KENNESAW, Ga. — Quarterback Justin Fields, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, will need a few more paragraphs on his “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essay than almost all of his peers.
The Fields Across America summer tour has included Alabama, at least twice; California, twice; Florida, at least four times; Oregon; and Indiana.
That’s not counting any recreational travel.
“I think I’ve slept more nights out of my bed than in my bed this summer,” Fields said. “So that has kind of been hard because I wanted to hang out with my friends a little bit more. But I know that thing sort of comes with this lifestyle if that’s the way you want it. You can take it or leave it.”
Justin Fields contributed six total TDs (4 pass, 2 rush) in his season opener for Harrison last Friday. (Jeff Sentell / SEC Country)
He doesn’t mind airports.
Fields said that one of his official visits later this year might even be to a “cool place” he’s always wanted to check out. It might or might not be to one of the schools most associated among his top choices at this time.
DawgNation published a wide-ranging interview with Fields Tuesday evening. The first half of that summation came later that night. I’ve been following him extensively since last October, but still learned a great bit about his future plans from that discussion.
Consider this the third and fourth quarters of that conversation.
The secrecy topic with Justin Fields
Justin Fields rates as the No. 1 overall prospect in America, according to the 247Sports composite. (Jeff Sentell/SEC Country)
There has been a lot of information and misinformation about Fields. The narrative has followed a similar script this summer.
The 5-star QB takes a visit. The program “insiders” and message board chatter rises up that Latest Visit U. now has a choke-hold on Fields for the Class of 2018.
That same tune keeps coming up on shuffle play.
Where is that coming from?
Does Fields choose his words carefully among his fellow recruits? There’s a code there. Most know where their elite peers will eventually go. They keep a lid on those thoughts. That’s to respect that player’s wishes for when he wants his favored school to be known.
His decision is the most sought-after recruiting intel in America right now.
How does Fields police that?
“I would say it is kind of hard,” Fields said. “You kind of just have to select the people and have to know who to trust. And just to trust a select amount of people. You can’t tell everybody your business because eventually, it will get out. You have to build relationships with certain players and certain guys and just tell them. That’s because when you commit to a place you want them to come with you because they are good players.”
Fields told DawgNation he feels his decision could be the tipping point for as many as eight players to join him at the right program. If even half of those players follow him, that’s a substantial amount of pull.
“That’s kind of hard to keep all of that secret,” Fields said.
It still boggles my mind how his stock has soared since last May. That’s when the 5-star from Harrison High School finally received his first offer, that one from North Carolina.
The Justin Fields Q&A: What happened with Florida?