George Rushing and Trevon Lee have seen the repercussions coaching changes in college football have had on current and prospective players firsthand.
In the end, choosing the colleges that offered the two Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons wide receivers the most stability where major factors in their decisions.
Rushing announced his commitment to Wisconsin, with Lee deciding to take his talents to Duke. Both made their decisions public on WQAM Monday night.
Rushing, rated a three-star receiver by multiple media outlets, has had a hectic start to 2014 to say the least. He was previously committed to Louisville since May 2013, but Charlie Strong’s departure to take the head coaching position at Texas left Rushing trying to put all the pieces in his recruitment back together since withdrawing his pledge on Jan. 8.
“It’s been crazy,” Rushing said to the Miami Herald about 90 minutes before announcing his decision.
Rushing took official visits to Wisconsin on Jan. 17, Louisville on Jan. 24 and TCU this past weekend in hopes of finding some clarity, and did with a school kept its persistence.
“The only school I’ve known for a really long time has been Wisconsin,” Rushing said. “They’ve been recruiting me since April. They never gave up even when I committed [to Louisville].”
Rushing said getting to know the new staff at Louisville and trying to quickly build a relationship with those at TCU “as kind of hard, but worth it.”
In the end, joining Wisconsin’s pass-heavy offense was the deciding factor for Rushing, who has grown close with Badgers head coach Gary Andersen and wide receivers coach Chris Betty. Rushing should have no problems thriving as he secured the third-most touchdowns amongst players in Miami-Dade and Broward County last season with 13.
“Basically what [Andersen] wants to do is bring in some playmakers to throw the ball” said Rushing, who had 47 catches for 598 yards. “And I feel like I can be that playmaker especially in the Big Ten.”
For Lee, seeing Duke coach David Cutcliffe promote passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery to offensive coordinator once Kurt Roper left for Florida was reassuring to say the least.
“That was a very big factor to me since a lot of coaches have been swapping schools lately,” Lee said before an hour his announcement. “But Coach Roper leaving didn't really affect me, and I know for a fact Coach Cut isn't going anywhere.”
Duke defensive backs coach Derek Jones was also a key component for Lee, who visited the school this past weekend after taking an official visit to Vanderbilt on Jan. 24. Ultimately, Duke provided more stability after seeing James Franklin leave Vandy to take the helm at Penn State.
Lee, who was tied in 15th place amongst Miami-Dade and Broward County players last season with 741 receiving yards, will now share receiving duties with another South Florida stud in Chris Taylor from Davie University School.
“I say we're pretty close,” Lee said of his friendship with Taylor. “Still working on our friendship since we pretty much just met in the middle of this football season, but we're really cool. He's been telling me about the program and why I should go there with him.”
In the meantime for Rushing and Lee, announcing their decisions together was a lasting moment for both.
“It means a lot,” Lee said. “[Rushing has] been my bro since he got to [Cardinal Gibbons] so I'm glad we're ending our recruiting process together. “We both worked very hard for this moment.”
-Two more local prospects announced their commitments Monday night. Miami Columbus linebacker Nick MeBeath will sign with Holy Cross. Miramar quarterback Nick Jeanty will head to New Mexico State.