J. Blazek and coach Chris Ash, toured the campus, looked at the facilities and got a feel for how the Scarlet Knights want to transform their program.
"I saw pretty much everything," he said. "We went a little earlier and met with all the coaches, and got to sit down with coach Blazek, and we went out to one of the diners on campus and we got to sit down and talk to them. It was really nice."
Kradel went in with high expectations, and left with those expectations met.
"The (message) was the culture and the change of the program, what they're doing, and I could be a big building block and help them," Kradel said. "I can help them with the offensive schemes they're running, their zone blocking. It was pretty much how coach Ash is changing things around."
Although West Virginia is two hours south of Butler, Kradel will make his first trip to campus in a few days.
"I can't say it's hometown, but it is close to me," Kradel said. "It's got a great tradition. My offensive line coach played there in the early '90s. That is kind of cool, too.
"I want to go down with an open mind and take everything in, and see if it has that home feel."
Kradel wants to make a return visit to NC State after the school caught his attention during a fall trip. He returned to campus in December.
"I have a good relationship with coach (Dwayne) Ledford, the offensive line coach," Kradel said. "I talk to him pretty often. That is nice.
"I haven't been on a campus tour, and I haven't really seen the campus. I have been to all the facilities and the football part of it, so this next time I am looking more toward the academic side."
Kradel said he did not know much about Wake Forest, but added he was looking forward to seeing the campus and the program.
On his return home, if it happens, Kradel would stop at Vanderbilt for a Saturday visit.
"Being around Nashville, the city, and the academic side of it (is interesting)," Kradel said. "It is real prestigious for its academics. It's a nice school. It's why I am attracted to it."
Syracuse was the first school to offer Kradel, and it remains high on his list.
"It's the new offense their running," he said. "Their offensive scheme, I like it. To be in there and play, if that is where my development is, I could have a good (experience). And the snaps. They said you could get 110 snaps a game, and that helps your for the NFL."