Crunch Time for Charles

After a long recruiting journey that has extended well beyond Signing Day, the end is now in sight for five-star tight end Orson Charles, who took his final official visit to USC this past weekend. Look inside for all the details.

After a long recruiting journey that has extended well beyond Signing Day, the end is now in sight for five-star tight end Orson Charles, who took his final official visit to USC this past weekend.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound tight end has narrowed his choices down to USC, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee and plans to make his announcement on March. 6th.

"I'm done with all the visits, it's crunch time now," Charles said.

The highly sought after recruit was back in Florida with the USC visit still fresh in his mind when we caught up with him.

"I really liked it. I really enjoyed my trip," Charles said. "I got to see Beverly Hills, I got to see the beach and people surfing in sixty-degree water."

USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who was the top-rated quarterback in the 2009 class, was Charles' host and the two got to a chance to learn more about each other.

"The coaches wanted me to chill with him and get a feel for the quarterback," Charles said. "If I come there, I have to be on the same page with him."

Charles said he was lobbying with Barkley all weekend in an attempt to get the quarterback to give up the number 7, which both players wore in high school.

As of Monday night, he was still trying to get the number from Barkley.

One thing that really stood out about the visit for Charles was how well Pete Carroll and the USC coaches relate to the players on and off the field.

"He's really down to earth. You can tell that he doesn't put on a front for you," Charles said of Carroll. "What you see is what you get, and what I see is real good. I got the impression that you can come to him if you need help.

"It seems that they have a really good feel for their players."

The USC coaches also showed Charles how they would utilize his talents in their offensive system.

"I met the new guys, and sat down with Brennan Carroll and talked with him.

"They showed me the offense that they are going to run. They also showed me the depth chart, and how soon I could get on the field."

With all the visits over, what are the main factors that will go into his decision?

"Which school I can step on the field and make an impact the fastest, and just a school that I am really comfortable with," Charles explained. "If I am having trouble with a class or a girl I want to be able to talk to the coaches."

Charles will now consult his family as well as some others that have helped him throughout the recruiting process, which includes former Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy and Doug Williams.

"I am just going to pray about it and talk with my family," he said. "What I am going to try to do is eliminate two teams by Wednesday, and then focus on the final two teams until next week."

The five-star tight end plans to make his college choice on March 6th.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden at kevin@scplaybook.com


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