Tag:Brice Ramsey
Posted on: November 14, 2011 8:19 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 8:28 pm
 

National Notes: Houston, Hutchings & De La Salle

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Had a chance to go out to see San Francisco Bay Area powerhouse De La Salle play California High last Friday. The Spartans have been one of the most successful programs in the country this decade and have sent plenty of players to Division I schools and eventually the NFL.

This year's squad has three seniors already committed to FBS schools and two juniors drawing plenty of attention as well. The headliner is four-star quarterback and Wisconsin commitment Bart Houston, who is every bit of his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame. Houston had a very good summer on the camp circuit and parlayed that into a solid season with the Spartans, leading them to a 9-1 record heading into the playoffs. If there's one thing you'll hear about him, it's that he's the perfect fit for the Badgers offensive system with a quick release, some mobility, good decision-making and the arm to get the ball downfield on post and fade routes.

Houston ended up 13-of-20 for 220 yards against California in a 24-3 win that didn't have the De La Salle ground game looking as sharp as it normally is. The signal-caller showed flashes of what makes him a top 100 player according to Maxpreps however, displaying nice touch on intermediate routes and spinning the ball well on short routes. There was only one or two decisions Houston would have liked back but was efficient the entire night and even added a short touchdown run. In short, you can understand why the Badgers went out of their normal recruiting areas to heavily recruit Houston because he certainly fits the mold of their previous quarterbacks to a T.

"Bart really impressed me with his accuracy, poise, leadership skills, pocket presence, and arm strength," analyst Tom Lemming says of Houston. "His accuracy is uncanny and he seems to put the ball on the money just about every time even when under pressure."

The best player on the field however was junior linebacker Michael Hutchings, who is also the top defensive player in the Bay Area and top underclass linebacker on the West Coast. At 6-foot-2, 210-pounds or so, Hutchings moves well in space and covers a whole lot of ground in the passing game. He likely will end up as an outside linebacker but it's not hard to see him bulking up and being able to play inside in a 3-4 scheme. Physically he has a big upper body and reminds some of former USC linebacker Keith Rivers. He got lost on a few plays but for the most part read his keys very well and you can tell he'll head to college with a plenty of experience.

"Last year we had a tough game against Cal High when I was on the field as a sophomore," Hutchings said. "It was definitely a grind, something we wanted to come back and get. I still say it was a sub par performance this game but they're a heck of a team."

The De La Salle linebacking corps is one of the best units in the country and also features California commit Michael Barton. The pair is close on and off the field and continue to develop into better players with the senior mentoring the younger linebacker.

"Barton is such a hard worker," Hutchings said. "Him and (Boise State commit Blake) Renaud guided me last year and now Barton has taken over this year. I just want to follow in their footsteps and keep the tradition going."

Hutchings is approaching the 15 offer mark and figures to see plenty more college coaches contact him in the coming months as the recruiting cycle shifts over to the class of 2013 on a full-time basis. Most of the Pac-12 has been in touch or extended an offer but even with plenty of time until Signing Day, Hutchings is already starting to develop a short list of schools.

"I have a group of favorites, USC, Cal, UCLA, Washington," he said. "And Oklahoma also.

"I was at Cal last week for the Washington State game. I looked at AT&T Park a little bit and got to be around the team. I probably won't take any other visits in the next couple of weeks but after the season in December I will."

Don't be surprised if this comes down to a USC/Cal battle with Hutchings committing some time over the summer following visits to both schools. Academics seem to be a big part of each school's pitch and the Bears have De La Salle alum and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi assigned to the impressive linebacker. Though he's already successfully recruited Barton, it might be a little tougher for Lupoi to land Hutchings as USC is just one of several schools who are also making the future top 100 player a priority.

For now though, recruiting is being pushed aside as the Spartans turn their attention to the playoffs. With a title in hand thanks to a perfect 7-0 mark in the East Bay Athletic League and likely number one seed headed into the North Coast Section playoffs, another state championship is out there for the taking.

"We don't want to have any regrets," Hutchings said. "We want to go into every game, hit hard, don't make mistakes and have no regrets. We want to go into the playoffs and finish the season off right. As a junior, I just want to lead the junior and help the seniors win their state championship just like they did last year."

Georgia adds versatile quarterback

There weren't a ton of commitments this weekend but the most notable was Palm Beach (Fla.) quarterback Faton Bauta. A transfer from New York, he came in and won the quarterback spot at one of the big local programs - Palm Beach Dwyer - and has been dead set at playing the position in college, which Georgia appeared to recruit him at.

