Kwantel Raines

No. 12 safety Kwantel Raines talks SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC offers and visits

Aliquippa (Pa.) High Scout 300 defensive back Kwantel Raines discusses SEC offers as well as some Big Ten and ACC offers.

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Kwantel Raines already had an impressive offer list -- Penn StateMichigan StateWisconsinWest VirginiaPittsburgh, Kentucky and Virginia Tech, to name a few -- but when a pair of SEC schools offered, it took him aback.

The Aliquippa (Pa.) High standout, who is the No. 12 safety in the nation, said he was surprised when a few schools offered.

"Yeah, LSU, South Carolina, all those types of schools," the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Raines said. "I think it is mostly because it's the SEC, and that is arguably the best football conference."

"But I haven't even thought about cutting down my list yet. I think I'm going to do it around football season.

As Raines recruitment moves to the forefront because the 2018 cycle is now the focus, he said new offers and new schools of interest often send him to google to learn more about schools.

"I do that a lot," Raines said. "When I have some free time at home, I do all that."

LSU was the most recent school to offer, but it did not come out of no where.

"I've been talking to LSU for a long time now," he said. "Their defensive backs coach offered me. I talk to their defensive coordinator. I talk to their defensive line coach, their linebacker coach. I talk to a lot of their coaches.

"They told me my size and my athletic ability is not common."

Visiting LSU takes a lot of planning, and it is a campus he wants to see. 

However, there are a trio of schools Raines wants to get to sooner rather than later.

"I will be at Penn State in a few weeks," Raines said. "I really want to get down to Kentucky, and see Michigan State."

Penn State is a school Raines knows well, and he has a strong relationship with the coaching staff, led by assistant Terry Smith, who is from Aliquippa.

"They tell me I'm one of their top priorities in their class," Raines said. "It means a lot. I know they are turning around the program and they are on the rise."

And Smith's connection with Aliquippa is important. 

"It means a lot because you know he is from the same place I'm from," Raines said. "It's somebody you can relate to. It means a lot."

It also helps Penn State that Raines' friend, five-star cornerback Lamont Wade, is already enrolled at the school.

"Lamont tells me that playing there would be a good idea," Raines said. "You're playing for a Big Ten championship and playing great competition."

Raines is also interested in seeing a few others schools within driving distance, and in both cases it is because the coaching staff has him rated high on their board.

"(Kentucky) is really interested in me," he said. "I want to go check out their facilities. I was supposed to be at the Kentucky vs. Kansas basketball game, but I wound up missing it.

"Michigan State, I'm high on their recruiting board also. I know who (Michigan State safety) Montae Nicholson is, and I'm friends with (Spartans) defensive back Demetrious Cox from Jeanette (Pa.). I know a little bit about them, but not much."

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh signee Paris Ford is selling the Panthers to Raines.

"He tells me you can't go wrong putting on for your hometown team," Raines said. "He tells me a lot of stuff that like."

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