Decision day is fast approaching for Aliquippa’s Kwantel Raines.
Monday night at 7 PM Raines will make his much-anticipated choice between Pitt, West Virginia, Penn State and Florida.
Despite what some may think, this is an extremely difficult decision and the biggest choice an 18-year old kid can make.
Think about it, big-time coaches continually selling their program and trying to convince a teenager to come to their school.
This morning, PSN sat down for breakfast and talked with Mike Raines, the father of Kwantel. We talked about advice, the recruiting process, the way Kwantel has handled things and more.
Coming into this season, everyone involved knew this would be a hectic time and Raines would be under the spotlight. I asked Mike Raines what advice he gave he’s given Kwantel.
”The first thing I told him was to talk to our pastor and he gave us some great advice. Some of the other fathers that have played at Aliquippa before him also talked with him especially Dravon Henry’s dad, the guys at Evolve have helped along with Terry Swanson’s dad, Mr. Gibson (Aliquippa’s principal). They all told him to be ready because the attention would be coming,” said Raines.
Has the attention been more than the Raines family expected?
”It’s been what we expected. We also talked with Kaezon Pugh and his dad. So we knew what was coming.”
Attention was coming and a lot of it. Whenever high profile kids like Raines post anything on Twitter or Facebook it’s scrutinized and commented on by the fan bases of teams that are actively recruiting them.
Some players handle this attention well and some don’t and get into heated conversations with fans that can get ugly and embarrassing. Other recruits can come across as arrogant and entitled. To the credit of Raines and his family, Kwantel has handled everything with class and has kept a very low profile.
“We’ve been very proud of him. He knows to be respectful, no swear words on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. He knows to do none of that stuff. We believe that he’s handled all of this pretty well.”
”At first I would check on him out on social media but for the last year and a half he’s been real good. I trust him and feel he’s old enough to make his own and the right decisions,” said Raines.
Speaking of decisions, his choice on Monday is what everyone is talking about. I asked Mike Raines how often his son has come to talk about his future school.
”We talk about it. We talk about it every couple days. His decision has changed a couple of times, with the different commits that come to the school and we figure out the playing time that he’d get and also the education he’d get. His decision has changed a couple of times.”
”We’re just worried about him getting his degree. If the NFL comes, great but he needs to get his degree,” said Raines.
Mike Raines tells PSN that on Monday morning his son will call the coaches of all four schools to inform them of his decision. As you can imagine this won’t be an easy thing to do.
”It will be hard on him because he’s made good friendships with people from all four schools.”
As you’d expect, people from all four schools have been contacting Kwantel to try and get in one final recruiting pitch. Mike Raines says that they expect the calls, texts, emails, letters and direct messages to continue until Monday.
Final thing we talked about was once a decision is made, what position does Kwantel want to play on college?
”He wants to play defensive back but he knows he might end up playing linebacker. If that’s what he has to do, that’s what he’ll do. I’m pretty sure Pitt wants him to play outside linebacker,” said Raines.
”I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind. Whatever happens he’ll deal with it.”