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J.B. Fitzgerald Visiting Michigan Again Soon
By Mike Bakas
Scout.com Recruiting Analyst
Posted May 21, 2007
Princeton Junction (N.J.) W.W.P.H.S. standout J.B. Fitzgerald is one of the top linebacker prospects in the state of New Jersey this year and he talked about the latest -- including an upcoming visit to Michigan.
is excited for the upcoming season.
"We look real good," Fitzgerald said. "We're gonna have a strong defense. We only lost two starters. I'll be playing tight end and linebacker again."
Fitzgerald used to play defensive end but was switched to linebacker for the final seven games of last season. He felt at home.
"With only seven games of linebacker under my belt I'm still learning," he said. "Playing defensive end in the past has helped me adapt to the position. I think I'm a good athlete who can make a lot of plays and be around the ball a lot."
Fitzgerald, 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, finished his junior season with 93 tackles, two sacks, and two picks. He's been a three-sport guy (football, basketball, and track) all three years of high school. Couple in a 3.4 GPA and you can see why he's being so heavily recruited. He talked about the latest on the recruiting front.
"I have 18 offers as of (yesterday)," he said. "I don't have a top five yet, I haven't really had a chance to narrow it down. I do have high interest in some of the schools -- Rutgers, Michigan, Florida, Cal, Iowa, Georgia Tech, and Michigan State (all offers)."
While he's not ready to name a favorite just yet, Fitzgerald spoke highly about a few of the schools on that list.
Rutgers: "It's close to home and I like Coach Schiano a lot. I went to their spring game this year. They're coming off a good season and I think they're really going to turn it around. That's an exciting place to be right now."
Michigan: "That's a first class program. They're always in the top five, top 10. Academically, they're a great school. I visited them in the spring and felt really comfortable there. I'm going back in early June to check it out. Plus, they have great coaches."
Florida: "They're the defending champs, what else can you say? They're a very hard-working team. Coach Meyer is a good leader. He came and visited me. My parents and I are actually going down there the third weekend in June to check out the school and everything." With so many scholarship offers, others are likely getting close to doing so. Fitzgerald mentioned one of the schools.
"Miami is getting close," he said. "They came to the school earlier this month. That's a proven program but they've had a bumpy road lately. I think their new head coach will get them back around. I've been talking to Coach Barrow and he's a real cool guy. He just got out of the league and was there for many years so it doesn't get much better than that for a linebackers coach."
The talented linebacker was asked what he'll be looking for when he takes this second round of trips this summer and eventually to make a final decision.
"Just visiting the school will give me an idea of what I like and what I don't like," he said. "My relationship with the coaches will be real important just having a good feeling beind around the guys there will be big."
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