Five-star OL Tunsil sets official visits

With his high school season in the rear mirror, the recruitment of five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) is starting to heat up. Four programs came by his home this week in an attempt to make a good impression before the contact period ends for the holidays.

On Monday, Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett and defensive line coach Odell Haggins paid a visit to the 6-foot-6, 295-pound prospect.

“The visit went pretty good and they spent some time with my mom,” Tunsil said.

Up next was defensive line coach Bryant Young from Florida on Tuesday, who was hoping to sneak the No. 3 prospect in on campus on Friday.

“They said they need me and they want me on their campus,” Tunsil said. “They wanted me to take an official this weekend, but I am not registered with the clearinghouse yet.”

On Wednesday, Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, and secondary coach Jeremy Truitt visited the coveted offensive lineman, athough it was another who garnered most of their attention.

“They basically did not talk to me,” Tunsil said. “They spoke to my mom and tried to sell her on me having a chance to play in a big program like theirs.”

Thursday saw Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, offensive line coach Will Friend, tight ends coach John Lilly and running backs coach Bryan McClendon fly down to Lake City, Fla., immediately after bowl practice.

“UGA came by after their practice and they just left about an hour ago at 9:30 PM,” Tunsil said. “The visit went pretty good. We sat down and ate Sonny’s BBQ. They told me I am a program changer and they need help at the offensive tackle position.”

Over the summer, Tunsil indicated that Alabama and Georgia held the lead over programs such as Florida, Florida State and others. His feelings have not changed six months later.

“Georgia and Alabama are pretty much the same right now as far as how they have shown me they want to use me,” Tunsil said. “I feel like I could step in at either and play early, and my mom likes both the coaching staffs about the same.”

One aspect that could separate the two schools is coaching stability.

“The main factor in my decision right now is relationships and who will be there for the next four years,” Tunsil said. “At Alabama, I never know who is going to leave because they are the top program and their guys get the most looks. At Georgia, they are a top program but I do not think any of them are going to leave. That is a question I still need to ask both of them.”

That being said, his leaderboard has already undergone a change due to an aggressive pitch from another program in the SEC.

“Alabama, Georgia and Ole Miss are on top, with Florida State next,” Tunsil said. At Alabama and UGA I like the relationship I have with the coaches and their playbook. At Ole Miss they are building something new and I would be a part of making an instant impact with the good players they have coming in. With Florida State the relationship I have with Coach Trickett is very important.”

Tunsil has four official visits planned for next month -- to Alabama Jan. 11, Georgia Jan. 18, Ole Miss Jan. 25 and FSU Feb. 1. He is unsure if he will be able to take his fifth and final official visit before he makes his decision on signing day.