Welcome To The World Of Big-Time Recruiting
So Demetris Summers plays in the Army All-Star game and comes back leaning toward the Gators. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be. We expected it to happen the moment we got word last Thursday that Rex Grossman was declaring for the draft and Chris Leake was going to commit to UF. Combine that with the fact that Summers had been palling around with Leak all week in San Antonio and you had to expect a change in heart from Meat ... if just a temporary change in heart it might be.
Will Summers disregard his relationship with Kris Clark? No, of course not. Clark and Summers have been best friends for most of their young lives. How could Leak suddenly be a better friend? And how about Summers' "closeness to home" factor? Or Jimmy Satterfield, his "father like" figure of a head coach in Lexington? Or his mother and other family members for that matter? What about Demetris' child and its mother?
Last season Ricardo Hurley, after talking with his new friend Channing Crowder and taking his visit to Florida, did the same thing. He came back leaning toward the Gators. But who did Hurley sign with on signing day? Imagine the pressure combinded with the excitement these high-profile kids must be feeling this time of the year!
Did it not make you wonder when Summers said, "... yeah, and besides they lost their defensive line coach."? If you have been reading the Digital Perch then you know from where that comment came. It didn't make sense did it?
Now Summers is back home and in familiar surroundings. It will not take him long to once again realize where his heart lies in terms of the school he will attend.
The people closest to Summers, two of which we have spoken with this morning, want Demetris to stay close to home. And both of them were adamant that it was not for any selfish reasons of their own. Both stated independently and without the knowledge of the other's comments, that Summers will flourish closer to home under the tutledge of Lou Holtz and nearer to those that care for him the most.
The University of Florida is nine hours away from Lexington, South Carolina. And Summers is the kind of kid, like most of us were and are at that age, that needs the support of friends and family in order to achieve at the level of which he is gifted enough to aspire.
One of the two we had our conversations with this morning had already spoken with Demetris. And based upon the feedback we received he is already coming back into the fold and reconsidering his rush to "lean" in the heat of all the excitement and hoopla.
According to what we were told Demetris had a "really good time down there this past week," and he liked Chris Leak a lot. They got along well. But Leak is the "flavor of the month" right now and every week in real-life college football is not like one week at the national high school all-star game playing with your new hero. College football these days is a full time job and being far away from home, especially for someone with Demetris' personality, may cause problems. Besides, and Summers will have this stressed to him in coming days, Chris Leak is not going to make Demetris Summers a better player. However, between his nearby friends that will support him, and the hometown crowd that will worship him in Williams-Brice, and our coaches that will guide him ... Summers' best choice by far is to wear the Garnet & Black. He's a smart kid. He knows that to be true and that is what he will be hearing a lot of over the next few weeks. As a matter of fact, he is hearing it already this morning.
Rest assured Gamecock fans, there is still a month to go before signing day. And Summers has stated emphatically this morning that he will visit us on the 17th of this month. That's going to be a visit to end all visits for a lot of our most highly-touted prospects. He is still stating an interest in Florida of course. And this could go either way - we've seen much stranger things happen over the years. But in our educated opinions, based upon what we have learned this morning from reliable sources, Summers will be a Gamecock come signing day.
The trick now is for all of us to trust in our coaches' ability and wisdom ... and to remain patient. Because this is how the big boys play the game. This is what it is all about when you are going after the finest prospects in the nation. And so far our coaches are batting well above average in these last-month head-to-head battles. Especially for the instate homegrown talent here in South Carolina.