Posted: 1:40 am Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
By Michael Carvell
UPDATE: Cofer’s father told GoVolsExtra.com’s Ben Frederickson on Wednesday afternoon that Georgia Tech has been eliminated and his son’s three finalists are FSU, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
Phil Cofer, the state’s No. 8 overall college basketball prospect, will take official visits to Florida State and Georgia Tech after getting a release from Tennessee.
The 6-foot-8 forward from Whitewater High School signed with Tennessee in last November’s early period, but was granted a release from his letter of intent after the Volunteers recently changed coaches.
“It seems like a lot of people want him, and he hasn’t made up his mind yet,” Whitewater coach Mark Fisher told the AJC.
“I think Florida State and Georgia Tech are the top two. I believe he’s going to Florida State on Thursday for a visit, and then Georgia Tech after that.”
Rivals.com’s Dan McDonald reported that Virginia Tech and Tennessee are also among the 3-star’s finalists. Both of Cofer’s parents were athletes at Tennessee, with his father (Michael Cofer) later playing 10 years in the NFL.
“He got his release after the coach (Cuonzo Martin) left Tennessee,” Fisher said. “The coach left, and other recruits left. I think that’s what got him.”
Is Tennessee still in the race? “I really think it’s down to the ACC is what he’s looking at. I really think Florida State and Georgia Tech are the top ones.”
Cofer has also generated interest from other SEC schools, but he would have to sit out two seasons due to conference rules.
“Schools from everywhere have called,” Fisher said. “This has opened up a whole new can of beans for him. Everybody has been in contact since he’s rescinded. We’re just leaving it in God’s hands and we’ll see what happens.
“He’s something else. He’s a heck of a player. He’s a great kid and he’s a humble kid. Somebody is going to get really lucky.
What does Cofer like about FSU? “I think he sees a situation where he can actually play early. He can step in there and play. And I think that’s what Tech has, too. Tech seems to think he can come in and play – make a difference right off the bat.”
What is appealing about Georgia Tech? “I think he likes that he would be able to stay close to his family. He’s at home, but he’s not at home, you know? His dad is ill, and that’s got something to do with it. Plus he’s got friends at Georgia Tech.”
“I’d love to see him go to Georgia Tech,” Fisher said. “I’m just a local guy. But whatever he feels like is good for him is good for everybody. He’s just a great kid, and we’re all so proud of him.
“He’s old school. He’s humble. He doesn’t come to practice to showboat. He’s just a good kid. The other kids love being around him. He’s very humble. To me that’s the greatest characteristic you can have. He’s just a great kid.”
RELATED: Another ex-Tennessee signee from Georgia, Morgan County High School’s CJ Turman, is going elsewhere. The 6-9, 235-pound forward appears to be part of a package deal at Florida Atlantic. Morgan County coach Charlemagne Gibbons was hired as an assistant at Florida Atlantic last Friday, and Turman committed there the next day. Turman is the state’s No. 9 overall prospect. (Note: Even though FAU issued a press release about the “signing” of Turman, he won’t be an official signee at FAU until he attends the first day of classes on campus. You can’t sign two letters of intent in the same calendar year, per NCAA rules. He’s committed and still can take official visits to other colleges).
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