To say the least, things are picking up in the recruitment of Fairhope, Ala., center Kyron Samuels.
This week, Florida International became the fifth school to offer.
Not only that, but Alabama, his childhood favorite, continued to show great interest, giving Samuels hope the Crimson Tide may also pull the trigger someday soon.
"[Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] wants me to get up to a practice as soon as possible," Samuels said.
Besides FIU, East Carolina, South Alabama, Southern Miss and UAB have offered. In addition to Alabama, the 6-foot-2, 290-pound Samuels also is hearing from Florida and Mississippi State. He plans to attend the Gators' upcoming spring game.
Several programs want to watch him at a Fairhope practice this spring, he said. The main reason for that is because Samuels, nephew of former Tide All-American lineman Chris Samuels, is transitioning from guard to center and teams want to see how he makes the switch.
According to Samuels, he has quickly bonded with Stoutland.
"The old [offensive line] coach, Coach [Joe Pendry] - I had a great relationship with him," Samuels said. "We were really close. I pretty much expected an offer around junior day. When Coach Stoutland came in, junior day was my first time meeting him, and it was only his second or third week there. I fell in love with him. He's an awesome guy. We hit it off right off the bat."
What kind of feedback has the Tide given him?
"He told me I'm his kind of guy," Samuels said. "He loves my hard work. He told me the first time we met he had seen all of my game film and every snap I took. He said he loved everything he saw."
Samuels attended two summer camps last year at Alabama. At both, he played center.
During the first session, he admittedly struggled with his snaps, but said he performed well blocking against touted players such as Morton, Miss., defensive tackle Quay Evans. At the second camp, Samuels' snaps greatly improved, he said.
"We've talked straight up," Samuels said. "Coach Stoutland said he loves everything about me. He actually just wants to see me in pads. He said I'm smart, athletic, strong … he just wants to see with his own eyes my snapping and stepping."
If a Tide offer does come, what would Samuels do?
"I wouldn't say I'm a 100-percent Bama guy, but I would say Bama is one of the teams in my top two or three," Samuels said. "I've always been a huge Alabama fan. My uncle went there. And a lot of my cousins and uncles graduated from Alabama. It's a family thing. But going through the recruiting process has really opened my eyes to other schools."