Several high-profile players decided to take a step back and think about their futures, opting to sign national letters of intent in February instead of Wednesday.
Rochester Adams defensive back Vincent Gray – ranked No. 21 in The Detroit News Blue Chip list – decided against signing with Missouri after receiving a call from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh while in school Monday.
“I was surprised, wasn’t expecting it,” said Gray of getting an offer from Harbaugh. “He texted me while I was at school Monday and told me to call him and I told him I’d call after school and that’s what I did.
“He basically asked me what I thought, asked me about my grades, talked about having me play safety, told me he didn’t want me to sign (with Missouri). I’m going to take a visit in January and wait until February to decide on things.”
Gray said West Virginia has also offered.
Tyrone Sampson of Detroit East English, the premier center in the state, decided against signing with Syracuse, wanting to take more official visits before making up his mind. But Michigan and Michigan State are not in the discussion.
“He just felt coming down the stretch that he committed too early, didn’t really get to go through the whole process; all he really knew was Syracuse and wanted to see a couple of different schools,” said East English coach Rod Oden of Sampson, who earned a spot on The Detroit News Dream Team and is ranked No. 4 on the Blue Chip list.
“He’ll take some visits in January and sign on Feb. 7. He had an offer from Kentucky, an offer from Louisville, had Indiana and Minnesota, just to name a few. Neither in-state school offered him so you’re not going to see him in East Lansing or Ann Arbor six weeks from now. I do think Syracuse is still in the mix, though.”
Sampson was thrilled with his choice heading into the PSL championship game back in late October, following Syracuse’s upset of defending national champion Clemson, saying he planned on enrolling early.
However, Syracuse dropped five straight following the upset of Clemson, including lopsided setbacks to Louisville (56-10) and Boston College (42-14) to finish 4-8 and miss a bowl game.
Salem tackle Alex Howie – No. 28 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list – plans on signing in February.
“He has an official visit planned in January at Washington State,” said Salem coach Kurt Britnell of Howie. “He also has other options, including Air Force, Iowa and Bowling Green, but Iowa hasn’t officially offered yet.”
Detroit Central receiver/cornerback Jerodd Vines – No. 38 on the Blue Chip list – also plans to wait until February.
“I’ve had offers from Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Siena Heights and others, but I’m going to wait; bigger schools have been hitting me up and I’m going to wait and take visits,” said Vines, who had 55 receptions for 943 yards and 14 TDs while forcing 15 fumbles and intercepting 10 passes from his secondary position to earn first-team All-Detroit honors by The Detroit News. “Missouri, South Florida and Ball State have shown interest lately and that’s why I’ve decided to wait.”
Vines’ teammate, Central strong-armed quarterback El Julian Jordan, decommitted from Western Michigan. Jordan was also a first-team All-Detroit selection and ranked No. 30 on the Blue Chip list.
“I just wanted to weigh all my options to make sure I’m at the place where I want to be for the next four years,” said Jordan, who also has offers from Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green.