May 7, 2013

Randolph talks Top 5

Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.) defensive back Kendall Randolph doesn't talk much, but when he does, he says makes his words count.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound cornerback hasn't done many interviews since having surgery on his hand to start the year, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been working on his recruitment.

According to the North Florida standout, he has a top five in place already with two teams standing out.

"My top five schools right now are Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, South Carolina, and Miami," Randolph said. "Those schools aren't in order or anything. That is just my top five. FSU and Georgia stand out, though."

Each recruitment is different depending on the prospect and the schools recruiting that prospect, but most of the time, a recruit will have a specific reason for why he likes each school.

In Randolph's case, he likes all of the schools in his top five for the same reason.

"One thing that all of these schools have in common is how I feel I can fit into the program," he said. "I feel like I could come in as a freshman or if I decide to come in early after graduating in December and have a good relationship with the coaches. That is the biggest thing."

One program that has come hard after the Rivals250 defender is Georgia, and the Bulldogs have two coaches that are quite familiar with the city of Tallahassee working on Randolph.

"Georgia is as a great program," Randolph said when asked to share his thoughts on UGA. "I talk to Coach (Mark) Richt and Coach (John) Lilly, if not every day, it is every other day. They are one of the coaching staffs that is consistently checking on me not just about football but about anything that is going on with me. I've had plenty of conversations with Coach Lilly that were completely about everything outside of football. That has given me a great comfort level in Georgia and where they sit with me right now. That is the big thing with Georgia."

Another reason Georgia is in the mix goes back to the 2013 class.

The Bulldogs were able to go into Lincoln and get Rivals250 receiver Reggie Davis. It just so happens that Randolph and Davis are close friends.

"(Reggie and I) are actually really close. We are like brothers. We have that brother-type relationship," he said. "We grew up together playing football. We went to elementary school together. We kind of got separated in middle school but we got back together when I got to Lincoln. He is just really one of those people that I can really trust and is just a real close friend of mine. He isn't really pushing me to make a decision for Georgia, but he does mention everything that made him decide on Georgia. It is stuff that I am seeing also with them recruiting me. His biggest thing was the comfort level with Georgia and the coaches, which is the same thing that I was talking about. That is what made him lean that way and decide to commit early."

When it comes to visits, Randolph plans to see all of his top five schools.

He saw Georgia once last summer, and plans to get a more detailed look at UGA once spring practice is over.

"We took a trip to Georgia for the seven-on-seven tournament last summer and I got to see it then," Randolph said. "We had a chance to see the athletic facilities. We didn't really spend much time with the coaches, but we got a good look at the facilities. I didn't get a chance to see much of the city or the rest of the campus so I'll be taking a trip back up to Georgia to see it all after the spring before I go see South Carolina. Georgia will actually be one of my first unofficial visits this spring so I can go up there and hang out with Coach Lilly and Coach Richt."

With Florida State and Georgia being the teams that stand out, one might thing that Randolph, living just a few miles away from the FSU campus, might be a lock to stay home and play for the Seminoles.

While that certainly isn't out of the question and Florida State is heavily in the mix for his signature, Randolph says that he has no reservations about leaving Tallahassee.

"Distance isn't a factor at all with where I go," he said. "I'm going to go to the place where I feel is the best fit and where I have the best opportunity, wherever it may be. If it is outside of Tallahassee, I will decide to go there."

As of right now, Randolph, who is currently deciding whether or not he will take two classes this summer so he can graduate early, doesn't have a decision date planned.

The lack of an announcement time doesn't mean much, however, as the four-star prospect says he could pull the trigger whenever he is ready, and he knows what he is looking for in a school.

"Right now I don't really have a set time that I want to make a decision. It is just when I feel like I am most comfortable with a school and know where I want to go, I'll make a decision," Randolph said. "If I have to wait it out until signing day, then I will. I have no problem with that. The biggest factors on my decision for me will be a place that is home away from home for me. I want a place where I don't feel any different than I do in Tallahassee. Another thing is how I feel the college, as a whole, would help me athletically and academically. I'm also looking at the campus environment. I'm not jus going to be there for football. I'm going to be there for school and life."



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