WIR: Officially speaking
Speaking of official visits, Ahmad Paige (Monroe, La./Sterlington) still plans on taking all of his -- to USC, LSU, Miami and Tennessee -- despite his verbal commitment to Florida State. "It's gonna have to be a big 'wow' to come get me," Paige said on ESPNU during his announcement Thursday. Though his verbal to Florida State looks more like a bargaining chip, you can't blame Paige for being savvy.
No. 2 overall running back Noel Devine (North Fort Myers, Fla.) is the top undersized back in the country this year at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, but there are others getting plenty of recruiting attention. Chris Rainey (Lakeland, Fla.), an ESPN 150 running back who stands 5-8, 165 pounds has committed to Florida, where he has a chance to play right away next year. This week, 5-9, 170 pound Jock Sanders (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Catholic) gave a verbal commitment to West Virginia, and 5-9, 180-pound Brandon Pendergrass (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) gave a verbal commitment to Wake Forest. All these guys have one thing in common -- speed and elusiveness. But don't tell them they can't be every-down backs at the next level. And even if they don't run between the tackles in college, coaches know that their potential as kick returners and third-down backs makes them worthy of scholarships.
• Hard to believe it took this long for Ohio State to get its first ESPN 150 verbal commitment. Running back/safety prospect Devon Torrence (Canton, Ohio/South) chose the Buckeyes last weekend over Michigan, Penn State, Georgia Tech and Arizona State, among others.
With top in-state prospects linebacker Dewey Elliot (Fairfield), defensive end Ben Martin (Cincinnati/La Salle) and safety Eugene Clifford (Cincinnati/Colerain) still uncommitted and all considering Ohio State, there certainly will be more to come.
• ESPN 150 defensive end Richetti Jones (Dallas/Lincoln) made his long delayed announcement this week with a verbal commitment to Oklahoma State.Jones and 2006 ESPN 150 defensive end Derek Burton could make for a great bookend combination on the Cowboys' defensive line over the next few years.
Henry Gola is recruiting editor for ESPN.com and Scouts Inc.
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