June 29, 2011

Pinnix-Odrick talks Rutgers commitment

Decision day came early than expected for Montclair defensive end Julian Pinnix-Odrick. He opted to end his recruitment on Wednesday afternoon by committing to Rutgers earlier than he once anticipated.

Pinnix-Odrick had previously stated that he wanted to wait until after his senior season to make a decision, but that recently changed.

"To be honest, scholarships are running out," he said. "At this point, my best interest was in Rutgers. I couldn't really find a reason not to pick Rutgers. I really liked it up there and everything was good. I feel comfortable with the coaching staff, the values and the location. It was the best decision for myself and my family."

A Tuesday visit to Rutgers also played a part in Pinnix-Odrick's final decision. He cited what made a difference on that particular trip to Piscataway.

"It was because my dad got a chance to speak to the Dean. He spoke for a long time with Coach Schiano. My dad really got to talk to all the coaches and he really likes it, he really likes everybody. And I like it too. I like what everybody had to say. I've always liked Rutgers."

For a while, rumors surfaced about Pinnix-Odrick favoring Penn State where his brother, Jared Odrick, played his collegiate football.

"Penn State had committed five d-linemen," said Pinnix-Odrick. "They were interested but probably looking at me for offense. I want to play defense. Playing offense is something I wouldn't be looking forward to."

The 6-foot-5, 260 pound Pinnix-Odrick was recruited by Rutgers as a defensive end, but he is looking forward to more than just a future on the football field. He talked a bit about what he might major in when he gets to college.

"I was thinking about taking psychology. I don't take it now but I've always been interested in how the mind works and just in what people do and people's habits. I'm very interested in that stuff. "

The whole recruiting process enabled Pinnix-Odrick to get a firsthand look into the psychological workings of countless coaches vying for his services.

"The main thing I was trying to figure out was who I can trust and in the end that's what you really need," he said. "That's what you're going to need through college. I was trying to figure out who was telling the truth and who actually meant what they said. And then it comes down to the people and the college itself. All of them were great football programs and seemed trustworthy, but I really trust the people at Rutgers."

That trust was first established early on in Pinnix-Odrick's recruitment and continued through this year.

"On my first visit there, I felt Rutgers was a great place," said Pinnix-Odrick. "And the first time I talked to Coach Hafley and he was telling me about himself, he was telling me about everything. He said there's no reason to lie. And he kept his word. He was straight with me and trustworthy so I know what I'm getting myself into and what is expected of me."

Decision day usually brings relief to Prospects but Pinnix-Odrick said that was not a feeling that overwhelmed on this monumental day.

"Not at ll, he acknowledged. "It's a giant decision for me. I didn't really want to talk about it after I made my decision because I had a feeling like I had to leave now. But I still have one more season of high school to go. It's good that I can now put it aside and concentrate on what I've been working on my whole high school career besides getting a scholarship offer. I still have to remember I have one more season left."

Looking back on the process, Pinnix-Odrick spoke a bit about the best part of being such a highly sought-after recruit.

"The best part is you knowing you can do things with this. First off, it's going to college for free. My parents told me before they were going to send me to college and I don't have to get a scholarship. Being able to have the opportunity to get a scholarship, I am so fortunate. It's something I worked for and saw other people trying to get. And when you start to get recruited, you start to get recognized for all the hard work you put in. That's great but I have a lot more work still."

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