One strong camp showing and LaBryan Ray now understands how a recruitment can take off.
Ray, a four-star defensive end from Madison, Ala., turned in that performance at The Opening Regional in Atlanta. He punched a ticket to the Opening Finals in Oregon later this summer. Then even more scholarship offers and exposure started to arrive.
“It’s been crazy,” Ray said. “I’m not gonna lie, it’s been really busy. But I’m just trying to manage it the best I can to where it doesn’t get out of hand really. It’s everything, you know? You’re hearing from a lot of people in a lot of ways. You just have to focus on the schools you’re thinking about going to.”
Now Ray holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, among others.
Programs in the region like Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State, Mississippi State and Ole Miss have drawn most of Ray’s attention so far. Notre Dame is among the more distant programs to enter the mix in the last few weeks.
Ray is taking a preliminary look at the Irish.
“I’ve heard some very good things from them,” Ray said. “No doubt it’s definitely a school I’m looking at and thinking about going to.”
He’s visited Alabama, Florida State and Tennessee. Alabama is hosting the 6-foot-4, 270-pound prospect this week. But Ray is willing to look outside the South.
“My family’s behind me 100 percent,” Ray said. “Anywhere where I feel comfortable at and I know I want to spend my next three or four years, no doubt they’re behind me.”
Ray hopes to make visits to Ole Miss, Florida and a few other programs in the coming weeks. He’s also planning to cut the list to between a top eight and 10 by the time spring practice rolls around in early May.
Some of the things Ray is looking for in a program are starting to take shape ahead of that cut.
“Of course, academics first,” he said. “Then football-wise too, coaching staff and just tradition. It’s relationship with the coaches. Those are the things that are real big for me. That’s what I look for. Then just the feel of it.”