The 6-4, 220-pound Helm is the sixth ranked tight end according to 247Sports.com and came away impressed with everything while in Gainesville over his spring break.
“It was everything I’m looking for,” Helm told ESPN.com’s Jared Shanker.
While not official, the Gators could be the leader among his four finalists that also includes Michigan in addition to the aforementioned three schools, although unlike the other three, Florida has yet to offer Helm.
Tennessee offered Helm Jan. 29, but has been on the radar of first-year head coach Butch Jones who recruited him while he was still the head coach at Cincinnati. Helm already knows about the great tradition, fan base and facilities at Tennessee, but now he will get to see it firsthand.
Ole Miss made their offer to Helm Mar. 1 and has seen attention grow for the pass-catching tight end ever since. Arkansas and Mississippi State are the latest from the SEC to offer Helm, but they are on the outside looking in and the Volunteers and Rebels will look to distance themselves from their SEC brethren and make a favorable impression on him and potentially move from the top four into a top two.
That may be a bit premature, but both Tennessee and Ole Miss have been gaining a great deal of momentum on the recruiting trail in the past few months. Both Jones and Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze are emerging as serious threats to the traditional powers like Florida and Michigan, among others.
The biggest selling point for Ole Miss besides a beautiful campus, strong academics, a rising program and playing in the nation’s best conference, is the faith and character of Freeze and his staff.
According to 247Sports.com’s Clint Brewster, “I’d like to think I’m a kid with a lot of Christian faith so I want to go somewhere I can relate to people on that level,” said Helm. “I think that is what’s so appealing to me about Ole Miss.”
If that is the determining factor for Helm in his decision-making process then you can go ahead and shut it down and call it a day after his time in Oxford because you won’t find another school in America that rivals Ole Miss in that regard. Plenty of schools have a lot to offer and this is no sleight to his other top schools, but Ole Miss wins in that department.
It’s far too early to make a prediction about where Helm will end up, but I do think it will be in the SEC and if it’s not Ole Miss, then look for Tennessee to reel in Helm and add to their impressive class.
Helm is coming off a junior season where he had 44 catches for 810 yards and 17 touchdowns.