Here's a situation to keep an eye on.
Tampa QB Phillip Ely is set to announce his commitment tonight at 5pm central. He was a participant in the Elite 11 camp and is currently rated as a 4* prospect (#5 pro-style QB) by Rivals.com. Alabama was somewhat of a late entrant into Ely's recruitment, after striking out with several other QB targets. In fact, he got his scholarship offer so recently it hasn't even showed up on his Rivals offer list yet. So you would think Alabama wouldn't have much of a shot here.
Well, that may not be the case. In fact, his public commitment to the Tide may be just a formality at this point. How do we know this?
Because Rivals goofed up. This afternoon, someone at Rivals posted a story to their wireless site entitled "Ely Pulls A Shocker." Stated in the past tense, the article says Ely committed to the Tide at his press conference and goes into detail with his reasons for his decision (the usual: combination of athletics and academics, winning, relationship with coaches, blah blah blah). I believe the article has since been taken down, but I saw it with my own two eyes.
So what's the deal? There are three different scenarios here:
1. It's the truth. These recruiting beat writers always know a lot more than they go to press with. They often get tipped off, either by the coaching staff or someone from the recruit's circle, as to what a recruit's decision is going to be. Whoever posted this story got such a tip, wrote up the story, and then accidentally submitted it too soon.
2. This was the sort of "preparedness" piece that writers often work up prior to an event so they can immediately go to press with it and hopefully beat their competitors to the punch after the fact. Whoever accidentally posted this story may have had 4 or 5 of these worked up, its just that this happened to be the one he clicked the wrong button on.
3. It's a straight-up hoax. Why someone at Rivals would deliberately post a fake story, I don't know. But it's the Internet. You have to assume it's a possibility.
Just figured I'd give you guys a heads up. I'll definitely be interested to see how this pans out, no matter what. This kid looks like a good get, though. Hopefully, Bama will land him. The Tide really needs to pick up a QB in this class.
I'll check back in later to wrap up the situation, and maybe talk up the Tide's 17th commitment of the 2010 recruiting class.