Ryan Baynes wanted to play college football close to home. But when Marshall University offered the Butler standout a scholarship, Baynes couldn't say no.
The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder will sign a letter of intent with the Huntington, W.Va., school Wednesday, which is National Signing Day.
"It was a sacrifice," said Baynes, who will play defensive tackle. "It was a sacrifice I had to make to pursue a dream. Sometimes, you have to do what you've got to do."
Baynes visited the campus last weekend and said he was impressed with everything the school had to offer.
Since going Division I in 1997, the Thundering Herd has captured four consecutive Mid-American Conference titles. Marshall boasted a 114-25 record during the 1990s.
"Marshall was the winningest team in the 1990s," Baynes said. "They won more games than anybody else in the country. The coaching staff really welcomed me when I went up there."
South Carolina pursued Baynes earlier this season but backed off when it got a verbal commitment from Aiken defensive lineman Eric Stroman. West Georgia also chased Baynes.
"He did an outstanding job for us," Butler coach David Land said. "I think this is a very good move for him."
Baynes said he is happy with his commitment and hopes college recruiters will leave him alone.
"This recruiting process was really stressful," he said. "They call you at all times of the night, and I missed a lot of classwork going on these visits. I canceled a visit this weekend. I'm going to sign this Wednesday, and they may still call me, you never know."
Baynes will get a chance to see an old teammate, Ben Troupe, on Sept. 1 when Marshall visits Florida in the season opener.
"I'll get to mess with Ben a little bit," Baynes said.
TURMAN AT GEORGIA: The University of Georgia apparently is making an effort to land Washington-Wilkes tailback Daccus Turman, who earlier this week committed to play for South Carolina.
Even though the Gamecocks don't have a scholarship offer for Turman, the state's all-time single-season rushing leader said he would walk on and try to land a scholarship for next year.
FUTURE GAMECOCKS: South Carolina coach Lou Holtz is making a big impact with local recruits in the Augusta area. In addition to getting a commitment from Turman, the Gamecocks also got a commitment from The Augusta Chronicle's South Carolina player of the year, Marcus Lawrence of Silver Bluff.
Lawrence's teammate, Maurice Duncan, reportedly is going to South Carolina, and Swainsboro linebacker Charles Silas and Aiken's Eric Stroman committed to the Gamecocks earlier this year.
MAKING A PITCH: Another Washington-Wilkes standout could sign with a Division I school on Wednesday. Coach Frank Vohun said defensive back/wide receiver Fred Dunn has narrowed his choices to West Virginia, West Georgia and Valdosta State. Dunn is visiting West Virginia this weekend.
CAYWOOD COMMITS: Record-setting quarterback Will Caywood of Greenbrier announced earlier this week that he'll sign with West Georgia on Wednesday. The senior reportedly turned down a partial scholarship offer from Appalachian State.
One of Caywood's favorite targets, wide receiver Matt Jackson, is receiving considerable interest from Appalachian State and Newberry and Presbyterian colleges.
HEPHZIBAH RECRUITS: Earlier this week, defensive lineman Rudy Griffin committed to play for The Citadel. Running back Gavin Willingham will sign with Georgia Military College, while wide receiver B.J. Gibson will sign with Middle Georgia.
BURKE COUNTY'S BROWN: Burke County defensive back Dominique Brown has committed to Clemson, according to Phil Kornblut of Palmetto Recruiting.com. However, Kornblut also reported that Burke County coach Nick Davis said Brown won't receive an offer from the Tigers until he qualifies academically.
Dominique BrownSWaynesboro, Ga.
Tymere Zimmerman/WR/Bennettsville, SC
Derrick Higgins/WR/Lamar, S.C.
Wendell Singletary/DE/Brunswick, N.C.
Charles Bennett/DE/Camden, S.C.
Michael Hollingsworth/RB/Shannon, N.C.
Jamaal Fudge/CB/Jacksonville, Fla.
Charlie Whitehurst/QB/Alpharetta, Ga.
Eric Coleman/TE/Fork Union, Va.
David Dunham/S/Lake City, Fla.
