ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Notre Dame on No. 7 DT P.J. Mustipher

FLORHAM PARK, N.J . -- Scout 100 defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher details where his recruitment stands coming out of The Opening Regional.

There was a barbecue at Tennessee, a breakfast at Penn State and some long talks at Notre Dame

There is the message of coach D.J. Durkin at Maryland, the unexpected comfort of Michigan State and the defense of coordinator Bud Foster at Virginia Tech.

As Scout 100 defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher sorts through his recruitment, and decides whether to end it soon or take official visits, he has strong connections to each school, and a lot of prime choices.

"I'm going to sit down with my parents and go through things," said Mustipher, who plays at Owings Mills (Md.) Mc Donogh.

His most recent visit was to Notre Dame, where his brother, Sam Mustipher, plays, but the important part was meeting with several members of the coaching staff the weekend of the spring game.

"It was a great time there," the 6-foot-5, 282-pound Mustipher said. "I got a chance to connect with (defensive coordinator) coach (Mike) Elko and (defensive line) coach (Mike) Elston. That was my priority, going in there to talk to them, and it was very successful and it actually exceeded my expectations.

"Coach Elko was at my school, and then going to Notre Dame and getting a chance to speak with him for a very long time, was something I needed to do to get readjusted to everything since so many things switched (on the staff)."

Mustipher made a bunch of visits in the last six weeks, and one was to Penn State.

"We had dinner and breakfast with the whole coaching staff," he said. "They treated my family like royalty.  It wasn't just spending time with them at dinner or breakfast, it was the whole feel of it, and there was definitely a family vibe. I could see myself playing there."

Penn State defensive line coach Sean Spencer is a big factor in Mustipher's recruitment, and seeing him in action was important.

"Defensively, I see dogs, everybody just running to the ball," Mustipher said. "It was good going to practice and seeing (safety) Marcus Allen is there and always talking and getting those guys riled up. Coach Spence Chaos, I've got a great relationship with him. They always say don't build relationships with coaches, but Penn State was on my first offers."

Mustipher also made a recent trip to Tennessee, and he felt the love.

"They gave my family a real cookout, and all the coaches were there, and all the players were there," Mustipher said. "I definitely loved Tennessee."

He connected well with the players inside of the program, and can see himself playing there.

"They have guys just like me, they want to be great, they want to win," Mustipher said. "They're willing to do anything I spend a lot of time with (defensive line) coach (Brady) Hoke, and he definitely has big plans for me. He said they want me, they need me, and they want me to play 3-technique. I'm their guy, so I definitely love Tennessee."

Close to home, Mustipher said Maryland is a legitimate option, and it is not just lip service because it is the local school. He has a lot of respect for coach D.J. Durkin.

"People don't realize, guys commit, and they don't commit because of the record," Mustipher said. "They sit down with coach Durkin and they hear his message and they believe it. He looks in your eyes and tells you his plan, and says they are not there yet, because they're not there yet, but they're going to get there."

Michigan State was not linked to Mustipher much, but he has serious interest in the Spartans and talks to defensive tackles coach Ron Burton regularly.

"I have a real good relationship with him," Mustipher said. "He's a real good defensive line coach, and he just had Malik McDowell drafted. I could definitely see myself playing under him. When he coaches, he's real enthusiastic. Coach (Mark) Dantonio, when I sat down with him, he gave me the lay of the land and I really liked that."

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