In exactly one month, 4-star all-purpose back Khalan Laborn is planning on announcing his college intentions. As the world waits for the expected June 3 verbal commitment, Laborn decided to make public the schools he considers finalists.
Laborn, the nation's No. 2 all-purpose back and No. 40 player overall in the 2017 class, released his top eight via social media Tuesday morning. The list is ACC and SEC heavy, including Virginia Tech, Florida State, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Auburn. The list also features Big Ten power Ohio State.
Laborn, who played last season at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, said he chose his top eight over a list of 28 offers.
"It wasn't that hard," Laborn said of the selection process. "I had to really think where I could fit and where would be my best fit, honestly."
The good news for the schools that didn't make the cut—or the programs that are still considering offering—is that the list isn't a rock-solid one. Laborn said there may be room for one or two schools to sneak in the race late.
For now, Laborn is excited about his eight schools and said they all hold equal weight. Playing in the ACC would keep him close to home, and playing where family and friends can watch is something that intrigues him. Florida State and Virginia Tech are two schools considered early favorites in his process, and Laborn's 247Sports Crystal Ball has prognosticators sold on him ultimately choosing the Seminoles.
"Virginia Tech is an in-state school. I feel real comfortable there, and I get along with all the players," Laborn said. "Florida State is in Florida, where my other half of my family is. I love the campus and get along with the coaches. FSU also produces good players.
"North Carolina, I've been on campus plenty of times. I felt comfortable there. I get along with the coaches and players very well. My cousin, Marquise Williams, also told me good things about them."
While playing in the ACC is an option, the SEC is a place where Laborn feels he can become an impact player. He also likes how the conference consistently has a representative competing for a national championship.
"I've heard good things about [Florida]," he said. "I had a family member, Jonathan Bullard, play for them, and he's told me some good things about them. With Tennessee, I didn't like them at first, but when I got on campus and met the players and coaches, my whole mindset changed."
Laborn continued: "Alabama is a powerhouse program. They're known for winning and have produced great running backs. Auburn also has a great program and is known for winning."
The one school to keep an eye on is the lone Big Ten representative. Laborn said he would prefer staying close to home to play football, but the prestige of Ohio State and playing for coach Urban Meyer is something that makes the Buckeyes a strong contender.
Laborn has taken several unofficial visits, with the most visits to Florida State and Virginia Tech. He said his solo trip to Ohio State definitely was memorable.
"It's the only up-north team I looked into," Laborn said of Ohio State. "They have a good history of running backs coming from there and going into the NFL. I took one visit, and I immediately wanted to come back."
Although June 3 is the anticipated announcement date, Laborn said he wouldn't have a problem postponing the date to a later time. The winning program will get a standout who rushed for at least 100 yards in 11 of 13 games for Ocean Lakes.
Laborn finished his junior season with 2,228 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns. He also averaged nearly 11 yards per carry.
Laborn's hoping to put up similar numbers at the next level for one lucky school.
"What I am looking for in a winning school," he said, "is a great coaching staff and teammates that are like family."
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles