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When making a big decision, its always best to take your time and consider all your options. Cyrus Kouandjio, a highly recruited offensive lineman who played high school football locally at DeMatha, took a few days longer than most other players in the country to make his decision. And after he'd initially committed that he was heading to Auburn, Kouandjio has now reportedly signed with their conference rival Alabama. According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, Kouandjio's father indicated that his son had signed and faxed his letter of intent to Alabama.
New Mexico and Iowa were also on the list of schools being considered by Kouandjio, but in the end, family pressure may have pushed him to join the Crimson Tide. Kouandjio's brother, Arie, is already at Alabama, joining the team as a redshirt freshman last season.
Kouandjio is considered one of the top offensive line recruits in the country, and if his Facebook page is any indication, he's very excited about his decision.
"Thanks for all the love and support from the state of Alabama," Kouandjio wrote on his Facebook wall. "love all the new relationships i have made throughout this process. . but at the end of the day. . ima keep the fam together and i must say. . . . ROOLLLLL TTIIIDDDEEE!!!"
Cyrus Kouandjio reiterated today that he does not intend to make an ultimate decision about where he will attend school in the fall for at least a couple days, just one day after he announced Auburn on ESPNU, then changed his mind. In an interview at DeMatha today, Kouandjio said that he wants to "wait a little while" and that his family is pushing him to attend Alabama, where his brother Arie is an offensive lineman.
"My whole family, including my brother, wants me to go to Alabama," Cyrus Kouandjio said. "My brother called me like, 'Brah, what are you doing?'"
Cyrus Kouandjio said his brother holds "a lot" of sway over his college choice. "That's one that thing that's tough about it because he wants me to go down to Alabama a lot," he said.
When asked about why he said Auburn on ESPNU, Kouandjio said his heart told him to go there, but his brain is telling him to go to Alabama.
"My heart told me to go Auburn and it just rolled out of my tongue. And my brain is starting to kick in right now and I'm trying to have them agree right now. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to have my brain and my heart agree."
Kouandjio's father told the Tuscaloosa News that he is considering Auburn, Alabama and Iowa. However, Kouandjio said he has ruled Iowa out and that New Mexico is his third choice. He added that he has spoken to DeMatha coach Bill McGregor, Auburn coach Gene Chizik and Alabama coach Nick Saban since he changed his mind.
Kouandjio is the number one offensive lineman and number four overall recruit in the country according to Rivals.com.
The Cyrus Kouandjio indecision train rolls on. One day after the DeMatha offensive lineman announced he was heading to Auburn, only to change his mind and not fax in his letter of intent, his father said that he will not be making his ultimate decision until Friday at the earliest. In addition, Iowa, a school he crossed off his list initially, is back in the picture.
Kouandjio's father, Jean Claude Kouandjio, told the Tuscaloosa News that his son still wants more time before he makes his decision.
"If he makes a decision today, you will have it tomorrow in the morning," Jean Claude Kouandjio, the father, said. "He's still confused. We keep talking with him, I don't think he's ready yet. He's the one that who wants more time."
Jean Claude Koaundjio also said that Cyrus is deciding between Auburn, Alabama and Iowa. The first two schools were long considered to be the favorites for his services, but Iowa has re-entered the picture after reports prior to Wednesday indicated it was crossed off Cyrus' list. The family met last night to consider his options, and will meet again Thursday night after Cyrus' classes.
Cyrus Kouandjio is the number one rated offensive line recruit in the country and number four overall according to Rivals. He announced on ESPNU that he was headed to Auburn, but never signed a letter of intent and began having second thoughts as soon as he made his decision. His brother, Arie, is an offensive lineman at Alabama.
We all know what's happening with Cyrus Kouandjio, the top offensive lineman prospect in the nation from DeMatha. Actually, let me rephrase that: We all know what happened with Cyrus Kouandjio, but I'm not even sure that he knows what's happening.
On National Signing Day, Kouandjio announced that he would attend Auburn, only to hold back his letter of intent while he considered other options. As far as we know, his decision will come down to Auburn, Alabama and New Mexico. The method by which Cyrus could choose which school he will attend might surprise you. According to Elton Hayes of TideSports.com, his decision might come down to a Kouandjio family vote.
