At 6-6 and 310 pounds, New Canaan offensive tackle Lucas Niang has become one of the nation’s most coveted high school players.
It turns out Niang’s ambitions are as big as his size.
Niang, who said he hoped to narrow his college choices down to five schools before the start of the season, revealed the finalists on Friday afternoon: Miami, Rutgers, TCU, Auburn and Oregon.
“They were the best fit for me,” Niang said. “They are places I thought I could succeed and get a great education. And they are the five places I liked best.”
According to the 247Sports composite, Niang is a three-star recruit, the No. 73 offensive tackle nationally and the No. 3 recruit from Connecticut.
“I think he has certainly got the body type for them and the athleticism for them,” said Lou Marinelli, the Rams’ coach, after meeting with Niang prior to practice. “We have to make sure he has the academics. I think he can go any place he wants to.”
Niang said he has been offered by all of the schools except for Oregon. “I put them on the list because I like them a lot too,” Niang said.
Niang said in all he has offers from 25-30 schools.
“It was kind of difficult choosing,” he said. “There are a lot of schools I could have put there.”
Niang has yet to make an official visit to any of the five schools. He plans to set them up in accordance with both New Canaan’s and the schools’ schedules. Thus, a final choice is not imminent, and Niang said he has not set a timetable to make a decision.
“I just hope I find the right fit,” Niang said.
The Rams, one of eight defending state champions, will open their season next Friday at Ridgefield.
This will be the second straight year Marinelli will guide one of his players through a recruiting process with major Division I programs. Zach Allen made his freshman debut last weekend for Boston College, and Alex LaPolice is a freshman at Harvard.
“I tell them what I think but I never tell them what they should do,” Marinelli said. “I’m the guy who sets up things.”
Michael Collins, the quarterback Niang will be protecting this season, has already given a verbal commitment to Penn.