Nick Mullens, senior quarterback from Spain Park High School in Hoover, has been busy during the past three weekends making visits to Jacksonville State, Middle Tennessee, and most recently, Furman this past weekend. Mullens has attracted the interest of many programs including Akron, UAB, and Western Kentucky.
Mullens and his mother made the drive for an unofficial visit.
"It was definitely worth the drive," Mullens said of Furman. "We left at like 5:30 to drive up there. After a game on the Friday night before, it felt like more than five hours."
Mullens was highly impressed with the campus from the beginning.
"We started off with a campus tour," he said. "You didn't even need a tour to notice that is it really nice. I told a friend of mine that it was surpassing Duke and Rice for the nicest campus I've ever been to. It was impressive."
An early appearance to the field for pregame gave Mullens one-on-one time with coaches before any of the 25 prospects in attendance.
"After the tour we went on the field," he said. "I got to go on the field early before the other prospects. I was really just lucky since we showed up late to the tour. We were told we could meet up the rest of the prospects on the field, but they had not made it there yet. It gave me about 15 minutes to talk to the coaches on my own."
Mullens had the opportunity to really connect with the coaches during his visit.
"I talked to Coach McKenzie, the running back coach, he is the one recruiting me, and Coach Sorrells, the quarterback coach," he said. "Coach McKenzie and I talked and caught up. We have been talking since February. He has come down to visit me a few times before. He is a nice, young guy that you can connect with easily. He played at Vanderbilt with Jay Cutler, so we talked about that.
"I also talked to Coach Sorrells. We talked about his offense versus my offense. They don't throw as much as mine. We talked about different schemes and routes. It was good to connect with the coach on the game of football.
"We talked about my game on Friday night. It was nice to go on a visit and tell coaches you played really well."
Furman fell to Tennessee Chattanooga in a 31-10 loss.
"It was a good game," Mullens said. "It was a pretty competitive game throughout. It was interesting to watch. They have great players and great support from fans. It was really great to see."
Mullens spoke of his interest in the program.
"I hope that they are as interested in me as I am in them," he said. "I know that I am pretty high on the recruiting board. They let me know that. They are patient with their evaluation process. They let me know that they like me a whole bunch. It would be nice to really produce for my team these next few weeks. I would really like an offer."
Mullens shared his opinion on the campus life Furman has to offer.
"All the learning facilities were great," he said. "They are well developed. There are a lot of different, interesting things they have like a student lake. They have this one street that is like covered in trees, like a tree tunnel. There is a lot of room for students to enjoy their studies. It is an attraction campus for a young college student."
The visit proved beneficial to the class of 2013 signal caller.
"It was a solid program," said Mullens. "They have made their name in the South. They have been a winning program traditionally, and that is nice to see as a prospect.
"I just overall enjoyed the visit. I was surprised with the setting and the atmosphere. A visit like that really increases your interest in a program."
Former Spain Park and Furman graduate, Adam Mims, and Mullens worked out at the same training facility a few years ago. Mullens spoke of the impact Mims made on him with respect to the program.
"He played at Furman, and so he kind of led me on the interest of Furman," Mullens said. "We threw together during the off season. It was nice to see it for myself and see how cool it really is. It would be cool to continue the Spain Park legacy up there."
After several consistent weekends of travel, the visits have slowed down for Mullens. He has no visits currently planned, but he is interested in visiting more programs.
"It would be nice if a few more schools asked me to visit," Mullens said. "I haven't heard much from UAB lately. My coach says he talks to them, and he said that they still like me a lot."
Mullens ranked his favorite programs thus far, based on the visits made during the past few weeks.
"Jacksonville State is at number one," he said. "They've got great support, and the coaches were great to communicate with. It really grabbed my mind because of the coaches and the program as a whole; it was pretty complete.
"Western Kentucky is number two because they are such a complete program right now. They have a great head coach who has a made a name for WKU. The whole program is really nice as well as their facilities.
"Middle Tennessee and Furman are at a close race for third; both programs are great. Furman has a great campus and atmosphere, but so does Middle Tennessee. Middle Tennessee is a great college town. They have a successful program lead by a successful, great coach. Furman is great too. Everything outside of football makes you want to go there."
Mullens had a huge performance in Spain Park's 34-13 victory aainst Oak Mountain on Friday night. Mullens was 40-46 for 322 yards and three touchdowns, setting a new career high. He shared his thoughts on a stellar performance.
"You don't really think about it when you are playing," said Mullens. "You just keep playing the game and make the best decision for your team. It's a pretty good feeling to know that you played well and did your job, that's what I did on Friday. Preparation is really what it is. I told my brother before the game that I was the most prepared than ever before.
"I watched the film intensely, and I studied the defense. I took advantage of player match-ups and made the best decision I could make. A lot of my receivers made plays that got a lot of yardage. Focusing on the right decision and calling the right plays, that's what made the most success."
Mullens spoke of how a career high night will transcend into the next game.
"Just continue to strive to get better," he said. "It's my job to take care of the ball and complete it. Just making sure we are motivated to play. I need to keep working on decision making, you can always get better. There are always plays that I can be better at. Just leading my team, I can always improve on that."
With a win this Friday, Spain Park can hopefully clinch their region championship and playoff bound.