FAU cuts short a recruiting visit by Atlantic High's Keith Bryant
Sunday, February 03, 2013
by Matt Porter
It's rare that a player as highly recruited as Atlantic High defensive tackle Keith Bryant asks to visit Florida Atlantic. That's why FAU sent four coaches, including head coach Carl Pelini, to Bryant's school Thursday to determine if he was serious.
Bryant "said all the right things" in that meeting, according to sources. But once he and a teammate arrived on campus, FAU determined that Bryant wasn't sincere.
On Saturday, FAU asked Bryant and Atlantic defensive end Todney Evans to go home, cutting short their official visit by a day. Sources said FAU considered the pair disrespectful of the university's "time, money and resources."
FAU's decision was first reported by OwlAccess.com.
FAU coaches grew uneasy Friday night when Bryant and Evans told them they would be late checking into their hotel room. The next morning, they showed up late for a team breakfast. That's when they were told to check out and leave.
"We have no hard feelings," an FAU source said, noting that a member of Bryant's immediate family called a member of the coaching staff to apologize. "We have moved on."
Bryant, 6-foot-3 and 305 pounds, has entertained offers from schools including Southern Cal, UCLA and Oklahoma, as well as Miami and Florida State. He said he wanted to "do something different" by touring FAU, which finished 3-9 (2-6 Sun Belt) last season and will join Conference USA this fall.
High school seniors are allowed up to five official college visits, which are paid for by the school.
In visiting FAU, Bryant said part of his intention was to help his friend Evans, a 6-4, 210-pound defensive end, land a scholarship offer. A source said the Owls are no longer interested in Evans.
Bryant said he regrets visiting FAU because he could have visited a higher-profile school in advance of national signing day, which is Wednesday.
"I thought it'd be a fun experience," he said. "I wanted to do something different than anyone else."
Bryant is most interested in Florida State and Miami. He
said he will put a Florida Atlantic hat on his signing-day table, but is "not going to pick it up."
NCAA regulations bar colleges from publicly discussing unsigned recruits, but Pelini said "character is a big part" of his program's evaluation process. He said conduct on official visits is also part of the evaluation.
Pelini said he welcomes any high-profile player who wants to see his school.
"You can't read people's minds," he said. "We're going to recruit the best players we can and show them who we are."
Estime opts for Orange: Atlantic defensive back Brisly Estime orally committed to Syracuse during his official visit. ... Ex-Boca Raton running back Keith Byars II, who is spending this school year at Milford Academy in New York, pledged to Purdue. ... Western Kentucky received an oral commitment from Royal Palm Beach defensive back De'Andre Simmons. ... Lou Groza High School Place-Kicker of the Year finalists Tyler Bugeja (Royal Palm Beach) and Greg Joseph (American Heritage) both found college destinations. Bugeja accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Marshall. Joseph verbally committed to FAU.
082212 (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post) DELRAY BEACH - Keith Bryant, DT, Atlantic High School, participates in preseason practice.