Winovich's Recruiting Picture Getting Clearer

New suitors are turning up the heat on Clairton (PA) Thomas Jefferson LB, Chase Winovich. But just as his recruitment getting more crowded, he is finding a bit of clarity. The Keystone State star chatted with GoBlueWolverine recently about his leaderboard, his decision timeline, his recent Michigan visit, and much much more.

Sam Webb: First, just very generally talk about how things went for you at Michigan this past weekend.

Chase Winovich: “It went really well. I think it definitely reinforced some of the stuff they said to me earlier, you know, and it was definitely a positive experience making that trip. It was definitely worthwhile.

Sam Webb: I talked to Wilton Speight beforehand and he told me that you would be going out, playing golf and really spending a lot of time with he and Michael Ferns.  How did that go?

Chase Winovich: “It went really well, you know, I had to show them all up in golf. I’m sure they would say the same thing, but you know, we had a really good time on the golf course. I had my buddy along with us, and at first it was a little rough, you know, trying to hit the ball at first, but eventually it was coming down to – we just had a good time, you know? It was cool.”

Sam Webb: Lets talk thought process.  You had just been to Ann Arbor less than a month prior to your visit last weekend.  Afterward you mentioned that things went very well.  So what was kind of the purpose of this latest visit so close to the one prior to it? Did you accomplish the objective that you set out to?

Chase Winovich: “I did. I got a good opportunity to hang out with some of the players, got to know them better, got to see the campus; not from what the coaches tell me, you know, the players aren’t going to lie to you. If they don’t think you should come there, they’re not going to say ‘yeah, you should come here’ when you know that’s not the truth. I think they definitely put their best foot forward in presenting Michigan and everything.  It was just a good opportunity to see what it was like at a deeper level.”

Sam Webb: You also mentioned before that you really got a chance to get to know Coach Manning a lot last time, so did you really need to spend much time with him this time, and did you do that? Did you speak to him a whole lot more this time?

Chase Winovich: “Coach Manning, yeah I’ve been in contact with him for a while now. I think I got an opportunity to know a lot of the coaches better than I had previously known them. I think it was a good experience just to see the camaraderie of everyone, and the players.  Just hanging out in the coaches’ offices on a Saturday morning, you know, or everyone went out to breakfast. I think that’s pretty cool.”

Sam Webb: I saw where you were saying that you might take three or four more visits, and that kind of thing.  Where do things kind of stand with you right now as far as the timeline that you had kind of set the last time we talked?

Chase Winovich: “My timeline is just… I’m going to really try to take a Pitt visit. I’m going to talk to Coach Manning tonight.  I’m really going to try to take a Pitt visit because it’s only like 30 minutes from my house and we’ve been talking about that for a while.  Then I’m just going to take it from there. Alabama has been at the school, Oregon was at the school (Monday), UCLA was at the school (Monday), Michigan State is in the picture, Tennessee… just schools from all across the country.  To tell you that June 15th I’m going to make a decision, or whatever, I would be lying to you, because I’m not exactly sure when that date is.  But when it feels right, I’m going to pull the trigger.”

Sam Webb: So at this point sounds like you’re definitely going to take a trip to Pitt.  The other ones… is it fair to say that any trips beyond that are kind of up in the air… kind of wait and see?  You could take them, or you might not? Is that kind of how it is?

Chase Winovich: “That’s kind of how it is. A trip to Alabama is definitely possible. A trip to maybe West Virginia or some of the closer schools, those are definitely possible as well; and Stanford.  I’m looking to make probably (a visit to) Pitt and maybe two or three more schools could be in the mix.  But like I said, maybe I’ll just go back and make return visits to Ohio State and Michigan. It’s a tough question to answer, because I’m really not sure how I’m going to handle that. All I know is that I talked to the Pitt coach and they’re trying to get me down there to see the campus, and I think that would be a beneficial thing seeing different styles of campuses.“

Sam Webb: Are things getting more confusing rather than less the more visits you take?

Chase Winovich: “Yeah, it’s definitely getting tougher. It’s definitely becoming a tougher decision with the more I look into schools, but at the same time, in retrospect, it’s becoming clear what I want and where I see myself  one year from now, but also 50 years from now.  Where am I going to be proud to say I go? So I think it’s clearing up that a little better. I’m getting a better viewpoint into the whole recruiting process.”

Sam Webb: When we last spoke you gave me three top schools. I’m wondering if anything has changed in that regard?

Chase Winovich: “At first, I think Northwestern was in the mix for a while, and it kind of faded away for Northwestern a little bit… but Ohio State, Michigan, and Pitt have been in it basically for a while now.  Pitt has been in it the whole time, since they were the first school to offer, but like I said, anything is subject to change. I’m just going to take it one step at a time and evaluate each school.”

Sam Webb: What are going to be the things that set that final school apart from all the rest when you make that decision?

Chase Winovich: “Obviously education is a pretty important factor in making that decision, but I think it’s ultimately going to come down to the people, and where I feel most comfortable. People can always state their opinions… and I love listening to them, but at the same time, I’m the one that’s going to have to live with that decision and live there for the next four or five years, so it’s just going to be wherever I feel most comfortable.  When that decision comes, it’s going to be one of the toughest decisions I’ve probably ever made.  There’s going to be a lot of tough phone calls to make, but I have to do what’s best for me.”

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