"My goal is set on being a quarterback at the next level and beyond. I am going to do whatever it takes and work hard every day like I do to get that goal I have set," he told UGASports.com. "My goal is still growing, to be an elite quarterback. I am going to keep working hard on my skills to do everything to make myself a better quarterback."

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder is a versatile athlete and could play multiple positions in college such as linebacker or an H-back type. Bauta does have a strong-arm and is a hard-nosed runner who has passed for 1,006 yards on the season with 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Though he still has to learn some of the subtleties of being a quarterback, that's the position he'll start off at in college.

"What Aaron Murray does, I know he's a dual threat as well; he runs the ball well, and throws the ball well. For me, I'm going to strive to be the best quarterback I can be. And in my eyes, I know I can be Aaron Murray and more," Bauta said.

Georgia now has 14 commitments for the class of 2012 and though it is not as stacked as last year's 'Dream Team' was, adds the talented Bauta to a group that includes five-star offensive tackle John Theus and impressive defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor. The Bulldogs did take a quarterback with last year's class and have also received a pledge from 2013 signal-caller Brice Ramsey.

Video of the week

This week was a big one for Belle Glade (Fla.) running back Kelvin Taylor, who broke Emmitt Smith's (yes, that Emmitt Smith) all-time rushing record in the state of Florida on a 388 yard, six touchdown night Friday. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder now has 8,975 yards and 141 touchdowns for his career and amazingly he's just a junior. He is the son of former NFL and Florida Gators running back Fred Taylor. It appears to be a Florida-Alabama battle for his commitment at this point with the Gators having a bit of an edge obviously.

Below is video of Taylor's run to break the record, a 34 yard scamper for a touchdown followed by him giving his mother the ball. He briefly discussed the record-setting performance here.



Recruiting Roundup

  Pitt commit Rushel Shell also set a record over the weekend, rushing for more than 100 yards in his 39th consecutive game.

  Auburn commit Zeke Pike will enroll early.

  A few notes and some analysis of Oregon recruiting.

  Texas commit Johnathan Gray is getting close to some very impressive records himself.

  Adolphus Washington's visit to Cincinnati went very well.

  Georgia is gaining ground with defensive end Jordan Jenkins after he visited for the Auburn game. The program also recently offered DeVondre Seymour, son of former All-Pro defensive tackle Richard Seymour.



Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:52 am
 

National Notes: Kiel, Notre Dame's big weekend

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Quite a busy week on the recruiting trail.

Things kicked off on Friday with the decommitment of five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel from Indiana, which was surprising only in regards to the timing. Many were quite surprised when he chose the Hoosiers over national powers like Oklahoma and Alabama but it made sense on some levels - his brother was there, they were the in-state school close to home, Kevin Wilson had a good reputation for developing quarterbacks.

Still, top-flight quarterbacks do not usually wind up at schools like Indiana and especially not when there were not other major recruits coming with them and winning is a major issue. I went to see Kiel play in his playoff game but he was held out by coaches for precautionary reasons after he was slightly injured during practice. In talking with him after the game, you got the sense that because he was "reconsidering" his commitment, this was an opening for him to make sure that he took his official visits and checked out other schools.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," he said. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

Kiel has remained fairly quiet about his recruitment but you almost get the sense that he was boxed into making his commitment too early. He was planning to announce in late June but kept pushing things back and pushing things back. Then fellow top 100 signal-caller Jameis Winston committed to Florida State, which set off a chain of dominoes. Kiel's other finalists, perhaps sensing that he wouldn't be picking them, moved on to others. It's rare for the five-star guy not to be the one that sets off the chain but that could be the case here.

Now he's back on the market and looking at schools. He was part of a star-studded visiting class in South Bend for USC-Notre Dame (more on that later) and figures to quickly schedule several visits to schools. It's hard to say which schools are in the running since he's pretty tight-lipped but polished quarterbacks like Kiel don't fall off trees and you'd have to think he received quite a few calls from college coaches. Since he wants to enroll early this won't be a four month ordeal but it will be an interesting six or so weeks for the country's number two player.

Stars came out in South Bend
There are some games that just seem to draw the official visitors out and Notre Dame's rivalry game against USC was billed as their Super Bowl on and off the field. 12 members from the Maxpreps Top 100 were in South Bend taking in the sights and sounds over the weekend, with several coming in Saturday so as to spend an extra night in town before flying out Monday.

Of course, things didn't exactly go as planned for the Irish on the field, falling to the Trojans 31-17 but that didn't have too much of an effect on the visitors.

"The game atmosphere was crazy, even the pre-game atmosphere was crazy," Zach Banner told 247sports. "The whole school was amped up and you could feel the tradition. It's an old rivalry and you could just feel a lot was on the line. I like how Notre Dame sticks with their tradition."

