Tag:Mississippi State
Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:31 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:36 am

Big East Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before we get geared up with the madness known as National Signing Day, here is a rundown of some of the last minute names and stories in the Big East.

Players to Watch

Kevin McReynolds (pictured), DT, Washington, DC (St. John's College HS): McReynolds is a four-star defensive tackle who has been deciding between Syracuse, Kansas State, UCLA, and Mississippi State. He took his last official official visit to Manhattan, and supposedly has his mind made up. But Syracuse remains hopeful that they can pull in this big-time recruit from the Wildcats.  The Big East doesn't have many big time announcements to focus on, but this is certainly one of them.

Marquise Wright, DT, Paramus Catholic (Paramus, NJ): Wright was previously committed to Pittsburgh dating all the way back to June. After Dave Wannstedt's forced resignation, Wright re-opened his recruitment. When Rutgers picked up former Panther assistant Jeff Hafley, Wright immediately reconnected with the man who was going to bring him to Pittsburgh. Wright is expected to sign his letter on Wednesday, and it will sound like nails on a chalkboard to Pittsburgh fans.

Damarcus Smith, QB, Seneca (Louisville, KY): Unfortunately for the Big East, this storyline also concerns backing out of a verbal commitment. But instead of a conference rival, the three-star former Louisville commit has been rumored to switch his commitment to UCF. The Cardinals are hoping that Smith will ignore the crowd at his position, and stick with the school close to home. But many sources believe the Knights have convinced him otherwise.

Teams to Watch

Louisville: Before he left Florida, everyone knew that Charlie Strong had a future as a head coach. But count me out of the crowd that figured he would be able to make such an impact so quickly. In his first season as head coach, Strong delivered the first bowl appearance (and win) since the 2006 season. Now Louisville enters National Signing Day with a class that is arguably the best in the Big East. Louisville may have just squeaked over .500 at 7-6, but the future looks brighter than ever under Strong's guidance.

Syrcause: Big East schools will not be well represented in highly publicized hat-ceremonies on National Signing Day, but one of the most notable will be with defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds. The four-star defensive tackle has narrowed will announce his decision between Syracuse, Kansas State, UCLA, and Mississippi State on Wednesday. It would be a huge snag for Doug Marrone, who has gathered a solid class - but lacks one big-time recruit.

West Virginia: West Virginia has been known to slide in and deliver some National Signing Day surprises in years past, so you can never completely ignore the Mountaineers. Arguably the most notable target will be Dominique Terrell, athlete from the DC area who is considering West Virginia along with Miami and Virginia. Terrell will announce at 11:30 ET, do the Mountaineers still have the last-minute magic?.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

Pittsburgh, traditionally leading the way amongst the conference around this time of year will be crippled in the aftermath of Dave Wannstedt's "resignation." What could have been a really special class fell to pieces with de-commitments after the announcement. Todd Graham has been scrambling, picking up some recruits from Tulsa and trying to lock down whatever he can for the Class of 2011. But with former Panthers recruiting guru Jeff Hafley now at Rutgers, things are getting awfully tough to piece back together in the Northeast.

More Signing Day coverage
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:18 pm

SEC Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As always, National Signing Day promises to be a seismic day in the nation's most cutthroat recruiting conference, the SEC. Here's a rundown of what you'll need to keep an eye on:

Players to Watch

Isaiah Crowell , RB, Carver (Columbus, Ga.): Potentially the final piece in the puzzle of Mark Richt's "Dream Team" of a 2011 class, Crowell will decide between his home-state Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama. The Maxpreps No. 6 running back and No. 55 player overall, Crowell has all the gifts necessary to make a Marcus Lattimore- esque impact, particularly at a Georgia program desperate for a difference-maker at the tailback position. No recruit at any position at any team in the SEC is as big a "must-get" as Crowell appears to be for the Dawgs.

Cyrus Kouandjio , OT, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The No. 3 player in the country according to Tom Lemming, the 6'7", 290-pound prototype tackle (pictured) might hail from Maryland but nonetheless appears to be an intra-state battle between Alabama and Auburn. The Tide can offer Cyrus to chance to play alongside brother Arie Kouandjio (a redshirt freshman at Tuscaloosa) and are considered the team to beat, but the Tigers have made a late charge after Cyrus's visit to the Plains last weekend.

