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Sunday, March 17, 2013
Rico McGraw talks two of his top schools

By Dave Hooker

Relationships will be key in Rico McGraw's recruitment. That could spice up a legendary rivalry.

McGraw hasn't named favorites, but Alabama and Tennessee often come up when discussing his many options. The rising junior defensive back knows a handful of players for the Volunteers. However, Alabama was the first school to extend an official offer when it did so last month.

"I'm very close to Alabama," the 2015 prospect said. "I have a strong relationship with all the coaches."

Yet there are relationships on Tennessee's campus as well, where McGraw visited on Saturday. McGraw is good friends with Tennessee athlete commitment Vic Wharton, Tennessee defensive back Jalen Reeves-Maybin and offensive lineman Antonio Richardson.

"I talked to Jalen yesterday and he told me to get up there as much as possible," McGraw said before Saturday's NUC 7-on-7 event in Knoxville.

McGraw has also been impressed by Tennessee's recent run of in-state recruiting success. Tennessee received commitments from two ESPN Watch List prospects last week: safety Todd Kelly Jr. from Knoxville (Tenn.) Webb and tailback Jalen Hurd from Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech.

"It's very impressive," McGraw said of the Volunteers' recruiting efforts. "They have the top players in the state right now."

McGraw wasn't able to participate in Saturday's 7-on-7 camp. He's been slowed by an ankle sprain he suffered playing basketball. McGraw is scheduled to visit South Carolina this weekend.

McGraw said the Gamecocks have been pushing hard lately. The 6-foot, 190-pound prospect has approximately 20 scholarship offers.