The Cyrus Kouandjio saga took another turn this evening when the highly-recruited offensive lineman's father told The Tuscaloosa News that the family will vote some time tonight on the player's college destination.
Well, I guess that's one way to make the most important decision of your life. I think we already know which school his older brother Arie, currently an offensive lineman at Alabama, will vote for. So I guess it comes down Cyrus' parents. In fact, I hope it's a dead tie and it comes down to just one person who has to pick which College he goes to. That's exactly how this ridiculous drama should end.
The Cyrus Kouandjio saga rolls on as National Signing Day comes to a close. In an interview with Scout, the DeMatha product admitted that he has "big doubts" about his decision to verbally commit to Auburn on ESPNU earlier today. The interview is under a pay wall, but the quote was reproduced by Crimson Corner:
Straight from Cyrus Kouandjio, "I have big doubts about my decision. I feel like I may have made the wrong choice."#NSD
Kouandjio, the nation's number one offensive lineman recruit according to Rivals, was all set to head to Auburn after announcing his decision on ESPNU at noon. However, in the hours after the appearance, he began to have second thoughts. Reports trickled out that he had not faxed Auburn his letter of intent, and his coach at DeMatha, Bill McGregor, confirmed that fact. It appears that Kouandjio will not make his ultimate decision until tonight or even tomorrow morning.
Auburn, Alabama and New Mexico were the reported finalists for Kouandjio's services. Kouandjio's brother, Arie, is currently an offensive lineman for the Crimson Tide, which explains Alabama's initial interest. However, Arie tweeted earlier today that he was looking forward to playing against Cyrus, not with him.
National Signing Day was always going to be a challenge for Maryland because of their recent coaching change. A couple recruits, including tight end Ryan Malleck, went back on their commitments to old coach Ralph Friedgen and went to other schools. However, new coach Randy Edsall still managed to keep a number of the commitments Friedgen secured, including Jeremiah Hendy, a three-star defensive back from Bowie that decided to look at other options in December when Friedgen was fired.
Overall, Edsall secured 20 commitments, mostly from three-star players according to Rivals.com. The headliner is Nathaniel Clark, a four-star recruit from Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. However, he is the only four-star recruit in the class. The Terps also had a late addition to the list, signing Tennessee pinter Nathan Renfro to replace the graduated Travis Baltz.
In a press conference earlier today, Edsall proclaimed that while others have higher-ranking classes, that alone does not determine success on this level. Via Patrick Stevens of D1Scourse:
"People get too caught up in these rankings. ... The only ranking that really matters is what me and my staff think."
As National Signing Day winds down, Virginia Tech appears to be close to finalizing their list of 22 commitments. However, it's not nearly as impressive a class as many of their top ACC rivals, including Virginia, Florida State and Clemson.
The class is currently ranked 35th by Rivals.com and includes four four-star recruits. The four four-star recruits are defensive tackle Kris Harley (No. 3 recruit in Indiana, No. 24 DT), defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett (No. 5 in Pennsylvania, No. 18 among CBs), defensive end Corey Marshall (No. 7 in Virginia, No. 21 among DEs) and safety Ronny Vandyke (No. 8 in Virginia, No. 21 among safeties). They also stole three-star tight end Ryan Malleck away from Maryland a few days ago. Malleck broke a commitment to Maryland once Ralph Friedgen was fired.
However, it's still an underwhelming class. SB Nation's Virginia Tech blog Gobbler County did not think it was a disastrous haul, but it was still disappointing, especially considering the success Virginia had this year.
I don't think this class is as disastrous as chicagomaroon made it sound earlier this morning. However, it is a disappointing class that isn't nearly as good as those who look a little too much on the bright side are making it out to be.
We now know for sure that Cyrus Kouandjio has indeed waffled on his televised decision to commit to Auburn on National Signing Day. Kouandjio's coach at DeMatha, Bill McGregor, told Josh Barr of the Washington Post that Kouandjio has not faxed in his letter of intent and is clearly having second thoughts about his decision.
