Shumate Mapping Out Official Visits

RAMSEY, N.J. — Four-star Don Bosco Prep safety Elijah Shumate does not have any favorites, but is narrowed down to six schools. After his team's 35-0 victory over Ridgewood last weekend, Shumate discussed setting his official visits and the latest on his recruitment.

RAMSEY, N.J. — Elijah Shumate released his top six schools before the start of his senior season, so he could focus on winning another ring at Don Bosco.

He and's top ranked high-school team are off to a good start, winning games against top teams from Florida and California on the way to a 3-0 start.

Since starting the season, Shumate said his focus is not on recruiting, but that he remains in contact with the schools in his top six and is trying to set his official visits.

Shumate said he hopes to take an official visit to South Carolina during the season. That, however, may end up problematic because the Gamecocks are on the road the weekend of Oct. 14 when Bosco has its bye.

"I'm trying to set up an official to South Carolina during the season, but it may be tough," Shumate said. "After that, I'm just going to do the rest of my officials after the season." Of the rest of Shumate's top six, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Georgia Tech are also in Shumate's plans for official visits, he said.

As of now, Rutgers is not.

"I like them a lot, but I don't know if I necessarily want to take an official there because it's a lot easier for me to get to Rutgers than to get to other places," Shumate said. "I've been up there so many times."

Shumate said he will visit Rutgers at least one more time, however, so that he can see former teammate Gary Nova in action. Along with Nova, former Don Bosco running back Paul Canevari is on scholarship at Rutgers and four-star reciver Leonte Carroo is verbally committed.

"They talk to me all the time about coming in there and trying to make New Jersey proud and bringing home a National Championship," he said. "They wanted to stay in New Jersey and I could see myself doing that too."

Along with his former teammates, Shumate said Rutgers is a big draw because of its proximity to home and his unique relationships with head coach Greg Schiano and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley.

"Coach Hafley is just a great guy, a great person," Shumate said. "You want to play with and for great people. It's a great system down there and there are great players. The coaches really love you there and treat you very well. Because I'm from New Jersey, they've been watching me since I was a little kid. I feel comfortable there and I know a lot of people there."

Though Shumate wants to play safety, he said many schools like him at other positions. One of those is running back, where he scored touchdowns on his first three rushing attempts of the season, including a 64-yarder last weekend.

"I actually played running back all my life, but when I transferred to Bosco, I told them that I wanted to go to college for safety, so that's when I made the transition to corner to work on my coverage skills and then to safety," Shumate said.

Safety and linebacker, however, appear to be the most likely projected positions.

"Colleges definitely do talk to me about maybe other positions," Shumate said. "Pittsburgh, Florida and Michigan all talked to me about playing running back. Schools ask me what position I feel most comfortable playing because they're recruiting me as an athlete. I tell them I want to play safety in college, but I'll do whatever I have to do to get on the field. If they want me to play running back, linebacker, corner, I'll do it."

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