Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:50 am
 

6/24 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

A big international flavor at last night's NBA draft. Wonder how different things would be if college recruiting was a draft instead of its current system?

Five issues that will shape Notre Dame's upcoming recruiting class. 

 Athlete Anthony Brown hopes he'll get a USF offer soon.

 Running back William Mahone visited Michigan State this week.

 LSU has 12 commits in this list of top players in the state of Louisiana.

 Mike Stoops and Arizona have opened a pipeline from the state of Oklahoma.

 Offensive tackle Jordan Diamond said he plans to visit Arkansas in early August.

Commitments:

 Northwestern
added three commitments Thursday night. 


 Fellow Big Ten program Indiana also added three commitments yesterday. 

 Linebacker Jamal Lyles and defensive end Josiah Price both committed to Michigan State. 

 Defensive end James Washington pledged to Syracuse
Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:22 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Nebraska raids Ohio for defensive end

Posted by Bryan Fischer

As soon as Nebraska's move to the Big Ten was announced, many thought that the Huskers would begin to recruit the state of Ohio heavily as they distanced themselves from the Big 12 and their pipeline from the state of Texas. While the program will still try to maintain ties to the South, with a weakened Ohio State and head coach Bo Pelini's ties to Ohio, it appears that Nebraska might end up making a dent in the state sooner rather than later.

“I committed to Nebraska,” Akron (Ohio) defensive end Greg McMullen told HuskersIllustrated.com Thursday night. “I actually did it a few days ago, but I try to stay out of the media.

“I talked to the defensive coordinator and the defensive line coach. I’m going to call Coach Pelini tonight.”

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound end held scholarship offers from schools such as Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Purdue. He is the second defensive lineman to commit to the school in as many days and was attracted to the success the program had at sending players to the NFL.

“I’m a defensive guy and in the last three or four years Nebraska has had some great defensive lines. They had Ndamukong Suh and then there’s Jared Crick," he said. "It’s a defensive-minded school and Bo Pelini is a defensive coach.”

McMullen had 55 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior last season. He is the Huskers' first commitment from the state of Ohio and fourth overall.


Posted on: June 23, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:02 pm
 

6/23 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- As the No. 2 overall recruit and the top quarterback in 2012, Gunner Kiel is keeping his recruitment low key.

- Running the numbers on SEC recruiting compared to ACC recruiting turns out about how you'd expect.

Arkansas is keeping tabs on speedy wide receiver Eric Hawkins.

Florida State, Florida, South Carolina, USF and Miami are defensive tackle Earl Moore's top five according to this Q&A he did.

The decommitment of Kyle Kalis is just the latest news in Ohio State's recruiting woes.

Offensive lineman Blake Bars visited Michigan and now has a top five.

Wisconsin is off to a fast start in putting together their 2012 recruiting class.


Commitments:

Florida added the commitment of kicker Austin Hardin, who selected the Gators over Auburn and Tennessee.

Cornerback Hugs Etienne committed to Wisconsin over West Virginia.

Pitt added former Ohio State signee Ejuan Price.

Dual threat quarterback Brenden Motley selected Virginia Tech over Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Kalis decommits from Ohio St., others to follow?

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ohio State recruitniks have been bracing for bad news ever since the resignation of coach Jim Tressel and lingering questions about the school's NCAA infractions case continued to surface. Things might have gone from bad to worse Tuesday night as Kyle Kalis, the only Top 100 member in the Buckeyes' 2012 class, decommitted and re-opened his recruitment.

"I did speak to (interim coach) Luke Fickell minutes ago, and I told him I was de-committing from Ohio State," Kalis told Scout. "I want to keep all my options open, and will consider several programs going forward, including Ohio State. That's really all I want to say about my recruitment at this time."

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman holds scholarship offers form Alabama, Iowa, LSU, Notre Dame and Wisconsin among others. He is planning a visit to Michigan this week and, given that the Wolverines have been cleaning up on the recruiting trail lately, that has to make some of the Buckeye faithful a little uneasy.

Kalis is friends with defensive end and Michigan commit Tom Strobel, and he'll likely be in Kalis' ear about what to do while he's in Ann Arbor (like, say, committing to the Maize and Blue). With the decommitment, Ohio State currently sits at eight verbal commitments.

But Kalis isn't the only Ohio State commitment thinking about decommitting. Canton (Ohio) running back Bri'onte Dunn has been on shaky ground ever since Tressel's resignation was announced, and his comments have not been reassuring for Ohio State coaches.

