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May 16, 2009Washington may need offensive linemen, lots of them, in the 2010 class, but that hasn't stopped head coach Steve Sarkisian from targeting only the cream of the crop, like Ventura (CA) St. Bonaventure's Giovanni Di Poalo.
Di Poalo, rated as the nation's seventh best offensive guard by Rivals.com, currently holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, UNLV and Washington, while a number of other programs are keeping a close eye on the Rivals250 member.
"Notre Dame is really interested. They're going to evaluate and see if they like me," said the 6-foot-4, 260-pounder. "Cal, Oregon and Oregon State are also showing interest. Oregon State said they'd offer, but they don't have any offers left for linemen. I think Notre Dame or Cal will be the next to offer."
According to Di Poalo, the Huskies, along with the Blue Devils and Wildcats, are showing the most interest.
"Duke, for sure," responded Di Poalo quickly when asked who's recruiting him the hardest. "Duke has me at the top of their board - I'm their main priority. Washington and Arizona are also showing a lot of interest.
"I speak with Washington coaches two or three times a month. I spoke with coach [Dan] Cozzetto and coach [Jimmie] Dougherty about two weeks ago," explained Di Poalo. "They were saying that I'd be a big factor in the rebuilding of the program. They told me that I should get up there and see the campus."
So what will Di Poalo be looking for in a school?
"My relationship with my position coach, the best chance to play for national championship and academics of course," said Di Poalo. "I really like coach Cozzetto. We have a lot in common. We're both Italian, so we're always talking about that, and we're always goofing around. We have a good relationship."
All schools recruiting Di Poalo are looking at him on the offensive line, though the position varies.
"Washington is recruiting me for tackle, as is Arizona, Arizona State and Duke. USC is looking at me for center, and some schools are looking at me at guard," explained Di Poalo. "I've been playing strictly tackle for the last three years. I like the challenge of playing tackle, so I'd like to stay there, but I'll play wherever. I love to pull, so guard would be good too."
While nothing is set in stone, Di Poalo plans to make a USC camp on June 14, and hopes to check out Arizona, Arizona State and Washington this Summer.
"Washington's great," exclaimed Di Poalo. "It sounds like they're working hard and getting really close. My teammate, Troy Hill, went up there and said he really liked it.
"I want to make a decision after the season," said Di Poalo. "I'm going to take my five officials and then decide. After I get all of my offers, I'll decide where I'll take my official visits, but Washington, Arizona and Arizona State are strong possibilities."
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