May 6, 2010

Interest piling up for New Jersey OL

Shane Mertz has seen the recruiting process pick up substantially of late, with another offer coming in and a couple of other programs starting to show interest.

The 6-foot-7, 270-pound offensive tackle from Hazlet (N.J.) Raritan had offers from Duke, Maryland and Rutgers heading into this past week, and that offer list has another school on it now.

"UCF offered me this week," Mertz said on Thursday afternoon. "I know they have a good engineering program so I'm definitely interested in them. I'm going to do some research and find out more about that."

That's a common theme regarding the schools that have offered Mertz. He likes what he knows but plans on finding out more.

"I'm going to probably visit Rutgers again in June and look at them more extensively," he said. "I definitely want to get back down to Duke sometime in early June because they have a lot to offer, and I'm probably going to Maryland sometime in June.

"Right now I'm at the point where I don't really have a set favorite. I haven't been able to visit all the schools that have offered me."

Things have changed recently, then. Not long ago Mertz had said Duke was at the top of his list, but that was before some of his other offers came in.

There are two other schools on the horizon that could be factors down the road.

"Now Pittsburgh and Notre Dame are showing interest," he pointed out. "They visited my high school and Pittsburgh is sending their offensive line coach next week next week. If either one of them offered I would most likely try to make attempt to go (visit) there. They both have great athletic programs."

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