Raphael Eubanks has coast to coast options

Minnesota OL Raphael Eubanks (6-3, 290, 5.1) denies a leader from his top seven: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Iowa, Stanford, Maryland and Miami have offered. He is also considering Tennessee.

"Minnesota is my hometown team," says Eubanks, of Cretin Derham-Hall. "I like how they do a lot of pulling and traps and how they run zone blocking. I've talked with coaches (Gordon) Shaw (OCs and OGs) and (Dwayne) Chandler (strength and conditioning) and they really like me. I think I'd fit perfectly with what their guards and centers do.

"Minnesota is not like other schools in the respect that they have bigger and heavier players at these positions. They like smaller and more agile guards and centers--I think I'd be a perfect fit.

"I like the academics at Wisconsin because that's what I'm looking for in a school. They have a good program and are generally a good team in the Big Ten. I really like the fans there and their game day spirits. I think very highly of coach (Jim) Hueber (OL) because that's who I'd spend most of my time with as a player, and I like what they have to offer.

"There are some very attractive parts of Northwestern. A degree from there pretty much guarantees you a good job because they're so nationally networked in this country. Their program isn't the best but I see myself fitting in there quite well. I also visited the school on 6/25 and met coach (James) Patton (OL) and felt really comfortable around him. I also like the fact of being right outside the city of Chicago because it offers more diversity with people and it seems like a fun place to be.

"Iowa's linemen have a lot going for them and the program has a reputation for developing them. I like coach (Reese) Morgan (OL) a lot, and head coach (Kirk) Ferentz is an ex-NFL OL coach so he does a lot of hands on work with his players. I talked a lot with him. I attended their game versus Michigan last season (Oct) and think that the fans there are awesome--they've got great facilities and I like them a lot.

"Stanford is a lot like Northwestern in my view because they've got great academics and a degree from there holds well for a career. I haven't been there but I heard the campus is beautiful. Even though their football program hasn't been the best in the past few years the school itself is very enticing and would be hard to pass up.

"Maryland sure is the oddball of my choices. Coach (Tom) Brattan (OL) heard some great things about me and visited my high school in May. He said I was their #1 recruit at center. They're a defensive powerhouse and should have some good competition with Miami now that they're in the same conference.

"I like Miami as well because they have a great reputation in football. They're past national champs and have a record number of players that go into the NFL. I'd enjoy playing for asst HC (Art) Kehoe (OL) because he's one of the best, if not the best coach in college football. It's an exciting program."

Rapahel plans to firm up some official trip dates in a couple weeks. Most of his visits will take place after the season.

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