One of the hottest prospects in the Southeast, Gainesville (Ga.) defensive end Keith Wells, has narrowed his list of potential college destinations to six schools.
After a strong showing at the Athens NIKE Camp in April, programs from all over the South and throughout the country sent coaches to Gainesville to scout the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder and most of the time they extended a scholarship offer shortly thereafter.
Wells has narrowed his list to Florida, Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia Tech. All of those schools have offered. He remains open, however, to two additional schools that have not.
"Before it got too crazy I wanted to go ahead and get it down," Wells said. "I didn't want it to get too out of hand with all of these schools contacting me and me having to go and visit. I just want to get a definite list down while also keeping schools like Notre Dame and Georgia off to the side, telling them that I would be open to their recruiting if they did offer.
"They big thing is to visit all of these schools and get a feel for what's right for me."
Wells said that he definitely plans to make unofficial visits to Florida, North Carolina and Ohio State this summer during the camp sessions at each program.
He talked about his interest in the Gators.
"Florida is one of the schools on my list that has no flaws," he said. "Everything I know about Florida seems to be top notch. They are definitely one of my top schools to me that don't show any errors as to why I wouldn't go there or anything."
Georgia Tech was the first program to offer and that gives the Yellow Jackets somewhat of an advantage.
"It's an all-around good school," he said. "I would see out of all the schools that have offered me and all the schools it will come down to, they will have an advantage because they were the first school to offer me. Georgia Tech has great academics and I know they plan on doing great things with their football program. I'm from Atlanta, so I'm familiar with the city and have a lot of family down there."
Wells has had his eye on the Buckeyes for a while.
"I always said if I went to a school up north, it would be Ohio State or Notre Dame. They have a great football program and they excel in their conference. I am still doing research on them, but they take care of their student athletes up there."
The Seminoles were among the more recent schools to offer.
"With Florida State, I'm still doing my research on them. From what I hear, they have a great coaching staff. It's also a good location in that it's not too far from home. Also, their style of football on defense is good for a defensive end like me."
Tennessee's tradition of putting out prospects at Wells' position helped the Vols make the cut.
"Tennessee is known for defense," Wells said. "The best defensive end ever to play the game (the late Reggie White), that's where he went to college. They have a lot to teach me to get to the next level. Plus, their fan base is outstanding."
Wells has been to Chapel Hill, N.C., to check out the Tar Heels program and enjoyed his time there.
"Atmosphere-wise, UNC is one of my top schools," he said. "When I went on a visit up to UNC it just felt right. I know they are planning on doing a lot of rebuilding. They also have great coaching, coaches that know what it takes to get you to that next level."
Alabama, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Boston College, Mississippi State and others had offered Wells. Georgia had expressed interest, but the Bulldogs had not offered.