Familiarity is what initially led St. Thomas Aquinas RB Jordan Scarlett to commit to Florida Atlantic. Scarlett committed to the Owls back in December after the team hired his former high school coach Roger Harriott as the new running backs coach. Unfortunately, it seems the more familiar the 4-star recruit got with actual program, the less he liked.
Scarlett officially decommitted from the Owls today, telling the Sun Sentinel, “”I felt like FAU wasn’t the best decision for me academically and out on the football field. At my position, you need your body and at FAU, I would need to carry the team and I’m trying to get my body ready for the NFL.”
While it’s a bit arrogant for the talented rusher to assume he would “carry the team” it’s understandable that Scarlett has a desire to play for a more prestigious program than FAU. The Owls have won just 13 games in the past four seasons, and they’re considered to be one of the afterthoughts of the of the FBS division.
The 5’11’’, 205-pound Florida native has garnered plenty of acclaim and received a host of scholarship offers from power programs, following an outstanding junior season at University High School, in which he rushed for 932 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The top four contenders to land Scarlett’s services are Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and South Carolina. He also holds offers from many other prestigious programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Georgia.
When trying to forecast where the talented rusher will end up, the Hurricanes are a team to definitely watch out for, especially since his decision to decommit from FAU comes on the heels of an unofficial visit he took to Miami.
Since Scarlett opted to stay in Fort Lauderdale and transfer to local powerhouse, St. Thomas Aquinas, he’ll still be right in the Canes’ backyard, which gives coach Al Golden a great benefit. Also, since the team’s current star: RB Duke Johnson is expected to test the NFL waters following the 2014 season, it’s likely The U will have a big hole to fill in the backfield next offseason.
Florida State, Ohio State and South Carolina are all desirable destinations for a player whose ultimate goal is to make it to the pros. However, Miami is a program that’s certainly proven that it can produce NFL-caliber running backs such as Frank Gore, Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James.
Scarlett fits the physical mold of a prototypical Miami running back, sharing the same build and skills as many of the Canes’ top rushers in recent years. Now, it’s up to Golden to convince the coveted back that his best option is to stay close to home and become the school’s next standout featured back.