"I don't know what to say," DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "I don't know if it's a lot of drama about nothing or if he wants to change his mind."
Kouandjio, the number one offensive lineman in the country according to Rivals.com, is considering Auburn, Alabama and New Mexico as a darkhorse. He was undecided this morning, and it's clear he might still be undecided.
Kouandjio's initial reservation with signing with Alabama may have come because he plays the same position as his brother Arie, who is currently with the Crimson Tide. However, McGregor said that shouldn't be an issue, because one can switch positions. Therefore, it remains odd to McGregor that Kouandjio is still undecided.
"I'm as surprised as anyone else right now there are second thoughts," McGregor said. "Once a kid says it [in front of the camera on signing day], that's usually it. It's signing day, I've never had this happen before. You say you're going there, that's where you're going and everybody is happy."
McGregor said he will speak to Kouandjio later this afternoon about his decision.
In what can only be described as a very surprising turn of events, DeMatha offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio may not sign with anyone on National Signing Day after all. Despite announcing on ESPNU that he would sign with Auburn, reports now indicate that he will not make a final decision today.
Shane Youngblood of Rivals.com has the information:
Looks like Cyrus Kouandjio may not be signing with anyone today. Total bedlam on NSD.
The report has been confirmed as well by Andrew Bone of Scout.
@kristenkenney is uploading a video on Scout.com right now with Cyrus Kouandjio. It does not appear he will sign today. says "Big Doubts"
Kouandjio, the number one offensive line recruit and number four overall recruit according to Rivals, announced at noon today that he was headed to Auburn. However, reports later surfaced that he has yet to fax in his letter of intent, and it now appears he will continue to delay that decision. Kouandjio was deciding between Auburn, Alabama and New Mexico. If he decides to go to Alabama, he will join forces with his older brother on the offensive line.
Curtis Grant, a five-star recruit from Richmond, has decided to sign with Ohio State. The No. 1-ranked linebacker in the nation according to Rivals.com made the announcement just now, choosing the Buckeyes despite a push from Virginia and North Carolina.
"That's why I felt the most welcome," Grant said. "I liked the way they recruited me."
Grant was rumored to be headed to Ohio State for a while now, though Virginia certainly tried to get him. Mike Farrell of Rivals boldly predicted that Grant would end up with Ohio State earlier in the day, for example. Grant, for his part, kept his decision very close to the vest, declining to even inform his mother until his announcement. Earlier reports pegged him to sign with Florida, though they faded from the picture as the process continued. Once Urban Meyer left the program, Grant's recruiting was re-opened.
Grant is a linebacker from Hernatige high school in Richmond, and is one of three five-star linebackers up for grabs today. Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony both signed with Clemson earlier in the day.
After receiving some news yesterday, I'm 99.99% sure that Curtis Grant will be a Buckeye. Florida is not even an option right now. Will Muschamp and Grant never clicked, and Grant's parents were more comfortable with the three other head coaches of his finalists (Butch Davis, Mike London, and Jim Tressel) than Muschamp. But the clincher was Grant's relationship with Jim Tressel. They clicked on the official visit and Ohio State has been the team to beat ever since.
Hold the phone on Cyrus Kouandjio. Despite announcing on ESPNU that he would attend Auburn, the No. 1 offensive line recruit from DeMatha may be changing his mind on National Signing Day. According to reports, he has yet to fax his letter of intent.
Developments happening right now with Cyrus Kouandjio. He has not signed with Auburn. @kristenkenneysays this one is not over yet
Rivals.com's Shane Youngblood says there's a chance he will change his mind.
Cyrus Kouandjio has not signed his LOI and there is whispers he is hesitating on his decision. Not saying anything will change but...
ESPNU reported that Kouandjio is still "very confused" about his situation, and there's a chance he could even change his mind and head to Alabama. If he does indeed change his mind, this would certainly add a lot of flavor to the Auburn-Alabama rivalry.
