Seffner Armwood wide receiver Alvin Bailey released his ‘Top 13’ list last month.
Although it was a difficult task, Bailey said it had to be done and he will be eliminating even more schools in the near future.
“It’s very tough because it’s hard to tell a grown man who’s recruiting you, ‘No, I’m not interested,’ ” Bailey said. “I try to be as level headed and nice as I can. But at the same time, I have to do it. I have to tell them who I’m interested in and still have to make a decision for myself.”
Bailey (5-10, 175) — rated four-stars and ranked as the No. 222 prospect in the nation by 247Sports.com — has close to 30 scholarship offers and will be making a top 10 list later this month.
His current finalists include: FSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan, Arkansas, Auburn, UCF, Clemson, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.
His finalists are schools from the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, as well as the most famous college football team in the world. But right in the middle is a curious entry that isn't going away anytime soon, according to Bailey.
UCF stands out like a stray cat amid all of the big lions. And Bailey said the Knights are in the hunt for the long-haul.
“UCF, I’m very interested,” said Bailey, who is being recruited by UCF secondary coach Kirk Callahan, the son of Armwood head coach Sean Callahan. “They’re probably going to make the top 10 when I starting winding down stuff.”
Although he does not have any clear leaders atop his final 13, Bailey did say that several schools are standing out because of their persistence.
“A lot of schools have been calling. UCF, definitely Florida State, Clemson, Arkansas, schools like that,” Bailey said. “They’ve been standing out a little bit, I can say that.”
Bailey is close friends with Tampa Bay Tech wide receiver Richard Benjamin, who was supposed to visit UCF last weekend but could not get a ride. He plans to visit UCF on Friday and said he and Bailey have talked about playing at the same school.
“They already gave me and Richard a name,” Bailey said of UCF’s coaching staff. “Lightning and Thunder.”
Benjamin, who is a little bigger at 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, is Thunder.
Bailey has a busy summer schedule. He will visit FSU, Notre Dame, Michigan and others, which will help him narrow his top teams down even more before next season begins.
He's not just a wide receiver for Armwood. His verastility was a huge reason why the Hawks won the 6A state title last season. If he wasn't catching passes or dancing around Miami Central defenders as a running back, he was baffling them as a quarterback. He caught a TD pass and threw two others in the title game.
This season he will also be making life miserable on opposing offenses as a safety.
Overall last year, Bailey caught 22 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 872 yards passing and 879 yards rushing for a combined total of 18 more touchdowns.
You can't miss him on the field if his helmet is off. He's the one with the five-inch flat-top. Some tease him that he has his hair on a rise because he is only 5-foot-10.
He still plays bigger than his hair.
Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BSonnone or Facebook at Brendan Sonnone or at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times