Jermauria Rasco , DE, Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.): Les Miles has already put together a stunning collection of homebred Louisiana talent for his 2011 class, but LSU fans may feel it won't be complete without the explosive Rasco, the Maxpreps No. 6 DE and a top-50 player overall. But to keep one of the most hotly-contested recruits in the country at home, Miles will have to fend off a serious charge from Florida State.

Teams to Watch

Few teams in the country (if any) close as well as the Tide, and if Nick Saban can land Crowell, Kouandjio, and consensus national No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney (who you probably know by now will delay his announcement until Feb. 14), Alabama will lay claim to the nation's top recruiting class once again. Then again, even if they sign only one of the three, the Tide's class is so deep already they'll be in the mix for that honor all the same.

Georgia: It's not just Crowell; the Bulldogs are in play for several other major recruits, like Maxpreps No. 4 defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and mammoth JUCO defensive tackle Johnathan Jenkins, who could have the same impact as the nose tackle in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense that Terrence Cody once had at Alabama. Putting the finishing touches on what's already a terrific class could prove to be a critical turning point for Mark Richt's Georgia tenure.

Auburn: As much attention as their competition in Tuscaloosa, Athens and Baton Rouge have received of late, it's Auburn that sits at No. 3 in the Maxpreps team recruiting rankings , and the Tigers could move even higher. No. 5 safety Erique Florence and coveted defensive tackle Gabe Wright are both expected to sign with Auburn, and Gene Chizik could also flip Mississippi State commitment Jermaine Whitehead, a prized defensive back. If Auburn can keep Alabama from re-flipping one-time Tide commitment Brent Calloway, their class should rank right alongside their in-state rivals.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

No one's going to complain too terribly much about Will Muschamp's finish on the recruiting trail, given the limited time with which he and his new staff have had to work. (Not to mention the presence of eye-popping skill position talent like ultra-polished quarterback Jeff Driskel.) But with Georgia and Florida State both poised to bring in substantial hauls, Florida fans still can't be happy about a class that stands at just 16 commitments today, or that Muschamp has added just two players to it since his hire. Finishing with big-time talents like fresh Auburn decommitment Marcus Roberson, blue-chip linebackers Curtis Grant or Stephone Anthony, or defensive tackle Tim Jernigan would go a long way towards soothing any frazzled Gainesville nerves.

Posted on: February 1, 2011 9:27 am
Edited on: February 1, 2011 9:28 am

2/1 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Less than 24 hours before the pens meet the paper and the faxes start rolling in. Of course, there’s still a handful of players who will be committing today and after Signing Day to keep everyone on their toes.

- The nation’s top recruit, Jadeveon Clowney, is such a big deal that he doesn’t mind Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier’s calls go straight to voice mail. He’ll find time for them in between the TV appearances.

- An update on the state of recruiting in Maryland. One recruit from the area might be leaning towards Miami over Virginia and West Virginia.

- TCU’s elevated profile from a few BCS appearances has translated into recruiting classes that are competing with the rest of the Big 12.

- A defensive end committed to Mississippi State has flipped his commitment to Vanderbilt. That’s just one more hit to the Bulldogs recruiting class and the departure of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is one reason why.

- The Hampton Roads area of Virginia is known for producing great talent and they have another in recently named Parade All-American Demetrious Nicholson

- After a test score issue, receiver Rontavious Atkins is now headed to Western Michigan and not USF.

- Nice Q&A with Florida State commit Nick O’Leary, a tight end who is also the grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus.

- Colorado State’s class took a big hit (literally) with the decommitment of Largo (FL) lineman Adarius Rayner.

- Nice snapshot of Georgia Tech ahead of Signing Day.

- UCLA picked up a recruit in the badly needed area of the offensive line.

- Across town, recruiting hasn’t slowed at all at USC despite the sanctions.

