Posted: 10:08 pm Monday, July 30th, 2012
By Matt Porter
College football recruiting junkies were buzzing Monday night with the possibility that standout American Heritage running back Greg Bryant may have de-committed from Oklahoma.
Late Monday, Bryant’s father made it a reality.
“It’s official,” Greg Bryant Sr. said in a message to the Palm Beach Post. “Lil Greg decommitted from Oklahoma.”
Bryant is the No. 2 running back in the nation (30th-ranked player overall) according to ESPN and No. 4 back in the land (28th overall) according to Rivals. A 5-foot-11, 197-pound workhorse, he ran for 2,180 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior, lifting American Heritage to the Class 3A state championship.
Before the background, the usual disclaimer: verbal commitments are non-binding. Seniors may sign binding letters of intent with colleges beginning Feb. 6, 2013.
Bryant committed to Oklahoma in late March and seemed to remain solid through the spring, giving OU a commitment from the nation’s top running backs.
Despite his commitment, top programs from the SEC to the Pac-10 didn’t stop chasing him.
A big-name school in the Southeast seemed to be making inroads. In June, Bryant went to Auburn on an unofficial visit. Earlier this month, he was said to be open to the SEC school. On July 7, he said he had two official visits planned for the fall: Oklahoma and Auburn.
He said he was still committed to Oklahoma, but wanted to reassess his options. “[I'm] just looking around to make sure I made the best decision after I visit the schools I like most OU will be my last visit,” he said in a message to the Post.
Like many recruits, Bryant seems to toy with his recruitment status, often re-tweeting praise from fans of other college teams, especially South Carolina and Auburn.
On Monday, Bryant seemed to be thinking a little harder. He tweeted “Decisions….” and removed a line in his profile that contained a reference to Oklahoma.
That led to speculation Bryant had fully opened his recruitment. A source close to the program said Bryant was no longer committed to the Sooners. Bryant himself didn’t return a message from the Post.
It appeared Oklahoma wants to know what’s going on as well: former American Heritage coach Doug Socha said he received a missed call from an OU coach Monday and couldn’t re-connect. He planned to try on Tuesday.
A clearer picture of Bryant’s situation comes from his father, who was reached by a Post reporter late Monday night.
“You know what, right now I’m not really talking about that,” the elder Bryant said at first, before later confirming his son had de-committed. “A lot of that is going on right now,” adding that he had a phone call on the other line.
He didn’t say whether the caller was an Oklahoma coach, a coach from another top college program or another reporter trying to get insight into the matter.
“I’m going through a lot right now. That’s kind of where we are.”
So what’s next for Bryant, according to his father?
“School, and helping his team return to win states,” he said.
In January after the state title game in Orlando, Bryant said he wanted to play in the SEC. That’s the home of Auburn and South Carolina.
Is that still the case? His father couldn’t say.
It appears Bryant may be pushing aside the recruiting game for a while, but there’s no reason to think colleges will stop seeing if he’ll play for them.
His recruitment may go down to signing day. According to his father, that’s when Bryant originally intended to announce his decision.
“But he also wanted to be a Sooner,” Bryant’s father said.