Searching out to find some of the top players in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana, it was no surprise that the name of Sto-Rox (PA) HS's Deaysean Rippy was near the top of the list. After all, he's high on the list of virtually every big-name program that scours the Northeast in search of high school talent.
Literally playing on an all-star type team nicknamed the Goon Squad, Rippy is teammates with five-star quarterback Zeke Pike (No.3 QB in the country that's committed to Auburn) and three-star wide receiver Gehrig Dieter to name a couple, and it's a group that has been one of the top teams on the circuit.
"We've been together quite awhile and we know what we're capable of," Rippy told Badger Nation. "We get on each other, motivate each other and we really push each other. We're going a good team, full of national recruits, so it's fun to play with players that are on the same level you are or similar."
It's proven to be a key outlet for Rippy during the summer, allowing him to simply play football and improve instead of focusing on an overwhelming recruiting process that has yielded up roughly 30 scholarship offers.
Because of so many options, Rippy – who is understandably not close to a top 10 list - admitted that he's put so much time into looking at each school that he sometimes forgets what schools he has and hasn't researched, and stopped counting the number of offers he has.
"It's nice to just get away and play football with friends that are going through the same thing I am going through," Rippy said. "Having gotten so much intention through the process, starting by getting offers from Syracuse and Stanford after my freshman year and continuing to grow, I've gotten used to it and keep wondering when it's going to end.
Since the beginning of the year, Rippy said he's been to Alabama, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, SMU, Syracuse and West Virginia to name a few. He says coaches from Alabama, Florida, LSU, Ohio State and Wisconsin have been talking to him, too, but he hasn't been talking too many in return.
"I really haven't been doing my part in the recruiting process of talking to many schools, which is one thing that you have to do in telling the coaches if you are interested," Rippy said. "I've fallen back on that because recruitment has become overwhelming and taking up a lot of your time."
But if he is worried about school's filling up their linebacker spots, Rippy isn't showing it.
"A lot of coaches have told me that they're going to have a spot for me, being that I am a national recruit," said Rippy, who plans to graduate in December. "It's nice to not have that pressure."
Starting since his freshman year, Rippy had 85 tackles, 10 sacks and two interceptions his junior year. He also had 20 receptions for over 700 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season, numbers he typically challenges when he plays 7-on-7.
Although his teammates joke about taking their talents to the same school, Rippy believes that each will find his own spot on the field.
"Pike wanted me to come to Auburn with him and while Auburn is nice, I am pretty sure we are all going to be playing against each other," Rippy said.