According to Wayne Lyons' mother, Gwen, her son had nearly 50 schools after him last season. Lyons waited until after the spring season to narrow down his schools of interest. He wanted to attract as many programs as possible to Dillard High's practices so as to help his teammates get looks.
"It's Hollywood at UCLA. That's what got my attention," he smiled and laughed. "But, for real, they got a good academic background, as well."
(As for Stanford), "Nothing like going to an ivy league school and playing big D-1 football. That's everybody's dream right there. Best of both worlds."
And the Wolverines?
"They have a big alumni base. A big football base. Everybody loves Michigan football, the Big House. The biggest college stadium in football. Every game brings out 110,000 fans. Who wouldn't want to play for that?"
When asked if the head coaching change at Michigan or the tentative plans of Jim Harbaugh would affect his decision, Lyons replied, "I've had 2 or 3 coaching changes in high school and I made it just fine. It's a school you have to choose- not a coach. That's how I feel… If the school is good and you fit in with the school and all the players, everything's good."
Because Dillard High has had several head coaching changes in the last decade, Gwen said it has chased football players away from the school.
"People were transferring, leaving, not coming. It was bad," said Lyons. "It's still bad."
Fed up with losing local talent, Lyons decided to take action.
He started a mentorship program his junior year which pairs juniors on Dillard's roster with eighth graders at junior highs in and around Fort Lauderdale. The pairs interact together, doing everything from running through football drills, discussing high school and what it's like- to competing in video games, or shooting hoops.
Lyons' hope is to create a relationship with the youth, so as to add a draw to Dillard- that way when the eighth graders hit high school they will have a senior buddy. Lyons said the program also helps keep youth out of trouble.
He said he hopes a younger teammate will take over leadership of the program next year, but adds he doesn't know what will happen. "It's a tough situation," said Lyons.
Until then, he is focused on the all-star game this weekend and his commitment.
Stay tuned for announcement.