Despite constant contact with Georgia coaches, Kentucky-bound Terrell Mitchell of McEachern said he believes UGA led him on during the recruiting process.
“They would call me once a week,” he said. “They weren’t trying to offer, so why did they waste my time? It got frustrating after a while. I can’t imagine playing for a team like that.”
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Mitchell, a tight end, is looking forward to playing at Kentucky. He talked to the AJC about the recruiting process.
Q. Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting?
A. LSU and Georgia. LSU was my hometown and I wanted to go back home. They were recruiting me at one point and the coach said I had a great practice, but then I didn’t talk to him for three months. They tried recruiting me again, but I told them it was too late. And UGA because I showed them a lot of interest. I wanted to go to UGA. I went to two games and brought my family up to show them where I may be playing and they never offered me a scholarship.
Q. What did you learn about the recruiting process?
A. It’s crazy. There are a lot of schools looking at you and it creates a lot of pressure. It’s hard to turn a school down and tell a coach you develop a relationship with that you are going to sign somewhere else.
Q. If you could give a junior only one piece of advice, what would it be?
A. Don’t commit to the first college that wants you. Wait until you know where you want to go.
Q. What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
A. Michigan. I wish they would have talked to me earlier. I took an official visit up there and it was just a different environment. I enjoyed it there. I got to meet the players and Coach Rich Rodriguez.
Q. What was your biggest regret during the recruiting process?
A. That I didn’t take all five official visits. [He went to Michigan and Kentucky.]
Q. What is the funniest thing any coach said to you ?
A. Coach Joker Phillips told me he [once] ran into a game when the coach pointed at someone else. He scored a touchdown on the play, but the coach took him out and yelled at him. He tried telling his coach that he scored and the coach yelled back, “I don’t care!”
Q. What was the best single experience you had on any of your recruiting trips?
A. We were at a party in Kentucky, and the guys asked if I was going to talk to any girls and I said probably not. Everyone thought I was in college and when we got there they all yelled “Recruit.” I wasn’t expecting that.
Q. If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A. You should be able to go on more official visits than five. It’s hard to break it down to just five. Some recruits have more than five colleges they want to look at.