Atlantic's Keith Bryant biggest blue chip left on Big Board
Thursday, January 24, 2013
by Jeff Greer
All-American defensive tackle Keith Bryant, shown in a preseason practice, remains one of the few top players who haven't committed to a college as National Signing Day nears. (Photo by Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
Nobody's having more fun with the recruiting process than Atlantic's All-American defensive tackle Keith Bryant.
He wore a head-to-toe Miami sweatsuit to an area high school football game last fall and drove the Hurricanes' faithful wild -- until photos of him in Florida State gear hit the Internet. He even tweeted "SemiVolCaneTiger" on Jan. 16 just for the heck of it.
Twelve days remain until college football's national signing day, and the fun, frenetic and funky days of recruiting are officially here. Bryant and six of the area's other top 25 prospects haven't pledged to a college yet, and many of the already-committed players still have coaches trying to change their minds.
Alabama coach Nick Saban came to town this week, as did Florida's Will Muschamp, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and Arkansas' Bret Bielema, among countless others.
Some, like Muschamp and Kelly, simply come to secure class of 2013 commitments and start early on 2014 prospects. Others, namely Bielema, still need a few more boosts to their program's incoming class.
With nationally recognized running backs Kelvin Taylor (enrolled at Florida) and Greg Bryant (a firm Notre Dame commitment) out of the picture, the area's biggest remaining fish is Bryant, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound prospect who played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Miami and Florida State have long been duking it out for Bryant's pledge, and he's declared both of them as his favorite at one time or another. Now the SEC is involved.
Spurrier on Thursday visited Bryant, and Bryant plans to visit South Carolina's campus this weekend. LSU and Alabama are fighting to be the destination for Bryant's final campus visit.
Bryant won't pick a school until signing day on Feb. 6, when his decision will be broadcast live on ESPN. Until then?
"Anything can happen," he said.
Bryant's Atlantic teammate, Brisly Estime, may be even more elusive than Bryant. Estime, the Post's large schools defensive player of the year, has committed and decommitted from both Iowa State and Purdue. Arkansas, North Carolina State and Syracuse are all after him now, and at one point or another over the past week, each appeared to be the leading contender for Estime's signature.
Bielema and his Arkansas staff have hit Palm Beach County hard, offering scholarships to Suncoast defensive tackle Ke'Tyrus Marks and American Heritage athlete Marcus Davis. Estime will likely receive an Razorbacks offer soon.
Marks will visit Arkansas this weekend and may commit before he returns home. Davis, who would play cornerback at Arkansas, will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 1. He's headed this weekend to Auburn, which offered him a scholarship on Wednesday.
Seminole Ridge running back Silas Spearman ran for 1,258 yards and 11 touchdowns in Florida's largest classification, and recruiters noticed. Once Boston College's admissions office says Spearman would academically qualify, Addazio, who was Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator at Florida, will visit Spearman and likely offer him a scholarship.
Spearman, like Davis, Marks and most of the other available area prospects, probably will commit to a school before national signing day.
But Bryant, ever the pro, will wait until the afternoon on signing day, after most of the nation's seniors will have sent their signed letters of intent.
He may place four hats on the table, or maybe there'll be five, or 10, or 20. Nobody knows. He's having too much fun to tell anyone.