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Recruiting: Nature Coast running back's patience costs him Miami offer

More and more, high school football players are trying to get their commitments out of the way early.

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Tevin Drake, on the other hand, has taken the old-school approach.

"I'm trying to go slow and see what happens," he said.

By doing so, the 6-foot, 205-pound senior tailback for Nature Coast Tech, hopes to maximize his options. Unfortunately, though, his tactic has backfired a bit.

With Drake looking around, one program grew impatient.

Earlier this year, Miami offered him a scholarship, but the Hurricanes recently withdrew it.

"They wanted me to commit," Drake said. "They took (the offer) away. They're looking at other running backs, and I think they were like, 'Well, he hasn't committed yet and probably doesn't want to.' I kind of regret (not committing) now. That was my No. 1 school."

Drake hasn't talked to Miami in weeks, but he says he's still interested.

The question is, is that feeling mutual?

"I don't know," Drake admitted.

Either way, Drake, a talented player who combines above-average speed with exceptional power and has rushed for more than 800 yards this fall, should be fine.

Thus far, he has offers from Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Memphis. Additionally, Connecticut, Florida State, Middle Tennessee State, Oregon, Troy and USF are showing interest. Drake feels particularly good about his chances of scoring an Oregon offer. He's also getting a good vibe from the Seminoles.

"Oregon calls and sends letters," Drake said. "(Ducks running backs coach Gary Campbell) was at our (spring) game. He calls every few weeks."

No school or schools currently is in the lead, said Drake, who said he hasn't started to narrow his list yet and likely won't take any official visits until after Nature Coast's season ends.

"Everybody is the same," he said.

Still after Moore: Even though heralded Countryside junior OT Tyler Moore has made his choice (he recently picked Nebraska), Cougars coach John Davis doesn't expect some of the losers to give up. "It may be over for him and his family, but it ain't over for me," Davis said. "The ones trying to get him to change his mind will be calling and sending mail."

LIST GROWS FOR PHU STAR: Three more schools have started to show interest in Palm Harbor University senior OT Mark Hansson — Cincinnati, Connecticut, Mississippi. He has offers from Colorado State, Florida International and Indiana, and he made an unofficial visit to FIU this weekend.

LOCALS ON WATCH LIST: Moore, Jefferson WR Andre Davis, Plant City TE Jordan Prestwood and Plant RB/DE James Wilder made the ESPNU 150 watch list for the Class of 2011.

KIFFIN GOES AIRBORNE: Not everyone likes him, but Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin gets extra points for creativity. Kiffin rode to a metro-Atlanta high school game Friday night in a red helicopter in an attempt to literally give his program some buzz. This is noteworthy because the Vols are heavily involved in the recruitment of Tampa Catholic OT Chaz Green, along with Florida and Southern California.

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

Recruiting: Nature Coast running back's patience costs him Miami offer

10/17/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 17, 2009 10:31pm]

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