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Coveted DL Hastings Misses Oregon Visit Due to Airline Strike, Alabama Up Next

Canada native, who will sign in December, now holds more than 30 scholarship offers

As Isaiah Hastings puts more game work on tape, more scholarship offers come in. The Canada native, playing at Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International this year, has rolled by the 30 offer-mark in the last week or so. 

Memphis, Nebraska, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech are the latest to come in.

"I still give every team and chance and see things through," he told SI All-American. "I'm getting closer and closer to a decision. Weighing my options. I have a few more visits to set up."

The last trip set up was supposed to be an official visit to Oregon over the weekend. With his high school on a bye, it afforded extra time for an initial experience in Eugene. However, strikes within the airline industry derailed the plans and he says the trip was cancelled. 

The 6'4", 290-pound interior defensive lineman hopes to reschedule with Mario Cristobal's program, but a trip has not yet been set. The Ducks have been in contact with him more than any other program of late, however. 

"Coach (Joe) Salave'a, the D-line coach, he texts me almost every morning," Hastings said. "I talk to Coach Cristobal as well, we talk a lot. It's a good relationship. I would say I talk to them the most."

Florida and Alabama would be next in terms of communication volume. 

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The Gators have already had the senior on campus more than any other program in the country, thanks in part to Clearwater's proximity to the in-state program. Hastings has been to Gainesville for camp and unofficially visited for a game this fall.  

"They're a great program, overall," he said. "Campus is really nice. I like the campus, I like the coaches. Coach (Ron) Turner, the way he develops players. When he was at Mississippi State he coached Chris Jones. Plus Florida is in the SEC, the best conference."

The next visit to be taken by one of the nation's hottest defensive recruits will also be in the SEC. After two conversations with Nick Saban and an offer that came in one month ago today, an official visit for the weekend has been set as Alabama hosts Tennessee. 

"They really want me there in the system that they run," Hastings said. "They tell me about what makes 'Bama, 'Bama. I'm really looking to see the vibes of the players and the coaches, how the campus is and how I would fit around them. I talk to Coach (Freddie) Roach most of the time. I talk to Coach (Holman) Wiggins a little bit and I talked to Coach Golding, too."

The Alabama official visit is the only trip currently set on the itinerary, but programs like Georgia and Michigan remain possibilities and sit among those in communication most with Hastings.  

"Georgia, obviously a great program, great defense. Number one team in the country right now," he said. "Michigan, I have also been talking to them for a while. There's a lot to like, it's also close to home. They're defense and D-line are killing it this year."

Any trips Hastings may be able to take moving forward should play critical in his recruitment. He plans on making a decision official during the Early Signing Period in December and enrolling at his program of choice in January. 

Clearwater Academy International returns to action at Chattanooga (Tenn.) McCallie on Friday night. The prep programs have just one loss between them in 2021.