Harrisonville, Mo, four-star defensive Michael Keck is a traveling man.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Rivals100 member recently completed a trip with members of his family, taking in unofficial visits with Arkansas, Alabama and a return visit to Missouri.
From all accounts the trips went off without a hitch and likely has caused some juggling on his list after he had listed Missouri, Kansas State and Nebraska as his top three teams earlier this spring.
"I talked to Michael earlier today about his trips," Harrisonville coach Fred Bouchard said. "I would say he had a great visit to Arkansas. Houston Nutt spent hours with him both days that he was there, and he also spent some good time with Gus Malzahn and Reggie Herring.
"For us, since we're south of Kansas City, Arkansas is just about 3 hours away, so it's not that big of a drive for him if that's something he wanted to pursue."
Keck's coach said he also was impressed with Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the Crimson Tide staff, but there are some concerns about how far it is away from Harrisonville.
"He had a great time at Alabama," Bouchard said. "He spent a lot of quality time with Joe Kines and Chris Ball. He was very impressed with them, but the distance was something that he took note of. It's a 12 hour drive to Tuscaloosa, while a place like Fayetteville is only 3 hours away. If you were to ask Michael, I think that really helped Arkansas move pretty far up the chain of things."
On the return visit back from Alabama, Keck stopped off in Columbia, Mo., to spend time again with the Missouri coaches. This time he chatted with two Tiger assistant coaches.
"He had a really good talk with Dave Steckel and David Yost when he was there," Bouchard said. "It was good for him to spend some time talking to those coaches and getting to know them better. He's been more and more impressed with Missouri every time he talks with them."
The road trips are far from over for Keck.
After he completes his team camp this week, the nation's No. 77 player overall and No. 2 weakside defensive end will head North with his aunt and grandmother to visit Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern. It also looks like official visits are on the horizon, despite Keck saying at one point that he wanted to make a decision before the season started.
"He has family in Wisconsin, and he has offers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern, so he will visit those schools," Bouchard said. "Then after that it looks like he'll take likely take an official visit to Colorado, the first weekend that they play. He was hoping to have a decision made by then, but he's saying 'I have a few places I still want to look at, so I need to make sure that I check them out.'
"I'm also really good friends with Andy Lowry, Ryan Miller's coach at Columbine, and he's told me that I need to get Michael out there to at least meet with Dan Hawkins. He said that Michael definitely would be impressed with him."
And if he goes ahead with the Colorado visit on September 1, don't be surprised if he then visits Arkansas and possibly Missouri on an official visit. Kansas State, a school that Keck has visited four or five times, might not get a visit since he's already familiar with the campus. That could still change, though, if Keck's not ready for a final decision.
"If he doesn't go to Colorado that first weekend, he's expressed an interest in possibly going to Arkansas to watch them play USC," Bouchard said. "He doesn't really have an interest in USC, but he would be excited to see what it's like to be in an atmosphere where USC was there since he's sure it'll be a big game for Arkansas.
"I think Kansas State is still very much in there. I think Ron Prince has been somebody that Michael has built a good relationship. They're certainly not out of the picture."
Kansas, Nebraska and Stanford have also been linked with Keck, but it appears that the Jayhawks likely won't make the final cut, that Nebraska has focused its efforts on other targets and that Stanford is just too far from home.