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Three-star Padilla: FCS or Ivy League?

1/17/2012

Three-star lineman Niko Padilla (Dallas, Texas/Parish Episcopal) is debating with himself. Take the offer from a standout FCS school, or take the offer from a prestigious Ivy League institute?

As National Signing Day approaches, Padilla will make that picture clearer. He has offers from Central Arkansas and Yale. He visited Central Arkansas this past weekend, and he’s taking a visit to Yale this weekend.

“Central Arkansas was my first official visit, and it was really nice,” Padilla said. “I liked all the coaches and facilities, and it’s a top team in the FCS. I’m excited about Central Arkansas, but at the same time, I’m ready to see what Yale has to offer.”

The ability to play anywhere on the line – offensively and defensively – has given Padilla an opportunity to write his own ticket in college football. Listed as a defensive tackle, the 6-foot-1, 275-pound Padilla is ranked No. 81 nationally. As solid as he is on the football field, his 4.0 grade-point average serves as icing on the proverbial cake.

Padilla played both defensive tackle and defensive end at Parish Episcopal. Offensively, he’s lined up at guard, center and tackle. Padilla also was Parish Episcopal’s long snapper on special teams.

In addition to Central Arkansas and Yale, Padilla has received looks from New Mexico, Baylor, Stephen F. Austin and FCS runner-up Sam Houston State.

“I just want to feel comfortable wherever I end up,” Padilla said. “I want to be comfortable with all the coaches and players, and I want to go to a place where I’m going to be successful after college. I’m thinking of studying business management, either accounting or finance, so I want to get a good degree.”