Getting Down To Crunch Time

During the months of February and March, Craig Roh went from basically a relatively anonymous football player, to a national recruit. Scholarship offers poured in from coast to coast, and now the four-star defensive end from Scottsdale, Ariz., inches towards a verbal commitment.

Craig Roh's offer list has ballooned to around 35 full rides. Of those, the family is only considering roughly 10 of them.

"What we are actually doing, we're going to release a top five, or at least get our own private list," Fred Roh, Craig's father explained. "I just got off the phone with Craig's coach, and we're going to do some conference calls with some places we didn't visit, as we get down to the nitty gritty here, and we decide on officials.

"Craig goes to camp on Monday and he's going to be occupied, and then he starts school, so we're going to try and do this shortly."

Sounds like within the week.

Notre Dame is one of the lucky programs the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Chaparral High standout is still considering. Roh visited Notre Dame for the first time back in April, at the Irish spring game. Fred is from Grand Rapids, Mich., and played college basketball at Grand Valley State. They still have a lot of family in the Midwest.

"Craig gets emails from coach (Charlie) Weis quite frequently, almost daily, kind of a group email he sends out," Roh said. "His coach had a conversation with (Irish defensive line coach) Jappy Oliver the other day.

"It's getting down to crunch time to get this to a manageable list."

As a junior, Roh racked up 99 tackles including 15.5 sacks. He has been offered by every program in the Pac 10 conference, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, Florida State, Oklahoma and Tennessee to name a few.

"I would say history of the program," Fred Roh said of why Notre Dame has a chance of making the final five. "I think there is a decent opportunity to play. It's Notre Dame. What else can I say?

"I think Notre Dame is going to be very good down the road during his college career. It looks like they're getting the recruits and getting things together. I think they're going to end up being a contender, so you get to maybe play for a National Championship, and a school that's going to launch you into your future whether it's in the business world or football world."

Roh, a 4.0 student, will cap his prep football career off at the U.S. Under Armour All-America game in Orlando, next January. A verbal commitment somewhere will likely come before then.

"I see it happening before the end of the season," the elder Roh said. "I think the goal is to get the visits out of the way as early as possible, and make a decision."

Mr. Roh didn't want to speculate on any of the teams with a guaranteed spot in his son's top five.

"Anything can change," he stated.


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