For many high school prospects, the recruiting process can be an arduous affair that can become downright mind-numbing for those who don't have the support to guide them along through the twists and turns of their senior year. Fortunately for OL Simon Codrington of South Miami (Fla) Senior High School, that shouldn't be a problem when recruiting hits high gear later this year.
Considered one of the top tackle prospects in Florida, Codrington is an athletic, two-sport athlete who has received a ton of college interest which will certainly only grow over the next several months. With the big-time interest can come major headaches in sorting through the never-ending stream of recruiting correspondence. However, Codrington should be able to weather the storm better than most as his father, Simon Sr, has undertaken the mountainous task of overseeing his son's recruitment in 2004.
The elder Codrington is certainly qualified for the job as he was a member of an Eastern Kentucky squad that won three national championships back in the early 80's and has the experience of seeing the stresses and strains of recruiting first hand. Codrington told Pack Pride that he's tried to use his own experiences to help his son make the right choice when decision day comes later during his senior year.
"I played football at Eastern Kentucky from 1982 through 1984 and we won three national championships so I've tried to instill a lot of the disciplines of being a champion in my son," said Codrington. "So when he goes to a school like NC State, he sees that the coaches are dedicated to providing an environment for success, it's hard not to be impressed by that."
An accomplished player in his own right, Codrington Sr said he feels his son has all the tools to become an impact player in college despite the fact that his son doesn't boast the magical 300 pounds that so many analysts seem to covet.
"(Simon) plays both football and basketball so because of that, his frame is very lean," said Codrington. "His upside potential is a lot bigger than some people think. He's 6-7 now, 265 pounds but if you look at him he doesn't look like it. He hasn't given up a sack in three years. He plays in one of the toughest conferences in the country and every coach that's seen him loves his footwork and mobility. I mean he gets down to the second and third level on the field."
Colleges are certainly in agreement as Codrington stated his son has collected better than two dozen scholarship offers although they don't count the ones that aren't in writing. One of the schools that jumped in the race from the beginning was NC State and the Pack had a chance to host Codrington earlier this summer. His father made it clear that the Wolfpack had made a huge impression.
"NC State is very, very high on his list," he said. "One of the biggest things is the rapport that he's been able to develop with Chuck Amato who seems to be a player's coach. Outside of that, he attended a couple days of the camp over the summer and the facilities and the infrastructure improvements- it's hard not to be impressed by that.
"The second thing is getting a really good education is important and the support sources we saw in terms of tutoring for the football players- I think is what impressed him the most. The program is growing."
Although State currently boasts better than 30 players from the state of Florida, luring the Sunshine State's best north can sometimes be a difficult proposition. Codrington said they could see both good and bad in his son playing away from home.
"On one hand, distance could put State at a disadvantage because obviously the family wants to be able to see him," said Codrington. "On the other hand, from a personal standpoint, I do know this- he wants to get away from home. It was just like when I was in school, I wanted to get as far away from home as possible. But even though the family will have input, he'll have the biggest say in this. I can't make the decision for him, all I can do is point out the pros and cons.
"From my perspective I can tell you this- I was highly impressed with NC State. I mean, I've been to a lot of schools around the country and for a program that's up and coming, they've accelerated at an amazing pace. Also, not to mention the area of Raleigh. Because that too is important because once he graduates from college, if he's not one of those that make it to the NFL and he gets his degree- what's the next step from there? I'll be quite frank, I don't see the same opportunities in Miami that I see in North Carolina. I can definitely tell you that State is in his top four and quite possibly his top three."
Although State seemingly has established itself well with Codrington in the early going, it'll certainly be no picnic from now until signing day. Several other major schools are involved and the Pack will have its work cut out over the next seven months. Codrington talked about the other major schools that are getting serious consideration.
"Well West Virginia will get a good look," he said. "Michigan State is another one. Florida is another school that is very high on his list. Florida State- actually, the three Florida schools are going to get a look. But it's tough for a kid in his position to weigh all the schools because each one has its own merit. It becomes a tough decision so that's why in the end I think it'll boil down to a family decision where we'll all put things down and look at them.
Codrington indicated that he feels it unlikely that his son will wait until signing day to make a decision and said that it was much more likely that he'll make an earlier commit.