Tag:Deaysean Rippy
Posted on: February 3, 2012 4:11 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Big East Signing Day Grades



Posted by Bryan Fischer


CBS Sports Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100
Rutgers 20 3

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Player Grade
- Team page
- Commitment list
29 QB Bennie Coney B- The class is very solid and brings in plenty of skill position talent on both sides of the ball but they missed out on speedy scat back Dennis Norfleet at the last minute to Michigan
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 QB Casey Cochran C There's not a whole lot to remark on the Huskies class other than they added a strong-armed but small quarterback in Cochran and a little bit of speed at wide out.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 LB Nick Dawson B+ The trio of top linebackers Charlie Strong grabbed are the headliners but don't sleep on the depth that both lines will have.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Rushel Shell B+ Keeping the big time offensive guys in the fold after the coaching staff change is a huge win for Paul Chryst. Landing a local LB like Deaysean Rippy is an added bonus for a small class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Darius Hamilton A One of the big surprises on Signing Day was the ability of Kyle Flood and his staff to keep the class intact after Greg Schiano left. Not only that, they are bringing in impact players from a talented crop of local athletes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 TE Sean Price B There were three elite guys in this class that bigger programs coveted but the staff kept in the fold. Chris Bivins and Sean Price could play early and often for the Bulls.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 TE Ron Thompson C- There's really not much to say other than the Orange didn't capitalize on their good season a year ago and turn that into recruiting success.
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 WR Deontay McManus B The coaching staff is really happy with this group and you can see why when you look up and down to see speed among the skill position players and a talented QB. McManus should have an impact early if he can learn the playbook.

Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:21 am
 

Justin Combs, son of Diddy, commits to UCLA

Posted to Bryan Fischer

Although UCLA just let head coach Rick Neuheisel go, the school still offers a good education, BCS program and the sunny locale of Los Angeles as a backdrop. It was mostly the latter couple of things that New Rochelle (N.Y.) cornerback Justin Combs saw in the Bruins and despite the idea of playing for a new coach, decided to announce that he had committed late Monday night.

“It was love at first sight,” Combs told Scout. “When I first went on a visit, I fell in love with the program and I fell in love with the environment and the tradition. I was good friends with Rahim Moore too and just to hear it from the players, it was love at first sight."

A 5-foot-9, 170-pound cornerback, Combs performed well over the summer at 7-on-7 competitions and camps and held scholarship offers from school such as Illinois, Iowa, Virginia and others. Though he has lived out East close to his father, rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs, the West Coast lifestyle and chance to play Pac-12 football was just too good to pass up despite a coaching change.

“I have faith in the program that everything will be ok,” said Combs. “My love for UCLA is so strong. I trust and know that everything will work out.”

Combs will play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in January along with close friend, linebacker Deaysean Rippy. He gives the Bruins 17 commitments for the class of 2012 and becomes the fifth member of the secondary coming in next year.

"Not real tall but very quick and elusive," analyst Tom Lemming said of Combs. "Last year he put together a heck of a season at the CB position showing the ability to turn and run with the swiftest of receivers."



Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:52 am
 

Video: Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Lots of FBS-caliber talent at the Badger Sports/New Level Athletics 7-on-7 National Championship this weekend. Here's plenty of highlights from some of the top matchups of the tournament.

Round robin play 

1925 vs. B2G 

1925: Troy Williams, Tyler Stewart, Jorday Payton, Bryce Treggs, Mike Davison, Chris Harper, Jaydon Mickens, Deontay Greenberry, Ishmael Adams, Randall Goforth, Richard Smith, Tee Shepard, Johnny Johnson, Shaq Thompson, Jeremiah Allison, Marc Phillipi.

B2G: Marc Evans, Matt Morin, Derrick Turner, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trenton Irwin, Robert Lewis, Gabriel Marks, Michael Robert, Kenny Lawler, Kahlil Pettway, Shannon Edwards, Jeff Coprich, Devian Shelton, Jermaine Ervin, Seth Jacobs. 



1925 vs. Goon Squad

Goon Squad: Zeke Pike, Eddie Printz, Charless Davis, Gehrig Dieter, Elliot Fareber, Goose Cohorn, Jason Croom, Roger Lewis, Jeremy Graves, David Williams, Jesse James, Darrion Hutcherson, Ike Spearman, Deaysean Rippy, Steven Longa, Justin Combs, Jalen Mills, Brandon Simmons, Graham Gillispie, Edward Parris. 



Championship Game

1925 vs. Team Houston

Team Houston: Jordoan Scott, Kaylon Melancon, Shane McCarley, Javonte Collins, Ashton Bennett, Tavares Garner, Xazier Murry, Josh Martinez, Seth Lensford, Chris Dismutte, Richard Rose, Jared Ambres, Allan Scott, Selwyn Green.



Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:09 am
 

Badger Sports Nationals: Top Performers

Posted by Bryan Fischer

There was enough talent at Gerald Ford Stadium on the campus of SMU over 4th of July weekend to make the old Mustang teams of the late 1980's jealous. California All-Star team 1925 took home the trophy at the end of the day but there were plenty of individuals who shined with their performances at the tournament. Here are a few names that stood out in the Texas heat:

Harbor City (Calif.) quarterback Troy Williams

Williams was the most polished passer at the tournament and led his 1925 team to the national championship after falling short of a title in several other tournaments. Even when it came down to crunch time and his team needed a score, Williams was calm and collective. He showed nice touch on his deep ball and could really spin the ball on short and intermediate throws. He should be one of the top quarterbacks on the West Coast in 2013.

Greenbelt (Md.) quarterback Shawn Petty

Petty threw one of the nicest balls at the tournament and could really move it downfield. He's a big lefty and delivered a nice, catchable ball to receivers, constantly placing it right where it needed to be. After watching him throw it around this weekend, Petty really looks like he'd be a good fit at Maryland.

Encino (Calif.) running back Mike Davison

The smallest player on the field was electric every time he touched the ball. He could stop on the dime and more often than not, left defenders grasping at air while trying to tag him. He's a perfect player for 7-on-7 and was arguably the Team MVP for eventual champions 1925.

Detroit (Mich.) running back Dennis Norfleet

Make no mistake, Norfleet was the man this weekend for his team, almost single-handedly carrying his Michigan-based squad. He rarely, if ever, came off the field and played both ways. As a running back, he was able to find open space and dart away from defenders. As a corner, he managed to shut down often bigger wide receivers. He's a top-flight athlete and could be a steal on the recruiting trail.

Jacksonville (Fla.) receiver Ahmad Fulwood

Fulwood was a bit of an unknown coming into the competition for Team Louisiana but he quickly made a name for himself as the team's biggest offensive threat. He's got a great frame at 6-foot-4 and moves very fluidly. He's got big hands and, as an underclassman, could develop into one of the top guys in North Florida in next year's class. He already holds a dozen scholarship offers from Florida, South Carolina, Notre Dame and others.

Bellflower (Calif.) receiver Bryce Treggs

Easily the most productive receiver over the weekend, Treggs was often found celebrating a long touchdown catch in just about every game. He has one of the smoothest releases despite being a smaller guy and can flat out fly down the field. He runs routes like the best of them and caught everything thrown his way. He could be a very good slot receiver that stretches the field at the next level.

Upland (Calif.) receiver Kenny Lawler

Lawler was the leader for B2G over the weekend and emerged as their go-to guy. He's got a great pair of hands and they're about as soft as his verbal commitment to Arizona State. He's not overly fast or the most athletic guy on the field but he catches the ball and makes plays.

South Bend (Ind.) receiver Gehrig Dieter

On a team (Goon Squad) with lots of big time players, Dieter was the most consistent player for them all weekend. He fits the label of a very good Big Ten wide out with great speed and reliable hands. Dieter showed off his athleticism by going up for some balls when he wasn't toasting defensive backs with his speed down the field.

McKees Rocks (Pa.) linebacker Deaysean Rippy

Rippy impressed with his coverage skills over the weekend and did so looking like a linebacker that was ready to head to college, not his senior year in high school. He had a good drop and roamed well in coverage. These events allow players to show off their athleticism and Rippy certainly did that.

Fresno (Calif.) athlete Deontay Greenberry

One of the most athletic players on the field, Greenberry was a red zone stud on offense and a shut down safety on defense. He played with swagger both days and was unstoppable on jump balls. Rangy and quick on defense, he allowed only a handful of balls to be completed on his half of the field.

Reserve (La.) cornerback Darion Monroe

Monroe was the defender that stood out for Team Louisiana and pretty much was the definition of shut down. He locked up receivers man-to-man and was savvy enough to drop back into passing lanes during zone. He can really change directions quickly and he had the speed to keep up with everybody he lined up against.

New Rochelle (N.Y.) cornerback Justin Combs

Combs, son of rapper Diddy, was one of the big surprises of the tournament with his play. He grabbed several interceptions over the weekend and managed to stay stride for stride with just about every opposing wide out. He's not the biggest player on the field but he did come to play.
 


Posted on: July 3, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: July 3, 2011 11:54 am
 

Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals Day 1 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

DALLAS – The sun was out, the weather was hot and the games were fierce at SMU's Gerald Ford Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship tournament. Teams from across the country rolled into town with high expectations as round robin play began and while no one made it through the day undefeated, the competition level was high from goal line to goal line.

