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Wellesley (MA) native and Belmont Hill School prospect Barry Gallup already holds scholarship offers from Harvard, New Hampshire, Northeastern, and Massachusetts, but he recently received his first Division 1A offers.
"I got offers in the mail from BC on Saturday and from Wisconsin on Monday," Gallup said, "so it was an exciting weekend."
According to Gallup, these new offers have drastically changed the landscape of his recruiting picture.
"I'm grateful for all the opportunities," he said, "but Harvard, BC, and Wisconsin are the offers I'm really considering right now."
Gallup went on to reflect upon what interests him about each school.
"I love Harvard because it's local, and academics are real important to me," he said, "but I really feel comfortable at BC, and they have a perfect mix of academics, atmosphere, and athletics."
Understandably, he's less familiar with the Badger program, but Gallup plans to change that in the near future.
"I'm still learning more about Wisconsin, but we know their offensive coordinator, Brian White," Gallup explained, "so I've gotten to know them a bit through that connection, but I want to learn more about them."
Many fans are aware that Barry's father is a former BC player and a longtime coach with the team. However, Barry explained that the advice he received from his father might surprise some casual observers.
"To be honest, he's almost the opposite of what people might expect," Gallup explained of his father. "He tells me not to narrow my options. He wants me to get to know all the schools I'm interested in, and he tells me to keep an open mind and see what's out there."
Of course, Barry's family connection has afforded him ancillary benefits unavailable to most high school athletes. One of his favorite BC memories came from one such experience last summer.
"I had the privilege where I got to work out with the team last summer," Gallup reflected. "It was a pretty special opportunity for me as a high school student to go out after our weight room sessions and run routes against Will Blackmon, an all Big East cornerback, and catch passes from Paul Peterson."
Gallup explained that the players made a lasting impact on him, but not necessarily through any specific advice they had to offer.
"They influenced me not so much from what they said, but more through what they did," Gallup said. "They showed me the true difference between high school and college. These guys were there everyday for 6:00 a.m. workouts all summer when other guys were sleeping in or going to the beach. It just reminded me that at the next level, everyone's talented, so nothing comes easy, and in order to play you've got to work for it."
Gallup is certainly intrigued by the possibility of becoming an Eagle in the future, but he has been careful to maintain a consciously cautious approach so early in the recruiting process.
"Obviously I've always wanted to go there [to BC]," Gallup admitted, "but at the same time, I want to take visits to other schools to make sure I'm not being narrow minded. But I mean, you can't go wrong with BC; they've got the new building, and they're joining the ACC, so BC is just great."
Nevertheless, Gallup plans to employ proactive strategies in his search for the best personal fit.
"I've got spring break coming up next week, and I'll be going on a bit of a tour to check out schools," Gallup said. "We'll be making stops at Duke, Virginia, Wake Forest, and maybe North Carolina. I'm also probably going to attend camps at Northwestern, Notre Dame, and Wisconsin, but one way or another I'll end up seeing all those schools."
One of those schools in particular seems to have recently labeled Gallup as a high priority.
"The Notre Dame coaches have been showing a lot of interest lately," Gallup revealed, "and Charlie Weis is planning to visit my school this spring."
A careful review of Gallup's favorite schools shows a clear picture of what he's looking for most.
"The number-one thing for me will be academics," Gallup explained. "I've enjoyed attending a high-class school. We wear a jacket and tie to school every day, so it's a serious focus for me."
That priority has led Gallup to consider a few schools ahead of the pack at this point.
"My top five schools right now are Duke, Notre Dame, BC, Harvard, and Virginia," Gallup said. "Wisconsin could be there too, but I can't put them in my top five yet because I haven't actually been out there to see the school, but I'm interested in them, as well."
Gallup went on to explain what role most schools seem to be interested in him filling on their respective football teams.
"I play running back and safety for my high school team," he said, "but I won't be playing either of those positions in college. Everyone who has offered so far has been recruiting me as a wide receiver."
That sounds just fine to Gallup, who is willing to take on any role that will help his team and allow him to use his natural ability.
"My athleticism definitely helps me on the field," Gallup said. "I like to make things happen when I get the ball in my hands."
Those hands will be showcased at various camps this summer, but Gallup is already taking steps to make sure they rope in every reachable pass.
"I work on improving my hands all the time," he said. "I even have a routine of ball drills I do every night before I go to sleep."
Plenty of schools seem interested in catching Barry Gallup's attention, so we'll be sure to keep an eye on his progress this summer at Eagle Action.