football

Four-star Gaulden ready to trim list

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With his focus on working out and preparing for his senior season, things have slowed down for four-star Nashville (Tenn.) Independence safety Rashaan Gaulden over the past few weeks. The time has given him the chance to think and soon he could be ready to cut his list.
"I'm getting ready to form a top five and then get ready to make a decision," he said. "I think I'm going to start deciding in August or September. I'm just taking my time."
Gaulden said the plan is name favorites, then take visits and make a decision shortly thereafter.
"I'm going to have a few more visits and schedule a couple of officials and see where that goes," he said. "Probably by the ends of this month I'll send out a tweet and let everyone know who's in my top 5."
Gaulden said he plans to take at least a couple official visits before deciding, meaning it will likely push his commitment date into September. Right now, he said three schools that are in the mix for those visits are Washington, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Last week Gaulden camped at Washington and came away very impressed with campus and the coaching staff.
"I had a great time up in Washington," he said. "I camped there, I got defensive back MVP and they offered as well. It felt really comfortable with [defensive coordinator] Coach [Justin] Wilcox and [linebackers] Coach [Peter] Sirmon with them being from Tennessee and moving out west. It felt really good."
Gaulden added he was very impressed with the Washington campus.
"It was the best campus that I've seen," he said. "Everything was high in detail. It's like a palace-like campus. Everything just looks good."
For months many have speculated that Gaulden is a Tennessee lean, but he said right now he doesn't have a leader.
"Tennessee is good, they're right in the mix with everyone else," Gualden said. "At the moment I have no clear-cut leader. I still have a good connection with Tennessee. I love their coaches, I like their players and have good relationships with the committed players. We'll see where that goes."
Gaulden has been targeted by members of Volunteers 2014 recruiting class, but said they're taking a more gentle approach as of late.
"They're working on me moderately right now," Gaulden said of prospects like Rivals100 running back Jalen Hurd and Rivals100 defensive back Todd Kelly. "I let them know I'm just trying to chill for a while and let things think through and get ready and take some visits."
The Gamecocks are the program that Gaulden is the least familiar with, but he's hoping to change that soon.
"That's a place I plan on visiting for sure," he said of South Carolina. "I have a really good relationship with their defensive backs coach [Grady Brown], he wants me there as a safety. I really like what they do defensively and I've seen a few cut-ups of what their safeties do and I think I would fit in well."
Gaulden said he doesn't have any planned visits coming up, but that doesn't mean that he's done traveling for the summer.
"I'm not sure, usually with me unofficial visits come out of the blue," he said. "I just think about them and I go. Right now I don't have any planned."
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