Two Stand Out for DePriest

Practically every major program in the country is courting Springfield (OH) LB Trey DePriest, but he may be on the verge of eliminating a number of them from contention. GoBlueWolverine chatted with one of the talented youngster's coaches recently to get the latest on his list of favorites, his visit plans, his decision timeline, and much much more.

Sam Webb:  Trey's most recent visit was to Notre Dame.  How did that go?

John Cupps:  "He had a nice visit over there.  He knows Coach Kelly and his staff was recruiting him heavily while they were at UC (Cincinnati).  So he knows Coach Hinton who recruits our area and he has spoken to Brian Kelly before and he is comfortable with their entire staff, (Bob) Diaco, the DC and (Mike) Elston the D-line coach.  All the guys that were at UC who are now at Notre Dame; Trey's comfortable with.  He had a nice visit, liked the campus.  I do not really see Notre Dame as being in the top five at this point.  Just from the standpoint that I do not think Trey (DePriest) felt comfortable there.  I think that he told Coach Hinton that after he got back from this visit.  It's one of those deals where it's nice, but hell, its division one college football… they're all nice.  Michigan has got great facilities.  Michigan State has got great facilities.  Penn State has got great (facilities)…everybody has got great facilities.  I think Trey just did not feel…I think he felt that that campus wasn't him.  Now I do know that he is planning on going back over to Notre Dame maybe on an official with his mother and it'll be a little different experience.  They were there on a Saturday and no classes were in session or anything like that.  It wasn't really a normal campus day.  I do not know.  I think he is going to do that.  He can't take an official until the start of his senior year."

Sam Webb:  It has been reported that Trey has a top three, but you just said he has a top five.  Does he have a top five at this point and what would those schools would be?

John Cupps:  "I do not think he really has a top five right now.  I think he really has a top two.  I think his top two are Ohio State and Alabama.  The offers have still been rolling in.  He got offered by Texas Tech, Arizona, LSU; I do not really look for Trey to go out west.  He may go visit Stanford.  He may go visit Arizona.  He did not even return a call to USC.  I think right now Trey's top two are Ohio State and Alabama.  He kind of goes back and forth between those two.  I know he wants to take an official visit.  I think he wants to go down and see Baton Rouge to see LSU.  I know he is going to take an official to Alabama.  I do not know why he would waste an official to go to Ohio State.  It's an hour and a half down the road.  You do not have to stay in a hotel to go there."

Sam Webb:  What is it so far about Ohio State and Alabama that has set them apart from the rest?

John Cupps:  "I think it is just the proximity…not really the proximity of the school, just the activity that they have in recruiting them.  It is almost like they've developed a relationship with him.  Ohio State's staff has been in several times and they've talked to him.  I do not want to say they talk to all the time, but they talk to him as much as they are allowed to talk to him.  They keep track of what he's doing.  They know when they lost their basketball game.  Sal Sunseri who is recruiting him for Alabama, is a Pitt guy.  He went to college at Pitt, so he's a Midwestern guy.  Hell his family still lives in Pittsburgh; it's that type of thing.  A lot of other schools are throwing their offer out there and trying to stood back and really haven't called or made contact. 

"I'll tell you something else too.  I know you went down to Orlando at the Under Armour (Combine).  Well Trey is in line for a drill down there and he's just standing there, and the kid behind him is a defensive player out of North Carolina.  Him and this kid get to talking and the kids name is Vinnie Sunseri."

Sam Webb:  Sal Sunseri's kid?

John Cupps:  "Yeah.  Trey asked him, ‘are you related to Sal Sunseri?'  He said yeah, ‘he's my dad, he coaches at Alabama.'  Trey said, ‘yeah well he's recruiting me.'  They exchanged numbers down at Under Armour and they talk every once in a while."

Sam Webb:  Luck of the draw for Bama?

John Cupps:  "That's one of those, ‘are you kidding me?'  If you're everybody else that wants the kid, it's an, ‘are you kidding me' sort of thing.  We went down to Alabama and he got a chance to see Vinnie again and they went out to get something to eat and BS pretty much.  Small world."

Sam Webb:  What's the deal with Michigan at this point? What does he think about the Wolverines and where do they stand in his recruitment?

