Recruiting roundup: Hilton Head's Poona Ford may announce on ESPNU

mmccombs@islandpacket.comJanuary 27, 2014 

Hilton Head Island High School defensive lineman Poona Ford, the 2013 Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette Defensive Player of the Year, has committed to the Texas Longhorns, following coach Charlie Strong.

JAY KARR — Staff photo Buy Photo

It's hard to tell if Hilton Head Island defensive tackle Poona Ford is any closer to a college decision after this weekend's official visit to Purdue. But when he does decide, it's possible he'll do so on national television.

Seahawks coach B.J. Payne said Ford has been approached by ESPN about making his announcement live on ESPNU on National Signing Day from a studio in Charlotte, N.C.

Payne said the decision is Ford's to make, and the 2013 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection is leaning toward saying yes.

"He said it might be the only chance our school has to get national recognition, and it would be his way of saying thank you to the school," Payne said.

The Seahawks coach said Ford was "blown away" by his visit to Purdue, though he still plans on making his visit to Missouri this weekend.

Ford has narrowed his choices to those two schools and Texas. Payne is unsure if Ford has a favorite.

"Last week, I would have said Texas," Payne said. "Now, I honestly don't know. He was very, very impressed with Purdue."

Ford originally committed to Louisville in the fall, but decommitted earlier this month when then-Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong left to take the head coaching job at the University of Texas.

Strong subsequently offered Ford a scholarship at Texas, and the Longhorns had seemingly moved to the top of his list before the Purdue visit. Ford gave the Boilermakers a shot after a good experience on the campus and with the staff when he camped there in June.

"He's a quiet kid who is finding the right fit for him," Payne said. "His fit isn't the normal fit, and he and his family have certain things that have been points of interest that other schools besides (Missouri, Purdue and Texas) haven't hit on.

"For example, when he and his family sat with Purdue last week for 2 1/2 hours, about 90 percent of it was about education and the man he would become there."


Though he doesn't have an official offer, Hilton Head Prep running back/linebacker Teron Daley took an official visit to Coastal Carolina this past weekend and is hopeful he'll get a shot at becoming a Chanticleer.

Dolphins coach Kevin Wald said Daley is on Coastal's board and, depending on how things fall, has a shot at a late scholarship offer.

"I think they feel like he's a kid that they maybe can slip under the radar and steal here and redshirt him and add 15 to 20 pounds of muscle and get him on the field," Wald said. "He had a good time on the visit. The coaches were good to him and, I felt, honest with him, and they are supposed to get back with him in a few days."

Wald said another option for Daley is Presbyterian College, which like Coastal Carolina, has Daley on their radar but hasn't offered.

Wald said even if the Blue Hose offered Daley, the Dolphins' top rusher might walk on in Conway instead, in hopes of earning a scholarship later. He thinks the Chanticleers are serious about Daley or they wouldn't have entertained him on an official visit at this late date.

"He weighs about 160," Wald said. I think they believe if they can get him up there, redshirt him and get him on a weight plan, they might have something special. He's never been injured, he's got big-time speed and his best football is in front of him. They feel like he's a kid who's been overlooked."

Daley rushed for 1,804 yards and 26 touchdowns on 150 carries for the Dolphins this past fall and also played linebacker on defense.

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