Jimmy Sutton had a change of mind.
The wide receiver from Boca Raton committed to Mack Brown and Texas very early. After attending a Nike camp last summer in Austin, he liked what he saw so much, that he told his high school football coach, Brian Dodd, that Texas was where he wanted to be.
Coach Dodd explained things this way. "He went out to camp at Texas in the summer and really loved the place. He told me that was where he wanted to play. Things were holding pretty strong until about the fifth game of the season. People were wanting him to take visits. He went ahead and took the trip to Texas, just to make sure. He came back just as committed. He told me that he loved everything about Texas and that the guys he met were awesome. It was done. He would get calls everyday and I would tell them he was going to Texas."
The commitment held strong and it looked like Austin would be Sutton's home for the next four years. Then things changed during the Florida-California All-Star game. That's when things got a little shaky for Texas according to Coach Dodd. "He was set and then he went to the California Bowl. The kids told him he was crazy for not taking his visits. When he got back, he came and talked to me about it. I told him if there was any doubt, then he needed to look to make sure."
While the Bowl game may of raised questions in Jimmy's mind, the answers were found during his trip to NC State. In particular, he saw what he would be missing if he stayed committed to Texas. Again, Coach Dodd explains it this way. "One of the problems is that there are no Florida kids at Texas. There is no one he could relate to, such as sharing rides home or just having people around him who were from this area. He got to Raleigh and got into a comfort zone with the Florida kids. He knows Tramain Hall and they talked about things they shared in common. One of our old quarterbacks, John DeShields plays at North Carolina, just twenty miles away. The only player we have ever put out west is a player at Colorodo. Up at State, he was surrounded by players from this area."
The newly found comfort zone he discovered in Raleigh also gave him a new view of what he had seen last summer according to Dodd. "We went up there last summer for 7 on 7 Team Camp. We saw the new facilities which were unfinished and Jimmy looked around but it did not register at all with him. We went there after his trip to Texas, so I thought Texas was going to be the place. Then he went back up there last weekend. The comfort zone and the new facilities which are nearly completed is what got him. He got to see the new weight room and alumni rooms. The facilities up there are something. The stadium might be smaller than Texas, but the buildings are as nice as anywhere in the country."
There has been speculation by some that the depth chart for receivers at Texas may of made an impact on Jimmy's decision. That is not the case according to Coach Dodd. "The amount of receivers Texas has did not matter at all. It simply was not a factor. Anywhere he goes, he will face plenty of competition for playing time. Next year, he will have to compete against new recruits. It would be like that anywhere he chose to go. He will have to compete for his position every year."
While the decision looks firm for the Pack, we asked Coach Dodd if Texas was still recruiting Sutton. "No, they have stopped. Jimmy has missed a lot of school and he needs to work on his grades and scores. It's over and the doors have been closed."