Although some players in the recruiting class seem to be on solid footing with the program, they will no doubt be receiving plenty of attention from opposing coaches. With even Michigan State jumping in on some good Ohio talent this recruiting class, it could be a long road to Signing Day for the Buckeyes.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:51 pm
 

Washington Nike Camp Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SEATTLE – The 13th and final stop on the annual Nike Training Camp schedule made it's way back to the Northwest, and plenty of elite talent came out to Husky Stadium to compete. While these events are typically a time for the skill-position players to impress, the offensive linemen were actually the ones who stole the show.

Puyallup (Wash.) offensive tackle Joshua Garnett showed why he was a Top 100 prospect by flat-out dominating the opposition.

"I'm just happy to be out here, glad to get the MVP today,” Garnett said. “Definitely glad I didn't lose any one-on-ones, the only lineman that didn't lose any. Went over to the defensive side of the ball and won three of the four reps on defensive line, felt pretty good about that. Definitely showed my athleticism on both sides of the ball."

Garnett wasn't the only top offensive lineman in attendance. One of his good friends, Top 100 tackle Zach Banner, also participated. While the two play the same position and therefore didn't really go head-to-head, Garnett had no problem mentioning that he won the MVP award.

“Oh yeah, it felt good,” Garnett said. “He likes to talk a lot, he's a little louder than I am if you guys didn't notice. I'm definitely a little more calm, more mellow. I think it's good to come out and show people my talent. Just because I'm not 6-9, 350, I can still play and do the same exact stuff.

"When we go out in public, people say, 'Jeez, is that Zach Banner?' then we'll come out here in the drills and they'll see my athleticism. I'm not saying he's not, but he did allow some guys to go inside. Definitely I think it's good to come out here and show the difference."

The pair are so close that as recruiting has taken off, they've been able to talk and bounce ideas off each other. One idea many observers have floated is that the two are a package deal, and Garnett does not shy away from the fact that the two might end up at the same school.

“We're definitely going to be looking at the same schools, we're good friends,” he said. “We're going to look at the same schools just because of that chemistry we have together.

“Looking at Zach's list, there's going to be a couple schools that aren't going to be on (my list), probably about three or four of them. Me and Zach have different goals going to college. I'm really big into the football, don't get me wrong I want to play football, but I'm going to be looking into medical school and looking more at a pre-med program than I am a football power. I know I can can go to Florida or Miami or any SEC school, but I want to look at my life past if I played in the NFL.”

The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder is ranked 43rd in the country for the class of 2012 by MaxPreps. The four-star prospect is focused on life off the field as much as he is on it when it comes to recruiting. The biggest thing he's looking for is a program that allows him to succeed on the field while also preparing him for a career in medicine. Coincidentally, there was a top school across the street from where he was performing Sunday.

“U-Dub, obviously they have a great medical school,” Garnett said. “No. 1 medical school in the nation, so I'll definitely talk to some of the biology teachers and stuff. I'm definitely looking at U-Dub hard, and it helps them an awful lot having this medical school right next to it.

“Next week me and my dad are planning on going down to Stanford and Cal. My uncle lives close to Pasadena, in Upland, so we're going to go to UCLA and 'SC just to see those schools.”

Garnett holds more than 30 scholarship offers from powerhouses across the country, but at least two West Coast programs are sticking out as recruiting him the hardest.

“SC is coming after me hard, and so is Cal-Berkley, probably the hardest,” Garnett said.

Banner narrows list, impresses at Nike Camp

While Garnett is the athletic tackle that coaches look for, Lakewood (Wash.) offensive tackle Zach Banner is the mammoth left tackle prototype that has coaches drooling over his 6-foot-8, 320-pound frame. He performed well Sunday and left no doubts that he was an elite college recruit.

“I feel like I did good, I came out here and worked my tail off,” Banner said. “I got invited to The Opening and it's all a blessing. Me and Josh are going to go down there together. We've been working our tails off this whole spring and summer, and it's paying off for us. I know it's paying off for me, and coaches are seeing it.”

Like his good friend Garnett, Banner enjoys some healthy competition and felt the camp setting brought out the best in the both of them, even if he wasn't the one taking home the MVP award.

“Definitely. Even though we play the same position, we both come out to prove that we're the best,” Banner said. “It's always friendly competition, and we'll go back and laugh at it.”

On a strong year for West Coast linemen, Banner stands out literally and figuratively. Ranked 12th overall in the class of 2012, he has no problem answering who is the top offensive lineman in the state, much less the country.

