METAIRIE, La. — If recruiting was strictly a game of odds, then chances are that elite New Orleans prospect Terrell Bailey will be playing his college football in the storied SEC.
The 3-star cornerback from John Ehret High School (Marrero, La.) announced his top nine schools on Friday afternoon, and the list included five from the SEC.
Tennessee, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Mississippi State all made the cut, along with Virginia Tech, Colorado, North Carolina and Arizona State.
The 6-foot, 175-pound recruit chopped down his list of 16 offers to nine based on one simple criterium:
“They are just all showing a lot of love,” Bailey told SEC Country. “They are all keeping in contact with me a lot.”
Bailey is in the process of scheduling visits to those nine schools.
Earlier in the spring, he took in College Station, Texas, where all of the Aggies coaches made it clear he was a top priority for their 2017 signing class. That helped the Texas A&M take an early lead in his recruitment.
“They’re still at the top,” Bailey said. “They’re still up there. They showed a lot of love when I was up there. I liked the surroundings, and it was nice up there. I see myself fitting in there because of how much they want me.”
Bailey’s tour resumed two weekends ago with a visit to Mississippi State, and the journey will continue with stops at Ole Miss on Friday and both Tennessee and South Carolina later this month.
As he conducts his research on each school, most of the emphasis will be on the campus and the coaches, and what their main message is for the star cornerback.
“I just want to see the facilities and I’m ready to meet the coaches in person now,” Bailey said. “I need to see how badly they want me and to see if I can come in and play early.”
One potential wrench in the plan may come as early as next month when Bailey attends LSU’s second high school camp.
Louisiana’s No. 14 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 has remained in touch with LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who is keeping close tabs on the cornerback this spring. Raymond encouraged Bailey to attend the camp and try and procure an offer from his in-state team, and in turn, the New Orleans native admitted LSU still has a fighting chance in his recruitment.
“He (Raymond) told me to come to the camp in July. He told me last week,” Bailey said. “I’m going. I’m going to try and get that offer. I want to try and compete for the offer, and I’ll look into it. I’ll look into it a lot.”
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tigers Stadium.