"TCU has a soft lead on all of the other schools," Townsend said. "My brother and I have been talking about going to school to play football together some day and going here would be a great opportunity to do that. Plus my dad went there and played football there, and I like how they've had a great program for the past decade. I could definitely see myself going there and making an impact, and they recently had a great defensive end who just left, so I could also see myself filling in at that role."
Townsend has shown a big interest in playing for USC or UCLA.
"I'm in love with the coaching staff at USC. I absolutely love coach (Ed) Orgeron (defensive line and recruiting coordinator) and coach Monte Kiffin (assistant head coach)," Townsend said. "Plus both USC and UCLA are right in my own backyard and I could come home whenever I wanted to if I went to either. With UCLA, I'm in contact with the coaches as well, especially their defensive line coach (Todd Howard).
"I'm highly undecided about my college decision," said Scout.com's No. 2 defensive end. "I kind of switch my decision every single day and that's the reason why TCU is in the lead right now. I'll probably even end up changing my mind tomorrow because I get different feelings on different teams on different days. It's hard to pick a school this early on in the recruiting process."
Another Pac-10 school which is hard after Townsend is Washington.
"Washington is the one school out of this list that is recruiting me the hardest," he said. "They're the team that I talk to the most whether it's through email, Facebook, or over the phone. I also have some friends that I'm in contact with who go there and play football."
Staying close to his home in California is something Townsend says he's not really considering.
"Staying close to where I'm from is not important to me at all," he said. "I just want to go to a school where I'd be a good fit. I know I want to play when I come in as a freshman and I want to go somewhere with a good academic program, and be somewhere where I'm not bothered living for a whole school year.
"Oregon is in there too because they're one of the first schools to contact me when I was a sophomore," he said. "My head coach right now actually has a son who goes there and is on the football team and I'm in touch with him once in a while. And I just like what's going on up there at Oregon."
Rounding out his favorites are three schools that are on the opposite side of the country.
"I like how Alabama and LSU are in the SEC – that's a no-break conference," he said. "The teams in the SEC are all good and really it's like an NFL prep school overall. With Miami, I've got a lot of family out in that area and I just kind of like the ‘Canes – they also have some good academics."
With no official trips set yet, Townsend said there are two schools he probably won't visit officially.
"I'm not sure of my top five, so I still don't have any official visit dates planned," he said. " I know I can take an unofficial visit to USC or UCLA anytime, so I'd like to use my visits to see other schools."
Townsend describes his strengths as athleticism, balance at his position and size. He said he knows he needs to work on his technique and moves when he's playing at the next level.
As a junior he had 73 tackles, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, three blocked PATs and a fumble recovery.
Townsend reports a 2.8 GPA and said he'll take the SAT for the first time in October.