It’s still a bit early, but Russ Ude knows what he’s looking for in a school and location won’t matter much to the 2015 Atlanta defensive end.
“All of my top schools have good academics and good football,” the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder from Westminster School said. “That’s huge for me. That’s why you don’t see a lot of the big SEC schools that are just football powerhouses on my list because I’m really big on academics.
“A lot of my top schools are out West. Notre Dame is up there too. I really like the combination of good academics and good football.”
Other schools on Ude’s early list are Georgia Tech, Stanford, USC, UCLA, Oregon and Florida State.
“I definitely want to try to check those places out,” he said. “Oregon invited me to camp and FSU invited me to camp. I’ll probably go there along with Georgia Tech and some other schools.
“I really like USC, I like UCLA, Stanford and Florida State because they invited me to camp and I want to check that out. Florida’s got pretty good academics for the SEC and so does Georgia, so those are two other schools I’m looking at. I’m somewhat interested in Cal, Ohio State, Texas and probably also Michigan.”
He’s already visited Georgia Tech.
“I think Georgia Tech might be about to offer pretty soon,” he said. “I went up there for Junior Day. I was the only sophomore there. I met some of the new coaches. I met the defensive line coach. I like it up there.”
Ude is still looking for his first offer, but has already stood out at a couple showcase events and hopes that a summer schedule that is likely to include more camps will help get his name out.
“The strength of my game, I think, is my first-step quickness, that’s got to be the first thing,” he said. “I’m almost always the first one off the ball. I can beat that offensive lineman with speed if I need to, but at the same time, I squat more than 500 pounds, so I can also beat him with strength if I need to.”
He could line up at defensive end or linebacker depending on the scheme.
“Georgia Tech is definitely looking at me as a defensive end because they’re switching to a 4-3,” he said. “In the 3-4 they were playing, or any 3-4 school, I’m personally trying to be a pass-rushing outside linebacker type.
“Since Georgia and Notre Dame run the 3-4, I’d probably be trying to be a pass-rushing outside linebacker. Even in a 4-3, I’m really open to trying out linebacker.”