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Verbal commitments aren't worth the paper they're written on.
That's the phrase often used in recruiting, but for Niceville (Fla.) 2014 wide receiver Tyre McCants, that wasn't the case on National Signing Day.
McCants made a verbal commitment to USF on January 2nd over offers such as California, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, NC State, and Louisville. However, McCants saw a twist in his recruitment when he landed a big offer from Georgia the night before signing day.
"Before I went home, my coach said that there is a very good chance I may have an offer from Georgia and that night he called me and said I did," said McCants.
After discussing the new opportunity with his family and coaches, he reaffirmed his decision to stick with USF.
"I felt really good about it, I knew a lot of other people would not understand but it was the right decision for me."
Then Signing Day came, Coach Adron Robinson, who handles the college recruiting for Niceville High School, received a call around 6:20am, it was Florida State - who offered a full scholarship. What people have to realize is that was the offer Tyre has waited his whole life for and it finally came. Tyre grew up watching the 'Noles, and his mother and father were both Seminoles. Everyone close to him are Florida State fans. As word quickly spread about the FSU offer, it was assumed a flip was imminent.
"It got kinda crazy, but I knew my decision was made a month prior, I was a Bull. I will admit as the offers came in my junior and senior year, the one I wanted was in Tallahassee. I didn't stress over it because at the time I was more concerned about my Niceville team and teammates. We were in the midst of a state title run and we were all in. We all promised each other to only focus on winning and not on recruiting."
"But when it finally came, I was filled with emotion, but it was really important that I stayed a man of my word, my commitment had to mean something, regardless of what other athletes do or say."
"It was an honor to receive offers from Georgia and Florida State, it meant the world to me, that all the blood, sweat and many tears I had with my teammates at Niceville paid off. The highest echelon of college football recognized my abilities. Some say that their (FSU and UGA) offers were too late, I say better late than never."
What was it about USF that kept his commitment so strong?
"I committed late by today's standard because I wanted to be sure. And I was sure, Coach Taggart, Coach Holt and now Coach Dugans, I am pretty excited to be working with those coaches and the entire coaching staff at USF. USF is on the rise, I promise you that! People forget we were a top five team just 6 years ago. I am excited to be a part of the dream team."
Head coach and athletic director at Niceville High School stood by and supported McCants' decision.
"We're proud of all of them" (Tyre and others that signed). They're just quality guys with integrity and character."
McCants signed his letter of intent to USF at 7:15 am. He will play receiver for the Bulls, but could also see playing time in the return game and possibly even running back.