The most talked about player at the event was easily Westlake Village (Calif.) receiver Jordan Payton. After becoming USC's first commitment for the class of 2012, the savvy wide out spent most of the spring and summer worried more about his own game than the recruiting game. However, since decommitting from the Trojans last week, he's been checking his phone a lot more often for information from college coaches.

“I've been 'monitoring' it,” Payton said with a laugh. “That's what I call it. I've been emailing back and forth with Michigan and several other schools.”

It should be noted that Payton was still out on the fields in the Texas heat running the same routes, making the same great catches and finding the end zone when he wasn't moonlighting as a safety for his 1925 All-Star team. Still, things were just a little bit different now that he was no longer committed.

“All of the schools, it's weird because they offer you and then they didn't talk to me as much because I was committed,” he said. “Now, Michigan, Cal, Arizona State, Florida (are talking to him). I'm interested to hear what Florida State's going to say.

“It's like I'm in a different area, I don't know what to do. I've only been committed. But I'm feeling good and I'm happy and taking it slow.”

The MaxPreps Top 100 receiver is still considering the local team, USC, and will meet with coaches next week to discuss his options. The biggest reason in pulling his verbal pledge back was to give the staff a chance to figure out their limited scholarship numbers and Payton knows that having to sit across from the coaches and talk with them about his place in the program going forwards is going to be a bit awkward when it happens.

“I'll be down there to talk with them so we'll see how that goes,” he said. “I have no idea what to expect to be honest with you.”

Kind of like talking with an ex-girlfriend?

“Exactly,” he said.

Payton does have a short list of schools he's considering and there tends to be a common theme as he tries to figure out where he'll eventually wind up signing with.

“All the schools I'm talking with all have great business schools,” he said. “Second, I just want to feel comfortable. I'm not saying I didn't feel comfortable with USC but I just felt it was that time. I'm just not sure that I want to be in LA.”

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder will likely play most of his recruitment close to the vest before announcing and one of the key reasons why is the fact that he's trying to orchestrate a few other players to join him at his eventual destination.

“I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks for in recruiting,” Payton said. “You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five.”

Knowing how the comment would sound, Payton was quick to clarify “like” the Fab Five and that it didn't mean they were for sure headed to Michigan.

Treggs burning up on and off the field

On the field and off, two of the most polished players on any team were Payton and Bellflower (Calif.) receiver Bryce Treggs. The two are friends and with Payton no longer a lock to go to USC, the two have started to explore the possibility of playing together at the next level instead of against each other on the turf at SMU.

“We're actually talking about that,” Treggs said. “That'd be pretty good. I mean, if me and Jordan go to the same school, it'd be pretty much unfair.”

When asked about Payton's 'Fab Five' remarks, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder opened up a little bit more about the prospect of them playing together.

“Well you have all those players that went to Michigan and made it the program they are today,” Treggs said. “He's basically saying that we might be able to do that. Not necessarily that we're going to do it at Michigan but that's his idea. Him, me, Shaq Thompson, Ishmael Adams, a lot of guys.”

“The Cali Five, I guess.”

Treggs said he unofficially visited Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Stanford and Notre Dame over the past few months. Many observers have read the tea leaves and believe that he will eventually end up playing for his father's alma mater, Cal, though. It's easy to see why they believe that whenever Treggs is asked who is recruiting him the hardest.

“Probably Cal... definitely Cal,” he said. “It's not a lock, I'm going to look at all of my other options. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a decision before the season so I can get it out of the way and focus on having a good senior year. I hope I can lead my team to a CIF championship.”

Treggs was blowing by corners with ease despite the sweltering heat, scoring several touchdowns by utilizing the fade route along the numbers Saturday. Running routes in 101 degree heat was a bit of an adjustment for someone used to ocean breezes and Santa Anna winds however.

“It was very hot,” Treggs said. “In California, we've got that breeze from the beach and stuff like that. After the first two games we adapted to it so we're fine right now.

“I would say I'm in the zone right now. We have so many receivers on our team, you never know when you're going to get the ball with so many weapons. There's not really one go-to guy so I just run my route hard every time and when Troy (Williams) picks me, I'm ready to make a play.”

Williams, a 2013 player who was one of the sharper quarterbacks at the event, and Treggs easily had the best timing at the event and it was not limited to deep routes. The connection between the two runs deep and was developed over years of playing together.

“The timing has been there since forth or fifth grade,” Treggs said. “We used to play Pop Warner for the Carson Colts together. So the timing is definitely there and it's good to be out here with somebody you know.”

Treggs, it seems, knows just about everybody and it will be interesting to see what coaching staff gets to know him the best through the recruiting process.

Rippy growing as a linebacker

It's often become common place for top recruits to come to camps or combines to be seen and heard but sit on the sidelines when it comes to competition time. MaxPreps Top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy, despite being from McKees Rocks (Pa.), was not one such player and battled the heat and humidity of Texas to focus on getting better against some of the best players in the country.