Earlier this week it was reported that Hermitage linebacker Curtis Grant was leaning towards Ohio St. At other times in the recruiting process, we've heard Florida and Virginia. The problem with all this speculation is that it is just that, speculation. Nobody really knows where Curtis Grant will be signing, and that includes, apparently, his own Mother.
According to Eric Kolenich of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Grant might not even tell his Mother, Gloria, where he has decided to go before he makes his announcement, and that the decision might not be made until he is in front of the camera.
"I still feel that he's holding off to the very end [to make his decision]. He's built such a raport with these coaches," she said. "I can understand his dilemma trying to decide." . . .
Gloria said she's not sure if Curtis will tell her before he announces his decision to the world Wednesday. Throughout the entire process, Grant hasn't spoken much publically about recruiting. He's kept the information as hidden as a state secret.
"He's been trying to keep it hush-hush," Gloria said.
So if Gloria Grant doesn't know where his son is going to sign, how could any of the so-called recruiting experts? The truth is, we won't know for sure where Grant will be playing his College ball until he puts on the hat of the school he has chosen. We've seen plenty of surprises today. As far as I'm concerned, every team has about the same chance of landing him as any other in contention. I refuse to be wrong about something I can't possibly predict.
All this speculation is about as productive as using a small rodent to predict the weather. But like Groundhog's Day, I don't expect it to stop any time soon.
Cyrus Kouandjio, a five-star recruit from DeMatha, has decided to sign with Auburn. The offensive lineman made the announcement on ESPNU just now, choosing the Tigers over Alabama and New Mexico.
"I had vibes," Kouandjio said. "My heart just told me to go to Auburn."
Kouandjio decided on Auburn despite a late push from New Mexico. According to reports, Kouandjio was wearing a New Mexico hat prior to making his decision. His reported interest in New Mexico occurred late today, as prior reports pegged him to just Auburn and Alabama.
Kouandjio is the number one offensive lineman recruit in the country according to Rivals.com, and is also the number one recruit in the state of Maryland. He is the No. 4 overall recruit according to Rivals, making him one of the marquee recruits in the country today.
Alabama was the early favorite for Kouandjio because his brother, Arie Kouandjio, is currently a redshirt freshman with the team. However, Auburn entered the picture later on, with Kouandjio impressed after his last visit there.
For more, visit Track Em Tigers.
Virginia continues to add to its impressive recruiting class on National Signing Day, nabbing Dominique Terrell, an athlete from Manassas. Terrell, the No. 204 overall recruit and the No. 5 recruit in the state of Virginia, decided on the Cavaliers over Miami and West Virginia.
It remains unclear exactly where Terrell will play for the Cavaliers. He played both running back and quarterback for Osbourn High School last year, racking up 2,070 rushing yards, 1,419 passing yards and a combined 45 touchdowns. He won the Area Offensive Player of the year last season, and is a four-star recruit according to Rivals.
Terrell is the second highly-ranked athlete to sign with Virginia today. Earlier today, the team secured a commitment from Darius Jennings, a four-star recruit from Baltimore who is expected to be a wide receiver. Not bad for one of Mike London's first recruiting classes.
For more, visit Streaking the Lawn.
It looked like DeMatha defensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio would be down to SEC rivals Auburn and Alabama when he eventually makes his National Signing Day decision at noon on ESPNU. However, a darkhorse has emerged late: New Mexico, a team that finished 1-11 last season.
Yes, it's true. According to Andrea Adelson of ESPN, Kouandjio's final three teams are Auburn, Alabama and, yes, New Mexico. Despite consecutive 1-11 seasons, New Mexico coach Mike Locksley has local ties, and that may be enough to pull off a shocker and steal Kouandjio away from the SEC powers. If so, it would be a real shot in the arm for a floundering program.
Of course, it won't be the first time New Mexico pulled off a Signing Day shocker. Last year, they stole four-star defensive tackle Calvin Smith from a verbal commitment to Tennessee. In front of a live audience on ESPNU, Smith shocked everyone and chose New Mexico over Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina, taking him away when Lane Kiffin bolted to USC. In a few minutes, there's a small chance we may see a similar shocker with Kouandjio.
