Tyler Sands, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound three-star offensive lineman from Boyerton Area, Pa., now has 23 scholarship offers and, has narrowed down his choices to two schools: Boston College and Illinois. They aren't just the leaders, Sands said. They are the options.
"I just recently visited Illinois and after I came back I knew it would be Boston College and Illinois," Sands said. "Before I used to really like Boston College and they were my top choice, but now it's dead equal. I go back to Boston College on July 22 and hopefully in early August I'll be able to decide."
Sands, ranked No. 48 in the East by Scout.com, says that Boston College and Illinois have won the battle over Nebraska, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech. All of them have offered according to Sands. The only camp Sands attended was West Virginia, but the Mountaineers never offered.
"Boston College is a great academic institution," he said. "I want to major in computer science, so academics are going to be important. I also really like the new coaching staff and that coach Jeff Jagodzinski has NFL experience. They are putting together a great recruiting class and I think I'd fit in well with all of them. They seem to have a lot going for them."
Sands says that he likes that both Boston College and Illinois have new coaches and are up-and-coming programs.
"I hope to have a great relationship with my coaches and I really want to be part of something and build up with them," Sands said. "Both Boston College and Illinois fit that and I think that they both will be doing something special.
"I'm good friends with Graham Pocic (offensive tackle who is already committed to Illinois) and he's really trying to get me to go there," he said. "He really wants us to play on the line together and his hope is that both me and Garrett Goebel end up at Illinois.
"They sell the family atmosphere and talk about how close knit everyone is," Sands said. "Graham told me that I already have friends at Illinois."
Although Sands has now narrowed it down to Illinois and Boston College, he admits things could have been different if distance weren't a factor. "I never got a chance to go to Nebraska for a visit," he said. "If I had, perhaps things would have been different. But they are a little far and my family wouldn't really be able to see me play very often. Also, they basically have all their o-line commitments and seem to be pretty set."
He reports a 3.7 core GPA and a 1710 SAT.