Posted on: January 21, 2011 9:59 am

1/21 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Happy Friday everybody! Enjoy the links as the second to last recruiting weekend before Signing Day takes hold.

- Virginia Tech is looking at South Florida wide out Robert Lockhart. The surprise offer from the Hokkies - he learned about it on an official visit - certainly shakes up Lockhart's recruitment. 

- Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels has left to take the same position at Texas but his Bulldog recruits are staying put and headed to Athens.

- Tight end Chris Barnett has shaken up his recruitment by officially visiting Miami and Michigan the next two weeks. An Arkansas commit, it sounds like Barnett could go a number of different ways on or after Signing Day.

- Washington has picked up a new commitment, this time from Southern California. A 6-foot-7, 270 pound defensive end, Stephan Nembot was previously a Washington State verbal commitment. He has a great story too, having just started playing football two years ago after coming to the United States from California.

- The weekend could be even bigger for the Huskies as Army All-American QB Jacoby Brissett will head to the Northwest for an official visit.

- Ole Miss is in the hunt for highly ranked linebacker C.J. Johnson and down the road at Mississippi State, things are gearing up for the 'crazy period.'
Posted on: January 17, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2011 3:45 pm

McReynolds ready to visit two more before signing

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It’s a stressful time in the recruiting world. Coaches are on the road and nervous about who will sign on the dotted line. Parents are frazzled with the phone ringing off the hook. The recruits are no different. 

Washington, D.C. defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds is a little stressed out playing the recruiting game but that hasn't kept him from raving about his time at the Under Armour All-American game. 

“It was a great experience,” McReynolds said. “That was my first taste of the college world. I’m proud of the way I played in that game considering just about every single play I got double teamed. That just shows the hard work I’ve put in.” 

The All-Star game was not just a chance for McReynolds to go up against some of the top talent in the nation but also grab some added reps after missing five games in the middle of the season due to injury. A return to the gridiron late in the season not only got the rust out of his system but allowed him to contribute to a playoff push.

“I came back and played the last game of the season and helped the team get into the playoffs,” he said. “It actually came down to a fourth down stop on the one-yard line that I was in on. It was crazy.” 

With Signing Day just over two weeks away, the 6-foot-3, 305 pound defensive tackle has penciled in his two remaining official visits before committing on February 2nd. 

“I have two more planned, Mississippi State and Kansas State,” McReynolds said. “Mississippi State is a school with a bright future. Coach Mullen has done a great job turning that program around and bringing it back to prominence. It’s a program that I would love to be a part of one day. Kansas State was one of the biggest turnarounds of college football and I think they’re working on the second one right now. Coach Snyder has done a tremendous job at that program.” 

Syracuse and UCLA are the two other schools under consideration. Like Mississippi State, UCLA’s defensive coordinator is no longer in the picture but the rest of the Bruins’ staff has picked up right where he left off. 

“Coach (Todd) Howard is recruiting me and Coach (Daronte') Jones is recruiting me, basically the whole staff except for some of the people on offense,” McReynolds said. “Funny thing about it, (former defensive coordinator) Chuck Bullough was here the day before he got fired. He was at my house the day before he got fired. He was saying he was going to be there for awhile. I was shocked; he was just in my house.” 

The coaching turnover that has been present normally turns many recruits off to a school. But for McReynolds, making the hard decision to let go of a coordinator showed him something else. 

“I think it shows a dedication to winning by those schools,” he said. “No matter what, the student-athlete will always be there but these coaches job is to bring recruits and win. They basically put their livelihood in our hands. A coach could be a great coach but if he doesn’t get the personnel, that falls on him. That’s like coach Rich Rodriguez. He’s a great coach but I don’t think he fit well at Michigan.” 

McReynolds is the fifth-ranked defensive tackle according to MaxPreps.com. He has been selected to play in the USA vs. the World game put on by the International Federation of American Football on February 2nd.
Posted on: January 17, 2011 9:16 am
Edited on: January 17, 2011 9:20 am

1/17 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day everyone! Hope you take some time to reflect on the day and what it means. If you’re off work today -and even if you’re not - enjoy the links below as well.

