As national signing day looms on Wednesday, several of the nation's top high school players might be making their mark at prep schools or junior colleges next season, and a couple of them reside in the Metroplex.
According to a list on football recruiting Web site Rivals.com, Sulphur Springs quarterback Tyrik Rollison, who's verbally committed to Auburn, might have to hold off for a year or two before he makes his Tiger debut. He's probably the top dual threat quarterback in the country this year after leading Sulphur Springs to the Class 4A Division II State Championship, when he passed for 398 yards and four scores and rushed for 126 and three TDs in leading his team to record-breaking shootout 69-49 victory over Dayton.
Another local face on the list is Euless Trinity linebacker Earnest Norman, who hasn't made a committment yet. The 5 foot 11 inch, 220-pound inside linebacker had offers from a slew of big-time Division I programs, such as Washington State, Kansas, Nebraska and Kansas State. But on Rivals.com, he has his top choice listed as Portland State, which isn't even a D-I school.
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Players like these will often attend junior colleges or prep schools on "sign and deal" unwritten agreements between a university and junior college.
The university will say something like, "Hey, we'll sign this kid and pass him along to you for two years so he can play and work on qualifying academically."
When he gets there, he'll tear up the JUCO ranks and in two years will be expected to return to the university.
Sometimes it doesn't happen.
A few years back, Troy -- which often does these deals and dominates the Sun Belt Conference -- got running back Dontrell Savage, who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was then sent to a JUCO and ended up getting an offer from Oklahoma State, and took it.
I bet Troy doesn't do much business with Mississippi Gulf Coast College anymore.