Tag:2012 underclassmen
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:05 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:34 pm

Report: Brandon Jenkins returning to Florida St

Expectations of a return to dominance for the Florida State Seminoles in 2012 got a boost Thursday with news that their leading pass rusher, junior defensive end Brandon Jenkins, is returning for his senior season.

John Crist, Editor-in-Chief of NoleDigest.com is reporting that the Seminoles' star is returning after speaking with Jenkins' mother. Felicia Jenkins is quoted as saying, "He took all of that information and we all thought he was still going to go but he decided to stay."

The 6-3, 265 pound Jenkins was viewed by NFLDraftScout.com as the latest undersized Seminole pass rusher whose best opportunity in the NFL might be in switching to outside linebacker for a 3-4 club. He was graded as a possible second round choice and as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 outside linebacker prospect.

Jenkins exploded onto the scene in 2010, recording 56 tackles and tying Troy's Jonathan Massaquoi for second in the country with 13.5 sacks. Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers led the nation with 15.5 sacks and he did it in 13 games compared to Jenkins' 14.

With opponents now game-planning against his speed, Jenkins saw his numbers dip in 2011. He totaled 41 tackles and eight sacks as a junior but still was recognized as a Second Team All-ACC pick.

With an extra year to develop his strength and flexibility, Jenkins should prove one of the nation's most feared pass rushers in 2012. He'll be aided by the usual Florida State talent, including intriguing Berlin, Germany native Bjoern Werner, who finished second on the team to Jenkins with 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 2011.

Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:40 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:34 pm

Michigan State loses DT Worthy to NFL

Michigan State junior defensive tackle Jerel Worthy is forgoing his senior season and heading to the NFL.

Worthy, rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 4 defensive tackle and No. 19 prospect overall, is viewed as a run-stuffing presence with enough quickness to collapse the pocket as a pass rusher. The talented defensive tackle is featured in both Rob Rang and Dane Brugler's current first round projections. Worthy ranks behind just Penn State's Devon Still, North Carolina's Quinton Coples and Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox. Unlike Coples and Cox, who played a great deal of defensive end throughout their collegiate careers, Worthy is a pure defensive tackle -- though his bulk and long arms make him an intriguing candidate to play the edge in a 3-4 alignment.

Despite the lofty ranking Worthy's decision didn't come easy to him. According to Detroit Free Press sportswriter George Sipple, Worthy acknowledged the impact his family's health and well-being had in his decision to leave East Lansing early.

In a prepared statement Worthy said, “After a lot of deliberation with my family, a lot of sleepless nights, I decided, for the benefit of myself as well as my family and my future, I would forgo my senior year.”

He later referred to his father, who suffered a stroke before the start of the 2010 season.

“I set out to help win the 2010 Big Ten championship in his name, and I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to provide financial support for my family.”

Though he only registered 30 tackles (including 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks) in 2011, Worthy was a key contributor to Michigan State's stellar defense. His unit, which led the Big Ten in total defense and run defense, gave him the notoriety to earn AP first team All-American honors -- the first Spartan to be honored by the Associated Press since the legendary Bubba Smith was recognized in 1966.

Worthy leaves Michigan State having accumulated 107 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 40 career games.

Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:50 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:35 pm

S. Carolina WR Jeffery, CB Gilmore enter draft

South Carolina junior WR Alshon Jeffery and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have decided to enter the 2012 NFL Draft, ESPN's Joe Schad reported.
   Jeffery had 88 catches for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore, when defenses zeroed in on then-freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore. Without Lattimore, who suffered a torn ACL in October, Jeffery drew more attention and wasn't aided by a midseason switch at quarterback. He finished with 49-762-8 in 2011.
   NFLDraftScout.com projects Jeffery as a fringe first-round pick. He's ranked 40th overall and fifth among wide receivers.  
  "I would like to thank the fans, my teammates, Coach Spurreir and everyone involved for all the opportunities South Carolina has provided me," Jeffery said, according to Schad. "I am proud to say I will always be a Gamecock."
   The 6-foot-4 receiver was ejected from the Capital One Bowl on Monday after shoving Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard, a small, pesky cornerback who is also in the first-round mix. He has been frustrated when unable to separate and uses his body to shield receivers from the ball. If he runs near 4.6 in the 40 as NFLDraftScout.com expects, he is unlikely to be a first-round pick.
   Gilmore and Jeffery have yet to hire agents, per the report, and therefore can return to South Carolina if they so choose by Jan. 14.
   Gilmore has played mostly off-man coverage and has good size but fits best in a zone system. His size and skill set are comparable to Bears zone corner Charles Tillman, a second-round pick in 2003. Gilmore is an aggressive tackler and asset against the run. At 6-1, 193, he could work his way up from his current spot -- 50th overall -- in the NFLDraftScout.com rankings and be a pleasant surprise.

Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:36 pm

Report: Heisman finalist Ball returning to UW

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist, will return to the Badgers for his senior season, according to a report by the Wisconsin State Journal.

According to the report, the Badgers are looking at Jay Norvell, a co-coordinator at Oklahoma, as a potential replacement for offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who is leaving Wisconsin to become the head coach at Pittsburgh.

 "Lots of speculation out there, leaning one way but just not ready to make an announcement yet, appreciate everyone’s patience," Ball tweeted Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Peter Konz, the No. 1 center and No. 25 overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, is leaning toward entering the draft, according to the State Journal report. 

Ball's 39 touchdowns in 2011 tied Barry Sanders' single-season FBS record, and he rushed for 1,923 yards. However, the 2012 draft is filling up quickly with intriguing running back prospects, with Ball rated as the sixth-best running back and No. 80-ranked prospect overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

Miami's Lamar Miller, Washington's Chris Polk and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman have already declared they are leaving early for the 2012 draft. Juniors Trent Richardson from Alabama and Virginia Tech's David Wilson could soon follow suit, as could Oregon's LaMichael James, all Top 100 prospects by NFLDraftScout.com along with seniors Doug Martin from Boise State and Isaiah Pead from Cincinnati.

