Monday started down in the weight room away from it all, a typical summer workout as the calendar flipped to June.
It shifted from there to training and studying, maybe a quick breather. Summer schoolwork is a part of it as well. Then came 7-on-7, which, as always, is a typical part of the summer. It’s full of new faces, a new team. The connection needs to be cultivated as August barrels towards them.
Then there’s an interview with a national media outlet. They all want to know the details and the decision. Throw in more film study.
Again, as it does throughout the day, the phone buzzes. Details are hammered out for another recruiting trip, what would be the third in as many weeks. It’s another coach looking to state his team’s case and the daily check-in.
Monday is not a typical day. The month of June has been anything but typical for Longview quarterback Haynes King.
Decision time is rapidly approaching, as is the 2019 season when King and the Lobos put their state title defense on the field. The second part of that is, perhaps, just as big to King as the first. It’s hard to reach the mountaintop, as the Lobos did in 2018, and it’s even harder to stay there. That was the message accompanying a new team set out to work.
But first, a decision is coming.
June started with a trip to College Station for his first official visit, the first of five granted to recruits. The Aggies and Jimbo Fisher, by their own design, arrived late on King’s offer list. They were No. 26 of 27 that the elite prospect holds entering his senior season. It was late, yes, but far from too late to garner the bluechip prospect’s services.
Less than a week later, another trip to SEC country came with a trip to Knoxville to see Tennessee, who greet King after that championship with an offer in early January.
King, through the phone calls, messages and spring visits, has built a connection with quite a few coaching staffs on his list. With Fisher, there’s a lot in common both on the field and off. Fishing and hunting are among them. Jeremy Pruitt, like Haynes, has a coach father.
Recruits are treated like, for lack of a better word, kings on their visits, which include behind-the-scenes looks at every facet of the program from the facilities to the academics to the town that these elite campuses sit on. King sees it all but more much.
“The facilities are all nice, but they’re all going to be nice,” he said late Monday in the Lobo Den. “What we’re looking for is a connection and how I will fit with a team and a program.”
“We’re” is a big word there. The Kings have jet set across the country together — a ride to College Station in the family car or the airport where, in Tennessee, a recruiting reporter popped up for a recap.
King will arrive home from Auburn today, a team that was among the first to offer him and perhaps one that help set it all in motion. Next week, it’s a visit to Duke University for his fourth official visit to see David Cutcliffe, who is known for his quarterback development. Peyton and Eli Manning are among those under his tutelage. The diploma would also read “Duke University,” King pointed out while noting the quarterbacks that have reached the highest level under the longtime coach.
All-the-while, King is preparing for the Elite 11, the nation’s “premier quarterback competition,” as it reads on its website, which begins June 27 in Frisco. Its list of alumni and 2019 roster deems that a deserving moniker.
A decision is expected before then and will be one that will be thoroughly vetted and even agonized over.
When the wheels touch down today from another visit, Sunday evening might provide the time to relax, but probably not. There will be more studying, more research, more discussion, more critiquing, more work, more deliberating on what comes next.
Monday morning workouts come quick.