July 14, 2008

Defensive end enjoys Purdue visit

After having to cancel a previous visit to Purdue, Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan was able to make it to West Lafayette Wednesday.

The unofficial visit only enhanced the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder's feelings for the Boilermakers.

"It went very well," said Buchanan, who visited Purdue with his dad and stepmother. "I saw a lot of the campus and visited with a bunch of the coaches. … I just had a good feel for it.

"(Purdue) was just really well prepared, really organized. We talked to the academic advisors, the strength and conditioning coach, everybody. So we got a good feel for the program."

After the visit, which was the third to Purdue for the Homewood (Ill.) Floosmoor three-star standout, following a previous visit and also a basketball camp, Buchanan was able to narrow down his list of 16 or so offers in a top-six. He says Purdue, Illinois, California, Vanderbilt, Kansas and Virginia are the frontrunners, in no particular order.

"I'm looking for a good football program and a good academic school, which shouldn't be a problem because a lot of schools in my top-six are good schools," he said, "and a place where I can fit in, where I can make an impact."

Purdue, he says, could fit the criteria. He says he likes Purdue's history of stellar defensive ends, with many Boilermakers now playing the position - or having converted to linebacker - in the NFL.

"Yeah, they call it the Den of Defensive Ends," he said.

As a junior at Homewood Floosmoor, Buchanan totaled 75 tackles, including 10 sacks. He says his biggest strength is his motor.

"And my athleticism," he said when asked to describe himself as a player. "I think that separates myself from some other defensive ends out there."

Buchanan, who plans to take his time in making his decision, says he wants to visit several more schools before the start of classes next month.

"I haven't been able to schedule many trips recently," he said. "… I'm going to try to get out to as many more schools as I can, particularly Vanderbilt, Illinois and hopefully Kansas and Virginia. I don't think I'll make it out to Cal, just because of how far it is.

"I'm going to try to narrow it down as much as I can. But I know I'm not going to make my decision until after my senior year of football."

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