When you are one of the best players in the entire country, a truly elite player, every program in the country knows who you are and sometimes being such a gifted player has its pitfalls. Jason Pierre-Paul, a 5 star blue-chip prospect from Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College is just such a player and is taking his time in making his decision on where he wants to play the remainder of his college football.
"To tell you the truth, I may not sign on signing day. There is a lot of stress right now and I have some difficult decisions that I am trying to make," Jason told KStateFans.
As signing day quickly approaches, college coaches from across the country under pressure of their own, attempt to make that one last push that may the difference in signing a player. For a player as highly touted as Pierre-Paul, that pressure is magnified even more.
"Right now I have been getting so many calls from coaches that it is really hard to just sit and think sometimes. Each school has good qualities. You know I have only been playing football for three years and I still have a lot to learn, I am just trying to make the right choice for me. I am looking at all the schools that are recruiting me but there is pressure. That pressure is not all a bad thing. I mean there are good things to each too, education is what I am looking at besides football. Football will be there, but I am looking at education and getting a good education," said the star player candidly.
Having just returned from his official visit to Kansas State, along with his teammate Defensive Tackle Tony Jackson, Jason said he enjoyed himself on his visit and that it gave him something to think about.
"K-State was a good visit. To tell you the truth, (DT) Tony Jackson and I went up there and we had a good time and got to talk with the academic people for Kansas State and see what they had to offer. Kansas State and USF are probably very similar for what I am looking for in academics."
With numerous offers from across the county, including one from Kansas State, Pierre-Paul says he is mainly looking at four schools right now in no particular order.
"Right now I am looking at Nebraska, USF, Kansas State and maybe one other school. I talked with the coaches from USF today, I also talked with the coaches from Kansas State too. But really it does not all have to do with football, I want to go where I am happy. I want to make a decision on where I can go and be happy. My sisters and brothers look up to me and I look up to them and wherever I go they will support me and I will support them too. I think I know where I want to go and have made a decision but I am going to keep that to myself. I need to think things through more and be happy with the decision I have made. To tell you the truth, there is pressure and some stress to this. But I am handling it, that is part of recruiting and having the god given ability to do something good. "
With calls ringing in from all over the corner and fans hanging on his every word, Jason just laughs when he says he is going to take a little time away from the limelight to make a good decision and concentrate on those things that are important to him.
"I may not sign on signing day. I may take more time and to make my choice. Right now there are a lot of people who want to know what I am going to do, where are you going to go and everyone is telling you where you need to go. Everyone wants to tell you where to go but even though I think I know what I am going to do, I still want to be happy with it. I am not going to be giving a lot of interviews and talking to a lot of people. I am going to talk with my family and then choose what makes me happy."
Speaking of family, Jason beams when he talks about his and says that he wants to show his siblings that hard work does pay off and that everyone has a god given talent.
"I want my sisters and brothers to know that you can make something out of yourself if you work hard. Here (Fort Scott) I am making good grades and playing football and that will open up chances for me. My mom does not know football and she probably does not like me playing football. My Mom just tells me to go out there and knock em out! Football is a game you play and it is a great sport, don't get me wrong but in the end, my education is the most important thing. Some coaches are telling me that I have NFL talent and can be a NFL prospect but if I do not have my education, well I would not be happy without it. I know that if I was not this good, I would not get the attention that I get so I need to go to a good school and get my degree," said Pierre-Paul.
Jason who says his mother is a driving influence in his life and has stressed that academics are the key to a successful college career says he already has his eye on what he wants to major in and will be looking closely at what each college offers.
"I want to major in criminal justice that is something that interests me and with my Mom, she could care less if I play football as long as I get a good education. Really she would be fine wherever I decide to go to college but your education is important. Football will be there but you have to get a good education."
Speaking of academics, Jason says that he is handling exactly what he needs to in the classroom at Fort Scott and feels that he will be ready to go at the next level.
"Right now I am taking my classes and doing exactly what I need to in the classroom to be ready to go and qualify and I am ready to go somewhere. I am taking English and Criminal procedures and Math, classes like that and I have been doing great here at Fort Scott, getting good grades and doing what I need to do to take care of my business."
They always say that you can never judge a book by its cover and this is very much the case of Jason Pierre-Paul. If you were to judge Jason strictly on the fact that he is one Heckuva Great football player, you would be selling him short. Pierre-Paul is more than an uber-talented football player. What most may not know is that he is a thoughtful young man that is trying to make a difficult decision and not let anyone down- especially himself or his family. In the end, Jason will take the time he needs to go through the recruiting process and has said that he will sit down with his family and take a look at all the schools that he is interested in and then make a decision - one that makes him happy.
We will be speaking with Jason leading up to Signing Day and afterwards following his recruitment. Stay Tuned to KStateFans and follow all the In-Depth and breaking Wildcat Recruiting Action.