April 24, 2012

Cardiello on final three

As the month of May quickly approaches, some recruits haven't even gotten started with the recruiting process as of yet.

Buford offensive lineman Josh Cardiello is not one of those prospects.

Cardiello has been all over the southeast thus far in 2013 visiting as many schools as possible, and spent last weekend visiting the University of Georgia and his close friend and former teammate, Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston.

While visiting a friend was a strong point of the visit for Cardiello, having the opportunity to let his grandpa, Larry Ries, visit UGA for the first time was the most important aspect of the visit.

"I took my grandpa up there for the first time that he has been up there and it was a good visit for him," said Cardiello. "He has been on all the other visits with me and it really went well for him. He really liked it a lot and the school a lot. He is a big Florida State fan so that was very big for him to come away impressed so overall I would say it was a really good visit."

On his visit to the Classic City, Cardiello and his grandpa had a chance to meet with Head Coach Mark Richt, who was a member of Florida State's coaching staff as a graduate assistant from 1985-1989 and as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1990-2000.

According to the three star lineman, his grandfather didn't hesitate to give the UGA Head Man some good natured ribbing for leaving his beloved Seminoles.

"It was really funny," said Cardiello. "When we talked to Coach Richt, my grandpa was giving him a crap for leaving Florida State and talking with him about those days. It was pretty cool."

After his visit to Athens, Cardiello has his list of top schools narrowed down to three, and has things he likes about each program.

"Florida, Georgia, and Florida State are my top three and those are the schools I am considering," he said.

Regarding his finalists, Cardiello had this to say:

• Georgia - "With Georgia, I just get a really good vibe there. It is a vibe that makes me feel like I could really fit in. It is a mixture of how I get a long with the coaches and where they are headed in the next couple of years. The coaches are great. It helps knowing people there and it isn't far from home so that helps Georgia a lot. I just get a really good vibe there."

• Florida - "The coaches are awesome there. They are an up and coming team, and they have all the pieces they need to start competing for the national title again. They're not too deep on the offensive line either so that is a positive."

• Florida State - "I grew up loving Florida State and that's cool. There is an opportunity for me to go to my dream school so that is pretty cool and stuff like that. I get a long with all the coaches and stuff and I like Coach (Larry) Trickett and how folks say he is one of the best offensive line coaches in the country."

All three of Cardiello's finalists run varying pro-style schemes on offense, and as one of the most athletic lineman in the Peach State in 2013, the Buford standout believes that the three programs are ideal fits for his talents up front.

"I feel that a pro style scheme is where I fit best," said Cardiello. "All three are recruiting me at center and some guard and the position in all three is a position for an athletic guy. They all use their center to do multiple combo blocks and get up to the backers. They also pull them on plays to the outside so that is what I feel fits me best."

With his list of schools narrowed down to three, Cardiello doesn't plan on wasting much time with a decision as he feels already has a school in mind where he would like to spend his next four years.

"I think I'm pretty close to making a decision," he said. "I think I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go in my head. It is just a matter of me sitting down with my parents and making sure it is what they want and what I want. They just want to make sure I am not rushing into anything and making sure it is what I want. I have a pretty good idea, and it won't take long for me to make a decision. Probably in the next few weeks."

As a student-athlete at Buford, Cardiello is a part of one of the most successful programs in the state of Georgia, and despite all the attention he is getting in the recruiting world, he and his teammates are focused on replacing the contributions made by 33 seniors who exhausted their high school eligibility in 2011.

"I think our focus is definitely trying to find out who can go out there and ball," said Cardiello. "We lost so many seniors and anytime you lose that many seniors it is tough. I am the only returning lineman we have so we have to rebuild the line. I feel like we are strong at the skill positions with a lot of good young kids. It is just a matter of getting out there and going toe-to-toe and see what happens. We have to get the pads on because anyone can do well without pads. We have a new offensive line coach coming in so I'm looking forward to working with him and the new stuff we will be installing."

While his high schools season is still a few months away, Cardiello is doing his best to make sure that the gap between the end of his high school career, and the start of his college career is as short as possible.

"Right now we are trying to get everything worked out where I can enroll early," he said. "As long as everything works out this summer and I get all the right classes, I'll be able to enroll in January."

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