Gaines has stayed busy this summer with conditioning, team camp, an unofficial visit and Nike camp.
"It's been very good," Gaines said. "I went with my team to the UNLV camp. After that I took an unofficial to Washington. I was originally supposed to go up there for camp, but I just went up there to check out the school."
"I went to the Nike camp in April. I did pretty good at the Nike camp. I ran a 4.67 40-yard and came in at 6-foot and 202 pounds. I have put on a lot of weight since last year. I missed some of the season last year with a knee injury."
The knee injury was serious enough to require surgery. Although it was immediately feared that Gaines had completely tore his ACL he was back on the field after missing only about a month of the season. The surgery had to wait because of the season.
"I missed about a month. I tore 20% of it. I had an MRI that said I tore the whole thing. Me and my family just prayed about it. I went back to the doctor, he scoped it, sewed me back up and said I only tore 20%. I took some time off after the injury and decided not to have surgery until after the season."
It's that kind of leadership that you find in Gaines. It's that type of player that have some top programs extending offers. "I am up to six offers so far. I have one from Utah, Washington, San Diego State, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. I just got the Notre Dame offer."
The latest offer from Notre Dame carries with it some significance that not all of the other offers share. While there is a new coach in South Bend, there is also someone close to Gaines that has him thinking very seriously about being there with them.
"I was definitely excited about the Notre Dame offer. I don't know if you know or not, but my sister is a student there right now. She is on a basketball scholarship. I really wouldn't mind going to school with my sister because we're really close. She is going to be a sophomore this year. I haven't been there before, but I plan on going."
Gaines may have just received that Notre Dame offer and hasn't had a chance to set up an official there yet, but two schools do have officials coming to them from Gaines.
"I have one official set to Nebraska and one to Oklahoma. Once I get back into town I am going to definitely set one up to Notre Dame. That will be the next one. The visit to Nebraska is on September 9, but the one for Oklahoma I am not quite sure on. I have to get back with the coach."
When it comes to picking out a school for Gaines it is going to be the whole picture that he will look at in making his decision. He is as interested in comfort of the town and surrounding as he is with the team's coaches and early playing time.
"I am definitely looking for a great environment, like the town and stuff and city. How well I work with the coaches. I will also look at the engineering program. How soon I can see some playing time. Also, the alumni network to help me out when I get out of school."
When it comes to breaking down his style, Gaines says that he likes to make plays. Plays by a safety used to just be making the interception in coverage, but the new safety has them playing up on the line of scrimmage and every bit as involved with stopping the running game.
"Definitely coming up and making plays, hitting hard. Not too many will come up and play like that and I try to make that one of my strong points. I will play some offense this year too, but I am mainly defense though."