Kareem Are is in some sort of reflection period. All of Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College offensive tackle's work is done. He's taken his visits and listened to plenty of pitches. All that's left to do now is pick a school.
And Are intends to just that - and do it in a hurry.
"I'm in finals week and taking, like, 30 credit hours," Are said. "I'm trying to somehow balance that with my decision. I don't have an exact date, but I should be committing very soon."
The finalists for Are's commitment are Florida State, Penn State and Ole Miss. His last visit took place a week ago and went to Oxford, where some preconceived notions were significantly altered.
Though not a major factor before the visit, the Rebels have now inserted themselves into the thick of Are's recruitment.
"That visit went real well," Are said. "It was a little different than I expected. I expected it to be real little, you know? It's not giant, but it's a lot bigger than I expected. It's real state of the art. I wasn't expecting the coaches and the players to be that close either."
Schools are recruiting more than just Are. They are also charged with the task of convincing the lineman's mother. She'll have input. Plenty of it. In fact, her take on these schools are just as important as her son's.
"My mom has to have a good feeling about the place," Are said. "She knows best at the end of the day, so she has to feel comfortable with me going there."
Coaches from Penn State and South Carolina have visited Are's mother already, and coaches from Ole Miss and Florida State are in frequent contact. Still, no one program has managed to separate itself in the mind of Are or his mother.
"It's all even," Are said. "That's the hard part about this right now."
Are, the No. 46 overall player in this year's junior college class, holds four scholarship offers.