Tampa Defensive End Gets Rutgers Offer

This 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end holds offers from LSU, USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame and so on, but in the last few days he learned he was getting a Rutgers offer. Find out why that offer has special meaning, and what he knows about Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano. Also, find out why this football player needs to make a decision on his future before the new year.

When Miami was replacing Larry Coker as head coach, former Hurricanes defensive end Tony Chickillo thought Rutgers coach Greg Schiano would be a fine choice.

So, when Chickillo's son, Anthony, a highly-recruited defensive end from Alfonso High in Tampa, found out a few days ago he was getting a Rutgers offer, it wasn't one he was going to allow to get lost in the pile of offers he possesses.

"My family, we're big fans of coach Schiano,'' the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Chickillo said. "When Miami didn't have a head coach, he was one of the coaches my dad wanted to come there. We think he's a real good coach.''

Even with offers from LSU, Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, USC and so on, Chickillo said he plans on giving the Scarlet Knights a realistic look because of his knowledge of the Schiano's coaching abilities and resume.

However, with dozens of offers in his possession, time is nearing for some decisions to be made.

"I've got to start going to see some of these places so I can start narrowing it down,'' Chickillo sad. "I'm going to visit a ton of schools, as many as I can. I'm going to be all around.''

In the spring Chickillo stayed local, hitting the Florida campuses and gaining familiarity with those programs.

In the summer he plans on visiting Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Tennessee, USC, North Carolina "and a whole bunch more,'' and acknowledged Rutgers could get a visit as well.

Having a father who went through the recruiting process, and understanding of the dynamics of college football, is helping Chickillo form an outline of what he wants in a school.

"I'm looking for a great relationship with my position coach,'' Chickillo said. "With my dad going through the process and playing in college, that's who he said you spend the most time with. I am also looking for a place I could feel at home, and where the people around me are real good people.''

Chickillo is being recruited as a hybrid, where he will play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, or outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.

Despite playing in only six games because of a broken collarbone last season, he finished with 80- tackles, including 12 ½ sacks.

"I plan on graduating early, and by the end of the summer I want to have my top five,'' Chickillo said. "I'm going to be taking visits during the season.''

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