At the suggestion of defensive line coach Kevin McFadden, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Croce is spending one day a week sitting down with his family and McFadden to analyze programs.
"My family and I decided, one day a week, just sit down and don't talk about football,'' Croce said. "Just talk about school. Where I think I would be comfortable geographically, what I want as far as academics and would I be happy if I wasn't playing football?
"We're going to try and narrow this thing down to five or seven schools. I'm not sure when. We're going to talk once a week and get it out there.''
The list of suitors is long, and includes Rutgers, which offered Croce on Sept. 1.
Since then, Croce has been to the Rutgers campus several times, including a Junior Day visit and a less formal gathering prior to the BadgerSport 7-on-7, presented by New Level Athletics, last month, in which he demonstrated his athleticism while competing as a tight end.
"It's nice. It's far, but not too far,'' Croce said of Rutgers. "You get a college experience, but you've still got home (close by). And it feels like home around here. It's similar to where I am in Maryland, and it's not to huge.
"I don't know if I want a big school or a small school yet, or in between. It's got a homey feel to it.''
Nearly all of the schools, including Rutgers, view Croce as a defensive end, although a few mentioned tight end.
"Anywhere I can come in and play is ok with me,'' said Croce, who will continue to lean on McFadden for advice. "Coach McFadden knows the ins and outs, the ups and down of everything. I was like, ‘Coach, I don't know where to start.' Since Day One, he's been right there for me.''