Several Web reports this week have Dr. Phillips' talented running back Dee Hart narrowing his college choices to Auburn and Florida.
But while Auburn and Florida may be at the top of his list, the schools also happen to be some of the only places he's visited so far, and Hart's list will likely change numerous times before he makes his decision.
Remember, Hart, the No. 4-ranked player in the Sentinel's 2011 Central Florida Super60, initially had Michigan highest on his list, and the Wolverines could climb right back in the picture at some point should things stabilize with head coach Rich Rodriguez..
He is coming off his first visit to Auburn and enjoyed the trip and he also stopped off in Gainesville on the way for a personal chat with Urban Meyer.
"I liked Auburn and right now I'm still open, but I have kind of narrowed it down to a couple," Hart said Tuesday. "Auburn and UF ... oh and Alabama."
Ouch. That word's gotta hurt in places where Tigers and Gators roam.
Yes, Hart has yet to visit Alabama and will be heading to Tuscaloosa in the next few weeks. If the recent reaction from some of his buddies is any indication, Hart will likely be quite impressed with Nick Saban and company. Saban actually visited Dr. Phillips last month to just show his interest.
Dr. Phillips S Ha'sean Clinton-Dix, Hart's best friend, visited Alabama with Apopka RB Tom Smith and Olympia WR Isiah Meyers over the past weekend and they came back with rave reviews about the Crimson Tide coaches and facilities. And don't think they didn't make Hart well aware of that upon their return.
A lot of Hart's college choice will depend on how a team intends to use his skills. He's fast, has swivel hips that make him extremely dangerous in open field and he can stop and turn on a dime. But at 5-foot-8, 185 pounds, he's not quite as big as most colleges would like to have their tailbacks.
Nonetheless, he's gifted and schools cannot overlook that. Which is why Florida has told him they look at him to fill a variation of roles should he choose the Gators.
"Some are recruiting me for running back and some for kick returner," said Hart, who is ranked 14th in the state on the Sentinel's 2011 Florida Top 100 by Billl Buchalter. "Florida is saying both. They said I can be like a Percy Harvin on offense and then like a Brandon James returning kicks."
Auburn may have trouble with a comparison sales pitch and considering that the Tigers just signed one of the best running backs in the country last month in Michael Dyer, Hart will be keeping his eye on the Auburn offense next fall.
He does want to get his decision made, but he'll also not rush things, waiting until he feels right about everything before making his commitment.
"Honestly, I don't know how much it'll change but the more I visit schools the more it will change," Hart said of his list of favorites. "It always seems good when you look at one thing, but then the more you see, the more things start to fall in place. It's like Coach Smith (Dr. Phillips assistant Riki), one of our coaches, always tells me, 'You've got to see as many places as you can,' and that's what I plan to do."
Hart will see a bit of USF this weekend when he competes as part of the Central Florida All-Stars in a 7-on-7 tournament held in Tampa. He and his teammates will meet new Bulls' Coach Skip Holtz on Sunday.
He also knows that as the season draws closer and recruiting starts to pick up, things are going to get pretty hectic between now and Feb. 2, 2011, National Signing Day.
"I'm getting a lot of e-mails and just trying to choose right now and doing a lot of research," Hart said. "It's hard but I'm trying to make the best of it."
Hart, who had just over 800 yards rushing in nine games last season, has numerous offers, including those mentioned abov,e as well as Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Ohio State, just to name a few.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun