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Tag:Chip Patterson
Posted on: February 3, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:39 pm
 

Jameis Winston finally signs with Florida State

Posted by Chip Patterson

Florida State was a big winner on National Signing Day, locking up six of Tom Lemming's Top 100 prospects on the way to the top-ranked class in the ACC.

On Friday, the last loose end was tied when quarterback Jameis Winston signed, and faxed his letter of intent to play at Florida State.

“Jameis is a true impact guy,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He can be a great player for us. Not only from his physical standpoint, but from the way he approaches the game, the competitiveness which he has and the demand for excellence he puts on himself. He brings a lot of things to the table. We think he’s one of the great ones out there.”

Winston, a 6-foot-4, 196-pound standout from Hueytown, Ala., is ranked as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 12 overall prospect in the 2012 recruiting class. In his senior year, Winston completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,424 yards and 28 touchdowns while adding 1,065 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. He has long been committed to Florida State, but Seminoles fans have been on the edge of their seats with a potential major league baseball career on the table for the two-sport athlete.

Like fellow classmate Ronald Darby with track, Winston will plan on playing football and baseball during his time at Florida State. He is already considered a top baseball prospect in the 2012 Major League Baseball Amateur draft, so that signed letter is also good news for baseball coach Mike Martin.

“As good as his athletic quality is I am just impressed with the fact that he will be a great addition to our baseball team,” Martin said. “He will be a great young man to have in the clubhouse and certainly his athletic ability speaks for itself. Jameis is one of the top athletes in the country. Mike Martin, Jr., has seen him play and speaks highly of his ability to play baseball professionally. We are excited that he is going to be with us. We are going to look at Jameis as both an outfielder and a pitcher. As I said, he is a better person than he is a player and that is saying a lot.”

Winston's allegiance to Florida State has been proven, and now the Seminoles will anxiously await the quarterback's arrival on campus. His faxed letter gives Jimbo Fisher 19 signees in the 2012 class.

For much more on Florida State's recruiting class, including a breakdown of what signees could have an immediate impact, check out Seminole RapidReports.  Read Bryan Fischer's Signing Day Coast-to-Coast Wrap for a breakdown of the biggest national storylines from National Signing Day.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:29 pm
 

National Signing Day Winners and Losers: Big East



Posted by Chip Patterson


Breaking down who won and lost in the Big East on National Signing Day

WINNER: Rutgers

Losing your head coach less than a week before National Signing Day should be recruiting suicide, but Kyle Flood was able to not only hold on to most of the Scarlet Knights' class but sign one of the top recruits in the state of New Jersey. The addition of defensive end Darius Hamilton (pictured above, No. 29 overall prospect) gives Rutgers the only Big East class in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25.



LOSER: The Big East's national stock

The Big East was not a huge player in National Signing Day this year. Much of that is likely due to the uncertain football future of the league. While schools like San Diego State and Boise State may use the future move to their advantage in recruiting, an existing Big East school cannot promise a future with a BCS automatic bid.

WINNER: West Virginia

With 27 commits in the Class of 2012, Dana Holgorsen is bringing in a healthy load of talent to the Mountaineers program. There were only two National Signing Day commitments, but both were significant additions to the class. Adam Pankey is a 6-foot-5, 290 pound offensive lineman who chose West Virginia after being committed to Pittsburgh since October 2011. Talented athlete Travares Copeland was the eighth Florida prospect in the 2012 class, a new hot spot for West Virginia apparently.



LOSER: West Virginia

Head coach Dana Holgorsen mentioned on National Signing Day that the "in between" stage of the West Virginia program as they transition from the Big East to the Big 12 hurt them on the recruiting trail. While some recruits may have heightened their interest in the Mountaineers because of the opportunity to play in the Big 12, competing schools used the ongoing legal battle as a reason to turn recruits away from Morgantown.  The Mountaineers' staff was able to keep many of the commitments they expected to sign, but it could have made West Virginia a bigger player for top prospects down the stretch.

WINNER: Louisville

Charlie Strong didn't shock anyone with a big National Signing Day surprise, but the Cardinals were able to hold on to a solid class of recruits that ranks among the best in the Big East. Strong once again dipped into the Sunshine State, pulling nearly a third of Louisville's class from the state of Florida. On a day when few Big East hats were on the table for top prospects, holding on to your commits was the best case scenario for the Cardinals.

LOSER: Syracuse

While Louisville was able to hold on to some of their prized recruits, Orange head coach Doug Marrone was not so lucky. Four Syracuse verbal commits changed their mind before National Signing Day, most notably defensive lineman Harold Brantley. Brantley, a 6-foot-3, 280 pound recruit from Hershey, Pa., committed to the Orange on June 29 but had a late change of heart after visiting Missouri this past weekend. Syracuse also lost linebacker Tashon Whitehurst, who signed with South Florida.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:28 pm
 

National Signing Day Winners and Losers: ACC



Posted by Chip Patterson

Breaking down who won and lost in the ACC on National Signing Day

WINNER: Florida State

For the second year in a row, multiple top uncommitted prospects picked Florida State in widely publicized National Signing Day announcements. Cornerback Ronald Darby (pictured above, No. 3 athlete in 2012 class) never even told head coach Jimbo Fisher he was definitely coming to Florida State, but when decision time came he reached for the Seminoles' hat. It started with Mario Edwards, Jr. signing his letter on ESPN in the morning, then on to Eddie Goldman's commitment and Jameis Winston's public recruitment of Darby just before the cornerback's announcement. For Florida State, the revolution was televised.



LOSER: North Carolina schools

Recently, high school football in the state of North Carolina has been on the rise. Unfortunately, it has not resulted in a boost to any of the North Carolina schools in the ACC. North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, and Duke missed out on every North Carolina prospect in Tom Lemming's Top 100 Players, and allowed 31 of the 55 in-state prospects to sign with out-of-state schools. If these football programs want to shake the "basketball school" reputation of Tobacco Road, they need to stop letting the best in-state talent get poached by other programs.

WINNER: Miami

The Hurricanes got a jump start on the competition due to self-imposed bowl ineligibility, and those early verbal commits helped secure enough to talent to keep the Hurricanes as a Top 10 class despite some defections. Miami also got a much-needed boost in the secondary with the commitment of Tracy Howard, and defensive end Tyriq McCord signed his letter despite rumors he may flip to USC or South Carolina. The heart of Golden's 2012 recruiting class lies right in Miami's backyard, with over half of the class from Southern Florida - many from Broward-Dade County area. Several Hurricanes' signees openly spoke about expecting NCAA action, and are willing to follow Golden's plan for success anyway.



LOSER: Georgia Tech

Recruiting is just not a great time for the public image of Georgia Tech football. Head coach Paul Johnson was publicly critical of oversigning again, and the Yellow Jackets' stiff academic requirements have become a topic of conversations when competing against the SEC for in-state talent. But Georgia Tech did have a hat on the table when defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson was making his decision between the Yellow Jackets, Alabama, and Georgia on National Signing Day. Tomlinson, one of the top uncommitted in-state recruits, paused on the Georgia Tech hat, only to publicly spurn the Yellow Jackets and commit to Alabama. Additionally, Georgia Tech offensive line coach Todd Spencer resigned amidst potential NCAA violations from impermissible text messaging. Just not a good PR day for Georgia Tech.

WINNER: Maryland

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs (No. 14 overall prospect) did not commit on National Signing Day. The top ranked unsigned recruit is strongly considering Florida, Auburn, and Maryland. While many believe the Gators are in the lead for Diggs, MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak writes that Maryland still might have a chance. Former Illinois head coach Ron Zook believes that new Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who has a great relationship with Diggs' family, could convince the Olney, Md. standout to stay in-state. With Locksley playing catch up in the recruiting game, every day without a Diggs commitment is likely to Maryland's advantage.