John Cupps:  "You know Trey is a lifelong Michigan fan.  In his house, everybody else is a Buckeyes' fan, but Trey is a Michigan fan.  I do not really know.  He really does not say too much about Michigan.  He's been up to a couple of games.  I know his sophomore year we brought Trey up…Michigan gave one of our other senior's tickets to come to a game.  I made that kid bring Trey.  He gave him three tickets and I was driving.  Listen, you are going to take that kid because he's got a chance to play there.  We came up to the Illinois game, I guess it was two years ago.  We had a great time, did the little recruiting deal there in the new center, which is spectacular by the way.  That's right there between Crisler Arena and the stadium.  The recruit room, that place right there was off the hook.  That was nice.  They walked down through the tunnel.  You know how they do the recruits... walk them by the cheerleaders, which was an excellent idea.  Trey was a sophomore.  It was like pulling a shark out of the water (laughter), kind of dragging him along there.  He likes Michigan. Michigan has not just shown up with the M on his chest and said here is your scholarship will wait on you.  They did not take that approach.  That's how some schools have taken it.  Michigan is more involved.  Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan and Notre Dame are the four schools that are actively recruiting him."

Sam Webb:  You mentioned he is going to take an official visit to Notre Dame, LSU, and also to Alabama.  Do you know if he is going to visit Michigan in the spring or anywhere else for that matter?  Do you think that he'll visit Michigan at all?

John Cupps:  "I do not know.  If he comes up to Michigan, it will be an unofficial visit.  He's in a situation here time wise where he is wanting to take his official visits, but he can't take them until classes start his senior year by NCAA rule.  Then we're into football season.  He's wanting to graduate early, so he's wanting to make his decision shortly after football season is over.  I'm trying to tell him, I'd like to see him make the decision before football season starts.   Most schools if you verbally commit to them and then something happens and you get injured, most of them will still honor that scholarship.  Now they'll transfer it into some kind of non-football, but they're not going to cost themselves one of their 85 scholarships over it, but most of them will honor it.  That's something that I've talked to Trey about.  Also at the same point in time it's 2010, there is only a handful of injury that you can possibly get that they can't fix nowadays.  A knee injury is not a career ending injury any more.  They can rebuild it better than new usually.  After baseball season Trey said he was going to sit down and come up with his top five.  I told him shortly after he gets his top five, he really needs to cut it down to his top three and focus in on it and go from there."

Sam Webb:  When is baseball season over?

John Cupps:  "Baseball season will be over by about mid May."

Sam Webb:  What do you think the odds are that he will take that advice and make a decision before the start of the football season?

John Cupps:  "I do not know.  Trey listens to me pretty well.  He really puts a lot of value into what I say sometimes.  What I tell him is that he needs to make the decision that is best for him.  I'm going to love him and watch him play whether he is playing in Ann Arbor, or whether he is playing in Tuscaloosa, or whether he is playing at some D-III school that I've never heard of that, that's above and beyond.  My interests are what is in the best interest of Trey.  We'll sit down and talk about it.  I guess the glitz and glamour of it all has kind worn off on all the parties involved, on his mother and his grandparents, when the offers first started hitting the table.  It is almost like collecting stamps.  ‘Oh I got this one… this is one that I want'.  You get all the ones that you want and that's what I told him about going to camp this year.  I told him do not go to any camps.  Why go to camps?  You do not need to go to camps.  Who is going to offer you that hasn't offered?  Hey the Pittsburgh Steelers ain't going to come through with an offer (laughter).  So you do not need to go to camps.  These guys have already committed to a scholarship on you.  Do not go run around turf and get yourself hurt.  Enjoy the summer with just lifting and do not have to through all that stuff.  I think Trey will end up deciding shortly before the end of the season or maybe right after the start of the season.  If not, he'll know where he is going.  That decision will be made before our season starts."

Sam Webb:  There was a lot being said early on about him and Braxton Miller going to school together.  Do you think that is going to be as big a deal as people made it out to be?

John Cupps:  "I think that is going to be a zero deal.  I think it'll be nice if it happens, but that's not going to be a deciding factor.  Braxton is going to want to play quarterback in college and he is going to go someplace that is going to make him or teach him to be a prototypical pro style quarterback.  Everybody wants to read that in there because they are best friends, but I do not think that is going to be a deciding factor.  When we went to Alabama, the Alabama coaches wanted us to bring Braxton down with us and I could never get a hold Braxton.  He was in basketball and he wasn't going to miss basketball to go down there. But it's a good news story.  You got two great kids and they are both division one big time players and it would be great if any college in the country would like both of those two kids to come to their school."

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