SAN ANTONIO – Orson Charles of Tampa (Fla.) Plant thinks he has narrowed his list to five schools, but he's not telling which programs have survived the cut – at least not yet.
"I narrowed it down to five," Charles said Sunday at U.S. Army All-American Bowl registration. "I have to talk to my pastor about it and see how he feels about it and then take it from there. I'm going to talk to him today."
Charles is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound four-star athlete from Tampa (Fla.) Plant that is mainly being recruited as a tight end. Miami, Florida and Georgia have been prominently discussed throughout his recruitment but many other top-notch schools have also offered.
Teammate Aaron Murray will be an early enrollee at Georgia, but Charles, who transferred to Plant for his senior year, said Murray is not heavily influencing him to pick the Bulldogs. Plant defeated Tallahassee Lincoln, 34-14, to win the class 5A state championship last weekend.
"I enjoyed it the whole way," Charles said. "I knew what I wanted to do when I transferred, and I talked to coach (Robert Weiner) and he told me what I had to do. What more can I ask for? We won states. I love my teammates, my teammates love me, we still talk and we had a heck of a season.
"(Murray) says something here and there but in the end he says to go wherever I feel comfortable."
Plant's championship hopes almost blew up when Murray broke his left fibula and dislocated his left ankle in mid-October against Tampa Hillsborough. But Murray returned much sooner than expected and helped lead Plant to the state title.
While Murray was out, Charles assumed more of a leadership role and Plant won all of its games including a 17-14 victory over arch-nemesis Seffner Armwood, which features Ryne Giddins. The four-star defensive end was expected to play in the Army game but reportedly is out because of injury.
Charles has been patient throughout the recruiting process and continues to be as January approaches. The Florida state playoffs recently finished so now he'll turn his focus to recruiting but is not expected to make any rash decisions.
"I'm going to wait," Charles said. "We stopped playing last week and I told everybody I want to wait until after the season and I kind of know the five but I don't know anything about them right now. I have to look more into it and talk to the coaches and see how they feel about it and pray about it."