PRICE FEELS HE'S RIGHT FOR UCLA, NOT OHIO STATE.
Sylmar High School All-American tailback Durell Price wasn't apologizing one bit Thursday for his wacky Wednesday, when he signed a national letter of intent with Ohio State, then changed his mind and signed with UCLA.
"I was a Buckeye from 2:30 to 5:30," he said.
Price had an employee at a local drugstore fax his letter of intent to Ohio State, but the Buckeyes didn't receive the page with Price's signature and called him to explain the problem. Given a second chance to evaluate his decision, Price changed his mind and signed with UCLA.
"She (the employee) is supposed to be a professional, but her lack of experience benefited me," Price said.
Meanwhile, Sylmar coach Jeff Engilman spent 45 minutes on the phone Wednesday night speaking with Ohio State coach John Cooper, who was having a hard time understanding why Price wasn't going to be a Buckeye.
"I said, 'Coach, I don't make the decision,' " Engilman said. "He says, 'This is the first time in 33 years this has happened to me.' And I said, 'Hey, this is the first time it's happened to me.' "
Even if Price's fax had gone through, he could have changed his mind. A letter of intent does not become binding until the original letter is filed with the conference office.
"It's like 1,000 pounds off my back," Price said.
From the beginning, when Price made an oral commitment to Ohio State last month, the commitment had been considered shaky. He has an infant son, and leaving the area would have been difficult.
As for Engilman, who has been taking countless calls from coaches and sportswriters, Price said, "I think he liked being a secretary. It keeps him busy during the offseason."