ORLANDO — Even though a shoulder injury has kept Berkeley Prep athlete Nelson Agholor off the field for Under Armour All-America Game drills this week, he still has been practicing.
Practicing his interviewing skills, that is.
With professionalism and poise that impressed fellow uncommitted All-American Trey Griffey of Orlando Dr. Phillips, Agholor, bundled in sweats Tuesday, delayed eating his lunch to answer a myriad of questions about his recruiting. When asked about Florida, Agholor said he wouldn’t consider committing to the Gators until they hired an offensive coordinator.
“I do want to see who this coordinator is,” Agholor said. “You don’t want to go to a program not knowing who you are going to deal with. You don’t want to be there and hear him say, ‘Nelson, your personality doesn’t match right’ or ‘Nelson, your style of play doesn’t match.’ It can happen.
“We have a lot of time.”
Added Agholor, ranked No. 12 in the nation by Rivals: “Feb. 1 is, I guess, the first day I can sign, and you have like a month after that, too.”
Agholor, who still has to visit Florida State and Southern Cal, doesn’t anticipate needing time beyond the traditional national signing day unveiling. He has already visited Florida, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.
Top Miami, FSU commits show skills: Two players committed to in-state colleges gave their respective fan bases reason for excitement by winning two of the four afternoon skills challenges.
Running back Randy “Duke” Johnson, whose five touchdowns led Miami Norland to the Class 5A state title over Crawfordville Wakulla, ran through a variety of dummies and ropes to win the obstacle course race in 28.21 seconds.
Johnson, a lifelong Hurricanes fan, committed to Miami in September 2010 when Randy Shannon was in charge, and the Hurricanes’ coaching switch and impending NCAA investigation haven’t caused him to waiver. Some of his favorite Miami memories are before he was born, when Michael Irvin and Co. won the 1987 national championship.
“I’ve always watched tapes, repeats of their games, the whole game,” Johnson said. “That’s the school I’ve always wanted to go to.”
Quarterback Jameis Winston, a Florida State commit from Hueytown, Ala., won the pass attack, a drill designed to test throwing accuracy. Winston collected 280 points by hitting moving targets 20, 30 and 40 yards away. Before finishing his day with a 70-yard strike in a distance-throwing contest, he turned behind him and roused the support of his fellow All-Americans.
“I had fun,” said the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder. “When you actually have fun in these competitions, it’s better for you.”
Winston, ranked the No. 1 quarterback in his class by ESPN, committed to the Seminoles in August and will take an official visit soon.
And he is counting on the fact that defensive linemen Dante Fowler Jr. and Mario Edwards Jr. will be joining him in Tallahassee as well. Both have given Seminole fans reasons to doubt the strength of their commitments recently.
“They better (come),” Winston said. “They better.”
Bucking the Bulls? When asked if he still considered himself a USF commit, Citra North Marion tight end Sean Price hesitated a few seconds before answering, “Yes.”
Price, who made a nice catch in the end zone on a ball that slipped through a defensive back’s hands in a 7-on-7 drill, committed to the Bulls in June. He is still planning to visit Oklahoma and Arkansas this month. The fact that the Sooners have commitments from two other tight ends doesn’t matter, Price said. “I believe in my ability”.
Price’s North Marion teammate, running back Jamie Gilmore, is also a USF target. According to Price, though, they haven’t talked much about recruiting.
“He keeps that stuff to himself,” Price said.