The early signing period is closing in on us and there are some key components and loose ends that need to be tied up. Actually, they don’t need to be tied up but it sure would be nice to find out what’s going on.
Ridley hasn’t turned in his paperwork
The cornerstone of the Texas recruiting class is center Cameron Ridley (Fort Bend, Tex./Bush), ESPN’s No. 8 prospect in the senior class. He committed to the Texas Longhorns last January and prior to the signing period there’s been little concern for the Longhorns seeing this one through. Prior to the start of the period, we checked in with Ridley’s camp and asked if the signature was forthcoming and were told it wasn’t a problem.
Here we are merely one day before the close of the signing period and Ridley’s yet to turn in his paperwork.
“He’s going to Texas,” Ridley’s AAU coach, Keith White, said. “He’s getting his stuff together.”
White said he couldn’t put a timetable on when/if Ridley signs early and the coach had no specific conclusion for the delay. “No reason, he’s got the Clearinghouse and things to take care of. He’s definitely going to Texas.”
As the early signing period draws to a close, Texas fans can take solace in the word of Ridley’s coach. He was consistent in his message that Ridley has a process of handling his academics and then tidying up his pledge.
On the other hand, if the deadline passes and there’s no formal conclusion to the commitment, Ridley will get dive bombed from all angles. Other coaches – naturally – will be curious as to why there was no signing. That will come, bet on it. A key sign that there’s trouble mounting is the presence of inquires from other programs. Already behind the scenes word is leaking out and programs have their antennas extended for information.
Maybe there’s a reason why Texas stocked up on bigs? In addition to Ridley, the Longhorns went for Prince Ibeh (Garland, Tex./Naaman Forest) and locked up the versatile power forward Connor Lammert (San Antonio, Tex./Churchill). As promising as those prospects are, they aren’t Ridley and for Texas to maintain its status as an elite class, the signature of Cameron Ridley will be required. Rick Barnes won’t care if it’s early or late, he’ll just want the chance to announce to the college basketball scene that Ridley is indeed his.
Second thoughts for Shaq?
OK, it’s about time to put that pen to the paper if you’re Shaq Goodwin (Decatur, Ga./SW DeKalb). Memphis secured a commitment from him at the start of last week, days after his visit to UCLA. At that point, he and his mother weren’t on the same page though she confirmed to us that the commitment stood. Fast forward a week and here’s the update.
“I’m not sure,” SW DeKalb coach DeWayne McKinney said. “It’s still out in the open. As far as I know (the commitment is) good. I think he and his mom still want to talk a little bit just to make sure. They want to sit down and talk about it as a family a little more I guess.”
As far as signing, Persephone Goodwin, Shaq’s mom, said no pen to the paper this period. “He won’t sign until the spring,” Persephone said. “No early signing.”
The word we’re getting is that Goodwin’s commitment stands (his mom said as much in this Atlanta Journal Constitution story). Not everyone in the family is on the same page and in layman’s terms that means mom wants son to make sure UCLA isn’t the place. From what we’ve gathered, Shaq’s kept his word to the Tigers behind the scenes.
Buckle up for the spring ride.