Pike set to announce Wednesday, end grueling recruiting process

by - Senior Writer -

Update 4/20: Pike picks Auburn

Dixie Heights head coach Tom Spritzky says the mail for quarterback Zeke Pike Zeke Pike
6-5, 220
Edgewood, KY

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became too much to handle, so he used a cardboard box to try and handle the overflow.

Twice a week, Pike – the 6-5, 235-pound signal caller from Edgewood (Ky.) Dixie Heights who has offers from 30 of the nation’s top programs –had to stop by his head coach’s office and empty the box.

Spritzky says that doesn’t include the mail Pike received at home, Facebook messages, emails, or phone calls from college coaches and writers.

In the end, it all became overwhelming, and Pike has decided to end his college recruitment on Wednesday.

"He has decided to commit on Wednesday at Dixie Heights High School at 2:15 p.m. in the auditorium," Pike's father, Mark Pike, reported Monday morning.

Spritzky says the attention was nice at first, but quickly became too much for a young man who said on Monday that he just wants to enjoy the remainder of his junior year and senior season.

“He was flattered and kind of in awe when it first started, but in the end it just kind of wore him down,” Spritzky told TigerNet Tuesday afternoon. “There are so many ways that people can get in contact with you these days and his head is spinning half the time. He took his trip last week, decided where he wants to go and decided to stop the madness.”

Pike took his spring break to visit Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee last week. Prior to that he had made trips to Arkansas, Michigan, Purdue, LSU, North Carolina and Virginia. His father announced on Monday that eight schools are still in the running for his son’s services - Clemson, Michigan, Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee, Purdue, North Carolina and Georgia.

Spritzky said Pike’s decision has already been made and there will be no last-second hesitation.

“He has found his school. He has already told me which school it is, but I am sworn to secrecy,” he said.

All of the attention Pike has received is pretty heady stuff for a player who has played quarterback on the varsity level for just one season, although he put up some impressive numbers - Pike completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,218 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,072 yards and 17 additional scores and has already been selected to play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Pike entered the Dixie Heights program as a freshman running back and linebacker, and Spritzy said he had no idea at the time that Pike would wind up as a quarterback.

“I think after watching him play as a freshman, I was pretty sure he would be a Division I player, I just didn’t know he would be a quarterback because he had never played quarterback,” he said. “His freshman year here was the first time he had played quarterback, so the jury was still out. He had played those other positions, but somewhere between sixth and eighth grade he grew to 6-4, and the freshman coaches started talking about making him a quarterback. I didn’t have an opinion either way.

“So they started working with him, and teaching him how to take a snap and just the very fundamental things. He was very raw his freshman year. His sophomore year he didn’t see much action on the varsity, but he played quarterback on the junior varsity. So last year was his first full year at the varsity level. We have had to let him play, and he has been trying to improve all the facets of his game. But he has that ability to throw, and maybe he will get more mechanical when he gets out of here.”

Spritzky explained that Pike’s coaches have tried to not interfere too much with the junior’s natural athletic ability.

“As long as he is accurate and can get it to the guys, you don’t mess with the throwing motion too much,” he said. “You have this big athlete who can run. He is not a 4.6 [40-yard dash] guy, but he is a 4.8 guy. He hasn’t been able to spend too much time in the weight room because he also plays basketball.

“But he can definitely run. We kind of built our offense around him last season and we changed some things to meet his abilities to run the football. He is as good a runner as he is a passer. He knows he won't have that ability to run over people at the next level, but people around here don’t want to tackle him.”

Update 4/20: Pike picks Auburn

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