Ankou Shines at NIKE Camp, Rutgers Stadium

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- St. Peter (Orleans, On.) defensive lineman Eli Ankou came all the way down from Canada to take place in yesterday's NIKE Combine at Rutgers Stadium. His trip paid off with the defensive line MVP Award. caught up with the three-star recruit to talk Rutgers interest and his summer plans ...

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- With his junior year at St. Peter (Orleans, On.) wrapping up, three-star defensive lineman Eli Ankou has his sights set on a summer filled with football.

After taking another trip to Rutgers — Ankou came for the New Level Athletics lineman camp in February — it's a school he likes a lot. In return, Rutgers is taking a hard look at the No. 56 defensive end in the Class of 2012 after he impressed at yesterday's NIKE camp.

With the high APR scores and positive academic reputation of Rutgers, Ankou said he hopes to continue hearing from the coaching staff and get a scholarship offer from the Scarlet Knights to add to the three he has.

"Rutgers a great place to come out to," Ankou said. "I mean, I visited already, but I really don't mind coming back. It's a great school and the facilities are awesome. They're definitely interested, but no offer so far. That's OK. I understand. There's still plenty of time."
For now, Ankou said his plans center around the West Coast, where he already has an offer from UCLA, but he did not rule out another visit to Rutgers.

"Right now, my team has plans to head out west to camps at UCLA, USC and Stanford," Ankou said. "I'm excited to get these started because camps are so important for the colleges."

Ankou has scholarship offers from UCLA, Virginia and Vanderbilt so far, but said he expects multiple schools to keep on him during the evaluation period.

"A lot of schools want me to come to their camps," Ankou said. "They'd rather see me in person than just look at tape. That's better than giving a guy a scholarship and then once he gets there realizing it isn't the right fit."

Ankou still has plans of transferring to Red Lion Academy in Bear, Del. for his senior season, where he expects to hear more from colleges simply based on location, he said.

Until then, Ankou's focuses are on the three schools to offer him and on his academics.

"All three schools are awesome academically, so that's definitely a plus-side," Ankou said. "I wouldn't say I have a favorite, but all three schools are very competitive. They have good academics and good football. What more can you ask for?"

Ankou said the trips from Canada to the United States are getting exhausting for him, but that he knows they are for the right reasons. He'd rather pay for travel now to receive a great education a year down the road, he said.

"The travel is tough and it's also expensive, but in the end it's worth it," Ankou said. "I'm doing this to pursue my dream. I'd like to get out of college with something that's not just football. Football is the sport I love, but there's more to life than that."

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