UCLA Offers Canadian D-End

St. Peter's High (Orleans, Ontario) defensive end Eli Ankou is beginning to make a name for himself in the States. He picked up an offer from UCLA last week, made an unofficial visit to Rutgers a few weeks back and is hearing from several other schools. Ankou spoke about his recruitment, the difficulty in getting exposure in Canada and his possible major...

St. Peter's High (Orleans, Ontario) defensive end Eli Ankou's junior highlight tape is filmed from the sideline, which is also where the game film was shot.

The angle is not conducive to showcasing a player's talent, and the resources are not nearly as deep for Canadian players trying to impress college recruiters. It's why the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Ankou has been making the rounds at camps and combines in the United States the last few months.

"I think it has been worth it," Ankou said. "Back in Canada, we don't have the resources to get exposure to colleges. That is really a plus to be able to get the exposure like that."

The price paid for the travel and camps netted Ankou an offer from UCLA last week.

"(UCLA) Coach (Rick) Neuheisel offered me. He's awesome," Ankou said. "The coaching staff is awesome. They have a great academic program. What I want to get into is kinetics because I'm planning on becoming a physiotherapist or a strength and conditioning coach, and they have a good football program, too. That's exactly what I'm looking for in a school."

Ankou plans on making a trip to UCLA in the summer to check out the campus, but the Bruins aren't the program showing interest. Rutgers, Virginia and Buffalo are also recruiting Ankou.

"Rutgers seems interested," Ankou said. "I was talking to (assistant) coach (Bob) Fraser (Wednesday). They seem quite interested, but we'll see where that goes."

In fact, Rutgers may be the program Ankou is the most familiar with in the early stages of his recruitment. He was on campus for camps on back-to-back weekends last month, and he also took an unofficial visit to learn more about the Scarlet Knights.

"I went to the campus the night before (a 7-on-7), and it was really nice," he said. "First of all, they have a great academic program. They make sure their players are taken care of academically. They make sure every player has a tutor so whenever they're free, they can go study with a tutor and make sure their grades are up.

"They have a great athletic facility. The coaches are really nice. I like the receivers coach (P.J. Fleck). He's quite something."

Rutgers is trying to get Ankou to visit again in the early part of the summer.

"They've invited me to one off their camps, but so far they have not offered me," he said. "I'll probably try to visit UCLA in the summer, and also Rutgers, and any other school that shows a high interest."

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