It’s not unusual for Dorian Gerald’s phone to light up every few seconds. When you’re a junior college defensive end sought after by 17 FBS Division 1 schools, that’s usually the case.
But who was trying to get in touch with the College of the Canyons freshman and how often they did it was very important over the past few weeks.
Gerald announced his top 12 school choices on Wednesday, and he chose those schools based on communication.
“A couple people asked me, why didn’t I include some other teams,” he said. “The teams that I included … the whole staff are in contact with me on a regular basis, including the head coach. So those are the reasons why those teams made it.”
In no particular order, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida State, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana State, Tennessee, North Carolina State, Georgia, Syracuse and Louisville are the teams that met Gerald’s qualifications.
Originally, the list was scheduled to be released on Thursday, but Gerald was set to fly home to Florence, South Carolina, on that day. After a conversation with his dad, Gerald decided Wednesday would be a better option.
“I got it out of the way,” he said. “It’s not going to be on me when I’m traveling and that’s a good thing.”
The list was also going to have only 10 schools on it, but Gerald said he couldn’t narrow it down that far.
Fan reactions to the dozen schools have been mixed. Some took to social media to praise Gerald for choosing their team, but others criticized him for his choices.
It even got to the point where Gerald had to change his Twitter direct message settings to “private.”
“A couple people have been shocked about the teams I left in there,” he said. “It’s OK for them to be, I don’t really care what people think about the school because, at the end of the day, that’s going to be my decision.”
The defensive end had 54 total tackles and 12 sacks for a loss of 53 yards last season for the Cougars. He’ll return to COC for one last season next year before moving on to a four-year school.
Later this summer, he’ll release an even shorter list of potential college homes. In the interim, Gerald will visit some of his options in person.
“You know exactly what you want when you go to a campus,” he said. “If … I can’t see myself being a student at the school first, then I probably won’t go to that school.”