Ndamukong, ranked the 98th best player in the nation by TheInsiders, currently has 10 scholarship offers. "I have scholarship (offers) from Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, UCLA, Cal, Nebraska, Miami, Arizona State and Duke."
With his sister, Ngum Suh, playing soccer at Mississippi State, you would think the Mississippi State coaches would have offered a scholarship. Although they haven't, Ndamukong expects that may change soon, "No, not yet, but I believe they are in the process right now," said Ndamukong, when asked if MSU had offered a scholarship.
Despite not offering, Mississippi State still made his list of favorites, along with several other top schools. "I would probably say my favorites are Nebraska, Miami, Oregon State, Mississippi State and probably UCLA," said Ndamukong.
With so many offers already on the table, what stands out about those five?
Nebraska - "I like their coaches a lot, especially Coach (John) Blake and Coach (Dennis) Wagner, who I talked to most of the time. One of the main things I like about them is that with most schools you don't get to talk to their head coach on a regular basis, but I have the option to talk to (head) coach (Bill) Callahan instead of my recruiting coach or my position coach."
Miami - "I just like their program a lot. I've watched them over the years and always wanted to play for them as a young kid."
Oregon State - "Oregon State is like Nebraska, they have great coaches, especially (head coach) Mike Riley and Coach (Nigel) Burton. Those are the main two I talked to the most. I just came back from their preview day this past Saturday where you get to preview their upcoming season."
Mississippi State - "One, my sister is there. And I just like (head) coach (Sylvester) Croom because I have seen him coach in the NFL. I liked his coaching. It also looks like it is an up-and-coming program."
UCLA - "I like their coaches as well. One of the things that drew me to their defensive line coach was when I went there about a week ago on an unofficial visit while I was in (Los Angeles) playing basketball, we were just talking and all of a sudden he was showing me some new moves. I don't think it is common for most coaches to do that other than if you are one of their players."
During his discussion about each school, he mentioned that he had unofficially visited two, Oregon State and UCLA. I asked him if he had visited any of the others. "No, I haven't," said Ndamukong. "Well, I've been to Mississippi State, but that was only because my sister plays soccer down there. I haven't gone there to look at their football program like I would normally do on an unofficial visit."
However, while he was visiting his sister for a couple of weeks during the summer of 2003, he did discover something about Mississippi that he likes. "I liked the heat," said Ndamukong. "Both of my parents are from hot (climates), my mom is from Jamaica and my dad is from Cameroon. So, hot, hot weather doesn't bother me at all."
Another thing that could factor in Mississippi State's favor, if they receive an official visit, is his choices of majors, one being engineering, something Mississippi State is well known for. "It will definitely have to have business or engineering as a major for me. I'm interested in Mechanical Engineering because that is what my dad is," said Ndamukong, an excellent student who will easily qualify.
While most youngsters are still in the process of figuring out what schools they are most interested in, he is already in the process of figuring out which schools he will officially visit. In fact, he already has one visit tentatively scheduled. "I have one scheduled to go to Nebraska on October 2nd. I will probably take official visits to Nebraska, Miami and Oregon State. I'm not sure if I'm going to take any others other than those three. If Mississippi State offers, I will probably end up taking one down there as well."
Stayed tuned for additional updates during the upcoming season on this highly recruited young defensive lineman.
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Gene Swindoll is the publisher of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.