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FARRELL: What we learned at Under Armour
Five-star Damian Prince has been doing a lot of thinking during the recruiting dead period. The offensive tackle from Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara has moved up his decision date, moved around his official visit dates and admits that two of his top five schools are slipping out of contention.
The 6-foot-5, 292-pound Prince was scheduled to choose between Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina on Valentine's Day but instead will be announcing his decision live on National Signing Day on ESPN.
"I talked to my coach and my athletic director and they said that he schools I am looking at are getting tight with their scholarships and they are only going to get tighter as we get closer to National Signing Day," Prince said. "I just need to commit a little bit earlier. I don't want to be in a situation where I make my commitment and am not able to go.
"I don't really want to have a school waiting when they could offer somebody else. I don't really want to make it an inconvenience to any school or another player."
There are three schools that Prince calls his "unofficial top three".
Florida - "Everything is still good with Florida," said Prince. "I'm still taking my official visit there but it will be on January 31 now. It's a good program there. They just hired Mike Summers from USC. He was my favorite offensive line coach in terms of the way he coaches and his personality. He recruited me very hard at USC but he knew it was going to be very hard for him to get me there. Now that he is at Florida it is much closer. Hiring him really helped Florida's chances with me."
Maryland - "Maryland is still in good standing with me," he said. "It's a great program regardless of how many wins they had this year. They definitely have a lot to offer me. Things are still good with Maryland and we're in the same place as we were before.
South Carolina - "I'm excited to get down there for my official visit next week," Prince said. "It's a great school. Recruiting is going great with them. I've talked with coach Elliot and coach Spurrier. I gave them a call yesterday and I talked to them for about 30 minutes. Things are going great with them and I can't wait to get down there for my official visit. Some of my family will be coming with me on that visit but I'm not sure it will be my grandparents."
The Seminoles and Hurricanes are falling behind in Prince's eyes.
Florida State - "To be honest, Florida State won't be a team in my top three," he said. "I understand that they were getting ready for the national championship and it is a dead period but I haven't talked to anybody there in probably close to a month. I know they have been busy but I also know they have talked with other recruits. I haven't really been feeling the love or felt like I am needed lately. I don't think there is a chance that they move back up my list because it's not like they can pick me up or put me down whenever they please. They haven't been showing much effort lately."
Miami - "I probably won't take an official visit there so they're out of the picture right now," said Prince. "There wasn't anything they did wrong. They have been recruiting me the hardest. Looking at the history of what they like to do with their offensive linemen, they love to redshirt their offensive linemen. Coach Kehoe believes in redshirting his offensive linemen. There isn't anything wrong with that but that isn't really for me."
Prince was an Under Armour All-American but was unable to play in the Under Armour All-America Game because of a hand injury.