While the majority of recruits end up staying close to home, almost all of them take visits to places that aren't quite so near.
Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.) linebacker Matt Rolin has just ended a tour of the southeast where he visited South Carolina last weekend, Florida State on Monday and Tuesday, and Georgia on Wednesday.
As it turns out, those are the three schools that the Virginia defender sees as some of his top schools in the early stages of his recruitment.
"The tour has been great," said Rolin. "I've enjoyed traveling and all, and Florida State, South Carolina, and Georgia are the schools that stand out the most. I have really liked all of them."
Rolin's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and almost all his extended family either lives in Columbia, S.C., or attended USC for college, but the three star linebacker insists that no school leads at this point.
"I don't have a top school," he said. "Some schools stand out and are in that group, but I don't really have a leader yet."
In his first visit to Athens, Rolin had the opportunity to spend time with the Georgia coaching staff and find out exactly why they offered him a scholarship.
"I spent most of my time with Coach 0 (Kirk Olivadotti), Coach (Todd) Grantham, and I met with Coach (Mark) Richt too," he said. "They told me that they like me at a few positions. They like me at inside linebacker and outside linebacker. They said they might ask me to play some defensive end in some situations, and they told me they like me as a tight end. They let me know that my versatility was one of the reasons they offered me. They know I can do a lot of different things out there."
Rolin's visit to the Classic City was more than just learning about Georgia, it was a chance for him to get bond and get to know the Georgia coaches as well.
According blue chip linebacker, the Georgia staff showed him a great time while he was on campus.
"It was a great visit and they treated me well," said Rolin. "Coach Grantham is a really good guy and a good coach. Coach O is a great guy too."
As a kid, Rolin grew up following South Carolina in the college ranks, and the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins for his favorite professional teams.
While visiting the UGA on Wednesday, he learned that one of Georgia's coaches not only held an important position on the Redskins' defensive staff, but was also practically Rolin's neighbor.
"Coach O told me about how he used to be the linebackers coach for the Redskins, and I thought that was really cool," said Rolin. "We found out that he lived like really close to my neighborhood here in Ashburn too, so that was kind of funny."
As a recruit that holds approximately 20 offers before the end of his junior year, Rolin understands that many schools are vying for his services, and he also knows exactly what kind of player these schools see in him.
"I feel like schools are recruiting me because I am a physical player," he said. "I'm a physical, athletic player that likes to play fast, and that's the way I play the game."
There are many factors that a recruit has to consider during the process, but Rolin has narrowed things down to the point where he knows the three things that are, without a doubt, the most important to him in the end.
"My goal is to play in the NFL, and I want to go to a school that can help me get there," he said. "I also want to win, and be a player that helps my team win and get on the field early. Those are the things I'm looking for in a program."
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