Cyrus Kouandjio is not the only DeMatha recruit that had a big decision to make on National Signing Day. Darian Cooper, a defensive tackle that was ranked as the sixth-highest recruit in the state of Maryland, is also a top prospect that has a decision to make. In the end, he has decided to sign with Iowa, according to Josh Barr of the Washington Post.
Cooper narrowed his college choice down to three finalists earlier in the process and eventually chose Iowa over Georgia Tech and Michigan State. It looked like it was ultimately a coin flip between the Spartans and the Hawkeyes, with Iowa winning out.
Cooper will have a chance to step in immediately and make an impact, because Iowa has a big hole on its defensive line going into next season.
Cyrus Kouandjio is the best prospect from the state of Maryland, and the premier offensive lineman in the 2011 class. In the last few weeks he has narrowed his College choices down to four; Alabama, Auburn, New Mexico and Iowa. Now as his final decision looms, Cyrus has eliminated one of those schools and is down to just three.
Try to ignore the obvious shot at the Lobos. The important news is that Iowa isn't on that list anymore. According to Josh Barr of the Washington Post, the decision will ultimately come down to Alabama and Auburn.
Kouandjio, an All-Met offensive tackle who is considered one of the nation's top prospects, is down to Southeastern Conference rivals Alabama and Auburn. His older brother, Arie, is a freshman on the Crimson Tide's squad, but McGregor was uncertain whether he Cyrus will join Arie in Tuscaloosa.
"I don't know how it's going to play out," (DeMatha coach Bill) McGregor said. "I was with him for a long time yesterday too --- let's make a decision, get on with life. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if he says Auburn tomorrow. But I don't know."
It's funny that Cyrus' recruiting comes down to two schools that hate each other with as much passion as any two in the Country. Whichever team he doesn't choose will enjoy booing him during his time at the other. Kouandjio is expected to make his announcement at Noon. We'll be covering it here, and SB Nation will have the National angle.
Virginia is expected to make a big splash on today's National Signing Day, and they are off to a good start, securing a commitment from Baltimore wide receiver Darius Jennings, according to Mike Farrell of Rivals. Jennings is ranked 191st nationally and 10th among wide receivers, according to Rivals.com.
The Cavaliers fought off a charge from Wake Forest and Ohio State to nab Jennings. The multi-talented athlete was offered the chance to play quarterback at Wake Forest, but turned it down to go to play for Mike London in Charlottesville. Virginia and Wake Forest recruited him as a wide receiver, and evidently that was okay with Jennings, even though he was a quarterback in college.
Jennings emerged as a dual threat passer and runner, winning the Maryland 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year award while playing for the Gillman School in Baltimore. He is expected to be one of several big-name recruits that choose Virginia today. The Cavaliers are in the running for Curtis Grant, the Richmond linebacker that's among the top recruits in the country.
For more, visit Streaking the Lawn.
Randy Edsall was only hired at the University of Maryland about a month ago, right at the beginning of this winter recruiting period. As a result, he didn't have much of a chance to put his stamp on this, his first class as the new head coach. The best thing Terps fans could realistically hope for was maintaining the class (although admittedly unspectacular) that Ralph Friedgen had assembled before he was shown the door.
As expected, he didn't keep everyone. But he was able to keep one of the most important players in the class, according to Eric Prisbell at the Washington Post. Bowie CB Jeremiah Hendy decided to stick with the commitment he gave the Terps last fall, and should provide immediate help for a secondary in need of playmakers.
"The first time I went up to Maryland I felt a real connection with (Defensive Coordinator Don) Brown," Hendy said. "He’s a football guy. I think he knows the game a lot. It’s amazing. Every time I go up there he’s got a new cornerback (video) cutup or a DB cutup for me to watch. I feel like we’re on the same level with the love we have for the game."
I met Jeremiah Hendy earlier this season and could see why the Terps are so excited about getting him. He has excellent size for the position, excellent athleticism, and a real passion for the game. During the practice I watched, Hendy's was the only voice I could hear motivating his teammates to give it their all, even though it was the week before a bye.
