Aliquippa star defensive back Kwantel Raines was the talk of the recruiting world yesterday as he along with a large number of his Team Evolve teammates made a visit to the University of Florida.
Raines surprised some people with the visit but really no one should have been because the star safety had the Gators in his Top Ten.
Most people, including myself figured Raines was down to either Pitt or Penn State, but to borrow a phrase from ESPN’s Lee Corso, “Not so fast.” As you’ll hear, Raines had a great time and Florida is a serious contender for him.
As I mentioned, Raines wasn’t the only athlete on the trip to the Sunshine State. MJ Devonshire, Corey Thomas, Joey Porter, Rashod Allen, Skyys Moore, Kenny White, Ashanti Watkins, Sam Fairley, Dante Cephas, Daquan Hardy, Daquay Brown, Hollis Mathis (who threw 0 interceptions and finished 7th out of 38 quarterbacks that were invited to the Cam Newton Quarterback Challenge), Jamie Diven, Najhier West, Larry Walker, Darrell Mason, Braden Brose and Will Gipson all made the trip to Florida.
It should be pointed out and credit given to all the coaches and leaders of Team Evolve. The work that these men put in with these athletes year in and year out is simply amazing. They work with hundreds of kids and train them in the hopes that they’ll get better and eventually get noticed by colleges.
On this Florida trip, they spent time at the beach and I’m told that this was the first time at a beach for a number of these players. Team Evolve coaches also took them to the movies, spent time at the mall and then took them out to eat. Hats off to these coaches for investing their time for these kids and this is something that has gone on for many years.
— Evolve Athletics (@EVOLVE7on7) June 18, 2017
Back to Raines, PSN talked to him after he returned to Aliquippa and asked him about the much talked about visit.
“The visit was pretty cool. I had a good time with their coaches and I had a chance to talk to them about where I fit in with their defense,” said Raines. “They said they wouldn’t have recruited me if they didn’t think I could play more than one position. They said they could move me around on defense which would give me a better chance of getting on the field.”
I then asked Kwantel about making his first visit into SEC country and what stood out.
“Yes, I felt it because it was a lot different. Everything down there was bigger like the weight room. They do more stuff and it’s alot hotter down South too.”
“The visit exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect it to be like that for real,” said Raines.
What’s up next for Raines? He tells PSN that he plans on making a trip to Kentucky on July 14th and that’s his only scheduled out of state visit for the summer.