Instead of listening to all the recruiting hype, Zack McCray would prefer to hear honesty from the college coaches recruiting him. Sometimes, it's difficult to differentiate between the two but the Lynchburg (Va.) Brookville defensive end is doing his best to navigate the sometimes difficult recruiting road.
"Just be honest," McCray said. "I've heard a lot of coaches come out and throw stuff at me but if they come out and be honest, that's what I'm looking for the most. That way I feel I can trust the coaches and if I can do that, I can meet the players and fit in there, that would probably be a good fit."
Lots of schools are recruiting McCray, a 6-foot-5, 236-pound prospect who finished with 81 tackles, 20 sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception last season. Rivals.com rates McCray No. 87 in the 2010 class.
Narrowing down the list has been difficult but McCray said there are five or six schools that have stood out more than others at this point but he wasn't ready to chop down the list publicly just yet.
LSU, Boston College, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia are all in the mix for McCray, who said Clemson and a few others are also picking up interest. Honesty from coaches will go a long way in landing his signature.
"Most people will come in and give you the rundown," McCray said. "It's not that they're really lying, they just don't give you the whole truth about everything.
"They'll come in and say, 'We play freshmen and we're really after you and we're really short at your spot and we think you can get on the field.' A lot of people will say, 'You're one of our top recruits,' but some will say, 'Look, you're one of our top recruits, but we're not going to lie, we are recruiting other people,' and not be like, 'Yeah, you're our No. 1 and you're the one we're relying on.'"
The pitch that McCray is No. 1 on a certain school's board does not seem to work with him because it puts undo pressure on him and with so much happening with recruiting, that is something he does not need to be concerned with.
Still, listening to and evaluating all the coaches is a vital part of the process because McCray said he feels like he needs to cut his list soon and then take visits to see which setting would be best for him.
He recently attended the Virginia Tech spring game, is planning to see LSU, has been to Tennessee three times in the last year and a half and also wants to see other places while trimming his list.
"I'm starting to narrow it down," McCray said. "I have probably five or six that I'm still waiting on for spring evaluation. It's still to see who comes in and shows interest. There are five or six that I want to narrow it down and take some visits and then maybe narrow it down even further."