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Wednesday, May 29, 2013
FSU, USC offers shake up TE Izzo's plans

By Jared Shanker

Just as Ryan Izzo (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) was ready to trim his list to just a handful of schools, his world was turned upside down Wednesday -- twice.

Florida State offered the 6-foot-6, 215-pound tight end in the morning, and then the USC coaches extended a scholarship offer in the evening.

Izzo had an idea both staffs were interested in him, but he had no idea each school was on the fringe of offering so quickly after recent visits to the Pope John campus. An assistant from USC watched Izzo work out last week.

“He told me he loved me and my work ethic,” Izzo said. “He told me I have great character and said he’d do everything he could to offer me. I wasn’t expecting it, but now I got it, and it’s great to get that.”

USC was the dominant team in the country when Izzo was picking up the game of football. He could not find the words to describe what it is like landing an offer from the program he grew up watching on TV.

“There are no words to even explain it,” he said.

The Trojans are in on several of the country’s top tight ends and have offered six prospects among the top 10 nationally at the position.

New FSU assistant Tim Brewster reached out to Izzo on Facebook and said to give him a call when he could. Much like the USC offer, Izzo was very surprised to hear the Seminoles liked him enough to offer him an opportunity to play for the garnet and gold.

“I knew they were interested, but didn’t know if they looked at me as a scholarship player and when they would pull the trigger,” Izzo said. “When he popped the offer, it was a good surprise.”

On Wednesday, the Seminoles also offered Mike Gesicki, another tight end out of New Jersey.

Before Wednesday, Izzo was in the process of coming up with a top five. The offers from the national powerhouses “no doubt” change how he will approach his recruitment now.

“It would for everyone,” said Izzo, who will plan visits to both schools.

The two programs in the best position for Izzo that he said are certain to make his top group are in-state Rutgers and Virginia Tech. The Scarlet Knights have hosted Izzo on two visits since the season, and the coaching staff is recruiting the north New Jersey school hard. Rutgers also has offered his 2014 teammate Noah Brown and 2016 quarterback Sonny Abramson.

Izzo also likes how he would be used in Piscataway.

“I’m a great fit for their offense, which is based on tight ends like me,” Izzo said.

Virginia Tech hosted Izzo for a visit for its spring game in April.

“I went up there with Noah and had a great time,” he said. “I have a really great relationship with Coach [Cornell] Brown.”

Michigan State will host Izzo for a camp and visit June 15, and he is planning to visit Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Northern Illinois while out in the Midwest.