“Yes, yes I do,” he said, confirming he was the state's top dog. “You think about it, me and Josh, we're best friends. If they were a defensive end or someone who played across from me, then it would be pure battle. Not only do we play the same position, but we work out together, we're good friends, we're getting recruited by the same person.

“We care about getting better, and I know, for sure, both of us got better today.”

On the recruiting front, Banner holds offers from just about every school in the country and has started the process of narrowing things down.

“I gave out my top nine earlier this week and in no particular order, it's U-Dub, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, USC, LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma,” he said. “I'm just narrowing it down as we go. I'm about to go into my senior year, so you have to do it sooner rather than later and I just felt like the nine, I'm not cutting anybody off.

“I'm going to narrow it down to a top five in December. I'll take all five of my official visits. No unofficials scheduled, but I do have two officials scheduled ... Michigan on Sept. 10 for the Notre Dame game and I'll be there all weekend for those two days. Then Notre Dame on Oct. 21 and 22 for the USC game. They're both good, and Michigan's game is the first night game there ever and the Notre Dame game will be the first night game in like 25 years. ”

Husky commits have friendly competition

Banner and Garnett were not the only players who had a healthy competition going. The two quarterbacks committed to the University of Washington, Denver signal caller Cyler Miles and Mercer Island (Wash.) quarterback Jeff Lindquist, both threw well this weekend as a preview of what's to come over the next four or five years for the Huskies.

“A little bit I guess,” Miles said when asked about the competition. “He's a cool guy, and I've got a lot of respect for him. He's a great quarterback, and I like him a lot. It's going to be fun. We're going to make each other better and wherever you go, there's going to be quarterbacks so it will be a good competition.”

“I met him today, so it was nice to get that relationship started,” Lindquist said. “In terms of competition, it was more of a friendly competition and trying to make each other better. There was no dirty mouthing or anything like that.”

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Miles enjoyed meeting Lindquist and several other future Washington teammates, who he ended up throwing to on a few occasions once he was warmed up.

“I felt I did all right, I was a little rusty at first,” he said. “It was good to interact with all the guys, a couple of whom have already committed just like me, so it was good to just hang with them. It was nice to see where I'm going to be at the next four years.”

The overcast skies forced the organizers to turn on the lights at Husky Stadium which was fine by Miles. The experience of playing on the turf and throwing into the end zone with big Washington lettering was a nice experience for him.

“It was nice, big old stadium with about 75,000 ...,” Miles trailed off, thinking about playing on the field in a few years. “It's great, though, to picture myself here next year and the year after that. It's exciting and something to look forward too.”

Miles pulled the trigger on a commitment to Washington just a few weeks ago in large part because of the relationship he developed with the coaching staff there.

“I just love the relationships the coaches have with the players,” he said. “It's a good fit for me because of the offense. I love the Pac-12 and the coaches, they were the ones most sincere with me, my mom and dad. I just felt like this fit me best.”

With two quarterbacks in the fold for 2012, both are continuing to spread the gospel about the Pac-12 program and trying to recruit a few others for the upcoming class.

“I'm trying to get Garrnett and Banner,” Miles said. “I'm just talking to them a little bit, at the end it's their choice. I'd love for all of them to come here and help build this program as it's rising up.”

“We'll probably get that coordinated,” Lindquist said of the two tackles. “We'll chip in here and there. I don't want to annoy them, but we'll get in a word here and there.”

Neal impresses once again

Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal is no stranger to the camp circuit. He's performed at both the LA and Stanford Nike Camps among others, and he surprisingly showed up in Seattle, hungry to improve his game.

"I felt I did good, but there's still some things I could work on,” Neal said. “I'm never satisfied, I'm always hungry and try and stay humble and keep working."

Neal's father, who handles all of his recruiting, showed up to watch his son in a UCLA sweatshirt on the chilly day. The younger Neal made sure to remind everybody that his dad was just trying to adjust to the weather, which was just a little bit different from the triple-digit heat at home.

"No, no, no, no indication at all, it's just to keep warm, that's all,” he said. “That's why he's wearing that and I'm wearing it and I have a Nike sweater on."

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete showed off his athleticism all day and played at a high level at both receiver and corner. Schools are recruiting him at both, but Neal has no preference where he'll play at the next level.

"I feel comfortable at both positions," he said. "If they want to put me at receiver, I'll play receiver; if they put me at corner, I'll play corner. It doesn't matter, I just want to get on the field. Either/or, it doesn't matter to me. They're recruiting me as both. Some as receiver, some as corner. It just depends on where they want me to play."

