Photo Credit: Kory Booth (flickr)
The news was spreading through message boards early today and now it looks like it has hit the traditional media. Jon Gold from the Daily News just posted the news about Hayes Pullard heading to Southern Cal. Gold sites Brandon Huffman from Bruin Report Online, who IMHO is one of best reporters in the nation when it comes to college football recruiting world.
Still nothing is set in stone and we will have to wait till tomorrow to see how it all turns out. However, if the news turns out to be true tomorrow we should wish Pullard luck (except when he suits against UCLA) and wish him well. That said, I think there are few observations specific to this recruiting:
- Note he never committed to UCLA (even though there were rumors that he was leaning towards us) does not figuring into the current recruiting rankings.
- Last year UCLA brought in Todd Golper (4 star), Isaiah Bowens and Taniela Maka, who even though hasn't qualified yet, is project to do so this year.
- UCLA already has three LBers already committed to this year's class: Aramide Olaniyan (4 star), (4 star) and Eric Kendricks (3 star). Obviously Bruins are still in it for Jordan Zumwalt. So the Bruins do have a bit of a logjam at this spot, while the Trojans didn't have any LB committed to this year's class.
- Not worried how Pullard's recruitment will impact the wooing of DeAnthony Thomas, his team-mate from Crenshaw High, who already is a bit of legend known as the "Black Mamba." If sanctions come down from the NCAA and the Pullards and rest of the current recruiting class gets completely ticked off (if they feel they were shortchanged by Kiffin's pitch on the recruiting trail), Kiffin's credibility IMHO as a recruiter in Southern California scene is going to take a bigger hit.
I mean consider what has been taking place during the 24 hour cycles during last few days. How can anyone get worked up about what happens after tomorrow and next signing day. Meanwhile, obviously there is still time left till tomorrow and knowing Rick Neuheisel, he is not going to give up till the last minute.
The news above is not exactly earth shattering considering the talent Bruins have been slowly piling up at that position. If the Trojans were looking for a big surprise victory over UCLA that is all but gone given the cat is already out of the bag (they haven't had a lot of them in recent weeks).
As for the other guys, good news from the MidWest re. Derrick Bryant:
Columbus (Ohio) Brookhaven defensive end, Derrick Bryant, has been committed to UCLA since the fall. This past weekend, Bryant visited Oregon officially. We spoke with Bryant on Tuesday morning and he said while he liked his trip to Oregon, he will still be signing with the Bruins tomorrow.
Meanwhile, former Trojan commit Giovanni Di Poalo is making his announcement the old fashioned way:
Giovanni Di Poalo, the #4-ranked center nationally by Scout.com, and a long time USC commit, has opened things back up and it's between USC and UCLA, where he officially visited last weekend, and where his grandfather played. Di Poalo will make his final decision on Wednesday morning, but will not have a press conference. According to Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure coach Todd Therrian, Di Poalo will simply fax in his letter to either the Trojans or the Bruins, but no announcement will be made publicly.
While I personally admire kids like Giovoanni, Anthony Barr doing this the old fashioned way, I also understand why others partake the in the celebratory ceremony around them. I just can't fault a kid for wanting to have a big moment for something they have worked so hard for.
The update from Giovanni and Bryant came from Scout.com's "Road To Signing Day Blog" which has been a pretty good source of information. It also reported Ricky Heimuli choosing between Utah and UCLA. We already kind of knew that was going to be a nail biter as well. BTW SBNation.com also has a solid stream of signing day news in its mothership.
Either way I think it is going to be a pretty fun day. Even if we don't get all of our remaining targets, we will have to look at the big picture once it all shapes up tomorrow. I really like where we are even with this Pullard story from today.