Alpharetta defensive end Naim Mustafaa has been working as hard as he possibly can this spring.
At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Mustafaa already has the size schools are looking for in an elite pass rusher, but the Alpharetta standout has been focusing on another aspect of his game this offseason.
"I've really been working hard since the season ended on getting faster," said Mustafaa. "I know if I'm going to be a great pass rusher, I have to get more explosive, and that is what I have been working on."
According to the Peach State pass rusher, his work started to pay dividends as he kicked off his final spring practice as a high school player, but just a few days into spring drills, Mustafaa ran into some adversity.
"I started out well and was having a great spring," said Mustafaa. "It was probably the best spring I have had and the best practices I have had. I felt good out there. Then I pulled a groin and that really set me back. It put me out for the rest of the spring and I'm still out now. I'm just trying to heal from that."
The rising senior hopes to heal quickly as his Raiders have to start over on defense after some key departures after the 2011 season.
"The spring went well for the offense and they are loaded over there with Josh Dobbs and Carlos Burse," he said. "Defensively we are having to rebuild right now with some younger guys and I am trying to be out there and be a leader."
A groin issue won't keep schools from coming hard after the three star prospect, as he recently named the two in state schools, Georgia and Georgia Tech as his co-leaders, and those two, plus other schools, are making a strong push for Mustafaa's services.
"Georgia and Georgia Tech are still my top two, and they are both recruiting me hard," said Mustafaa. "Other schools came through this spring, too, but those are my top two."
With summer quickly approaching, Mustafaa is currently focused on taking visits and learning even more about his top two schools, and made a visit to one of his top schools recently and hopes to visit the other in the near future.
"I just got back from Georgia Tech," said Mustafaa. "I went down there to hang out with the players and all and had a good time. I'm trying to get back to Georgia too to hang out with their players and see the coaches. I'm excited about getting down there. With the two schools, it is just easier for me to get to Tech for a visit because all I have to do is get on the train and head down there. Athens is a little tougher, but I'll be up there again really soon."
While the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets are battling it out at the top for Mustafaa, he admits that he does have a leader between the two.
The leader, in his mind, just changes by the day.
"Oh yeah, one day I'm liking Georgia Tech and the next day I'm liking Georgia more," said Mustafaa. "It changes every day pretty much. I like both schools a lot."
While that may be an agonizing statement for the Georgia and Georgia Tech fans and coaching staffs, he plans to give them all some closure in the near future.
"I'll be deciding soon," said Mustafaa. "Sometime real soon."
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