- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Yannick Ngakoue isn't sure how many tackles he registered this season. Probably a lot.
No matter. It's another couple of statistics that most stand out. In 10 games for Washington (D.C.) Friendship, the linebacker has 21 sacks and three scores off of fumble recoveries.
Need big plays? Ngakoue can deliver.
That's why Ngakoue has a stack of scholarship offers and four finalists vying for his services. Ngakoue will take his official visit to Maryland on Dec. 7, Miami on Dec. 14 and Maryland after that. An official visit to West Virginia is also in the works.
Here's a breakdown of those four still in the hunt for the 6-foot-2, 230-pound prospect:
Ngakoue committed to the Terrapins in June then re-opened his recruitment without much explanation. Clearly, the school has proximity on its side.
"They're on the come up," Ngakoue said of the Terps, who won four games this season as opposed to two in 2011. "They're a young team. They're going to get some wins next year. If I were to go there, next year, it would be a good situation for me because they need linebackers. That's real good to walk into situation like that."
When asked about Maryland's improvement under second-year coach Randy Edsall, Ngakoue said, "I think it was good. The coaching staff did real good. They did real good by getting two more wins this year. It is good that they get better and better each year."
A growing relationship with his primary recruiter and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin has the Canes in the running for Ngakoue. A warm climate is also a bonus.
"I just know it's beautiful weather down there," Ngakoue said. "I have a good relationship with Coach Franklin. They need a lot of pass rushers. I really like Miami. Plus, it's a good conference in the ACC.
Unlike most other teams, South Carolina recruiters see Ngakoue at middle linebacker instead of a pass-rushing outside linebacker. That doesn't seem to bother Ngakoue - especially if there's early playing time to be had.
"I prefer outside linebacker but if I walk into a situation where they need me at middle linebacker, I'd do it," he said. "... They need a middle linebacker. I like playing middle linebacker. I played that in certain packages at Friendship. I like South Carolina a lot, too.
Ngakoue said he also has a strong relationship with his primary recruiter and quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus. When asked what else he liked about the Gamecocks, Ngakoue said, "I just love the SEC. South Carolina just fits me."
West Virgnina cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts has forged a strong relationship with Ngakoue. The early connection is keeping the Mountaineers in the race.
"That was my first offer so I've got to keep them at my top," Ngakoue said. "I have a good relationship with Coach Roberts. We've been talking since my junior year. He was saying I could come and play there as a true freshman and get a lot of time too. I like West Virginia a lot. It's a great atmosphere and a great campus. Good people there."