Terry Longbons talk commitment

The Wildcat football team served notice that they aren't going to concede the Grand Canyon State's top players to ASU. The Sun Devils have done a better job landing homegrown talent, but with the verbal commitment of Terry Longbons the Wildcats have one of the state's best.

The general consensus is that Centennial RB Terry Longbons is the second best player in the state. He has been trying to decide between the Wildcats and Sun Devils, but settled on the team to the south and pledged to the Wildcats.

Longbons admitted that he has been favoring the Wildcats for awhile but felt that now was the time to make it official.

My teammate Jordan Lowe committed and I like Xavier Smith and all of the coaches," Longbons said. "I've had them in mind for some time and it seemed like time to commit."

Smith is another running back. The Cats told their recruits that they would only add two running backs and when Smith committed last week it left a lone scholarship for another runner and the Wildcats made it clear that it was first come, first serve for the slot. Longbons did not want to risk not landing the scholarship and he made the decision.

"So many of these players have already committed," he said. "I knew they had just one more spot and I wanted it."

In addition to Lowe and Smith's presence next year, Longbons felt more at ease with the Wildcat players and the school as a whole.

"It is the overall feel of the school," Longbons said of Arizona's edge over ASU. "It just felt nice, comfortable."

Longbons has been to campus several times. He has met several players, but his future competition is one of his favorites.

"I've met Mike Bell," Longbons said. "We took a few pictures together, which was cool. He's a really nice guy."

The coaches have told Terry that he will be chasing Bell next season. They told the runner that he has a shot to play right out of the gate. Of course their star running back will get all the reps, but Longbons could challenge some of the current running backs for carries.

"They told me I could play a little behind Bell," he said. "With some work I could play a little."

Longbons has a mix of strength and quickness. He obviously knows his way around a weight room, but hasn't forgotten how to run either.

"I'm a north/south runner," Longbons said. "I have both power and speed."

Longbons rushed for over 2,000 yards last season and is about 2,500 away from the state record. He makes no bones about the fact that he'd like to own the record.

Sun Devil fans are not happy. They have been burning up message boards after the news of Terry's decision coming down. To make matters worse, the Wildcats have commitments from three in-state players, while the Sun Devils have no known commitments at all.

Longbons expects some local folks to give him a hard time. In fact some of his high school teammates have already started.

"A few have started," Longbons said. "They were just messing around today."

Longbons has been in the media glare for some time. Today he had a number of papers at his practice and fielded calls from reporters all day. He knows the attention will not go away, but it should lessen.

"I'm kind of glade it will die down," he said "I'm glad it will be more calm. Now I can focus on football."

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com

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