Tag:Illinois
Posted on: April 11, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: April 11, 2011 11:52 am
 

South Carolina nabs linebacker for commit #2

Posted by Bryan Fischer

A busy weekend at South Carolina was capped off with the commitment of Atlanta (Ga.) linebacker T.J. Holloman Sunday night. The Gamecocks' annual Spring Game was Saturday and Holloman was on hand to take in the exhibition as part of an unofficial visit to the school. 

"I came back from the visit and talked with my family about it all day (Sunday)," Holloman told TheBigSpur.com. "They told me they were in love with it and they liked everything that (USC head coach) Steve Spurrier and his program had to give. I was in love with it. I just felt like a decision was made already and why not do it today."

The 6-foot-3, 220 pound linebacker also had scholarship offers from Louisville, Illinois and N.C. State with several others showing interest. However there were several factors that ultimately led Holloman to choose the Gamecocks and end his recruitment early.

"The graduation rates at South Carolina are real high," he said. "They get players to the NFL. I really like Spurrier's focus. His first focus is on schoolwork. They won a lot of games last year, were 6-1 at home and won the SEC East. I think they are an up and coming program and I want to be part of a good program both on and off the field."

Holloman is the second commit for South Carolina's class of 2012. He is also a high school teammate of five-star cornerback Geno Smith.

Posted on: April 9, 2011 10:56 am
 

Top 100 Offers and Leaders: 11-20

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Tom Lemming's Top 100 for 2012 List was released this week and it has some of the most talented recruits in the country for the upcoming class. In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at who they have offers from and who might be the leader for their commitment.

11. Running back Rushel Shell (Aliquippa, Pa.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia, West Virginia.

Possible leader: Pitt.

12. Offensive lineman Zach Banner (Lakewood, Wash.)

Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Cal, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin.

Possible leader: Washington.

13. DT Jarron Jones (Rochester, N.Y.)

Offers: Alabama, Boston College, UConn, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, USF, Syracuse, Tennessee.

Possible leader: Notre Dame.


14. Athlete Stefon Diggs (Olney, Md.)

Offers: Alabama, Cal, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.


Possible leader: Florida State.

15. Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, N.C.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, USF, Tennessee, Texas, UCF, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.

Possible leader: Tennessee.

16. DB Travis Blanks (Tallahassee, Fla.)

Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, USF, Southern Miss, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt, West Virginia.

Possible leader: Alabama.

17. OT Andrus Peat (Tempe, Ariz.)

Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest, Washington.

Possible leader: USC.

18. DT Eddie Goldman (Washington, D.C.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.

Possible leader: Alabama.

19. DB Geno Smith (Atlanta, Ga.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Memphis, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech.

Possible leader: Georgia.

20. WR Shaq Roland (Lexington, S.C.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina. 

Possible leader: Clemson.

Posted on: April 6, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Top 100 Offers & Leaders: 1-10

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Tom Lemming's Top 100 for 2012 List was released today and it has some of the most talented recruits in the country for the upcoming class. In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at who they have offers from and who might be the leader for their commitment.

1. WR Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo.)

Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin.

Possible leader: Alabama.

2. QB Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.)

Offers: Alabama, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Purdue, TCU, Tennessee, USC, Wisconsin.

Possible leader: Notre Dame.

3. WR Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas)

Committed to Texas.

4. DE Noah Spence (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Offers: Auburn, Boston College, Cincinnati, UConn, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech.

Possible leader: Penn State.


5. DE Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas)

Committed to Florida State.

6. OT John Theus (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Rutgers, South Carolina, Texas, UCF.

Possible leader: Georgia.

7. DT Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif.)

Offers: Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State.

Possible leader: USC

8. RB Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas)

Offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC.

Possible leader: Texas.

9. DB Landon Collins (Geismar, La.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC.

Possible leader: LSU.

10. RB Barry Sanders Jr.

Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Florida State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA.

Possible leader: Alabama.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:52 am
 

2012 Defensive Ends to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Harrisburg (Pa.) star Noah Spence is the top defensive end in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other lineman - in no particular order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Spence off the top spot and become the top defensive end for the class of 2012.

Mario Edwards Jr. (Denton Ryan High, Denton, Texas) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 260 pounds 
Committed to Florida State.

