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WEST PALM BEACH - There were no National Signing Day surprises in Palm Beach County.
Every key player in the area, including WR Travis Rudolph, had pledged their verbal commitments prior to Feb. 5. With the exception of Dwyer, the variety of ceremonies that took place proved to be simple, quick and straight to the point.
Here's a rundown of what transpired:
CARDINAL NEWMAN - Rudolph was the only player that signed his letter of intent. The FV 100 No. 1 player, who announced his verbal commitment to Florida State during last month's Under Armour All-American Game, predictably stuck with his pledge to the Seminoles.
Florida made a late push after the UA Game, but the 5-star wide receiver made it a point to keep his word with the Seminoles.
"I just told the Florida coaches that my heart was at Florida State," Rudolph said. "I appreciate the opportunity, but when I visited FSU, I got a real good vibe with all their players and coaches. I want to be a Seminole for the next few years."
Rudolph, who had more than 25 offers on the table, said he's relieved that the recruiting process is finally over.
"It was very tiring," he said. "All the coaches were telling me the same thing, but in different ways. Fans from everywhere were telling me to go to their schools. When I de-committed from Miami, many of their fans were saying bad things about me. They said I couldn't play on the next level. But now that's all behind me and I can just focus on getting myself ready for Florida State."
Rudolph on the FV100 No. 1 final ranking:
"I worked so hard for it," he said. "It's a blessing to have earned the honor. When you're recognized for being the best at what you do, it just lets you know that your hard work is not in vain."
ROYAL PALM BEACH - Five players signed their letters of intent from Royal Palm Beach, including the likes of ATH Jimmy Moreland, ATH Alon Sims, LB Zeke Edmonds, OL Junior Pierre and OL [/db]Kyle Thies[/db].
Moreland chose to play at the next level for James Madison, while Sims and Edmonds picked Western Michigan and UMass, respectively.
"I'm going to compete for a spot at cornerback," Moreland said of his decision to go with James Madison. "I want to play right away."
Edmonds on UMass:
"I have a great opportunity to succeed there," said Edmonds, who picked UMass over Marshall, James Madison and Coastal Carolina. "UMass is on the come-up right now. I want to be with a program that's going in the right direction."
Pierre signed with New Mexico Military Institute, while Thies elected to play college football for Alabama State.
DWYER - The Panthers had their largest signing day group in school history, as nine players made their college decisions official.
Held at Dwyer High School's media center, the ceremony did not include WR Johnnie Dixon, who is already enrolled at Ohio State.
The key signees were as follows:
S Shawn Boone - NC State
WR Ezra Saffold - Northern Illinois
WR Clint Stephens - Bowling Green
RB Alonzo Smith - Miami (Ohio)
ATH Shawun Lurry - Blinn JC
FB Gerald Hearns - FAMU
DT Daikwon Fuse - FAMU
DT Tim Jackson - Wagner
"They're a great group of kids," Dwyer head coach Jack Daniels said. "They left a legacy here with an undefeated season and a state championship. I wish them all the best as they go on to the next level."
- DE Kevin Bronson and WR Tre'Quan Smith made their official decisions to play for Virginia Tech and UCF, respectively.
Bronson, who had 26 offers, actually picked Virginia Tech over USF this past weekend. He was set to keep his choice to himself until National Signing Day, but decided to end his recruiting process on Feb. 1.
"I feel that Virginia Tech is the best school for me," he said. "I can see myself making an impact right away for an established coaching staff."
Smith pledged his verbal to UCF this past summer and never wavered from that point on.
"There was never a doubt in my mind about them," he said. "I'm just glad the recruiting process is over now."
OTHER KEY SIGNINGS
WR Adly Enoicy - Syracuse
ATH Thomas Owens - FIU
WR Darrian Josey - Hawaii
CB Kyron Brown - Akron
OL Garry Gadet - Alabama A&M
ATH Jerry Jones - FAU
PALM BEACH CENTRAL
OL K.C. McDermott - Miami (enrolled in January)
DL [db]Josh Gutierrez[db] - Trinity College
PALM BEACH GARDENS
QB J.P. Caruso - Appalachian State (enrolled in January)
LB/TE Caleb Perez - Rutgers
OL Corbin Finlayson - South Alabama
K Steven Olsen - Chowan College
WR Stephen Louis - NC State (enrolled in January)
S Marques Gayot - Miami
LB Renard Cheren - Northern Illinois
RB Emmanuel Smith - Notre Dame College
WR Darrell Langham - Miami
Naji Tobias covers Palm Beach County for FlaVarsity.com - Follow him on twitter @damuck - email: email@example.com