Impressive and Prepared

"It's a great place," defensive end Anthony LaLota said of Ann Arbor, Mich. "The Big House is great and the atmosphere there is a lot of fun. I also love their tradition and history of winning. They are known for winning and I think they'll be great under coach Rich Rodriguez. He's been a very successful coach and did great at West Virginia and I think he'll continue at Michigan..."

Anthony LaLota, the 6-foot-5, 260-pound five-star defensive end from The Hun School in Princeton, N.J., has the same top seven but remains detached from making any decision or naming a leader. In fact, LaLota isn't even sure if he'll take any official visits.

"I've pretty much visited all these schools unofficially so I may not take any official trips," LaLota said. "I'm not sure yet. Either way I'll probably wait until after the season to decide."

Of course he hasn't ruled out taking visits entirely. "If by the end of the season I still don't feel ready to commit, then I'll take a few visits," he said.

LaLota, ranked as the No. 3 offensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, has over 40 scholarship offers and continues to favor Rutgers, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Boston College and Virginia.

The only summer camp he attended was Notre Dame's, although he did visit Michigan earlier this month.

"It's a great place," he said of Ann Arbor. "The Big House is great and the atmosphere there is a lot of fun. I also love their tradition and history of winning.

"They are known for winning and I think they'll be great under coach Rich Rodriguez," LaLota said. "He's been a very successful coach and did great at West Virginia and I think he'll continue at Michigan. I don't think they'll have a bad season."

LaLota also plays on the offensive line, but says the Wolverines and others are recruiting him for defensive end. "They said that I need to come prepared because there's a good chance I could play early there," he said. "I really like how they always seem to prepare their players well for the next level."

Despite his feelings about the Wolverines and Rodriquez, LaLota admits that the coach he's gotten to know best is Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. "I've gotten to know coach Schiano really well," he said. "I feel very comfortable around him.

"I'm really impressed with what he's done at Rutgers and I think they'll continue to win," LaLota said.

Another coach that has impressed LaLota is Notre Dame's head coach Charlie Weis. "I know they had a bad season, but coach Weis can turn it around," he said. "I fully expect them to be a lot better this year than last year."

He also believes that Virginia is on the verge of a breakthrough as well. "I think they have a strong program and can get even better," LaLota said. "They play in the ACC and that's a pretty good conference and I really like the 3-4 defense that they run."

LaLota's choices may seem pretty varied but he actually feels they really aren't too different from each other. "They really have some great campuses," he said. "Michigan, Notre Dame, Boston College, Penn State - those are some of the best campuses I've seen."

"But there's definitely a difference between the Midwest and the south," he admitted. "I think it's more about their style of football though. People say that the SEC is faster than the Big Ten, but that the Big Ten has more power. I don't know. I think they have great athletes everywhere."

LaLota says that besides academics he's simply looking to find a place where he's truly comfortable. "It's all about where you're comfortable," he said. "It doesn't matter about the location as long as I'm still able to easily get home every now and then.

"I also want to go where I can make an impact on the team," LaLota said. "I want to play for a quality program that has good tradition."

The Hun open their season on Saturday, Sept. 13.

LaLota reports a 3.7 core GPA and a 1310 SAT.

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