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Friday, November 2, 2012
Donovan Munger has top 11, plans visit

By Jared Shanker

Do not let Shaker Heights (Ohio) lineman Donovan Munger's size fool you. The imposing, 6-foot-3, 280-pound two-way star is soft-spoken and aims to please.

The latter of those two traits is the reason why Munger's list was "cut" to 11 recently, and there is a good chance that list increases before it decreases.

The ESPN 300 defensive tackle's coach, Jarvis Gibson, said Munger's top 11, in no order, consists of USC, Ohio State, Michigan State, Tennessee, UCLA, West Virginia, Louisville, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Georgia and Pittsburgh. The Trojans are the only team that has not offered, but Gibson is expecting a call from the staff Friday night as Munger has already talked with an assistant at USC.

"He has no idea where he wants to go," Gibson said. Asked to handicap the race as to which teams will be there until the end, Gibson laughed and said, "All of them."

Although there has not been any contact with the programs, Gibson finalized Munger's senior film and is sending it out to Alabama, Florida, LSU and Texas. He believes at least one could bite. He will send it to Oregon, too, and the Ducks have shown interest in Munger. Depending on which if any of those schools offer, Gibson believes that top group of 11 will grow.

Gibson met with Munger and his mother Thursday to narrow his list down. Gibson said the root of Munger's inability to truly cut down his list is because he has a hard time telling teams, "No."

One team Munger said "yes" to is UCLA, and he will officially visit the Bruins later this month for the weekend of Nov. 16 when they host USC.

"It's California," Gibson said as to why Munger is high on UCLA. "I think the bright lights of where it's located, being in California, it's something that intrigued him."

Among the schools to offer, it is roughly 50-50 as to whether coaches like Munger as an offensive guard or defensive tackle. Schools such as Georgia, Indiana and Pitt like him at guard; Ohio State and Oklahoma want him wreaking havoc in opposing backfields instead of protecting them.

The Sooners are the latest to offer Munger, who added the scholarship Wednesday. Defensive line coach Jackie Shipp spoke with Gibson to tender the offer.

"Oklahoma loves him at defensive tackle --  his strength, quickness," Gibson said. "Especially in high school, you'll see a lot of kids, if the ball doesn't come his way, he'll idle things down. But Donovan runs down and makes plays. He demands a double team and he's still saying, 'OK, the ball carrier is still mine.' "

Munger will play in the Team USA vs. The World all-star game in Texas just a few days before signing day, and the game promoters asked if Munger would like to make a commitment there. Munger declined as he wants to make a decision before the game back in Shaker Heights.