As class of 2015 three-star athlete Kaleel Gaines enters the stretch of the recruiting process, he has narrowed down his list of top five schools. Michigan State is his leader with Alabama and Florida State close behind, then Auburn and Nebraska following in no particular order.
For the 6-foot, 170-pound Gaines, it's the Spartans race to lose. Gaines would prefer to play cornerback in college, so that's what is giving the Spartans the edge at this point. The Spartans, who offered during the spring, became his favorite following his recent visit to East Lansing.
"I visited there last week and I like the facilities and the coaches and the players," Gaines said. "And I feel like I can fit in their defensive scheme and they think I can make an impact as soon as I get there."
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Gaines plans on Michigan State being his first official visit, saying he wants to see the Spartans play some time during the football season.
While the Spartans lead, Gaines said any of the other schools in his top five can emerge from the fray, with Alabama and Florida State being the biggest threats.
The Crimson Tide were the most recent school to offer, joining Gaines' list last month.
"Lane Kiffin contacted me to offer and I was excited about that," he said. "I think that will be one of my options in the future. I might choose them over Michigan State but I'm not sure yet. (Kifin) said he really liked me and I think they're recruiting me as an athlete, so I'm not sure which side of the ball I'll play on."
Gaines likes Florida State for reasons easily understandable.
"They're close to home and they won the national championship last year," he said. "And Jimbo Fisher is a good guy. They have a good coaching staff too."
Auburn is another school recruiting Gaines to play offense, but the Tigers are still in the mix because his brother, class of 2016 quarterback Xavier Gaines has an offer from Auburn and may go there.
Nebraska makes his top five because they're one of the schools talking to him the most.
"They contact me a lot," Gaines said. "They're on the phone and on Facebook and all the stuff like that and they really like me."
Gaines plans on using July to visit Auburn, Alabama and Nebraska.