It's early in the realm of junior college recruiting, where FBS schools typically wait to evaluate their needs in season before pulling the trigger on too many offers. Martinas Rankin doesn't much care about the traditional timetable, though. And why should he? The Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College offensive tackle already has 14 options.
It's why he doesn't mind rattling off frontrunners in early July. Being the No. 23-ranked junior college prospect in America comes with perks.
"I got some favorites right now," Rankin said on Saturday. "It's Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Louisville, Kentucky and Missouri. There's no order to that, but those are the top."
Other than establishing his subject-to-change shortlist, Rankin is playing his recruitment slowly. The only official visit on his schedule is a trip to Oklahoma on Sept. 13 for the Sooners' game with Tennessee. And while the point of the visit is to gather more information on the Sooners, Rankin feels he's already familiar with the basics.
"That's a big school with a lot of good things going on," he said of OU. "There's a good offensive line tradition there."
Rankin has already taken unofficial visits to both Ole Miss and Mississippi State, the two programs with which he is most familiar. Both schools are included on his list of favorites, but that's not to say there aren't major differences.
Rankin is starting to notice those more and more.
"They're both good schools with good people and good facilities," he said "How are they different? Mississippi State is more chilled out, you know? That's the biggest difference."
Despite being on pace to leave Gulf Coast in December, Rankin has set no timetable for a verbal commitment. The factors that will play into his decision aren't particularly unique, either.
"I just want the academics and the football side to be good," he said. "I want a team that wins. I want a program that will make me better. I also want to fit the scheme."