James Adeyanju is making a pair of visits this week. Church on Sunday, Evanston on Tuesday.Purple Reign caught up with Adeyanju, a 6-3, 225-pound defensive end from Chicago, as he was walking out of church Sunday night. There was a boisterous bustle around him, so much so that he had to hit the proverbial hold button and duck into a quiet spot, away from the inspired chatter of a post-service congregation.
Then, though, he talked a bit about possible college destinations. Sure, it's not as eminent as the eternal destination of one's soul, but important nonetheless.At the beginning of February, Adeyanju, who attends Curie Metropolitan High School, had but four offers: Ball State, Illinois, Toledo and Indiana. But in the past two months, that numbers has swelled more than three times over. Northwestern is one of the numerous schools – along with Stanford, Wisconsin, Boston College and Duke, to name a few – that have offered in recent weeks.
Northwestern will be the first stop in an upcoming swing through the Big Ten, a tour that will include a visit to Illinois for their Junior Day, Iowa on April 11 and, if Adeyanju can find time, Wisconsin at some point as well.Though NU didn't offer until a few weeks ago, Adeyanju is certainly interested. Along with kicking off his recruiting tour in Evanston, he talks with coach Pat Fitzgerald "on a regular basis." He has also communicated on Facebook with Fitz – the only potential head coach who Adeyanju is Facebook friends with, a fact that induced a chuckle from him.
Adeyanju is a bit of a "tweener" at 6-3 and 225 pounds; those numbers suggest linebacker more than defensive end. For instance, Corey Wootton was listed at 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, and Vince Browne – last season's leading defensive-line tackler and sacker – tips the scales at 6-foot-5 and 265.Because of his relatively slight stature, many schools are telling Adeyanju – whose older brother, Victor, was a running back at Indiana and now plays for the St. Louis Rams – that they project him to outside linebacker. Fitz, though, doesn't see it that way.
"Coach Fitzgerald talked about how a lot of people want to put me at outside linebacker," Adeyanju said, "but he thinks I have the speed and skill to play defensive end…."It's really cool talking to (Fitz)," Adeyanju added. "He liked my highlight tape, he said he liked my moves. It's real great talking to him."
Adeyanju went on to say that it's not a deal-breaker whether he plays linebacker or defensive line, but he did say that he'd probably prefer the line because "that's where I play in high school."When asked what he was looking for on his recruiting visits, Adeyanju said: "Just how I feel when I'm on campus. I want to talk to the coaches and ask them where they see me fitting in. And also I want to interact with the players and see if I could see myself being comfortable for the next four or five years."
Below are some junior season highlights from Adeyanju. And as always, you can comment on this story at the Ryan Field Message Board.