Machen and his teammates are busy preparing for next season but not necessarily in the way many others across the country go about it. B.J. also seems to be exhibiting some leadership in this process. "We don't do spring practice out here," said Machen. "We're just doing lifting, conditioning, and we've got some speed and agility type things going on. Me and the quarterback, we organized passing practice within our team but that has nothing to do with the coach. We're not doing spring practice but we are getting prepared for next season."
B.J. has only played linebacker in the past but hopes to maybe see some time this year on offense. The 6'1", 210 pound athlete thinks he could get a look in the backfield as a fullback or tailback.
Schools from many different conferences have been looking at B.J. as a linebacker prospect. "I got offers from most of the MAC schools," said Machen. "I've been talking to Stanford, Illinois, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Michigan State." He went on to also add West Virginia and Cincinnati as well. "All of those schools have offered aside from Syracuse and Stanford. Syracuse and Stanford are close but everybody else has offered."
When asked how he was going to go about narrowing such a long list, B.J. mentioned going to visit some of his favorites. "I'm going to take some visits this summer and see what each school has to offer academically as well as athletically – just how well I fit when I go, and what kind of family I've got in the area and things like that will play a major role in where I decide to go," said Machen.
Machen wasn't kidding about having family in all of those places. His father is in Maryland. He lives with his mother in Ohio. Grandparents are in Illinois and he has uncles in both California and Georgia.
Are there any cities or climates in particular at which he'd like to make his college home? "My dad's a Stanford alum, so I know he wants me to get out there," said Machen. "They've got a nice atmosphere. The campus is real nice. Maryland is nice. Georgia Tech would be nice. I want to go somewhere warm and get out of this nasty weather in Ohio. It'll probably be down south or on the coast. It's nasty up in Ohio. It's like 60 degrees and it's the middle of May."
How will B.J. decide on which schools to focus on for visits? "I'm probably just going to sit down with my dad and get on-line and look at what kind of majors that each school provides and also open up the depth charts and see where I'll be able to play the soonest," said Machen. "That's going to play a role as well. We're just going to sit down and think about it and probably narrow it down to 5 to 10 schools because we can't visit every school that offered."
Even with research to do, there has to be a few he already knows in his mind that he wants to get out to. Which school would those be? "I definitely want to take a visit to Stanford," said Machen. "I'm going to take one to Georgia Tech probably and Maryland. Cincinnati and West Virginia, I'll probably take here in the next couple of weekends. And then also go to North Carolina, Duke and NC State. I want to visit all three of those probably within the same weekend or so."
Building relationships with the coaching staffs will be an important factor for Machen. So far he says he's starting to build good relationships with coaches from Stanford, Maryland, Syracuse, Central Michigan and Duke.