ATLANTA - Honolulu (Hawaii) Moanalua four-star defensive tackle Scott Pagano made the long trip to Atlanta, Ga. on Friday for the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge. It won't be the last time he makes his way to the Southeast during the summer.
"I am taking some trips from July 14th to the 23rd," Pagano said. "I am going to LSU, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and I will end up in Clemson before I come back to Hawaii."
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle is hoping to learn about what it is like to be a student-athlete at those schools during his visit.
"I want to get a good vibe of the campus and talk to the players to see what they feel about it," Pagano said. "I want see how the community is and the fanbase."
Pagano has been limited in his travel up to this point.
"In the spring we swung by Baylor for the Dallas NFTC camp they had over there," Pagano said. "It was pretty nice. The coaches weren't there though. The next week I got an offer from them after they saw my camp stuff and highlight tape. They liked it."
Over the past several months, Pagano's offer list has swelled to nearly 50 teams. He intends to narrow it to 15 teams on Sunday. At this stage of the process though, two options stand out above the rest.
"My top two favorites right now are LSU and Florida," Pagano said. "But you know, things can change."
The top prospect from Hawaii talked about what he likes about the Tigers.
"Me and Coach (Les) Miles, Coach (Frank) Wilson, and Coach (Brick) Haley talk at least once or twice a week," Pagano said. "We have a really great relationship. They also have sports training which is what I want to study. Also, their defensive line is just a bunch of freakish athletes. I want to be coached by the best and be in the NFL one day."
As for the Gators, they also stand out with the No. 104 prospect in the nation.
"Me and Coach Dan Quinn get along real well," Pagano said. "Coach Quinn and my head coach, Coach Martinez, are good, good friends because Coach Quinn coached at Seattle before he went to Florida. We have talked for a couple of months. Coach (Will) Muschamp is a defensive guy. That is even better because he can help me out during all my years there."
The No. 6 defensive tackle in the nation doesn't have a clear-cut favorite out of his two leaders.
"They are pretty much equal," Pagano said. "They both have their good and bad. I like them both a lot but a lot of other schools like Alabama, Florida State, Miami, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Clemson are coming in and I like them a lot."
Pagano intends to make his announcement in January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.