January 2, 2011

It's a two-team race for Orta

The recruiting process has slowed way down for Valdosta, Ga., safety Geraldo Orta. The talented defender has been enjoying his Christmas vacation from both school and the hectic ordeal that is the world of college recruiting.

With just over a month to go until National Signing Day, Orta is down to just a couple of schools.

"Basically I'm down to two schools," Orta said. "It's Tennessee and Clemson. They both had tough losses this weekend. I'm basically going to go on my official visits and make my decision. I'm going to Clemson on the 21st and Tennessee on the 28th. It all comes down to those two weekends."

Both weekends will be key in his recruitment. Orta has a game plan going in and is looking for certain things at each school.

"First, I want to look at academics," Orta said. "I want to be a success after football. I want to be in a family environment. I want to be part of a special place. I want a good position coach, because I'm going to be around him for four or five years."

No matter what school gets Orta, the program will be getting a cool, calm and confident player. He knows that he can make a difference both early and often at the next level.

"I feel like I have no fear," Orta said. "I'm not scared of contact, and that's a big part of how I play defense. I'm good at being a leader on the field. When things aren't going well, I can pick everyone back up with my actions. Just being a leader and doing the little things. I can also play corner or safety and being diverse is big."

Clemson is recruiting Orta to play cornerback and the Vols are wanting him to play safety. He doesn't really have a preference, but he is more familiar with safety because he's played it more. Ultimately, he just wants to be making a difference on Saturday afternoons.

"I know how to play safety real well," Orta said. "I've always been a safety, but I know I can play corner too. It doesn't matter to me because I just want to be on the field."

Orta has liked both schools for a while, but Tennessee really started to make a move in his recruitment when first-year head coach Derek Dooley made a visit by Lowndes High School.

"Basically I like Derek Dooley," Orta said. "What he did in his first year was impressive. I liked when he came to my school and he seemed like a real nice and genuine guy. They are a good school for both academics and athletics. It's a great place and they have a big fan base."

Orta will return to school in just a matter of days and he'll do so with a couple of things left to check off on his high school bucket list.

"This is my last semester and I'm going to try and enjoy it," Orta said. "Just have fun with my friends and finish out the school year strong in the classroom. Get better with my football stuff and never look back."

Orta probably won't wait until signing day to make a decision. He hopes to pull the trigger after his visits.

"Probably right after the officials I'm going to commit," Orta said. "I'll set down and write my likes and dislikes and which ever school I like the best then I'm going to go there."

Rivals.com rates Orta as a 3-star safety in the class of 2011.

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