Justin Chaisson, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound four-star defensive end from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev., has a lot of things to feel good about. Not only did Chaisson help lead his team to a perfect 14-0 record as a junior, but he also has about 21 scholarship offers to choose from.
"I'm really taking my time right now," Chaisson said. "It's just getting started right now, so I plan on taking it slow. I probably won't have a top five until the end of summer. I'll try to make a commitment before the end of my senior season."
As a junior, Chaisson had 102 tackles with 23 sacks. He benches an impressive 395 pounds and squats 525. Chaisson is also very athletic and runs a 4.7 forty and vertical jumps 36 inches.
"I think my first step coming off the ball is real good," he said. "I also use my strength and can run you over. I'm hard-nosed. I go non-stop and I'm always flying around. I never give up on a play. I'm that type of guy."
Chaisson, Scout.com's No. 9 defensive end, isn't simply resting on his laurels during the off-season and is doing yoga and jujitsu to improve his flexibility. "I'm trying to work on my hands and my footwork," he admitted. "Quickness is something you can never have enough of and I'm training hard to get better."
As a youngster Chaisson followed Florida, Michigan and USC the most. Of those, the Gators have offered. "My family loves college football," he said.
"I love it in Florida," he said. "I like how they practice and how hard they work. It's a well run program. I like the whole atmosphere in the south and the coaches are just awesome. I really like coach Urban Meyer. They also have really good facilities and they just love to win."
Last summer Chaisson went on a nine school tour of summer camps, so he's unsure if he's going to attend any this year. He hasn't gone to any junior days and the only thing on his upcoming agenda is to visit a spring practice at Oklahoma. "I like Oklahoma a lot," he said. "They have great tradition and are always a top team. They go to a big bowl game every year."
A few of the other schools that Chaisson visited last summer are LSU, Nebraska, UCLA and USC.
"It's really hard to say much about Nebraska right now," he admitted. "The coaches that were recruiting me are all gone, but they are still recruiting me. I'm looking forward to getting to know the new staff. I think it'll be great for the program and they should be improving."
While Chaisson needs to get to know the new Huskers staff more, he says he's already pretty comfortable with the LSU coaches. "I went to their camp last year and it was great," he said. "They are really recruiting me hard. It's an amazing place and I like all the coaches. They won the national championship last year, so you can't beat that. Just walking out onto the stadium there gives you chills. It's a special place."
With offers from schools from all over the country, Chaisson says distance won't play a factor in his decision. "I can play far away or I can play close," he said. "That's not a main thing for me. Things that are important are academics, coaches and being comfortable with the people I'm surrounded by. Things like living in the city or a small town don't matter to me. I've had all types of coaches too. I just want to make sure I get along with them."
While it may seem that Chaisson is really easy going with his decision, he admits one thing that might make a small difference. "I don't really like the cold weather," he said. "My grandpa always wanted me to go to Notre Dame (not recruiting), but I can't really see myself there."
His grandparents live in Oregon and the Chaisson's have a home there as well. "I go to Oregon a lot," he said. "I've always loved the state and Oregon has a really good program too. I really like the defensive line (Michael Gray) coach. We really have a great bond.
"I like that Oregon is always a top team and are always fighting for their division," he said. "They also have some of the best facilities around."
The Chaisson's also have a home in California. "My parents have a beach house in Oceanside (about one hour south of Los Angeles)," he said. "I really like the Los Angeles schools. UCLA has offered me, but USC hasn't. You can't really beat California. What bad things can you say about either program.
"I went to both of their camps last year and I'll probably visit them during the summer again," he said. "It would be cool if USC offered because that's definitely a school I like, but if they don't it's not the end of the world."
Chaisson's fondness for the state of California includes the Bay Area as well. "I really like the Bay Area," he said. "Cal is in a great location too and I love the coaches there. I've actually always liked Cal. They have really good academics and athletics. Also, I have a grandma who lives in Northern California too."
Two other schools that Chaisson says he might visit during the summer are Arizona State and Arizona. "I like how well Arizona State did last year and they are still getting better," he said. "Arizona is an up-and-coming team too."
Some of the offers that Chaisson has are from Florida, Oklahoma, California, UCLA, LSU, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State and Nebraska. His first offer came from local UNLV during his sophomore year.
Chaisson reports a 2.8 core GPA and is taking the ACT and SAT in April.