Between their four-hour flight from Los Angeles to Cleveland and their snowy, two-hour drive in a rental car to Columbus, Ohio, Raesjon Davis and his family made a pit stop at a fast food restaurant to recharge.
It was a far cry from the five-star treatment top-50 college football recruits receive in non-pandemic years: flights and hotels paid for, snacks awaiting their arrival, meals with coaches.
There would be no football staff waiting to show off lavish facilities, nor guided campus tours and academic presentations. This trip, lasting from Friday to Sunday, would allow for only visits to local restaurants and a self-guided tour of campus, all expenses coming out of pocket. The family estimated the trip would cost approximately $2,000.
"It's been stressful, certainly," said Davis' father, Rashad. "I couldn't imagine going through this when I was his age; this is a lot. And I think he's handling it well, juggling the situation, and we're very proud of him, but it has been a journey."
Davis, who decommitted from LSU on Dec. 21, is one of only four top-50 uncommitted recruits after the early signing period. Their experience -- like so many things over the past year -- has been far from ordinary. As the late signing period nears on Feb. 3, these sought-after recruits are balancing the excitement of the special attention with the overwhelming pressure to make the right choice.