The problem for Notre Dame wasn't the weather, crowd or anything like that, it was that they A) lost the game by more than the score indicated and B) lost to a school they're recruiting against for several of the visitors. Recent USC decomit Arik Armstead was among those in attendance, as were several other California recruits. It will be awhile before the freshness of the official visit wears off of the players but, long-term, losing to USC in the manner they did doesn't exactly help Brian Kelly's efforts.

The Irish are still going to recruit very well however, and are in line for another top 15 class this year. They still have a very good chance at landing running back Keith Marshall and several others so Notre Dame fans shouldn't get too caught up in how many commitments they bring in from this group until further down the road. The biggest thing the team has to do now is win, because that seems to cure just about everything on the recruiting trail.

Video of the week

Check out this reverse by KJ Dillon and his alternative method of reaching the end zone.



Recruiting Roundup

Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford will take their official visits to Ohio State this week.

With Georgia off last week, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo went to check out commit Brice Ramsey.

Guito Ervilus is back on the field and considering North Carolina, Louisville, Tennessee, Florida State and Florida.

Arkansas commit Jakarri Thomas remains firm in his commitment to the Hogs.

Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:50 am
 

10/14 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Mike Sherman finally breaks his silence on Texas A&M's move to the SEC and discusses the impact on recruiting.

Minnesota is the first offer for defensive end Corey Vereen.

Several top 2013 recruits in Georgia are playing at the Rising Seniors Bowl, including Robert Nkemdiche and UGA commit Brice Ramsey.

Junior quarterback Tyrone Swoops holds offers from Texas and Stanford, with Notre Dame about to offer shortly.

Arkansas coaches are hitting the road to recruit with the team on a bye week.

Tough news for BYU commit Phillip Amone, who is out for the year with a torn ACL.

Michigan State is using the Michigan game to host several top juniors.

Safety Leo Thomas decommited from Arizona following Mike Stoops' firing.

LSU has a huge edge recruiting in-state talent.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:43 pm
 

Surveying the Field: Shell breaking records

Posted by Bryan Fischer
 
Shell runs into the record book

Pennsylvania has annually produced a number of great high school players that go on to have lots of success in college. Aliquippa (Pa.) running back Rushel Shell has topped most of them after the weekend however, rushing for 205 yards and three touchdowns to break the Western Pennsylvania (WPIAL) career rushing record. Amazingly, he's rushed for at least 100 yards in 33 consecutive games.

Shell is ranked by MaxPreps as the top big back in the country and is a load to bring down at 5-foot-11, 215-pounds. He's been first-team in the state for three years now and figures to make it four straight this year after an excellent start to the season. The team around him is no powerhouse but it's Shell who literally powers them to wins despite being the target of opposing defensive game plans. Not only can he withstand the punishment, he excels at breaking tackles and hitting another gear to get to the end zone.

At the moment, Shell is one of the few top backs who is uncommitted. He's been pretty quiet about his recruitment, not going to any big summer camps and limiting contact with the media. He appeared on The Lemming Report on CBS Sports Network last week and revealed that Alabama, Pitt and Oregon were his final three schools. After he wraps up his official visits to each school, we'll have a better idea of who is in the lead but it'd be shocking to see him wind up anywhere but with the Panthers. There's an outside shot Alabama could lure him south but from all indications, he'll be staying close to home.

Maulhardt sets California record

Shell wasn't the only player to set a personal best and state record over the weekend. Camarillo (Calif.) wide out Jake Maulhardt caught a California record 28 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-6, 190-pounder is well known for his great hands but lacks the speed off the line to be a top prospect. He holds scholarship offers from Boise State, Colorado and BYU and figures to pick up several more after his performance this weekend. Maulhardt has the frame to bulk up and become a tight end at the next level.

Washington continues monster year

How about this stat line for defensive end Adolphus Washington: 10 tackles - six of which were for a loss - three sacks and a forced fumble. That's even better when you consider it came in just over half of play in Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft's game against Aiken. Add in the fact that he also caught two passes for 28 yards and a touchdown and you can't help but be impressed.

Although he's probably a tad smaller than his listed 6-foot-5, 250-pounds, there's no doubting that Washington is a monster coming off the edge. Unlike most defensive ends his age who are solely in the game to rush the quarterback using their speed, Washington can play the run very well. He fights off double and triple teams just about every snap but still gets underneath to use his power and leverage to split them. He can run in the 4.8 range in the 40-yard dash and has a motor that just keeps churning - one of several reasons why college coaches are the ones chasing after him.

