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Korey Foreman is working hard through his recruitment

Coaching and recruiting staffs across the country will ultimately spend countless hours in the pursuit of Korey Foreman, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect. But nobody will put more effort or time into this recruitment than Foreman, as this process has turned into a labor of love, but a labor nonetheless.

Foreman said that when the recruiting process started for him several years ago, everything about it was exciting. Each offer, each connection with a college coach was met with oohs and aahs.

“But now it’s,” Foreman said, before collecting his thoughts. “I’m still thankful for it 100%.”

Foreman said that beginning around two months ago, he’s been getting to bed regularly around 3 am because of how long he stays up studying the programs still chasing him.

“I try to see myself at every university and I’m trying to see where I fit in,” Foreman said. “I lose sleep trying to figure out exactly where is the best fit for me. That’s what you have to do when you’re the No. 1 athlete–put in those extra hours.”

The weight of making the correct decision is heavy for Foreman, and it’s magnified by the fact that he’ll need to make multiple calls to coaches of other programs, letting them know that he won’t be attending their school.

“It’s all fun until you have to break a heart at the end of the day,” Foreman said, adding that he’s relied heavily on his mom and dad throughout the process. “A lot of it is hard. I’m not going to lie. I’ve cried to my mom and dad multiple times, just saying, ‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.’ I’m trusting that I’ll know when I know.”

Foreman still talks to multiple coaches every day, but is hoping to get it down to just one conversation with one coach per day. Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Oregon and USC were the first five schools Foreman rattled off when asked which programs he continues to have deep interactions with, but added that Alabama, Arizona and Arizona State are involved as well.

“I try not to talk to a whole bunch of coaches in one day because I feel like if I can talk to one a day, I can give him my all in that whole conversation,” Foreman said. “Rather than me talking to three coaches a day and trying to give me all in three different conversations. It’s a lot, especially when you’re like me and you have a lot of questions.”

Foreman doesn’t have a timeline for his ultimate decision at this point, but he does know how he’ll handle it once it arrives. After initially committing to Clemson and then backing away from that, he is adamant that he won’t rush into another commitment, adding that before he’s ready to say anything, he’ll “take two steps back before [he takes] two steps forward.”

In doing all this studying, Foreman said he believes there will ultimately be some aspect of a school that pushes it over the top, but as of now, he’s still unsure about what specifically that might be, adding, “I’m trusting that I’ll know when I know.”

While Foreman has hit the reset button on his recruitment with the decommitment, USC has been able to do the same thing, as a new defensive staff was able to make a quick and strong impression.

Every school still chasing Foreman has a good reason for him to eventually wind up there, and USC is no exception. He said he likes how the staff talks to him about utilizing him to the best of his abilities. At USC, he’d play a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end position, the spot where good friend and former teammate Drake Jackson will line up for the Trojans this season. So far, Foreman certainly likes what he’s hearing from the USC staff.

“No if, ands or buts about it, I love what USC has cooking up there,” he said, as the Trojans are recruiting him as hard as or harder than any other program. “It’s absolutely amazing. But time will tell, and we’ll see how everything is.”

Without spring ball, USC was unable to host recruits on campus and let them see the new defense in action under defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. The Trojans will run a mix of a three-man and four-man front this season, which means someone like Foreman could have plenty of questions as to what that means for his position.

“They talk to me a lot and try to put the vision in my head rather than me actually seeing it,” Foreman said of how USC coaches are working around that issue. “That’s why I feel comfortable with them. I can call coach Donte [Williams] or I can call other coaches from the staff and talk about whatever. That’s just the relationship we have, along with other schools like Clemson and other things like that. Over time, you build relationships. But sooner or later, you have to be the heartbreak kid at the end of the day.”

If the Trojans can land the defensive end (listed at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, but is likely pushing 280 now), it would stop a two-year slide of letting the top California prospect head out of state, as USC missed on defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux in 2019 and quarterback Bryce Young last year. It would also register as easily the biggest recruiting win for an energized defensive staff looking to “Take Back the West” and keep the top Southern California prospects at home.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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