East No. 7 WR Evidence Njoku has Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, ACC high on list

May 18 -- East No. 7 receiver Evidence Njoku has a Top 10 filled with SEC, ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 schools, and he speaks about the meaning with Scout...

Evidence Njoku, the No. 7 receiver in the East, has a Top 10, but it is more of a working list than a strict display of where his recruitment stands.

The Cedar Grove (N.J.) High standout said in addition to the 10 schools on his list -- RutgersPenn StateGeorgiaBoston CollegeMiamiTennesseeMissouriVirginia TechIowa State and Pittsburgh -- UCLA and Texas A&M are starting to show interest and he plans on visiting both schools.

"It wasn’t easy (focusing on a top 10) but it wasn’t hard," the 6-foot-4, 198-pound Njoku said. "I know what I’m looking for in schools, so it was something that just came to me.  It was based on what I know now because in the summer I’m going to take a lot of visits to see everything and meet the coaches.

"It was based on how I’m getting recruited, the school, the education, what type of receiver I’m getting recruited as in the offense."

One of the newcomers in Njoku's recruitment is UCLA, which is yet to offer but plans on building a relationship with him. He is hopeful of visiting in August while visiting family in Orange County.

"I don’t really know anything about the school," Njoku said. "They reached out to me a few days ago and my sister lives out there so I think I’m going to go out there for a visit and hang with her so that should be cool.  She goes to UC-Irvine."

Njoku, who said he has an 89-inch wing span, is being recruited hard by many of the schools still on his list, and two of the closest -- Penn State and Rutgers -- are in contact on a daily basis and each are making strong pitches.

"Penn State, they’re recruiting me really hard," Njoku said. "I talk to the coach almost every day. (Assistant) coach (Ricky) Rahne is my main recruiter, but I talk to coach (James) Franklin, (offensive coordinator) coach (Joe) Moorhead and (receivers) coach (Josh) Gattis every day. It means a lot to me because it shows they want to make sure I know they want me bad and I could be a pivotal force in their offense, which is really awesome."

The thought of playing for Gattis is appealing.

"Gattis is a real good dude. He’s really straight forward," Njoku said. "I’ve talked to him many times about what type of receiver he sees me as and he thinks he could develop me to be a full, well-rounded receiver. I’ve developed a really good relationship with him."

Njoku's brother, David, is a tight end at Miami but was once committed to Rutgers. However, the Scarlet Knights pulled his offer after he made a visit, and the relationship was damaged.

But the change in coaching staffs means there are no ill feelings, Evidence Njoku said.

"I talk to Rutgers a lot. I talk to all the coaches pretty much every day," he said. "They ask me how I am, and they say how happy they are to recruit me and we could do some crazy things if half the talent in New Jersey chooses to stay home. They say it could be a really scary thing for other teams, which is really true and interesting."

Miami is another program of interest, but Njoku said having his brother there will not play a factor in his decision.

"They’re recruiting me as an ‘X’ receiver with post (patterns) and everything like that," . I was talking to (assistant) coach (Todd) Hartley and coach Richt, (receivers) coach (Ron) Dugans, (assistant) coach Jon Richt …I talk to them a lot and I would say the thing that is most intriguing to them is my catch radius. They were saying I could serve as a big end zone threat, and that is pretty cool to me."

Georgia and Texas A&M are two of the schools Njoku likes a lot, but he acknowledged he needs to learn a lot more about both of them.

"I talk to (receivers) coach (James) Cooley a lot," Njoku said. "He was at my school maybe a week and a half ago. They said they like me a lot."

The interest from the Bulldogs has special meaning.

"It means they see a lot of potential in me in the future," Njoku said. "I know coach Coley was at Miami before Georgia, but I don’t know much about them. I know it’s a big football school as well as an SEC school, but I think I need to learn a lot more about Georgia on a visit."

His interest in Texas A&M is similar. 

"I know it’s probably one of the best college football stadiums in America. That’s No. 1," Njoku said. "(Receivers) coach (Aaron) Moorehead came to my school a few weeks ago, and ever since then, they were recruiting me a lot harder and they are showing a lot of interest in me."


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