Photo by Jerry Jackson
Former Riverdale players Jordan Sidney (left) and Troy Wyche listen as Raiders coach Olton Downs speaks during Wednesday’s National Signing Day ceremonies in the school’s media Center.
RIVERDALE — Riverdale senior Troy Wyche had his sights set high this season.
As he was helping lead the Raiders to their first playoff appearance since 2005, he anticipated that his stock would rise.
The 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker spearheaded a defense while making second team all-state in the process. Off the field, he was assured of playing major college football as he held several offers from Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
However, while being prudent is a positive for making most decisions in life, it can be a detriment in the world of recruiting. Wyche did not commit to any of his suitors and was ultimately left out in the cold, as the offers were accepted by other players.
That is why on National Signing Day on Wednesday, Wyche signed a letter-of-intent to attend Savannah State, making him one of two Riverdale players to sign their official offers.
Left looking for a Plan B, Wyche made the decision to pledge to the Football Championship Subdivison on Saturday.
“Towards the end, this was really my only option,” Wyche said. “It was kind of out of the blue. My first time talking to them was last week.”
Wyche, a two-star prospect and 151st-ranked outside linebacker in the nation according Scout.com, claimed committable offers from schools such as Indiana, Memphis, and Southern Mississippi at the beginning of the season.
“I wanted to wait to go on a visit before I committed, but before I could go on a visit other people committed,” Wyche said.
What Wyche experienced was the less-talked about evil twin of prospects flipping their commitments. Schools pressure a number of prospects to commit to them early, if they do not, chances are their window to commit could be gone.
Riverdale head coach Olten Downs’ answer to the problem — commit even if you are not sure.
“They’re offering multiple players at positions,” Downs said. “When you got a couple of offers you have to go ahead and commit somewhere and if something better comes along [then] you can go that route.”
Unlike Wyche’s recruitment, Raider lineman Jordan Sidney’s college choice had its eyes on him for quite some time. Sidney signed to attend Tennessee State.
“Back in the spring, they came to a couple of practices and from there on they offered me,” Sidney said.
Other schools offered during the season, but the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Sidney knew for sure Tennessee State was where he wanted to be after he took his visit there. The Tigers think he can help on the offensive or defensive line.
Three more Raider players, Josh Powell, Kamhad Magwood and Brandon Hamilton have a chance to sign letters of intents, but are either awaiting test scores or looking to further their options.