One of the most highly-anticipated decisions remaining in the 2021 recruiting cycle won't come to fruition until, at least, Early Signing Day. That much is known.
IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) linebacker/athlete Xavian Sorey remains taking his time in making his college selection. The No. 17 prospect in the nation, and No. 2 linebacker, has prioritized visiting each of his top five schools before committing, with four visits concluded and one up in the air amid the recruiting dead period coronavirus pandemic.
He's seen Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Auburn, yet while Sorey attended LSU's home game against Florida last season, he didn't get to check out the campus.
"LSU [is] kinda low on the board right now because I haven't really got to visit them," Sorey told the media following IMG's 48-7 victory over Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) on Thursday. "I talk to them every day too but it's kind of different with them. I talk to the linebacker coach [Bradley Dale Peveto], and [head] coach O [Ed Orgeron], just about every day... I haven't really got to visit them."
By the end of the year, Sorey plans to visit LSU unofficially to comply with dead period rules, along with the remainder of his top five for a refresher. "It's been a long time since we've been on visits," he said.
Sorey had thought about pledging during the 2021 Under Armour All-American game, but he plans to graduate in December and enroll early at the school of his choice. The UA All-American game is on January 7th, 2021, complicating his ability to commit and enroll promptly.
Each of Sorey's top schools primarily view him as a linebacker, but admire and covet his versatility.
"I want to be an Isaiah Simmons, Derwin James-type player," said Sorey. "All my top five really wanna move me around and stuff."
Florida was the first school to send Sorey an offer at the beginning of his recruitment, as a freshman. However, it was linebackers coach Sal Sunseri who sent the offer, before he took on the same role at Alabama and continued recruiting Sorey there.
"I talk to coach Sal and [associate defensive coordinator] coach [Charles] Kelly from Alabama, and [head] coach [Nick] Saban. They tell me how they're going to use me all over the field, multiple positions," Sorey said of Alabama. "[Florida linebackers] coach [Christian] Robinson picked up from coach Sal."
Robinson and Sorey talk on a daily basis - Robinson even Facetimed Sorey during IMG's game on Thursday, as Sorey was on the sidelines rehabbing from surgery on his foot. He plans to return to the playing field within the next two games.
The two have a close relationship, Sorey notes, mentioning that conversation tends to extend beyond football.
"Sometimes we don't even talk about football," said Sorey. "We just talk about life and stuff like that. So that's the kind of relationship I have with coach Robinson, sometimes he just hit me up and I hit him up, and we just talk."
Georgia blew Sorey away last year when he visited for the first time. While it was a crowded visit, Sorey added, the Bulldogs coaching staff zeroed in on the Sunshine State athlete and made him feel like a priority.
"I'm not gonna lie, that was one of the best visits I done been too," Sorey recalled. "They paid attention to me a lot. There was other people there, but they really focused on me... The outside linebacker coach and the inside linebacker coach, they be battling. If I go there they gonna play me everywhere too."
Wherever Sorey ends up, he plans on bringing the No. 3 safety in the class, John Paul II Catholic's (Tallahassee, Fla.) Terrion Arnold with him. Growing up about 40 minutes from each other, the two have developed a bond over time and communicate frequently.
Florida cracked Arnold's top 11 schools on August 28th, along with Alabama, Georgia, and LSU - it's worth noting, Auburn, one of Sorey's top five, didn't make that list.
"We're real close. We FaceTime all the time, we go on visits together, stuff like that," said Sorey. "So we plan on going to the same school together."