Tarik Black, the No. 15 receiver in the nation, plans to make his college decision in the next few months, but it could be an interesting fall since he does not plan on announcing until January.
The 6-foot-3 1/2, 206-pound Black has a top five, and he also mixed in a trip to Auburn on Friday because his brother goes to school nearby an the Tigers were pushing for a visit.
"My top five is Alabama, Notre Dame, Stanford, Michigan and UCLA," Black said. "Basically, those schools are my top five because I feel that they can put me in the best position possible and develop me as a man academically, and also athletically. That’s why they are my top five."
Black is in the process of scheduling visits to those schools, and he wants to make them by the start of his senior season at Cheshire (Conn.) Academy.
"What’s important to me?" Black said. "Family atmosphere, playing time, developing into the receiver I want to be and the man I want to be. I just want to have a good career.
"I want to decide before my senior season. I’ll probably do a silent commit, and then announce at the Army All-American game."
Black said distance is not an issue, and he made a trip to California to check on a pair of schools.
"I absolutely loved UCLA," Black said. "When I was at UCLA I was very, very impressed. It’s a great coaching staff, NFL experience, coach (Eric) Yarber is a great receivers coach He coached a bunch of NFL guys. I could definitely see myself fitting in.
"I went in having high expectations, and I left impressed."
Stanford also made an impression on Black.
"It’s a great education, and obviously my parents are very high on academics," Black said. "They had to be in my top five. I really like them as well. Their football program, Pac-12 champs, I could really see myself being a big-time player there if I was to choose Stanford."
The changes coach Jim Harbaugh made in one season at Michigan caught Black's eye, and the way the receivers play in the offense is intriguing.
"Michigan has a great coaching staff," Black said. "They’re on the rise. Jim Harbaugh as improved their program from (5-7) to 10-3 in one year. I could see myself fitting into that offense as well."
Receiver development is huge to Black, and he sees a lot of it at Alabama and Notre Dame.
"Alabama, it’s a great football program," he said. "I don’t know how many times they were national champs, but it’s a lot. They develop their receivers, as you can see with Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley. If I want to be developed into the receiver I want to be, Alabama could be a place."
In Notre Dame, Black sees a mix on and off the fields.
"Great education, great tradition," he said. "They develop their receivers as well. You could that with Will Fuller being a first-round draft pick. I can definitely see myself fitting into their offense as a big-time deep threat."
Meanwhile, Auburn is trying to make a push off the latest visit.
"We were down for our oldest son's graduation in Tuskegee, Alabama, and Auburn has been in contact with Tarik for some time so we took the trip over while in town," said Black's dad, Malik. "It was a great visit with coach (Gus) Malzhan and (receivers coach) Kodi Burns. Very impressive!"