Five-star offensive tackle Damian Prince made headlines again on Monday when he announced an official top five of Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina. While the Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara star does not have an order to his top five, he has scheduled the rest of his official visits and has a busy in-home visit schedule this week.
Prince, an Under Armour All-American, explained why each school made his top five.
Florida - "I feel like Coach Muschamp he was doing what was best for the team by letting Coach Davis and Coach Pease go," said the 6-foot-5, 292-pound Prince. "I talked to Coach Muschamp on Sunday and he was very honest with me. He said they probably won't hire any new guy until January but he said the guy that he will hire will run the same type of offense which is what I want to play in.
"That was really good to hear from him because he's the head coach," he said. "It wasn't one of the other coaches, it came from the head coach. I really believe he is a great coach who has had success in the past. I feel like next season will be better for them. I will take my official visit to Florida on January 24."
Florida State - "They are the number one team in the country," Prince said. "If they do what everybody expects them to do and beat Duke then they'll be in the national championship game. Almost everybody will be back next year and that's something that's important. Coach Fisher is a great coach and having had a chance to see it firsthand, I know the players love him, the coaches love him and the fans love him. He is running a very structured program. I got a long with their offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. I think it would be a good fit for me."
Maryland - "Everything with Maryland is still going great," he said. "They are now bowl eligible. Hopefully this next game goes well for them. Maryland is like the same old song. I've been there so many times. I know about almost everything there. I know the entire coaching staff. On a personal level, they've been around me throughout my life and through all of my hardships. They've always been there to talk. It's a great school and is a good fit for me also."
Miami - "They kind of came out of nowhere but they have been coming after me hard," said Prince. "I've got messages and letters from every coach down there. My recruiting coach is always checking in on me. I've talked to the offensive line coach. He has a lot of guys in the NFL. I've talked to Coach Golden. I feel like that's very important because when I'm actually on campus his opinion matters most. The fact that he is in touch with me really shows me that they are really interested in me and I'm not just a guy they gave an offer to. I'll be there for my official visit on January 31."
South Carolina - "They are doing great also," he said. "I've spoken with Coach Spurrier, Coach Elliot and Coach Mangus. I fit into their program so well in terms of playing style. They only have a few seniors on their whole team and two of them are on the offensive line so I feel like I could come in and be a difference maker on the offensive line. At the same time I would be surrounded by veterans that could help teach me along the way. My official visit to South Carolina will be on January 17."
Prince will be hosting coaches from his top five schools all week.
"Coaches from Florida will be here on Tuesday," Prince said. "On Wednesday some coaches from Miami are coming. Coach Mangus from South Carolina will be here on Friday. Coach Locksley from Maryland will come on Thursday."
"With Georgia I couldn't get a coach to pick up the phone or answer my messages," he said. "I was really looking forward to getting down there. They just never got back to me so I guess I was never really in the picture for them.
"With Ohio State it was really hard because they are doing so well and I am so close with Coach Smith," said Prince. "I just felt as though I was a little bit too close with him and not the offensive line coach. Coach Smith was my favorite recruiter out of everybody. When we talked it was rarely about it football, it was about life. He is a great buy but I didn't feel that connection when I went up there and talked to their offensive line coach and Coach Meyer. I was told not to pick a school because of a coach because that coach could leave at any given time. If I was to go there and something was to happen with Coach Smith I felt like there was no other coach on the staff there that I could talk to."
Prince will be making his decision on February 14.