- Speaking of today, here’s a terrific story on Ralph David Abernathy IV, a Cincinnati commitment and grandson of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s right-hand man of the same name. 

- Florida early enrollee Mike Blakely will miss spring football due to shoulder surgery. One of the top running backs in the country, the 5-foot-9 Blakely is expected to be fully healed by fall camp. 

- The loss of Jim Harbaugh was Stanford’s loss and USC’s gain. In addition to not having to face a coach that had the Trojans’ number, they also grabbed one of the Cardinal’s recruits. Sunnyvale (CA) running back Amir Carlisle is now headed to Los Angeles as the 25th commit for 2011. You might be scratching your head about the 25 commits for USC with sanctions but I’ll have an update on the appeal and scholarship math this week.

- TCU's run to the Roses has paid off with some in-state recruiting success as defensive lineman Jon Lewis has flipped his commitment from Texas Tech to TCU after an official visit. 

- Philadelphia High in Mississippi is probably best known for producing standout running back Marcus Dupree but a current player is drawing the same attention from colleges around the country. Linebacker C.J. Johnson, a former Mississippi State commit, is looking at Ole Miss and LSU in addition to the Bulldogs. 

- Miami has picked up a commitment from California kicker Matt Goudis. 

- Georgia Tech had a very successful recruiting weekend, grabbing three commitments from official visitors. The biggest pickup is offensive lineman Errin Joe but the Yellow Jackets are pushed hard to land Notre Dame commit Stephon Tuitt. 

- Colorado coach Jon Embree continues to add to his first recruiting class as head coach of the Buffs. Washington D.C. cornerback Sherrard Harrington becomes the 7th member of the class of 2011 for Colorado.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:09 am
Edited on: January 14, 2011 10:23 am

1/14 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Nineteen days until signing day and the coaches are already hitting the recruiting trail hard to close out their classes. That said, at least most of them play on Saturdays on green grass unlike the coaches in the first link.

- This is not recruiting related but worth passing on as New Braunfels (TX) Canyon High has replaced their stadium turf - Eastern Washington-style. The red turf, the first in the nation at the high school level, might not be the only colored turf in the state of Texas as the University of Texas San Antonio is considering an orange field. Although I like the Boise State blue field, the way things are going, I wouldn't want to be the ones that eventually have a pink football field. 

- The South Florida Blur, a 7-on-7 travel team sponsored by SoFlaFootball.com and Under Armour, has released its roster full of underclass all-star talents. All-star teams from Florida, Texas, California and others are always an amazing collection of talent on the field.

- Staying in Florida, one of the top uncommitted quarterbacks has moved Florida State and LSU down on his list. Jacoby Brissett has quickly become a hot name out on the recruiting trail and after taking a visit to South Carolina, is expected to choose between Miami, Florida and Washington.

- Clemson has backed off recruiting running back Marlin Lane after he didn't firm up his commitment to the Tigers. Clemson currently has one running back commit, stud Mike Bellamy.

- Former Ohio State receiver, and son of Cris Carter, Duron Carter will not be returning to Ohio State his junior college coach confirmed. Maimi is an option for Carter, who is from Ft. Lauderdale.

- Stanford commit Amir Carlisle will visit USC this weekend. Carlisle expressed interest in the Trojans before committing to the Cardinal so it will be interesting if this visit opens up his recruitment in the wake of the Stanford coaching change. Another Stanford-commit who is on the fence with the coaching change, linebacker James Vaughters, is also having second thoughts due to the likely departure of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

- MaxPreps.com has an update on Sam Meredith, who will head to San Diego State despite the departure of Brady Hoke to Michigan. MaxPreps.com also named Pearland (TX) coach Tony Heath as its U.S. Air Force National Coach of the Year.

- Mississippi State added defensive end Barron Dixon to their recruiting class after canceling a visit to Vanderbilt. Though he is listed at defensive end, he is expected to slide inside to tackle.
- Tosh Lupoi continues to do excellent work and has built Cal's defensive line into one of the best in the nation with the recent commitment of Brandon Scarlett from Portland (OR). Scarlett was pursued by several schools around the country.
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