LEXINGTON, Ky. — Eddie Gran, but more specifically, his eyes, deserve credit for why offensive lineman Sebastien Dolcine is part of Kentucky’s incoming class.
Dolcine is one of two Kentucky 2017 signees who flipped from UCF to Kentucky due in large part to Gran’s persistent push in South Florida. Dolcine, 6-foot-5 and 295 pounds, is one of eight signees from Florida in the class. He was ranked the 59th best guard in the country, according to 247Sports.
SEC Country spoke with Dolcine as part of the Next Generation series in which we’ll catch up with several signees in Kentucky’s 2017 class. Our conversation focused on his recruitment.
Q: What’re you focusing on between now and when you get to campus?
A: Right now I’m working on getting my head right. I’ve been doing a lot of running and conditioning, but I’ve got to get back on my conditioning, get my stamina back up. But I’m doing a pretty good job of that.
Q: Take me through your recruitment. When did you first come in contact with Kentucky?
A: It all started at the end of my junior year when I went to a Rivals camp. I went to Rivals and I balled out. I was going against all the top defensive ends, all the top defensive tackles that was known by everybody. I went against them and I beat them. That’s what I did. There’s nothing more to it. I just beat them. I got my name out there and a couple weeks later I got my first offer from Southeast Missouri. I was really happy that was my first offer, and then throughout the season I gained several more offers, and then I had coach Eddie Gran call me during the summer. He’s been on me ever since the summer. He was calling me every single day.
Q: What went into your decision to de-commit from UCF?
A: I went there a couple times on a visit and I had really liked them so I had committed. But even when I had committed, some of the recruiters they scaled back a little bit, but coach Eddie Gran stayed right there. He was right with me through everything. He’s just been great. He came to some of my games seeing how I was doing. I just balled out. After that I told him I’d go see how Kentucky is. I’d been telling him that everything he’d been saying sounded great, but I had to see it with my own eyes to see how the coaches are, how the players are. I went over there and I fell in love instantly. Instantly — from the players to the coaches. The atmosphere, it was just great.
Q: Chris Whittaker had a similar story as far as being committed to UCF before Eddie Gran flipped him to Kentucky. What was Gran’s message to you that made you want to do the same?
A: Keep on grinding, keep on going hard, because he’d seen how hard I was working to what I had become and what I am now. And then he just kept on going at it. He’s an extremely loyal coach. He’ll keep on going at it. It’s a funny thing too, he’ll look you straight into the eye. He’ll not take his eyes off of you and that shows you that he’s a man of his word. Just by him looking into my eye and not taking his eyes off me.
Q: What was your visit to Kentucky like?
A: We had a great time, we talked, we bonded. I stood by some of the coaches to see their approach, how they talk to the players and all that. I walked through the facility, it’s a beautiful facility and all, but I did not fall in love with Kentucky because the facility. It’s a bonus, it looks good and all, but that’s not the reason I fell in love. I fell in love because of the coaches and the players. I had a great time with George (Asafo-Adjei) and with Bunchy (Stallings). Great dudes.
Q: After you flipped from UCF to Kentucky, were there still schools recruiting you?
A: Yes. I had Louisville coming after me pretty hard. I had N.C. State. I had a couple of schools. Those are the schools I really remember. Another coach I really liked was Mike Summers from Florida. He was connected to me throughout the whole recruiting process but he had never offered me though. And so I guess he moved up to Louisville. Wake Forest, too.
Q: You mentioned you’re friends with (Kentucky DE signee) Jordan Wright. What kind of player is he, and what was it like going against him in high school?
A: He’s really good. When I went against him there was a lot of tension between me and him (laughs). We’re good now.
Q: How much did Kentucky’s success last season as far as making a bowl game factor into your decision?
A: I’ve seen what they have, where they’re going, and I really want to be a part of that. Like when they got the win over Louisville it really stood out to me. I just want to be part of that era — that Mark Stoops era.
Q: Now that you’ve been through the recruiting process, what advice would you give juniors who are about to do the same?
A: All I can say is have fun. You only do this once. Have a great time doing it. Listen to what your heart got to say, not what people have to say.
More from our Next Generation series
- Kentucky football beat out LSU for DB Michael Nesbitt
- Eddie Gran’s persistence flipped DE Chris Whittaker to Kentucky
- Chance to play in the SEC lured Josh Ali to Lexington
- Still new to the game, Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald made an early impression on Kentucky
- Position promise gave Wildcats an edge with JaVonte Richardson
- Tyrell Ajian got the ‘gut feeling’ he needed from Kentucky’s coaches
- Big Ten schools stood out, but Wildcats proved best for LB Alex King
- Gone from a dying city, Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson finds life in Lexington
- Top Kentucky football signee Lynn Bowden not focused on comparisons