August 16, 2009

Kouandjio down to eight

Hyattsville (Md.) Dematha offensive tackle Arie Kouandjio, a four-star prospect ranked in the top 30 in the nation at his position, has narrowed down his list of schools to eight. With nearly 50 offers now down to a manageable number, who made the cut.

"In no order, I'm down to Alabama, Cal, Miami, Maryland, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Wake Forest," said the 6-foot-6, 314-pounder. "I contacted the coaches today and let everyone know. I haven't decided on any official visits or anything like that, I just wanted to get things down to a number I can work with."

Such notable programs like Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, LSU and others didn't make the cut. Kouandjio talks about each of his favorites and why they made his list.

"For Alabama, they have a great tradition, good coaches, they play really good football and I think there's an opportunity to play early," he said. "Cal I've already visited and it was a cool place. It felt good even though it was far from home. I liked the coaches and it's an up-and-coming program.

"Miami is known for producing great players and I know they're going to get back to doing that soon. In the next couple of years they are going to be really good and I think they'll be back to their winning ways. Maryland is my hometown school, it's only about seven minutes from my home and it would be great to play in front of my family and friends.

"New Mexico has coach Locksley who seems like a really cool guy and a good coach. I've heard so many good things about him and that he's down-to-earth and I know I could play early out there. Notre Dame has great tradition, I love the academics and I like the coaches there.

"Tennessee seems like a good opportunity to play early, they play in the SEC which is great football and the coaches are recruiting me hard. Finally, Wake Forest has been on me since the very beginning, they have great academics and they play very good football. They're one of the best teams in the ACC."

Kouandjio has already visited Cal, Miami and Maryland but hasn't seen his other five favorites. However, that doesn't mean each of them will get an official visit.

"I'll figure that out next," he said. "Getting down to eight was not too hard expect telling some of the coaches that didn't make the list. But everyone was really good about it."

Kouandjio is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the state of Maryland.

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