Making the deadline decision

Herald/CATRINA RAWSON - David Cobb is one of many area athletes trying to weigh his final options and make the decision of which college to attend and play football for before National Signing Day on Wednesday.

By Alex Byington

Killeen Daily Herald

David Cobb has so many college recruitment letters, he doesn't know what to do with them anymore.

Some are cluttering up his locker at school, others are packed into an overflowing shoebox in his car, while still more wait for him at home.

And, as most of the country's senior football talent prepares to sign national letters of intent Wednesday on National Signing Day, the bruising Ellison senior running back is left wondering what his future holds.

"In the back of your head, you're just thinking, 'When's it going to be my time?' or 'Am I going to do this or that?' and that's stressful," Cobb said.

Despite the heavy interest, and five scholarship offers from Stanford, Memphis, Texas State, North Texas and Army, along with some late looks from Houston, Cobb still has no idea where he's going to play next year in college.

"It's just been a lot of worrying and stressing," Cobb said. "... You just have to find out what's best for you. You hear a lot of people say go here or there because they like the sound of it, but sometimes you have to break it down and sit down and talk to your family."

Cobb, a three-star recruit listed at 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, is just one of several area athletes that have been languishing over their college destination.

"When you're young and you're getting letters, you feel like you're on top of the world, you feel like you're better than most people," said Cobb, who's older brothers Caesar and Daniel play at Alcorn State and Texas Tech, respectively. "Sometimes it gets to you, but you just have to be humble and modest about it, stay calm and understand that if a college wants you, they'll want you."

For some like Belton quarterback David Ash and Killeen quarterback Michael Cummings, the decision was easy.

Ash committed to Texas last spring and is currently attending classes in Austin, while Cummings is expected to sign with Kansas on Wednesday after he picked the Jayhawks over the summer.

Others who made up their minds early include a quartet from Copperas Cove, including defensive tackle Trevor Valdez (already enrolled at Baylor), linebacker Brandon Durant (Missouri), offensive lineman Cody Elenz (UTEP) and tailback Williams Randolph (Texas A&M).

But for others, the last four months since football season ended have been a blur of phone calls, highlight reels and visits to prospective colleges.

"It's very stressful and frustrating at times, but you have to keep looking forward to the next day because you don't know who's going to call," said Harker Heights linebacker Tyler Babb. "You're always there waiting for the best, waiting for the school you want to go to to call."

Babb, who committed to West Texas A&M after visiting the campus Sunday, said he has been sending out 50-60 highlight clips nearly every week to schools from various levels of competition.

"It's basically about sending your stuff to the right school at the right time," he said.

Unlike fellow Roos teammate Jaquail Haskins, who committed to Army two weeks ago, undersized but productive Killeen linebacker Royce Asi saw early interest fade after the season.

"When you're young, in middle school, you think about the college you want to go to," Asi said. "You always think of (Division I) colleges, but you don't realize a lot of D-3s and JUCOs are out there to help you out and get you up there also."

But, rather than give up on his Division I dreams, Asi has decided to sign with Southeast Prep in Houston, a one-year postgraduate school that boasts its ability to get players to the next level.

"I was just trying to get out there and be known when I was younger. As I get older, you've got to really set yourself out there now," Asi said. "It's time you've got to grow up and realize you've got to do things on your own."

Sometimes, playing the waiting game can pay off, as long as a player's willing to be versatile.

Although he never managed to rack up amazing statistics as a tailback at Harker Heights, senior DeAndre Jones committed to Wyoming on Sunday with the plan to become a defensive back, a position he hasn't played since he was sophomore.

But for Cobb and others who have yet to make up their mind, the process will continue well past signing day.

"In the recruiting process, over my 28 years of coaching, nothing really surprises me about it," Heights coach Mike Mullins said. "... It's really a process that goes a long ways through the middle of their junior year up until they graduate and even into the summer sometimes, so you just never know."

Kevin Posival contributed to this report

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