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June 2, 2005

Adjepong has that never give up mentality

Carteret (N.J.) defensive end Jason Adjepong is the kind of player and person most college programs are looking for. The 6-foot-3, 256-pound Adjepong now has more than 20 scholarship offers to his credit and his non-stop motor on the field is one of the big reasons.

"I just refuse to lose in any sense," Adjepong said. "I never give up and I just refuse to let anyone stop me when I'm trying to make a play. Even the minor battles, if I lose one of them, I try to take the attitude that it will never happen again. I feel like if I give absolutely everything I have on every play, then everything else will fall into place throughout the game."

Adjepong plans to narrow his list down a manageable number of schools sometime in June after taking multiple unofficial visits in lieu of attending summer camps.

"I know I'm visiting Virginia and Virginia Tech this month, and right now I'm planning on visiting Penn State, too, but that's one's not set yet," he said. "I'd like to take one other visit, but it could be to any of the other schools that have offered me."

Adjepong, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds, has developed a strong relationship with the Virginia coaching staff.

"I just love the coaches at Virginia," he said. "I've got a great relationship with Coach (Al) Groh and Coach (Al) Golden. I get a lot of e-mails from Coach Groh, and I just like how he believes in me and I like how he sends so many players the NFL. They also graduate their players and play in a good conference."

The Virginia Tech Hokies have also positioned themselves well with Adjepong, who bench presses 335 pounds.

"One of my assistant coaches at my high school went to Virginia Tech, so he's told me a lot about them," he said. "I also like Coach Rogers, my recruiter from Virginia Tech. I'm going there next week and I want to learn more about how they use their defensive ends and how I'd fit into their scheme if I went there. They've told me I'm high on their list."

The South Carolina Gamecocks ventured into New Jersey to sign two great players in Dakota Walker and Shea McKeen last season and hope to do the same with Adjepong.

"I know South Carolina signed Dakota (Walker) last year and I know he's a very good player because I saw him at a combine last summer," he said. "So it would be pretty cool to know another guy from New Jersey would be there. I also met Steve Spurrier one time at an awards ceremony, but I didn't get to talk to him in-depth. It's an honor for him to recruit me and they talk like they're excited about me and they think I can make an early impact there."

Penn State is another team high on Adjepong's list.

"I am very cool with Coach (Dick) Anderson from Penn State and I'll probably get down there for a visit this summer," he said. "They play great football and put out great players every year. Everything down there is 'A+' quality, from their stadium to their coaches to their fans."

Adjepong knows what he wants in a school.

"I feel like a degree from any of the schools that have offered me is strong enough, so I'm not looking at one school as being better than the other as far as academics go," he said. "I'm looking at the football opportunities and how I'd fit in scheme-wise. And I want strong academic support and I want to play big-time football."

Adjepong isn't sure when he'll make his decision.

"I could commit early or I could wait," he said. "If I do commit early, I'll stick with that team and cancel everything else. I'm not ready to name any favorites just yet."

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