November 30, 2010

Kouandjio sets first visit

Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has narrowed his list of schools down to five and has begun to set up his official visits. Who made the cut for the five-star and when will his first official visit take place?

"I'm going to Alabama for an official this weekend," said the 6-foot-7, 322-pounder. "That's my first official but I am going to take all five of my officials before I decide. I want to see a bunch of places to compare."

Kouandjio has narrowed his list down to five schools -- Alabama, Iowa, USC, Miami and New Mexico -- and spoke about what he likes about each.

"With Alabama, I know a lot about it. My brother (Arie Kouandjio) goes there so he can tell me about his experience first hand. Although I haven't talked to him in a few weeks so I'll see him this weekend. He likes it down there. I also like coach Pendry a lot and the atmosphere down there is great.

"With Iowa, having my friend Marcus Coker there doing his thing helps a bit and the coaches are good. It's also a school that has produced a lot of NFL linemen and I like that and I'd be comfortable in any offense, but a power offense like that is my preference.

"USC is recruiting me harder than anyone else. Coach Morton is a good guy and he's really pushing hard. Arie visited out there and really liked it so I figure I should check it out.

"New Mexico would easily offer early playing time and I'm not afraid to go there and help build a program. Coach Locksley is a guy I've known for a while and I have a great deal of respect for him. I've been out there a couple of times and it's nice.

"Finally, Miami's situation is a little tenuous right now but I spoke to the coaches down there and they said that Miami is just looking for a new head coach and by the time I visit everything should be in place. I've always been interested in Miami, but obviously right now I probably won't be visiting there anytime soon."

Koaundjio, ranked as the No. 10 prospect overall in the nation, said he might take another official visit before the Christmas break and then take his last three in January, but he's not sure.

"I don't really have an order or schedule of when I'll visit," he said. "It doesn't matter because I'll take them all in the end anyhow, so the order doesn't make a difference."

If Miami's situation isn't settled or Koaundjio loses interest based on the new hire, what school could jump in?

"UCLA would be next," he said. "They are recruiting me hard as well but right now I'm solid with my five."

And what does Koaundjio say to those who think he's a lock to Alabama because his brother is already there.

"They don't understand," he said. "I like Alabama but Arie and I are two different people and we know neither of us was going to choose a school because of the other. Alabama wants us to be bookend tackles on the team, but I wouldn't want to get into a direct competition for playing time with my brother, that wouldn't make us happy so that's a concern. I am honestly wide open and considering everyone and seeing what the best fit for me is."



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