Friday, April 29, 2011

Top Recruit still Undecided!

April 25, 2011

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Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep defensive back Elijah Shumate is one of the top prospects in the country at his position, holding offers from a host of major college football programs.

Most recently, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Southern Cal threw their hats in the ring for the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder. recently caught up with the talented DB and he gave an update on his favorite programs and who is after him the hardest.

Shumate says USC, Rutgers are on top
"South Carolina is definately recruiting me the hardest right now but Rutgers is right there as well," Shumate said. "I have a top five of Rutgers, South Carolina, UNC, UConn, and LSU right now. Both South Carolina and Rutgers are in first with me right now. It's too close to call."

South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus signed three prospects from the Garden State in February and is after several more in the 2012 class. One of the 2011 signees, Sheldon Royster, is close with Shumate and has already been working him to head to Columbia as well. Shumate plans on visiting South Carolina this summer.

"Sheldon is my boy," said Shumate. "We grew up next door to each other and we are like brothers. He loves South Carolina and he is always telling me about it down there. He says it is beautiful and that the coaches are great. He also says that they give the freshmen a chance to play and I like that. I was supposed to go down to visit for the spring game but I had something to do. Sheldon says that the next time he goes down he wants to take me with him. That will be sometime this summer. I am looking forward to checking everything out."

Shumate has developed a great relationship with his Mangus as well, and he was asked about the bond they have built during the recruiting process.

"Coach Mangus is mad cool. He is a great guy and coach. I love talking to him and we talk all of the time. I talk to him by phone and sometimes on Facebook. He just tells me that I need to get down to visit and that he thinks I will love it down there. Sheldon was recruited by him as well and also really likes Coach Mangus."

Even though Shumate has not yet visited South Carolina's campus, he did catch several contests last season on TV. He offered up his thoughts on the team's progress.

"I watched them play a few times this year on TV and one was the Auburn game. South Carolina is up and coming. They are signing some big time players and they have some great coaches. Steve Spurrier is getting it done there and they won the SEC East last year and have a big chance to win again this year. I like the way their defense plays with swag and how they fly around. They are intense and fast. I would love to be a part of that defense. They also give freshman a fair chance to play if they work hard and get it done."

Shumate believes he is versatile enough to play several positions at the next level, and also addressed the potential of he and his friend having a chance to play together in college.

"I am just a d-back," he said. "I will play corner, free safety, or strong safety. It would be awesome to think that me and Sheldon could possibly play in the same defensive backfield. Jersey boys in the backfield would be awesome."

While a public announcement will likely be later in the process, Shumate plans on having his recruitment mostly behind him before then.

"I think I am going to wait till the Army All-American game to make a decision but I want to know where I am going well before that."

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