By Mitch Stephens
When the dust finally settled on one of the craziest National Signing Days and recruiting years in recent memory, only one of the nation’s top 100 recruits had not signed or committed.
And that was at the very top.
Jeannette (Pa.) remarkable two-sport, multi-talented, quarterback Terrelle Pryor said Wednesday he needs more time to make his decision.
With a national and local media waiting on his every breath, the MaxPreps 2007 National Player of the Year and CSTV’s No. 1 recruit said that his quick transition from football to basketball – he recently scored his career 2,000th-point in basketball – delayed his college decision-making.
He said Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon – a school he has yet to visit – are still his top choices. He has until April 1 when the letter of signing intent period ends. He enters a “dead period” where he can call coaches at any time but they can only contact him once a week.
“It’s basically a jump ball,” Pryor told CSTV. “The coaches and recruiters have spent a lot of time in their interest in me and I want to return that time in making the best decision.”
Pryor said that Penn State spent the most time trying to woo him and that his father’s top choice is indeed the Nitany Lions. But the 6-foot-6, 230-pound athlete, who accounted for 3,691 yards of total offense and 54 touchdowns his senior year while leading his team to a first state title still isn’t convinced.
Pryor wasn’t the only Top 100 recruit who made news conferences to announce their college plans on Wednesday.
CSTV’s No. 2 recruit, St. Bonaventure (Ventura, Calif.) running back Darrell Scott said he’s going to Colorado and No. 3 Julio Jones, a receiver from Foley (Ala.) picked Alabama.
Scott picked Colorado over Texas, while Jones chose the Crimson Tide over a handful of Southern schools: Florida, Florida State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma..
“It was a very hard decision,” Scott said. “I finally decided Tuesday night and I’m going to stick with my decision. I’m very happy with it.”
Scott said he was leaning toward Texas most of the way, but then “Colorado just snuck in there. I think the opportunity to start there right away was attractive. I want to go there and shake things up.”
Jones, the nation’s top receiver who had 68 catches for 1,181 yards and 16 touchdowns in 11 games in 2007, is the most sought-after player from the Mobile (Ala.) region since JaMarcus Russell (Williamson).
“Alabama just felt like home,” Jones said. “It’s where I felt most comfortable.”
Other top 100 recruits who made their announcements in the last 24 hours included:
No. 25 defensive lineman Quinton Coples (Hargrave Military Academy
) to North Carolina
No. 27 Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.
) defensive back T.J. Bryant to USC
No. 37 defensive end Nick Perry (King, Detroit, Mich.
) to USC
No. 60 offensive lineman Antione McClain (Anniston, Ala.
) to Clemson.
No. 69 Gadsden City (Gadsden
) linebacker Jerrell Harris to Alabama
No. 72 offensive lineman Josh Jenkins (Parkersburg
) to West Virginia
No. 73 defensive back/linebacker Ramon Buchanan (Melbourne
) to Miami
No. 84 Fort Dorchester (North Charleston
) defensive lineman Robert Quinn to North Carolina
Buchanan and Perry actually switched, de-committing from Florida and Michigan, respectively. The changes reflected a growing trend of de-commitments that has dominated recruiting news the last 48 hours.
Among those to change their minds: Crespi (Encino, Calif.) quarterback Kevin Prince (Washington to UCLA), Skyline (Dallas, Texas) defensive back Keanon Cooper (Texas Tech to Minnesota), La Vergne (Tenn.) defensive lineman Collins Ukwu (Middle Tennessee State to Kentucky), Lake Gibson (Lakeland, Fla.) offensive lineman Ricky Barnum (Florida to Michigan), Trotwood-Madison (Trotwood, Ohio) receiver Roy Roundtree (Purdue to Michigan), Sanford (Fayetteville, N.C.) tight end D’Wayne Allen (Georgia to Clemson) and Jackson Central-Merry (Jackson, Tenn.) linebacker Gavin Hardin (Mississippi to Miami).
Among CSTV’s top 100 recruits, the biggest winner was Notre Dame with 11 players (No. 8, 13, 19, 31, 35, 51, 61, 76, 86, 90 and 99) followed by Oklahoma (No. 7, 38, 39, 47, 63, 67, 87), Ohio State (No. 10, 11, 43, 50, 53, 83, 93) and USC (No. 18, 27, 33, 37, 42, 45, 52), with seven. .
Other colleges with Top 100 recruits:
6 – Alabama
(No. 3, 26, 49, 54, 69, 89); Michigan
(No. 29, 44, 48, 58, 79, 91); Florida (No. 15, 34, 41, 65, 68, 88).
5 – Miami
(No. 4, 5, 21, 36, 73).
Florida State (No. 6, 16, 84); LSU (No. 9, 67, 75); Georgia (No. 12, 46, 59); Clemson (No. 14, 60, 95); Pittsburg
(No. 20, 24, 96); Texas (No. 23, 71, 92).
2 – Colorado
(No. 2, 97); North Carolina
(No. 25, 84); Virginia Tech (No. 32, 81); Maryland
(No. 62, 77); North Carolina State
(No. 70, 80); Illinois
(No. 94, 98).
Southern Mississippi (No. 17); Arizona State
(No. 22); North Carolina
(No. 25); Stanford (No. 28); Nebraska (No. 30); Missouri (No. 40), Washington (No. 55); UCLA (No. 56); Texas A&M (No. 57); Tennessee (No. 61); West Virginia (No. 72); Ole Mississippi (No. 74); Penn State (No. 78); BYU (No. 100).
Of the top 100, eight were quarterbacks, seven running backs, 19 wide receivers, 20 offensive linemen, six tight ends, 11 defensive linemen, 14 linebackers and 15 defensive backs.
For CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming's complete Top 100 list, CLICK HERE.
Recruiting notes: Following up on a bizarre recruiting tale out of Nevada, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported Wednesday that Fernley (Nev.) offensive lineman Kevin Hart admitted he made up his entire commitment to Cal. The Gazette-Journal originally reported Friday that Hart announced at a school assembly he had picked Cal over Oregon. University officials confirmed however that neither school had made him offers. … One of the country’s top running back and MaxPreps All-American Milton Knox (Birmingham, Lake Balboa, Calif.) will make his college announcement his tonight. Knox had verbally committed to UCLA but there is speculation he will switch schools, reportedly to Notre Dame, because of UCLA’s coaching shuffle.
E-mail Mitch Stephens at email@example.com.