Austin Seferian-Jenkins proved at Sunday's Eugene NIKE Camp at the University of Oregon that he's arguably the nation's top tight end and afterward he said three programs mainly stand out to him right now.
Florida could be considered the frontrunner because of his relationships with coach Urban Meyer and tight ends coach Brian White, Cal is also making a run at the Gig Harbor, Wash., standout and UCLA is definitely still in the mix.
No schools have been eliminated but it seems like the Gators could be tough to beat for Seferian-Jenkins, who has already visited Gainesville and has known White for years since he coached at Washington. It's not a done deal yet, though, since Seferian-Jenkins is still looking at all his options.
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"I really love coach Urban Meyer," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I love coach White. I like the players that are down there. I like the players because I can bond with them. They're cool guys and it's just fun.
"It's the tradition and coach Meyer but it's really coach White. I've known him since he was at Washington when they offered me as a freshman so it's always been a thing for me. I always had a good relationship with him. Even when he didn't have a job I talked to him. He's just a guy I look up to and I want to be like. He's easy to connect with and he'll be honest with me. He'll tell me what I can and cannot do and I appreciate honesty."
UCLA has long been involved with Seferian-Jenkins, a 6-foot-7, 250-pound prospect who's easily included on the Rivals 250 to watch list for 2011. He was clearly the best prospect at last weekend's NIKE Camp because he's so big but also athletic and has soft hands. The Bruins have been on him for years, too.
"They've always been one of my favorites," Seferian-Jenkins said. "Coach (Rick) Neuheisel, I love him, I went down to their camp, did well there. It's just a fun thing to do, compete, and I really like the area."
Seferian-Jenkins cited his relationships with Cal coach Jeff Tedford, tight ends coach Jeff Genyk and defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, the Rivals.com recruiter of the year, as reasons why the Golden Bears stand out.
Location does not seem to be an issue at all with Seferian-Jenkins, who has an extensive offer list from programs across the country. Going to Gainesville, Fla. doesn't seem like an incredible stretch. Texas recently got involved with assistant coach Major Applewhite getting in touch and Seferian-Jenkins talking to commit Cedric Reed.
What Seferian-Jenkins said he's looking for is the best fit athletically and academically, a place where if he cannot play football he'd still like to go to school but also a place that can prepare him for the NFL.
"I could go to Florida, I could go to Alabama, I could go to Texas," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I just want to go to a place that fits me.
"I know I'm going to be good enough and I know I'm going to work hard enough so I want to go to a place where I'm comfortable with the coaches and the staff and if I got hurt for some reason I'd feel comfortable attending school there. It's really the whole package for me looking for a school with really good academics."