Conor Hanratty has plenty of time before he needs to pick a college, but the 2011 offensive lineman from Connecticut already is doing his homework. He has plenty of research to do just based on his nine scholarship offers.
"I've looked at it a lot," Hanratty said of recruiting. "When the season ends, I'm really going to focus on it a lot more. I'll probably take some visits this winter and spring. I'd like to make a decision by the end of the ( academic school) year."
Scout.com ranks Hanratty (6-foot-4, 295 pounds) as a four-star recruit on its five-star scale. He's played nose guard and defensive tackle for New Canaan High, but he's been projected as an offensive tackle on the next level.
"You know, strangely, none of the schools have told me where they're looking at me to play," Hanratty said. "But I'm pretty sure it's (offensive) tackle."
Iowa, Boston College, California, Maryland, Notre Dame, Stanford, Syracuse, Virginia and Wisconsin have offered Hanratty a scholarship. He also is hearing from Northwestern and UConn, and unofficially visited Penn State last week.
"I didn't get to see a game, but I saw them practice," Hanratty said. "It was a real good visit. I like the program a lot."
The Hawkeyes also are right in the mix with Hanratty. Offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe has been to New Canaan High and Head Coach Kirk Ferentz has talked with the prospect on the phone, Hanratty said.
"They've had good contact," Hanratty said. "They send a lot of hand-written letters. From what I've seen, it's a great school. Coach Ferentz has done a great job and he's going to do an even better job in the future."
Terry Hanratty, Conor's father, played quarterback at Notre Dame and with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I was really excited," Terry said of the Notre Dame offer for his son during a recent interview with Irish Eyes. "It is obviously a great opportunity, but the process is going to continue the way we had planned it originally. He has a lot of great schools that have offered him scholarships. He's a heck of a lot better lineman than I was a quarterback.
"Obviously Notre Dame was the greatest place in the world for me. The academics, the coaching, the school, the camaraderie… everything was spectacular, but Conor is a different person. It's really where he feels comfortable. But it's a major deal, and I'm obviously very happy about it because of what Notre Dame has meant me since I was a kid."
The Hanrattys are planning a trip to the west coast to look at Stanford and Cal this winter, Conor said.
"We might try to come through and see Iowa and Northwestern on the way back," he said.
Some excellent academics institutions have offered Hanratty scholarships.
"Academics are a huge deal and will play a big role in my decision," Hanratty said. "I'm not sure about my major, maybe something in the business field."
New Canaan plays host to St. Paul tonight in the Division MM Connecticut state semifinals. Hawkeye Insider and Scout.com will keep you updated on the Hawkeye prospect as his recruitment moves forward.
You can watch a recent video interview with Hanratty here.