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Recruiting: East Lake standout considers long commitment

The decision East Lake TE/DE Bobby Lyons is about to make isn't just about picking a college. It's about choosing a lifestyle.

Marist is one of the schools that has offered him a scholarship. Army is the other.

"As of right now, it's the traditional college campus vs. the service academy," East Lake coach Bob Hudson said.

Marist is a solid Division I-AA program (7-4 last season) and is considered an excellent school. But Army not only is one of the country's top academic institutions, the Black Knights are a Division I-A program that played Air Force, Duke, Iowa State, Rutgers and Vanderbilt in 2009.

However, with Army there's a significant hitch.

When a student accepts an appointment to West Point, N.Y., he or she must serve five years in the military after graduating. That scares some potential recruits away. But Lyons, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound second-team all-county pick, isn't one of them.

"Getting offered by West Point is huge," he said. "It's something not many kids can do. You can't pass by West Point. You come out as an officer with a high rank and you're set for life."

Lyons is at Marist in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., this weekend and will visit Army next week.

Other schools could still be in the mix — Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic and New Mexico are interested — but for now it looks to be a two-team race.

PHU STAR PICKS UCONN: Palm Harbor University OL Mark Hansson hoped to land at college as solid on the field as it is academically. In Connecticut, he thinks he found the perfect fit.

"They're a top 25 academic school and a top 25 football school," Hansson said. "You can't beat that."

Hansson, who carries a 3.8 grade point average, committed to the Huskies over Colorado State, Florida International, Harvard and Indiana.

UConn coach Randy Edsall made his final pitch last week during an in-home visit, and the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Hansson was sold.

"I just think they're definitely on the right track," Hansson said. "I think they'll be ranked in the top 15 to start the season."

Hansson visited Storrs, Conn., in December. He was scheduled to check out FIU this weekend but canceled that trip.

"I'm real excited," Hansson said. "I'm going to start off at offensive tackle. But they said if I'm one of the best five, they'll find a spot for me."

SHORT STUFF: Gulf RB/DE Will Burbridge is visiting Jacksonville this weekend, and Bucs coach Jay Fulmer believes his player will return with an offer in hand. Jacksonville University is recruiting the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder to play linebacker. "They really like the way he comes off the edge," Fulmer said. … The three junior colleges Tarpon Springs RB Adrian Golden will pick from should he not meet NCAA qualifying standards — Ellsworth Community College (Iowa), Grand Rapids Community College (Mich.) and Mississippi Gulf Coast — have each said they will allow him to play his first year then sit out the second so he would have three seasons of eligibility at a four-year school. … Plant coach Robert Weiner expects a flurry of activity at his school between now and the Feb. 3 national signing day. "The place is going to be a whirlwind," he said. "We have a lot of guys who are second or third on some people's boards, and they'll start to get guys or not get guys. That's when things start to happen."

Have an athlete, in any sport, who should be featured in our recruiting notebook? E-mail Keith Niebuhr at kniebuhr@sptimes.com.

Recruiting: East Lake standout considers long commitment 01/23/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:27pm]
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