Last week, Chase Rome toured the facilities of the 2008 national champion Florida Gators. A junior defensive lineman at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., Rome had been offered a scholarship not only by the Gators, but by Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State. He says his high school is
"within walking distance" of Mizzou's Faurot Field.
But on Monday, when the 6-foot-3, 280-pound Rome announced his commitment, he pledged to sign with Oklahoma State. Rome plans to graduate in December and enroll at OSU for the 2010 spring semester.
"At Oklahoma State, I found a program that was a good fit," said Rome, who has his own Web site, chaserome.com.
"(New Cowboy defensive coordinator) Bill Young was a big factor with me going there." Rome is ranked by Scout.com as the nation's No. 27 defensive end prospect but is expected to play a tackle position in college.
"It has been very difficult for OSU to get the elite interior defensive recruits, so this is a huge commitment," a source close to the Cowboy program said.
"(Rome) can have an impact at Oklahoma State like Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy have had at OU." Rome's father, Wade Rome, played high school football with OSU's Joe DeForest at Titusville, Fla. DeForest is OSU's associate head coach, special-teams coordinator and safeties coach. Five players including Sand Springs quarterback Johnny Deaton have committed to OSU for the 2010 recruiting class. Verbal commitments are non-binding. Recruits may sign national letters of intent in February. Bill Haisten 581-8397 email@example.com SUBHEAD: COLLEGE FOOTBALL