Posted on: February 1, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 6:03 pm

Non-AQ Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The impact of signing day isn't just felt inside the BCS conferences, so here's a look at how Wednesday will impact some major non-AQs.

Players to Watch

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Monroe (Monroe, GA): Tuitt could be the third member of the MaxPreps Top 100 to join Notre Dame's defensive line in 2011. The 6'6 255 pound defensive end has been a force at Monroe Area in Georgia, and though he's currently given Notre Dame his verbal, he's flirted with Georgia Tech in the last few weeks. While he's expected to sign with Notre Dame on Wednesday, nothing will be certain until he puts pen to paper. If he does sign with the Irish, he'll join Aaron Lynch (#22 on MaxPreps Top 100) and Ishaq Williams (#70) as defensive linemen in this class. A pretty nice haul. No wonder MaxPreps has Notre Dame atop its team rankings.

Ladarius Brown, ATH, Waxahachie (Waxahachie,TX): Brown is one of the best athletes in the country, and one that Gary Patterson can use in a lot of ways at TCU. Brown could find himself playing anywhere from wide receiver, cornerback, safety or linebacker in Fort Worth. Of course, he has to get to Fort Worth first. He originally gave his verbal to Oklahoma before going with TCU. Should Brown sign on Wednesday he'll be one of key members of a solid if not spectacular TCU class.

Jimmy Laughrea, QB, Rocklin (Rocklin, CA): Chris Petersen and Boise State seldom bring in highly rated recruiting classes, but the Broncos don't exactly pick up scraps either. With Kellen Moore entering his senior season it's time for Boise to look for his replacement, and they may find it in 6'2 180-pound Laughrea. The northern California quarterback gave his verbal commitment to Boise State back in June, and has shown no signs of wavering on it since.

Teams to Watch

Notre Dame: When Brian Kelly took the job at Notre Dame last winter, there were plenty of Irish fans worried about whether or not he'd be able to land the type of recruiting classes to get Notre Dame back to the top of the rankings. Well, is the best class in the country good enough? Of course, with such a strong recruiting class, the already high expectations in South Bend will only get higher. Still, stocking up on the defensive side of the football as Kelly has done in this class is a good first step toward meeting them.

TCU: TCU and Gary Patterson are bringing in a nice class for 2011, the school's final season in the Mountain West before moving on to the Big East. So this is the last class that the school will bring in as a non-AQ, and Patterson will be hoping that guys like Ladarius Brown, Chuck Hunter and Deryck Gildon can help the Horned Frogs get a little more consideration for a national title one of these days.

UCF: The Golden Knights aren't going to finish with a class that's ranked in the Top 25, but after finishing there in the polls following a win over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl, the school will have to bring in some players to make sure they stay ranked. After all, UCF wouldn't mind moving to the Big East along with TCU, and the Knights are hoping players like DE Toby Jackson and DB Jeremy Davis can help them get there.

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

You're not going to hear many people complain about the job Kyle Whittingham has done since replacing Urban Meyer at Utah. Still, with the Utes moving from the Mountain West to the new Pac-12, life is going to get a bit tougher. No longer will middle of the pack recruiting classes be good enough to compete for a conference title and possible BCS berth. The Utes will be hoping that having the doors to California opened to them on a larger scale will help, and as of now, over a third of their expected signees come from the Golden State.

More Signing Day coverage
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 31, 2011 11:08 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 11:12 pm

Monday night recruiting update

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After a full day in which rumors ran wild, at least one site has finally caught up with Crenshaw (CA) athlete De’Anthony Thomas. The speedy Thomas has been committed to USC since May of last year and one of the Trojans biggest recruiters but late Sunday night, several reports had him switching his commitment to Oregon.

One of the chief reasons for the speculation was a last minute trip to officially visit Oregon over the weekend.

“Man, it was everything I thought it would be and more,” Thomas told DuckTerritory.com. “That program is loaded with talent. It is one of the things that caught my eye when I was there.”

Thomas has not told any outlets what his plans are and if he has even decommitted for USC. Multiple USC recruiting cites are reporting that he will announce at 5 pm PT on Signing Day. USC has their Signing Day press conference scheduled for 5:30 pm, while Oregon’s is scheduled for 1 pm.

There was positive news for USC today with the commitment of Moreno Valley (CA) wide receiver Junior Pomee. At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, Pomee can play receiver or grow into a tight end in college. He is the Trojans’ 25th commitment and 17th that will sign on Wednesday.

News also broke out of Florida on two commitments, one of which is a big change of commitment. West Boca Raton (FL) receiver Robert Lockhart verbally committed to Virginia Tech. In non-BCS recruiting news, Dade City (FL) safety Jamie Byrd changed his commitment from Boise State to TCU.

More nuggets will be posted in tomorrow’s Recruiting Roundup.

Posted on: January 19, 2011 8:43 am
Edited on: January 19, 2011 8:50 am

1/19 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The blog will be a little light today but here's plenty of links to keep you occupied. By the way, exactly two weeks until Signing Day so get excited!

- Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples takes a look at the unique names in the class of 2011, including quarterback Thor Long, defensive end God's Power Offor and defensive end Wonderful Terrific Monds.

- Some football and basketball recruiting links from around the ACC.

- TCU picked up a pair of commitments last night, flipping Brandon Carter from Oklahoma and Carter Wall from SMU.

- An update on several recruits from Georgia, including highly ranked running back Isaiah Crowell's mother saying she's, "not selling [her] son's soul to the devil," because Georgia offered a scholarship to a teammate.

- Colorado has picked up another commitment close to Signing Day in linebacker Woodson Greer. Expect Colorado to continue to raid California for players with their move to the Pac-12.

- A look at Washington commitments and targets in the wake of some updated recruiting rankings.

- USC is still a recruiting machine despite sanctions and the loss of Pete Carroll to the NFL. A focus on local talent is a big reason why Lane Kiffin and company are near the top of most recruiting rankings.

- Highly regarded cornerback Marcus Roberson committed to Texas Tech last night. But he's still open to other schools. 
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 16, 2011 11:55 am

1/16 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It’s not every day that you see a sub-.500 team in the playoffs coached by a successful college coach going against a team quarterbacked by a guy from Vanderbilt. In fact, I don’t think anybody’s seen it. Or could have predicted it. Either way, on to the links. 

- Boise State has been on a little roll lately, recently picking up the commitment of Pasco (FL) safety Jamie Byrd. One of the better players in the north Tampa area, grabbing Byrd is not only an indication of the Broncos grabbing better talent with their recent success but also a sign of their expanded recruiting reach. 

- Former Tennessee wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson is looking to return to Division I football and offers from Syracuse and Kansas have peaked his interest. The talented but troubled wide receiver also played cornerback last season in junior college. 

- Oklahoma commit Brandon Carter has taken an official visit to TCU. Recruits Kendal Thompson, Brandon Williams and Marquis Anderson have also planned to enroll early at Oklahoma. 

- Highly recruited offensive lineman Errin Joe has committed to Georgia Tech. He is the 19th commitment for the class of 2011 and apparently really likes run blocking.
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