Prior to the start of his fall exams earlier this month, 2014 4-star Charlotte (N.C.) Christian tight end Jeb Blazevich named a top six of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Notre Dame.
Then he turned his focus to studying and declined all interview requests. With his tests behind him, Blazevich is talking again and he said that his new list shouldn't be taken lightly.
"I'm pretty set on those six," Blazevich said. "I told every other school that's recruiting me that those are the schools I'm going with. Unless something drastic changes I'll select one off that list."
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Blazevich is coming off a junior season that saw him transition from wide receiver to tight end full time. While the move took quite a toll on his receiving numbers, he said he's glad he can get a jump-start on playing his college position.
"I grew a lot football-wise and I got to do my job and help my team," said Blazevich, whose team won a state championship in North Carolina. "Being more of blocker adds a whole new aspect to my game. I loved it, there's a lot more thinking and now I understand the actual run game and our blocking scheme. It was nice doing the grunt work and not just being a guy who is known for making plays."
His work as a tight end garnered him offers from man of the nation's top programs, as well as visits from coaches from Florida, Clemson, Alabama, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Oregon.
Blazevich said the visits, where were highlighted by Irish coach Brian Kelly, were a humbling experience.
"Every coach that came through it was really an honor to meet," he said. "It's just a blessing to realize they would go out of their way to come see me, it's great."
One of the schools to make the biggest impression, ensuring them a spot in the top 6, was Ole Miss.
"I didn't know Coach Freeze at all until he came by to talk," Blazevich said. "Getting a chance to meet him and talk to him and really learn about the program was one of the biggest changes in my recruitment."
Blazevich has family ties to Ole Miss, with most of his mother's family either attending the school or fans of the Rebels.
"They initially offered and I kept them on the list for my grandfather and to sort of keep my family happy," Blazevich said. "Then Coach Freeze came by and I looked at all the five-star guys checking them out and I'm reading and studying and realizing that this might be the school for me because I actually like it, not just because of my family."
Blazevich said he's keeping on eye on 2013 No. 1 Robert Nkemdiche and his consideration of the Rebels.
"I think it says a lot for him to go there and like it," Blazevich said. "I think some of the top recruits see the direction they're headed and it says a lot that they're getting elite guys coming through and checking out the program."
One of the reasons he was able to trim his list so early in the process is because he spent the fall taking unofficial visits. One of his favorite trips was to Alabama.
"I got to talk to coach Saban and spend time with the other coaches," Blazevich said. "It was live, people were going crazy and the best part was after. They killed Mississippi State and Coach Saban was talking about what they need to do better. They did an amazing job but they didn't play as well as they wanted and it just shows how methodical they are as a staff."
Blazevich said he's not looking for a particular offensive system, but he is looking for a coach that's not necessarily set in his ways.
"If I develop like I'm supposed to on the good side, I want to know that I can trust my future coaches to utilize me in the best way to be successful," he said. "I'm looking to see how they use guys of my similar height and build. Do they try to make them fit into their system or are they trying to find ways to use their skills?"
The recent trimming of his list has allowed Blazevich to set up a tentative timeline for a decision, with a plan to participate in various camps and combines along the way.
"The plan right now is to visit every school on my list again in the late winter or early spring," he said. "I want to be committed before my senior summer so I can just sort of have that burden off of me and have fun and be a kid again"