When it comes to the recruiting of East River offensive lineman Adam Duckett, we’ve entered somewhat of a gray area.
Gray shirt, that is.
Florida State has offered Duckett a gray shirt opportunity and now all the 6-foot-8, 330-pound tackle has to do is decide whether he wants to sit out of school and work until next January (the gray-shirt scenario), or go ahead and commit to playing at a junior college for the next 18 months.
Duckett was in Tallahassee on Saturday and offensive line coach Rick Trickett and head coach Jimbo Fisher spent part of the day with the 6-foot-8, 330-pound lineman, explaining to Adam and his father, Chris Duckett, the intricacies of the different options.
“Everything up there seemed like it fit. Everything was amazing … the atmosphere, the coaches, the facilities, everything … I’m in love with the place,” Duckett said Sunday morning after returning home late Saturday night. “It’s just that right now, with my situation with grades and stuff, they can’t really offer me, so they talked about getting me in as a gray shirt or possibly a spot opening up at the end of the [school] year, before I graduate, to get straight in there.
“They have all of their spots filled right now. It’s still a toss up between going in as a gray shirt and going to junior college. Last night I was talking to Coach Trickett and I think they want to get me in there as soon as possible, but also want to do it right.”
It’s a quandary that numerous high school football players across the country find themselves in at this time every year. The first thing is understanding a gray shirt and what that means:
Gray shirt = Enrolling at FSU, January 2013, with four years eligibility remaining, sitting out the first eligible season as a “gray shirt.” Gray shirts cannot enroll until after the season of their freshman year, and their scholarship will then count against the next year’s class.
The other option is to go ahead and commit to a juco with the "silent" commitment to FSU after the 18-month juco commitment:
Juco = Enrolling at FSU, January 2014, with two years eligibility remaining, having already played two seasons, at that time, with the junior college.
Duckett has had GPA and test-score issues, which he recently hopes to have been resolved with a 20 on his latest ACT score. East River officials will have to take care of filing to the NCAA’s admissions “Clearing House,” and he just has to await the NCAA’s official response.
FSU, however, told Duckett on Saturday that all of the scholarships for the 2012 recruiting class have been ear-notched for those who are expected to sign on Wednesday. If someone changes his mind on Wednesday and signs somewhere else, or if one of the players who signs becomes an academic casualty, that could free up a spot for Duckett.
“That’s what we were talking about last night, me and my father, with Jimbo in his office,” Adam said, "so that could get me in there faster."
The bottom line for Duckett, however, is making it past the Clearing House. Then he’ll know exactly where he stands.
Duckett seems to be leaning toward sitting out until next January, working in the meantime.
“I can go ahead and get a job and save my money up so when i do get there I’ve got some spending money,” Duckett said.
He also likes the idea of going to Georgia Military, which would mean an 18-month commitment.
“Georgia Military has close connections with FSU,” Duckett said. “The offensive line coach [Joe Windon] there works camps at FSU.
“I already have my mind set that I want to go to FSU, so they would already be teaching me what Coach Trickett and the FSU coaches are going to teach, and be coaching with the same drills and stuff they do at Florida State.”
Duckett will be able to shore things up in the next few weeks, but he said he still might be signing on Wednesday’s National Signing Day.
“I’m just not sure right now,” he said.