Raphael Andrades already has some impressive opportunities available to him at the next level and more could be on the way.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound receiver from Tallahassee, Fla., (Lincoln) currently has offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Florida International and Middle Tennessee State. Notre Dame is a school that has shown major interest and new offensive coordinator Chuck Martin is scheduled to meet with Andrades today.
“I don’t know what their plans are,” Andrades father, Raphael Andrades, Sr. said. “Right now, we’re just going with whatever is available to us. If Notre Dame is available to us then it’s something to consider and if it’s not available to us then there’s nothing to consider. Don’t take it the wrong way, that’s the reality of it.”
If Notre Dame does become an option for Andrades, it’d be one he’d seriously consider and he even has an official visit set to South Bend for Jan. 27th.
“Definitely the prestige that goes along with going to a university like Notre Dame is incredible,” Andrades Sr. said. “Obviously you go anywhere in the country and everybody recognizes Notre Dame. South Bend is a distance from Florida, but having the NBC contract, that’s huge because you can see your kid every single week. Looking at their 2012 schedule, it’s insane, they’re playing everybody. Those kinds of things are very, very attractive when it comes down to the situation.”
Andrades has already taken an official visit to Kentucky and will take another to Arkansas this weekend.
“I don’t know if he’s going to try to squeeze anything else in,” his father said. “He has people calling him. That’s going to be up to him if he tries to work somebody else in.”
Andrades Sr. believes his son is a bit underrated as a prospect at this point.
“I personally feel that Raphael is a little bit better receiver than people give him credit for,” he said. “He’s a Florida kid, he’s played against tough competition down here and despite not playing four whole halves – the equivalent of two whole games – because we were blowing teams out, he had very, very solid season.
“I think people are going to be in for a little bit of a surprise.”
Despite sitting out those halves, Andrades finished with 43 receptions for more than 800 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Andrades could be a versatile option on the next level.
“Most schools are looking at him to play outside or inside, but he is big and strong,” his father said. “He is physical, he can take the punishment. He can play either one. His hands are huge and soft, so he doesn’t drop the ball. It’s going to be a rare occasion to see him drop one, even in practice.”
The family isn’t feeling any pressure with National Signing Day approaching fast.
“Our thing is that we’ve had faith in God and God is going to show us the right place for us period,” Andrades Sr. said. “That’s the reason Raph isn’t committed right now. A lot of kids going ahead and commit and decommit and change their minds. When he commits, he needs to be done. He’s not seeing anybody else, he doesn’t need to see anybody else and that’s been our biggest thing.
“You might be in love with Raph right now, but on the side you’re still trying to court this other receiver and if you get him, Raph’s out; that’s your side. Our side is, when we find the right fit, we find the right thing, we call it a day and once we commit then that’s all she wrote. We don’t have to go anywhere else.”
Andrades figures to make an educated decision when he makes one.
“Who Raph wanted to play for or who his favorite schools were or who I grew up rooting for or anything like that doesn’t matter,” Andrades Sr. said. “For him, the only things that matter are the choices he has on the table.
“It’s going to come down to how comfortable we feel with the entire scenario of everything that we’re doing. A lot of people sell you dreams. I’m a salesman, so I’ve learned to listen a little bit more carefully to what people say and try to decipher what’s real and what’s not. Not calling anybody a liar, but people do tend to stretch things sometimes. Certainly being a family atmosphere is going to be the biggest thing.”