Coveted Ohio LB Talks Terps

Class of 2008 linebacker prospect BJ Machen has a seemingly endless list of offers. "Syracuse, Illinois, West Virginia, Maryland, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Pitt, Navy, Duke," Machen said before cutting himself off, "It's a long list."

The 6-foot-1, 210 pound target from outside of Columbus, Ohio lives with his mother in Hilliard, though he has family spread throughout the country.

"My dad lives in Maryland. It may be a little bit of a factor, but it won't be the determining factor," Machen said in regards to a commitment. "It will come down to academics and where I can help out a team the most."

Machen said he is fairly open in his recruitment, and as the summer gets underway, he will make several visits.

"My team is going to bus tour around to [football] camps," he said. Along the way, he will stop on Tobacco Road for North Carolina, Duke and NC State. "I'm going to take my visits to most of the schools. I want to see what I like about most of them. Afterwards, I should be able to come up with a top three or top five," he said.

Purdue and NC State have both recently offered the three-star linebacker, and North Carolina and Michigan State have both shown interest recently. Machen said he receives text messages from Maryland every day.

"Syracuse has been recruiting me hard. I've developed a good relationship with them."

He added Stanford, West Virginia and Maryland to the list of schools in hot pursuit.

Maryland appears to be in good shape with the rising senior.

"I've been around the Maryland program for a long time," Machen said. "I used to go to camps there when I was younger, and I've got a lot of family out there. I have a lot of connections." He continued, "I love the program, love the coaches and I think it's a great atmosphere."

Machen also noted Maryland's fan-base: "The student section is really supportive and enthusiastic, I like it out there a lot."

As far as on-the-field progress goes, Machen plans to focus on "getting faster, that's always a goal.
"I want to work on everything," he said, "hitting harder, getting to my spots, getting some turnovers this year, some interceptions, and being a better player and a better teammate."

Though he lives only minutes away from Ohio State's campus, the Big Ten powerhouse has not yet recruited out of its backyard to sway Machen.

He has, however, visited Maryland for Junior Day. "I'm going to take another visit this summer to take a look around campus, chill with the team and talk to academic people," he said.

Machen, whose father played football for Stanford, plans to make his decision "sometime before the season starts, just to get it off my shoulders. I want to focus on the season and help my team make it to the playoffs," he said.

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