It’s been a week now, and Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, Ill.) defensive tackle Wes Annan is still thoroughly enjoying himself now that he’s back in his native country, Canada. The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder, who boards at Lake Forest, lives near the east end of Toronto and said it’s a “beautiful part of the city.”
“I’m loving it right now, just loving being home,” said Annan, who holds offers from the likes of Maryland, Boston College, Duke, Rutgers, Syracuse, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State and programs throughout the MAC. “I told all these colleges that right now I’m just enjoying being home and with my family, so things have really settled down for me [recruiting wise]. I’m still training, of course, but I’m just taking it easy with recruiting, and maybe I’ll start to get back into it again at the end of July.”
So far the only three schools Annan has seen this offseason are Notre Dame, Harvard and Boston College. He took the latter two trips just before the dead period, and right before he crossed the northern border.
“I was lucky to see Harvard and BC right before everyone [college coaches] left, and I was glad I did because I really liked both schools,” said Annan, an honors student with a near perfect GPA. “Those are two schools that really want me and have showed a lot of interest, and they showed a lot of love when I was there. Harvard, it’s a unique opportunity because it’s not just about football there. The academics are second to none, and that’s why I’m looking at them.
“And BC, when I was there on campus the coaches showed me a great time, and I enjoyed myself. Boston is a great college town, when I was there the weather was great, and it’s just a really nice program. [BC] has terrific academics too, and it’s a place I’m definitely considering.”
Annan was scheduled to see a variety of other programs before he returned to Canada, but due to finances and other matters was unable to. He said he had to cancel trips to Syracuse, Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana, among others.
“I feel bad, actually, because I told all these schools I was coming out, and I just haven’t been able to see many places yet,” Annan said. “If I could, I would see them all and go on a bunch of trips, but it just hasn’t happened. So until I see some more of these places I don’t want to say I have any leaders or show any favoritism yet. I really have to get on some of these other campuses.”
The Lake Forest defensive tackle does not plan to take any trips this summer, however. He’ll remain in Canada with his family -- “my family is very important to me, so I’m spending my time with them” – before returning to Illinois in August. Around that time, though, he’d like to plan out five schools he could trek to officially.
“I don’t want to say what schools I definitely have in mind yet, but I’d like to see Maryland; I’d like to see Rutgers; I’d like to see Michigan; I’d like to see Indiana and I’d like to see Syracuse,” Annan said. “Stanford is also a possibility for me, but I have to gauge how interested they really are before I go out there. They’ve been in touch, but I’m not sure if they’re going to offer or not, so we’ll see. Same thing with Penn State. They’re in contact with me, and maybe once they see some senior film something will open up there. So I’m thinking about [visiting PSU] too.”
As for the Terps, Annan remains particularly intrigued about head coach Randy Edsall’s program. He said he has regular contact with area recruiter Chad Wilt and is eager to see College Park, Md., for the first time.
“I’m still very open to Maryland. It’s a really good school, and they need me and want me,” Annan said. “Coach Wilt is a really cool guy, and he wants to get me out there. When I talk to him it’s like I’ve known him forever. He’s a great guy, he’s enthusiastic, he’s very honest and straightforward. I wouldn’t mind playing for that guy at all.”
Annan said Wilt relayed to him that UMD has one spot on its defensive line filled, with two openings likely remaining.
“So Coach Wilt, he’s not really pressing me to grab one of those spots, but the urgency is there. He wants to get me on board,” Annan said. “He keeps saying he doesn’t want me to miss out on one of those spots.”
Two of the reasons Annan just might nab one of those slots is Maryland’s academics and Big Ten shift. Although he’s yet to see the school, he said the Terps have plenty going for them.
“I know Maryland would provide me with a great education, and that’s something I really like about them,” Annan said. “And the Big Ten is huge; I grew up watching Big Ten ball. Coach Wilt was telling me he thinks with the track speed Maryland had, they could have a big advantage over some teams in that conference. So I’m really interested to see how they do on the field this year; I’ll be watching.”
It is conceivable Annan will officially visit College Park early during his senior year. He said he’ll have a better idea exactly which programs he’ll take in after talking to his family and then his coaches at Lake Forest.
“There’s a few places popping out to me,” Annan said. “But I think it’s best to keep quiet right now until I know for sure.”
Annan said he’d like to have his college chosen soon after his senior year ends. That could change, however, depending on how his visits go.
“Ideally I’d like to take all five officials and then decide after that,” Annan said. “But if I get on campus and find the right fit, I could just commit right there.”
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