From 47 scholarship offers to seven options; four-star defensive tackle Marquel Combs threw himself a bit of a list-trimming party on Tuesday afternoon.
The 305-pound Pierce (Calif.) Junior College prospect had already been forced to eliminate the entire SEC because of the league's policy against accepting certain online courses as transferable credit. Those programs were discarded for him months ago. His hand was forced. This time around, though, he wielded the metaphorical chainsaw willfully.
The schools left standing after the massacre are as follows:
"All the schools made it for different reasons," Combs said. "I just asked myself how comfortable I was with the school, if I thought I could play right away there and what kind of impact I could have. Those are the questions I used when I was deciding."
So what's next? It's a question Combs himself is struggling with for now. He starts with the things of which he's certain. And, admittedly, that's not much.
"The only visit I have scheduled right now is Kansas State on Dec. 1 for the Texas game," he said. "I have three visits left to take, but I don't know where I'm going yet. I need to figure that out. I'm going to get that squared away soon. I just know I'm going to K-State for sure."
Combs will be flanked by his teammate, linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore, a Kansas commit, on his trip to Manhattan, Kan. And while the duo will get the tour of K-State together, Jenkins-Moore's agenda when it comes to his recent interactions with Combs has had little to do with the upcoming visit.
"He's recruiting me to Kansas," Combs said. "We've been playing together for three years. He just tells me, 'Man, we need you to come play with me at KU. It will be just like prep school and just like Pierce.' Like I told him, I'm just waiting. I need to decide for myself."
As for a frontrunner in the final group of seven, Combs declines to go down that road. From here, he expects the process to be swift and the information to be rare. What is certain, he says, is a date for a commitment.
"I'm going to decide on Dec. 19," Combs said. "I probably won't cut it down again before that."
Combs says he is still on pace to graduate from Pierce in December and plans to join the school of his choosing in time for spring practice.