Rhema McKnight, 6-3, 180, La Palma (Calif.) Kennedy, is a kid that doesn't seem to be taken by the whole recruiting process and plays it pretty close to the vest.
It's hard to discern exactly what would be McKnight's serious list of schools since he's not exactly forthcoming. He said he was considering about eight schools still, but that he wouldn't go to a school unless he had officially tripped there, except for UCLA, since he knows it so well already. He has tripped to Oregon, Washington and Florida and is considering a trip to Notre Dame, and actually, one to UCLA. He also mentioned Tennessee and Oklahoma, but said that it doesn't look likely that he'd trip to Tennessee or Oklahoma.
McKnight visited Washington this past weekend. About the trip, he said, "It was good. Fun. It was more academic there than I thought. They stress academics more than they do playing football. Half the people there didn't care about football. That's pretty interesting."
McKnight, though, said the Washington trip didn't stand out compared to his trips to Florida or Oregon. But that's really a knock on Washington – or for that matter Florida or Oregon. McKnight is just a kid that isn't going to get bowled over by the recruiting visit hype. "Official visits aren't reality. They show you things they think you want to see and they won't show you the things they want to hide. I know it's not really how college is going to be. But I'm going to learn more about the schools and the areas, and try to not pay attention to the big show and take it in stride."
When it comes to any more official visits, McKnight isn't sure, but he left the door open to possibly visiting UCLA and Notre Dame.
"I could still trip to UCLA," McKnight said. "There's a possibility I could do it this weekend. But I know enough about UCLA. I don't know if I really would have to visit them or look into them as I do other schools. I grew up watching them and I know a lot about them already. I could also take a trip to Notre Dame. I don't know if I will, though. If I did, I'd have to arrange it soon and I don't know if I will."
The flow of college coaches that have been visiting McKnight has been steady. Ty Willingham, the new Notre Dame coach, visited his home Monday. UCLA coaches Littlejohn and Skipper visited McKnight last night, as did Cal. Oregon and Washington will be in his home on Thursday.
Is going away to school a factor for him in his decision? "It doesn't matter where I am. I'll go wherever I feel comfortable. My family wants me to stay close, but they've told me to do what's best for me."
McKnight did say, though, that academics are probably the biggest factor in his decision. " "First is academics, I'm looking for a strong psychology program. UCLA has a great one and Washington is pretty strong too but not as good as UCLA. They even said that to me on my visit. Then there's the football program. How I'll fit in with the team's offense. And there's social, if I'm comfortable living there in the area. I want to go to a place where football isn't everything, where there is a strong social life away from football."