One of the main steps in that process is taking unofficial campus visits. Devon Carrington has already visited Arizona State for a Junior Day, and has made plans to visit both Stanford and California later this month.
"Recruiting has been going really good," Carrington said. "I just got offered by Oregon the other day. That puts me up to seven offers right now."
Carrington has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oregon and Stanford. Of those schools, he says Notre Dame, Stanford, and Oregon are the schools recruiting him the hardest. Of course, contact only goes so far – a school must also fit Carrington's interests.
"Basically what I'm looking for is to see what the campus is like as far as how diverse the campus is," Carrington said. "I'm also looking for academics obviously, and playing time to see what best fits."
Once he returns home, Carrington will continue the process of cutting down his list, with the hope of making a decision sometime early in his senior year.
"I'll probably have a top-five by the end of the summer, but as of right now it's pretty open," Carrington said. "Then, I'll probably commit early on in the season. I want to try to get it out of the way and be able to focus on my senior year, but if I don't feel comfortable, I'm going to wait."
And while there are still more than nine months left until National Signing Day, Carrington was able to identify some of the reasons why Stanford is a candidate for his signature.
"You can't really beat Stanford academically," Carrington said. "Also, I like what Coach Harbaugh is doing with the program at Stanford. He had a really good recruiting class last year, and I think he has them on the rise coming up here in the future."
Like most of the schools recruiting Carrington, the Stanford coaching staff is looking at the rising senior as a safety. Carrington says he'd feel comfortable playing either strong or free safety.
Carrington, who recorded 77 tackles, three fumbles, four sacks and two interceptions in a standout junior year, said that his strengths on the football field lie in his big-time hitting and coverage ability.
"I kind of play like Adrian Wilson for the Arizona Cardinals, in that I like to come up and make the hit, but I'm like Ed Reed because I have good coverage skills," Carrington said. "I think I have the best of both worlds."
Coaching staffs from across the country seem to see that potential in Carrington. In this spring evaluation period, Carrington has received visits from representatives of all the schools that have extended him offers. Among those coaches that made the trip to Hamilton High school was Carrington's Cardinal recruiting coach, Lance Anderson.
"I like the coaching staff a lot," Carrington said. "They're pretty cool guys. Coach Taggart is a pretty cool coach. I remember when he came out to Arizona a couple of months ago, and Coach Anderson actually came down to my school twice."
Carrington, who plans to major in either a pharmaceutical field or business, reports a 3.8 GPA and is scheduled to take the ACT on June 13.
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