What's to like: Edwards is almost a defensive tackle rushing the quarterback from the outside. He plays just as well - if not better - against the urn as he does pass rushing. You can tell he's had some coaching (he's the son of former Florida State and NFL player of the same name) because he's quite polished as a defensive end. His massive size also makes him one of the strongest ends in the country.

Needs to work on: There's a lot to like about Edwards but like most ends in high school, he could work on staying low out of his stance and getting his hands in a better position against taller offensive tackles.



Adolphus Washington (Taft High, Cincinnati, Ohio) 
Height: 6-foot-6 
Weight: 240 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Boston College, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M, USC

What's to like: Washington has great size, speed and, as a top basketball prospect as well, athleticism. It's simply hard to notice a player who just explodes out of his stance and can move around like a player much smaller than what he really is.

Needs to work on: Washington can get a scholarship in either football or basketball but if it is football, he needs to refine his moves because he is a bit raw. Right now he's a superb athlete but if he sticks with football and refines his technique, Washington might be scary good.

Darius Hamilton (Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Offers from: Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, UConn, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCF, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: Hamilton has great size and the long arms you look for in elite lineman. He's got a really good motor and is relentless in his pursuit of the ball. He sheds blocks well and gets to the quarterback quickly. Hamilton could also add some weight to his great frame and slide inside and be a defensive tackle. He also has a good pedigree being the son of former New York Giant Keith Hamilton.

Needs to work on: Hamilton really just needs to refine his techniques and learn the nuances of the position. Going up against some elite offensive tackles this summer might also be a good thing for him as he rarely is challenged in high school.

Jordan Jenkins (Harris Country High, Hamilton, Ga.) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 225 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Purdue, South Carolina, USF, Tennessee, UCF, USC, Vanderbilt

What's to like: Several big-time defensive ends have come out of the state of Georgia the past few years and Jenkins appears to be the next in line. What jumps out is his explosion off the line and into the backfield. He's fast enough to run down ball carriers that run away from him and also makes life hard on the quarterback on a straight speed rush.

Needs to work on: Jenkins isn't the most creative at getting into the backfield and could stand to improve on his pass rush moves by mixing in some swim moves and an improved spin move. He can also improve his play recondition.



Jelani Hamilton (St. Thomas Aquinas High, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-5 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Offers from: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, LSU, Miami, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech

What's to like: Hamilton certainly looks the part of a major prospect at the defensive end position. He displays surprising quickness and is quite athletic for his size. Hamilton ends up making plays wherever he is on the field and he should be coveted by some teams for his ability to add some weight and slide inside in some pass rushing situations.

Needs to work on: Hamilton still needs to learn to fire off the line lower and use his tremendous strength to create leverage.



Posted on: April 1, 2011 6:07 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Kentucky grabs big commitment from local QB

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's not often you hear of Kentucky being in the mix for elite football recruits but Joker Phillips has managed to get the Wildcats into the mix for several during his tenure as head coach and it paid off Friday afternoon when highly regarded Fort Thomas (Kent.) quarterback Patrick Towles committed.

"I decided I wanted to be a Wildcat," Towles told CatsIllustrated.com. "They just talking about how I would fit in to their offense. They liked that I was from Kentucky, and that I come from a winning program. They have Operation: Win, and they want winners."

The 6-foot-5, 225 pound signal caller has led his high school team to back-to-back state titles in Kentucky and received an offer from the school earlier this month.

"To be able to play for the school you always wanted to go to feels awesome," he told the website. "I was ready. I've always wanted to go to Kentucky. After I got the scholarship offer, I thought about it, and was like, 'Well, this is where I want to spend the next four years.'"

Towles also held offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Illinois and Vanderbilt. One thing that appealed to him and led to his commitment, besides being the local school, was the Wildcats' depth chart at quarterback.

"Morgan (Newton) is going to be a senior my freshman (year)," Towles said. "They'll have (Maxwell) Smith and (Theltus) Cobbins. I'm not going to go into a program thinking I'm guaranteed a spot. In high school, I fought up from fifth string. It's always good to have competition."

Towles threw 2,471 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 880 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.

