Annan Feeling Terps, Set For Official

Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, Ill.) defensive tackle Wes Annan is beginning to set official dates as he inches closer to selecting his college destination.

Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, Ill.) defensive tackle Wes Annan is beginning to set official dates as he inches closer to selecting his college destination. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound three star just scheduled his first official to Maryland the weekend of Nov. 15, and will check out Boston College near the same time. He’s in the process of setting up a couple others as well, though he’s unsure if and when those will occur.

“Maryland is a definite for their game against Michigan State, BC is one I’m definitely getting back to and the rest are all maybes,” said Annan, a native of Canada. “Maybe Ole Miss, maybe UVA and maybe a school like Harvard, though I’m really not sure about that one yet. I have to sit down with my coaches and family and talk about the rest, but the ones I know for sure are BC and Maryland.”

Annan just recently locked in the date for his UMD official. Terps assistant and Illinois area recruiter Chad Wilt trekked out to Lake Forest Oct. 11 in order to pay Annan’s coaches a visit.

“I didn’t talk to [Wilt], but it was good to see him out here again. He’s a great guy. He’s a coach I really like and respect,” Annan said. “He’s been very honest with me through the recruiting process, saying how I should choose what school fits me best, telling me not to pick a school just for the coaches and things like that. I could definitely play for a guy like that, and I could see myself learning a lot from him.

“He was telling my coaches to get that official [to Maryland] set up so I could come down with my dad to check out Maryland. [Wilt] was saying how everything is there [in College Park, Md.], telling them I have to meet Coach [Brian] Stewart and Coach [Randy] Edsall and how I’m really going to like those guys. I’m actually going to talk to Coach Stewart on the phone soon too. Then [Wilt] was saying to my coaches how Maryland is a great place to be, how Coach Edsall produces so many high-character kids, how he puts academics first, and how hard you have to work there. It really sounds like my type of school.”

Annan wasn’t done talking up Wilt. The Lake Forest tackle said he and UMD’s defensive line coach exchange Twitter messages multiple times each week, and Annan apparently likes what he’s read.

“He just talks about family, how things are going with me, how to do things football related -- just basic stuff,” Annan said. “It’s actually lots of jokes, lots of ‘hahahas.’ Coach Wilt, he’s a real chill guy, a real down-to-earth guy.”

The Illinois product went on to say that Maryland remains one of his foremost suitors. Besides his relationship with Wilt, he said the academics, Big Ten move and more have caught his eye.

“From what I’ve heard and researched, Maryland’s’ academics are outstanding. Then one of my questions was how they’d do in the Big Ten, but I can already tell from watching them they’re going to be fine. They proved that to me already,” Annan said. “And Coach Edsall, from what I’ve heard, he seems like the type of guy I want to play for. He puts academics first, and he really puts a lot of emphasis on character. Hopefully he is there all four years I’m there if [Maryland] is the school I choose.

“Also, the vibe I get is it’s a great campus with great people. I can’t wait to check it out and see for myself when I go down there for the Michigan State game. It’s going to be a great. I know one of the other guys from my area Maryland is recruiting, Jamal [Milan] (from Al Raby in Chicago), is going to be there too, so that will be cool. Us recruits, we all know each other.”

Annan, though, does have numerous others vying for his services. He said the main schools he’s had contact with recently include UMD, Ole Miss, Boston College, Virginia and Rutgers.

“Ole Miss offered me like two, three weeks ago, and that was a very humbling offer. I’m thinking about checking them out,” Annan said. “A lot of people said I probably couldn’t be an SEC player a year ago, but I think I can handle that kind of competition down there. I’m in the process of learning more about them.”

Boston College, though, has long been a personal favorite. He’s visited the school before and plans to return for an official.

“BC is a great, great school academically, and that’s what I love about it,” Annan said. “Then Coach [Steve] Addazio, you talk about great dudes, he’s a great dude. It’s like, he’s just a real cool, chill dude, like an average guy. I really like that about him. And my recruiter there, he’s always on me, telling me about the program. We have a really close relationship, and we don’t talk about recruiting much, which I really like. BC is definitely one of my top schools too.”

Another program he’s taking a look at is UVA. He hasn’t visited Charlottesville, Va., yet, but may do so in late November or December.

“I’m still learning about the coaching staff and personnel, but it’s a really good academic school and they’re getting it done in the ACC,” Annan said. “I’m thinking about them mainly because it’s such a great academic school.”

Annan said he’s like to be finished officials and have his college selected sometime in December. However, he acknowledged he could announce earlier than that if he visits a campus and “it just feels right.”

“The main things for me are, am I going to be happy there for four years? Does it feel like home?” Annan said. “Then, what does my family think of the school? I want them to go on these visits with me, because I really value their opinion. The academics, that’s a given. Academics are No. 1 for me. And finally, my relationship with the coaches. Can I see myself learning and playing under these guys?

“I’m not worried about playing time, scheme, things like that -- I know that stuff is never a given. If you’re good enough to play, you’ll play. I’m not worried about competition and I feel like I can fit into any scheme.”

Currently, Annan is looking to finish out his senior season strong. Lake Forest is sitting at 3-4, but has had to cancel a couple games – including this week's game – due to scheduling issues. Apparently the league Lake Forest participates in is on strike, so the team has had to fill out its schedule with non-conference opponents.

“It kind of stinks, we only have one game left,” Annan said. “But at least we got eight games in. I’m doing pretty well, taking care of business. I don’t know my stats, but I’m doing well tackling, getting off blocks, getting good leverage. I have to work mainly on defeating double teams better and getting in the backfield more cleanly. I want to be able to wreck havoc at the next level.”

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