2012 Target Shumate a Recruiting Veteran

When Sept. 1 rolls around, class if 2012 defensive back Elijah Shumate will have plenty of offers waiting for him. From Rutgers to USC, schools have told him a written offer was coming his way. But the recruiting process will not be new since he landed at Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) after an intense recruitment following the announcement his former high school was closing.

There were phone calls, campus visits, discussions of on-field usage and much more, and that was only to determine which high school class of 2012 standout defensive back Elijah Shumate would attend.

After Paterson (N.J.) Catholic announced it was closing, Shumate went through the recruiting process and landed at Don Bosco Prep of Ramsey, N.J., about 20 minutes from his home.

The recruiting process served as a precursor, on a markedly smaller scale, of what the 6-foot-1, 195-pound national recruit will endure in the next year.

Shumate already holds 11 verbal offers, the latest of which came from Tennessee a week ago.

Also offering arguably New Jersey's top 2012 player is Rutgers, USC, Arizona, Boston College, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

"I wasn't sure any offers were going to come in my junior year," Shumate said. "Then, I got one and another came, and then another and another and another. I was like, ‘Whoa!' "

The offer with the biggest "Wow" factor came from USC, which knows a few things about New Jersey since it signed former Garden State stars Brian Cushing and Dwayne Jarrett.

"If USC knows about me all the way on the west coast," Shumate said, "then I must be doing something really good."

The only two campuses Shumate visited were Rutgers and Boston College, and he was quite impressed with his home state school.

"Rutgers is beautiful," Shumate said. "Rutgers is a very big school. It's probably one of the most beautiful campuses in America. I kind of like Rutgers. They've been recruiting me since Paterson Catholic, and I know a lot about them."

Although Shumate is slated to play cornerback at Don Bosco Prep, schools are recruiting him to play safety, which is a position that excites him.

"It's because of my size and my speed and my quickness to the ball," Shumate said. "I love to hit. It's my favorite part of football. I love collisions."

Shumate wants to make a decision by the end of his junior year of high school, which means he has a lot of work to do.

But he also is versed in the recruiting process since several New Jersey schools, including St. Peter's Prep of Jersey City, were trying to lure him after Paterson Catholic announced it was closing.

"A lot of schools were calling me, and my father was thinking either Don Bosco or St. Peter's," Shumate said. "It was either one of those two schools because they're the best two schools in the state.

"Then, I was like, ‘Don Bosco is the best school in the country. That's a good opportunity to put my name out there,' so I went with them. A lot of the coaches were cool, and I liked the players and the teachers and I fell in love with the school."

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