|This story originally published on UVAInsider.com|
Monroe narrows it to eight
By Chris Puckett UVAInsider recruiting analyst
Date: May 11, 2004
According to Plainfield High's head coach Clinton Jones, Eugene has 35 offers so far. So how does one go about sorting through all of that information?
"Well I've already started, I had to. About a week ago I felt that I was just gonna wait until the summer, but its becoming a bit overwhelming. There have been college coaches in and out of my school since the (May) Evaluation period started."
Sounds like a lot for a junior in high school to be asked to handle. But Monroe has taken the task and has a gameplan to guide the rest of the recruiting process. He has already narrowed down the list of 35 offers to 8 schools he likes.
When asked if any of those eight stuck out to him as a #1 Favorite Monroe quickly replied, "UVA and Maryland are probably tied."
What has made UVA and Maryland co leaders for Monroes' services?
"Well, just from being to both campuses gave me a feel for the schools. My view may change a little bit on the two if I go elsewhere and like it more, but that probably won't be a factor. I love both coaching staffs. I feel that with either of their programs, with recruiting great players and continuing to push into the right directions, big things will happen at either school. I just feel really comfortable with those two schools right now. Of course this is subject to change, but I don't think it will. Other than those two schools, I'm still wide open."
With that being said, the big question going around internet message boards is about Eugene's girlfriend. Is she going to UVA and will that be a factor is his decision? Monroe was very quick to comeback with an answer, but then said how he really felt.
"That has nothing to do with my decision. In fact, it might be a little factor that drives me away from UVa. I don't want to be distracted. But, If UVa is the place for me I'll be there. I can't lie though, its hard not to think of being there with her. But if you know me as a person, I get down to business."
So it seems like Monroe has everything in order and ready to make a decision right? Wrong, it's actually the opposite of what you may think with superstar recruits like Monroe. "I used to say I would wait until signing day, but I think it will ride on my visits. I'm going to visit schools that I feel are the places for me and the best one for me is where I'll sign. I don't want to place a time limit on my decision, especially since my recruitment has been a roller coaster."
Monroe is quick to give his head coach, Clinton Jones, credit for helping him during this hectic period in his football career. "He just gives me advice," said Monroe. That is the best anyone can do at this point. And I like the fact that he doesn't push me toward any particular school. Most people try to influence their favorite school upon me. It doesn't cloud my vision, but I want unbiased information."
One would think that being possibly the top offensive line recruit in the country that he wouldn't have much to work on, but Monroe doesn't see it like that. In fact he thinks he can improve on about every aspect of his game. Eugene said he wants to work on "Training, learning, and coming up with goals."
One specific area Monroe feels like he could improve on is his 40 time. "My best has been a 5.09, but I wouldn't go by that at all. Consistently I've been in the 5.3 range. It's definitely something I need to work on."
Monroe competed recently in a regional combine in New Jersey against some of the top defensive talent in the country. Monroe was pitted against the likes of Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Harritons Callahan Bright and Randallstowne (Md.) Melvin Alaeze. Monroe seemed to enjoy the experience.
"Me and Callahan beat each other up a bit. It was a good experience."