Imagine being a teenage boy and having just about every major college football program knocking on your door. It would be easy to see how that would inflate an up-and-coming prospect’s ego.
Bobby Hart, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive tackle, experienced the high that comes with so many high-profile colleges knocking on your door first-hand.
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the Sunshine State’s top powerhouses when it comes to winning state championships and sending players to the major college level. So, it came as no surprise when recruiting took off for Hart and the offers started pouring in.
He admits that early offers from some of the country’s top football programs got to his head a little but he quickly learned that a much more humble approach to his recruitment was needed.
“I have 29-30 offers,” the Scout.com, four-star prospect informed. “It feels good having so many offers because of all the hard work I put in since the 10th grade when I really started taking football seriously. One day I thought it would be me getting these offers, and now it’s my turn.
“At first all of the attention got to my head and I became a little conceited,” Hart continued. “Then I came back down to Earth after I talked with my friends and I realized it’s more about the team than it is about me. It’s about bringing the championship back to where it belongs. It’s been a good experience though. I wish every young boy out there who loves football could go through this experience.”
Part of the experience is having offers from prestigious programs such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Nebraska, Michigan, Ole Miss, and Tennessee, among several others.
The latest overture to arrive was from LSU and Hart says he had a feeling that would happen as he already had a good relationship with his area recruiter.
“I’ve been in touch with LSU since Coach Gonzales got there,” Hart stated. “He was recruiting me when he was at Florida and as soon as he got to LSU he started trying to get me to go there.”
Gonzales and LSU increased the stakes with Hart on Monday night and the big man says it is something that got his week off to a “great start”.
“I spoke to coach on Monday night and he said I had an offer,” Hart said. “That offer definitely throws LSU into the mix. I like LSU a lot. They’re one of the top programs in the nation.
“I remember when Patrick Peterson (Johnson at the time), who is from around here, picked LSU. Seeing a high-caliber player like that choose LSU is real big and it means a lot.”
Other than watching Peterson put on the purple and gold stripes, Hart claimed to not know much more than that about the Tigers. However, he will use an official visit to Death Valley to fill in all of the missing pieces he has surrounding the university.
“To be honest, I don’t know a lot about LSU,” Hart said. “So I told coach I will try to make it to LSU for an official visit when they play Alabama this season. He said they were recruiting me as an offensive tackle and I’m cool with that because I can play either side.”
Hart has made just one visit so far and says he is unsure of his next stop. However, he is certain of what he will be looking for on his visits.
“I’ve only been to Florida State so far and I really liked it,” he said. “I plan on taking some visits during the spring and the summer, but I’m not sure where to just yet. I’m going to be comparing the academic programs because my mom is a teacher and that is important to us. Then I will look at the fan base surrounding the team and the relationship I have with my position coach. We can’t be clashing heads.”
As far as a timeline for trimming his list, Hart said he has given that some thought as well.
“I don’t have any favorites right now, but I plan on having a top seven by the end of the summer,” he said. “Then I’ll shift my attention to my team and away from recruiting for a while. I might take a couple of official visits during the season and then my final three visits once the season is over.”