As he continues to evaluate his options, Isaac Rochell (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy) took an important step in the process last week. The 6-foot-5, 261-pound defensive lineman has stopped counting his offers, but he also knows that in the end only one school will remain. On Friday, Rochell got a closer look at one of the top programs on his list.
“Really what I was able to do was go through a day in the life of a player at Georgia,” Rochell said. “We went to lunch at 1 p.m. when we got there, just like the players do. Coach [Bryan] McClendon and Coach [Rodney] Garner came down and ate lunch with us, so that was good. When we were talking to Coach Garner and Coach McClendon, it really was not a lot of football talk. It was about building a relationship.”
One thing really caught Rochell off guard, and it is something that has been a common occurrence over the last year in Athens.
“The lunches were so good, I was blown away with how good the food was,” Rochell said. “I looked at Coach McClendon and said, ‘So we get to eat this every day?’ And he was like, 'Yep, every day.
"He said you can eat there as many times as you want, so I would probably gain like 20 pounds the first month I was there. We are a private school, so we have a buffet-style lunch, too, but Georgia was reasonably better than that.”
Rochell then got to take in the positional meetings that the players attend, followed by practice. While he is being recruited to play several positions by different programs, Rochell noted his father feels his future growth will dictate his path in college.
“My dad is a full believer that I will be a defensive tackle in college,” Rochell said. “Obviously that would fit right into Georgia’s scheme. Their defensive ends typically line up as a 4- or 5-technique, so my dad thinks it would be a good fit.”
Overall the visit was a good one for the ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, and he saw a lot that he liked during his time on campus at Georgia, which is located about an hour and a half way from where he lives.
“Obviously it is close to home, and I could really see myself there. It was not like some long-shot school that I could not realistically see myself going to,” Rochell said. “There is something different about Athens. It has a college feel to it and it is a nice, well-put-together town. So I would say Athens is what differentiates Georgia from other schools, and if you go to Georgia, it kind of speaks for itself. It is just a great college city.”
Next up for Rochell is a trip to Notre Dame, but after that he admitted he might be done with visits for the time being.
“That will probably be the last visit we take this spring,” Rochell said. “We might take in one more spring game, but really I am just going to take it easy, sit back and focus on making my decision. Honestly I have schools in mind, but I do not have a clue yet where I really want to go because all of those schools are really nice. So whenever I feel comfortable with one of them, then I will be ready to make my decision.”
Rochell noted there was not one make-or-break factor in his decision, and that several aspects, including playing time, location, support base, and enjoying life as a student will all be considered when making his commitment.