Akins favors Louisville

(Jim Davis/ITV)

Justin Akins has offers from Louisville, NC State and Vanderbilt. The 6'4, 245-pound defensive tackle from Jackson (Ga) has now visited all three schools after checking out the Commodores and Cardinals this weekend.

Justin Akins has offers from Louisville, NC State and Vanderbilt. The 6'4, 245-pound defensive tackle from Jackson (Ga) has now visited all three schools after checking out the Commodores and Cardinals this weekend.

Though NC State was the first program to offer and Vanderbilt's educational opportunities are impressive, Louisville sits atop Akins list.

"Louisville is pretty high on my list," Akins told InsideTheVille.com. "It might be the place. Actually, Louisville would be at the top of my list right now. I really liked the visit. I really like Vanderbilt after [Louisville] and NC State was my first offer. So I've got to respect that."

Akins attended Louisville's spring game Saturday with his father and came away impressed with Charlie Strong's program.

"It was nice, I really liked it," Akins said. "I was really excited about Louisville. There were a lot of good players out there. I really liked Coach Strong, he was a pretty nice guy. And the defensive line looked pretty good. I really liked it."

Akins said his father also was impressed, especially with Louisville's football facilities.

"He really liked it, really excited about the school," Akins said. "He was just talking about the stadium and weight room and how their strength coach is. That's what he was most interested in, how their weight room is. It looked like they really worked hard."

During his visit to Louisville, Akins met Charlie Strong, who made a positive impression with his down home approach.

"Most coaches have a planned speech that they give to all the players, but he didn't do that. He just introduced himself and talked to me like a normal person," Akins said. "He's just a really down to earth guy. He wasn't trying to give me a speech, it was good [talking to him]."

Louisville offered a scholarship to Akins earlier this spring. Louisville assistant Kenny Carter keeps in touch with Akins, who also has offers from Western Kentucky and VMI.

"I can play the whole defensive line and they like that about me. They like my speed and ability to pass rush. I'd be playing probably a three technique as well as defensive end. That's what they told me they liked a lot."

Akins said he paid attention to how Strong rotated defensive linemen during Louisville's spring game.

"I really paid attention to the technique of the defensive linemen and what they are being taught," Akins said. "They rotated a lot of different guys. That's what I really liked."

During the game, Akins talked to 2013 Louisville commit Kyle Bolin, who gave him the scoop why he should also play for Strong's Cardinals.

"He kept telling me why he didn't commit to other schools," Akins said. "He said the same thing I did about Coach Strong. He said he didn't do [canned speech] to him either. I really liked him. He tried to encourage me to go to Louisville. [He] made it better."

Akins, who checked out NC State earlier this spring, compared visits with the Cardinals and Wolfpack. "I liked Louisville a lot better. It seemed like a better environment, better place," Akins said. "Football seemed a little more serious at [Louisville]."

Before his visit to Louisville, Akins visited Vanderbilt on Friday.

"I liked how they do their weight program and the freedom of working out when I feel is the best for me," Akins said. "And the degree sounds pretty good too. He [James Franklin] sat me in his office and gave me the speech. It was a little awkward."

Akins plans to make his decision before his senior season.

"We're going to see what comes and who is looking," Akins said. "I'll probably make the decision before my season. It just depends on how things look."

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