McCollough Looking Hard at Eight

Randallstown, Md. cornerback <b>Jamari McCollough</b> remains open, but is beginning to concentrate on eight schools. Which lucky eight are on his list? Will he be a package deal with his teammate Melvin Alaeze? Does Penn State factor in to his decision?

Name: Jamari McCollough
Position: CB
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 180 pounds
40 Speed: 4.47 seconds
Hometown/School: Randallstown, Md. (Randallstown HS)TD>

When talking about the talented senior high school football players in Maryland, most discussion begins with the nation's #1 player, Derrick Williams, and quickly moves to stud defensive end Melvin Alaeze.  But no discussion about the state's top players should be complete without mentioning Alaeze's Randallstown teammate, cornerback Jamari McCollough.

McCollough currently holds 18 offers, highlighted by Maryland, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State, Syracuse, and Connecticut.

This year, he's taken unofficial visits to Rutgers, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Penn State for the Nike Camp.  Despite being unable to participate in the Nike Camp due to a sprained ankle, Jamari has impressed Penn State and coach Larry Johnson enough to receive a scholarship offer two weeks ago.

While Penn State has maintained contact, Jamari has not talked with Larry Johnson in person since the spring when LJ, Sr. visited Randallstown HS.

"They've just been recruiting me and they decided to offer," said Jamari, who believes Penn State liked his film.

"I'm very interested.  They're high on my list.  I still don't know how I would place them in the rankings right now because there are a lot of schools.  So I'll just say they are very high and they're recruiting me very well.  I hope they keep going."

"I like the tradition of course.  I stayed in the dorm for the Nike Camp and it was very fun there.  It seemed like the environment, it seems like it's very fun."

While Penn State seems high on Jamari's list, in-state Maryland could be very difficult to visit to beat for his services.  Are they still recruiting him?

"Yes, very hard.  I went to Maryland last week to see my former teammate (cornerback) Christian Varner and watch him practice."

Jamari admitted that he does not plan to make anymore visits this fall until he goes on his first official visit.  Does he have an idea which five schools he will visit?

"I still consider myself open to everyone, but right now I would say those eight (Maryland, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan State, Syracuse, and Connecticut).  When I make my top five, any schools that are far away, I think I'll try to plan them for the football season."

With eight schools still remaining on his list, when will Jamari cut down his list?

"I want to make it before the season starts, so it'll probably be next week."

"Maryland and Virginia Tech are recruiting me the hardest.  I want to make [a decision] by the end of my season.  I'll probably take a few official visits."

One caveat of Jamari's recruitment that is unique is that he will be a package deal.

"We already decided that we want to go to the same school, so we're going to plan some of our visits together," said Jamari, who was not positive on dates yet.  "We haven't sat down yet and decided."

All eight schools that have offered Jamari have also offered Melvin.  Whatever school signs both will get an instant upgrade to their defensive unit.  What attributes does Jamari bring to the table that makes defensive coordinators drool and offensive coordinators nervous?

"They just like that I'm a natural corner.  They feel that I can fit in their cover schemes real well."

(Interview by Steve Curry)

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