January 27, 2011

Cyrus speaks about future

Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has been a very difficult prospect to get on the phone these days. That comes with the territory of being the nation's No. 1 offensive lineman and the No. 4 player in the country. The 6-foot-7, 322-pounder talks about his recent Iowa trip and his upcoming visit to Auburn in this update.

"Iowa was a good visit," said Kouandjio. "I was hosted my Marcus Coker who was my teammate last year and is a good friend of mine so it was good to have someone I know show me around. I met a lot of players and all the coaches and got to know a bit more about the program. I hadn't been there since the summer of my sophomore year so I saw a lot more of the campus."

Kouandjio had already done his homework a bit about Iowa heading into the visit.

"They have a good tradition, they put offensive linemen in the league and it's kind of an offensive line school," he said. "That's what really drew me to them in addition to the connection with Marcus. The coaches showed me some tapes of Robert Gallery and Bryan Bulaga and how I could be that next guy there so it was good."

One thing Kouandjio has mentioned in the past has been his preference of warmer weather. So how did he like the cold of Iowa?

"It was 11 degrees," he said. "It was take-your-breath-away cold, but it was fine. That's not a factor for me."

Next up for Kouandjio is a trip to Auburn this weekend before he makes his decision next week.

"Auburn came in when Miami fell out for me, right around the time Randy Shannon got fired," he said. "They started recruiting me even harder and said how much they needed offensive linemen and I became interested because they were winning, they were the No. 1 team in the country and they had an exciting offense. So I started talking to them and I decided to take my last visit there. I'm looking forward to checking them out this weekend."

Kouandjio has already been on official visits to New Mexico and to Alabama and has had coaches coming and going all week.

"Auburn was in earlier this week, Iowa is supposed to come sometime this week, New Mexico will be here Thursday and so will Alabama," he said. "Then I'll take the visit this weekend, shut it down and decide on Signing Day."

Kouandjio talked a little about his other two favorites, New Mexico and Alabama.

"New Mexico is a nice place and I've been out there as many times as I've been anyplace," he said. "It's a place where I could really make my mark and make a difference. Alabama is a great program, in the SEC and they run power football as well. Everyone thinks I'm going there because Arie (his older brother, 2010 signee Arie Kouandjio) is there, but that's not really a factor. I have to do what's right for me and we both agree on that. But I like Alabama a lot. Right now no one is ahead, I have to sit down and talk things over after my last visit."

And would he choose Auburn, the hated rival of his brother's Alabama team, if it came down to it?

"Yeah, why not?" he said. "If that's where I felt the best. But I haven't even taken that visit so there's no point really worrying about all that yet. But Arie and I don't care about that stuff."

Kouandjio said he will announce his decision on Signing Day, Feb. 2 but isn't sure what time. It will be at his school.



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