Olaniyan Still Looking Elsewhere

Aramide Olaniyan, the 6-2, 200-pound, four-star linebacker from Woodberry Forest, Virginia, is verbally committed to Duke, but he talks about how he's planning on taking an official visit to UCLA, and why he's still considering other schools...

Aramide Olaniyan, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound four-star linebacker from Woodberry Forest, Va., has been committed to Duke since March but plans on taking all five of his official visits.

"I'm still committed to Duke," Olaniyan reassured. "It's a solid verbal and there's still a strong possibility I'll be signing with them. I always wanted to commit early, but I committed before I had a lot of these offers."

Olaniyan will be visiting the Blue Devils on Dec. 5 and says they are still recruiting him the hardest.

"I really like the coaching staff (at Duke)," he said. "They are definitely on the way to doing some big things there. I think they can be a top program in the ACC in a few years."

Olaniyan, ranked as the No. 9 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, favors Duke solidly over Michigan, UCLA, Vanderbilt and North Carolina. All of his favorites have offered and he says he has around 18 total scholarship offers.

The only other official visit that he has scheduled thus far is to UCLA on Nov. 21 when the Bruins take on Arizona State.

"They are really trying to restore the program," Olaniyan said of the Bruins. "I think that coach Rick Neuheisel is a great guy and I can't wait to get over there and see what it's like."

Although Olaniyan didn't see the UCLA/Tennessee game on TV, he says he caught the highlights on ESPN. "That seemed like a good game," he said. "Their quarterback took a big hit. That looked pretty bad."

While it wasn't an official visit, Olaniyan was in attendance for the Michigan/Notre Dame game on Sept. 12. "It was a great experience," he said of his time in Ann Arbor.

"The fans were intense," he said. "I've never experienced something like that before. Their passion is amazing. There wasn't a quiet moment the whole game. When they were down with only a few minutes left it got really crazy and the comeback was amazing."

In addition to having fun watching the game, Olaniyan says he could see himself fitting in with the Wolverines defense. "They have a great defense," he said. "They like me at outside linebacker but they already have several linebackers already and need more safeties and corners."

The two other schools that he's likely to visit are North Carolina and Vanderbilt.

"(UNC defensive back) coach Troy Douglas is a great recruiter," he said. "They are really recruiting me hard.

"I think UNC is another program in the ACC that is coming up," he said. "They're a top 25 team and getting better."

The lone SEC program on Olaniyan's list is Vanderbilt. "I've developed a great relationship with the coaches," he said of the Tar Heels. "They are all great guys. They think that I could really make an impact and really want me.

"Plus, it's in the SEC and you can't go wrong with that," he said.

Olaniyan says he followed Miami as a youngster, but the Canes aren't recruiting him. "I watched them win a lot," he said of the Canes. "And I always tried to mirror how their defense played."

Olaniyan finished his junior season with 55 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.

"I have great speed, explosiveness and the ability to get back into coverage," he said. "I can come off the edge well too and get to the quarterback."

He says he can bench 300-pounds, squat 550 and has a 295-pound power clean. "Our school record for the bench is 315 and I hope to break that," he said.

"I've played defensive end a lot and I'm just trying to improve my fundamentals at outside linebacker."

Olaniyan plans to major in political science and reports a 2.8 core GPA and says he's taken both the SAT and ACT and is qualified.

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