June 7, 2011

Canadian DE on Spartan radar

Michigan State has a long tradition of having Canadian players making important contributions. Last year the Spartans signed defensive back Arjen Colquhoun from there and this year they are taking a serious look at defensive lineman Eli Ankou. SpartanMag.com was able to speak with the 6-foot-3, 255-pound prospect and got the latest details on his recruitment.

Ankou is seeing his stock rise this spring as more programs are learning about him. In order to improve his skills as well as increase his exposure Ankou attended back to back NIKE Camp back in early May. Rivals.com National analyst Mike Farrell had the following to say about Ankou after selecting him one of the top performers:
"Ankou was participating in his second Nike camp in as many days but you'd never know it as he had fresh legs, got off the ball as quickly as ever and dominated in the one-on-ones. Ankou does a good job of mixing up his moves and alternating outside and inside moves and changing direction quickly. He is powerful when engaged, can keep linemen off him with the use of his arms and hands, and he has a constant motor. Ankou took home the defensive line MVP award for his efforts after just missing out at Penn State."

SpartanMag.com asked Ankou about his thoughts on the NIKE Camp as well as the he is being recruited by?
The NIKE camps were awesome, he stated. It was a great experience. The coaching was great and the competition was stiff. I have scholarship offers from UCLA, Virginia and Vanderbilt. Schools that are showing interest are Rutgers, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Akron, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech.

As with Colquhoun, the Spartans are looking hard at Ankou, but likely want to get to know him better and see him in action personally before they extend an offer. We asked him about Michigan State.

"I am hearing a lot of promising things from Coach Narduzzi at Michigan State," Ankou said. "I like what the program stands for and the success they've been having in the past. They are very interested and would like me to come down for their camp or to come visit."

Ankou is still in the early stages of his recruitment. Not only is he still learning more about the schools that are recruiting him, he is also learning about American football. Ankou talked about his time table and the steps he is taking to prepare himself for his future

"I am not clear on when I am making a decision, I am going to take a bit more time doing that and visit the schools that my family and I appreciate the most (as in academics and football), but I am positive it will be the right one. I am moving to Delaware this fall. My goal is to play high school football there and to get an understanding of the American system. Hopefully that will help prepare me for NCAA football."

The school in Delaware that Ankou will be attending is Red Lion Christian. The school burst on the national scene last year when their quarterback, David Sills was offers by Lane Kiffin as only an 8th grader. In addition, they also produced Angelo Blackston who signed with Auburn back in February. Red lion Christian will offer Ankou at opportunity to test his skills against quality American competition.

One aspect that makes Ankou attractive from Michigan State's perspective is his ability to potentially play multiple spots on the defensive line. At 255-pounds, Ankou is currently defensive end size, but he will probably be 270-275 pounds by the time he steps onto a college campus. He will likely be one of those players that could slide inside or outside on the defensive line based on down and distance.

Ankou plans on visiting several schools this summer. It is very possible the Spartans will look to host him at their Elite Player Camp held in July. Spartanmag.com will be keeping an eye out for him. A strong camp performance could definitely land Ankou an offer from Head Coach Mark Dantonio

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