February 7, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- When LSU running backs coach Larry Porter heard the news, he didn't know whether to cry or be proud.
Porter had been recruiting wide receiver Terrance Toliver, who had not made any public statement about where he intended to play college football until he called Porter on Tuesday morning. He even kept his father, Terry Toliver, in the dark about his decision.
"He didn't tell me nothing," Terry Toliver said. "Last week he told me he was going to [the University of] Florida. If he committed to LSU he didn't tell me. Whatever decision he makes, I don't care. I just want what's best for Terrance."
Toliver initially said he would wait to make his announcement until National Signing Day, today. Ricky Sargent, Toliver's coach at Hempstead High School in Hempstead, Texas, said Toliver had trouble making up his mind.
"He made this decision a long time ago," Sargent said. "Then he changed his mind and committed to Florida. He decided to follow his heart and go to LSU."
Toliver caught 42 passes for 842 yards and six touchdowns his senior year. Local football analyst Mike Detillier said Toliver has room to improve, but he has the ability to make plays most wide receivers cannot.
"He's got what you're looking for as a receiver," Detillier said. "He knows how to get open downfield. He knows how to set up a defensive back downfield and break away. That is an innate ability that you either have or don't have."
Hempstead Athletic Director Bobby Spain coached Toliver on Hempstead's basketball team. Spain said Toliver will benefit from playing just one sport at LSU.
"He needs to get stronger," Spain said. "Being the all-around athlete that he is, he doesn't get a lot of time to spend in the weight room. He's played football, basketball and track here so he's always playing a sport."
Toliver chose LSU over the universities of Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Southern California.
"Both of them are two good school[s]," Toliver said in a press release. "I decided that LSU needed me more than Florida did."
Toliver was on a list of players recruited by LSU who said they were going to wait until today to make their decision. Running back Joe McKnight from John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, and safety Chad Jones of Southern Lab School in Baton Rouge, had not announced their decisions as of press time. McKnight will make his announcement live on ESPNU today at 11 a.m.
"Today it's different from years past," Detillier said. "Now it's showtime because of ESPN and all the other stuff. A lot of times guys have made up their minds and are waiting to make their announcement based on the time frame they've set up with ESPN. It's just like the [NFL] Draft now. It's become a spectacle of its own."
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