Recruiting didn’t get off to a blazing start for Alex Pace, but it’s certainly heating up for the 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive lineman from Glenville High School in Cleveland.
Pace didn’t have any offers in March, but got five in one week and is now up to double-digits.
“I was wondering when they were going to come in,” Pace admitted. “I talked to a couple players, they said half of them didn’t get their first offers in their junior years.”
His initial offers came from Kent State, Toledo, Akron and Ball State.
“It was all MAC stuff first, then Air Force came, followed up by Illinois,” said Pace.
The offer from the Illini meant a lot as his first from a BCS school.
“It was great,” he said of the Big Ten offer. “It showed I could probably compete at the next level at a high level. I could be one of those guys that go Big Ten, SEC, Big East.”
He’s since added Syracuse, West Virginia, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Ohio, Buffalo and Bowling Green to his list and is hoping for more. Notre Dame is one school he’s very interested in and Ed Warinner was by Glenville earlier this month.
“He told my coach that they have interest and they want me to come down to camp,” Pace said. “He’s going to give my highlight tape to the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. I have to call them back to see what they say.”
Pace, who plans on attending next month’s camp, grew up as a fan of the Irish.
“I know it’s a great program,” he said. “Ever since I was a little kid, I looked up to Notre Dame. I know the quarterback from the Browns, Brady Quinn, went there. They have a great running back now. The team overall, I root for the Fighting Irish.
“Just the way they play. Each year it’s like they’re the underdogs and that’s the kind of team I like to play for, a team that just shows people.”
Pace said an offer from the Irish would be “great.” He’s also familiar with the academic aspect of Notre Dame and it appeals to him, “I make sure I stay on top of my academics.”
He plans on seeing plenty of schools this summer as a part of Glenville’s annual tour, “We’re going to be hitting up a lot of schools.”
Pace was a force on the interior for Glenville as a junior, racking up 42 tackles, 31 for a loss and 16 sacks.
“I get off the ball real quick and I get to the backfield and destruct plays,” he said. “I’ve been told by plenty of coaches that I’m good with my hands and am explosive.”
Some schools are recruiting him as a tackle and others as an end.
“It changes from team to team,” said Pace, who added Notre Dame likes him at tackle. “I talked to Pitt, who hasn’t offered me yet, they said I’d play defensive end, so did Cincinnati. Illinois wants me as a three-technique. It changes from school to school with the teams.”
Pace plans on making his decision after the season and has a good idea of what will be important to him.
“What’s going to be important to me is education,” he said. “That’ll be number one and after that, it has to have a great coaching staff. I’m trying to look for a steady program that’s going to win.”
Click to view article