Memphis (Tenn.) lineman Patrick Kutas has become one of the most sought-after prospects in the country this off-season following an impressive showing on the field for Christian Brothers last fall. Kutas now holds over 20 FBS offers, with teams from across the country pursuing his services.
Assuming the NCAA dead period is lifted to a quiet period in June, Kutas has started to set official visits with teams in the mix for him. Kutas tells SI All-American he has locked in officials with Illinois, Virginia Tech, and Oregon.
“Illinois is June 4-6, VT June 11-13, Oregon 18-20,” he tells SI All-American.
"I think it is pretty special," Kutas recently said of the way Brett Bielema has made him a priority since taking over at Illinois. "I am just excited to see what they do this year with the new staff. Just talking to the coaches and some of the players, it is just that mindset where everyone wants to be great and are all working towards that goal."
He will also make the trip West to see the program offensive line guru Mario Cristobal is assembling at Oregon.
" They are just a team that puts the work in, and it shows," Kutas said in an interview earlier this month. "I will have Coach (Alex) Mirabal send me videos of drills, and it is always enthusiastic in what he is doing."
Kutas noted the location of a program is "not too big of an issue" in his process and will not be a factor in his final decision.
Just Fuente's Virginia Tech program is the other team currently slated to get one of Kutas's official visits later this summer, and he has enjoyed the message from Blacksburg.
"It is a hard hat mentality," Kutas said about the Hokies. "They will put their nose to the grindstone and work for it. I think that is what I like and that is the type of person I am."
Other programs will vie for Kutas's final two official visits, as Mississippi State, Arkansas, and Tennessee communicate with him daily.
Under Josh Heupel, the home-state Tennessee Volunteers have worked to bridge a gap left by Jeremy Pruitt's staff, who did not offer Kutas until they were essentially out the door.
"That was good to hear just because I know I am a priority to them, and I think it is cool they want to build up the in-state guys," Kutas said about Tennessee quickly working to prioritize him under Heupel.
The Vols have done quick work in the virtual recruiting world and will continue to do so until they can get Kutas on campus.
"I have watched some film virtually with coach Ellarbee. He is the type of guy who talks to me daily and gets to know my parents. That's big in recruiting because it's not just me going to a place, but it's my parents investing in the place."
Mississippi State is selling their unique air raid offense to Kutas, as he is an athletic offensive lineman who can do various things well on the field. Arkansas is the outlier of the group as they are recruiting the 6'6", 285-pounds prospect as a defensive lineman.
Starting the visit process will help Kutas start to narrow his focus even more and work towards a college decision in the coming months.
"It's huge," he said. "You are committing four years of your life to a school, and they want you to look at through zoom. I just think that is wrong.
"I am looking for somewhere that will embrace me—the brotherhood. That is kind of the big thing at Christian Brothers. That is pretty important being connected with your teammates, really. It is like a second family. I just want to go somewhere I will be developed as a person and a player and give me a shot at the next level."
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