On the Eve of a Decision

Saturday night before a national audience Dave Wannstedt and Rich Rodriguez met on the gridiron and Tuesday night the two were both in Monroeville, Pa., vying for the same talented four-star athlete Cameron Saddler. In less than twenty four hours Saddler will be making the toughest decision of his young life.

West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez and defensive backs coach Tony Gibson ventured to Monroeville, Pa., on Tuesday night for an in-home visit with four-star running back Cameron Saddler. The talented Gateway star is scheduled to make his college decision today at 6:00 p.m. during a press conference.

"They were here for about an hour," Saddler said. "They talked about the school and the fan base. They also talked about how good of a fit that I would be in their offense. My mom (Darlene) was firing questions at them and they were answering them all."

After West Virginia left, Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt and defensive line coach Greg Gattuso took their turn. Saddler admits that you could feel the tension.

"None of them wanted to cross paths," Saddler explained. "It was odd, but it was kind of funny. You could definitely feel the tension. The Pitt coaches waited across the street at a shopping center until the West Virginia coaches left.

"The visit with Pitt went really well," he said. "Coach Wannstedt made a great impression on my whole family. Mom was grilling him with questions and he answered them all. Those guys just make you feel so comfortable around them."

When Saddler first scheduled his announcement date he knew where he wanted to go. Now is not as certain.

"I'm telling you this stuff is crazy," Saddler explained. "A few weeks ago I was so sure about where I wanted to go and now I just don't know. Coach (Al) Groh is coming by in the morning and that will be a very important visit for them. I am just really confused right now"

Saddler does not hide how important his mother is to him and a few months ago there was one particular school she liked, but now she is not as decisive.

"She just wants me to be happy and not worry about what everyone else wants," he said. "My mom means the world to me and I always listen to what she says, even though she may not think I am listening. I love my mom more than anything in the world and it would be an easy decision if she just said go here, but now she is just as mixed up as I am. She won't say one way or the other."

Saddler spoke with Gateway head coach Terry Smith after his visits and Saddler told him about his dilemma as well.

"I told him if he is not sure about the decision then we can cancel the announcement and he can have more time to decide. We can postpone it just as fast as we put it all together."

Saddler thinks it will all work out and he is pretty sure he'll go through with his announcement.

"I'm about 85-percent sure that I'll go through with it," Saddler explained. "Like I said the visit in the morning will be important. I'll sleep on it and go to church tomorrow and pray about it."

Scout Take: A few months ago it looked like Morgantown was the likely destination for Saddler. A few weeks ago it appeared he was destined for Virginia, but the Panthers have made a strong push for him and he has taken notice. I personally think this has become a two-horse race now with Pittsburgh and Virginia and right now a few hours prior to his meeting with Al Groh I get the feeling that Wannstedt may score his biggest WPIAL recruiting coup so far this season. We'll see how it all plays out.

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