"I'm still fully committed to BYU." That was the word New Year's Eve from budding Cougar superstar Eddie Scipio, the 5-10, 175 pound Allan Hancock Junior College sensation that committed to BYU without ever speaking to a single Cougar coach.
In an interesting turn of events, he received an unsolicited scholarship offer letter out of the blue from BYU and he responded "Yes." Scipio even asked a TotalBlueSports.com editor when we broke the story July 12 for suggestions on how to contact BYU coaches to let them know he was trying to reach anyone by phone to verbally commit to the Cougars.
Since then, two BYU assistant coaches maintain weekly contact. "I talk to Coach (Barry) Lamb and Coach (Brian) Mitchell a lot, at least once a week." And they have good reason to.
Since he "blew up" this past season at Allan Hancock College, Scipio has been inundated with a great deal of recruiting attention from coaches at Kansas State, Washington, Michigan State, Washington State, Oregon, California, Arizona State and Temple (near his hometown). He checked them all out and only Kansas State has persisted. He plans a recruiting trip to their campus Jan. 23, about 12 days before official Letter of Intent day.
Therein lies the private concern and hand-wringing by Cougar coaches, eager to secure their No. 1 recruit who doubles as a defensive star and special teams anomaly: Think Dante Hall of the Kansas City Chiefs. Scipio is the type of immediate impact player BYU has scarcely -- if ever -- seen.
"Even though I'm taking a trip to Kansas State, nothing has changed. I'm still fully committed to BYU. The coaches have been real honest and straight forward. I really like Coach Crowton a lot. He's a great guy; real energetic and cares about his players."
In his last interview with TBS, Scipio maintained, "BYU is still my No. 1 choice right now. I verbally committed to them and I stand by that, but I'm still looking at other schools as my options have increased. I want to look over all my options and go from there, but BYU is still my top choice."
His head coach, Chris Dutra, said that "Eddie is a wonderful player, a great athlete and a fine young man. He's easily one of the top JC cornerback recruits to come out of California this year, if not the top. Any school will be lucky to have him."
For this part, Scipio adds: "I love BYU's defense and I know that I would have a great chance to play right away, but Kansas State is saying that as well, along with some of the others."
"I really like Kansas State. I like their program and I like what they have to offer. It will all depend on how comfortable I feel there, in comparison to BYU, and how likely I am to contribute right away. They've told me that I could do just that (play immediately.)
I want to decide before (LOI day) to be fair to those who are recruiting me. I will talk it over a lot with my father and go from there. My decision will be made, in large part, in regards to how my father feels and what he thinks," he said.
A speedster from Bethlehem, PA, who held the Pennsylvania state high school record in the 200 meters and was timed at 10.92 in the 100 meters, Scipio told TBS in July his father was a key reason for his unexpected verbal commitment to BYU.
"My father had a lot to do with it. He feels that BYU would be a great place for me to play since it's a great school and has good standards. When considering BYU, I have to agree with my father," he said.
Contacted at his Pennsylvania home back then, his father, Edward, said, "Eddie will succeed wherever he goes. He's as good of a football player as they come. He'll be a great asset to BYU as a player and as a person. I couldn't be more proud of him."
A lot of Scipio's friends initially warned him he would not be able to drink and party at BYU. His response was, "That sounds like the perfect place for me. I don't drink or party, so I'll fit right in. I want to go to a school where I can fully concentrate on my academics and football, so BYU is the perfect place for me."
Scipio also received numerous post season high school awards in basketball and football. His football accomplishments include All-State his senior year; Conference MVP; and he was named to the Big 33 All-Pennsylvania team – where Pennsylvania's top high school players play against the top players in Ohio. He was also named conference player of the year in basketball.
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