LOSER: Virginia Tech

While the Hokies pulled in another solid class, including talented wide receiver Joel Caleb, there was one decommit that caused an unwanted scene. Linebacker Jawand Blue, a Boca Raton, Fla. native, was committed to the Hokies until an opportunity arose at the last minute to jump in with Miami. When he called Virginia Tech, the phone conversation apparently did not go well. Unfortunately, a local reporter heard the conversation (from Blue's end) and began tweeting quotes "from Frank Beamer." A Virginia Tech spokesperson later clarified it was not Beamer, but assistant coach Charley Wiles. For more on the interaction, you can check out ACCSports.com's Signing Day blog. Blue was not a make-or-break recruit for Beamer, but the whole situation was a loss on a very public day for all recruiting news.

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Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:27 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:26 pm
 

Florida State wins big on National Signing Day



Posted by Chip Patterson


Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher injected new life into the Seminoles' football program a year ago, grabbing top recruits at nearly every position on the field and finishing with a top three class. After a few 2012 verbal commits decided to look elsewhere, it appeared as though Fisher and his staff might not be able to recreate the top ranking of 2011 National Signing Day. Even worse, the Seminoles might fall behind Miami in the ACC.

Note to self: never doubt Jimbo Fisher and his staff on the recruiting trail.

Florida State arguably was the biggest winner in the ACC on National Signing Day, securing commitments from six players in Tom Lemming's Top 100 and moving above Miami to No. 6 in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. Only Alabama and Ohio State have as many top players in their 2012 recruiting class as the Seminoles.

The day began at 9 a.m. when Florida State's staff got to watch defensive end Mario Edwards (No. 4 overall prospect) physically sign his letter-of-intent on national television. Edwards, along with defensive end Chris Casher, were going to be the backbone of a strong group of defensive prospects. With just Casher and Edwards on board to join star quarterback Jameis Winston, the Seminoles already had a Top 10 class.

Then things began to start falling Florida State's way when defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (No. 17 overall prospect) announced his decision to join the Seminoles, giving the camera a big smile and tomahawk chop. Around the same time, Miami verbal commit Reggie Northrup, the No. 14 inside linebacker in the class of 2012, flipped his commitment to Florida State. For the second year in a row, National Signing Day surprises were favoring Florida State.

Then with the bases loaded, Florida State hit a grand slam with the commitment of Notre Dame decommit Ronald Darby. The two-sport athlete from Potomac, M.D. gave credit to the Florida state coaching staff for making Tallahassee feel like home. Darby will have the opportunity to run track at Florida State, where he said he hoped to improve "as an athlete and an as a person."

With Goldman, Northrup, and Darby all joining an already highly ranked class - and only losing defensive end Dante Fowler - Florida State avoided a let down from the memorable 2011 National Signing Day. Once again, Jimbo Fisher and his staff were able to put in the work to secure the big names at the last minute. All that is left for the good folks in Tallahassee to do is receive that letter from Jameis Winston. Winston told ESPN, "I'm a 'Nole," and said he planned to send his letter in when he returned home.  The quarterback also said he had worked hard to recruit Ronald Darby to join him at Florida State.

After watching Darby's announcement later in the day, Florida State fans already feel like the pieces are in place for something special in 2012.

For more on Florida State check out Seminoles RapidReports. Keep up with all the latest announcements around the nation throughout the day at Signing Day Central.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 2:35 pm
 

Eugene DE McCaskill picks Boise State

Posted by Chip Patterson

Sam McCaskill, defensive end from Sheldon (Eugene, Ore.) High School, verbally committed to Boise State on Monday, choosing the Broncos over Oregon State.

The 6-foot-4, 236 pound defensive lineman also had offers from Portland State and Montana. McCaskill visited Oregon State earlier this month, but was offered the opportunity to grayshirt during the fall and join the Beavers following the 2012 season. At Boise State; McCaskill will join the team once he arrives on campus.

“I looked at the grayshirt at OSU as being positive, an opportunity to get bigger and polish my skills a bit,” McCaskill told The Register-Guard. “Being with the team and being productive right away at Boise State will be great.”

McCaskill took his official visit to Boise this weekend, and was very impressed with Chris Petersen's program and where they are headed.

