Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee outside linebacker Hershel Caywood recently visited the University of Tulsa for a Junior Day. The 5-foot-11, 199-pound defensive athlete talked about what he saw from the Golden Hurricanes.
"We got there and sat in their gym and the head coach (Bill Blankenship) came in and talked to all of us and introduced all of his coaches," Caywood said. "Then the Dean of Admissions came through and described what it takes academically to get in there and what the school provides to us academically. He just talked about how Tulsa is the best school you can go to."
After the initial introductions, Caywood and the other visitors made their way to a spring football practice.
"We then went out and watched the team practice," Caywood said. "We watched them for about 30 minutes to see all of the drills and everything that they do. We got to walk on the field and talk with the coaches."
Following practice, it was another opportunity for prospects to speak up-close and personal with the staff.
"After practice we got to meet up with specific coaches and they talked to us about stuff," Caywood said. "They talked to us about what they are really looking for in their players and how the recruiting process would be."
In Caywood's case, he spoke in-depth with two staff members including his primary recruiter.
"I got to meet with Coach (Jess) Loepp and Coach (Van) Malone," Caywood said. "Coach Malone, he is the main coach recruiting me. He just pretty much told me about how the recruiting process would work. He didn't act as though he was favoring anybody. He just wanted to let us know that we can contact him at anytime. He just said to call whenever we want to and he will call whenever he can."
With the visit now wrapped up, Caywood is glad he made the journey to the Conference USA school.
"From what we saw they are very good academically and a pretty good team," Caywood said. "I just wanted to see what they have to offer and show them what I had to offer personally."
Prior to visiting Tulsa, Caywood has previously done one-day camps at South Carolina and Clemson.
He is planning to visit several schools in the Northeast during the summer, specifically some of the Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Princeton.
At this time, he said his main group of schools consists of Tulsa, Holy Cross, Brown, Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, Princeton, and Yale. It is abundantly clear that he takes his role as a student very seriously.
"Academics will play a major role," Caywood said of his future decision. "I want to have a nice campus. I am going to be there for four years so I want to be happy with where I am at."