Posted by Bryan Fischer
ATLANTA -- Walk around the Rising Seniors Bowl this week and McDonough (Ga.) defensive end Isaac Rochell stands out for his joyful personality off the field as much as his size and pass rushing skills do at practice. One of the most heavily recruited players at the event this week, he doesn't feel the pressure of living up to expectations and really just wants to enjoy the event.
"It's been fun and I've really liked it," Rochell said. "I didn't really expect it to be like this but I really like the experience.
"I'm not saying my high school team isn't good but this gives you a different standard to compare yourself to.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder already holds scholarship offers from schools such as Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and Virginia Tech but despite all the attention schools have shown him after a terrific junior year, Rochell is just sitting back and listening and isn't too concerned with narrowing down his choices right now.
"The last offer I got was Oklahoma about a month ago," he said. "I don't necessarily have a top five but I do have schools I think about more so than others. There are also schools I say I probably won't go to. But I don't have a distinct top five where I will pick from yet."
Still, with every offer that does get extended, Rochell is weighing each school against some of the factors he is looking for.
"Location is a big deal," he said. "Obviously my role in the program and the campus feel and atmosphere, things like that too."
Rochell is planning to attend several junior days over the next couple of months but likely will avoid the camp circuit in the spring and summer outside of one or two stops. He does want to do his research before making a decision, which he already has a time frame picked out to make it in.
"I'm going to try to make it before the season," he said. "It's not something I want to rush because you rush it and you'll regret your decision. I'm just going to take my time."
Though there's no leader at the moment, Rochell has already visited Alabama unofficially for the LSU game - he said the Tigers will win the rematch because of, no surprise, their defensive line - and has developed a close relationship with assistant coach Marion Hobby at Clemson.
But, for now, the Maxpreps 2013 Watch List defensive end is just taking his time with recruiting and focusing on the task at hand in the Rising Seniors Bowl.