Seffner Armwood safety Leon McQuay III, standing with Armwood coach Sean Callahan, will make his college choice public tonight at the Under Armour All-American Game. (CHRIS HAYS/ORLANDO SENTINEL / January 4, 2013)
People have been waiting a long time to find out where Leon McQuay III will be going to college and the wait will finally end tonight at the Under Armour All-American Game at St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field.
McQuay, the 6-foot-2, 184-pound standout safety at Seffner Armwood, has been on the recruiting radar since before he was even in high school. His special talents were realized early and he has done nothing but blossom since those early stages.
But he says the time has flown by quickly.
"I know how long it's been but it went like that," he said, snapping his fingers. "It sped by."
He'll choose from a list of five finalists tonight, a list which he rattled off in this order on Wednesday: Michigan, Oregon, Florida State, USC and Vanderbilt. That order does not likely resemble his priority ranking. Most figure McQuay III is headed to Southern Cal.
But McQuay III was not about to budge on Wednesday in giving any hints as to which direction he might be leaning. He did say that the most important thing to him in choosing a college is to go "wherever I feel is the best place for me to succeed and do what I do."
Fair enough. Sounds pretty simple, but this process is never simple. He's made official trips to each of the schools remaining on his list. USC was his final stop on the weekend of Dec. 14.
He's done his homework and he's ready to choose, but since he has been involved in the Under Armour events this week at ESPN's Wide World of Sports as a still uncommitted prospect, one might figure there have been plenty of other players recruiting him.
"Nobody is really on me hard ... they're just like, 'you want to come' to, you know, wherever they are," said McQuay III, who had 54 tackles and five interceptions this season.
Teammate and fellow Under Armour All-American Alvin Bailey is headed to Florida, but McQuay III said Bailey never really tried to pull his friend in that direction, either.
"He's like my brother. He just wants me to do what's best for me," McQuay III said.
Also committing tonight will be The others are Jackson (La.) East Feliciana ATH Kendell Beckwith, Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett LB Trey Johnson, Mission Viejo, Calif., S Max Redfield, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Jefferson LB Ebenezer Ogundeko, and Pomfret (Md.) Mcdonough OL Na'Ty Rodgers.
Both Johnson, who is thought to be headed to Ohio State, and Ogundeko, who appears destined for Clemson, have Florida as finalists.
Beckwith appears headed to LSU, Redfield is probably picking Notre Dame over USC and Rodgers is down to Maryland or South Carolina.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.