DB Sheldon Royster of Jersey City, NJ will announce his college decision next Monday his coach said Monday. Royster is down to USC, North Carolina and Rutgers. He will visit North Carolina this weekend. “He’s done his homework and is on the right path,” Rich Hansen said. “He’s looking at the geography, BCS, style (of play), the recruiting class, and his comfort level with the staff.” Hansen couldn’t say if Royster had a favorite going into his final visit but indicated USC is strong with him. “He had a great trip there and enjoyed himself,” the coach said. “He’s excited about it. But he’s going to North Carolina with an open mind.” Royster will make that trip by himself. Hansen said he, Royster and Royster’s mother will get together and make the decision on the school. No plan has been made yet as to how they will announce his choice.
DB Pat Martin (6-0 192) of J.L. Mann is committed to Tennessee but had official visits scheduled to Arkansas and Miami, as well as Tennessee. He will no longer visit the Razorbacks or Hurricanes. “It’s just Tennessee now,” said Martin. “I talked to coach (Terry) Joseph (Volunteers recruiting coordinator) he broke it down for me. He says it would cause too many problems so I wanted to show my loyalty to Tennessee.” Martin will take his official visit to Tennessee this weekend. “There is going to be a lot of people there so I am looking forward to it,” he said. As for the others schools continuing to contact him he says they have been respectful. “I let them know that I’m not going to visit them and that I’m fully committed to Tennessee,” he said. “They don’t talk to me anymore.”
DB Geraldo Orta (6-0 180) of Valdosta, GA will take and official visit to Tennessee this weekend and Clemson the following weekend. These are the only two schools he is now considering. Orta, previously a Clemson commit, had been favoring Tennessee, but now says the two schools are even. He says that Wake Forest and Maryland have remained in contact with him but are not a factor. Most recently, Orta spoke with coach Eric Russell of Tennessee last night and heard from assistant coach Danny Pearman of Clemson last week. He says he will commit following the Clemson visit and will not wait until National Signing Day. Orta was unsure of the exact date he will make his decision public.
Junior defensive end Martin Aiken (6-3 245) of Bamberg-Erhardt was given a verbal offer Monday by Tennessee according to his coach Butch Crosby. Aiken also has verbal offers from Georgia Tech and Illinois. Official offers to juniors can not be made until September. This past season Aiken had 106 tackles with 36 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. He also plays on the offensive line.
Former USC signee LB Brandon Golson (6-2 218) has decided to enroll at Louisville. Golson and his former coach at Calhoun County Walt Wilson will drive to Louisville early Monday morning so Golson can enroll in classes. Golson made an unofficial visit to Louisville last Wednesday and Thursday after learning USC would not admit him. He also made an official visit to Miami over the weekend. But his familiarity with Louisville head coach Charlie Strong as well as with the Cardinals linebacker coach Brian Jean-Mary led him to decide on Louisville.
It’s late in the process to start setting official visits, but that’s the case with DB Ahmad Christian of Jacksonville, FL. Christian said a combination of his baseball schedule and not completing the Clearinghouse paperwork is why he has no visits on the calendar. That should change soon as he plans to get with coaches this week to get some dates set. In fact, he’s planning to visit Louisville this coming weekend with his teammate Andrew Buie. Christian talked with USC recruiter Steve Spurrier Jr. about setting a visit. He’s also looking at Miami, Florida and Auburn. Coaches from Louisville and Southern Miss have been in to see Christian who can play corner and safety. He does not have a favorite.
After losing the commitment of DB Thomas Finnie of Miami to Miami late last week, USC continued to contact him with the hope of getting him in for a visit. Finnie was supposed to arrive at USC this past weekend for his official visit and enroll in school Monday. But Friday morning he and his father drove to the Miami campus and he committed to Hurricanes coach Al Golden. Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier had to cancel out on the in home visit with Finnie and his family last Wednesday and that contributed to the decision to de-commit. Spurrier did talk with Finnie on the phone Friday. “He said he understood everything,” Finnie said. “He was trying to get me to come on a visit, but I don’t think I’m going to take any more.” Finnie said there’s no hard feelings from him toward USC or the coaches. “Coach (Jeep) Hunter, he’s a good coach and he didn’t do anything wrong. I just had a change of heart.” Finnie said Miami was where he always wanted to go and when Golden came in with the offer, he couldn’t turn it down.
WR Hakeem Flowers (6-3 189) of Wade Hampton will make his decision publicly on January 23rd at his school. He has set the time for 7:15 p.m. “Right now, my favorites are Oregon, LSU, and Michigan,” said Flowers. Flowers has already taken an official visit to Michigan but is a little unsure of any other trips he could take. His plans to visit Oregon may not pan out. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it out there,” he said. “It’s not that big of a deal though because I’ve already been there before.” The schools showing the most interest in him are Michigan, Michigan State, and NC State. He has a visit to NC State tentatively scheduled for January 14th. “It’s not written down or nothing [sic], so we’ll see what happens,” said Flowers. “I want to go.” He did not name a favorite.