Kelvin Rainey was more than a little caught off guard last week when Southern California offered the junior tight end, who calls the tiny northeast Florida town of Yulee home.
"I was like, 'Wow, how did they find me?'" Rainey said.
The Trojans aren't alone.
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The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, one of the top members of the Class of 2012 from the Sunshine State, already has offers from programs such as Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, South Florida and Florida International.
Right now, he claims USC as his early leader -- the USC on the east coast.
"I like what they do, and how they always have the big, key players at each position," Rainey said. "They fax me before every game. Usually, it'll say, 'Hey, you've got a big game today, do your thing, do your job.' I'm kind of leaning toward them."
Also in Rainey's current top five are: Alabama, Florida, Florida State and the Trojans. Rainey said he has followed each of those programs closely, and when watching them play has kept an eye on how the team's tight ends are utilized. Here's what he said about each …
Alabama: "They want me as a linebacker. Outside. I played linebacker [in 2010) and I did really good."
Florida: "They always produce good tight ends, and they use them in everything. They use it for the speed game."
Florida State: "They use their tight ends a lot. They go pretty deep. They throw them deep balls all the time and get big plays."
Southern Cal: "I like Southern Cal a lot. They're a good school. They usually have good tight ends go in the draft."
Rainey, who said he prefers to play tight end in college, was in Jacksonville on Saturday to try out for the 2011 Team Pro Impact 7-on-7 squad (which featured Rivals100 tight end A.C. Leonard last year]. According to Rainey, he has yet to attend any junior days, but said he probably will do so in the near future. Surprisingly, Florida and Florida State are not among the schools he plans to check out.
But there's a reason for that.
"I've already been to Florida State and Florida a lot," Rainey said. "I've seen their facilities. I kind of want to get out there to like Southern Cal. They jumped in [last] week, so that sounds pretty good. I'm going to take a look and get up there."