Plainsboro South (Princeton Junction, NJ) LB/TE J.B. Fitzgerald thought his recruiting picture was coming into focus after his third visit to the University of Michigan in early June. The 6-3 225-pounder was again impressed with everything the Maize & Blue had to offer, so much so that he acknowledged that an early commitment to the Wolverines was a distinct possibility. Then an outstanding visit to Gainesville made things a little less clear. Now, a few weeks after returning from Gator country, he again has a pretty good idea of what’s coming next in his recruitment.
“(The Florida visit) went pretty well,” Fitzgerald recalled. “It was the first time I’d ever been down there so I liked it a lot. The campus was beautiful. Of course the weather was beautiful as well. It was Florida. It was really nice. I got a chance to meet with Coach Meyer. I enjoyed my visit a lot, but I guess some of glitz and the glamour kind of fades off a little bit. Without that they’re still a solid program. They’re still definitely a contender that I’m looking at.”
“What I know now is I’m definitely going to take my officials,” he continued. “I’m not sure how many I’m going to end up taking. I know I have Michigan scheduled (the Sept. 22nd weekend for the PSU game). I believe I’ve scheduled one with Iowa for December, although I’m not sure if I’m actually going to end up getting to take that one because it is kind of late. I feel like by then I’ll probably have an answer. But I’ll take the Michigan one for sure, and then probably Florida and Georgia Tech also. I’m looking to probably announce on ESPNU because they asked me to announce on their broadcast. I’ll probably do that on my birthday on the 13th of November.”
Despite not being mentioned as one of his official visit destinations, Fitzgerald still holds his home state program in very high esteem as well.
“Rutgers is definitely one of my top schools,” Fitzgerald said. “The only reason why I probably wouldn’t end up taking an official visit there… and this wouldn’t really hurt their chances of me going there… is because I can always go up there whenever I want. It’s one of those where I really don’t need an official visit to really get a good feel for the school because I’m so close to it. They’re definitely very high on my list. The week after I wet to Florida I traveled to Rutgers. It was a great visit. I got a chance to see everything again and my mom got to really see what it was it was all about for the first time.”
The strong recruiting pitches that all of Fitzgerald’s favorites have thrown at him thus far has made distinguishing the best fit all the more difficult. It now appears that the deciding factor just might turn out to be something intangible.
“Really it’s going to be where I feel most comfortable,” he said. “At this point in the process I’ve narrowed it down to a group of schools that I feel have great academics and great football programs as well. Those were the important things that I was looking for. Now really it is just all about how comfortable I feel with the coaches and players…where it feels like I fit in the best. That also includes what system I feel I’m going to play the best in.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Fitzgerald in the coming months.