Ravian Pierce needed a few weeks to decide where he wanted to play college football.
In the end, he found comfort from a family member already playing at his future school.
Pierce – a 6-4, 215-pound tight end at Plantation High School – signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Bulldogs in front of friends and family members at his school on Wednesday. He will join his cousin, Rufus Warren, who will be a junior next season and is listed as a tight end for the Razorbacks, but Pierce said Warren will play on the offensive line.
Pierce visited the school this past weekend, and made a final decision 22 days after National Signing Day for the Class of 2014 because he was waiting on a qualifying ACT score to close the deal. Pierce will likely spend a year at a junior college to meet academic requirements before playing at Mississippi St.
Pierce was previously committed to Arkansas thanks to his close relationship with Charlie Partridge, who was an assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Arkansas before taking the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. Pierce withdrew his pledge to the Razorbacks on Jan. 22, and picked Mississippi St. over FAU despite his rapport with Partridge.
“I can’t complain about anything,” Pierce said. “I feel like I made the right choice. I didn’t rush anything.
“Me and coach Partridge, I was real close with him. But I kind of feel down – not saying in a bad way – but I’m just saying like me and his connection was real tight, but things happen for a reason.”
Pierce said he’s not really sure which school he would have picked if he had to make a decision on National Signing Day. Both FAU and Mississippi St. would have accepted his commitment, Plantation coach Steve Davis said.
“It was really hard,” Pierce said of his final decision. “It was very close. Very close.
“I’m pretty sure [Partridge will] be ok [with my decision], but still excited for me.”
Pierce becomes the 24th commitment in the Class of 2014 for Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen and co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzales, whom Pierce informed of his decision earlier Thursday.
“They were pumped up,” Pierce said. “They were excited.”
Now Pierce’s attention shifts to finishing the school year strong, and his journey ahead.
“I’m a clown and I like to play around, but I’m going to take this serious for the next couple of years,” Pierce said.