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January 21, 2011

College Football Report - Jadeveon Clowney May Be Latest to Delay College Decision:

If the name Jadeveon Clowney doesn’t ring a bell yet, get ready. It will.

Clowney, a defensive end from South Pointe high in Rock Hill, SC, is the consensus No. 1 high school football recruit in the nation, and will soon become a household name, even to the casual fan.

In a long line and continuing trend of the nation’s top recruit delaying their announcements, Clowney may be the latest.

College football’s National Signing Day is set for Feb. 2, when high school recruits can officially sign their letters of intent with a college.

The past three years, however, three No. 1 players have delayed their decisions until well after signing day. According to Clowney’s high school athletic director Michael Drummond, Clowney intends to do the same this season, waiting until at least Feb. 14, his birthday.

What it creates, besides a longer time to make a decision, is a media storm. The recruiting world immediately shifts to speculation and sole concentration towards just one player. So a reasonable thought is that the kids do it to get even more attention. national analyst Mike Farrell insists that isn’t the case with Clowney.

“In a lot of these situations, it comes down to a difference in opinion between the parents and kids,” Farrell told USA Today. “A lot of these kids wait for the attention, but Clowney isn’t one of them.”

Last year, USA Today Offensive Player of the Year Seantrel Henderson, moved his announcement and signing back to March 23. The offensive lineman from St. Paul chose USC, but when sanctions were given to the Trojans in June, Henderson backed out, was released by USC and signed with Miami (FL).

In 2009, it was Wichita running back Bryce Brown delaying his signing. Brown was a longtime verbal commitment to Miami (FL), but on March 16 signed with Tennessee. Brown has now since transferred to Kansas State where his brother plays linebacker.

Current Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor waited until March 19 when he signed with the Buckeyes in 2008. Pryor was again the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year.

The media frenzies and reality drama created by both Pryor and Brown was overwhelming to say the least.

In lies a question, in all the mess that comes with being the nation’s top recruit, though. What makes these players decisions more important, tougher or more significant than the countless number of other high school recruits who will sign Feb. 2?

One of the main reasons these recruits are able to wait is because they know the schools that are after them will surely hold a scholarship. The same should be true for Clowney.

“Everybody will wait on him,” Farrell said.

While that may be true in some cases, in the case of Brown and Miami (FL), the Miami Herald reported that the Hurricanes staff had become impatient and lost interest in the prima donna, removing Brown’s scholarship from the table.

A source close to the University told the paper – “No one player is bigger than the University of Miami.”

The leaders for Clowney appear to be Alabama and home-state South Carolina. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound “freak,” has taken official visits to both schools, but may schedule visits to others, including Auburn, Florida State and LSU following the signing period. A Jan. 28 weekend visit to Clemson is already set for Clowney.

Although a Feb. 14 signing date isn’t as strung out as the past players who’ve done the same, anyone affiliated with college football and high school recruiting can only hope that delayed signings don’t become an even bigger trend than it already is.

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