Erik Lorig: At the End of His Rope

For the last week, everything you have read written by anyone on <b>Erik Lorig</b> has come from his father, Fred, or his mother, Karen. We had the good fortune Sunday night after the Super Bowl to reach the young man and let him speak in his own words about his mental state and his impending college decision.

The drama of Erik Lorig's prolonged college commitment was first a matter of hours, and then maybe a few days.  Soon it will be a week since Signing Day came and went without a declaration from the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School senior, though he says he is at a point emotionally where he cannot stomach his own indecision.

"I just flat out have to make a decision," Lorig says.  "I don't know what my problem is.  It's been my fault - I waited too long to really get started on this.  It's been really getting me down."

From a distance, fans of all five schools in the final pursuit of the 6'4" 250-pound athlete have been mystified and perplexed by the delay in his decision.  Of course, there is no rule that says any prospective student-athlete has to ink his intentions on Signing Day, but each day that passes where Lorig is ostensibly "almost done" has left us to wonder.  Why the delay?

"It's not about the people I'll feel sad for when I have to tell them 'no,'" he explains.  "It's the options I'm leaving behind.  I look at these schools and programs and worry about what I might be turning down.  I'm too analytical, really, in how I've dissected these schools and everything.  I'm not looking at the school holistically."

"I really just need to get a gut decision and get this over with," Lorig adds.  "I need to do that real soon."

The SoCal student-athlete has ironically missed a week of school while he has hibernated at home, working on a decision that has not yet come.  His parents have stayed home with him, which presumably should help accelerate his analysis, but that is not the case.

"My parents all along haven't really pushed me one way or another," the son says.  "That can be good and bad.  This whole time they have been good about letting me make my decision and giving me freedom.  But it's tough without a parent's influence to make a touch choice like this."

Lorig, who is ranked by Scout.com as the #8 tight end in the nation and the #15 overall player in California, emphatically states that he wants to get to a decision as quickly as possible, but he is not delivering any timeline or sharing any self-imposed deadline.  From his comments, it is clear that the pressure and disappointment he holds right now is as much a driving factor as anything toward wrapping this up.  Until we get to that final decision, we are left to scrutinize the chances for each of his options.  He has been evaluating all five of the schools where he took official visits: Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA and Notre Dame.  Stories have flashed all over about the ebb and flow of his favorites among those five, including a putative final two, but he says his still has four on his mind.

"I'm not going to Notre Dame," he declares.  "Though they were very impressive and have a great staff and school.  I'm still looking at the other four, and I'm just going to come out with one school when I'm done."

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Allen Wallace, of SuperPrep fame, reported on Friday when he spoke with Karen Lorig that Cal was the one school most consistently on the Rolling Hills (Calif.) man's mind.  The talented tight end will not say if indeed the Bears are a leading favorite, but he defends why they are an undeniable factor.

"I have a lot of close friends who have gone there," Lorig offers.  "And Cal has been there all along.  They have always known about me since my sophomore year."

For Stanford, one of the more visible issues has been the position where the Cardinal have recruited Lorig.  The Stanford presentation has favored defense at times, while it has gravitated toward offense recently.  Though Walt Harris has made a big push to Lorig as a tight end prospect, there have been lingering concerns about the mixed messages over time.  Is that one focal issue that surrounds Stanford still in the recruit's thoughts?

"Not at all," he fires back.  "That's a current misconception.  Stanford has told me I will play offense, but I'm not against playing defense.  I moved to defense in the CaliFlorida Bowl and I really excelled there.  That's a big misconception."

That shows what we know, and all we can believe with any certainty right now is that four schools remain, and a decision will come some day for Erik Lorig.  We will continue to monitor the situation and bring you the latest (hopefully the end) in the coming days.


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