It is often very hard for youngsters to handle all the attention thrust upon them by college recruiters, but those that handle it the best are generally the ones that have good support systems around them. That is certainly the case for Jersey City (NJ) St. Peters Prep CB, Minkah Fitzpatrick. The class of 2015 standout has a lot of help staying grounded.
“My parents make sure to let me know that this is a blessing what is happening to me as far as colleges recruiting me,” Fitzpatrick said. “Mr. Hansen my high school coach tells me not to get the big head or it will pop (laughing)… so I am just trying to stay humble. I know a lot of kids are not having this opportunity, so I appreciate what is happening to me."
What’s happening is Fitzpatrick is blowing up. He already has nine offers to his credit from schools like Miami, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Virginia. Meanwhile he is receiving heavy interest from others such as Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame, and Michigan. At this early pint in his recruitment the Wolverines have definitely begun distinguishing themselves.
“Michigan seems to be the school that is recruiting me the hardest,” Fitzpatrick stated. “They came up to my school twice already. I really wanted to see them, but both times they came up I had track meets. My coach is handling most of the recruiting because the coaches can’t call me yet. I am going to start calling soon to start getting to know the them better along with the other colleges."
Fitzpatrick growing interest is merely a due to the attention the Maize & Blue has shown them. He knows about the school’s strong academic reputation. He also received a glowing report on Michigan from another Garden State recruit that also happens to be one of the Wolverines’ biggest advocates.
“I was at a track meet, and me and Jabrill Peppers were talking,” said Fitzpatrick. “I have known Jabrill for a while. He started talking to me about Michigan and how he heard they were recruiting me. He told me some of the reasons he likes them. He said out of all the schools they didn’t feed lies to him. They never promised him that he was going to start or play both ways. We just had a nice talk about Michigan.”
Turns out that Fitzpatrick and Peppers have crossed paths quite often. They almost played at the same high school. That obviously didn’t come to pass, but there’s a chance they could be teammates in the future.
“When Jabrill was Ieaving Don Bosco to attend Paramus Catholic, he talked to me about going to school there with him,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think Jabrill is going to Michigan. If he chose another school I would be shocked.”
If Peppers does wind up going blue, it will certainly be a feather in the Wolverines’ cap when it comes to pursuing Fitzpatrick. That said, other factors… namely academics… will take precedence when decision time comes.
“If I get hurt my career could be over,” Fitzpatrick explained. “You just never know what could happen out on the field, so it is very important that education is (strong) so that I will have something to fall back on. If I don’t make the NFL, that is ok because I will be able to have my education and can still be successful.”
When it comes to football there are some definite traits that he is looking for in the colleges that are recruiting him.
“I want to play for a college that has a competitive schedule… where we are playing big games that mean something,” he said. “I am looking for a coaching staff that is close with the players and the players are close with each other. The college also has to have a good strength and conditioning program to help me get better and stronger.”