Neal holds offers from more than 25 schools but plans on pushing all his official visits and a decision until after the football season.

"There is no list," he said. "There's only undecided. A lot of people are recruiting me heavily. They're all really pushing hard, but I just let my dad handle the recruiting and I just play football.

"I'm just relaxing until after my senior season. ... I'll take all five officials, but I'm just going to do them all after the season when I have a lot of free time."

Led by quarterback and Texas commit Connor Brewer, Neal is focused on helping Chaparral High, ranked No. 24 in the country by Maxpreps, to success yet again in his senior season.

"We're going to be good. Hopefully we'll get that three-peat,” Neal said. “That's going to be on our shirts."

Notes

-- One of the players who Neal frequently battled against -- on both sides of the ball -- was Lakewood (Wash.) athlete Cedric Dozier. The two would have one rep where Neal was the receiver and Dozier playing the press corner, and then they'd flip around. Their match-up was pretty even, and Dozier felt it helped him improve his all-around game.

“I did all right for the most part,” Dozier said. “I competed with a lot of good players from all over, and it really forced me to step up. There's competition and you've got to play. I didn't come here just to play no nobodies. You've got to come out here to play. There's people from all over that's really good, and that means you have to step up.”

Dozier said he's completely open as to what school he'll attend, but Cal and Washington are recruiting him the hardest. He'll likely make a decision after the season.

-- Washington commit Michael Rector made his pledge public just a few days before the camp and, it turns out, there was a reason for making a commitment earlier than he had originally planned.

“At first my parents and I wanted to wait until July or after school,” he said. “With a new receiver (Dwayne Washington) committing too, they were only going to take two, so we thought about it the day before school was out and thought it wasn't too soon to make the decision.”

Rector tried to hook up with the two Husky quarterbacks as much as he could while at the camp in order to start developing timing before any of them even stepped on campus for college.

“It was fun,” he said. “We got together whenever we could and ran routes and stuff. We like it a lot, and we're looking forward to it.”

The most impressive quarterback at the event was not the pair of commitments to Washington but rising junior Max Browne. He impressed earlier this year at the Stanford Elite 11 and recently picked up an offer from Clemson. He grabbed the MVP award and displayed a very strong arm, fluid motion and was able to make all the throws. Lefty Matt Morin, also a regular on the camp circuit, also impressed.

-- Everett (Wash.) running back Keivarae Russell took home running back MVP honors and showed the ability to get into and out of breaks very quickly. Seattle cornerback Jayshawn Jordan won the defensive back award and performed well, playing his man and the ball closely.

Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:38 am
 

Pittman makes Father's Day pledge to Michigan St.

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things are just a little different in Midwest recruiting for the class of 2012. One Big Ten power, Michigan, has a new head coach who hasn't coached a game in Ann Arbor and another, Ohio State, faces the very real possiblity of NCAA sanctions thanks to a still-developing case.

While it has mostly been the Wolverines who have been able to build up some momentum on the recruiting trail, their in-state rival Michigan State is picking up steam as well and building a very good class. The Spartans added to it with a major verbal pledge Sunday afternoon in Canton (Ohio) defensive end Se'Von Pittman, who made a surprising Father's Day commitment.

"It was great getting the decision out of the way because now I can focus on other things, like my senior season," Pittman told SpartanMag.com. "What made me commit to Michigan State was Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and Coach (Mark) Dantonio. They're great coaches and I wanted to be a part of something like that, and just the fact that I wanted to be different. I wanted to go there and make my own name and be Se'Von Pittman at Michigan State."  

Ranked 63rd overall in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps, Pittman is planning on enrolling early in school and going through spring drills. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is also planning on being a leader from the moment he steps on campus as the Spartans look to build off their best season in decades in 2011.

"I really think the program is a big thing," he said. "I really think with me being there, we can really get a Big Ten Championship, maybe even a BCS. Right now we got the coaches, we just need more players."

Michigan State was the choice for Pittman over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State among others. The four-star player is the first defensive lineman in the program's class of 2012, which currently sits at six commitments.

As a junior last year, Pittman had roughly 100 tackles and six sacks.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 11:37 am
 

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oversigning. Roster Management. Initial counters. Transfers. Those were some of the buzz words as the SEC wrapped up their annual spring meetings this week in Destin, Florida (CBSSports.com colleague Brett McMurphy has been covering the meetings on his blog). Oversigning, a topic that has been debated at length in the media coming into the meetings, was expected to be one of the things the league actually took action on and that they did Friday afternoon.

