Talk to Anthony Chickillo for just a few minutes about his commitment to the University of Miami, and it's pretty obvious the luster is gone.
Chickillo, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end from Tampa Alonso, is a Hurricane by birth. Long before they ever started flashing the U, his father was a Hurricane. His grandfather was a Hurricane. Little Anthony's diapers probably came decorated with Sebastian the Ibis.
When it came time to pick a college, Miami was a no-brainer for Chickillo.
Things change. Mention the Hurricanes and the recruiting process to Chickllio now, and his look is one of disappointment. Three months ago, it was nothing but hope, promise and excitement. He was carrying the family flag back to Coral Gables. But that was before Miami fired head coach Randy Shannon.
"Miami ... well, I committed to coach Shannon and I really don't know that much about Coach (new head coach Al) Golden besides that I talked to him on the phone," Chickillo said. "I talked to him about three times and I got a good vibe from him on the phone. He's supposed to be coming to my house when I get back from the game (Under Armour Game, Wednesday)."
The vibe wasn't so good that Chickillo reconfirmed his pledge to UM.
"I'm just going to take all my visits ... and on February 2nd I'll know where I want to go," Chickillo said. "I just went to North Carolina. I want to (visit) Florida and Miami, and then I'm going to take either Notre Dame, Florida State, USC, Alabama or USF."
It appears the Gators might have the edge in this chase. The push to get Chickillo started the day after Muschamp was hired as the next UF football coach.
"He was at my house and that meant a lot to me," Chickillo said. "We had a good talk."
On Sunday, Florida announced that it had hired several assistants to Muschamp's staff, including one Chickillo had gotten to know pretty well at Miami in receivers coach Aubrey Hill.
Chickillo had not heard the news yet, but seemed excited to learn Sunday that Hill was on board with the Gators.
"Yeah, I was close to Coach Hill, so we'll see what happens," Chickillo said. "I'm excited for my visit there and it will be a good visit."
Chickillo wouldn't go so far as to say whether it was Muschamp or Golden applying the most effort to land the All-American. Golden did leave notes for each UM commitment or UM prospect at the players' hotel awaiting their arrival on Friday for the Under Armour event.
"They've been calling me a lot, both of them," he said. "They're trying real hard to get me and we'll see what happens."
Fellow prospects have been on him this week also, of course. Gators commitments Jeff Driskel and A.C. Leonard have been in his ear. Another Miami commit, Marcus Jackson of Vero Beach, who backed off his pledge when Shanon was fired, also remains undecided now, and Chickillo and Jackson have been boucing thoughts off each other.
"Yeah all different schools' (commitments) ... they all tell me to come," Chickillo said of the players at the Under Armour events. "I've talked to Jeff and A.C. (UF) alot, and me and Marcus, he's my roomate, we've been talking a lot."
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.