The 4.9-Star Safety

Some prospects talk academics and some mean it. In the case of Wayne Lyons of Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard, he really, really, really means it. You have heard of 4-star players and 5-star players, how about 4.9 stars, as in grade point average. When Wayne Lyons says school is important to him, well, he means it. His pursuit to be the best starts in class and may mean he won't graduate early.

Wayne Lyons is an all-star safety and has the pick of college football programs at his disposal. If football wasn't around for him, he would still have the pick of schools at his disposal. His classroom ability wouldn't certainly allow him to enroll early at whatever school he chooses, however that same ability may force a choice to stay in school an extra semester.

"I may come early, but if I can't be the valedictorian then I will probably stay and finish," Lyons said of his perplexing situation.

The 4.9 GPA means he is taking a rigorous load of college level classes already. As a matter of fact, Lyons will show up at college with a year and a half of college credits under his belt. Math is what drives him along with a family of scholars.

"I should have 48 college credits done when I show up for school," he said. "I like math, I just picked up on it because my dad is an engineer and my mom was real good in school also. My sister was third in her class. She is studying Health Science (at the University of Florida)."

Five of the college programs that sit atop his list right now include Stanford, UCLA, LSU, Florida State, and Florida. He talked about each.

Stanford: "I went to Stanford last year when they played Washington. I had a good visit."

UCLA: "It is a good school. They are out there in Hollywood, and it is a good academic school."

LSU: "Coach (Billy Gonzales) is calling me from LSU. They are selling Patrick Johnson to me. They want me to come in as a safety, but if I come in early I may play some corner."

Friday Lyons visited Florida State for a one day camp. After talking with him, he was surprised at how much he enjoyed himself and was talking to the Florida State staff moments before I called.

"I was talking to them about how the camp went," he said of his conversation with the Seminole staff. "I was up there for the one day camp on Friday. I had a good time up there and knew some people up there. Coach Stoops coaches the safeties. He is a real good dude. He coaches a lot of great players and has a lot of great safeties in the league."

Lyons went with a friend from Ft. Lauderdale. Offensive lineman Bobby Hart is one prospect that is very high on Florida State.

"I had a good time with the players and went out a little bit...Bobby Hart and two of the defensive linemen," he said. "We went to a little party. Tallahassee was good, they have a good campus and a good weight room."

The visit also included a session with Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher.

"I had a good talk with Coach Fisher," Lyons said. "He said that even though they have a lot of defensive backs they really want me and I am one of their top priorities. I shouldn't let it discourage me."

He talked highly of the FSU program.

"I liked it, it is a good school," he said. "It opened my eyes because of all the guys that are already committed, they are pretty good."

There are a few ties to the University of Florida and Lyons. His sister attends school there and his parents went to school there. He gets a chance often to visit the campus.

"I was at Florida when I came by to pick up my sister about a month ago and I stopped to talk to the coaches," he said. "I talk to the coaches at Florida a lot."

Teryl Austin is Florida's new defensive coordinator and has already been big with some of the 2011 prospects with his time spent coaching in the NFL. Safety Coach Chuck Heater has also made an impression on Lyons.

"Coach Austin is a real cool dude, he's real nice and real high energy," Lyons said. "Coach Heater is a good coach also, I really like him."

Zach Azzanni recruits Broward County and is responsible for the recruitment of Lyons. Azzanni is popular among prospects as they like his sense of humor.

"Coach Azzanni...I love Coach Z," Lyons said. "I talk to him almost every day. He is a funny dude and is always joking.

Lyons gave one example of the humor Azzanni throws at the prospects.

"When I was coming back from FSU, he said 'don't tell me you stopped at the school out west'," Lyons said quoting Azzanni.

The Gators have really grown to love Lyons' ability to play football. They have explained to him exactly what they like about his game.

"They like my ability to fly around the ball and make plays on the ball," he said. "They are running a lot of nickel, because a lot of teams are passing the ball. That will get another defensive back on the field."

It is going to be a little while before Lyons makes the college choice that many are anticipating.

"I will make a decision after my five visits, I will take them during the season," he said. "I will pick the school that feels better to me, that I am more comfortable with, and feel better at."


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