When I asked Lorenzo Lingard to describe himself in one word, he paused for a second. His reply: "Determined."
"I'm determined to be the best running back every time I touch the ball, and to be a leader," the six foot, 180 pound five-star back replied.
It's his determination that sets him apart from all the other talented backs in the Class of 2018. His determination pushed him to make this summer an eventful one. With trips to schools like Miami, Auburn, Alabama and Ohio State, Lingard said he made it his mission to take these visits to help narrow down his list to find the school best fit for him.
Lorenzo told Scout.com's, Jacquie Franciulli, that Miami was his leader in May. Naturally, I had to ask if this was still true.
"Not necessarily," Lingard said. "Miami is still in the top of the mix."
Don't panic Hurricanes fans. As a class of 2018 recruit, he has sometime to mull over his options.
"I'd say Florida State, Alabama, Auburn and Ohio State are the schools in the mix."
Lingard broke down why he liked each school. He started with Florida State.
"Coach [Jimbo Fisher] is great," Lorenzo said, "he brings a lot of effort."
He gave a more detailed break down of Alabama.
"When I got the [Alabama] offer, I was excited. I went on my trip there, got up at 5:30, to see how they work, and how hard the coaches push them. I like that. I did the camp there, and they ran the hell out of me," Lingard said.
When it came to Auburn, one thing that stood out was the humbleness of the staff. It's very fitting, seeing that Lingard himself is incredibly humble.
"Auburn is nice. The facilities are really nice, and the staff is humble, especially the head coach [Gus Malzahn]."
Next we jumped to Ohio State. I asked Lorenzo what he thought about Coach Urban Meyer and the success he's had. He chuckled, and gave me a swift response.
"It's a great team. There's great energy. When I got up there [Urban Meyer] put high standards on them."
And finally, we circled back to Miami. I asked him what made them a frontrunner, and running backs coach Thomas Brown earned high praise from Lingard. He also raved about the Paradise Camp.
"It's coach Brown. I met him at the spring game, and my coaches said he was a great guy. I got a good word on him. Coach Richt is a very humble guy. He's a Christian guy, and he wants what's best for the team. The [Paradise] camp was great. Some of the players came out to help the coaches. Lots of former [Miami] players came to watch the camp and I think that was special. Seven-on-seven ball is a big deal at Miami, so I got lots of opportunities to show my skills, and was happy my outcome at the end of the day."
Its live at the U Spring game the weather real juicy pic.twitter.com/Lcy3GvdA8c— Lorenzo Lingard (@d1champ99) April 16, 2016
So although he may not have Miami as the clear cut leader right now, it's evident that he still has a soft spot for the Canes.
One thing that was constantly mentioned in our interview was the importance of training. On his visits, Lorenzo really enjoyed seeing how different teams trained. I had to ask which teams trained the hardest.
"Florida State and Alabama coach training so well. At Alabama they started off always with something like 18 100-yard sprints. They were always conditioning. The players were really conditioned. Florida State's coaches push their players really hard."
So, obviously top notch training is a must for Lingard. But, after all that training, what kind of results is he looking for?
"My goal is to start at the next level and work as hard as I can. I believe I can be a Heisman candidate."
Certainly lofty goals, but not out of the reach for someone as talented as Lingard. He told me that what really separates him from the other running backs out there is his "aggression".
"My aggression sets me apart. Every time I touch the ball, it's at 100 percent."
Going forward, Lingard said he hasn't set an exact timeline for his commitment, but he did name a few schools he wanted to attend for games.
"I will be at a Miami game for sure. I want to see an Auburn game, an Alabama game and maybe a Florida game."
One takeaway from our interview was how poised and prepared Lingard was. He's incredibly humble as mentioned before. Although he pegged Miami as his leader in May, he followed through on his mission to visit schools during the summer. He did reassure Hurricanes fans that Miami is still high in priority.
So, in summary Lingard is a kid who's high on training, hard work, humble coaching and determination. Everything you'd want in a talented five-star recruit. Keep up the good work.