Bernardo Nunez, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound three-star defensive end/outside linebacker from Hoboken, N.J., is getting close to making a final decision.
“Maryland is number one right now,” Nunez says. “I’ve been there a lot and I feet really comfortable with all the coaches and players already. There’s probably about an 80-90 percent chance I’ll go there.”
The Terps still lead solidly over Pittsburgh and Michigan State, who he is visiting on Jan. 9 and 17 respectively.
“If I get that feeling at Pittsburgh or Michigan State it could change things,” he said. “I want to compare them to Maryland and see how the other schools are. I need to see how they stack up and how I feel when I’m there.”
Nunez, ranked as the No. 43 defensive end in the country by Scout.com, visited Maryland on Dec. 12. “It was a great visit,” he said. “It was my first visit so the whole experience was new and different. I was really impressed by everything because I didn’t know what to expect.
“I really liked hanging out with the players and learning about the school,” he said. “I was impressed with how well they take care of the players there and how they really help you academically and make sure you’re doing well.”
Next weekend Nunez will be visiting Pittsburgh. “They are in a tough conference,” he said. “And they have a real good coach. I think he’ll be there for a long time and is really building the program up.
“Plus, it’s in the city and reminds me of Hoboken,” he said.
Although the Panthers lost their bowl game (0-3 to Oregon State in the Sun Bowl), Nunez says he was impressed with their play. “Oregon State is a real good team,” he said.
“They beat USC and Pittsburgh held them to three points,” Nunez said. “It was real close. I think they will be even better next year.”
Following his trip to Pittsburgh, Nunez will be heading west to Michigan State. “They are another program that is building up,” he said of the Spartans.
“They play in a great conference and against some of the best competition each week,” he said. “You know that every week you’re going to be competing and testing yourself against some of the best players.”
Nunez plans to announce his decision following his Michigan State trip. “It won’t be long after that trip when I announce,” he said.
There’s been speculation that Nunez may also visit Louisville, but Nunez insists he’s not considering anyone else. “They did contact me, but that’s it,” he said of Louisville.
“It’s nothing major,” he said. “I’m really concentrating only on Maryland, Pittsburgh and Michigan State. That’s it.”
Nunez finished his senior season with 109 tackles, 10 sacks and five fumbles caused. He helped lead his team to an 8-4 record and a spot in the state championship game where Hoboken lost to Verona in a 12-13 heartbreaker.
He says he wants to major in either business management or psychical education and reports a 2.8 core GPA. Although he took the SAT in November, he says he still doesn’t have his score yet.
“I don’t have it,” he said. “It was sent to my school and my coaches have it. I’ll get it this week when we go back to school.”