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February 1, 2011

Steward closes in on decision

NOTES: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

As the final hours tick away before star high school senior football players can sign with their future schools, the pressure mounts on those still trying to decide.

In his final interview with Tigerillustrated.com before he announces on National Signing Day, five-star linebacker Tony Steward discussed what he'll base his decision on in the coming hours.

"I'm going to pick the school where I'll do best at and feel the most comfortable," Steward told Tigerillustrated.com Monday evening. "I'm going to a place where I'm really going to be able to grow up at and be able to enjoy my college career."

The St. Augustine (Fla.) Pedro Menendez product talked with coaches from both Clemson and Florida State on Sunday and again on Monday.

"I talked to (Clemson wide receivers) coach (Jeff) Scott and he said the same thing a lot of coaches told me," Steward said. "They have a need for linebackers. If I come there they will take good care of me and do what's best for me.

"I talked to (FSU defensive line) coach (Odell) Haggins and he said they are a big family there. He told me to pray about the situation."

He'll make the choice on Tuesday.

"Yes it will happen then," Steward said.

The public announcement will occur a day later. The nation's No. 1 outside linebacker will choose either the Seminoles or the Tigers at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Brissett may wait

West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer four-star QB Jacoby Brissett took an official visit to Miami last weekend, and his mother told CaneSport.com that he would likely have a final decision in place by tonight.

And Brissett's coach, Jack Daniels, told CaneSport that the announcement of that decision may not come on National Signing Day.

"He may do it Friday at the basketball game because it's senior night," Daniels said.

If Brissett does decide to do it Wednesday, the Media Center at Dwyer High will no doubt be packed for the 11 a.m. signing ceremony already scheduled for the rest of the team.

Daniels said Brissett was nearing a final decision as of early Monday. He's choosing among Miami, Florida and Wisconsin.

More recruiting notes

Baltimore (Md.) Gilman athlete Darius Jennings is still trying to choose a time and place to make his announcement, much less his future school. Jennings is down to Ohio State, Virginia and Wake Forest, and has yet to determine a time or place. But he knows his decision will come on Wednesday. He has talked things over with his coach and family, but still hasn't made up his mind.

Alief (Texas) Hastings defensive tackle Christopher Cormier will be visiting Miami in a couple of weeks and he might take a trip to Tulsa after that. There's also a chance he could visit Mississippi State. The 6-foot-2, 315-pound lineman is claiming offers from Missouri and Miami. For now Missouri leads, but Cormier admits that could change because he has never visited Miami and he could be a late addition to the Miami class.

Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic defensive tackle Marquise Wright is still planning on announcing his decision on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and he's not tipping his hand. On Monday he said Rutgers has distance working in its favor, while Michigan State's campus is the Spartans' best selling point. Wright acknowledged some pressure of late, but said there has been pressure from both schools. He's saying he could go either way but most feel he is pretty much a lock for Rutgers and has actually been telling others to commit with him to the Scarlet Knights.

Defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds from Washington (D.C.) St. John's College maintains he's considering his final four of Kansas State, Mississippi State, Syracuse and UCLA. He has an announcement planned for approximately 10:30 a.m. on National Signing Day, while at the USA vs. The World Game in Austin, Texas.

Juda Parker loved his official visit to Colorado in late January so much and realized it was the place for him, so waiting until National Signing Day to make his commitment seemed futile. The Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis defensive end wanted to get the word out that the Buffaloes were the team for him.

Byron Moore, the four-star defensive back from Wilmington (Calif.) Los Angeles Harbor C.C., committed to Tennessee over Miami on Monday night. He gave the Volunteers a big boost in the recruiting rankings heading into National Signing Day.

C.J. Anderson knows about the California running backs tradition and the Oakland (Calif.) Laney College standout wanted to be a part of it. When he got his chance to commit on his official visit last weekend, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound back did not hesitate.

Puka Lopa visited Cal last weekend and the Golden Bears have to be considered one of his favorites. But the Sacramento (Calif.) Grant defensive end said he's holding off on making an announcement until National Signing Day. The thinking is that since Lopa and Grant teammate Viliami Moala, a Cal pledge, are close friends, that they're going to go to the same college. Lopa said that's not necessarily the case. Cal is high on his list but he's also strongly considering Oregon State and UCLA.

Dade City (Fla.) Pasco safety Jamie Byrd was set for Boise State, but that was before a new school emerged. After listening to the pitch from a national power, Byrd opted to take a visit and made a last minute switch.

"I did visit TCU this weekend," Byrd said. "I am decommitted from there (Boise State). I am planning to sign with TCU on Wednesday."

Several schools in the Big 12 region are still going after each other's commits. Tulsa got in-state defensive end Derrick Alexander to switch from Louisiana-Monroe but apparently lost Texas wide receiver Chaz Sampson to North Texas as well. North Texas also convinced cornerback Freddie Warner to switch from Texas Tech, although the Red Raiders did not put up much of a fight as he is likely headed the junior college route.

Dallas (Texas) Seagoville three-star tight end Andrew Peterson is still in a holding pattern. After cancelling a weekend visit to Miami, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound prospect will decide among Arkansas, Texas A&M and Utah. The decision will likely come on signing day.

It's starting to look like Jesup (Ga.) Wayne County lineman Tre Jackson may wait until after national signing day to pick a school. Until last week, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder was a Georgia Tech commit. But that offer was pulled after Jackson decided to visit Florida State. Meantime, several other schools - Alabama, Florida, Miami and North Carolina State - also have entered the picture, adding further complexity to the situation. All apparently are recruiting Jackson as an offensive lineman. Jackson recently visited FSU, but the Seminoles might not have room for him (that's still to be determined). Some schools - his coach won't say which ones - may offer Jackson the chance to grayshirt, but that's not something he wants to do. So for now, the plan is to wait things out and see which teams have openings, and go from there.

Brenham (Texas) defensive end Brandon Alexander took his fifth and final official visit to Arkansas over the weekend. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound defender has been quiet throughout the recruiting process and nothing has changed on that front. Brenham head coach Glen West confirmed that the team would be having a signing day ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday and that Alexander would be part of it. The three-star defender had mentioned letting each coaching staff know of his intentions on Monday evening but it does not appear he did so. Arkansas, Baylor, TCU, Texas and Texas A&M are the five finalists.

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