Perhaps the purpose of developing cellular phone technology is in fact to keep up with the rush of calls going to the Rivers household on the first day after the dead period. If not for advances in technology, Keith Rivers’ cellular phone may well have blown up on Monday.
“I had 42 missed calls when I got home from practice,” Rivers said. “I don’t know who they were from. I did get to talk to Oklahoma, Miami, and USC.”
Interestingly enough, those three schools happen to be Rivers’ new three favorites. Florida State slipped a little earlier in the process. Now, Florida seems to be a little down.
“Well, I still like Florida, and I want to visit,” Rivers, who is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, said. “I just don’t know if they are going to contend in the near future. We will have to see though. I think that they might be able to turn it around.”
The first call Rivers received was from Miami head coach Larry Coker at 8 a.m. on Monday.
“Coach Coker was just talking about the chance for me playing early,” he sad. “They lose a bunch of linebackers. They also give me the chance to win every year.”
Then, after practice calls from USC, the favorite, and Oklahoma, a team that has been a sleeper on the list for some time, came.
“Coach Carroll, and the other three coaches I talked to told me about how I would fit in their defense,” he said. “I am really in to USC because I love their tradition. I really feel their tradition more because I grew up around it. It would be like going home.”
Finally, there is the dark horse, Oklahoma. Rivers said OU stays on the list because of their great history of linebackers, and a very straightforward linebacker coach.
“Coach Venables is always straightforward and to the point,” Rivers said. “He doesn’t sugar coat things. He told me about the atmosphere at OU, and how everybody in the city comes to watch the games. That all sounds really cool.”
For now, Rivers is not worried about recruiting. He plans on making his visits after his senior season. He is concentrating on his goal of accumulating over 200 tackles this year.
When he does think about recruiting, he will really be looking to find a place where he can “fit in.” He is also searching for a way to define that ever elusive atmosphere that so many players talk about.
“I guess that I just want to be comfortable. I want to find a place where I really gel with the other players.”
“Even with the campus, I want to have options more than anything. I want there to be things to do in the city, and also an active campus. I also want it to be laid back enough that I can chill and play video games if I want to.”
“I don’t know if I want to be in a city or a suburb, but traffic is a concern.”
Rivers is searching for that perfect city with an active nightlife and empty highways. When he find his utopia, hopefully he’ll be kind enough to let us all in.