Offensive lineman Joe Akers of Parkton (MD) Hereford High School has consistently been one of the very best players in the state of Maryland over his high school career. He has been recognized on a state level and is well known for his ability.
"I was All-State at tackle in my sophomore and junior year," Joe said. "I played center my freshman year, and I am projected there in college."
Joe is also a fine player on defense and could get some looks there in college.
"I play both sides of the ball," he said. "I really don't care where I play. Most people like me at center or nose guard."
What schools is Akers interested in?
"Maryland, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, UConn, Penn State," he said. "Possibly Notre Dame. They've been in contact recently."
So far, there has been contact from these schools but no offers.
"No, I don't have an offer yet," he said. "I hope to get some this spring."
Joe has already looked around quite a bit. He traveled to Ohio State for junior day back in February.
"I was down to Ohio State for junior day," he said. "Coach Fickell is a really nice person. I was impressed with Coach Tressel."
Joe's mother and father joined him on the trip, and Joe's father had plenty of good things to say about Ohio State.
"Coach Fickell has said he's coming out to see Joe," he said. "Ohio State is just such a great place. Miami asked us for a junior day, but that is just too far away.
"We thought Ohio State was a bit too far away, but when we went up there, we were just too impressed. Nobody does a better job than Jim Tressel. My wife was dazzled."
As a matter of fact, Ohio State has left the best impression so far.
"We were at Penn State for junior day," Mr. Akers said. "We were at Virginia Tech and a few others. Nobody was more impressive than Ohio State. The staff and the athletes."
One of the most impressive aspects of the trip was Coach Tressel.
"As long as Jim Tressel is there, Ohio State is going to win," Mr. Akers said. "You can just feel it.
"He thanked us for coming from Baltimore to visit. All you want to do is visit a school from Ohio State, and here he is thanking us for coming up."
When it comes to recruiting, there is one area that may be a concern for some schools, but it sounds like Joe has all the other tools needed to be a big-time lineman.
"Joe may not be rated as highly because we've been honest about his height," Mr. Akers said. "Right now, Joe is 6-2 1/2. What got everyone's attention was at 298 pounds he ran a 5 flat at Nike last year.
"Right now, he's 317 and recently ran a 4.87. He had a 13 second 110-meter run. He squats 550 and benches 365."
Eventually, the offers will come, and Joe will need to decide, but that is still a few months away.
"I don't think I will make an early decision, but I am thinking maybe around September," he said.