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December 30, 2008

Debose lays out decision criteria

MORE: Under Armour stars arrive | UA rosters | Army AA Bowl coverage | More all-star coverage

ORLANDO - Five star athlete Andre Debose is just a couple of weeks removed from a play for the ages.

Earlier this month, he helped Sanford (Fla.) Seminole to a state championship by hauling in a game winning touchdown pass in the final minute of a 28-21 win over Miami Northwestern.

Upon arriving to the Under Armour All-American Game in nearby Orlando on Tuesday afternoon, Debose said the championship had finally soaked in.

"It was a natural high making history like that," Debose said. "That was my school's first time even appearing in the state championship game so for us to win it meant we made even more history. The catch, it was a 3rd-and-15 play with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter and I just did a slant up and the cornerback bit on the slant because I had beat him earlier on a slant and then it was me and the safety. Ray (Ray Armstrong) put the ball up and I made the play."

As for the UA Game he will participate in this weekend, the No. 24 prospect in the Rivals100 is looking forward to playing with some of the nation's best talent. While he mentioned wanting to catch a few passes from five-star quarterback Matt Barkley, he is looking forward to meeting a number of future college stars.

"There are a lot of big players here and I just want to see where I stand," Debose said. "It is an honor to be around all these great players and to get to compete with them and play with them. I am just going to enjoy it."

Sunday won't only be about the action on the field for the 6-foot, 170-pounder. He will also be making a commitment on national television during the game.

"It is down to Florida, LSU, Georgia, (Florida) State, Miami, and USC," Debose said. "I am looking forward to getting it out of the way."

Florida: "With Florida there is a lot of opportunity there with players leaving, Percy (Harvin) leaving. With Tim Tebow, I don't know if he is staying another year or what."

Georgia: "There is a lot of opportunity there as well. Coach Richt told me I could start as a freshman if I come in and work hard. With a lot of these schools there is an opportunity."

Florida State: "They are a program that just won their bowl game big. (Christian) Ponder is playing great. They have a young offensive line. Florida State is looking good for the future."

Miami: "I always kind of liked Miami. I have always been a 'U' fan with the players that they put out into the NFL. I have always shown them some love."

USC: "They kind of speak for themselves. It is a great place. I haven't visited it yet but I want to visit."

LSU: "There is a lot of opportunity there. They are coming off of a national championship. They are putting together a real special class with guys like Russell Shepard going there and a lot of other good players. It can just be a great place. Me and Coach McCarthy, we have a real good relationship in the recruiting process. We kind of look eye-to-eye."

The nation's No. 2 athlete will base his choice on the school and town as a whole, not simply specifics in regards to the teams or academics.

"It comes down to everything," Debose said. "I am really looking at the town itself because you only play football three months out of the year so you have to like the town itself. That is a pretty big factor in my decision, do I like the area or not."

With the game five days away, Debose said that he is not really going back and forth in regards to his decision.

"I have a decision made," Debose said. "I have a team in mind with who I want to choose but I will still be thinking about it some over the next few days before I make the announcement."

While he will make an announcement, he plans to have a busy January as he uses the remainder of his official visits. He has previously taken official visits to Georgia and LSU.

"I will take the rest of my visits," Debose said. "But I am going to be pretty firm in my decision but you never know, if I feel another school is right for me then I will go to a different school."



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