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February 1, 2005

For Texas, USC and FSU it's crunch time

For many schools, today is the calm before the story. With less than 24 hours until signing day, coaches are scrambling to put the last pieces of their recruiting puzzles in place, confirming their commitments and stockpiling the fax machine with plenty of paper. But for a few select schools the day before signing day is anything but calm.

Just ask Mack Brown at Texas, Bobby Bowden at Florida State and Pete Carroll at USC what it's like to be waiting on several marquee players' decisions.

For Texas it's all about quarterback Ryan Perrilloux.

The nation's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback has been removed from the Texas commitment list as it looks like his decision between the Longhorns and LSU is more up in the air than ever before. The 6-foot-2, 207-pounder committed early in the recruiting process to Texas but later took official visits to Mississippi State and then to LSU this past weekend.

The speculation running rampant between numerous sources in Austin and Baton Rouge has the Tigers likely winning this battle, but as elusive as Perrilloux is both on and off the field, there is no telling what might happen.

"It's been a circus to cover," Orangebloods.com editor Geoff Ketchum said.

"I thought I had seen crazy recruiting battles before, but this one takes the cake. When it is all said and done, the Perrilloux saga will go down with the situations like Eric Dickerson and Marcus Dupree as the most memorable in the history of recruiting in the state of Texas."

Despite a lengthy process that had him pulled daily from so many directions, Perrilloux does not appear to be worn out by it.

"Actually I am going to miss it a little bit because you only go through it one time, but it is time to get it over with and do other stuff," Perrilloux said.

All that is left for the Louisiana blue-chipper to do is announce publicly where he plans to attend college. He is scheduled to make his decision Wednesday at 8 a.m. (CST) at a press conference at his high school.

The USC Trojans are currently sitting at No. 6 in the Rivals.com team rankings, but if things go as planned they probably won't be sitting there when the smoke clears Wednesday.

The Trojans are awaiting word on five-star prospects Jason Gwaltney, who is announcing this afternoon at 3:20 p.m. (CST) on ESPNews, and DeSean Jackson, who will reportedly announce some time on signing day with a possible appearance on Fox Sports West.

Four-star prospects like linebacker Luthur Brown, defensive end Kyle Moore and linebacker Brian Cushing - all ranked in the national top 60 - could easily push USC to the top spot.

With Florida State, it's business as usual.

The Seminoles always come on strong late in the recruiting process, and this year is no exception Warchant.com editor Gene Williams said.

"It should be business as usual for Florida State over the next 24 hours," Williams said.

"There are several blue-chip prospects still on the board, and that includes five Rivals100 members that will make or break Bobby Bowden's recruiting class. If the Seminoles close strong like they always do, another top-10, or even top-five class, is possible."

Earlier today on Rivals Radio, Terry Bowden said he's spending time with his father over the next 48 hours leading to signing day and that the Seminoles have upwards of 10 silent commitments that have yet to go public.

So who are they?

The best bets are five-star receiver Fred Rouse, five-star defensive tackle Callahan Bright, four-star linebacker Eugene Hayes and four-star cornerback Jamie Robinson.

That's an impressive group, especially when considering that all of those players are ranked in the Rivals100.


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