- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
John Kenny (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) is close to making a decision, and he has three teams in the running.
“Honestly, it could be coming up real soon, maybe even before school’s out I’m hoping,” the 6-foot-2, 215-pound outside linebacker said. “I visited all the schools recruiting me the hardest, and I think I have a pretty good feel of things right now with some certain schools.
“I think it’s IU [Indiana], Arizona and Iowa in my top three as of now.”
The latest visit for Kenny came this past weekend when he traveled west out to Tucson to visit the Wildcats. He was not sure what to expect or if he would feel comfortable being that far away from home, but he went in with an open mind and does not think distance would be a factor any longer.
Kenny spent much of the visit with coach Rich Rodriguez and defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Jeff Casteel.
“[Casteel] was real cool to hang out with, and coach Rodriguez was awesome, too,” Kenny said. “They’re getting all new facilities, and I think it’s going to be sweet. They’re definitely going to be a program on the rise with all the new coaches once they get some of their own players in the system.”
Kenny has a family friend who is a high school coach in Arizona, and he passed Kenny’s tape along to the Wildcats’ new staff during the winter. Even though Tucson is thousands of miles from the Indianapolis area, the Wildcats were the first to offer Kenny.
“That meant a lot, giving me an opportunity to play,” Kenny said
A visit to Iowa came recently, too, as Kenny was in Iowa City for the Hawkeyes’ spring game April 14. It was Kenny’s first time at Iowa and he “loved that visit.”
“All the people were great there, and the fan base was crazy,” he said. “… They’re the only show in town in Iowa because there are no pro teams or anything. I heard from basically everyone that no matter what you do – good or bad – people are going to know about it. I got 50 new followers from someone just tweeting I was there.”
Kenny also raved about coach Kirk Ferentz and recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson. He did not spend much time with linebackers coach LeVar Woods but was impressed with the NFL veteran’s resume.
The nearby Hoosiers make up the final third of Kenny’s favorites, and it’s a program he has seen more than the other two.
“I like IU because of the coaches, been there more than all these others schools,” Kenny said. “I didn’t grow up a big Hoosiers fan, but when you grow up in Indiana it’s hard not to like IU.”
450dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert