Chase Winovich’s phone has been blowing up lately. The once obscure prospect has quickly become one of the Keystone State’s hottest commodities. College coaches, some of their players, and many of their recruits are all taking part in collaborative efforts to lure the talented youngster to their respective schools. Where all that attention is distracting for some prospects, Winovich is taking it in stride. That could be because his recruitment is entering its home stretch. The Clairton Jefferson star had previously mentioned a June decision timetable, and meeting it appears to be a definite possibility. That said, he insists there no finite plans regarding his recruitment other than his upcoming visit to Pitt.
"We talked to the Pitt coaches (Tuesday night) and we set (the visit) up so I could meet all of the people down there," said Winovich. "It's officially set up for Tuesday (the 28th). I've been dragging this thing along and I've been trying to get a date set up. We finally got one for Tuesday. That works for everyone here. From there Ohio State wants me to come down that next weekend, but I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that. We’re just going to have to see."
Winovich had openly contemplated taking visits to further away locales in the coming weeks, but his desire to do say may be dimming a bit. One of the most talked about destinations. Now a trip to Palo Alto seems to be a bit of a long shot.
“I’ve been contact with Stanford a lot talking about visiting out there,” the three-star linebacker stated. “If I went out there it would be in June. It’s a pretty far trip and it’s definitely quite the expense. It would just be tough right now for my parents to make that trip on such short notice, but we’ll have to see. If I wanted to go out there bad, we’d just have to wait to go out there to check out.”
The Cardinal remain in contention, but it’s clear that Michigan, Ohio State and Pitt remain in a class all their own.
Said Winovich, “A bunch of other schools are still in the mix, (but) my top three is basically still the same. “
That consistent focus that trio of favorites combined with his aforementioned decision timeline was fodder for speculation about a commitment being forthcoming. One recent report went a step beyond speculating and indicated that a decision next week was imminent, a claim that Winovich denies.
"I think the question (from the reporter) was 'is it possible that I could commit to a school after my Pitt visit?'," he recalled. "I think I said, 'yeah, anything is possible.' He said, 'could you let me know so I could put you on a commit watch?' So I said, 'yeah, anything is possible.'" (Laughter).
For the record, Winovich is still in deliberation mode with no definite decision date in sight. His family is playing a key role in helping him sort through the pros and cons of each program. Lately, so too are a number of prospective teammates.
“(Michigan’s recruits) are pretty interested in me,” Winovich stated. “Ohio State has their recruits on me too. I just talked to some of them (Monday) night and they said they need me. We were talking about when I could get (to Columbus) for a visit up there. A lot of them said June 2nd, that’s why I said it’s possible that I might make a trip up there after the Pitt visit. That’s a stretch, but it’s definitely possible.”
“Michigan has their kids (on me) too. Every single recruit basically texts me and is telling me I’ve got to go there. It’s kind of cool, you know? I get texts from Ryan Shazier and some of the other guys. Some of the linebackers from each school… Jake Ryan will be texting me telling me I’ve got to go (to Michigan). I have (West Virginia)… Pat Eger… he’s a lineman I’ve been in contact with him. He went to my high school, so he is telling me how great it is down there. Brock DeCicco who was at my practice tonight, he is back from Wisconsin. He is a tight end up there and he’s all fired up about them."
“It’s just funny.”
For now all of Winovich’s suitors are laughing right along with him, but soon it's likely that only one will be.