Tag:Dante Fowler
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:54 am
 

Top 100 DE Fowler signs with Florida over 'Noles

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It turns out that photo of Dante Fowler in a Florida jersey doing the Gator chomp with his brothers was a bad omen for Florida State after all.

The four-and-a-half star defensive end had pronounced himself "100 percent" behind his longtime commitment to the Seminoles earlier this week, but decided Wednesday his heart was with the Gators and has signed with Florida.

While no one at Tallahassee will mourn too intensely after landing Eddie GoldmanFowler's switch is a huge boost for Will Muschamp and the Gators. Fowler is ranked as the No. 44 player in the nation in the Maxpreps top 100 and the No. 6 defensive end in the class. Tom Lemming writes about Fowler:

Here is a DE who will not stay blocked. Relentless, tough and aggressive, he has outstanding closing speed. He's a quarterback's nightmare ... exceptionally quick off the ball, has a remarkable first step which allows him to beat almost every defender he goes up against, shows a great motor, is relentless in pursuit, plays hard until the whistle, and has the frame to weigh 270 in college. A dynamic playmaker who comes off the edge better than any DE prospect in the country ... He needs to be double and sometimes triple-teamed at all times.

Fowler also turned down offers from Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, and others. He is expected to play the "buck" outside linebacker position in Muschamp's 3-4 defense.

The switch gives the Gators a total of 22 commitments and counting, a number that has put them solidly in the top five of the CBS Sports National Signing Day top 25.

For updates throughout the day on Florida's 2012 class, follow our CBSSports.com Florida RapidReports.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 6:26 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2012 6:43 pm
 

FSU DE commit Fowler dons Gators jersey in visit

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Maxpreps top 100 defensive end Dante Fowler has been committed to Florida State since December of 2010. But an interview and photograph provided to the Gainesville Sun Friday show suggested that Florida Fowler plenty to think about.

"I don’t know where I’m going,” Fowler said following Thursday's in-home visit from Gator head coach Will Muschamp and four different Florida assistants. “Not yet. I need this week to think about it. It’s gonna be pretty hard. I’m making a decision that’s gonna stick with me for the rest of my life.”

The Gator coaches also brought along a prop for Fowler to try on, one which he did in this photo with his two brothers, "huge Florida fans":

“It felt real good to put on a Gator jersey,” Fowler told the Sun. “No. 6 is my favorite number. I never thought I’d put on a Gator jersey, so it was crazy. My brothers were real pumped.”

Despite the photo and comments, Sun writer Robbie Andrieu reported Friday afternoon that Fowler is now "100 percent committed" to Florida State and the Gators have "zero chance" of changing his mind.

Still, Florida State supporters may be on the nervous side given how hotly pursued Fowler has been. A 4.5 star recruit and the No. 44 player on the Maxpreps top 100, the 6'3", 235-pound end out of St. Petersburg, Fla. ranks as the No. 6 defensive end in the class.  Tom Lemming writes about Fowler:

Here is a DE who will not stay blocked. Relentless, tough and aggressive, he has outstanding closing speed. He's a quarterback's nightmare ... exceptionally quick off the ball, has a remarkable first step which allows him to beat almost every defender he goes up against, shows a great motor, is relentless in pursuit, plays hard until the whistle, and has the frame to weigh 270 in college. A dynamic playmaker who comes off the edge better than any DE prospect in the country ... He needs to be double and sometimes triple-teamed at all times. 

Fowler said he will announce his final decision on signing day on ESPNU. Florida currently ranks fourth in the Maxpreps list of the top 25 classes, with the Seminoles five sports behind in ninth; depending on the decisions made by other players, Fowler's choice could conceivably swing which of the two bitter Sunshine State rivals winds up the more highly-ranked class.

Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

National notes: Movers & shakers in team rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.

The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.

Team rankings movers

Alabama

Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.

Ohio State

In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.

Notre Dame

The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.

USC

The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.

California

Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.

Team rankings shakers

Florida State

This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.

Florida

A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.

Auburn

Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.

Teams sitting pretty

Texas

Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.

Michigan

Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early  The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.

Mora turning heads in Westwood

As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.

Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin  and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.

December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.

Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.

Video of week

I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:

Posted on: December 19, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 4:30 pm
 

National Notes: On the way up on defense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The class of 2012 rankings won't be updated for a few more weeks but with the high school football season over, it's not too hard to see what players might be moving their way up in the rankings and who might slide down a little bit. Here's a look at each position group and some players that might be a little higher on the board come January.

DEFENSIVE END

On the way up: Ramsey (N.J.) five-star end Darius Hamilton.

What did he do: A terror for opposing offensive lines all season, Hamilton was a constant presence in his opponents' backfield. In the state championship game alone he had a hand in four sacks and you would need a super computer to count the number of defensive pressures he had this year. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder finished his senior year with 74 tackles and an impressive 17 sacks.

The case: He's already a five-star so he won't get a bump in that department but based on his season, should move up into the 20's in the overall rankings (he's 38th right now) and at least leap-frog Dante Fowler among defensive ends given that Fowler didn't play a snap this season. Bosco had a great season and Hamilton was a big reason why.

Also on the way up: Jelani Hamilton (Committed to Miami), Tyriq McCord, Faith Ekakitie (Committed to Iowa)

On the way down: Dante Fowler (Committed to Florida State)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

On the way up: Prattville (Ala.) defensive tackle Justin Shanks (committed to Florida State)

What did he do: Despite often drawing double or triple teams, Shanks was a key cog in Prattville's 3-4 defense this season. He racked up 60 tackles and 5.5 sacks but was a big factor in stopping the run. He's got a great motor and helped lead his team to a state title.

The case: Shanks is ranked 21st among defensive tackles - one spot behind future teammate Dalvon Stuckey. He put together a great season and has the size, speed, and quickness you look for in a run-stopping interior lineman.