Ranked as the 8th-best defensive end in the country and 57th overall, Washington has a top six of Alabama, Ohio State, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan and Michigan State. As he's repeated several time, there's a good chance he winds up playing college ball with his highly recruited teammate, receiver Dwayne Stanford. Cincinnati is recruiting him very hard but figure to be on the outside looking in despite getting an official visit in the future. Don't be surprised if it comes down to an Ohio State/Michigan State battle closer to Signing Day.

Video of the week

Auburn commit T.J. Yeldon's senior highlights slide into the video of the week spot.



Recruiting Roundup

Nice review of all the Texas high school football games from Friday night with an emphasis on Texas recruits.

Arizona State is seeing the benefits of better recruiting over the past few years.

Good profile of Florida State-bound quarterback Jameis Winston.

Al Golden jumped on The Lemming Report to talk about Miami recruiting.

Despite a loss to Florida, Kentucky landed two commitments in running back Shadrach Thornton and linebacker Kadeem Thomas.

Defensive end D.J. Ward took another visit to Oklahoma for the Missouri game.

Oklahoma State commit Kendall Sanders had a big night and receiver Brandon Shepard will pick between OSU and Missouri.

Georgia commit Brice Ramsey, a quarterback, kicked a 57-yard field goal.

2013 quarterback Tyler Cogswell will take an unofficial visit to Ole Miss next month.

Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:26 pm
 

7/19 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Dan Mullen is happy with where Mississippi State recruiting is at.

A list of visitors for Michigan's annual Big House BBQ with plenty of top recruits.

- Brady Hoke and staff have put together a great recruiting class despite not coaching a game at Michigan.

Georgia recruiting is something to consider when looking at Mark Richt's future.

- One of Richt's latest recruits, quarterback Brice Ramsey, has yet to start in high school.

 Several players are in line for, or are hoping for, offers from Arkansas.

Georgia Tech offered offensive lineman Will Adams at their camp.

The battle between Kentucky and Louisville is tied at three apiece on the recruiting trail.
Posted on: July 16, 2011 8:49 am
Edited on: July 16, 2011 9:29 am
 

Huge night for Georgia nets top OL, four others

Posted by Bryan Fischer

There are recruiting hauls, and then there's what happened Friday night with Georgia.

Five players, including the top offensive lineman in the country, verbally committed to Mark Richt and staff at Dawg Night, the program's annual summer camp that usually attracts some of the top talent in the Southeast. On Friday, that talent generally ended up leaving pledged to Georgia.

“Yes, sir, I did [commit to Georgia],” offensive tackle John Theus (right) told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There was a big group that did.”

Theus, a 6-foot-6, 300-pounder from Jacksonville (Fla.), is the nation's top offensive lineman in the class of 2012, according to MaxPreps. The five-star is ranked sixth overall and a huge pickup for a program that is searching for elite offensive line prospect after missing on several over the past few years. His brother, Nathan, is an incoming freshman for the Bulldogs and also committed at Dawg Night last year.

But Richt and staff had more good news besides picking up Theus as three other players committed at the same time, including Kingsland (Ga.) class of 2013 quarterback Brice Ramsey.

"We got there and we all talked about it and all agreed to it," Ramsey told UGASports.com. "We were all on the field with a bunch of people. Theus stepped up to coach and said that all four of us want to be Bulldogs."

According to the report, Richt was astounded. After building a "Dream Team" recruiting class in 2011, it appears Georgia is well on its way to others in 2012 and 2013.

"We were all saying to each other 'The Fab Four' committed tonight, now we are going to start building our Dream Team,'" Ramsey said.

Other 2013 players also added to the total Friday night, including -- arguably -- the top prospect from the state of Florida, Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry. He had been favoring Florida as of last week.

"It surprised me a little bit because I didn't expect it to be like it was," Henry told the site. "I thought it was going to be just like any other college, but they showed us the dorm, the facility and the locker room was just so nice that I was blown away."

Goose Creek (S.C.) athlete Tramel Terry joined in on the fun to give the program three rising juniors. On top of adding top talent from the classes of 2012 and 2013, Georgia also added a commitment from Bethlehem (Ga.) class of 2014 running back Stanley Williams.

"I accepted on the spot," Williams told UGASports.com at the conclusion of Dawg Night activities. "I was still deciding at the beginning of the week when Coach (Todd) Grantham told me they would probably offer me after the camp. So once my family and I discussed it, so when Coach Richt offered, we knew what we were going to do."

Theus gives Georgia 11 commitments overall and is the highest rated player on the board. The program also has three current 2013 commits and Williams is the lone 2014 commit.

Quite the Dawg Night.
 
 
 
 
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