J.J. Gustafson has been a starter at offensive tackle for Jesuit since his freshman year and is one of the top offensive tackles in the state of Texas for the 2013 class. Recently, Gustafson has been out on the summer camp trail and picked up an offer from the SMU Mustangs.
The 6-foot-6 and 255-pound Gustafson says he has some more camps to attend coming up here soon.
"I've just kind of been getting around to a few college camps. I picked up an offer from SMU after one of their camps," Gustafson stated. "So it was pretty special. It was my first offer so I was pretty excited about that. I've been to Baylor and Texas as of right now. And I am headed to TCU on the 15th and then Texas A&M on the 17th."
Gustafson has quite a few family ties to a Big 12 South program that he grew up a fan of. Going through the recruiting process and seeing what other schools have to offer has really caused Gustafson to be open to any college program and not just his childhood favorite.
"Both of my parents went to Texas A&M and then one of my grand fathers went to A&M and he actually has season tickets. Growing up that was the only college in my mind only because I had never been exposed to anything else. You know, this experience as well as my friends in high school just has really broadened my horizons to every college team. They all have their perks. So, I think it's been really cool just to experience various colleges and see various coaching staffs and their teams in general."
The Sooners are a program that Gustafson has strong interest in and considers them one of this top schools. And like Texas A&M, Gustafson also has ties to the Sooner program.
"It is one of my top schools definitely," Gustafon said about Oklahoma. "I've been up to Norman a bunch of times. My mom has a former sorority sister. She lives up in Norman and I have been up there for a few games and I just love the atmosphere. I think it's a really cool town. And Oklahoma with so much tradition it's just a great program and I would love to be a part of it. I'd love to be a part of any college program."
Oklahoma defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, is no stranger to the Jesuit practice field and has been to multiple practices already to check out Jesuit's stable of talent.
"I have talked to the defensive coordinator, Brent Venables. He has been down to I think three practices at Jesuit looking at me, Jordan Mastrogiovanni, who is a linebacker and Jake Oliver, the wide receiver," Gustafson stated.
Like most high school teammates that play together and have college level ability, the discussion of playing together at the next level is obviously going to happen. And when you have played together for as long as Gustafson, Oliver and Mastrogiovanni have, then it's obviously expected.
"We've kind of talked about it. Jake and Jordan played together since 5th grade and I came in and started playing with them in 6th grade and we've been playing together ever since. We've been captains on all the teams we have been together so it's pretty much a special bond. We would love to be able to play together and we've talked about it obviously. The fact that we play three different positions, the time just might not be right for everybody at a specific team. So, we've kind of come to that realization but we all three think it would be awesome together," Gustafson said.
Not too long ago the Sooners signed a defensive end named Chuka Ndulue out of Jesuit who is currently a redshirt freshman. Gustafson says Ndulue and him used to battle each other in practice and still keep in contact.
"I was a freshman when he was a senior," Gustafson began. "We did kind of get to get a little bit of a relationship. And then spring ball when I was a freshman going in I started on the O-line (offensive line) and he came and helped with some practices. He ran against me in pass pro (protection). He helped me with some stuff. He knows me and I know him and we talk when he comes back to town occasionally."
Each recruit that goes through the recruiting process has certain things that they look for in a schools. Gustafson is looking for a coaching staff that he can have the kind of relationship that he has with his current coaching staff at Jesuit.
"Chemistry with the coaches, I think that's really important," Gustafson began. "All the coaches that I have now I just get along with really well. I can just go and talk to them (about) anything, football or just personal. And that's one of the coolest relationships that I have. I think that's important and I don't think a team is strong unless the coaches and players have a strong relationship. And then also just tradition, our school is big on that. I guess in the back of my mind I want to say just potential to play as much as I can. I don't want to say early playing time but just potential to play as much as I can."
Gustafson says he currently stands at a GPA of 93 (Jesuit does not go by the GPA four point scale). Stay with Sooners Illustrated for more news on Gustafson moving forward.