Bloomington, Ind. – Midway through his four official visits, Tyler Zeller is looking forward to doing something out of the ordinary for a highly-coveted recruit.
The 6'11", 220-pound forward from Washington, Ind., has now made official visits to North Carolina (Sept. 14-16) and Indiana (Sept. 21-23), and he's slated to visit Notre Dame the weekend of Oct. 12 and then Purdue the following weekend.
The three-week gap between his Indiana visit and the Notre Dame visit isn't by accident.
"Watching (his brother) Luke go through it, I knew that it can kind of get old not being able to hang out with friends," Zeller said Monday night. "So it will be good to take some time off and relax for a while."
Zeller is off this weekend, and then said he has a family wedding to attend the following week. He'll then make his final two official visits, with the goal of making a decision within a couple of weeks and signing in November.
While he's still a ways away from making a decision, he said his trip to Bloomington was a big success. It was just the latest of many stops to IU in recent years for Scout.com's 16th-ranked player, but it did give him a chance to take another look at the school's athletic and academic opportunities.
"It's a great school, a great atmosphere," Zeller said. "Being around (the players), playing with them, it was really fun. It was a great visit."
Academically, Zeller was able to spend time with the dean of the Kelley School of Business as well as a couple of business professors. If he decided to go to IU he said he'd like to study operational management, so his Bloomington visit gave him a chance to get a refresher course about the business program as well as what it would be like to be a student-athlete in the business school.
"They talked about being a student athlete, all the benefits you get being a student athlete and that they'll work with you to try to help you with that," Zeller said. "They also focus on their school a lot, and it's a great school."
Zeller said he spent a good portion of his time with D.J. White on Friday and Saturday, before going out with redshirt freshman Brett Finkelmeier on Saturday night. Zeller has often said that being comfortable with future teammates would weight heavily into his decision, and his IU visit was a success in that regard.
"They are all great guys, easy to talk to and easy to get along with," Zeller said. "I had a lot of fun going to D.J.'s apartment and just hanging out with them."
He said when he was with the IU players, they didn't spend a great deal of time trying to convince him that IU was the right fit for him, instead just trying to make him feel comfortable while he was in town.
"They really leave (the recruiting) up to the coaches," Zeller said. "They try to just be around you, talk to you, and be good to you."
Zeller said they did that, both on and off the court. On the court, Zeller had a chance to scrimmage with his potential future teammates Friday afternoon and then watch them go through an individual workout Saturday morning. He said the chance to scrimmage was particularly rewarding.
"It was great playing with them," Zeller said. "I love playing against college level people because you get to find weaknesses that you don't find playing against high school players. It was great. They are fun to play with. They play as a team."
Will Zeller be joining that team?
Time will tell.
Zeller Talks IU Visit, Three-Week Break
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