The one thing certain about recruiting is that nothing is certain until there is a signature on the dotted line on signing day. But, for one cat-quick playmaker from south Florida, his final destination is all but set in stone. Okeechobee running back Lonnie Pryor (6-1, 190) has all the tools anyone is looking for in a big time back and from what he says, Florida State will be the beneficiary.
Pryor is an excellent athlete and a leader for his Okeechobee football team. He doubles as a sprinter for the track team, running the 4×100, the 400 meters, and 4×400 meters. He will be part of an explosive offense in 2008 as Okeechobee returns all but the center from the offensive line, the quarterback and three three good receivers from last year’s team. On defense, eight starters return. Pryor doubles as a safety on defense.
Everybody is aware of his enormous athletic talents and everybody also knows that he’s a diehard for Florida State. That doesn’t keep schools from calling. It’s is only February and he already has double digit offers.
“I have 15 offers right now from FSU, Florida, USF, FIU, North Carolina, South Carolina, Boston College, Wake Forrest, LSU, West Virginia, Auburn, Clemson, NC State, and UCF,” said Pryor when he spoke to Gator Country Thursday night.
He has already visited four of the teams that have offered and even though number one is no secret, he does have two other favorites.
“If I have to pick a top three, FSU is number one,” he said emphatically. “I have visited Wake Forest and Florida, so the other two are Florida and Wake Forest. Last weekend I was at Central Florida and in a couple of weeks I am going to going to South Florida. Over the summer my coach and I will be going all over the state.”
Since everybody knows how strongly he wants to be a Seminole, the prevailing question is why didn’t he commit to FSU long ago?
“Everyone asks what I am waiting on, but I just want to see everything,” Pryor said. “Florida State is my team and I know that isn’t going to change. I just want to take all five visits and see everything. I don’t want to commit and then want to take visits, because they will ask about it. I don’t want to commit and have all that pressure on me.”
Still there is this thing of communication that he keeps with several schools. Remember, the kids are the only ones that can make phone calls right now. College coaches are not allowed by NCAA rules.
“I call Coach Fisher and Dexter Carter,” he said. “At Florida I call Billy Gonzales. At Wake Forest I call Coach Mac and at South Florida I call Coach Scott. I call coaches from every school, because I have great relationships with all the coaches.
“Every coach I talk to, they know I am Florida State. They just all tell me they are going to change my mind by the time I sign. No one puts Florida State down; they all just tell me they are going to get me to change. There is probably a 99.9 percent chance I sign with Florida State. They all know that, so it doesn’t matter. They still talk to me.”
One has to wonder how Florida State is going to squeeze all of these running backs on the roster. The Seminoles signed three for the 2008 class with junior college star Tavares Pressley and two other notables in high schoolers Jermaine Thomas and Carlton Jones. For the 2008 class, FSU has a leg up on Madison County’s Chris Thompson and they are expecting British Footman back from junior college where he made an early exodus to get back in the shortest amount of time. Add Pryor to the mix and that would make six tailbacks in two years, something he isn’t quite sure how to respond to.
“I went down there and they signed three this year,” he said. “I don’t know what to say if they are going to sign three more.”
If there is one thing certain about recruiting, it is that nothing is certain until the signature is on the dotted line on signing day.