Terps, Others Tracking St. John's DE

St. John's (Washington, D.C.) always produces a handful of FBS recruits every year, and while safety Ayron Monroe has most of the attention in the 2015 class right now, his classmate, defensive end Eric Assoua, figures to garner his share of the spotlight.

St. John's (Washington, D.C.) always produces a handful of FBS recruits every year, and while safety Ayron Monroe has most of the attention in the 2015 class right now, his classmate, defensive end Eric Assoua, figures to garner his share of the spotlight.

The 6-foot-2, 215 pounder didn't register on the radar before the 2013 campaign, but after dominating last fall colleges couldn't help but give him a second look. Though slightly undersized, Assoua displayed a terrific motor and jump off the ball, racking up 80 tackles, 16 sacks, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and five batted passes.

"I think what makes me a special defensive end is that I play in one of the best high school leagues in the nation and have dominated the top recruits in our area," Assoua said. "Like Brock [Ruble] that committed to Florida State, Richie Petitbon who has high offers from Alabama, Sam Mustipher the Notre Dame commit. I did well against all those guys.

"I think I still need to work on my run stopping ability, but part of it is just getting stronger. But it won't be a huge problem for me this year, because I've been working hard in the weight room."

That will undoubtedly pay off, but the St. John's end already holds early offers from Toledo and Western Michigan, and has heavy interest from numerous regional programs.

"The Toledo offer came in like midway through the season and Western Michigan just came in [Feb. 12], but schools that I know have high interest in me are Virginia Tech, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia, Maryland, Old Dominion, Nebraska, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Ohio State," Assoua said. "I think Va Tech will be next to offer. Their coaches had some great things to say at the junior day I went to, and thought I'd fit in well there. I had a great time [at Virginia Tech], and I hope I get that offer."

Virginia Tech was his first junior day, and he was just in State College, Pa., for Penn State's. "I loved it [at PSU]. My teammate, Ayron Monroe, picked up his eighth offer from them, and they loved everything about me too," Assoua said. "They want to see me at work in person, so I'll be back for camps and hopefully get [an offer] too." Next he plans to be at Maryland's Feb. 22. Assoua had already been in College Park several times previously, including the UMD-Boston College game and a random unofficial campus visit before that.

"I'm excited for Maryland's junior day because I know they have a lot to offer," Assoua said. "I know they're going to the Big Ten, they have really good academics and they're getting some really good players in there. My teammate, Will Ulmer, is going there, and he always talks about Maryland….

"I was up there for a visit to see the campus, and I liked all the facilities, the jerseys, the locker room. It was cool."

Assoua said he hasn't personally spoken to his Terps recruiter, Mike Locksley, yet, but he knows UMD is intrigued. He said he'd welcome a hometown offer and would definitely consider Maryland should it pull the trigger.

"I'm sure Coach Locksley has asked some questions whenever he comes by the school. I've heard about his interest in me from my coaches," Assoua said. "My coaches want the best for me and are doing all in their power to help get my name out there, so I know they've talked to Maryland about me."

After taking in College Park again, Assoua and Ayron Monroe will be at Penn State for the Nittany Lions junior day. The Cadets end also will attend numerous one-day camps and a couple spring games this offseason. Expect another visit to Maryland down the line as well.

The goal right now is to generate as much interest and garner as many offers as possible so Assoua can have several solid options to choose from.

"I would really like UNC, Ohio State, Miami, Rutgers and VT to offer me," Assoua said. "They all have seen my tape; I hope they like it. I've heard word that they did, but I'm just hoping for them to make the next step. I feel I'm just as good or even better then the defensive ends they had already offer in my class or the class under me."

This offseason Assoua has mainly been in the weight room, while working to improve his grades. He said he'll run outdoor track in the spring in order to add speed on top of his increased strength.

"My offseason has been real good," Assoua said. My bench is up to 225 [pounds] right now and I'm working on maxing out my squat. So I'm getting stronger in the weight room and just concentrating on my grades in the classroom."

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