4-star DE Muhammad Breaks Down Final Five

RAMSEY, N.J. -- Don Bosco Prep four-star defensive end Alquadin Muhammad is looking at five schools, and following his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey ceremony he spoke about those schools. He also discussed whether or not he will announce at the game.

Slightly more than two weeks before Don Bosco Prep four-star defensive end Alquadin Muhammad plays in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, his jersey presentation took place at the school.

He also said he is unsure whether he will announce his school of choice at the Jan. 5 game, but added he has a final five of Alabama, Miami, Rutgers, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

"I may announce at the game even though I said I wasn't," Muhammad said. "I may announce. I'm not sure yet. I don't know what school I'm going to yet, but just watch out."

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Muhammad has been coy about his recruitment. He has maintained a low-profile and has always been careful not give too much away, but there are a few interesting tidbits about his recruitment.

Muhammad's lone official visit was to Miami earlier this month. He visited Alabama unofficially in the summer and has been to Rutgers numerous times, but has not been to Notre Dame or Ohio State.

"I am supposed to take a visit to Notre Dame at the end of January," he said, "but I don't know if I'm going to take the visit."

The program he knows the best is Rutgers, but the location of the school could impact his decision.

"My coach that used to coach here, (Anthony) Campanile, is there and we have a great relationship," Muhammad said. "The whole staff, with coach (Kyle) Flood, (assistant) coach (Darnell) Dinkins …I have a great connection with the whole staff. It's close to home and the facilities are excellent.

"I also have guys that I played with that go to Rutgers and we have a great relationship, so Rutgers wouldn't be bad, but I really don't want to stay home. I want to get out and view the world and be out there on my own and develop myself as a man."

One of Muhammad's best friends is Rutgers freshman defensive tackle, who was a five-star recruit at Don Bosco Prep in the 2012 class. The two talk regularly, but recruiting isn't much of a topic.

"He's giving me my space," Muhammad said. "That's the kind of guy he is. He's laid back. If I call him, he tries to give me his best advice as possible."

Miami is a program that has come on lately, and his visit to the campus a few weeks ago opened Muhammad's eyes to the Hurricanes.

"The Miami trip was awesome. I loved the trip," he said. "I connected with the coaches and the players. They loved me a lot. They keep in touch with me. They showed me they were interested and they always call my mom and I call them here and there.

"We have good conversations, not only about football, but also academics. I feel with the recruiting process, it's all about building relationships and it's where you feel comfortable about. You have to be there for four years, so you want to go somewhere you feel comfortable, and not just in football, but in the classroom setting."

Muhammad also has a strong relationship with Hurricane's coach Al Golden.

"Coach Golden is a great guy," Muhammad said. "He is also from New Jersey, so we connected really well. He told me I would be a great player no matter where I go, whether it's Miami or another school. He said if I come in and play like he knows I'm capable of playing, I have a chance to play as a freshman. He said I have a chance to go out and make some plays and be a part of the Hurricane family."

Notre Dame was long considered a front runner, but the prospects of Muhammad made a trip there is in question.

However, he knows defensive coordinator Bob Diaco well, and one of Muhammad's best friends, Irish freshman defensive back Elijah Shumate, has been talking the Irish up.

"It's a nice place," Muhammad said. "Elijah tells me about it and I went on a couple of websites and viewed some things and learned about the campus a little bit, so I could imagine what the visit would be like. I hear it's a nice place academically, and playing football, their program is developed and succeeding.

"Coach Bob Diaco, that is the guy recruiting me. We have a great relationship. Every time we talk, we talk academics and football. Over the couple years he was recruiting Elijah, we developed a good relationship. He's a good person."

During the summer, Muhammad visited Alabama he remained in contact with the staff.

"Alabama speaks for itself," Muhammad said. "They have a great football program. The school is great. It's a little ways away from home. Coach (Nick) Saban is a great guy. His character is awesome and he builds programs wherever he goes. They run a 4-3 and basically, I would play the ‘Jack,' which is the defensive end and a little bit of linebacker. I'd be dropping back into coverage and blitzing."

Finally, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer made a recent visit and spoke to Muhammad about the Buckeyes' interest.

"Ohio State, that's also a good program that is moving up and succeeding," he said. "Coach Urban Meyer came to see me. I commend him for that because not too many head coaches get out to see players. They go see the guys they really want, so that shows a lot. It's not too far away from home."

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