Schools Make Plea For Justice

<b>J.J. Justice</b>, a versatile athlete from Connecticut, orders his favorites and discusses his timeframe for making his final decision. Is Penn State atop his list? What position is he being recruited to play?

Name: J.J. Justice
Position: S, LB, QB
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.45
Vertical Leap: 38"
School: Norwich Free Academy (Norwich, CT)

J.J.'s scholarship offer count still stands at seven. He lists scholarship offers from Syracuse, Connecticut, Boston College, Purdue, Indiana, Maryland and Penn State.

The versatile athlete is being recruited to play several different positions.

"Mostly d-back and running back," J.J. said Monday evening. "Some are saying like a safety/linebacker type thing."

Is anyone recruiting the high school quarterback to play that position in college?

"No, not really," he admitted. Justice does not seem to have a preference as to which position he plays at the next level.

"No, as long as I get to play. I can play any of those positions I'm being recruited to play. Whatever [position] I have the best shot to play at is probably what I'm going to play."

Justice' top three schools are currently Maryland, Penn State and Boston College. He visited Maryland once for camp and also during spring break when he also visited Virginia. He has attended summer camp the last two years at Penn State. J.J. was at Boston College for a junior day, a camp and a photo shoot with Tom Lemming which took place during a spring practice.

Justice is also interested in Virginia, but the Cavaliers have not yet offered. He would also like to hear more from Notre Dame and possibly some southern schools.

"I'd rather play where it's warmer, whether it's in the south, southwest or somewhere. I would like [to hear from] Tennessee or Georgia or something down along there, maybe South Carolina, North Carolina, somewhere like that."

Has he heard from any of those schools?

"No, not really," he laughed. "I haven't heard anything. It's kind of more like a wish, not like a reality right now."

What's his timeframe for making a final decision? Are some schools pressuring him for a decision sometime soon?

"Noone's really putting on the pressure, but Penn State said that if enough guys commit before me, they're going to have to take away the scholarship.

"I want to take some visits first and then maybe [make my decision] around mid-season or the end of the season. It depends on if anyone else contacts me. But, I definitely want to make a decision after the season's over."

Coach Norwood is recruiting J.J. for Penn State, who envisions him playing on the defensive side of the ball.

"Kind of like a strong safety slash linebacker. It would be a lot more of a playing up on the line type thing. I'm still their top pick right now, but if it comes down to it and they (another recruit) commit and I don't, I guess they'll get the spot."

Has he heard from the Nittany Lions recently?

"[Coach Norwood] called my coach and I'm supposed to call him. I missed him a couple of times, so I'll probably end up calling him tomorrow (Tuesday). I tried calling him a couple of days ago and I got his voicemail. They can't call me so I have to keep trying."

Is he still planning to major in Criminal Justice?

"If I were to go to Maryland, that was what I'd want to try to major in, but most likely it's going to be something in the science field."

When LionNews spoke with J.J.'s father about a month ago, he indicated that J.J.'s top 3 in order would probably be Maryland, Penn State and Boston College. Does that still hold true?

"Yeah, pretty much, plus Maryland's graduating 6 d-backs, so the chances of me being able to play early are a lot better than anywhere else right now. At BC, it might be just as good, because they said that I could probably come in and play relatively early. But, at Penn State, they're always bringing in those All-American linebackers, so I don't know. Right now, I'd probably say Maryland just because they're graduating so many guys. Even most of the backups at those positions are going to be gone, so it's going to be pretty much a real young team when I get in there.

"I'd probably say Maryland, then Penn State, then BC.

"I'll probably take some visits. I'm definitely going to go to Maryland and Penn State. I've been up to Boston College and it's close enough where I can go whenever I want anyway. I may take a third one to Virginia and maybe leave two open."

Although they apparently trail the Terrapins, the Nittany Lions have made an impression upon Justice.

"I like the coaches a lot, Coach Paterno and Coach Vanderlinden. I've always liked Penn State. I like Paterno and they've always been a solid program. They have all the new facilities and weight room. Even though they're down right now, they're still one of the top schools in the nation."

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