Texas Tech is looking to fill a couple spots at defensive end in the class of 2017, and one in-state prospect who earned an offer after being evaluated by the coaching staff is Pflugerville Hendrickson strongside end Nelson Mbanasor.
The Central Texas prospect committed to Oklahoma State back in May with Texas Tech a close second, but reopened his commitment Sunday night and is no longer considering the Pokes.
"Just the push from the other schools, Texas Tech, Arkansas, and Illinois. I feel like I ultimately have a better chance playing at those three schools over Oklahoma State."
Mbanasor officially visited Arkansas this past weekend; the Razorbacks offered back in June.
"Arkansas, you know, the whole staff's great. I've been in contact with literally every coach on the staff. Coach Bielema and what he brings to the table, his leadership, the way he plays the game, defense and offense. Five seniors are leaving there after this year, a couple starters, so I think I could go up there and hopefully compete for a starting spot."
The senior spoke about Texas Tech as well.
"Tech, they have coach Patrick, they don't have a lot of depth on the D-line so hopefully I could go up there and capitalize on that."
A Big Ten program is also standing out to the prospect.
"Illinois, their whole coaching staff, former NFL people. They can develop me for the next level, which is where I'm trying to go. I've spoken with Coach Stoker and Coach Phair."
Coach Kevin Patrick, known for recruiting and developing NFL star Jason Pierre-Paul at South Florida, has a strong relationship with Mbanasor.
"We talk every week, sometimes a few times a week. He says that I'm one of his top guys and that I can come in and ultimately have a chance at starting."
With less than four months remaining until National Signing Day, does the Hendrickson prospect have a timeline for making a decision?
"I want to visit Tech and Illinois on officials, and then I'll make my decision at the end of October."
Mbanasor spoke more about visiting Arkansas, the first school in his top three that he visited.
"It was fun, man. Most fun I've had in a while. Great people. My hosts were some redshirts who made the visit even more fun, some chill, fun guys. Even though they didn't come out with the win, I still had a lot of fun."
He discussed his decision to visit Texas Tech for the OU game on Oct. 22.
"My brother plays for OU, it just felt like it would be a good time for our whole family to come. It's a joint game, they'll be watching my brother play at the same time that they're at an event for me."
Illinois will also get an official from the lineman.
"I'll visit Illinois on Oct. 29, I believe they're playing Minnesota. I'm just trying to experience how it is on the game day, how the whole coaching staff is. I only know two coaches on the staff right now. I just want to go there and see a great family environment and how the academics are."
Mbanasor is close with fellow in-state Texas Tech defensive end target David Anenih, who is being targeted on the other side of the line at weakside defensive end. Anenih will be visiting Texas Tech with Mbanasor that weekend.
"Yeah, he actually hit me up right when I decommitted. He asked me if I was going to be at the game, he's going to be there too so hopefully we can link up while we're there and have some talks."
Mbanasor discussed the chief factors that he will consider when making his decision.
"First of all, playing time. How I impact the team. Second, a great environment that is family-oriented, you know, coming together as one. And then third is academics. Those are just some of the things that will help me make my decision."
Nelson Mbanasor holds offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Tulsa, among others. He reports interest from Baylor, Oklahoma, Cal, and Texas, among others.null