Dorian Gerald entered junior college without a single Division-1 scholarship offer, but after a dominant first season at the College of Canyons in California, the defensive end is suddenly one of the most sought after JUCO-prospects in the country. Gerald holds more than 20 offers now, but he narrowed down his options to a Top 5 on Monday, as the Florence, S.C. native will choice between Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, LSU and Louisville.
— Dorian Gerald (@TopNotchDG) June 27, 2017
“All five of these schools stand out to me. The opportunities at these schools are high,” he told VolQuest.
Gerald, who recorded 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in 2016, has three years to play two at the next level, and his biggest priorities are family, feel and opportunity. He wants to make a decision before a pivotal 2017 season, so a college choice could come at any moment.
“I was almost about to commit right after my Top 5,” he said.
“The commitment could come anytime.”
Here’s what Gerald said about each of his five finalists.
Tennessee: "When I went to Tennessee, I felt like I was home again. I felt like it was so genuine. Tennessee, they have great coaches. I talk to almost every coach on the staff. Coach (Butch) Jones, he’s really the head-runner for my recruitment. He’s the main one recruiting me everyday. Tennessee is a great place with great people, and I could just tell it was genuine when I got there. It’s been continuous since the first day. Since they first offered."
South Carolina: "Me and coach (Lance) Thompson, we’ve been in contact a while. Way before I was even offered. He’s very straightforward with what he wants to do with me. I know that there’s a huge opportunity for me to play there. They need my position badly. They’re doing a great job. They’re recruiting me everyday. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t hear from coach (Will Muschamp). Every single day. Our relationship is growing. And of course it’s the home state."
Louisville: "It’s an offer that I wanted since high school. I really like Louisville. Coach (Chris) K, that’s my guy. He’s been recruiting me for a long time. That’s my guy. We have a great relationship. Their situation, if and when I get there, they won’t have any defensive ends. Both their starting defensive ends are leaving and I believe some guys behind them are leaving as well. The opportunity is huge there."
LSU: "Coach O(rgeron). I remember our first call. I don’t talk to him as much anymore but I talk to everyone else at LSU a lot. Coach O, the first thing that he said to me, ‘Dorian, all these other coaches are recruiting you, but I’m going to get you.’ That stayed with me. They’ve stuck at it."
Florida: "Coach (Chris) Rumph. He’s doing a great, great job. I can relate to him a lot. He’s from the same area I’m from. My mom knows him. My family knows him. We talk about more than just football. We’ve had great conversations about life, finances. I’ve asked him all sorts of questions and he’s answered them all and that stuff matters to me. Coach (Brady) Hoke, over at Tennessee. They do a great job of that, too. It’s more than football with them."
Strongside defensive end