East No. 4 RB A.J. Dillion Looking To Visit Nebraska

East No. 4 running back A.J. Dillon is planning trips to Notre Dame and schools in the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC.

When Florida State offered running back A.J. Dillon earlier this week, the Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy was excited, but he also remained calm and calculated.

In discussing his visit plans, new offers, and potential future offers, the 6-foot, 220-pound Dillon said he is learning how to handle his recruitment, and how to be measured.

It is a far cry from his emotions when he received his first two offers -- Boston College and Massachusetts.

"Each time I got one of those, it was like, ‘I’m ready to commit right now,' " said Dillon, who is visiting Michigan and Wisconsin in late March, could mix in a Notre Dame stop, and is eyeing trips to Florida State, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Dillon is now more conservative when offers come in, which is not to say he lost his excitement or takes it for granted.

For instance, the Florida State offer was huge to Dillon, but he took it in stride.

"They were one of my favorite schools growing up," Dillon said. "We have to figure out a time to get down there at some point. I have to get down there and see how I feel with the staff and everybody."

 Dillon's next scheduled trip is to Michigan on March 22, and he will be at Wisconsin the following day.

"I want to meet (Michigan) coach (Jim) Harbaugh," Dillon said. "I want to see how he really is. My coach (Paul Zukauskas) played in the NFL. He said he met Harbaugh and he’s a nice guy. I want to meet him. I want to meet the staff, I want to talk to some of the players, see how they feel about the school.

"The kids from the east coast, I want to ask them if it’s a big switch or anything like that? I want to get a feel for the atmosphere on campus."

Wisconsin's running backs tradition has Dillon's attention.

"I’ve kind of grown up with Wisconsin, Oklahoma, some of those schools being known for big, strong running backs, especially the Big Ten," Dillon said. "All the Big Ten schools, for the most part, run the ball really well. Wisconsin is known for having a big line, big boys up front. They’ll protect you and they know how the run the ball. They’ve proven that over the years.

"My coach at my high school knows a lot of the staff up there, and he told me nothing but good things. I trust him tremendously so I can’t wait to put a face to the names that they have and go up there and meet the staff and get a feel for the campus. I heard it is one of the most beautiful campuses out there."

Dillon said he may shoe-horn in a trip to Notre Dame as he drives from Michigan to Wisconsin, but if he does not, a return to South Bend, Ind., will happen.

"That will be one of the places I visit," Dillon said. "If I don’t get to it (during this trip) …it’s just a matter of getting to Indiana."

Dillon's grandfather is former Notre Dame great Tom Gatewood, so there is a lot of expecation Dillon will wind up with the Irish.

"I know there are a lot of people expecting me to 100 percent go there," Dillon said. "I know I have a lot of ties there, and a lot of people from my close family have ties there, but my parents and I thought it would be a good decision to back up from the situation and not make any rash decisions and treat it as another school.

"I’m trying to go through it like it is any other school, just ask questions and see if it is the right fit for me. I need to see what it has to offer, see the others options so at the end of the day I make the right decision."

 Two other schools Dillon wants to see are former rivals Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers recently offered, and Oklahoma is close to offering.

 "(Oklahoma) caught my eye and are (a school) I really like," Dillon said. "Oklahoma has a very good tradition with running backs.

"Nebraska, they offered me (last week), and I’ve been talking to those coaches for a while now. I feel like we have a pretty good relationship there. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to campus, but that is another school I am trying to get to. I don’t really have a feel for Nebraska because I’ve never been out there so I want to see what the campus is like."

Meanwhile, Boston College is a program Dillon knows very well.

"Boston College is in my backyard," he said. "I don’t  even tell people about the unofficial visits there anymore. I’m always up there."


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