Panthers still strong with Florida duo

Vernon Smith and Darrell Strong have been mentioned with Pitt recruiting for months and both still call the Panthers a finalist for their services.

Vernon Smith, from North Fort Lauderdale Academy in North Fort Lauderdale, FL, was supposed to visit Mississippi State this past weekend, but was unable to attend because he had to take his SAT's. The 6'1" 230 pound linebacker is happy with his effort on the test.

"I think I did well. I will get my test results back in three or four weeks."

The hard hitter with 4.6 speed says Pitt currently leads for his services over Mississippi State, Kansas State, and Nebraska. The other three finalists have not received a visit from Smith, though the Mississippi State visit may be rescheduled for next weekend.

All have offered but Nebraska, and while Smith likes Nebraska, he feels he may be running out of time to visit them.

According to Smith, Pittsburgh has told him that they will still sign him, even though his SAT scores will not be back yet.

Strong, who at one time verbally committed to the Panthers, now sees it as a four-team race with no favorites.

Along with Pittsburgh, Strong's finalists include Auburn and Mississippi State, who he has both visited, and Temple, who he will visit next weekend.

"I would have to say there is no leader. They are all the same."

Darrell Strong visited Mississippi State this weekend and, according to him, "liked it a lot."

Asked when he will decide, Strong said that he will make his decision on February 2, two days before the day it becomes official, and after he visits Temple.

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