Landing major scholarship offers is almost like a Cass Tech football rite of passage.
College programs have been mining the Detroit powerhouse for years. Wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, both four-star prospects, headline the Class of 2017 at Cass Tech. Both have dozens of elite options.
Not far behind them is Kalon Gervin, a cornerback in the Class of 2018. Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee are among his early offers.
More and more college coaches have been reaching out during the last couple months.
“Most of them talk about my instincts,” Gervin said. “They say they like my instincts and my speed change a lot. Then my cover ability, my physicality, stuff like that. Most of them say cornerback but I can play anything in the secondary.”
Gervin has also been talking with another group of programs that could be ready to offer at any time: Notre Dame, UCLA, Cal and Ohio State.
Irish defensive line coach Keith Gilmore recruits the Detroit area and Cass Tech in particular thanks to some longstanding family connections. Peoples-Jones and Kelly-Powell already have offers and visited South Bend in January for Junior Day.
Gilmore wants Gervin to make a spring practice trip to campus.
“He watched my film and said he loved what he saw,” Gervin said. “What he wants to do is get me down there. I kept calling him back and we were just talking. We were talking about life and stuff too. My coach had called me and said coach Gilmore texted to say we’ve gotta get me down there. I think they wanna offer me or something like that. I’ve just gotta get down there. I’m gonna go down there for a practice or something like that.”
Although Gervin has never been to Notre Dame, he has a working knowledge of the program.
“It’s great tradition,” he said. “There’s a lot of great athletes that have come out of there. That’s what I really think about. Plus the education.”
Right now Gervin is still putting together a spring visit schedule with the trip to Notre Dame being his first priority. He recently saw Michigan and Syracuse.
Gervin sees these early unofficial visits as critical to building worthwhile relationships.
“I just pay attention to what the coaches are saying,” he said. “Look around campus, see how it looks. It’s important to ask them about the education, graduation rate and all that stuff. I just try to bond with the coaches and see what they’re coming from.”
Coaching staff stability and academics are two of Gervin’s top criteria, even with a decision likely a long way off.
“I don’t wanna commit to the school and the coaching staff leaves,” Gervin said. “I wanna have a school that I know the coaching staff is gonna stay there. But most importantly, my major and a great education. Stuff like that.”