I caught up with DeAnthony Arnett yesterday, just as he was releasing his top six. Here is our conversation about each school on the list and more. At this point, he claims no leaders, saying each of the six are even. He also says his wild card school is the only school not in his top six who could jump in.
Michigan State: What made them make the cut was that I developed a strong relationship with them. I've been up there numerous times, I'm comfortable with staff, and the surroundings. When I go up there, the coaching staff is great. I don't have to speak to much with that with Coach Dantonio. Michigan State is getting some of the top in-state recruits. I know they're winning the battle the last two years. They're looking like they have a bright future. I think they're on the road to success."
California: "Me and Coach Daft, the wide receivers coach, have the best relationship with him out of any coach I talk to. We talk all day every day. He watches my film a lot. We talk about other things other than football. He's a real cool dude. He has been honest this whole time. He came down here for the evaluation period and told my coach flat out, I have a chance to come in, complete, and play as a freshman. That's big. That's something I want to do, come in and play and play for somebody that's going to win. Cal's one of those schools. I haven't visited Cal yet, but I plan on getting out there this summer."
USC: "It gets no better than SC. They're the #1 program in the country, arguably. They have great quarterbacks and they're getting great recruits. Just look at the class they're putting together now, and you're talking about going there with those caliber of players. I put myself on that plateau. They're pro style. Everything they do is pro style from their plays to their NFL routes. I with the wide receivers coach, Coach Morton, all the time. He's a cool guy. He compared me to Steve Smith. They've got all tall lanky receivers, and they need to fill the void in the slot. Coach Kiffin is a young coach, and very energetic and that's something that I like. He's cool. There's a lot I like about USC. I think if I were to go there, they would get me prepared and ready for the next level."
Oklahoma: "Childhood favorite. Everyone knows that. They were my favorite growing up. I haven't spoken too much on Oklahoma. I've been talking to Norvell. He writes a lot, talks a lot. They have four receivers committed already. That doesn't bother me. I feel like I'm the best. I feel like I can go in and compete everywhere. They have four top notch receivers, but that doesn't bother me. Oklahoma is one of the top programs in country every year. Coach Stoops is one of the top coaches. I haven't visited, but that will be the first trip I'm taking. If I'm going anywhere [to visit], it's going to be to Oklahoma. I keep developing a relationship with them. I definitely can see myself playing at Oklahoma. I looked at all the spread offenses, and that's the only one that I really, really liked. I said, I can't see myself playing in any other spread offense than Oklahoma."
Tennessee: They run that pro style too. Coach Chaney is a cool guy. I know he likes to air the ball out. Another guy I'm closest to is Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett. He coached my all time favorite wide receiver, Randy Moss. He told me how hard he worked and how he wanted to be the best. He and Randy had a great bond and great relationship. He talked about how he pushed Randy and made him be a better wide receiver. He coached Cris Carter. He just coached great receivers. When I went down there for camp, I liked the surroundings, and how the campus is set up. I can see myself being there."
Iowa: I know a lot of people are surprised about Iowa, but I've been talking with them the whole time through the recruiting process.They were ranked in the top 10. I think they were nine or 10-0 before their first loss. I know it's not the most attractive, or sexiest, they call it, or prettiest, but they just win. They get the job done and they're a winning program. When they get a premier receiver, they give them the ball. They call it a running backs school, because they run the ball, but I think if they got a top notch wide receiver, they would get them the ball, and I think I can be that guy. Coach Campbell said he can see me coming in and competing and playing. He coached all the greats at Michigan: Desmond, Braylon, all those guys. He knows what it takes to get me to the next level."
Miami (The Wild Card): "I've been talking to Coach Stoutland from day one, so it's not a surprise. He used to coach up here at Michigan State, so he knows all about Charles Rogers and the kind of talent that comes out of Saginaw High. What really drew my attention to Miami was the commitment from Teddy Bridgewater. He's a top notch quarterback and I can definltey see playing with him. I saw him on TV last year. I look at the quarterback now with Jacory Harris. He's not a scrambling quarterback. He's a pocket guy. Miami's going to try to throw ball 35-40 times a game. They get the ball to their play makers. Santana moss, Andre Johnson, just look at the production they did at Miami and the NFL. If they offer, I'm going to take a serious look at them and go down there for a visit."
The schools that didn't make the cut:
Notre Dame: "Don't get me wrong, Brian Kelly runs the spread to perfection. I love BK. My heart was with Oklahoma as far as spread offenses. I really couldn't see myself playing for no other spread offense. That's the only spread I'd want to play for. So that's what it was with Notre Dame, and the same with Cincinnati.
Michigan: Basically, I had a long talk with everybody in my inner circle and came to the conclusion that Michigan wasn't the right fit for me. I love Michigan. I always will. The whole coaching staff, they're great. I just looked at it as the place that would best suit me. I know the education part of Michigan is great. I know would have gotten a great degree if I went to Michigan, but football wise, I took a hard look at it...ask any top wide receiver in the country in my class, 'could they see themselves in a Rich Rodriguez offense?' It doesn't display the receivers. If you're a dual threat quarterback or running back, you'll have a heck of a career. Steve Slaton, Pat White, they did their thing. I expect same thing out of Devin Gardner. As a receiver, when I think about it, I just really couldn't see myself shining there."
Arnett says there will be no more cuts, and when he is ready to make a decision, he will simply have five hats on the table.