You know those t-shirts that bands have to promote tours – the ones where each of the tour dates is listed on the back? Well, if James Adeyanju made a shirt for his upcoming spring and summer tour, the first city would be Evanston, the first venue Northwestern.Like a touring rock band, Adeyanju, a 6-3, 225-pound defensive end, will be making stops at cities across the Midwest – and possibly across the country. He is already booked in Champaign, and he is working out dates to appear in Iowa City and Madison.
Still, the Chicago native – who attends Curie High School – got things started in Evanston last week."It was my first overnight visit," Adeyanju, whose brother Victor played running back at Indiana, said. "It was really great. It was fun. I got to speak to a lot of people, obviously all the coaches, and then some of the academic advisers. I got to meet a few players – pretty much all the players – and I got to meet a few of them personally."
With more than a dozen offers – including ones from the aforementioned locales – Adeyanju could eventually makes his Midwest showcase a nationwide affair. After all, Stanford, Boston College, Duke and others have offered, so Adeyanju may be appearing coast-to-coast.Last week, though, he made his first stop by Evanston – and he liked what he saw.
"I had never been on Northwestern's campus," Adeyanju said. "I knew it was around Chicago, but it was lot nicer than I thought. The lake and everything was really nice…."I thought the practice was cool. Everything was fast. They had a lot of plays going on at once, a lot of action. They'd have one defense come out, do five plays, then have another defense would come in. It was really fun to watch, really fast-paced. "
While on his stay, Adeyanju stayed with redshirt defensive end Anthony Battle. Battle, like Adeyanju, is a bit undersized for defensive end; he is only 6-2, 230. Still, Adeyanju confirmed that coach Pat Fitzgerald envisions Adeyanju along the line – not at linebacker, where some schools project him.Speaking of Fitz, Adeyanju came away impressed after talking with the head coach.
"It's always nice to talk with the head coach," Adeyanju said. "He made me feel real good. He talked about my family and a lot of the opportunities they have at northwestern….He was telling me that they only recruit guys with high character, and I was impressed with that."Adeyanju didn't hint that there is any hidden significance in starting his campus tour lineup in Evanston. As much as anything, it was convenient – NU is up the road, the Wildcats gave an early offer, this trip has been planned for a little while. And of course, it won't be the last stop.
"Well, I have no favorites because a lot of schools have a lot of strong qualities about them. I know this is going to take me a while. Luckily, thanks to god, I have a few offers, so I want to go look at some other schools as well."Those other schools, though, will have to live up to Evanston.
"I was really impressed. It was a great school. So whenever I take my other visits, I'm going to compare them to Northwestern."
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