Is Top DT Hailes Nearing a Decision?

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Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, VA) standout defensive tackle prospect Evan Hailes may be getting close to a college decision, but there is also a chance the 6-1, 300-pound rising senior holds off on a commitment in order to take official visits, Tigers head coach Rich Morgan told this afternoon.

“Evan would like to get the process over with after he sees the last school he’ll see this summer, which is Penn State,” Hailes said. “He goes there tomorrow. If he feels like he is ready to decide, he’ll decide. If not, he’ll take official visits and see if that sways him in any way.

“I don’t think he’ll go backwards on his recruitment. He had about 30 offers before narrowing it down. I don’t think he’ll open it up again. Whatever he is looking for, I think he’ll find it with these schools.”

LSU, N.C. State, Penn State and Virginia Tech are the finalists for Hailes, who recently eliminated the University of Tennessee according to Coach Morgan.

“It was not a good visit,” Morgan said, referring to Hailes’ recent trip to Knoxville. “They kind of knocked themselves out of it. He went down when they had a camp. Let’s just say they didn’t have things organized and set up for him to see everything. At N.C. State and Tech, he got to see the coaches and tour the campus and different things.”

Should Hailes make a decision in the near future, LSU likely would not be the destination.

“He is not going to see LSU this summer,” Morgan said. “If he feels like he still wants to see LSU, he’ll take an official visit there.”

So is there a favorite among the finalists?

“I’d say they are all pretty even,” Morgan said. “I’d say each one has rotated in as the favorite at some point in time. He does like what he has seen at Virginia Tech and N.C. State, but he has never been to Penn State before. Everyone has positives. N.C. State was one of the first to offer. He has family down there. His family is originally from