Two Big Ten schools are on even footing as competitors for the services of Charlotte (N.C.) Zebulon B Vance defensive end Damir Faison, and a decision may not be far after recent visits.
Faison, who considers himself an early-enrollment candidate, made a two-day unofficial visit to Rutgers that left him excited about the direction of the program.
“I talked a lot with the Rutgers coaches, and they were saying that they were a young program trying to change a lot of things as far as the culture,” Faison said. “As far as the people they bring in as well, they're trying to make it so Rutgers is on the map again. They feel like if I were to come, I could contribute to that.”
Faison visited with his mother and stepfather.
“They are completely on-board with everything that Rutgers has to offer,” Faison said. “At the end of the day, they said it's up to me. They'll support whatever I choose.”
Faison also holds a scholarship offer from Maryland.
“I don't have a top list but currently Maryland and Rutgers are about even for me,” Faison said. “I don't want to rush anything, but I'd like to commit somewhere by September because I'm going to enroll early.”
“They said (early enrollment) is a very smart thing to do because it gives you time to get adjusted to the college life,” Faison said. “On top of that, it helps you to understand the plays on the field. Overall, it's helping them a lot.”
Defensive line coach Shane Burnham spent the most time with Faison.
“I honestly loved his intensity,” Faison said. “He is a really down-to-earth guy. I felt like I could connect to him a lot. What helped tremendously was talking to him before the visit. That made me excited to get up there and meet everyone.”