RECRUITING: A Whole Lotta Love For Nwankwo

This is one of those rare years when the state of Florida has an abundance of outstanding talent on both sides of the ball. It’s a recruiter’s paradise whether for offensive or defensive line talent and one of the top attractions is Hollywood Chaminade Madonna’s Emeka Nwankwo, a south Florida talent that’s on everybody’s recruiting radar.

Last week Chamindade Madonna got off to a big start, whipping Everglades 35-6 behind Nwankwo and the rest of his offensive line. They opened up enough holes for Chaminade Madonna to rush for well over 200 yards.

This week Nwankwo and his teammates have a bye week and he plans to take in the Monday night game between Miami and Florida State in the Orange Bowl down in Miami. Neither team is really pushing too hard for him right now, but he does have interest in the visitors.

“I am still hearing a lot from Florida, Notre Dame, and Virginia,” Nwankwo said. “Right now there are so many teams I am interested in, but I like Notre Dame, Florida, Virginia, and Florida State the most.”

He has already visited Florida and he likes the Gators a lot. He has established a really good relationship with the coaching staff in Gainesville.

“I like almost everything about Florida,” he said. “I like the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball. I like the recruiting class and Coach (Urban) Meyer. I like Coach (Doc) Holliday my recruiting coach. They are pushing hard and showing interest in me and I like that.”

The Gators told Nwankwo he has the physical skill to possibly see the defensive side of the ball if he happens to sign with Florida and that interests Nwankwo.

“They will probably see me on the offensive line, but I asked about defensive line and they said okay,” he said. “I played both sides of the ball before and I play with a defensive mentality when I play. I play with a mean streak.”

Another school of great interest is Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish came to Florida last year and scooped up two South Florida linemen. They would like nothing better than to steal Nwankwo from Florida’s Big Three.

“At Notre Dame, Charlie Weis had a good recruiting class last year,” Nwankwo said. “I like the way he treats the players. The interest in me is not just as a player, but interested in me (as a person). Knowing that his offense got so much better and he turned that program around is great.”

The Virginia Cavaliers have been after Nwankwo from the very beginning. The Cavs have been really pushing the academic side of the school and it has really gotten Nwankwo’s attention.

“Virginia pushed real hard on me and they started sending me all this stuff and so I became interested,” he said. “I did my research on them and I like the school.”

Up in Tallahassee, the Noles are pushing the good ole southern charm and the new medical facilities as something that Nwankwo should want to be a part of.

“At Florida State, Bobby Bowden is one of the coaches that you hear people are comfortable going to,” Nwankwo said. “Coach (John) Lilly has been great recruiting me. I like the school. They have a great medical program at Florida State. I would like to be in family practice after football is over.”

For Emeka Nwankwo, he won’t be ready to make a decision until he has had a chance to visit and feel comfortable with the school he is looking at. That won’t be for some time as he plans on not traveling much during the season to concentrate on team goals.

“(Where I choose is) probably going to be where I feel the most comfortable,” he said. “That’s why I can’t say much about Notre Dame yet, because I haven’t visited there yet. I probably won’t travel much this season and take my visits after the season. I want to concentrate on the season.”