Cory Helms has had a busy holiday season. Planning a transfer is a big reason why.
The Georgia native and soon to be junior offensive lineman was granted a release from Wake Forest, he announced Friday. By Sunday, a number of schools had expressed interest, and more are expected to in the coming days.
“This is the toughest decision of my life,” Helms said in a statement announcing his transfer. “I will always have a special place in my heart for WF and my brothers I have made here.’
Helms will have to carve out some room for a new school -- and teammates -- though, as his time as a Demon Deacon has ended. Helms has been offered by, and set official visits, to Texas A&M (Jan. 18), South Carolina (Jan. 23), and Penn State (Jan. 30).
“I was kind of surprised because it’s all so quick,” Helms said via Messenger of the recent rush of interest. “Those are the three big ones that offered and have visits set up.”
Penn State head coach James Franklin and line coach Herb Hand had a relationship with Helms when he was in high school, and their presence at Penn State has the Lions in the running despite the distance between his hometown Alpharetta, Ga., and State College.
“Penn State has probably the most traditional school in the country,” Helms wrote to FOS. “Who doesn’t grow up and say, ‘Man I want to play for Penn State?’ The distance isn’t really a factor if I feel like I’m at home and have got a family up there.
"Coach Hand recruited me some in high school at Vandy, but it’s more of just all the good things I’ve heard about him and Coach Franklin.”
As for Texas A&M, Helms said the qualities that are appealing for him at the school are also what attracts him to Penn State and South Carolina.
“A&M is a place that I’ve always heard was amazing,” Helms said. “They are supposed to have a crazy fan base and amazing facilities which I will see on my visit.
“All three of these schools play big-time football in the big stage, and have aspirations and a real chance to compete for championships! They all have a need for me, as well, and that’s big.”
Helms is not mandated by the Feb. 4 National Signing Day, and does have five official visits to use. That said, the lineman added that he is unsure when he will decide.
“I want to set up five, even go to a couple unofficially,” he said. “Just want to find the perfect place to finish my career.”
“I’m not sure about the decision. Some places want to know around signing day for their numbers. But it’s gonna be a very busy few weeks.”