Greg King, the 6-foot-3, 202-pound three-star strongside linebacker from Melrose High School in Memphis, Tenn., says he has narrowed his choices to four from among 15 offers.
King, Scout.com’s No. 32 strongside linebacker, now denies a leader but favors Texas Tech, Tennessee, Miami and Alabama. All have offered as well as Ole Miss, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Marshall, North Carolina and Middle Tennessee, among others.
“I gotta find a place where I’m comfortable,” King said. “Football is football and I can be a baller wherever I go.”
He took his first official visit to Texas Tech on Dec. 19 and came away impressed with the Red Raiders. “It was a good trip,” King said. “Everyone was gone for the holidays so there wasn’t much action going on, but I still had a good time.
“I got to spend a lot of time with the coaches and they showed me around,” said King, who denies any time frame for making a decision.
King said the thing that stood out the most during his time in Lubbock was the Red Raiders press box. “The press box was amazing,” he said. “I think they said they spent something like $80 million on upgrading it. It was huge and there were plasmas everywhere. The luxury boxes were some of the best too.”
While the Red Raiders are known for their explosive offense, King says he’s impressed with their defense as well. “I really like the defensive schemes they run,” he said. “I think I’d fit in well with them. They only have like seven linebackers on scholarship right now and they said there’s a good chance that I’d be able to rotate in and play.
“I don’t need to be a starter or anything,” King said. “But I’d like to get some early playing time.”
King’s next official visit will be to Tennessee on Jan. 16. “I like the new coaches,” he said. “They seem like good guys. (Offensive line) coach Greg Adkins, (running back coach) Steve Drayton and (wide receiver coach) Latrell Scott were all by my house this month and I like them.
“I like coach Lane Kiffin too,” he said. “He’s real laid-back and doesn’t try to put on a front. He’s got some good plans for Tennessee. He has some good experience and enthusiasm so he should do good there.”
The Vols are only about five hours from King’s home, but he says he’d actually prefer to get away. “I want to go out and explore the world,” he said. “That’s what college is about - seeing new things and becoming a man.”
Following his trip to Knoxville, King will be heading south to Miami on Jan. 23. “They’ve been on me since my 11th grade year,” he said. “They’ve seen me play and have been to my games and really want me. They’ve just been recruiting me hard since the beginning.”
King has never been to Miami and admits he’s excited to visit the ‘Canes. “I can’t wait to go and check it out myself,” he said. “I’ve got a few friends (sophomore running back Graig Cooper) down there too, so it’ll be fun to see them again.
“I talk with Graig a bit and he just tells me to follow my heart,” King said. “But he did say that Miami is the place to be.”
The final school on King’s list is Alabama, but he doesn’t have a visit set up with the Crimson Tide yet. “I’ve been there before unofficially, but I’d love to go and kick it there again.
“I love how ‘Bama is all about the team,” he said. “It’s a great environment and it’s just all about football with them. There’s a lot of ‘Bama love down there.”
Although he was born and raised in Tennessee, Kings says that growing up he always followed Michigan. “I’ve always loved Michigan,” he said. “Whenever I watched ESPN there were always showing highlights of Michigan and they were always ballin’. They would always win and I used to wish they’d recruit me and they did a little, but it’s okay. It was just a thing when I was a kid.”
King finished his senior season (8-4) with 130 total tackles, four sacks and four fumbles caused.
“I can run sideline-to-sideline and I move well,” King said. “I’m really aggressive and play with momentum. I play hard on every play.
“I have pretty good technique,” he said. “I think I’m can do everything at linebacker pretty well, but I really want to improve on pass coverage. I love sticking with the receiver but I need to get better at coverage and reading in the zone.”
He benches 315-pounds, squats 455 and claims a 36-inch vertical jump.
King says he wants to major in computer engineering or something math-related. He reports a 2.8 core GPA and a 13 ACT, which he’s retaking in February.