National Signing Day is the beginning of a life long dream to many 17 and 18 year olds. Some players sign with schools they have been committed to for a long time, others make it suspenseful by picking a hat in front of their friends, family, coaches and even on national television. Needless to say, it’s an exciting moment for the athletes. As fax machines started buzzing as early as 7 a.m. this morning, one South Carolina running back will not be signing with the team he had be committed to since June of 2014.
Running back Matt Colburn of Dutch Fork High School (Irmo, SC.), has been verbally committed to the Louisville Cardinals for over eight months when defensive coordinator Todd Grantham broke the news to him Monday morning. The Cardinals were pulling Colburn’s scholarship, just two days before signing day.
“I felt lost and hopeless,” Colburn said Tuesday to Chris Dearing of The State. “I mean, I had shut down my recruiting and basically gave everything to those guys – my commitment, my word and everything. Now my commitment and your commitment isn’t the same thing.”
Grantham then offered Colburn a chance to grayshirt, which means he could enroll in January 2016. Colburn declined the offer.
“They never told me anything about grayshirting in those eight months,” Colburn told Dearing. “They were telling me they wanted me to be ready to play next year and I would be in a rotation with the other guys. To tell me about grayshirting a day and a half before signing day is not good business. I was flabbergasted.”
The news was a total blind side to the 3-star running back who had taken his official visit on January 17, 2015. Dutch Fork’s head coach and athletic director Tom Knotts has banned Lousville coach Bobby Petrino from stepping foot on campus and no one from the Cardinals’ coaching staff will be allowed to recruit from Dutch Fork.
Rivals has Colburn listed as a 3-star running back, he is also the state’s most decorated player and was South Carolina’s Mr. Football and the Shrine Bown offensive MVP this year. Although his college plans did not work out like he planned, he is seeing the brighter side of the situation. People have poured out their support to Colburn via Twitter (@Colburn31) and he has received multiple scholarships within hours of news breaking about Louisville.
Even though he will not be participating in the excitements of Signing Day, he will weigh out his options and decide to pursue his collegiate football career between Georgia Southern, Furman, Marshall and Wake Forest, no later than next week.
*Section Photo credit to Joel Auerbach, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Jamie Rhodes, USA Today Sports