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Friday, March 25, 2016: Sayville QB Coan commits to Wisconsin

   Leading off today: Record-setting Sayville junior quarterback Jack Coan has made a big career decision, announcing Thursday that he plans to enroll at the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 2017, giving the Badgers their highest-profile high school recruit at that position in years.

   Coan, rated a three- or four-star prospect by various scouting services, was the New York State Sportswriters Association's Class A co-player of the year last season. He held 15 Division I offers.

   "Everyone told me I should go to one place where I really feel it," Coan told Newsday. "I really loved the coaching staff, the campus and Madison, Wisconsin. I thought it was a great fit.

   The paper reported Coan's summer 2015 visits included Michigan, Maryland and Stanford. Trips since the end of last season included Syracuse and Nebraska.

   Coan holds Long Island single-season records for passing yardage and touchdown passes. He completed 168 of 260 passes for 2,499 yards and 36 touchdowns as a junior and also ran 164 times for 1,275 yards and 17 touchdowns.

   Colleges liked Coan's throwing mechanics as well as his poise in the pocket. He's not considered a classic dual-threat QB, but his mobility sets him apart from many pocket passers.

   Speaking of quarterbacks: I never figured Ashton Broyld for sure-fire stardom as a college quarterback, though I thought the former Rush-Henrietta star had a chance of doing OK at that position in college. Like a lot of other observers, though, I was sure he could have done better as either a safety or a tight end.

   It never happened for the NYSSWA's 2010 Class AA player of the year. Perhaps 20 or 30 percent of the blame belongs to the former coaching staffs at Syracuse, which repeatedly moved him around on offense.

   Broyld has to own the rest of the responsibility for stubbornly refusing to try defense and for immaturity that got him sent to the dog house more than once -- and ultimately


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  • kicked off the team. The immaturity even extended to his exit from SU as he made a hasty decision to transfer to West Georgia, a move that didn't pan out. caught up to Broyld on Wednesday when he was spotted running routes and catching passes to lend a hand to QB Terrel Hunt at Syracuse's pro day.

       The website's Q&A with Broyld fills in some of the gaps on his post-high school time line and gives insight into a lot of the reasons he never made it. Broyld gets credit for accepting more responsibility than I can recall him ever taking, but the signs of immaturity are still there.

       The story should be mandatory reading for prospective college athletes and their families. It's quite the "how not to" guide for handling potential prosperity at the next level.

       When news isn't news: God knows that a beat writer covering a Division I basketball program in a major conference already has a lot going on at work at this time of year. Coaches are on the move, the last handful of high school seniors and junior-college grads is making commitment decisions and current college players

    are contemplating entering the NBA draft or transferring to another school.

       The last thing a reporter in that position needs is for social media to start blowing up with a story you should have known about but didn't -- only to invest time in chasing down details and discovering the "story" was completely wrong.

       Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endured one of those episodes this week. Fresh off working a legitimate story -- Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon was leaving for Texas Christian University -- he suddenly found himself trying to catch up to KDKA-TV's stunning revelation that Arizona coach Sean Miller, who has deep ties to the Panthers, was in Pittsburgh and had been offered the job.

       "My heart sank when it popped up on Twitter and I thought: 'Good lord, this is the worst feeling ever. How could a guy with that many local ties come into town to interview and be offered the job and I didn't know a thing about it,'" Zeise wrote.

       It took only a few minutes of digging for Zeise to determine that the report was erroneous. His post-mortem on the whole episode makes for some very interesting reading whether you're in the business or just a sports junkie.

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