Tavaghn Monts/S/Jacksonville, Fla.
Kyle Browning/RB/Union, S.C.
Leroy Hill/LB/Haddock, Ga.
Bobby Williamson/TE/Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Ryan Cubit/QB/Columbia, Mo.
Curtis Baham/WR/New Orleans
Cliff Harrell/RB/Tallahassee, Fla.
Trey Tate/DE/Gaffney, S.C.
Tye Hill/RB/Dorchester, S.C.
Travis Pugh/S/Manning, S.C.
Maurice Fountain/DE/Camden, S.C.
Eric Sampson/S/Jacksonville, Fla.
Roosevelt Nelson/LB/Sumter, S.C.
Grant Oliver/OL/Lexington, S.C.
Russ Tanner/OL/Wrightsville, Ga.
David Pollack/DT/Snellville, Ga.
Thomas Davis/LB/Cuthbert, Ga.
Reggie Weeks/DT/Smith Station, Ala.
Odell Thurman/LB/Monticello, Ga.
Greg Blue/S/College Park, Ga.
Dennis Roland/DT/Bolivar, Mo.
Tyson Browning/RB/Watkinsville, Ga.
D.J. Shockley/QB/College Park, Ga.
Nic Clemons/DE/Milledgeville, Ga.
Kareem Marshall/OL/Gulfport, Miss.
Brandon Williams/CB/Perkinston, Miss.
Andre Zellner/TE/Chatham, Va.
Kevin Schimmelmann/WR/Marietta, Ga.
Antarrius Williams/S/Columbus, Ga.
Reggie McFadden/CB/Columbus, Ga.
Bama Adams/WR/Folkston, Ga.
Tabugbo Anyansi/LB/Mabelton, Ga.
Nathan Dorsey/OL/New Orleans
Tony Hargrove/S/Port Charlotte, Fla.
Omar Billy/DE/Orlando, Fla.
Eric Henderson/LB/New Orleans
LeRon Lee/DT/St. Lucie West, Fla.
Kyle Wallace/OL/Suwanee, Ga.
Gerald Anderson/OL/Waycross, Ga.
Dimarios Bilbo/QB/Moss Point, Miss.
Brian Johnson/RB/Evans, Ga.
Dawan Landry/QB/Boutte, La.
Scott Wolf/DE/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Levon Thomas/WR/College Park, Ga.
Travis Parker/DE/Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Salih Besirevic/TE/Denver, Colo.
James Butler/S/Bainbridge, Ga.
E.J. Kuale/LB/Daytona Beach, Fla.
Gerris Bowers-Wilkerson/LB/Oakland, Calif.
Garren Findlay/OL/Ephraim, Utah
Dennis Davis/CB/Edgewood, N.J.
Rahshan Johnson/QB/Middleburg Heights, Ohio
Reuben Houston/S/Peachtree City, Ga.
Andy Tidwell-Neal/OL/Plymouth, Minn.
Gavin Tarquinio/OL/Marietta, Ga.
Brad Honeycutt/OL/Mesquite, Tex.
Antwarn Franklin/DT/Birmingham, Ala.
Shaun Smith/DT/El Dorado, Kan.
Cedric Hampton/TE/Courtland, Ala.
Josh Brown/K/Ijamsville, Md.
Fran Pearson/DE/Havertown, Penn.
Josh Malloy/OL/Shelby, N.C.
Mathew Thomas/WR/Pearson, Ga.
Thez Robinson/RB/Lyons, Ga.
Orus Lambert/LB/Jacksonville, Fla.
Chris Tucker/DE/Decatur, Ga.
George Gause/DE/Conway, S.C.
Charles Silas/DE/Swainsboro, Ga.
Jermaine Lemon/S/Milledgeville, Ga.
Ricky Ricks/WR/Perkinston, Miss.
Corey Jenkins/QB/Garden City, Kan.
Bennett Swygert/QB/Summerville, S.C.
Isaac Stackhouse/CB/Ellisville, Miss.
DeAdrian Coley/LB/Georgetown, S.C.
James Scott/DE/Marion, S.C.
Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.