December 23, 2011

Wake gains ground with Rankins

It is the recruiting dead period, but Wake Forest is very much alive in the Sheldon Rankins sweepstakes.

"I have a top three of South Florida, Louisville and Wake Forest," Rankins said.

Rankins insisted he is not favoring one team over the others.

Lonnie Galloway is pursuing Rankins for Wake. The two connect well with one another. Rankins added that Galloway is a good recruiter, and that Wake Forest's combination of academics and football is impressive.

"I looked into the education, and they [the Deacs] had a pretty good football season this year," Rankins said. "[They've] got a lot of players coming back, so it looks like a great opportunity."

Rankins senior season at Covington (Ga.) Eastside was brought to a halt after he suffered a hairline fracture to his fibula during a practice. In eight games this season he recorded 50 tackles, nine sacks, 17 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and two blocked kicks.

"Within the next two weeks I'll be back training, going to rehab," Rankins said. "I went to the doctor yesterday, so within the next two weeks I'll be back training. It'll probably be the second week of January I'll be back training. It feels great." rates the 6-foot-3 and 260-pounder as a three-star recruit, the nation's No. 30 defensive end and the No. 42 prospect in Georgia.

Rankins took his first official visit to Louisville earlier this month, which he said was a great trip. He added that he will visit Wake Forest in January and maybe one other school. It is highly unlikely he will use all of his official visit opportunities.

"They've [Demon Deacons] already told me I fit what they want as an every-down defensive end," Rankins said. "They run a 3-4 scheme. They don't want me to play inside. They really want me out there on the edge. I can do everything for them. I can pass rush. I can do it all, so they really want me to come in, and be that dominating guy on the edge."

He hopes to have the recruiting process completed with a decision made by the end of January.

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