- Brad Bournival, RecruitingNation
Some big-name schools got some great news on Sunday when Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) broke down his favorites.
The No. 3 offensive guard in the nation and 56th overall player in the ESPN 300, Mama has already scheduled two official visits and has Alabama, BYU, Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, USC and Wisconsin among his top eight.
Here’s a look at each school and an argument for why the 6-foot-4, 370-pound guard might think about giving his pledge to one of them:
The Crimson Tide’s pitch: Ross Pierschbacher proved Sunday night that distance isn’t a factor when it comes to committing to a national championship-caliber school when he dropped Iowa in favor of the Tide. Alabama could use that and sell the idea of two guards playing opposite each other for the next four years. Mama has an official visit to Alabama lined up for the Nov. 7 weekend.
The Cougars’ pitch: Mama has built a strong relationship with offensive coordinator Robert Anae and offensive line coach Garett Tujague and is of the Latter-day Saints faith, so that won’t be an issue at BYU. The Cougars’ relationship with Mama is strong.
The Gators’ pitch: Florida has ESPN 300 offensive tackle Benjamin Knox already in the fold for 2014, so the Gators can pitch the two playing next to each other for the next four years. Florida also has a strong line coach in Tim Davis. His résumé speaks for itself.
The Fighting Irish’s pitch: With a commitment from Mama, Notre Dame would have an offensive line of the future. ESPN 300 offensive tackle Alex Bars and guard Quenton Nelson are already part of the Irish’s 2014 class as is four-star guard Sam Mustipher. Putting Mama in the class could make Notre Dame a force in the trenches.
The Buckeyes’ pitch: Ohio State can sell the fact it has ESPN 300 tackle Jamarco Jones and guard Demetrius Knox in the fold already, but it’s more than that. Depth isn’t one of the Buckeyes’ strong suits in the trenches, so the immediacy of needing Mama might come into play.
The Bruins’ pitch: Mama wants a close relationship with his position coach and his bond with offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is already strong. The former NFL lineman molded a young offensive line last season and picked up the attention of Mama.
The Trojans’ pitch: Mama has been a lifelong fan of USC, so the Trojans can play that card right out of the gate. USC is believed to be the favorite going forward and it can use its brand to sell the big offensive guard even more. Having ESPN 300 linemen and fellow Californians Toa Lobendahn and Jordan Poland in the 2014 class could help as well.
The Badgers’ pitch: Mama already knows what Wisconsin is all about as he cited the Badgers’ ability to get offensive linemen to the NFL and the quality education he’ll receive if he chooses Wisconsin. He’ll take an official visit there on Oct. 12 for the Northwestern game.
515dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert