There wasn’t a ton of drama surrounding three-star Ole Miss signee offensive lineman Jack DeFoor’s recruitment, but he still managed to surprise many people around him.
DeFoor, a Georgia legacy, grew up pulling for the red and black, but UGA was late to get involved with him despite the fact that his father, Russell, played for the Bulldogs from 1987-1991. Then, everyone figured DeFoor was headed to Clemson.
However, a trip to Oxford, Miss., changed everything, and DeFoor ended up committing to the Rebels this past May. This May, he’ll report to Ole Miss and begin his collegiate career.
SEC Country caught up with DeFoor to take a look back at the recruiting process:
Do you miss the recruiting spotlight?
It was fun at the beginning. It was really fun getting all that attention, but after a while, it got really stressful. That’s when I just wanted to shut it down. I knew Ole Miss was the place for me, and I was locked in with them.
What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
I would have to say Clemson. I loved all the coaches and loved the atmosphere at Clemson. They were neck-and-neck with Ole Miss for a little while, but I ultimately wanted to play in the SEC West. And I fell in love with Oxford. That’s what put Ole Miss ahead.
What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
On my visit to Ole Miss, I think it was my second visit. They knew my dad played at Georgia and everything, and they had him a jersey with his number and had a big picture with him in the background playing for Georgia and a picture of me in an Ole Miss jersey, and it said, ‘Continue the SEC legacy.’ I thought that was pretty cool.
What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
I think a lot of people had me going to Clemson. A lot of people didn’t give Ole Miss a chance. I think I shocked some people when I ultimately decided to go to Ole Miss.
What was the funniest story that happened on one of your recruiting trips?
Probably when I went to Clemson. I went during the spring of my junior year. Me and my dad stopped at a restaurant in Clemson before their practice, and I saw their O-line coach in there. I went up to him and everything, and he talked to me but he couldn’t speak with me or anything. He laid down the rules right there, so he wouldn’t get any violations or anything. I thought that was pretty funny.
Which coach was it the hardest to say no? That you weren’t coming there?
It was tough for me to tell (linebackers) coach (and recruiting coordinator Andy) McCollum at Georgia Tech. I liked him. He was one of my favorite coaches during the process.
Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting?
I really wasn’t disappointed, but I’d say Georgia just because my dad went there. I didn’t get an offer early on because they wanted me to come to a camp and prove to them. I thought my film was good enough for them. They wanted me to come to camp, but I was already locked in with Ole Miss, so I just couldn’t do it.
Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
Florida came in late. That would probably be the one.
If you could give a junior only one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be? This is something you wish you knew this time last year.
Explore all your options. Originally, I wanted to only go a couple hours away from home. I wanted to stay close. I just went to Ole Miss out of curiosity. I had never been to Mississippi, and I went and fell in love with it. That’s the advice I’d give them. Explore every option.
If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
I would probably have to say allow coaches to call and text instead of having to go through Twitter. It kind of gets annoying to go through Twitter. If they could just call you or text you, that’d be better.