MIRAMAR, Fla. — Kadeem Telfort, a 4-star offensive tackle, made it to Florida last week as an early enrollee and hopes to make an immediate impact next fall for the Gators.
He and his family discussed his football path at length late last month and the full story of how he became a coveted college prospect can be read here.
Telfort also shared some reflections on the recruiting process in a quick Q+A.
Q: What advice would you give to a high school junior getting started in the recruiting process?
Telfort: “One thing I’d tell them, it started off fun, but when it’s down to narrowing down to who you really want to choose it started to get hard because coaches come from everywhere. Coaches you haven’t even heard from try to come in last minute to see if they can steal you from where you want to go. So all I’ve got to tell them is just thank the man above, talk to your parents about it and make the right decision.”
Q: When did it really intensify for you?
Telfort: “Like right (at the end). I (was) talking to my mom about it, trying to see what’s the right decision to make because for the next four years I don’t want to make the wrong decision and look back and regret on it.”
Q: So coaches who weren’t aggressive early were trying to get involved late?
Telfort: “Baylor, they came in last minute. Because the (former) Temple coaching staff is there, so they felt if they couldn’t get me at Temple now that they have a bigger name, a bigger brand that they can broadcast, they feel like they can get me there.”
Q: What did you tell them?
Telfort: “I told them straight up, I said, ‘You guys came in kind of late in the process.'”
Q: Ultimately, what school came in second?
Telfort: “First is Florida. And then my second one is Louisville. They were actually my second scholarship (offer). Based off the visit and the connection with the coaches.”
Q: What was the biggest rumor about you during this process that wasn’t true?
Telfort: “During the process, that I was going to UM or NC State, one of the two. I didn’t pay it no mind.”
Q: Did you tune out Twitter?
Telfort: “Yeah, because everybody’s got their own opinion”
Q: What coach was hardest to say no to?
Telfort: “Probably Coach (Mario) Cristobal from Alabama because he was recruiting me since 10th grade year, so to tell him no I wasn’t interested, it’s kind of hard to say no to Bama. … I knew I wasn’t at the top of their board so I really didn’t care because I’ve got to do what’s best for me.”
Q: Which school disappointed you most during the process?
Telfort: “Probably Tennessee. Coach Larry Scott, I was talking to him, we basically developed a bond and everything, and then I don’t know, like when the season came and everything I barely heard from him.”
Q: What’s one school you would have considered more strongly if they got involved earlier?
Telfort: “Probably Baylor.”
Q: How much negative recruiting did you get from schools?
Telfort: “A lot. Basically when a lot of coaches come in, they will basically downtalk a program I was thinking about or that I had in mind, saying ‘These coaches aren’t going to be here,’ or ‘They’re losing.’ Basically down talking. I just basically take what they say, and then (other coaches) they mainly focus on academics, on and off the field, what I do and what are my hobbies and stuff like that.”