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Cyrus Kouandjio Saga Lives On (Updated: Decision Coming Monday)

Despite the widespread assumption that Cyrus Kouandjio would sign his letter of intent this morning, as morning turned into afternoon there were no new developments to report out of Hyattsville. As of this writing, Kouandjio still has not signed anywhere, and a decision today -- while possible, I suppose -- certainly does not seem imminent. The latest from DeMatha head coach Bill McGregor, per the Tuscaloosa News:

Bill McGregor, head football coach at DeMatha High School, told that Kouandjio does not plan to make any additional visits to either school and should make his decision soon.

"He still has not made a decision," McGregor said. "I spoke to Cyrus this morning. He says that he will make one soon, but I don't know exactly what soon means, to tell the truth."

Frankly, I'm very relieved. I was holding out hope, of course, but my honest expectation last night and early this morning was that Cyrus would sign his letter of intent with Auburn sometime today, and when I got home this afternoon I expected to be greeted with the bad news. The mere fact that Cyrus still remains undecided, even if there are still no guarantees moving forward, is a very positive development in my book.

And interestingly enough, regarding McGregor, he was not at school today, though he did speak publicly with the media this morning by telephone from his home. Per Tommy Deas:

Latest on Cyrus Kouandjio: His high school coach not at school today, no explanation, per Tidesports correspondent Elton Hayes on the scene

Perhaps that is just an innocent, meaningless coincidence, but more than a few have speculated that it could be related to the possibility that Kouandjio's family was upset that McGregor arranged a conference call during school hours yesterday between Cyrus and Gene Chizik. Who knows for certain? I'm not going to claim any real knowledge of the situation beyond what has been publicly reported, but I imagine both possibilities are feasible.

There we also earlier reports that Arie Kouandjio would travel home this weekend to discuss things with Cyrus and the rest of his family, but that is now seemingly in question. Hopefully that comes to fruition for Alabama's sake, but nevertheless as of right now that has not been confirmed.

For better or for worse, a decision looks to be made in the next three days, so this one could be decided sometime this weekend. Either way, Cyrus himself says that a decision will be made by Monday and reiterated that his family had made it clear that the decision was up to him (i.e. no steering him to 'Bama). Per the Washington Post:

"I'm going to go through the weekend, sit down and talk to everybody," he said after classes ended at the Hyattsville school. "You know, see their opinions on things."

Kouandjio said he hadn't spoken to either Auburn or Alabama on Friday, reiterating again that this decision was his own.

"It's so clutch right now, it's really down to me," he said. "Everybody just be pointing their finger down to me. I can't go to anybody and be like, 'Hey, can you tell me differently where I should go?' Everybody just backed off, got their foot out and said, 'Cyrus, you're on your own.'"

As I've written recently, I think our coaching staff has really done all they can do to land Kouandjio, and frankly at some point if he's going to end up in Tuscaloosa he's just going to have to decide own his own that he wants to be there. I see no reason to expect his family to pressure him into signing with Alabama, and honestly there is likely little more our coaching staff can do than what they've already done.

Nevertheless, though, hope remains for 'Bama. I previously speculated that the longer this process takes the better the prospects are for the Tide, and quite frankly this kid can wait and sign ten minutes before the Kent State game for all I give a damn. Again, I legitimately expected him to sign with Auburn today, so if nothing else take solace in the fact that we are still alive in this one. Hope for the best.

UPDATE: Per the Tuscaloosa News, decision on Monday:

"I spoke with Cyrus and Cyrus said that he would say something on Monday," DeMatha High School coach Bill McGregor said this afternoon in response to a question about a report that the recruit will make an announcement after the weekend. "Hopefully everything will come to a conclusion and ending on Monday."

Andrew Bone is also on it:

Cyrus will announce college decision on Monday. Either Alabama or Auburn. He will sign his letter of intent as well.