How do you make a cross-country move from Texas to Maryland a bit more bearable? Take some pit stops at the nation's best college football programs and collect some offers along the way.
That's how 2016 OT J.P. Urquidez has handled the move from his hometown of Copperas Cove, Texas, to Hyattsville, Md. One of his stops was in Baton Rouge on Monday for LSU's camp, where he was one of the top offensive linemen in attendance.
He landed an offer from the Tiers before he left, his 12th and first from the SEC. The visit blew Urquidez away as he called it one of the best he's taken.
"It's definitely up there right now," Urquidez said. "It was really cool. I liked it a lot. I liked the campus, the facilities, and the coaches are all really cool. It felt like I'd known all of them for 10 years. When I showed up they all knew my name, and they were really welcoming. It had a good home feel to it, and I like that when I go to a college."
Urquidez hadn't had any contact with the LSU coaches before he arrived Monday. His dad set up the visit and the sent LSU his son's film. Those highlights were enough to pique the Tigers' interest, and Urquidez didn't disappoint in-person.
He received plenty of attention from Les Miles and OL coach Jeff Grimes during his visit, with the coaches rarely letting Urquidez out of their sight.
"I liked Coach Miles a lot too. We were doing one-on-ones, and I turned around and he was right there behind me. We just started talking, hanging out and he was giving me tips…
"It was coaching and laid back at the same time," Urquidez added. "I didn't know Coach Miles knew so much about being an offensive lineman. He was out there teaching me technique, footwork. It was definitely real cool to learn from him."
Once the camp concluded, Coach Grimes took him for a tour around the facility, showing off the weight room, players' lounge and meeting rooms. Then Grimes invited Urquidez and his parents into his office.
"He said they were highly impressed with my film and my performance [at camp]," Urquidez said. "He said ‘I know we're far away from you, but we'd like to offer you a scholarship here at LSU.'"
Urquidez was thrilled to get an offer from the Tigers, and he said they're a team that will have his focus throughout his recruitment. It's still early though, and Urquidez said he hasn't started to narrow things down.
The 6-foot-6.5, 295-pound tackle has visits lined up this week to Auburn, Alabama and either Georgia or Clemson. He's also visited Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech, so you can expect LSU to have major competition to land Urquidez.
"I'm definitely open to everybody," Urquidez said. "I just want to be able to look at all my offers. I haven't been to most of the schools that have offered me, so I definitely want to get around and meet the coaches."
Urquidez said that academics and his relationship with coaches will be the biggest determining factors when it comes down to decision.
And what is it that has all these schools so excited about his ability?
"Everybody likes the mean streak I play with," Urquidez said. "I'm pretty aggressive on the field. I'm goofy when I'm off the field, but I'm aggressive when I'm on it."
Urquidez enjoys LSU visit
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