Kelvin Rainey, an early three-star prospect, caught the eye of scouts this past fall when he played both ways at Yulee High, earning Second Team All-First Coast linebacker honors from the Florida Times-Union in the process.
On offense Rainey lined up at tight end, where Yulee head coach Bobby Ramsay utilized his size – 6-foot-3, 216-pounds – to create mismatches with linebackers or safeties in coverage.
While a couple of schools are talking defense, Rainey feels that he will likely stick on the offensive side of the ball.
“I just don’t really feel like a defensive guy, but if I get a good vibe from a school and see that I can come in and play some linebacker then I will do it,” he said. “Alabama, Florida and Rutgers are some teams that have mentioned linebacker. Everyone else likes me as a receiving tight end.”
“I feel like I could fit into that same mold as a guy who can just keep getting mismatches in the passing game because of my size,” Rainey said. “LSU got in touch with me last week and jumped in with a scholarship. Southern Cal, Georgia, Miami and Arkansas were some of the other schools that have been showing interest lately. It’s definitely getting more and more interesting.
“The LSU offer felt kind of good. I am interested to know more because I haven’t been over there yet. I grew up here in Florida, moved to Alabama, and then moved back here a few years back. I will be sure to get over there for a visit at some point here soon.”
Rainey recently wrapped up basketball season and plans on making a string of unofficial visits to college campuses as he pushes through school and workouts during the spring semester. LSU, South Carolina and Georgia are among the teams on the short list of destinations.
“I want to see some places that I know I am serious about,” said Rainey, who is a December graduate. “I will enroll early at a school, so I will probably treat my summer like the fall and take all the final visits then.
“LSU is definitely one of the teams I want to see, though. It will probably be for a camp this summer, though I’m not sure if I will do a lot of working out when I go to these places. I will do some one-on-ones or show off technique stuff for coaches, but I want my main focus on these visits to be about getting to know the staffs personally and see the campus up close.”
While Florida State and South Carolina are considered two of the lead teams in the race for Rainey’s services, the Sunshine State standout remains committed to keeping his options open.
“I haven’t named any top teams or anything like that yet because I want to give everyone a look before I move forward,” he said. “I kind of know what schools I like. I don’t even read the letters they send anymore. My coaches just get them now. I would rather talk to them on the phone, so I will try to chat for about 30 minutes with a coach each week. That helps me get a good feel for everything.”
Rainey plans to have his decision made before the start of his senior season.