“It is real exciting because Boise State is a team on the rise right now,” McCaskill said. “With them entering the Big East, that will be a fun thing to see the rest of the country.”

McCaskill was a first-team all-Class 6A selection in 2011, and was named the Southwest Conference's defensive player of the year after recording 117 tackles and 15 sacks to lead Sheldon to the Class 6A title game.

For much more on Chris Petersen's recruiting class, check out the Non-BCS Signing Day Overview at the Eye On Recruiting

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:52 am
 

Report: Darius Hamilton choosing Miami or Rutgers

Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the advantages of Rutgers promoting interim head coach Kyle Flood to the full time position has been his ability to continue the recruitment of top prospects after Greg Schiano's exit.

Arguably the top uncommitted prospect left on the Scarlet Knights' wish list is defensive end Darius Hamilton, the top ranked player in New Jersey and one of the best in the nation at his position. According to The Star-Ledger, Hamilton has narrowed his choices to Rutgers and Miami.

Scarlet Knights' fans felt good about their chances to keep Hamilton in-state, but the 6-foot-4, 250 pound defensive end just returned from an official visit to Miami this past weekend. The Hurricanes have already received some verbal commitments from Hamilton's group, and head coach Al Golden is hoping to add Hamilton to his strong 2012 recruiting class.

Rutgers is expected to formally announce Kyle Flood as the next head coach on Tuesday, and Hamilton will announce his decision on Tuesday night. Flood is reportedly a popular choice among New Jersey high school coaches, but he faces a tough challenge recruiting against Golden - who has already assembled a group currently ranked No. 6 in the MaxPreps Top 25 classes.

To catch up on Miami and Rutgers, check out the ACC Signing Day Overview and Big East Signing Day Overview at the Eye On Recruiting

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:19 pm
 

QB Jeremy Liggins spurns Ole Miss for LSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Dual-threat quarterback Jeremy Liggins made his commitment official at a restaurant on Oxford's Square. The Lafayette (Oxford, Miss.) High School star was choosing between Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, and staying home at Ole Miss.

Any potential hometown celebrations were spoiled when Liggins spurned both in-state schools and chose LSU.

Liggins, with Mardis Gras beads around his neck, told the crowd that he was "100 percent" committed to LSU. The 6-foot-4, 265 pound signal caller joins a LSU class lacking a quarterback after Gunner Kiel flipped his commitment to Notre Dame. He led his high school team to back-to-back 4A state championships, including 32-straight wins. In 2011, he there for 1,678 yards and 16 touchdowns, while rushing for 953 yards and adding 18 touchdowns on the ground.

LSU's 2012 commits were ranked No. 14 nationally in the latest update to MaxPreps Top Classes, catch up on the last minute targets at the SEC Signing Day Overview.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 6:59 pm
 

DE Junior Gnonkonde picks UNC after visit

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Georgia Tech commit Junior Gnonkonde verbally committed to North Carolina on Sunday, and is expected to sign with the Tar Heels on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5, 225 pound weakside defensive end was committed to the Yellow Jackets before head coach Paul Johnson withdrew the offer for academic reasons. The Lanier County (Ga.) High School standout was one of the earliest commits in Johnson's 2012 class, but the head coach informed the family on Jan. 20 that Gnonkonde's test scores were too low.

Gnonkonde visited North Carolina this past weekend, meeting with North Carolina's athletic director and director of admissions in addition to head coach Larry Fedora. After the visit, Gnonkonde selected the Tar Heels.

“He met with the head coach before the basketball game and said ‘I’m comfortable; I don’t need to look anywhere else,’” said Lanier County athletics director John White, who is also Junior’s legal guardian.

“I tried to get him to wait and Junior said that he didn’t need to wait, so he went ahead and committed.”

White informed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that North Carolina will not require Gnonkonde to retake any tests, but the defensive end will do so anyway.

Gnonkonde picked North Carolina after receiving offers from South Carolina, Wake Forest, Central Florida, Syracuse, and Louisiana Tech.

For more on the Tar Heels' 2012 recruiting class, check out the ACC Signing Day Overview.

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