Georgia DB Prospect Likes BYU

After securing a commit from a top defensive back prospect out east in Jordan Johnson, BYU is looking at yet another promising defensive back prospect from the east coast. This time the Cougar coaching staff has ventured into the Deep South in hopes of acquiring yet another prospect to shore up their defensive backfield.

Kori Gaines is a 5-foot-9-inch, 170-pound defensive back prospect from Grayson High School in Georgia. Gaines has been hearing from some of the local schools in his area, but most of his early attention has come from Provo.

"BYU sent me a written scholarship offer through the mail at the beginning of the summer," informed Gaines. "I was shocked by the offer to be honest with you. It certainly wasn't something I was expecting, but I was happy about it, obviously, very happy."

So what is Gaines' connection to BYU, and why would BYU be spending so much attention on him even though he's on the other side of the country?

The interest stems from the fact that former Cougar Lenny Gregory, aka Lenny Gomes, coaches the defensive line at Grayson High.

"He told some of us about BYU, got us in contact with their coaches, and then they offered me," explained Gaines regarding Gregory's efforts. "BYU is a great school and a school I'll definitely consider when it's time to make my decision."

Gaines' interest in BYU only increased on the heels of an unofficial visit he made to the campus this past weekend.

"I'd never been out there before, so I didn't know what to expect," said Gaines. "I loved it though. I really liked it a lot out there. BYU is a place with a great, clean environment. It was amazing."

Gaines was shown around campus by Cougar safety Andrew Rich and defensive coordinator Jaime Hill.

"I really liked Andrew Rich," stated Gaines. "Coach Hill too - what a class act. They both made me feel at home and I really appreciate the effort both of them gave to show me around, answer all my questions and everything else."

The biggest question Gaines had before his visit was about the honor code. Gaines had thought it was something different and something he might not be comfortable with, but after having it explained to him by head coach Bronco Mendenhall, he doesn't feel that way at all.

"It's not different at all like I thought it would be," remarked Gaines about the honor code. "It just promotes good living. I do everything already that it requires. It won't be a problem at all for me."

One might assume, when given Gaines' height and weight, that he'd be pegged by coaches to play cornerback while at BYU. However, Mendenhall, Hill and company have another position in mind for Gaines.

"They want me to play safety for them," explained Gaines. "I thought they wanted me as a corner, but we didn't even talk about corner while I was there. Coach Hill wants me to play safety and I'm fine with that."

Gaines does it all for his Grayson High School team, from playing both cornerback and safety on defense to playing slot receiver on offense. But Gaines' responsibilities don't end there, as he returns both kickoffs and punts for his varsity squad.

Gaines prides himself on being a hard hitter despite his size, which may be the reason Cougar coaches like him as a safety prospect. Gaines also cites quick feet, great range and agility as the strengths in his game.

Although Gaines didn't commit to BYU while on his trip, he could easily see himself in Cougar blue in the near future.

"What I want most of all in a school is a class coaching staff and a winning tradition," said Gaines. "BYU definitely has that. I just have to decide if that's my best option now. We'll see what other options come up, but right now BYU is definitely my first choice."

Gaines is being looked at by some programs locally in the South and is set to visit both Vanderbilt and Auburn here soon. Both schools have shown early interest in him, and Gaines will take the opportunity to see how both schools stack up against BYU.

"We'll see if they offer, and if they do I'll see how they compare," said Gaines. "Right now I really like BYU and everything they have to offer. I just need to think about it more, compare them to other programs and then decide."

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