Also on the way up: Sheldon Day (Committed to Notre Dame), Dante Phillips (Committed to Florida)

On the way down: Aziz Shittu

LINEBACKER

On the way up: Stone Mountain (Ga.) linebacker Raphael Kirby (Committed to Miami) and Madison (Ala.) linebacker Reggie Ragland (Committed to Alabama)

What did they do: Kirby had a great senior year and really showed his speed and explosiveness off his senior year. He played inside for Stephenson but projects well as an outside linebacker who can do well in pass coverage despite being a little undersized. In contrast, Ragland looks like he's ready to play for the Crimson Tide in New Orleans this season. He's another prototype inside backer that runs well and is a great tackler in space or in traffic.

The case: Both sit outside the top 10 at their positions and don't have a spot on the overall rankings but that should change. Each has a chance to play early and develop into all-conference selections.

Also on the way up: Anaheim (Calif.) inside backer Butch Pauu (Committed to BYU) and Norfolk (Va.) inside backer Kwontie Moore (Committed to Virginia).

CORNERBACK

On the way up: Miramar (Fla.) corner Tracy Howard.

What did he do: You can tell how good a cornerback is by how often teams don't throw their way and hardly anybody in the state of Florida even looked Howard's way. He still ended the season with an impressive 10 picks and was easily one of the best defenders along the East Coast.

The case: Howard has been a star for a while now and though he doesn't have 4.3-40 speed, is still fast and fluid. He's also very instinctive and really attacks the ball in the air. Howard is ranked as the 20th best cornerback but should easily be in the top 10 at the very least.

Also on the way up: Pasadena (Calif.) corner Kevon Seymour, Elk Grove (Calif.) corner Marcus Rios (Committed to UCLA), Ocala (Fla.) defensive back P.J. Williams (committed to Florida State).

On the way down: Westlake Village (Calif.) corner Ishmael Adams.

SAFETY

On the way up: Fairfax (S.C.) safety Ronald Geohaghan (committed to Clemson)

What did he do: He's a terrific athlete who can play just about any back seven position if needed. He's best suited as a safety and is rangy and physical enough to take away entire parts of the field.

The case: Geohaghan currently sits as the 23rd-ranked safety in the Maxpreps rankings and based on his physical play and coverage skills should see a bump in the position rankings.

On the way down: Lakewood (Wash.) safety Cedric Dozier, College Park (Ga.) defensive back Chaz Elder.

Video of the week

If you haven't seen it already, you have to check out this video of .




Posted on: October 7, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 9:49 am
 

10/7 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Top recruits continue to check out Michigan State, especially with a rivalry game against Michigan coming up.

The Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma has a Signing Day impact as well.

With Ohio State rolling in for a big night game, recruiting is the second big game for Nebraska this week.

Several recruits have not panned out for Kentucky, leading to their struggles.

TCU's addition to the Big 12 could have a minor effect on Oklahoma and Oklahoma State recruiting.

Hosting defending national champion Auburn makes for a big recruiting weekend for Arkansas.

Michigan is going after 2013 linebacker Michael Hutchings early in the recruiting process.

Top tight end Kent Taylor will announce October 27th between Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Georgia and LSU.

A Washington recruiting update with the Huskies on a bye week.

Florida State commit Dante Fowler is setting up official visits to other schools.

Posted on: October 4, 2011 11:41 am
 

10/4 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer
- A video interview with one of the elite 2013 athletes Jake Raulerson.

One of the top 2013 running backs, Kelvin Taylor, is down to Florida and Alabama.

Florida State commit Dante Fowler returned to practice after his suspension.

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin used a helicopter to visit recruits over the weekend.

Georgia offered Brandon Kublanow recently.

Miami stopped by to keep an eye on defensive back Nicco Whigham and linebacker Erick Hallmon.

Running back David Smith has set up official visits for Boston College, Iowa and West Virginia.

California offensive lineman Freddie Tagaloa will be on an official visit at Oregon this week.

A look at Michigan's top remaining recruits for 2012.

FIU picked up receiver Adrian Jenkins and running back Lamarq Caldwell.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:58 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:59 am
 

9/30 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Plenty of Ohio recruits will be paying attention to the Michigan State-Ohio State game this weekend.

The Spartans still have a chance with highly touted running back William Mahone.

Likewise, recruits in the northeast will have their eye on Syracuse-Rutgers.

Brian Kelly is focusing on skill position players for Notre Dame's class of 2012.

Mekale McKay won't choose between basketball and football, he'll play both at UTEP.

At USF, FIU and South Alabama among others, recruiting is different when selling a program with no history.

Linebacker Bryce Cottrell will visit Oregon next week for an official visit.

Florida State commit Dante Fowler is flirting with Florida yet again.

A list of visitors for the Alabama-Florida game with plenty of big names.

Posted on: September 28, 2011 9:55 am
 

9/28 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

A.J. Williams is blocking in high school but will be catching passes at Michigan. Lineman Tristan Nickelson is high on the Wolverines.
Miami's highly touted 2008 recruiting class never met expectations.

Utah will have to deal with quarterback Keith Price this week, someone they once recruited before landing another QB.

The coach for defensive end Dalvin Thomlinson denied rumors about his top player and Alabama.

Top offensive tackle Jordan Diamond says Arkansas will receive an official visit after the season.

The Florida-Alabama game will be as big as it gets in recruiting.

Florida State commit Dante Fowler and his father spoke out about the former's indefinite suspension.

Georgia commit and five-star John Theus will visit Notre Dame on an official visit.

Clemson is one of the favorites for defensive lineman D.J. Reader.

Alton 'Pig' Howard has official visits set to Tennessee and Cincinnati.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com