Tag:Bill O'Brien
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:22 am
 

3/6 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Alabama has only pros and no cons according to the #1 recruit in 2013, Robert Nkemdiche.

Kerry Coombs leaving Cincinnati for Ohio State has shaken up recruiting in the state a little.

 Florida and Florida State are the top two for linebacker Stacy Thomas.

 Linebacker Mike McCray could pick Michigan this weekend.

 Deion Sanders Jr. is bypassing signing with Houston or North Texas to go to prep school in Atlanta.

 From UCLA to Alabama, the offers are rolling in for Eddie Vanderdoes.

 High school coaches had good things to say when talking about Penn State's new head coach Bill O'Brien.

 Running back Eric Harrell picked up his first offer from Kansas.

Commitments

 Ole Miss closed out their 2012 class with cornerback Anthony Standifier and added their third commit in 2013 in wide receiver Dannon Cavil.

 Linebacker Reggie Spearman committed to Indiana.

 Receiver Austin Bennett pledged to Arkansas over the weekend.

 Running back Chase Abbington is staying in state after committing to Missouri.

Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:16 am
 

Penn State picks up first two 2013 commitments

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Given all that went on, not much was expected with Penn State's class of 2012. Expectations have been turned up with the 2013 class however and it looks as though the Nittany Lions have gotten off to a good start, scoring their first commitments on Wednesday from Fork Union (Va.) quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Avon (Ohio) defensive back Ross Douglas.

“Just Penn State itself sealed the deal,” Douglas, right, told 247Sports. “Just the place and tradition and coaching staff set themselves apart from everywhere else."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Douglas held offers from Boston College, Louisville, Tennessee and others. His attendance at a recent Penn State Junior Day seemed to convince him that Happy Valley was the place for him however.

Hackenberg, one of the East Coast's top signal callers, held offers from Alabama, Florida, Stanford and plenty of other schools. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder was the first commitment for Penn State and new head coach Bill O'Brien in the upcoming class and looks like the centerpiece of a big push on the recruiting trail over the next few weeks.

Last season as a junior, Hackenberg passed for over 2,100 yards and 20 touchdowns. Douglas starred as a running back last year but will wind up on the other side of the ball in college.

Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:28 am
 

2/10 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Talented athlete Stefon Diggs is expected to commit to Maryland later today.

 Auburn is waiting on the decisions of Diggs and Alex Kozan.

 James Franklin clarified his words about decommits he made to Vanderbilt supporters.

 North Carolina started 2013 recruiting with package deal.

 A strong finish in 2012 would help Arkansas close on big name recruits.

 The country's top tight end, Adam Breneman, is impressed with Penn State coach Bill O'Brien.

 A record crowd turned up to hear Gary Pinkel talk about Missouri's 2012 recruiting haul.

 Meet UCLA's 2012 recruiting class.

 Michigan State is interested in some linemen who are already picking up offers.
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:33 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Big Ten Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. The Big Ten used to be like the football on the field against SEC opponents, a step slow and a little behind. That's no longer the case thanks to recent hires Urban Meyer at Ohio State and Brady Hoke at Michigan. They say the rivalry between the two schools is everyday and based on how the two newcomers are hitting the recruiting trail, the Midwest is suddenly one of the top battlegrounds in the country.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100 Moving
3. Michigan 24 4
5. Ohio State 23 5

Top storylines

1. Who else does Urban Meyer flip?

Big Ten meet Urban, he's a good recruiter. Some would call him relentless. In just a short time since his hiring, Meyer has taken the Buckeyes from middle of the back in the conference to one of the top five classes nationally. He's flipped several players and seems to have targeted what was Penn State's recruiting class in particular. Not everybody was spared, including Michigan State who lost Se'Von Pittman. Although scholarship reductions will put a crunch on the numbers, the current group isn't a finished product and the Buckeyes are still in the running for players like Armani Reeves so it's possible Meyer scores another big time player.

2. Does Michigan win the head-to-head battle with Ohio State?

At one point, Michigan was lapping the rest of the Big Ten when it came to recruiting but with Meyer in Columbus, the equation has changed slightly. The Wolverines have undergone some defections in the last month but the group of current commitments still adds depth at much needed positions and gives the program what might be the best incoming offensive line group in the country. It's possible to call the two schools' classes equal on the home stretch even if Michigan is ahead in the latest Maxpreps team rankings. The Buckeyes have more star power and are loaded along the defensive line, will that be enough to overtake a deep group of UM commits come Signing Day? Should be interesting to find out.