Posted on: January 4, 2012 2:50 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:36 pm

Aztecs sophomore RB Hillman declares for draft

San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman is forgoing his final two years of eligibility to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
The redshirt sophomore told the San Diego Times-Union that he received feedback from the NFL Advisory Committee that he could be selected as high as the third round.
"Yes I will be declaring this year," he told the paper.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Hillman is the second redshirt sophomore running back to declare for the 2012 draft, joining Miami's Lamar Miller. Hillman is the No. 9-rated running back prospect for the 2014 class by NFLDraftScout.com, and will join an increasingly loaded class at the position in April.
Hillman does make the leap after two highly productive seasons. He rushed for 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman and 1,711 and 19 touchdowns this season. He hasn't been highly involved in the passing game, with 33 career receptions for 338 yards and two scores.
He closed out his career with just 55 yards on 24 carries in San Diego State's 32-30 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the R+L carriers New Orleans Bowl.
Along with Miller, Washington's Chris Polk has already said he's leaving, and fellow juniors Trent Richardson from Alabama and Virginia Tech's David Wilson could soon follow suit, as could Wisconsin's Montee Ball and Oregon's LaMichael James, all Top 100 prospects by NFLDraftScout.com along with seniors Doug Martin from Boise State and Isaiah Pead from Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, the Union-Tribune reported that Aztecs junior cornerback Leon McFadden will return for his senior season.

Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:58 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:36 pm

Virginia Tech loses cornerback Hosley to NFL

A year after leading the NCAA with nine interceptions, Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley is taking his ball-hawking skills to the NFL.

Hosley made the announcement following Virginia Tech's overtime loss to Michigan Tuesday night in the Sugar Bowl. 

According to Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post, Hosley had hinted that Tuesday's game might be his last as a Hokie. When Hosley was given a second round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee it made his decision to leave early. 

"It's gonna be tough walking away but I got to do what I got to do, Hosley said. "I think I handled my business pretty well."

After his nation-leading nine interceptions in 2010, the 5-10, 172 pound Hosley struggled with injuries a bit this year. He was limited by a hamstring injury and suffered a concussion in the ACC Championship game. Despite the injuries and opponents often ignoring his side of the field, Hosley still led the Hokies with three interceptions this season and nearly had two more against Michigan's Denard Robinson last night. 

On the first play it was initially ruled that Hosley intercepted the pass. After looking at the replay, however, the play was overturned and Michigan was rewarded the ball. Later, Hosley did snatch a high pass from Robinson for an interception. He was flagged for pass interference on the play, however, negating the pick. 

Hosley has terrific quickness, speed and ball skills. His lack of size, however, is certainly a detriment. Recognizing this, Hosley was more aggressive this season in run support, registering a career-high 59 tackles. 

Hosley was given a late first round, early second round grade by NFLDraftScout.com prior to news of his early departure from Virginia Tech. He was rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 underclassmen cornerback, behind only LSU's Morris Claiborne and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:51 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:37 pm

Iowa's Reiff third top OT to declare for draft

Iowa's Riley Reiff will enter the NFL Draft, becoming the third top-rated offensive tackle by NFLDraftScout.com to announce he is leaving school with a year of eligibility remaining.

He joins Southern California's Matt Kalil, who declared last month he was leaving for the NFL, and Stanford's Jonathan Martin, who made his announcement earlier Tuesday. All three are considered potential picks in the top half of the first round in April.

"Riley made his own decision," Reiff's mother, Jo, told the Des Moines Register. "We didn't help him out in any way. What he decided was OK with us.

"He finally came up with the decision."
Reiff, 6-feet-6 and 300 pounds, is the No. 5-rated overall prospect for 2012 by NFLDraftScout.com and is No. 10 on Rob Rang's Big Board. He has been a standout on the Hawkeyes' line since starting 11 of 13 games in 2009 while seeing time at left tackle, left guard and right tackle. He took the left tackle spot over fulltime in 2010, filling in for first-round pick Bryan Bulaga.
Iowa running back Marcus Coker had seven 100-yard rushing games in 2011, with Reiff leading the effort in the run blocking.
Unlike Bulaga, Reiff is considered a left tackle prospect in the NFL. He's athletic enough to stone speed rushers and plays with tenacity in the run game.
Meanwhile, running back Mika’il McCall, who was suspended for the final two games of the season, told the Register by text message that he will not be returning to the program.
Posted on: January 3, 2012 6:38 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:39 pm

USF RB Scott makes surprise leap to NFL

South Florida running back Darrell Scott is leaving the Bulls with a year of eligibility remaining.

"Good Luck Darrell Scott," Bulls coach Skip Holtz tweeted the news first reported by CBSSports.com.

The 6-foot-1, 239-pound Scott led the Bills with 814 rushing yards on 153 carries with five touchdowns in 2011, but the move did come as a bit of a surprise after just one season at USF following his transfer from Colorado. He sat out the 2010 season.

Scott is rated as the No. 21 running back prospect for the 2013 draft by NFLDraftScout.com.

Scott submitted his name to the NFL Advisory Committee, and his jump to the NFL might have been aided by the rise of Demetris Murray, who rushed for 503 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The Bulls also have Marcus Shaw in a fairly deep backfield.

Scott has good size and intriguing athleticism. However, he'll also be jumping into a fairly deep pool expected to be available in April's draft, with nine running backs ranked among NFLDraftScout.com's Top 100 potential eligible prospects for 2012.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com