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January 3, 2010
Army Express: Elam sticks but will others?
SAN ANTONIO - Rivals.com looks at the top five news items from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in the Army Express. Each day Rivals.com will breakdown the biggest news, player injuries and updated recruiting news in a compact and easy to digest format. Sunday was arrival day for players as players geared up for the week's worth of actives.
1) Elam sticks with FSU
The rollercoaster at Six Flags has nothing on the twists and turns and ups and downs of Matt Elam's recruiting process. The five-star safety from West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer was originally committed to Florida, but switched on New Year's Eve to Florida State after concerns about Urban Meyer's future continued to surface.
Just when things seemed like everything was locked in for Florida State, another round of rumors erupted all over the message boards. Elam finally put those rumors to rest when he told Rivals.com's Adam Gorney he was solid with the Seminoles and will arrive in Tallahassee for early enrollment after he returns from San Antonio.
2) Jeffcoat out for game
Plano (Texas) West five-star defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat was one of the most anticipated players in the game, but he dropped the bomb at player registration on Sunday that he would sit out because of an ankle injury.
"I sprained my ankle about four or five days ago in our basketball tournament. I'll just see how it feels, but I don't think I'll be able to play. It's a little frustrating, but I'm also disappointed. We've got district basketball coming up, and that's very important, too. It's a great honor to be here, but I just wanted to come down and be around the atmosphere.
3) Derby moves to East
A.J. Derby is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the nation, but he was on the Army roster as an athlete on the West squad. The West coaches were planning on using him on both sides of the football and play him at quarterback in certain situations. But with an injury to Joe Boisture on the East, the game organizers decided to move Derby to the East roster and give him a shot at quarterback.
"I'm really excited about the move," Derby, an Iowa commitment, said. "This is much, much better. I wanted to get a shot to play quarterback in a national setting like this for the longest time, and now I'm going to get my chance."
4) Not so solid commitments
Several players that had made commitments to schools previously told Rivals.com on Sunday that those pledges aren't so solid after all.
One of those players was Ahmad Dixon out of Waco (Texas) Midway. Dixon has had one of the most topsy-turvy recruitments in the nation and it looks to still have plenty of drama left. Currently, Dixon is a Baylor commit after de-committing from an early commitment to Texas, but Dixon may not be done yet. Two schools in particular stand out.
"I'm still committed to Baylor, but I'm still keeping in contact with Alabama and Tennessee," Dixon said. "I've been keeping in contact with those two schools a lot lately so just wait till signing day."
Another player that said he might take other visits is the nation's No. 7 ranked wide receiver, Markeith Ambles of McDonough (Ga.) Henry County. Ambles, a long-time Tennessee commitment, said "West Virginia, Miami, North Carolina, LSU, Cal, UCLA and a couple more schools" remain in contention for these possible trips. He mentioned that he made sure the Volunteers' coaching staff knew about this possibly happening when he committed.
5) James hints at leader
Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier offensive lineman Matt James said Ohio State has a slight edge over Notre Dame and Florida and that Cincinnati is slipping.
James, a 6-foot-8, 290-pound prospect, has already visited with the Buckeyes and cited the stability of coach Jim Tressel and offensive line coach and coordinator Jim Bollman as big keys in his recruitment.
The coaching change at Notre Dame with former Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly taking over in South Bend, and the unsettled health issues surrounding Florida coach Urban Meyer has also helped Ohio State. James said he will visit Notre Dame the last weekend of January and a trip to Florida will also be planned. The Bearcats seem to be on their way out.