The SEC presidents voted to approve several proposals that will be adopted league-wide immediately, with several expected to be forwarded for possible adoption by the NCAA. The most noteworthy of the proposals was reducing the annual cap on signees from 28 to 25. Several schools, such as Florida and Georgia, had already been abiding by the lower limit.

Current NCAA rules permit schools to take 25 "initial counters" per year (high school players who enroll at a school for the first time are considered an initial counter) but schools can sign up to 28 players to a letter of intent to take into account players who do not qualify academically.

Several SEC coaches developed a reputation of being notorious oversigners. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt signed 38 players in 2009 (though fewer than 25 actually enrolled in school), prompting the currrent limit of 28 signees that commonly became known as 'The Houston Nutt Rule.' All 12 of the league's coaches were also at the meetings this week and voted to keep the limit at 28 but were overturned by the presidents, who voted 12-0 in favor of the new rule.

"No one wants to win more than I do," commissioner Mike Slive told reporters. "But you don't want to win at the expense of young people. You want to win for them." 

The 25 signee limit is just one of several that will change the way the SEC (and possibly others in the future) recruits. Other new rules were adopted to address the number of signees, how players are counted when they enroll and having the league office oversee all medical scholarship exemptions. The conference also eliminated an exception allowing graduate students to transfer and not have to sit out a year. This rule will not start until October, allowing transfers considering SEC schools to still enroll without a penalty, such as former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson.

"You should stay at our institutions long enough to have the type of academic experience that you expect student-athletes to have," Slive said. "You shouldn't solely transfer in for an athletic experience."

All of the talk and actual change that came about in Destin this week is a remarkable turnaround for the conference. Last year the conference pushed through legislation related to how to count incoming players that essentially created a loophole to the 28 man limit and other changes related to counting financial aid. It was just two years ago that the SEC submitted the 28 signees limit to the NCAA membership, which was subsequently accepted and made a national rule.

Slive and the presidents didn't think about things or slowly phase in legislation, they made a hardline stance this week and said no more oversigning.

What does this mean going forward? At the moment, these proposals are limited to the SEC so Texas A&M or Washington can still sign 28 players in the upcoming class of 2012. Big Ten schools have already adopted even stricter signing rules and have been leading the outrage over oversigning for several years.

The deadline to submit NCAA legislation is in a few weeks so we'll know exactly what is on the horizon nationally but there's at least one or two SEC coaches going back to their recruiting board and making a few adjustments. Many of the league's coaches sign a player they know cannot qualify in hopes of placing him in a junior college and then getting him eligible. Starting this year, the so-called 'sign and place' kids will be no more.

Bottom line is you'll see 25 or fewer players actually sign a letter of intent with SEC schools come February. The days of kids getting squeezed out of a scholarship because of a coach oversigning appear to be over and no matter what you think of the oversigning debate, that's a good thing.

Posted on: June 2, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Recruits stick with Ohio State despite Tressel

By MaxPreps' Jarrod Ulrey

Among the members of the 2012 recruiting class who already have made verbal commitments to play football for Ohio State, there seemed to be one overriding characteristic to their feelings in the days that have followed Jim Tressel's resignation May 30: Ohio State is still Ohio State.

That was among the comments Upper Arlington (Columbus, Ohio) junior wide receiver Frank Epitropulous made on his Facebook page on Memorial Day afternoon, a little longer than a month after he first committed.

His father, John Epitropoulos, who played for the Buckeyes during the late 1970s, said May 31 that his son had no other comment than his statement on Facebook which read: "Thanks Coach Tressel for giving me the opportunity to play at OSU. You will be missed. Ohio State is still Ohio State and I'm still a Buckeye. Go Bucks!"

Similar sentiments rang from many of the other eight members of Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class.

Just two days after the Columbus Dispatch reported that sources encouraged Tressel to resign amid the mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program, the Buckeyes nailed down a new recruit.

Tyvis Powell of Bedford told various news outlets June 1 that he had chosen to play for Ohio State over Michigan State, West Virginia and Syracuse. He announced the commitment on the front steps of his high school.

Since early December, the only other recruits Ohio State has added have been Epitropoulos and St. Ignatius (Cleveland) tight end Blake Thomas, who verbally committed May 17. Twelve other Ohio residents, meanwhile, have committed to play for schools in the Big Ten or SEC since that time.

"I knew eight years ago I wanted to play for Ohio State," Powell said. "I'm not going to take my talents out of state. I'm going to play for coach (Luke) Fickell."

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