By JOHN LEMBO
BRADENTON - Brion Carnes had a change of heart.
Ace Sanders did not.
But what both Manatee seniors did do Wednesday morning was sign national Letters of Intent in the high school's media center, with Carnes picking Nebraska and Sanders inking with South Carolina.
A quarterback, Carnes verbally committed to Western Kentucky during an official visit over the weekend.
"I felt like I made that decision because a couple of people were telling me that would be a good place for me instead of thinking for myself," he said. "This process is about me. This is where I'm going to be the next four years. And I really thought about it and I'm happy with my decision. I love Coach (Willie) Taggart (WKU's head coach and a Manatee graduate) to death - he's from my hometown and he's an alumni of Manatee, and he knows my family.
"But this is for me."
Carnes cousin, Tommie Frazier, was a standout quarterback at Manatee who won two national championships while playing for the Cornhuskers.
Carnes verbally committed to USF, but opened his options after the Bulls fired head coach Jim Leavitt on Jan. 8. While visiting WKU, Carnes was told by new USF head coach Skip Holtz the scholarship offer had been withdrawn.
It was a little less dramatic for Sanders, who committed to the Gamecocks last week and saw the decision through Wednesday, signing his letter while wearing a South Carolina t-shirt and hat.
"People are friendly up there," Sanders said. "Everybody loves football, kind of like with Manatee - everybody loves Manatee football."
Sanders was told by Gamecocks' head coach Steve Spurrier to expect to play right away as a freshman.