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July 24, 2007Orange (Calif.) Lutheran tight end Blake Ayles is one of the nation's most sought after recruits, but later today, he will end the chase for his commitment.
After unofficially visiting Wisconsin, Ohio State, UCLA, Arizona State and USC, Ayles formed a list of six college choices. Completing a whirlwind tour through the Midwest, the four-star tight end is preparing to announce his college decision.
"I'm ready to get things over with," said Ayles. "I thought about stretching it out a little longer and seeing some other schools, but I feel like now is the right time (to commit)."
Ayles will announce his college decision at Orange Lutheran without the production of a press conference.
"I just want to keep things low key," said Ayles. "I want to be respectful to all the schools that recruited me, and I'm not really looking to draw a lot of attention to myself. I think doing it at practice with my teammates is a good idea."
Announcing his commitment, Ayles will choose from a group of six finalists: Miami, Cal, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Arizona State and USC.
In the last two weeks, the all-state receiver took unofficial visits to three of his favorite schools.
"The Midwest trip to Wisconsin and Ohio State was great," said Ayles. "My dad is originally from Wisconsin, so I got to hang out with my family there.
"Both the Wisconsin and Ohio State campuses were beautiful. It's a lot different than Southern California, but that's what made the visits fun."
Last Wednesday, Ayles made his second unofficial visit to USC of the summer.
"I hung out at one of their camps earlier this summer, but last week I got to spend time with both coach Pete and Brennan Carroll," said Ayles. "I actually went down to watch workouts with Aaron (Corp), but my dad and I met with the coaches instead. It was funny because I barely saw Aaron when I was down there."
Having a former teammate and friend at USC is a positive for the Trojans, but not a deal closer.
"It's a plus that I have friends there, but I have to make my own decision," said Ayles.
Ayles, who helped Orange Lutheran win a state championship in 2006, will announce his commitment with several factors in mind.
"I'm looking at the coaching staffs at each school, the players and the depth chart at each school as well as the school's winning tradition," said Ayles. "Location doesn't really matter that much because my parents will support me no matter where I go."
Despite missing the first three games of his junior season with a shoulder injury, Ayles still caught 43 passes for 616 yards. He is currently ranked as the nation's No. 3 tight end by Rivals.com and is listed as California's No. 5 ranked prospect.
Stay tuned to Rivals.com for coverage of Blake Ayles' announcement later this afternoon.