Eagle's Landing Christian defensive end Isaac Rochell already had 16 different offers before even entering this, his junior, season.
Despite all of the attention, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound lineman has remained grounded, reserving the word "big" to describe his size - not his ego.
"I'm thankful for all of it. I'm probably going to start really narrowing it down pretty soon here. I don't have a school that I'm necessarily just waiting by the mailbox, waiting by Facebook for a message, but I'm thankful for it all, though," Rochell said. "I'm really trying to take advantage of this process, really see the schools and see the programs because it is a really big decision."
The 2013 Peach State standout will have plenty of time to make that big decision, but he is making moves now to help him through the process.
Rochell said he has been talking to coaches and taking visits, his most recent visit being Virginia Tech.
"A lot of programs are contacting me, but I'd say so far as the most, I'd say probably Clemson and Alabama. I hear from Georgia a lot," Rochell said. "I went to the Georgia-South Carolina game. Because it's so close, and because one of my coaches is such a big Georgia fan, I'm always, it's always kind of in constant with Georgia."
As for his experience at the highly anticipated matchup between the SEC East rivals, Rochell said it definitely lived up to the billing.
"It was fun. It was loud and obviously two SEC teams, it's going to be live, but it was fun," Rochell said. "As far as my schedule goes, I don't know if I'm going to get back to another Georgia game, but I'll definitely be back out there. It was something, it was definitely an experience, being in there and going on the field and all the kind of things like that. It was fun. But I think I'll be at the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, but that's at Tech."
While Rochell continues to keep an eye on the Dawgs from afar, he said he continues to remain in close contact with the UGA coaching staff.
"Coach (Bryan) McClendon is my recruiting coach but now that they can kind of contact me a little bit more, I talk to coach (Rodney Garner a little bit more than I used to," Rochell said. "I went up there and he kinda told me I'd be playing, like, an end; similar to an end in a three-technique. He kind of showed me exactly where I'd be playing, but it varies. Like it would in any program, it varies depending on what the other team is running. But they offered me as an end, so I mean, that's what I'd be playing."
Aside from offensive matchups, one big determining factor as to where and how the big man will be used will be determined when he arrives on campus and goes through a phase of strength training.
Rochell said his father is 6-foot-6, 340-pounds, "a big guy." His mother, while slight, he said, stands at 5-foot-11. He, and all the programs that are recruiting him, are waiting to see how the young prospect fills out before putting a label on anything.
"It all depends really on how big I get. Right now, I'd play on the end, like, in more of a seven-technique, but I'm 240 now, I could end up being, like, 260 when I graduate, go there and end up playing at 280 and then I'd be a three-technique player," Rochell said. "So I don't necessarily know, it all depends on how I develop as a player in college as far as size goes."
Rochell said that while he may not know exactly how he will grow into his frame, he does have an idea what player he would like to grow up to be.
"I think I'm going to end up being, I mean, I'm not saying I'm anywhere near this player but, kinda like a Jason Taylor type," Rochell said. "Not massive but just you get the job done. He's a good pass rusher, and that is someone I aspire to be like."
With a season and a half still to play before having to make any kind of decision, Rochell is focusing on his team and getting better as a player.
Eagle's Landing Christian is currently 5-0, with Rochell helping them along, recording three sacks in just one contest.
As he continues to develop his body and football skills, Rochell will also continue to evaluate and determine the elements most important to him when picking his program down the road.
"I guess location is a big deal but I'm not going to turn down a school that's far away. I'm really just going to really take advantage of the whole recruiting process in going to all these schools and really just seeing, like, how the coaching staff is, the kind of feel I get, and also I pray about it a lot," Rochell said. "I'm just going to play it by ear and see. But, I mean, location is a big deal."
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