OL Austen Bujnoch has emerged as one of the midwest’s top offensive line prospects and a major target for the NC State coaching staff. The 6-5, 250 pounder has attracted serious recruiting attention from a number of schools and is in the process of evaluating his offers with the hopes of making an early commitment this summer.
Playing at perennial powerhouse Elder High School in Cincinnati, Bujnoch is a versatile player with experience at all of the positions along the offensive line. He’s being recruited for everything from center to tackle but the rising senior says the exact position he plays in college won’t be a big factor in his decision.
“Cincinnati is recruiting me as a tackle but the thing is, last year I played all of the positions which is one of the best things you can do,” he said. “I feel like I can play any position. It doesn’t really matter to me as long as I can get out there and play.”
NC State is looking at Bujnoch as a center and the Pack has done a solid job of establishing themselves as a major player for his commitment thus far. Head coach Tom O’Brien has talked to Bujnoch personally and that left a positive impression.
“They’ve told me if I went there it would probably be as a center because they like my athletic ability,” said Bujnoch. “They’re definitely in my top three right now. I had a chance to talk to coach O’Brien. He seems like a nice guy and is pretty funny. All I’ve heard is good things from all the Cincinnati guys so I’m interested in playing for him.
“Jeff (Reiskamp) plays there and he has been talking to me and he really likes it down there.”
With close to a dozen offers on the table from such schools as NC State, East Carolina, Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and Connecticut- Cincinnati may very well prove the team to beat as the recruiting year wears on. Bujnoch’s brother plays for the Bearcats and they currently reside at the top of the heap.
“Cincinnati is on top right now,” he said. “I just like where the program is headed. I’ve seen it change from a mediocre program to a, not a great program but a really, really good program. I don’t want to go to a really big school because I want to start playing as soon as possible.”
In addition to Cincinnati, Bujnoch listed NC State and Louisville to round out his top three.
A summer visit could be crucial to NC State’s chances and the three-star prospect said a potential trip to Raleigh is in the works.
“I might go with one of my teammates and we might make it to camp,” he said. “But besides that it just all depends because I’m sitting down with my parents in a couple of weeks to figure out everything.”
Don’t look for Bujnoch to prolong his recruiting as he hopes to put an early end to it later on this summer.
“I’m planning on making an early commitment because I really want to be able to focus on my senior year. I don’t want to spend half my time thinking about college and half thinking about the season. I want to spend 100% of my time thinking about the season.”
Bujnoch is rated as the No. 58 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com.