Vlad Emilien Down To Six

Plantation [Fla.] safety prospect Vlad Emilien has been one of the surprise stories in the 2008 recruiting class. Emilien came out of nowhere to put together an attractive offer list and has now narrowed his list to six schools. Bill Greene caught up with the "Hit Man" and filed this report.

Plantation [Fla.] safety Vlad Emilien has narrowed his college list to six schools and is in the process of setting up his official visits. Emilien makes no secret of his desire to play early in college, and he has spent a lot of time researching the various depth charts of the schools he's most interested in.

"I have settled on six schools right now," Emilien said. "I have six but it could be considered seven, depending on what Florida does. I'm going to Florida on September 6th for an unofficial visit. They've told me I'm getting an offer but I haven't received anything in writing yet. That day will be the moment of truth for them. If they don't offer me then I will give up on them and add another school into the mix. I like Florida a lot, but I have to see how that plays out. That next school would be Stanford. Right now I'm going with North Carolina, Wake Forest, Tennessee, South Florida, Ohio State and Florida."

Emilien explained his reasoning for considering each of his final choices. He is not solely limiting his choices to schools with favorable depth charts, but that is clearly a huge factor.

"I like North Carolina because they're an up and coming program," he stated. "Coach Butch Davis signed an eleven year contract, so I know that coaching situation is quite stable. This will be his second recruiting class and there would be an opportunity to play right away there. That's very important to me. I want to play in the NFL some day, so I'm trying to find the best place to help me achieve that goal. I like Wake Forest because they were the first school to contact me after I injured my knee this spring. They assured me that I still had my scholarship and that meant a lot to me. They are graduating a lot of defensive backs this year, so I would have the ability to play early there also. Tennessee is a great program that is known for putting defensive backs in the NFL. Tennessee will graduate three seniors in the defensive backfield. South Florida is a school that is on the rise. I love Coach Scott at USF. He said they don't have the tradition of some of the other schools, but I could go there and be a part of starting a tradition. They're graduating a lot of defensive backs and I would have a realistic chance of starting right away at USF."

Finally, Emilien spoke of where things stand with Ohio State, once his far and away leader. He took an unofficial visit to Ohio State in the spring and came away impressed.

"I just talked with Coach [Luke] Fickell last night," Emilien said. "He told me they still want me. He wants me to come up for a game this season. He said if I liked the atmosphere for the spring game, that I would love Ohio State on the day of a real game. I think the world of Coach Fickell and Coach [Paul] Haynes. I consider them as real mentors. They're like my guidance counselors and I trust them a lot. They always tell me they just want what's best for me, whether that's Ohio State or another school. I'd love to go to the Michigan game up in Columbus. That would be pretty crazy. I know Ohio State is taking a lot of defensive backs this year, but only two of them play safety. I'm trying to get all my visits planned out in the next few weeks."

Emilien did have surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee this past spring. He reported that his rehabilitation is going great and he is way ahead of schedule.

"I know how blessed I am to be in this position," Emilien explained. "I thought I had lost my college opportunity when I hurt my knee, but these schools have stood by me. I'm doing well rehabbing my knee, and I'm working like crazy to get back to 100%. There is a chance I could be ready to play late in the season this year, but that's not for sure. I am graduating early from high school and I will be enrolling in college early to get a good start in my career. All the schools on my list are great academically and on the football field. I know how blessed I am to have these choices. It's very hard trying to choose between all of them, but I just think things will fall into place after all my visits."

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