Two WPIAL quarterbacks are caught in the middle of a recruiting soap opera where commitments have been made and scholarship offers pulled.
"It has been a humbling experience," McKeesport quarterback Eddie Stockett said.
Everything seemed great for Stockett and Gateway quarterback Thomas Woodson after they made verbal commitments to colleges in the summer. Woodson accepted a scholarship from the University of Arizona. Stockett accepted a scholarship from Akron.
But as of this week, Stockett no longer had a scholarship from Akron while Woodson also had his Arizona offer pulled. And now the strange twist: It is highly likely Woodson will accept a scholarship from Akron.
"After this, it's hard to take someone's word on some things," Stockett said.
The recruiting sagas of Woodson and Stockett started to get messy in November. Although Stockett had accepted a scholarship from Akron coach Tommy Bowden in the summer, he said he rarely heard from Akron's coaches during the season. After throwing for 1,772 yards as a junior, Stockett wasn't as successful as a senior, throwing for only 522 yards. He rushed for 660.
Eventually, Stockett and Akron parted ways.
"It was a mutual decision, I think," Stockett said. "We kind of grew apart because the communication from [Akron] wasn't there. They weren't calling or anything. So myself and my family said, 'Maybe this isn't the perfect suit for me.'
"Plus, looking down their depth chart, they have a lot of quarterbacks. Everything happens for a reason. I have no hard feelings toward Akron."
Stockett re-opened his recruiting and he said a few Division I schools and Division II schools are showing interest.
"If Division I isn't there, the biggest thing for me is I want to start four years in college," Stockett said. "I don't want to settle for anything less because I know what I am capable of doing."
Also in November, Arizona pulled its scholarship offer to Woodson. An athletic department official called Gateway coach Terry Smith the day of the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal against Woodland Hills to inform Smith that Woodson's scholarship offer was no longer on the table.
Smith said Arizona claimed it could not get Woodson into the university academically, but Smith said Woodson is academically qualified under NCAA rules.
"The bottom line is they got another quarterback from Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada and a transfer from USC, so there wasn't any room for [Woodson]," Smith said. "They should've just said that. I could've respected that."
Then Akron offered Woodson a scholarship.
"He's leaning toward going there," Smith said.
Mike White: firstname.lastname@example.org