3. Does anyone else come close?

There's only two conference teams listed in the top 25 classes and that about sums up the situation in the Midwest. To be in an analogous mood, Ohio State is like a Ferrari and Michigan is a Lamborghini while the rest of the Big Ten is driving Yugos. It's not that there's bad players coming in, it's just that there's not enough of them. Indiana, Minnesota and others appear to be set in terms of recruiting but they are not filled with elite players. Michigan State, Wisconsin and others have gone for quality but haven't come close to getting any quantity. It should make for an interesting conference reset come February 2 to see if anybody can cobble together a top 25 class and even come close to what Michigan and Ohio State have done on the recruiting trail.

4. What does newcomer Nebraska's class look like?

It's not big, it's not spectacular and it's left many fans wondering what the heck is up. We're not talking about the latest menu addition at Jack-in-the-Box but Nebraska's recruiting class. Although the season fell short of expectations not many expected the Cornhuskers to struggle this much in terms of recruiting. There's some solid players among the commits, such as wide out Jordan Westerkamp and linebacker Michael Rose but there doesn't appear to be a huge name to be found among the bunch that can come in and leave an impression. The overall number of commits, 13 a week away from Signing Day, is also concerning. It's very possible that Bo Pelini ends up with a decent class of 2012 but, at the moment, it's going to take a lot of work to do so.

Most impressive class: Ohio State

Most underrated class: Wisconsin

Work left to do: Nebraska

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
3. Noah Spence DE Ohio State
14. Stefon Diggs WR Uncommitted
26. Josh Garnett OL Uncommitted
34. Vince Biegel LB Wisconsin
40. Phillip Nelson QB Minnesota
 47. Tommy Schutt DT Ohio State
49. Adolphus Washington DE Ohio State
52. Chris Wormley DL Michigan
54. Greg Garmon RB Iowa
55. Jordan Westerkamp WR Nebraska
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Mike Ekeler, Indiana
Eric Johnson, Iowa
Fred Jackson, Greg Mattison and Mark Smith, Michigan
Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Matt Limegrover, Minnesota
John Papuchis, Nebraska
Matt MacPherson, Northwestern
Luke Fickell, Tom Herman and Everett Withers, Ohio State
Larry Johnson, Mac McWhorter and Ron Vanderlinden, Penn State
Gary Nord, Purdue
Mike Markuson and Matt Canada, Wisconsin

Head coach under pressure: Bill O'Brien, Penn State

Top Big Ten class prediction: Ohio State

Top Big Ten signee: Noah Spence

Big Ten school-by-school
Legends Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 DE Faith Ekakite
RB Greg Garmon
DT Jaleel Johnson
A solid class that is heavy along both lines, Ekakite and Johnson are two top pick ups for the Hawkeyes. Given depth issues and his talent, Garmon has a chance to start right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 WR Aaron Burbridge
LB Jamal Lyles
QB Tyler O'Connor
A solid but not spectacular class, the Spartans have several diamonds in the rough (so to speak). O'Connor might need a few years but he's got the talent to develop into a very good Big Ten signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
28 QB Phillip Nelson
OL Jonah Pirsig
 It's not often the Gophers land one top 250 player so it's impressive that Jerry Kill was able to snag two of them. Nelson is a local kid who should adjust well after a redshirt year. There's plenty of Juco transfers to help provide an immediate boost.
- Team page
- Commitment list
13 DE Greg McMullen
OL Paul Thurston
WR Jordan Westerkamp
Needless to say, Bo Pelini still has a lot to work on with this class. The size stands out first and it remains to be seen if the Huskers close strong or just fill out spaces this year. Westerkamp is a good pick up who should play early.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 RB Malin Jones
DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
OL Ian Park
It's always difficult to project where Northwestern's class ends up but there a lot of solid contributors in this group mixed with some impact players like Jones. Odenigbo is a huge boost and should be a situational pass rusher from the start.
Leaders Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB TaJarvis Fuller
DT Teko Powell
DT Vontrell Williams
Ron Zook didn't exactly get this class off to a flying start and once he was fired, it took a further nose dive. There's some solid players committed so far but it remains to be seen what becomes of this essentially lost class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 LB Jacarri Alexander
WR Kevin Davis
Kevin Wilson has gone after a few guys that fit his system and though they might not be as big or fast as others, might work out just fine in Bloomington.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 TE Jesse James
RB Akeel Lynch
DB Armani Reeves
It's amazing this class is as big as it is given all that has happened in State College and the fact that the new head coach hasn't done any in-home visits. James is the best of the bunch and has the potential to be an all-conference tight end.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 QB Austin Appleby
QB Bilal Marshall
OL Jordan Roos
DE Ryan Watson
The Boilermakers got themselves a steal in the strong-armed Appleby. Watson and Roos will be two solid contributors along each line too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
11 LB Vince Biegel
QB Bart Houston
OL Dan Voltz
OL Walker Williams
Quality not quantity is the phrase used for the Badgers class. While there's not a breakaway skill position player in the group, the OL is one of the best in the conference and Houston is a perfect fit for the offense at quarterback.

Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:58 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Curt Warner's son, two others commit to Penn St.

