Focused on Senior Season

Brandon Vitabile has a lot on his mind right now, but unfortunately for Rutgers fans, his thoughts do not revolve around what lies on the other side of the Raritan from his hometown of Edison, N.J.

Vitabile, a rising star at center for Bishop George Ahr St. Thomas High School and three-star recruit on, said that he is focused on nothing other than his upcoming senior season, which means that his college choice will likely come down to trips that he's already made and offers that he's already received. And Rutgers has done neither. "They asked me to go to their camp, but I decided that I didn't want to go to any camps," Vitabile said. "I'm just too focused on the season. That's definitely where my primary concern is right now."

Vitabile said that it's nothing personal between he and Rutgers because he will attend no camps or combines over the summers, it's just the fact that other schools have reached out to him and the Scarlet Knights have yet to.

Vitabile had already confirmed offers from Syracuse and Vanderbilt going into last weekend's visit to Northwestern where he was also offered. When asked about schools with mutual interest in the recruiting process, the rising senior mentioned Northwestern along with Boston College, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Purdue.

He said that all of those schools appealed to him because "the school's academics are really important, but I also look for a chance to play early and to have a good overall experience." But between now and whenever he offers a verbal commitment, it's all business in the Vitabile household. "My goals are all centered around winning states, just to go as far as we can in the state finals," he said. "I just really want to get an undefeated season because that's not something that we've done in a couple of years."

During his offseason, he said that he's upped his already strict exercise regiment to seven days a week, lifting six out of every seven days and working with a speed trained twice a week on top of it.

On the field, he said that he plans to use his senior year to both build on leadership skills and improve as a technician at center, the position that he wants to play in college. "I just need to work on staying lower when I block, but that will get better when I play," he said. "I feel that center is where I can excel the best [at the next level] because I've been playing it for two years … I'm aggressive, flying off the ball and I'll put you on the ground." But despite the pressure to continue to improve on the field, search for a place to spend the next phase of his life and lead his current team to a championship, Vitabile has still been able to take pleasure in the process.

"I'm enjoying it but it's been stressful at times. It can be a lot of pressure, but it's understandable. People need pressure," he said. "It's nice to know that people are interested in having me play at that level."

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