Rick Sandidge (© Michael Clark)

Scout 150 DT Rick Sandidge left impressed by both Miami and Florida during his weekend visits.

Rick Sandidge took a tour through the Sunshine State this past weekend. The Scout 150 defensive tackle made stops at both Miami and Florida and both schools are now firmly in the mix.

After this weekend, Rick Sandidge knows two more schools that will make his trimmed list at the end of the month: Miami and Florida

"They will make my top ten," said the Scout 150 defensive tackle. "I felt like I was at home when I went down there." 

The Concord High School playmaker visited both the Hurricanes and the Gators this past weekend, when he and his family decided to take a tour around the Sunshine State. HIs first stop was Coral Gables on Friday - a visit that was a bit unexpected. 

"It was more but less [that what I expected] at the same time, because the campus was smaller than I thought it was. The campus was small but it was like a resort when you were  there," he said. "But it was still nice, and I had a good time when I was there. 

"They showed us around the campus, I talked to my position coach, coach Kool [Miami defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski] and we just had a good time." 

Although Sandidge was unable to see Miami practice, coach Kuligowski did impress on Sandidge Miami's need for defensive tackle, but most importantly, the University of Miami's connections after college. 

"One of the things they were talking about was about degrees," said the North Carolina native. "I was talking about how I wanted to work in sports marketing, and they take that degree seriously, because all they have is sports. They have the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Heat, and they have connections to these places and that help build connections for internships and jobs.

"Thats very important to me," he added. "It makes me think that I can actually get some help when I am in classes. When I am getting my degree, it makes me think I can have fun while getting it." 

The Hurricanes left a good first impression on the Sandidge family but so did Florida. After Friday's visit to Coral Gables, Sandidge and company journeyed up the Florida turnpike to Gainesville for a two day visit with the Gators. 

"We were just looking around at the campus," he said. "Same thing with their classes [as with Miami], it was all in one road which is something I like because I don't have to drive - you can ride your bike and walk around."

The campus itself did impress the highly ranked defensive lineman, but it was not the only thing to stand out during his visit to The Swamp. 

"They showed me how they were getting their weight room built up, just for the football team," added Sandidge. "They are going to have the locker rooms changed and I also hung out with [defensive line coach] Chris Rumph and he was a pretty cool guy." 

His one-on-one time with Rumph allowed Sandidge to attain a better understanding at how it would be like to be coached by the Gators assistant. 

"He is not going to keep secrets from you. He is going to be straight forward with you. We were watching my film and he was going on about the positives and the negatives and thats something I appreciate- the honesty." 

Due to exams, Sandidge was not able to learn more about Florida's sports marketing program, however, he hopes to return to Gainesville later on this year. 

He now plans to visit Florida State on Monday so that he may complete his tour around the Sunshine State. 

"I just want to have a good time [at FSU]," he said. 

According to Sandidge, he is planning to trim his list to ten at the end of this month, where he expects not only Miami and Florida to make the cut, but also North Carolina and South Carolina. However, that does not mean a commitment will be imminent. Scout's tenth ranked defensive tackle in the 2018 class says official visits will be big for him. 

"I want to take as long as I can because I want to make the right and best decision for me." 


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