With an offer list dominating by Big Ten schools, Pirsig – a 6-foot-9, 290-pound offensive tackle from Blue Earth (MN) High ) – has become quite familiar with the workings of each of his offered universities during the last several weeks.
In a four day span in March, Pirsig traveled to Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. After recovering, Pirsig and his family attended the Iowa and Minnesota spring game, leaving only Illinois and Indiana has the two conference schools that have offered him that he has yet to visit.
"Eight of my 10 offers are from the Big Ten (Auburn and Iowa State being the others) and from what I've heard Big Ten is one of the toughest conferences," Pirsig told Badger Nation. "They've got bruiser linemen. I've talked to other schools and they always say they hate facing the Big Ten schools because the guys are so big."
An example of one of those schools, according to Pirsig, is Wisconsin, a school that has produced two Outland Trophy winners in the last five years and had three linemen, two of whom were All-Americans, selected in this year's NFL Draft. Pirsig, who was just bumped up a four-star tackle by Scout.com, was offered by Wisconsin in February after a visit.
"We didn't have a whole lot of time when we were there, but we got to talk to a bunch of coaches," said Pirsig, who camped at Wisconsin last season and made three unofficial visits last year. "The coaches tried to keep in my mind that there school is built for linemen like myself. It's been tried and tested and they've been pretty successful with the linemen they've had there."
Another advantage for Wisconsin in Pirsig's recruitment is his recruiting coach, as Pirsig is being recruited by offensive line coach Bob Bostad. With the two talking on a consistent basis, Pirsig admitted it is comforting and reassuring to have his recruiting coach as his potential position coach.
"I have some other recruiting coaches that don't coach my position and I ask them questions sometimes and most of the time they don't have a definite answer or they kind of guess at it," Pirsig said. "Coach Bostad knows his stuff."
Pirsig visit to Ohio State was just as impressive, seeing the Buckeyes massive stadium, modern facilities and getting a chance to talk to embattled coach Jim Tressel, who has been found guilty of lying to the NCAA about his knowledge of recruiting violations and could potentially be fired in the coming weeks.
If Ohio State loses Tressel, they may also lose Pirsig, who has developed a fondness of sorts for the head coach.
"If Tressel does get fired, that would change everything because from what I can understand, Tressel is under all this because he was sticking up for his players," Pirsig said. "That shows loyalty. I like that in a coach."
During his five city trip, Pirsig admitted that Michigan State probably impressed him the most with the atmosphere and the football program.
"Just all their facilities they have are up to date and the layout of the campus I really like," Pirsig said. "The place reminded me of Minnesota."
Even though he is done with his visits until the summer, Pirsig has had a steady stream of visitors come to his school to speak to his coaching staff. Since the spring evaluation period started, coaches from Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Stanford, USC and Wisconsin have all stopped in.
"It means a lot that these schools come in just to talk to people about me and get my grades," Pirsig said. "It shows that they are all not about football."
Pirsig still is hoping to have his decision made by the start of the senior season, but he's not 100 percent sure yet of which his favorites are. Pirsig plans to hope to better formulate his list when he does a team camp at South Dakota State and at least do individual camps at Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
"I am looking for that homey feeling, something that feels close to home and still far away at the same time," Pirsig said. "I want to do the camps to just become a better player."