A few weeks ago, Akron was among the finalists for Adreian Payne.
Now, with the departure of his recruiter, Rivals.com removed Akron from the list of suitors for the No. 10 player in the nation.
Zips assistant coach Jeff Boals had been recruiting Payne, a center from Dayton, but Boals took an assistant coaching job at Ohio State two weeks ago. Rivals.com must have heard something from Payne suggesting that the Zips are no longer a legitimate candidate.
For what it's worth, Payne struggled during the King James Shooting Stars Classic. That should have indicated to Payne that he needs to play at a non-BCS school to hone his skills as the No. 1 option, rather than attend a school at which he does not get as many touches. Apparently, that did not happen.
If Payne indeed has closed his consideration of Akron, then Akron's class of 2010 is likely complete. The team will have two available scholarships after next season when Chris McKnight and Jimmy Conyers have exhausted their eligibility. One of those scholarships is going to Dublin forward Michael Green.
The second scholarship is set to shift to Darryl Roberts for his senior season. Roberts was a walk-on player his first two seasons after academic issues forced him to join the team a season late.
If Roberts takes the scholarship, then the recruiting focus becomes even stronger for 2011, when Akron will need to fill a class of four incoming players. The 2011 graduates consist of Steve McNees, Mike Bardo, Brett McKnight and Roberts. The coaches have already offered several scholarships for 2011, including one to Traevon Jackson, son of former NBA player Jimmy Jackson. I will break down the 2011 targets later in the week.