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It was a somber Sunday in Happy Valley with the passing of legendary head coach Joe Paterno but Penn State fans did receive some uplifting news when word surfaced that Camas (Wash.) wide receiver Jonathan Warner and Baltimore (Md.) teammates Trevor Williams and Da'Quan Davis all committed to the Nittany Lions.

"I just talked to Coach (Bill) O'Brien over the phone, he was getting ready for his game against the Ravens, I sat down with my family and the rest of the coaching staff and we talked to him over the speaker phone," Davis told Lions247. "We basically just got it done. He said he was happy to have me."

Davis, a defensive back, and Williams, a wide receiver, are both former West Virginia pledges who recently re-opened their recruitment and just picked up offers from the new staff. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Warner, who is the son of famed Penn State running back Curt Warner, didn't hold any other offers but the wide out had also recently picked up one from the Nittany Lions and wasted no time in committing after a visit to the program his family name has been associated with for a long time.

"I just officially committed!" an excited Warner told the site.

The trio gives Penn State 17 commitments for the class of 2012 with just over a week left until Signing Day. Davis is one of the top corners in the Northeast and provides a nice boost to O'Brien's recruiting efforts.

"He shows good quickness and overall athletic ability to go with good technique and big-time instincts," analyst Tom Lemming said of Davis. "Physical in coverage, he's exceptional in man to man defense, he can accelerate quickly to full speed, and has a smooth backpedal. Known for his ability to lock down the opposing team's top receiver, he put together an outstanding junior campaign."



Posted on: January 22, 2012 12:58 pm
 

1/22 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- Great job by Andy Staples to track down all the decommitments and recommitments in recruiting.

Richie Brown doesn't know where he will commit to but it's down to Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Tennessee.

 Defensive back Colin Blake decommitted from Texas A&M.

- Great, must-read profile of five-star athlete Nelson Agholor.

Arizona is hosting Trey Griffey and several other top recruits this weekend.

 Bobby Petrino and staff checked in on one of the top 2013 recruits, Altee Tenpenny.

 What's Adrian Klemm's recruiting pitch at UCLA? Find out here.

 Bill O'Brien talked a little about Penn State recruiting.

 Cornerback Brandon Beaver didn't make it to Oklahoma.

Commitments

Georgia Tech picked up a commitment from Australian defensive tackle Adam Gotsis.

 Athlete Chris Moody will head to Vanderbilt to play a multitude of positions.

 Another athlete, Justin Hardee, has committed to Illinois while the program lost safety Zach Jackson to TCU.

 Defensive end John Youngblood is the third player from Alabama to head to UCF.

 Nebraska added all-around athlete LeRoy Alexander as their 12th commitment.

 Running back Jeremy Hill finally heads to Baton Rouge after numerous issues.

 Former UCLA commit Psalm Wooching flipped to Washington.

Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:25 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 11:22 pm
 

O'Brien gets first recruit at Penn State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Even though he's been busy leading the New England Patriots to the AFC Championship Game, new Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien has been working the phones and watching tape in his free time to help cobble together a recruiting class. It paid off on Tuesday with his first commitment in Worcester (Mass.) safety Jordan Lucas, who nearly enrolled at Temple before O'Brien entered the picture.

"I never really thought about it until I heard somebody say it, but that's big. I'm glad to be his first commit,'' Lucas told the Altoona Mirror. "Coach O'Brien accepted this as a challenge, and I take it as a challenge, too. I think that program is going to keep rising. He wants to take the program to the top and keep the tradition going, and I want to be a part of that. That's why I picked Penn State.''

The 6-foot, 190-pounder was also drawing interest from schools like Rutgers but the Nittany Lions were the first BCS school to extend an offer. He was set to enroll at Temple as early as Tuesday but will head to State College in the summer.

"I was surprised. It was nothing I was expecting. I was getting ready to go to Temple for a week here, and they came out of nowhere late in my recruiting process. I'm glad I waited,'' he said.

Lucas picked off one pass on defense and had over 500 yards rushing and 13 total touchdowns on offense during his senior year. He becomes Penn State's 15th class of 2012 commitment and joins fellow recruit Armani Reeves from the state of Massachusetts.

Posted on: January 9, 2012 10:58 am
 

1/9 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Duties with the Patriots put new Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien in a tough recruiting spot.

 UAB added three commitments over the weekend.

 Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth thinks the bowl win is helping in recruiting.

 Florida is in position to land the top class of 2012.

 Oregon State is putting the finishing touches on the Beavers' recruiting class.

 A list of some of Nebraska's top targets a few weeks before Signing Day.

 Wide receiver Robert Lockhart committed to Miami.

 DT Jordan Jenkins discussed an Alabama conspiracy theory and Georgia's late charge.

 Defensive back Ronald Darby decommitted from Notre Dame.
 
 
 
 
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