St Paul Cretin-Derham (Mn) OL Rafael Eubanks (6-3, 290) has a top seven: Minnesota (visited, childhood fave, parental pref), Iowa (visited, parental pref), Wisconsin, Stanford (parental pref), Northwestern (visited, parental pref), Maryland and Miami. All faves offered. He hasn't decided where he expects to officially visit.
"I will make my final decision based on the academic reputation of the school," said Eubanks. "I'll also be looking at the coaches because I'll be spending four to five years with them. The team itself and the situation I'll be coming in to (how many OLs are SRs and JRs) are some other things I'll be considering. I would like to play early but I don't mind being redshirted at all. Distance does not matter right now.
"I have friends at Minnesota, Wisconsin and Northwestern. It would be nice to go somewhere where I'd know someone, but that's just a bonus. It won't be a deciding factor.
"I like Minnesota's OL group. They like to pull and do different zone blocking schemes. My HS runs similar plays. My coaches and I feel like I'd fit in perfectly there. It seems like a perfect fit. They're also the home-state school and I wouldn't be far from my family.
"Iowa was the first school to offer me. That guarantees them a place as one of my favorites. Iowa has a great OL. They have a great reputation with their OL coach. Their head coach (Kirk Ferentz) is an ex-OL coach in the NFL. They also have a great reputation with their strength coaches. They can bring people in as a TE and make them the best OLs in the country.
"Wisconsin has really good academics and great facilities. I know coach Jim Hueber through the coaches at my high school. He has recruited a lot of players from my area. He's also my position coach so it's nice being recruited by him. Wisconsin is also not far from home.
"Stanford is known for it's great academic reputation. A degree from Stanford can pretty much get you a job anywhere in the country. It's also located in a beautiful area of California. It'd be nice to be in the warm weather. It'd just be fun to go to school there.
"Northwestern is another school with great academics. Their program hasn't been that good lately but it'd be nice to come in and make it better. I've heard they've got a great campus there and it's really close to Chicago so there'd always be something to do.
"Maryland doesn't usually do a lot of recruiting in Minnesota, but Tom Brattan (OL coach) used to be the OL coach at Stanford so my coaches have a really good relationship with him. I've heard he's a great coach and a great person. And that's really important because, like I said, I want to have a good relationship with the coaches.
"Miami's a great school because, well, it's Miami! I was very excited to get an offer from them. They are former national champions. They also have a good reputation for sending kids in to the NFL. Their OL coach is friends with my OL coach and I've heard great things about him. I also like Miami's warm weather and the city of Miami itself.
"My parent's want me to go to a school with really good academics. I don't know when I want to make my decision. I just want to do whatever feels right.
"I played guard this year so all of the coaches saw me pulling and using my athletic ability to get out on the open field. I also have good agility and foot quickness."