The drama that often finds itself on the recruiting trail was nonexistent down the stretch for three-star athlete Korey Charles.
The North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) product committed to Mississippi State last summer and eventually signed with the Bulldogs in February, but Charles almost pulled the trigger for two other schools before ultimately deciding on Mississippi State.
Charles, who nearly committed to both Florida and Clemson at different times during his recruitment, discussed those decisions in an in-depth Q&A about the recruiting process with SEC Country:
Q: What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
A: I’d probably have to say Florida. The coach said one thing and did another thing. With that being said, be a man of his word.
Q: What did they say to you?
A: They talked to me for a good minute and wanted me to come up to camp. I went up there two or three times. I was supposed to talk to coach (Jim McElwain), and I did. I was going to commit that one day, the camp the last day I went, but he said that he thought I was a really good kid and had a bright future ahead of me and everything like this. Basically what he was saying is that he didn’t want me. He wanted me, but he wanted to wait and somebody else in front of me. I was basically like the second option.
Q: What is the funniest thing any coach said to you during the entire recruiting process, either on phone or in person?
A: It was one of the coaches for South Carolina. He was telling me about the campus and the lifestyle and was saying like how it’s 70 percent girls at South Carolina and 30 percent boys. He was making jokes and stuff about it. It kind of cracked me up. I thought it was pretty funny.
Q: What was your biggest regret during the recruiting process?
A: I’d probably say my biggest regret was not taking all of my official visits.
Q: Which coach was it the hardest to say no to?
A: Probably Florida State because I developed a relationship with the cornerbacks coach over there since my sophomore year. We talked about me coming over there to camps, which I did. I’ve been over to Florida State a bunch of times. I thought that was kind of hard.
Q: Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting?
A: I’d probably have to say Clemson.
Q: Why’s that?
A: At one point, I was really liking Clemson and was probably on the edge of committing to them at first. Then, something happened. I don’t remember what happened, but then they were like they had to wait. Or they said something like, ‘They don’t know right now.’ If they would’ve waited, things would’ve gotten better, and I probably would’ve been committed to them instead. But things happen for a reason, so it’s whatever.
Q: Which head coach of a team that you did not sign with was the nicest?
A: I’d probably have to say Jimbo Fisher or the Clemson coach (Dabo Swinney). When I first met them, they were really friendly, and I actually really like both of them. They’re both really good coaches in my opinion. I think they have really good personalities, which really plays a part in playing for somebody.
Q: Which coach was not the nicest?
A: I’d probably say Florida’s coach.
Q: Why’s that?
A: It was just something about him. I don’t know.
Q: If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A: I’d probably change like if guys go on official visits or unofficial visits and players want to give out stuff, I feel like they should be free to give them some gear with no violations. Just to show the support or whatever.