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December 30, 2005

V Day in Manhattan

It's V Day in Manhattan. That's short for Vidal Day as one of New York's native sons gets ready to announce his decision between Miami, Southern Cal and Penn State Friday at 3:40 PM EST on ESPNews. Wide receiver Vidal Hazelton will make the announcement live from the ESPN Zone in Times Square with countless fans and coaches hanging on his every word, hoping to hear their school named as his destination. As of this morning, Hazelton still didn't know the answer everyone expects.

"My family and I talked it over for awhile last night, weighing the pros and cons of each school," said the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder. "It's a big decision so we want to make sure it's the right one."

Did he come to a decision?

"Not really," he said. "I have an idea, but my dad and I are going to talk some more today and while we're driving into Manhattan. We've always wanted a few things -- academics, my dad is really big on that, opportunity, comfort level and the chance to play for a national title contender. Each of the three schools has a good combination of all of those. Some are better in some areas than others, but when we compared it evened out. It's harder than I thought."

Hazelton was originally going to announce his decision next week at the U.S. Army All American Bowl, but decided that ESPNews was a more unique opportunity.

"I think it's cool to announce in my home state," he said. "I'll be able to have friends and family with me. I'm bringing the boys from Brooklyn to Manhattan."

When will he know his decision?

"I plan to decide for good maybe an hour or so before I go on the air," he said. "I'll probably call the head coach of the team I pick beforehand and then contact the other coaches from the other schools after to thank them."

Hazelton is ranked as the No. 2 wide receiver in the country and a national top 20 player. All three teams, Miami, USC and Penn State, need playmakers at wide receiver and each has had excellent success in placing players in the NFL. Hazelton is excited to get the process over with.

"I almost committed to different places a bunch of times," he said. "But the longer you go in the process, the more you learn about each school and the official visits were key. I'm glad I waited this long because I feel I'll be making a better choice now than if I had done it during the summer."


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