Second choice is right choice for Gaither's Shug Oyegunle, Ernest Suttles



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Wed. February 6, 2013 | John C. Cotey | Email

Second choice is right choice for Gaither's Shug Oyegunle, Ernest Suttles

Shug Oyegunle and Ernest Suttles made oral commitments, followed by changes of heart.

But Wednesday at Gaither, the Cowboys reaffirmed their latest decisions by signing with the second schools they had committed to, as Oyegunle inked with Florida International and Suttles signed with Nebraska.

They were joined at the signing table by Dominic Neglio, who is headed to Bethel University in Kansas.

For Oyegunle, FIU offered something his former committed school Ball State could not -- the chance to play near hoime.

"That was pretty important,'' he said.

Oyegunle (5-9, 170) might have picked the Panthers in the first place, had they been more interested. But new coach Ron Turner, hired Jan. 5, made it clear to Gaither's most dangerous and versatile weapon that he was deeply desired.

"At first, FIU liked Shug but he wasnt No. 1 on their list,'' Gaither coach Jason Stokes told a gathering of about 50 friends, family and teammates. "I dont know what they were thinking, but he wasn't. But the new coach (Turner) came in and was astounded by how dynamic Shug's football game was. He said "this kids No. 1 on our list now."

Oyegunle, who was the Gaither quarterback as a freshman, ran for 221 yards and a touchdown last season, and also caught 21 passes for 468 yards and seven touchdowns. His 22.9 yards a catch led the team.

Though he prefers being a slot receiver, he said he envisions his role at FIU to be similar to what it was for Gaither.

Suttles, a late bloomer who just completed only his second season of football, was an Iowa State commitment before switching to Nebraska. He showed up for signing day in a Herbie Husker knit cap, presenting what was probably Tampa Bay's most unique style statement of the day.

Suttles said his reason for choosing the Cornhuskers was pretty simple: "I went up there and fell love, sir, I fell in love.''

Suttles was one of Tampa Bay's best defensive linemen last year, earning All-County and All-Suncoast honors after registering 88 tackles and 12 sacks. The 6-4, 215-pounder also caused four fumbles.

Neglio, a 5-10, 178-pound linebacker, visited Bethel last week and committed to the NAIA school. His family showed up decked out in Threshers gear for the signing ceremony.

Last season, Neglio had 85 tackles and a sack, and Stokes likened his versatility to a swiss army knife.

"He's a football player. He plays way bigger than his stature, because he plays with this,'' Stokes said, thumping his chest. "When I think of that kid all I think about is toughness."

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