Wednesday - No. 1 Pryor Talks Commitment Differences

By Patrick Stevens - January 02, 2008


SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - Verbal commitments in football never seem secure, whereas in basketball the part of the recruiting process is more or less a definitive pledge to the college selected. No. 1 ranked senior QB Terrelle Pryor hasn't made a choice on a school yet, and part of the reason is because he still wants to play both football and basketball.

There he was, throwing a 45-yard TD bomb to end the day's 7-on-7 drills. Earlier in the day he was running by cameras and trying to get his teammates to crack up and stumble while they were being interviewed.

For the two-sport star whose list is Ohio State, Michigan, Florida, Penn State Oregon and Duke (thanks to new coach David Cutcliffe), the U.S. Army All-American Bowl serves as an interesting culmination to one high school career before he enters another at the collegiate level. The week of competition leading up to the game is the only time that he'll see all of this talent on one playing field. In hoops, it goes right along with saying that it's a whole different ballgame.

"We're playing the best of the best every weekend in AAU for basketball, so this week here is real good since we've all heard about each other and seen video of each other, but never got the chance to play against each other," Pryor said.

With the differences between the two sports comes a big part of the recruiting process that keeps your school's basketball coaches sleeping a little easier than the football ones.

Patrick Johnson, ranked No. 40 in CSTV's Tom Lemming's Class of 2008 rankings, made a big splash at the start of the All-American week when the DB announced he would no longer be committed to Miami and will now announce for LSU, Florida State or Florida on the day of the game. It was a move that came out of nowhere by what many are calling a future NFL first-rounder, but it's something that's become commonplace in the football recruiting game.

Over on the hardwood back during November's early letter-of-intent signing period, USC fans had to deal with some unsureness from No. 5 ranked senior Demar DeRozan. Missisippi State didn't get a signature from longtime verbal commitment Scottie Hopson, ranked No. 13 and claiming at the time to still be a Bulldogs pledge, but being one-of-a-kind in the respect that he said he would continue to look around.

Pryor says the football ways had an affect on him at one point. Being that he is the top dual sport talent in the land, he might know the best of whether or not the practice is spreading from one to the other.

"In my sophomore year, I committed to Pitt but then pulled back off that," he said. "It's tough. I think you're going to see it happen more and more with basketball. I can't say I know why exactly, but it seems that way. I know a couple guys playing basketball that are like us football guys and have some verbals out there, but aren't strong and are looking at other schools."

As it always is in recruiting, this week in San Antonio is no different in that it's all about whose performing the best and who's headed where.

But will basketball start to influence football with more combines popping up like there are AAU tournaments?

"I don't see that happening," Pryor said. "The physical contact is too much. These guys are huge."

And that they are, with the biggest being 6-foot-8, 300+ pounder OL Mike Adams (No. 30). He's Ohio State bound and the talk of the week.

"Mike Adams has certainly been a top five performer here this week and maybe the best of them all," CSTV Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming said.

Lemming says along with Adams, he'd rank Pryor, Johnson, RB Darrell Scott (No. 2) and WR Michael Floyd (No. 15 - Notre Dame) as the best thus far.

Who's Favored?

Tom Lemming gives his tale of the tape for Saturday's main event. Here's who he favors:

QB - West
RB - West
WR - East
TE - East
OL - West
DL - West
LB - East
Secondary - East

Lucky Gopher

College coaches aren't permitted to attend the event but one falls into a special category - father of a player.

Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster is in attedance as his son DB Nolan Brewster (No. 24 - Texas) is playing for the West.

Maybe Dad's appearance could work towards swaying his Longhorn committed son to come to Big Ten country.

The Mayor

Texas commit WR Dan Buckner (No. 95) is everywhere, with his skills and with his mouth.

"He's a beast. A freak and a physical specimen," said West coach Bob Jones of Houston, Tex. Aldine High School.

Buckner has drawn praise from players and coaches alike for his work this week.

The Lone Star local has also been giving them an earful.

During an interview for CSTV's Generation Next All-American show airing later this month, he made it a point to flash the "Hook 'Em Horns" and hung out behind the cameras and ragged on the Ohio State group of Etienne Sabino, JB Shugarts, Mike Adams and Jake Stoneburner.

For The "U"

LB Arthur Brown (No. 6 - Miami) is from Wichita, Kan. He's supposed to play with the West. Now he's caught the Hurricanes bug, so much so that he asked to play for the East with fellow Miami commit DL Marcus Forston (No. 4).
Everything's a go for fans of The U to see their future defensive staples team up on Saturday.

Game Day Announcements

Eight of the All-Americans are expected to pick their college choice during Saturday's game...

Patrick Johnson (No. 40 ranked senior, Blanche Ely High; Pompano Beach, FL): Florida, FSU, LSU

Covaughn Deboskie (Hamilton High School, Chandler, AZ): Cal, Alabama, ASU, Florida, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Clemson

Solomon Koehler (Castle High School, Kaneohe, HI): Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon State, San Diego State, USC, Washington, Colorado

MarQueis Gray (Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, IN): Michigan State, Minnesota, Central Michigan, Cinn., Indiana, Iowa and Oregon

Shayne Hale (Gateway Senior High School, Monroeville, PA): WV, Michigan, Ohio State, Virginia, LSU, ND, Pitt

A.J. Harmon (No. 60, Jefferson County High School, Louisville, GA): Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, Florida, FSU, UNC, Tennessee

Brandon Smith (New Brunswick High School, New Brunswick, NJ): Colorado, Michigan, Iowa, Louisville, NC State, Rutgers, South Carolina

Ryan Williams (No. 51, Stonewall Jackson High, Manassas, VA): BC, Rutgers, VT, NC State, ND, Pitt, Virginia


Injury Report

East Offensive Linemen Mike Brewster (No. 10 - Ohio State) and Matt Patchan (No. 84) will not play due to injuries.

Fellow East OL Kyle Long (No. 14 - Florida State) chose not to play for health concerns. He's expected to be a top draft pick in the Major League Baseball draft. Kyle is the son of former NFL All-Pro Howie Long.

Jonas Gray (No. 62 - Notre Dame) - ankle sprain; will practice tomorrow; should play saturday

TJ Bryant (No. 29) - high ankle sprain; will practice tomorrow; should play saturday

Bryce Gibbons - re-injured hand; will practice tomorrow; should play saturday


Posted by Patrick Stevens at 06:46 PM on January 02, 2008
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