- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
HOUSTON -- ESPN 300 offensive guard Andrew Billings is happy to be playing football again.
The 6-foot-2, 308-pound four-star prospect, who played both offensive and defensive line for Waco (Texas) High School, helped the Lions make it to the Class 4A state quarterfinals before they were knocked out by Wolfforth (Texas) Frenship on Dec. 1.
Now Billings is getting ready for a week of practice and competition at the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, which will be held Sunday at Reliant Stadium. He's also thinking about his college future, which is still to be determined as he chooses from a top three that includes Baylor, Texas and TCU.
"It's been up and down, but really it was never really too stressful," Billings said of the recruiting process. "I always kind of leveled it out. If it ever got too stressful, I just didn't pay attention to it and let it calm down a little bit. But overall, it's been pretty good. I enjoyed it."
Billings, who is being recruited as a defensive tackle by all three of those schools, got an offer from Texas A&M and spoke to special teams coordinator Brian Polian last week. Billings said that the offer won't affect his thought process and remains focused on his top three.
"They have a spot for me," Billings said of Texas A&M. "They said they could give me a scholarship. I said that would be nice but I already have it down to these three."
The nation's 12th-ranked guard already took an official visit to Texas but has now scheduled his Baylor and TCU trips. He'll make his official visit to TCU on Jan. 11 then take the Baylor official Jan. 25. A decision will likely come soon after the Baylor trip.
"Right after that last one, I'll make my decision," Billings said.
He likes certain aspects about each of the three schools. With Texas, he has a good relationship offensive line coach Stacey Searels and is building one with defensive tackles coach Bo Davis.
"I've been recruited by Coach Searels the most, so I have a good relationship with him," Billings said. "He'll tell you what he thinks. They switched me to D-line, so I have a relationship with Bo and he seems like a great d-line coach. The defensive linemen there, they're all people I can relate to. Overall, I like the team. They're together."
When it comes to TCU, Billings said he talks to cornerbacks coach Clay Jennings about more than just football.
"We can talk to each other and it's not so much football with him," Billings said. "He just talks to me about what's going on. It's really a relationship where we just talk and then at the end football comes up. I've talked with Coach [Dick] Bumpas, the D-line coach; they're all great people. I can talk to them about anything."
Baylor, of course, is closest to home, right where Billings played his high school ball. He also has a good relationship with safeties coach Brian Norwood and defensive line coach Chris Achuff.
"The reason why I have a great relationship with them is because Coach Norwood, he stays in contact with me a lot and we talk," Billings said. "Also Coach Achuff. The first time I went to a camp there, I was coached by him and I really liked the way he coached. There's a really great coaching staff there."
Billings will weigh several different factors when making his final decision.
"I want to make sure I have a chance of playing there and they have the things I'm interested in as a school and the coaching staff and the guys that I like have a chance of staying there," he said. "It really comes down to the players. Do I like these people? Can I hang around them? Can they teach me something I don't know?"
Overall, life has been treating Billings well.
"It's been great," he said. "I haven't played football [since the season ended] but I've been focused on lifting weights and staying in shape and getting stronger and faster. It's been good for me. More time for homework and everything."
489dSam Khan Jr. and Max Olson