The leader schools for New Jersey fullback Chris Pressley have been pronounced by recruiting services casually and regularity this year. Maryland was annointed as the chosen one for months until the 260-pound bruiser made his official visit to Wisconsin a week ago. Suddenly the Badgers were deemed to be in the "driver's seat" after he experienced his first full recruiting trip. Things had a chance to take another turn with his to nearby Maryland just this weekend. Cutting straight through the bull, Pressley gives The Bootleg the full skinny on what he really thinks of his recruiting landscape...
"Well, I really liked my Wisconsin visit at the time," the Woodbury HS senior begins. "But when I got back and reflected, I realized it was my first trip. I'm supposed to love official visits - you know? It's how all places will treat me. Besides, I've heard the first visit always seems the best."
Nevertheless, the Badgers did impress upon him the most important thing he is looking for: playing time and an opportunity to excel. He has been compared by many a recruiter to Ron Dayne, and the coaches in Madison had plenty of game film to show him how they would like to use him.
"They are going to give me the chance to play halfback, and I like that," Pressley reveals. "And from what I saw, I think I'll have a chance to play early."
"All the rest were things schools will offer me on other visits," he continues. "But everyone will have pluses and minuses. On the minus side, Wisconsin was cold as hell, and the business school is good but not as good as Stanford."
Not long after Pressley returned from the Badger State, he welcomed Stanford coach Bill Cubit into his home for two hours. The visits from coaches have been frequent, and at times dizzying, but the highly sought-after fullback has a particular fondness for the Cardinal quarterbacks coach.
"Coach Cubit is so much more laid back," Pressley proclaims. "He seems to care more for me as a person and not just a baller. He definitely established how much Stanford wants me, but he doesn't feel the need to tell me everytime he sees me. I like that."
Next on his visit list was the nearby Maryland Terrapins this past weekend, but before that he had some business to tend to. The review of his Stanford admissions application has required an additional writing sample, which he knocked out late last week. Once it was graded by a teacher at school ("She's actually hard as hell on me."), it was faxed to Stanford. He is hoping to hear back soon the fateful decision of his admissions status.
In the meantime, he enjoyed a good visit to the campus at College Park, which he had already seen unofficially. But was it enough to unseat Wisconsin's impression?
"Well, it was a good visit but not as good as Wisconsin," Pressley reports. "I had a good time with the players because I already knew most of them, and they showed me a good time. I knew the Jersey guys well. The business school was better than at Wisconsin, and they have no true fullback on their roster. I went to a practice and saw that for myself. They have two converted linebackers, and Sandy Maldonado could play, but no true fullbacks."
"But the dorms at Maryland were bad," the recruit laments. "And the guys have to stay there all four years. I liked the dorm situation at Wisconsin - the dorms are cool. They get to leave the dorms after two years and go look for their own place. It may seem like a superficial thing, but I don't want to be stuck under football guys all four years in small dorms, you know?"
Even though Pressley is still fresh off the glow of the positives of the Maryland visit, he now postulates that Wisconsin and Stanford are his top two schools.
"That's primarily what I'm thinking right now," he notes. "But I don't want to name any one school as my leader right now, until I get all my visits. It won't be fair. People have been writing quotes saying that Wisconsin is my leader and I almost committed, but that isn't right. I recall saying that I had such a great time that I would've committed if it was based solely on having a good time. But that's not what it's about. I'm not that shallow."
If and when Pressley is accepted by Stanford, he will take his next official visit to the Palo Alto campus the weekend of January 9. He is scheduled to trip to Tennessee the following weekend (1/16).
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