Juwann Winfree has already caught the attention of several college programs and the 2014 New Jersey athlete has five scholarship offers to prove it.
On Monday, a new school popped up on Winfree’s radar when Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco stopped by Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, N.J., to check on the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder.
“We weren’t able to talk, but he wanted to let me know that he’s really interested in me and wants to get me up there, so he invited me to the junior day,” Winfree said. “I’m not sure on the date, but he gave it to my coach.”
Winfree isn’t sure if he’ll be able to make it out to South Bend for an unofficial visit, but could make a trip in the fall.
“I’m very interested, but I don’t know if I can go out there,” he said. “I’ll see. For an official visit, sure.”
Still, he was honored to hear that he was on the Irish’s recruiting board.
“It’s just the program, it’s just a huge program,” he said. “I know the education at the school is huge and the program went to the national championship this year. It’s just amazing. I’ll always be interested in a school like that.
“I didn’t know that they were interested in me, so it was a nice feeling. I hadn’t heard anything from them, so it was a surprise.”
Winfree, who could play either receiver or defensive back, already holds offers from Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Syracuse and Old Dominion.
“It’s just a dream come true,” he said. “This is what I’ve always been waiting for, so this is an amazing feeling. I really like the schools that have offered me, so it’s a nice feeling knowing that I have them supporting me.
“I’ve been to Maryland one time, Rutgers about three or four times, I’ve been to Pitt once and I’ve been to Temple.”
A few schools are already sticking out.
“I don’t have a leaderboard, but I have my top five favorites,” he said. “Maryland, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Georgia and West Virginia. I like the fact that I feel like I would be able to fit in at those schools athletically and socially.”
Winfree, who runs about 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, says coaches like his versatility.
“My athleticism and the fact that I can play on both sides,” he said. “Some coaches don’t know where they want me right now, some say they want me on offense, some on defense. The fact that I can play both sides of the ball is attracting a lot of coaches.”
Winfree will be relying on his family for support when he makes his choice.
“My family will have a big part in the decision, so it’ll probably location, education and athletically,” he said.
He’s in no rush to make a decision and could wait until National Signing Day next year to make one.