Posted on: March 31, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 7:28 pm
 

March Big Ten Early Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's the final week in March and several schools have already hit the ground running in the class of 2012. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments in the Big Ten, where it's no surprise that Ohio State leads the pack in terms of verbal commitments early in the recruiting cycle.

Illinois (1)

Wide receiver Elliot Faerber (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)

Indiana (0)

Iowa (0)

Michigan (2)

Offensive lineman Ben Branden (Rockford, Mich.) 
Offensive lineman Caleb Stacey (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Michigan State (0)

Minnesota (4)

Wide receiver Andre McDonald (Minnetonka, Minn.) 
 Quarterback Philip Nelson (Mankato, Minn.) 
 Defensive back Nick Rallis (Edina, Minn.) 
 Tight end Maxx Williams (Waconia, Minn.)

Nebraska (1)

Linebacker Michael Rose (Kansas City, Mo.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member

Northwestern (2)

Running back Malin Jones (Naperville, Ill.)
Offensive lineman Kenton Playko (Lewis Center, Ohio)

Ohio State (5)

Running back Warren Ball (Columbus, Ohio), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Offensive lineman Jacoby Boren (Pickerington, Ohio)
Running back Bri'onte Dunn (Canton, Ohio), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Offensive lineman Kyle Kalis (Lakewood, Ohio)
Linebacker Josh Perry (Galena, Ohio)

Penn State (4)

Tight end Jesse James (McKeesport, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Anthony Stanko (Warren, Ohio)
Tight end Brent Wilkerson (Hyattsville, Md.)
Linebacker Camren Williams (West Roxbury, Mass.)

Purdue (0)

Wisconsin (2)

Running back Vonte Jackson (Kenosha, Wis.)

Offensive lineman Dan Voltz (Barrington, Ill.)

Posted on: March 31, 2011 10:42 am
 

2012 Wide Receivers to Keep an Eye On

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Springfield (Mo.) wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is the top wide out in the nation according to CBSSports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other wide outs - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Green-Beckham off the top spot and become the top pass catcher for the class of 2012.

Avery Johnson (Blanche Ely High, Pompano Beach, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 180 pounds 
Committed to LSU

What's to like: Johnson isn't the athlete his big brother, former LSU corner Patrick Patterson, is but he is fast and can adjust his body whichever way he needs to make a catch. He's good very reliable hands and is one of the better players when it comes to attacking the ball in the air.

Needs to work on: Johnson is rail thin and and is somewhat reminiscent of A.J. Green in that respect but it doesn't mean he couldn't add a few pounds of muscle. Working on his speed and refining his route running are two other things Johnson can work on this upcoming year.



Cayleb Jones (Austin High, Austin, Texas) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 200 pounds 
Committed to Texas

What's to like: Jones has great size coming out of high school and combines that with terrific speed running down the field. He's athletic enough to get a jump ball in the end zone and can two-step his way their off of a screen. Jones can really control his body well and position himself between the ball and defensive backs.

Needs to work on: Jones could stand to polish his route running by making sharper breaks and getting in and out of them better.



Durron Neal (DeSmet High, St. Louis, Mo.) 
Height: 6-foot-1 
Weight: 180 
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: Neal is a true athlete and can be used all over but is a firecracker in the slot. Just as quick as he is fast, Neal can cover some ground and has is simply electric when he has the ball in his hands. He actually looks like a dynamic running back when he gets the ball on reverses or fly sweeps and that's not a bad thing in Neal's case.

Needs to work on: Despite great athleticism, he could still improve his vertical jump and really going up after the ball in the air. At this point, it would be nice to see Neal focus on just being a receiver but it would be a tough task considering he has to do just about everything for his high school team.



Jordan Payton (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 200 pounds 
Committed to USC

What's to like: Payton has been one of the top wide outs in the country since he was a freshman and committed to USC extremely early in the process. He's a pretty polished route runner and has very big hands that make it easy to grab the ball out of the air. Payton is also pretty savvy out on the field, knowing when to slow down when he finds a spot in zone coverage.

Needs to work on: Payton is not the fastest wide receiver out there so improving his top gear speed and quickness is one thing he can do. He also is inconsistent catching the ball at times.



Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco High, Bellflower, Calif.) 
Height: 5-foot-10 
Weight: 165 pounds 
Offers from Arizona State, Cal, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.

What's to like: Treggs really gets off the ball well and explodes into his route. He's really dangerous on a slip screen and is best suited to the slot in college. He's got a great pair of hands that just seems to suck the ball in and not let it go no matter where it's thrown. Once he gets into the open field, defenses have a tough time catching up to him.

Needs to work on: Though he's never going to be 200 pounds and be able to keep his speed, Treggs does need to get into the weight room like most of the kids on this list. Treggs works mostly on the outside but will probably have to transition into the slot in college.



Posted on: March 30, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 1:40 pm
 

2012 Running Backs to Keep an Eye On

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Aledo (Texas) running back Jonathan Gray is the top running back in the nation according to CBSSports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other running backs - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Gray off the top spot and become the top back for the class of 2012.

Greg Garmon (McDowell High, Erie, Pa.) 
Height: 6-foot-1 
Weight: 200 pounds 
Offers from: Cincinnati, UConn, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.

What's to like: Garmon put everyone on notice that he would be one of the names to watch at the U.S. Army All-American Combine earlier this year when he ran a 4.4 40-yard dash (electronically timed). A fluid athlete, he could lineup at a number of positions such as slot receiver or as a returner. Being a threat in the passing game is just one of the reasons why several schools are really recruiting him heavily.

Needs to work on: Like most backs out of high school, Garmon has the speed to out run defenders and uses it to bounce outside a lot. He'll need to learn when to cut it up inside when necessary and develop a better between the tackles game to really succeed at the next level. 



Matt Jones (Armwood High, Seffner, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 225 pounds 
Committed to Florida

What's to like: The first thing that sticks out is Jones' size and the fact that he's your prototypical "big back" that many pro-style offensive coordinators are looking for. It's not just size that Jones brings to the table though, as he does have some serious speed to go with it. Despite facing some good Florida competition, Jones slices through defenders with ease. He's also very dangerous on screen plays.

Needs to work on: Unlike some running backs whose offense is built around them, Jones is mainly in a spread offense at Armwood. That means he might have to get used to a more downhill attack if he keeps his commitment to Florida. Jones could stand to add a few pounds and fill out his frame to withstand the punishment he'll take at the next level as well.



Keith Marshall (Millbrook High, Raleigh, N.C.) 
Height: 5-foot-11 
Weight: 185 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Penn State, South Carolina, USF, USC, Virginia Tech

What's to like: It must be tough to be a defender in North Carolina opposite of Marshall because the running back is simply elusive. With speed to run past everyone and the quickness to make them miss if they do get close, Marshall is yet another good back to hail from the East Coast. His running style is upright and he stays pretty balanced which is something some players don't often do.

Needs to work on: Marshall isn't the biggest back so durability will be somewhat of a concern if he doesn't add a few pounds of muscle for running inside.

 

Barry Sanders Jr. (Heritage High, Oklahoma City, Okla.) 
Height: 5-foot-9 
Weight: 180 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame and UCLA.

What's to like: Although the junior Sanders might not like getting comparisons to his old man, it's hard not to make one with the former Oklahoma State and Detroit Lions star as Sanders is shifty and keeps a low center of gravity. Though he isn't the fastest back out there, he does have enough speed to out run most of the competition. Sanders also has good hands and is a threat in the passing game out of the backfield also.

Needs to work on: Overall game is pretty good but his smaller size is a bit of a concern. He tends to run around defenders rather than through them.



Jonathan Williams (Allen High, Allen, Texas) 
Height: 5-foot-11 
Weight: 205 pounds Offers from Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Rice, Vanderbilt, Virginia, West Virginia.

What's to like: Williams isn't afraid to lower his shoulder and run through a defender to get into the end zone. At the same time he also isn't afraid to bust a run to the outside and out run everybody. He does a good job of staying upright when running and has the ability to cut either way at a moment's notice. He also keeps his legs moving when in a pile which is something some players don't do.

Needs to work on: It would be good for Williams to experiment in the slot because he has the makings of an all-purpose back. He's solid when catching the ball on a screen but some versatility in the passing game would be good to see.



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