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December 25, 2003As with any all-star game where top D-1 prospects are gathered, rumors are sure to follow regarding the uncommitted and even those who have made their verbal pledge. Check out these rumors and rumblings from Rock Hill, S.C. during Shrine Bowl week.
-- The worst kept secret during the week was Rod Council's commitment to Virginia Tech, which was known a few days before he announced. We ran his commitment story before Rod announced with permission from his coach, Peter Gilchrist, who said that Rod chose Virginia Tech because "he felt very comfortable there, he loved the coaching staff and the fans and felt he could compete there and become a better player." Council had the tough task of matching up with SC wideout Sidney Rice for part of the day, but has tremendous potential and should be a terrific shut-down corner for the Hokies.
-- The second-worst kept secret? Offensive tackle Corey Lambert committing to Clemson. Lambert is a huge pickup for Clemson, especially after being snubbed late last year by many OL before Signing Day. Lambert is a franchise lineman.
-- Linebacker Quentin Cotton has apparently received an offer from NC State to go along with his other tenders and is a heavy lean to the Wolfpack.
-- Wideout Sidney Rice is expected to re-commit to South Carolina despite the inexplicable firing of his recruiting coach, Dave DeGuglielmo and others on Lou Holtz's staff.
-- Florida State is as active in the state of North Carolina as they have ever been it seems. Not only were the 'Nole coaches on hand to love up running back commitment Jamaal Edwards, but they were also all over Trimane Goddard and, interestingly enough, were talking quite a bit with Michigan soft commitment Jamar Adams. Don't be surprised if Adams takes an official visit to FSU in January. FSU was also on hand to see South Carolina linebackers Robert Ayers and Lawrence Timmons.
-- This was supposed to be the best recruiting year in South Carolina in nearly a decade and there was plenty of talent on the field for the Sandlappers, but it's clear there was no quarterback. William Richardson was the only D-1A caliber signal-caller on the SC side but he's still quite raw.
-- The last time we spoke to athlete Jamar Bryant, he was very high on NC State. However, things have changed a bit and it looks like Clemson is the team to beat for both Bryant and NC Defensive MVP Dannell Ellerbe. The two are teammates and very good friends and will be taking an official visit to Clemson together on Jan. 9. Tennessee is the biggest threat to the Tigers for both players.
-- The juciest rumors are always about de-commitments, so it was no surprise that Andrew Pearman's apparent interest in looking around despite his commitment to Virginia quickly grew legs. However, Pearman denied such rumors in a short conversation yesterday and said he was solid to the Cavaliers. Stay tuned on this one.
-- Trimane Goddard is reportedly a strong Virginia lean although he has official visits left with UNC (Jan. 9), Tennessee (Jan. 16) and FSU (Jan. 23). NC running back Andre Brown is torn between UVA and NC State, good news for the Wolfpack since they will reportedly get his last visit.
-- -- The toughest player to gauge on the NC side is Marque Hall, who has been linked with UNC from two sources and NC State and Tennessee from another.
-- It would not be a big surprise at all if teammates Leon Hart and Mack Frost both end up staying home and playing for the Gamecocks.
-- Whoever gets Michael Hamlin, and Clemson leads, is getting a heckuva player. This will be a good in-state battle between the Tigers and Gamecocks.