Official visits taking form for Bani Gbadyu

If you have read any stories on Maryland linebacker Bani Gbadyu, you know you aren't likely to find someone that is more passionate about the game. Passion, ferocity, speed, Bani brings all that and more to the table when he plays. Now, he just wants to play, but with practice still almost a month away, he's thinking about playing at the next level and where he might be. In fact, he's already got at least a couple visits in the books.

Getting up at five in the morning isn't all that appealing to most people, though many do it and have done it on a daily basis for years. Well, Bani Gbadyu does that as well, but during the off-season, versus the season, there's a little different purpose.


Oh yeah, even high school stars with 20+ plus offers have to work, Bani combining that with his already rigorous schedule which includes working out, of course, but also going to summer school.

Gbadyu is ready for practice to begin, that slated to start the second week of August, so he can dedicate himself almost totally to the game he loves so much. "Man, those guys in Texas and California, they got it good, because they are already practicing," Gbadyu said. "I want to practice. I want to get out there and lay into someone right now."

That's Bani's mentality, every single day it would seem, this Quince Orchard high school standout living to get on that field and see who he can knock off of it. It's coming, though, and as the days tick by, Bani can feel that the workouts are a little more intense, the anticipation is a little higher, because soon he'll be in his final year of prep-ball.

"I can't wait, but that's because it's football," he said. "It doesn't matter that it's my last year, because I don't care what year it is. Give me a helmet and let's go."

While he's not been able to play, Bani had redirected that focus on the recruiting, the list of schools courting him growing steadily higher. And that's probably going to continue, but Gbadyu hasn't wasted time in regards to his official visits, four of them already set and they'll take place during his final year.

"I'm going to the Nebraska/Pittsburgh game (Sept. 17), the Penn St./Ohio St. game (Oct. 8), plus, I have visits scheduled for an LSU game and a game in Georgia."

The fifth visit is still up in the air, but Bani said that the two leaders for the visit right now are Clemson and Oklahoma.

As you can see, Bani is excited to see some games, but it's not the team necessarily that he's trying to see. Well, it is, but when Gbadyu makes a visit, he's got his eyes focusing on other aspects that for him are just as important. "Man, you have to have a crowd that loves football," he said. "Do they get into it like fanatics or do they just sit there."

"Fans are just part of it, but it's big, because everyone wants to play in front of fans that are just crazy about their team."

An opportunity to play early also ranks right up there as far as criteria, but to that end, Bani has found that just telling him he has that position when he steps on the field isn't what he wants to hear. He's heard that, some coaches basically giving him the starting spot even before his final year of prep-ball begins.

The red flags start flying for him.

"If they tell you that it's yours and that's it, there's something wrong there," he said. "I don't want a coach telling me that they are just giving the thing to me, because that's not the way it should be."

"If they are just giving it to me, they've got more problems than just I can fix, so I get a little worried when I hear that."

"I want to hear they will let me compete."

That's not bad, is it; A kid saying that he doesn't want to be given anything, rather be given the opportunity to earn it on the field?

And the schools that have said that from the outset are the ones that have really caught Gbayu's eye. "Penn State tells me I can come in and compete for a job," he said. "Nebraska says I can come in and compete and LSU says they want me to come in and compete for a job."

"They all say there are opportunities for me there, but they are opportunities I have to take, because nobody is giving them to me and nobody is laying down so I can have them."

"That's what it should be like, the way I like it. You earn what you get."

Bani had been wrestling for a time with the idea that he might commit early. It would have meant the recruiting would have been out of the way for his final season and his dad was leaning towards an early decision.

Nowadays, though, Gbadyu sees the advantage of waiting, what he can see during those official visits and the more he thought about it, the more it was a no-brainer to take as long as this whole thing needed to take.

"You have to be sure and that sometimes doesn't just happen," Bani said in regards to his decision. "Sometimes you need to go to see these places in person to really get an idea of what it's like. That's what I am going to do and after all that is done, I know I will be able to decide then."

Gbadyu said that as of right now, he didn't have any leaders and even amongst those teams that he's likely to visit during the season, he wouldn't commit that those were the top teams on his list.

He's gotten used to doing recruiting interviews it seems, so he knew exactly what to say. "I've visited a few places I really like," Bani said of his unofficial visits over the summer. "But, there's so much I haven't seen, so many places I haven't really looked at very hard."

"You never know what you are going to see, so I don't see who leads or who doesn't, because that stuff can change real fast."

"There's a lot to like about a lot of these schools."

Bani currently has a 2.5 GPA and is currently in summer school to raise his core and will take his ACT or SAT in the fall.

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