Publicly, Hinsdale (Ill.) South athlete Matt Mayberry recently said he's narrowed his list to four finalists – Indiana, Northwestern, Georgia and Oklahoma State. But truth be told, Mayberry has pretty well made up his mind where he'll be playing his college football.
"I already have a pretty good idea where I'm going to go, but I'm keeping that to myself for right now," said the 6'2", 200-pounder.
Mayberry, who rushed for 790 yards while playing fullback as a junior, emerged as a national-caliber recruit this summer, when he starred at a handful of camps and combines around the Midwest. Used primarily in the offensive backfield in high school, Mayberry is expected to play either outside linebacker, safety, or even wide receiver in college.
It's that sort of versatility is what so many coaches covet. Mayberry was clocked at 4.52 in the 40 this summer, and also posted a 32-inch vertical jump at a combine in Athens, Ga.
Indiana Assistant Head Coach Bill Lynch has spearheaded IU's recruiting efforts with the suburban Chicago standout, and he's made quite an impression on him. Indiana the first Big Ten school to offer a scholarship, and soon afterwards Mayberry saw his scholarship offer total rise to 13.
"Coach Lynch, my recruiting coach, he's just great, he's wonderful," said Mayberry. "He sends me a letter every day in the mail, and he writes me an e-mail every week. I really like Coach (Terry) Hoeppner, I like how the program is shaping up, and I really think it's going to turn out to be a great one."
While Indiana has impressed Mayberry, the same is the case with his other finalists. Big Ten foe Northwestern's combination of academics and proximity is a big draw.
"As everyone knows, the academics are outstanding there, and that's a real turn-on to me," said Mayberry. "Coach (Randy) Walker, he's a great guy. He told me straight up throughout the whole recruiting process what was going to happen."
Oklahoma State and Georgia offer opportunities a little further from home and in different conferences, something that's also appealing.
"Georgia plays in the SEC, and I like Coach Mark Richt a lot," said Mayberry. "He's been very loyal to me throughout the whole process.
"I also like Oklahoma State a lot – they have a great track record with football, and a great winning record, and they've gotten some really good recruits lately."
Oklahoma State is the only one of his finalists that Mayberry has yet to visit. He said he would like to visit the Cowboy program soon, and a final decision should be announced soon afterwards. He did say, though, that he might go ahead and announce decision without visiting the Big 12 school.
One way or the other, Mayberry said he plans to make his college choice before the start of his senior season at Hinsdale South.
"I don't want (the decision) hanging over my head, and I also feel like I have almost a set decision made," said Mayberry. "Right now, I'm just making sure, getting together all my thoughts, and making sure my decision is right. Once I've done that, I don't see any reason to wait."
Has Mayberry Made Up His Mind?
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