Bryce Effner (Metea Valley/Aurora, Ill.) initially started pulling offers from nearby MAC programs, but the last few months he’s made significant inroads into the power-five. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound three star now claims verbals from the likes of Syracuse, Penn State, Minnesota, Kansas, Kansas State, Maryland and Duke.
“As I stand right now, I don’t think I’m going to a school that’s not power-five,” Effner said. “All the bigger schools that have offered me are great, and I’m looking into them all. And some others mays still come in, so I’ll look into them as well.”
Of his current looks, Penn State grabbed his attention. Effner visited State College, Pa., in late March and promptly dubbed the Nittany Lions his leader after landing the offer.
But Effner chose not to commit, and it intent on vetting his other options before doing so. He’s well aware spots can be filled, especially at a school like PSU, but insists he won’t rush into a decision.
“I am trying to take my time. I don’t think rushing into a commitment would be good. But I do really like Penn State and they’re up there. But I am going to take in what the other schools have to offer and see if there’s a couple more [offers] to look at,” Effner said. “Then once I’ve gotten a bigger scope of the schools that are really interested.in me I’ll start to think about a decision.”
Effner hasn’t put too much thought into when that college decision may be, but estimated it could be around the beginning of the summer. That way, he’ll have enough time to take a few more visits and gauge which staffs are pursuing in earnest.
So far, Effner has seen Duke, UNC, Northwestern and Illinois. He’s looking to return to Illinois and Northwestern in hopes of pulling verbals from both. Additionally, he’ll be checking out Iowa April 15 since the Hawkeyes’ coaches have been in touch.
“And I am looking to see some other schools further away from where I live sometime closer to the summer,” Effner said. “Then I’ll have more free time and the trips won’t interfere with school work.
“I’m really excited to see Minnesota, because Coach [PJ] Fleck is a high-energy guy and they have that huge athletic village they’re trying to get. Minnesota looks like it’s on the rise. Also, I’m looking forward to Syracuse too, because I’m curious what it’s like out there and what it’s about. Same with Maryland. I don’t know much about them, and I’m curious what they have to offer.”
The Terps, along with the Blue Devils, were actually Effner’s two most recent suitors. Duke came in April 5, while UMD’s staff anted up April 4.
“Maryland was kind of out of the blue. They didn’t even talk to me beforehand at all. I just got a text from the coach and he asked me to call him. To be honest, I couldn’t even remember who contacted me (laughs),” Effner said. “But Coach [Tyler Bowen] said he really liked my film, thought I was aggressive and felt I’d be a great player. He thought, with his knowledge of my school and his initial interpretation of who I was, that I’d really like [Maryland]. I told him I appreciated the offer and I’d be looking into [the Terps].
“I’m still learning about them. I know they’re in the Big Ten, which is a great conference, but that’s all I know for now.”
As for Duke, Effner was a bit more familiar. He visited Durham, N.C., earlier during the spring and came away impressed.
“Academics is a huge plus for them. That’s one of the main things I’m looking at,” Effner said. “But the one thing I wasn’t super happy with was the support for the football program. Obviously basketball is huge there. But besides that, it’s great facilities, great academics support, the practices are heated and I love the coaches.”