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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
In the sweepstakes for Plant quarterback Robert Marve, it appears Miami and Alabama are now neck and neck.
Marve returned from a visit to Miami on Sunday and said he was impressed. The senior committed to Alabama over the summer, but after coach Mike Shula was fired, he began to explore his options.
"I really liked everything about Miami," Marve said. "The campus, the coaches, everything was great. I also liked the (campus enrollment of about 10,000). It looks like a great place to get a good education."
MUST-SEE TV: One of the benefits of playing a nationally televised game has been reaped by fleet Armwood all-purpose player Deondre Kyles.
Over the weekend, Kyles orally committed to Middle Tennessee despite missing a chunk of his final season with a torn knee ligament.
Hawks coach Sean Callahan said Kyles was offered a scholarship by the Blue Raiders the morning after his 95-yard kick return for a touchdown in a 13-6 regular-season win against Jefferson. The Sept. 15 game was televised by ESPNU.
"We had several calls that Saturday morning with people offering him," Callahan said. "That was the beauty of ESPN."
Kyles (199 passing, 179 receiving yards) is one of five Hawks who have committed to a Division I school. Among them is linebacker Derrall Anderson, whom Callahan said orally committed to Arizona State on Sunday. Anderson had scheduled a visit to Iowa State but canceled it after deciding on the Sun Devils.
DECISION SOON: Middleton defensive back Sherod Murdock canceled his weekend trip to Alabama due to a "family issue," but said his choice is between it and Pittsburgh. Murdock said he'll announce his decision Wednesday.
MUNDELLA TO MIDWEST: Northeast tackle Dylan Mundella orally to Murray State, a Division I-AA program in western Kentucky, according to assistant coach Kenny Crawford. Mundella, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior, anchored an offensive line that helped the Vikings rush for more than 3,000 yards.
HICKMAN STILL PONDERING: Armwood quarterback Justin Hickman, who spent the weekend visiting Division I-AA Morehead (Ky.) State, remained noncommittal when reached at the airport in Charlotte, N.C.
VMI is the only other school Hickman has visited and has the slight edge over Morehead. But the triple-option quarterback said he's "hoping a miracle comes up and something else comes through."
VMI is recruiting Hickman at his position. Morehead is courting him more as an athlete. Hickman acknowledged VMI's military structure is one of the factors keeping him from committing now.
"I'm pretty open-minded to them," he said. "I know I can get through it, whether I want to or not is on me. I know it would be hard, but it would probably make me a better person."
CHAMPS COURTING BELLAMY: Boca Ciega tailback Josh Bellamy, a USF commitment, said Florida cornerbacks coach Chuck Heater continues to woo him to Gator Nation.
"They want me to play safety," he said. "They're telling me, 'You can be the next Reggie Nelson. You can do big things and help us win another bowl.' It's the stuff they probably tell everyone."
Nelson, Florida's All-American safety, will skip his senior season and enter April's NFL draft. Bellamy, a 6-foot, 185-pounder with 4.44 40 speed, said he's sticking with his USF commitment.
FAMU OFFER TO HARRIS: Central running back DuJuan Harris was offered a scholarship by Florida A&M during an on-campus weekend visit, according to Central coach Cliff Lohrey. Harris, Lohrey said, hasn't accepted.
A TIE TO TULANE: Tulane has emerged as a suitor for Wharton linebacker Josh Jones and might have the inside track based on a family connection. Josh's father, former University of Florida and NFL running back James Jones, was a Seahawks teammate of Tulane defensive coordinator Thom Kaumeyer.
Times staff writers Joey Knight, Scott Purks and Dave Murphy contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at email@example.com or at (727) 893-8129.