Tampa (Fla.) Plant wide receiver Austin Aikens hit the road over the past week to check out a few of the schools that have offered him.
"I went to Vanderbilt, Missouri, Iowa, Cincinnati, and Western Kentucky," Aikens said.
The three-star wideout shared his thoughts on each stop.
Vanderbilt: "We took a tour of the whole place and then we talked about the education and how when a person graduates from there they average making six figures, the average graduate makes six figures. They talked about their situation at wide receiver and how many more they are planning to take, they said two or three more receivers. They said that they really like me and that they are really interested in me."
Missouri: "It was pretty good time there. I got a chance to talk to all of the coaches. I went and talked with the strength and conditioning coach and got to see a video of how they work out and how intense it is. They talked about how much they like throwing and that they run the spread offense similar to what we (Plant) do. We talked about how many more receivers they are taking and they are planning to take two or three receivers. I know they are recruiting the No. 1 receiver in the nation (Dorial Green-Beckham) too. They just said they really like me and the type of player that I am."
Iowa: "They talked about how if a player is to commit there, that by the time they get there people there already know everything about them and their high school stats and such. It is because they are really the only team in Iowa, with them not having a pro team or anything of that sort. So the players are treated like a celebrity there. It was a real nice place when they took me on a tour. I saw that the opponent's locker room is colored pink. Iowa's head coach (Kirk Ferentz) majored in psychology and was talking about how pink is a color that makes you relax. So they colored the opponent's locker room pink so they don't get as hyped up as they would otherwise. Iowa was a really nice place."
Cincinnati: "Cincinnati was real nice. I got a chance to talk to all of the coaches, including Coach (Jahmile) Addae who is from Florida too. He talked about growing up around here, in Tampa, and he knows one of my uncles. When I was talking to the coaches they told me they were losing a lot of seniors and that if I was to commit there that I would have a really good chance to playing early. There is a lot of room, spots to be filled. I got to talk to the head coach (Butch Jones) and he is a wide receivers coach, so he was talking to me about the offense. I also got a chance to go to the business school and talk to the person in charge of the business school. We talked about what I could major in and what it could do for me long-term. It was a really nice place."
Western Kentucky: "It was a real good experience. I got to talk to all of the coaches and the head coach (Willie Taggart) a lot. Coach (Raymond) Woodie and a few of the other coaches all grew up around Tampa too. They gave me a tour, I got to see the weight room and everything, and then I got to visit the business school to talk about what I could major in and such, similar to the last school (Cincinnati). The head coach and all of the other coaches are all down to earth and really comfortable to be around. I also got to see the freshmen practice the first day of practice in the morning."
The 6-foot, 180-pound wideout said that he came away impressed by each and every one of his stops.
"I really liked all of the schools," Aikens said. "Every school has something good to offer."
All five schools that Aikens visited have offered Aikens. In addition to those five offers, Aikens also has offers from Boston College, Florida International, and Temple. At this stage of the process, Aikens claims no leaders.
Recruiting will now go on the backburner as Aikens' and his Plant teammates begin practices on Monday.
"I think I am going to take more visits after the season," Aikens said. "I am probably not going to have any time to visit any other schools during the season. We will just have to see how it all plays out."
Tampa (Fla.) Plant will host Miami (Fla.) Columbus at the end of August in a preseason match-up.