Scout.com rates Kevin Haplea as the 8th best tight end in the nation for the 2010 recruiting class. The 6'4" 230 pound Jersey product wanted to make a string of visits to check out some of the schools he's interested in that are outside the state of New Jersey. Yesterday he visited Miami, and this morning he was in Gainesville to check out the Florida Gators before heading to Tallahassee to visit Florida State. NoleDigest spoke to Haplea right after his visit, as he says he came impressed with what he saw.
"The visit to FSU was great," said the 4-star tight end. "Coach Coley showed us around the facilities and all, and he showed us around the stadium. Man, a to of stuff goes on in there from classes, the weight room and training needs….it's all there. I liked that. Overall I was impressed with the facilities from all 3 schools down here. It's different down here and you can get the feel that they love their football down here."
Florida State tight ends coach James Coley has been recruiting Kevin since the spring. Haplea said over the visit they got a long well and that he like what Coley showed him in terms of how they'd use him in the offense.
"I've been talking to Coach Coley and he showed us a good time on this visit," said Haplea. "He was showing us the board and explaining the sets and all of that stuff with the offense. He was telling me how there are concerns with depth and that I could come in there and play early as a freshman. My father and I connected with Coach Coley. He is no frills and I like that. We had a blast, and I feel he is a good guy."
College football is big nation-wide but it is often said that it is just different in Florida. Throughout his trip he says the aura he felt was different and it is something he liked.
"Pretty much this whole trip I had an idea of what to expect," Haplea said, "but at the same time just seeing the reality of it was cool. I saw at all 3 of these schools the whole aura of what it is like to play football down here. I was pretty happy with what I saw from all 3 places."
"I wouldn't say one visit stuck out over the other," continued Haplea. "Honestly you look at Miami and it is Miami, Florida has won 2 of the last 3 titles, and FSU are contenders every year. I need to sit down and weigh my options out with what I saw. This was the first time in this atmosphere. I'd say they all have a legit shot to be in my top 3, and I think any one of them are in contention for the school I'd choose."
It was important for Kevin to make the trip down to Florida to check out these schools because he didn't want to assume anything about any of the schools.
"It was important to come down here to see these schools myself," explained Haplea. "It helped all 3. I could have just stayed in New Jersey and assumed about each one; Florida in the champion, FSU has Coach Bowden and Miami has tradition. I enjoyed coming down here to experience the visits.
Kevin told NoleDigest that he plans to head up to the Carolinas to visit 2 more schools, and then he'll head home and attempt to trim his list to a final 3.
"I have Clemson tomorrow and then we go to North Carolina, and from then we go home," stated Haplea. "I've stayed in contact with Clemson and North Carolina so I wanted to see them. At my house we've trimmed down my list a little already but I haven't wanted to make a big deal out of it. After this trip I hope that it helps me get a final 3 out of it."
The schools that Kevin mentioned as possible choices for his final 3 are Penn State, Pitt, FSU, Florida, Miami, West Virginia, Rutgers and "a few others".
Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with Kevin as we track his recruitment to see if the Seminoles make his final 3.
Haplea Talks FSU Visit
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