The 2022 recruiting cycle is nearly finished but major prospects in the 2023 class have already been making big moves in their recruitments. Rivals250 tight end Andrew Rappleyea is one of those players. The heavily recruited prospect out of Milton (Mass.) Milton Academy has announced a short list of seven schools that he is focusing on for the remainder of his recruitment.
“The main thing that my decision is going to come down to at the end is, do I want to compete for a national championship or do I want to really set myself up for what’s in my best interest?” Rappleyea said. “My top schools are Boston College, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Wake Forest, and Wisconsin.
“There’s a couple places I want to get around to see before I do make my decision that I haven’t seen quite yet,” he said. “That’s been the hardest thing. I don’t have any visits planned but I was hoping to get to Wisconsin and Ohio State and maybe North Carolina one more time before I do anything.”
Boston College- “The tight end use is there,” said Rappleyea. “They use 13 personnel a lot. Coach Hafley is a great guy. I really liked him. Coming from Ohio State, he’s got a great mind and I feel like he really knows what he’s doing there. I think he fits the schemes there. It’s a really nice area. Coach Shimko, the tight ends coach, has been recruiting me really hard. The tight ends this year were great but Hunter Long a couple years ago was out of this world. He caught I think it was like 56 balls. He was one of the most dominant tight ends when he was there. He’s a little bit bigger than me but I can see myself maybe growing into that.”
Michigan- “Michigan has been a school I’ve been talking to a lot,” he said. “They run the tight end a ton too. I went to the Ohio State game and saw that, even if the tight ends aren’t catching passes, they’re always in the game. They’re playing 12 personnel or 13 personnel. Jay Harbaugh is a great tight ends coach. He’s recruited me for a while now. It’s an amazing school too. I want to go somewhere I’m going to get on the field as quickly as possible and hopefully thrive wherever I’m going to go but Michigan has a great university. Kalel Mullings out of my own school is there, which helps too.”
North Carolina- “Coach Lilly’s a great guy,” Rappleyea said. “I really liked him and he’s been recruiting me really hard. I went down to camp in June and I really liked it. Chapel Hill is a great place. Mack Brown is a great guy too. My brother and sister went to school in the state. It’s just a really nice area and they use the tight end too. My dad and I have looked at charts of tight end use use throughout the country and three of them, including UNC, are on my list.”
Ohio State- “Jeremy Ruckert, I believe he leads the country in snaps taken by a tight end,” he said. “He’s always in the game. They don’t play as many tight ends as some of the other schools, but when they have one really good one, they really use him. Obviously, Jeremy Ruckert has been put to use even with three insane receivers in the game at all times. That’s definitely something that’s caught my attention and they’ve had some very successful players in the position there too. Coach Kevin Wilson’s a great guy. He’s been recruiting me. I think he’s got a really great mind for the game. I know they have a really good commit going there. (Ty) Lockwood is going to be a hell of a player. I’ve never been one to sway away from a school just because they have another player because I feel, at the end of the day, I have my confidence.”
Penn State- “They’re in a very good place for me,” said Rappleyea. “I really liked coach Howle and coach Franklin. They’ve done a good job recruiting me. Their tight end use is, I would say, most efficient out of everyone. They have three great tight ends right now. Two of them are going to be in the NFL pretty soon, I believe, and then the younger one, Tyler Warren, is going to be a hell of a player too. The main thing that really set Penn State up in my mind when I really first saw them, I really liked them because of Pat Freiermuth from Brooks School. My brother played him in high school and when I saw him he was an animal. He went to Penn State and everything went well right for him. It’s definitely something I look at to.”
Wake Forest- “Coach Lineburg, the tight ends coach there, is a really good guy,” he said. “My brother played at Wake Forest. He’s medically disqualified now but he’s in his last year there and he’s really enjoyed it. They’re just really good people there. They had Cam Serigne, the tight end who holds every ACC record for a tight end, a few years ago. I know they had the tight end this year who didn’t catch many passes but it seems like they see the personnel they have and they use them. They see which guys can make plays and that’s who they want to get the ball to.”
Wisconsin- “Coach Mickey Turner there is another great guy,” Rappleyea said. “Relationships have been big for my in the process. Mickey Turner has done a really good job recruiting me. Just like Pat Freiermuth from Brooks School, he landed Cam Large from Noble and Greenough School, who’s been a really good tight end. He’s a great player and he’s starting to get on the field at Wisconsin. It’s an amazing public university, if not the best in the country. They use the tight end there too. They have a great staff. It’s a great spot too, a really good college town. I know it came in number one on some polls.”
Rappleyea is being methodical in his recruiting process but it feels like he could be committed within the next two or three months. It sounds like he knows the most about and is most comfortable with Penn State but Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin are in prime position to contend for his commitment, especially if he visits those schools before he commits. Rappleyea is working out his plans for January and February and there will surely be a handful of visits before he announces a commitment.