Let me preface this by saying the poll I took Tuesday afternoon wasn’t very scientific.
It took place shortly after I arrived at the Tampa International Airport as one purple-and-gold clad LSU fan after another waited for their luggage.
The question was simple.
Which would you prefer?
A. An LSU victory against Iowa in the Outback Bowl on Wednesday.
Or B. A verbal commitment on Thursday from Leonard Fournette, St. Augustine’s star running back considered the nation’s top recruit by almost everyone.
“Man, that’s a tough one,” one Tiger fan said. “But I think I’ll take Fournette.”
Another fan had to pause and think about it. His answer, if correct, will likely cause any LSU fan who made a New Year’s resolution to stop drinking or cussing to not make it past Day 2 of 2014.
“I think he is headed to Alabama,” he answered.
LSU and Bama are the front-runners for Fournette, scheduled to announce his college choice Thursday in the Under Armour All-American game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN. For college football fans, the announcements during the game are way more important than the final score.
Fournette, The New Orleans Advocate’s offensive player of the year for large schools, is one of seven players slated to announce their verbal commitments in the game. Two of the others are also from New Orleans.
Karr defensive lineman Gerald Willis, this newspaper’s defensive player of the year, will announce as well. His final two schools are LSU and Florida. His high school teammate, athlete Devante “Speedy” Noil, is expected to choose between LSU and Texas A&M.
Safety Jamal Adams and cornerback Tony Brown, both from Texas, also could wind up at LSU.
The Tigers already have three commitments in the game.
University High offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield, Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris and Westlake tight end Jacory Washington have already committed to the Tigers.
Two other Under Armour All-Americans from New Orleans, Covington defensive lineman Garrald McDowell and St. Augustine corner back Jermaine Roberts, have already made their verbal commitments.
McDowell committed to Ole Miss two weeks ago, and Roberts committed to Texas in April.
John Curtis receiver Malachi Dupre plans to wait to make his announcement.
“That’s going to be amazing to see where everybody goes,” Dupre said. “And I get another month to think about where I am going.”
Dupre said he could wait as late as Feb. 5 to announce his decision. That’s national signing day, when players can make those nonbinding verbal commitments binding.
Until then, it’s all just a verbal commitment.
But for fans, they will be happy with a verbal commitment for now.
Don’t believe me?
Just look at some of the tweets from the folks who follow these recruits on Twitter, pleading for the prospects to commit to their schools.
Heck, Fournette, Noil and Willis have a combined 16,384 Twitter followers.
Those numbers will decrease Thursday after the announcements are made and fans of teams that weren’t chosen hit the “unfollow” button.
But until then, everyone will be tuned in, including LSU coach Les Miles, who also took a turn at the poll question.
Asked what he’d like more, a bowl win or a good haul of commits Thursday, Miles responded. “We’d like to have both.”
Yes, Miles will be tuned in.
“Television side, probably chewing on some popcorn,” he said.
And like many LSU fans, probably chewing on some fingernails, too.