The recruitment for Al Raby (Chicago, Ill.) defensive tackle Jamal Milan is starting to come more into focus. The 6-foot-2, 288-pounder now has a fairly clear top five and is beginning to set his final four official visits.
“For me, the standouts are Iowa State, North Carolina, Minnesota, Syracuse and Indiana. Those are the five schools where their coaches have shown the most interest in me,” said Milan, who took his first official visit to Iowa State earlier. “And those are the five places I feel like I want to take a closer look at. I wouldn’t say I definitely wouldn’t consider another school, but right now, this is my top five and I’m pretty sure these are the schools I’m going to be choosing from.”
Maryland looked to be a prime contender up until just recently. The Terps’ Illinois area recruiter, Chad Wilt, visited Milan’s school during a bye week and the Al Raby plugger subsequently set up a November official visit to College Park, Md. But Milan never made said trip (he said an injury precluded him from flying out East) and elected to reschedule his official for January.
Apparently, though, he’s now focused on tripping to other locales.
“You know, I don’t know about Maryland. I really have to think about that one,” Milan said. “Honestly, I am still thinking about them, but I don’t know. We’ll have to see.
“Me and Coach Wilt, we’re still in contact and he’s still a guy I have a lot of respect for. I know he has high interest in me, and there’s plenty of opportunities at Maryland. We’ve had some good conversations about football and what Maryland can do for me. But, I don’t know, it’s just some other schools got into the picture.”
Wilt has not been out to Al Raby since the bye week, but Milan said it’s conceivable UMD’s defensive line coach could venture out sometime this month. If so, there’s still a shot Milan could be coaxed into trekking out to College Park.
“Like I said, we’ll see what happens. [A Maryland visit] is still possible, but we’ll see,” Milan said. “There’s a lot of great things going on there. They’re going to a bowl game, they’re in the Big Ten, they have the new facility going up, and I know they need D-lineman. So we’ll see.”
Barring a change of heart, however, Milan may be headed in another direction. North Carolina just offered Dec. 1 and immediately caught the Chicago product’s attention.
“That one moved right up my list. It was a big offer,” Milan said. “Their recruiter, he told me I’m the only kid in Illinois North Carolina offered, so that was kind of special, and it meant a lot. I’ve always been a fan of the Tar Heels and that program; I’ve watched them a lot on TV. So most likely I will take an official visit there sometime in January.”
This weekend, though, Milan will be taking his second official to Indiana, a program that’s long been after him. (The weekend after he will sit for the SATs).
“Indiana is a school that’s close to home and their coaches really want me there,” Milan said. “I’ve been there before and it’s a place I can see myself at. They need D-linemen like me in the program.”
Later in December and January, Milan wants to see Syracuse for the second time, as well as Minnesota.
“To be honest, Syracuse is a school that offered me early and I’m really thinking about them. They were one of my first offers, and they’ve been with me throughout the process. I’m always going to consider them because of that. Plus it’s a great school and they show me a lot of love,” Milan said. “Minnesota, their D-line coach came out to visit me and he really wants me. I’ve seen that program show a lot of improvement. I remember a few years ago they won three games, then the year after it was six, and after that it was eight, and this year it’s nine. So it shows they’re really developing their talent and getting better. I’ve had a lot of good conversations with the Minnesota coaches, and we talk regularly.”
The current leader, though, is still the one school he officially visited earlier this fall. Iowa State left quite an impression, and Milan remains in close contact with the Cyclones’ staff.
“I would say right now Iowa State is the leader, because that’s the one school I’ve visited so far, and they’ve shown me a lot of love since then,” Milan said. “I’ve seen visually what they have to offer, and really fell in love with the program. We’ll see what happens after these other officials, but right now I really like Iowa State.”
Milan said he’d like to have his college selected by the end of January, if not sooner. He wants to take all of his remaining trips, but admitted he could commit earlier if a particular campus “feels right.”
Milan's Recruiting Coming Into Focus
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