BRADENTON, Fla. -- After a busy spring that saw visits from some of the nation's top programs, things are starting to come into focus for Rivals250 and Haddonfield (N.J.) wide receiver Irvin Charles.
"Right now Penn State, Florida and South Carolina have really been on me a lot," Charles said. "Those are the schools recruiting me the hardest right now."
Penn State and first-year coach James Franklin have been on quite a roll when it comes to recruiting as of late, and Charles said he's definitely taken notice.
"I really like what they're doing up there right now from a recruiting standpoint," he said. "They're getting a lot of the top guys, they have one of the best classes in the country right now and that's something that I'm looking at because they're going to do big things, especially when they get off the sanctions. That's something I'm really liking because I've always liked Penn State and to know that they're going to step it up and do big things with Coach Franklin, that's something I have to take into consideration."
The Nittany Lions are hoping to add Charles to their impressive fold and he said he'll be back on campus soon.
"I haven't been up there since last season when they played Michigan," Charles said. "But I plan on going up there on July 26 for another trip and I'm looking forward to it."
Florida, another top contender for Charles' services, won't have to wait long to get the talented wideout on campus.
"We're going to stop by on the way back from here," Charles said from the IMG 7-on-7 National Championships. "I'm looking forward to getting a chance to see their campus for the first time."
With Florida's wide receivers coach Joker Phillips having recently stepped down, Charles relationship with the Gators has taken an interesting turn.
"I've been talking to a bunch of different coaches from there," Charles said. "The coaching changes are something I'm going to take into consideration but I want to look at how their season goes and how the staff does overall because this year might determine if they stay or go so that's really what I'm going to base my opinions on."
On his visit, Charles said the Gators staff is going to give him a personal session dedicated to how he'll fit into the school's new offense.
"They said when I come up there they're going to show me what they're trying to do with me," Charles said. "They need a dominant X-receiver like myself who is big and fast and can make plays. Instead of just saying it, they're going to show me in person and I like that."
The Gators are one of the school's farthest from Charles' New Jersey home, but he said that won't play a role in his decision.
"One of the big things about me is the environment I'm going to be in," he said. "I know Florida is a good place to be at overall. I've been watching them for the past few years so I know what they're capable of doing and I know what they're going to do in the future so that's one of the reasons I'm looking at them."
The Gators biggest competition in the SEC for Charles is South Carolina, and Charles said he enjoyed a recent trip to campus.
"I was there earlier this month, it was good," he said. "I went there for a camp so it wasn't like a really personal visit but I still got the tour and to talk to the coaches and it was still a pretty good time. I plan on going next year for a game so I can see what it's like on game day."
The Gamecocks tradition of producing talent at wide receiver is something that Charles is well aware of and something that might also factor into his decision down the road.
"They're telling me that I can be that guy when I go there, the big outside receiver that they're trying to get," he said. "They're trying to get back to the Sydney Rice type. It's very important that they can take big guys like me, or who have similar characteristics, and put them in the league. That gives me hope that I would be following in the right footsteps and doing the right thing if I were to choose them."