Wilde Lake High School's All-American soccer forward, Hamisi Amani-Dove, will be a Scarlet Knight next fall.
Amani-Dove has made a verbal commitment to attend Rutgers University and will sign an officialletter of intent Feb. 3, the national signing date.
He accepted an athletic scholarship to the New Jersey school thatfinished among the top 16 teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's championship tournament last fall and was ranked fourthin the nation by the college coaches association.
Rutgers compiled a 19-3-1 record and was ranked No. 1 in the nation at one point last season. In both 1989 and 1990, Rutgers made it to in the Final Fourin the national tournament.
Amani-Dove was one of the Howard County Sun's boys soccer Co-Players of the Year, along with teammate MattNesbitt.
The quick, smooth forward, who scored 17 goals and had seven assists to help lead his Wildecats team to a 13-2-1 record and astate Class 1A championship, will continue to play forward at Rutgers.
"They had a freshman forward who scored a lot of goals for themlast year, but apparently they wanted another scorer," Amani-Dove said.
What actually influenced Amani-Dove to accept Rutgers' offer was the school's superior academic program.
"My No. 1 choice for soccer was North Carolina State, but that school wasn't as good academically," Amani-Dove said.
He wants to major in biology with an eye toward pre-med.
Heavily recruited, Amani-Dove had narrowed the field to Rutgers, North Carolina State and Old Dominion.
"Although flattering at first, the recruiting process had gotten to be a pain, and I wanted to make a decision by Dec. 31 and did," he said.
Amani-Dove's best game for Wilde Lake was a three-goal effort against Archbishop Curley. In the final regular-season game, he scored the game-winning goal against Atholton, knocking that team out of a share of thecounty title.
He scored two goals in the Wildecats' 4-1 state championship win over Clear Spring.
The 17-year-old competed for the Eastern Regional Olympic Development Team in Dallas over Thanksgivingweek and sought to be selected for the national under-20 pool. But he was not selected.
He is currently playing for the Bethesda Mustangs club team.
Amani-Dove is the second outstanding player to select Rutgers in two years. Last year Atholton's goalie, Kori Hunter, enrolled at Rutgers.
Hunter was red-shirted last year.
Rutgers assistant coach Nelson Rodriguez is prohibited by NCAA
rules from commenting on Amani- Dove until 48 hours after the Feb. 3 signing date.
Rutgers also is among the final three choices for Nesbitt, anotherhighly recruited player and Amani-Dove's teammate both for Wilde Lake and for the Mustangs.
Nesbitt is still considering Notre Dame and North Carolina State.