Prisbell reports that Maryland coaches told Hendy that he would be able to compete for a starting position immediately. Putting him next to Kenny Tate would give the Terps two athletic freaks in the defensive secondary. Hendy seems to be ready to go.
When asked what Terrapins fans can expect from him in the coming seasons, a grin spread across Hendy's face.
"A lot of big plays, a lot of game-changing plays," he said. "Get your popcorn ready."
Keep checking this thread for more on local Signing Day stories, and the stream over at SB Nation for the National angle.
One of the toughest things for a new coach to do is to come up with a good recruiting class in his transition year. New Maryland football coach Randy Edsall therefore has to deal with a stacked deck against him. According to many analysts, he did a decent, if not spectacular job at doing that.
The Baltimore Sun asked several recruiting experts to give their take on Maryland's incoming class, and it was described as average by several analysts.
"I think overall it's an average or below average class for Maryland this year," said Mike Farrell, national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. "I think a lot of that has to do with the instability with the coaching situation even before this year. ... When they started winning [in 2010], it was too late. Most of the kids from the state of Maryland were looking elsewhere and had already established relationships with other programs. Then you have a coaching transition on top of it, and there's absolutely no way that this class would finish in the top of the ACC."
Rivals ranked the incoming class 47th in the nation and ninth out of 12 teams in the ACC. Edsall managed to keep most of Ralph Friedgen's recruits, but did cut loose three players and lost another one, Ryan Malleck, to Virginia Tech. In response, Edsall has secured commitments from defensive tackle Keith Bowers and defensive end Quinton Jefferson. They are also likely to land Bowie cornerback Jeremiah Handy, the No. 8 recruit in Maryland.
Curtis Grant is one of if not the best linebacker in the 2011 recruiting class, and we are about 36 hours away from finding out where he will be playing his college ball. According to Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com, there are some recruiting experts that believe Grant is leaning towards the Buckeyes of Ohio State.
Rivals.com national recruiting analysts Mike Farrell is one of several recruiting experts who believes Grant will pick the Buckeyes over North Carolina, Florida and Virginia when he announces his choice at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Virginia might have just been a token inclusion in his top four because it is his home state, because I'm not sure many experts ever thought that he could actually end up there. The article also has more from Farrell on who Grant is as a player.
"This kid looks like a junior in college already and he plays like a junior in college already. He runs so fast from sideline to sideline, he closes like crazy," Farrell said. "If he goes there, he'd probably be the most athletic linebacker they've recruited over the last decade."
That's really saying something for a school lie Ohio State, who has a history of linebackers that have gone on to star in the NFL. Grant could be a big boost to their defense for the next few years, and another in the long list of Pro Bowlers from THE Ohio State University a few years down the line.
DeMatha offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio took his last official visit this weekend, but he left campus without making his collegiate decision, according to al.com.
The consensus No. 1 offensive tackle prospect in college recruiting left Auburn on Sunday without saying where he'll go to school. Cyrus Kouandjio says he'll decide by Tuesday night and sign on the dotted Wednesday.
National Signing Day is when all the top football prospects who have yet to commit to a school finally decide where they are going to spend their college career. The 2011 Signing Day is on February 2nd, and the D.C. area boasts two of the top uncommitted prospects in the Nation.
Cyrus Kouandjio of DeMatha is one of the best prospects the state of Maryland has had in the last few years. He has excellent size to play left tackle at about 6'7" and well over 300 lbs, and has well above average athleticism for his size. He is deciding between Alabama (where his brother Arie plays the same position), Auburn, Iowa and New Mexico.
Curtis Grant of Hermitage High School in Richmond is one of the top remaining defensive players on the board. He has excellent athleticism to play linebacker, and has a big 6'3" frame that he will continue to grow into. He is deciding between Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio St.
These are two guys who are set to become stars in the NCAA, and have the potential to be high picks whenever they decide to declare for the NFL draft. Keep checking this story stream for all the latest news on these to players, and any other prospects in the D.C. area, will land on Signing Day.
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