"They are places I could see myself going and playing and making and impact right away," Hester said.
His already-scheduled official visits are to Vanderbilt (Oct. 19) and Michigan State (Nov. 2), but he isn't sure when he will make a decision.
"It can happen before or after the season," Hester said. "I don't have a timetable. I'm not really sure."
Hester said the schools are in no particular order, but he added Rutgers was in his top three. He offered a thought on each school:
Miami: "(Assistant) coach (Mark) D'Onofrio is from Jersey, the head coach, Al Golden, is from Jersey, so that's a connection right there. I know (new commit) Courtel Jenkins very well.
Michigan State: "I went there and visited and I loved it. I have a good relationship with all the coaches. I stayed there for two days. I loved the style of defense they run. I play like the safeties there and I feel like I could fit in."
North Carolina: I have a high interest in them. I don't know much about them, but I do like them. I heard it's a nice campus."
Ohio State: "That's been my dream school since I was young. With (coach) Urban Meyer there, that's definitely a big plus."
Rutgers: "I'm very comfortable there. I know a lot of people from there. I played with some kids that go there. I have a good relationship with the coaches. They're definitely high on my list right now. They're in my top three. I have a good relationship with the coaches so I went to hang out with them."
Vanderbilt: "I have a good relationship with the whole staff. Tre Bell is going down there to play cornerback, and that's another reason I want to go down there and check it out. I heard it's pretty nice down there, and they're definitely an up-and-coming program and building something special."
Virginia: My trainer trained the head coach's (Mike London) son, so I have a good relationship with them, and a few of their coaches came to my school."