“We played some good teams, they were competitive,” Rippy said. “I'm working on everything, from being a linebacker to playing like a corner or strong safety in coverage. The drops, the backpedal, being aggressive, all of it.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rippy holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee. With so many options to choose from, narrowing down the list is becoming a difficult task and one he's not sure when he'll wind up cutting down to a more manageable ten or fewer.

“I don't know to be honest,” he said. “I've got all these schools and don't get me wrong, they're all great schools and you're bound to go pro from whatever school. People go pro from IUP up in Pennsylvania so any school, it's just about playing.”

Like many recruits nowadays, Rippy has hit the road over the spring and summer to visit schools and see what the coaching staffs are like in person.

“Had a lot of unofficals up till now and I'm about to take a couple more visits,” he said. “I don't know where yet and that's the thing. One of the big things I've learned in the recruiting process is that when you get those first 10 offers, you want all of that attention. Then, once you get 20 or 30, you don't want that attention any more.”

“It's going to be hard to pick a school, it's going to be very hard.”

For a time, there was one program that stood out from the pack but as the attention has increased on his college choice, he's actually broadened his outlook instead of narrowing it down.

“At first, people knew that I favored Florida a lot,” Rippy said. “I came to realize that I'd rather keep it wide open. I'll go to Alabama or Auburn or wherever. Between now and August, I'm just going to going to weigh my options.”

Thompson looking at four

Yet another top 100 player who performed well at SMU was Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson. While he mostly was batting away balls that had too much air on them, day one of the tournament also allowed him to show his offensive attributes. Playing both ways was just one way the talented athlete showed off his love for the game.

“It's too hot out here. The turf is hotter, less wind, it's just a hot day,” Thompson said. “But it's a great day to play football and that always makes it a great day.”

Easily the most impressive defensive back on the field from a physical standpoint, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Thompson has a host of programs who are heavily pursuing him ever since he decommitted from Cal awhile ago.

“I'd say Washington and Cal and Notre Dame,” he said. “Mainly Washington, they've been calling me, hitting me up and see how I'm doing. They're getting there but I'm still open. I'm ready for anything.”

Though it appears there will be no more unofficial visits for the four-star safety, he's already moved on to figuring out who will receive an official visit as the calendar inches closer to the date prospects can begin visiting in a formal capacity.

“During the season I'm probably going to take a trip to Washington,” he said. “Cal, UCLA or Notre Dame, one of those too.”

Thompson said his top four schools were – not surprisingly - Cal, Washington, UCLA and Notre Dame. The distance from home for the two non-California schools likely won't be a huge factor but is still something he's considering.

“Not really, I've got family basically all over,” Thompson said. “It's just the people I grew up with are the people that I'm most comfortable with. So I'll probably stay closer to home.”

Notes

- The most anticipated game of the day matched up B2G and 1925, who have played against each other several times in championship settings like Saturday. There was a little bit of trash talk and a lot of plays being made. Notre Dame commit Deontay Greenberry would probably had taken home an award for most swagger and was nearly unstoppable in the red zone for 1925. Receiver Gabe Marks and Arizona State soft verbal commitment Kenny Lawler starred for B2G.

- Quarterback Jeremy Liggins was the primary signal caller for Team Louisiana and he stood out for his size (6-foot-3 and about 260-pounds) and the ability to get rid of the ball quickly when he wanted to. He was able to get the ball downfield to several speedy receivers as well. Darion Monroe, a Texas A&M commit, was a standout on the defensive side of the ball.

- Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike was a bit inconsistent on intermediate routes but made several nice tosses down the field. He looked better than he did at the Ohio State Nike and Elite 11 camps and had plenty of targets to throw to. Fellow Auburn commit Darrion Hutcherson looks like he could suit up on the Plains tomorrow and tight end Jesse James, who's headed to Penn State, were both big mismatches due to their size and ability to find an open spot on the field. Also on the team was receiver Jason Croom, who said he's nearing a decision and will announce next month.

- It's easy to overlook Detroit (Mich.) athlete Dennis Norfleet when you're walking by him on the sideline but it is not, however, easy to overlook him when he steps on the field. The 5-foot-9 (maybe) scatback was simply a playmaker on Saturday, catching everything thrown his way and making defenders miss often.

Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:22 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Alabama Badger Sports 7-on-7 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- If one championship was lucky, a second confirms what the South Florida-based Footballers Fire 7-on-7 team thought all along, that they were one of the most talented teams in the country.

Composed mostly of players who were cut from the elite South Florida Express travel team, the Footballers Fire ended up beating them for a title in Tampa and ran through the competition over the weekend to grab their second title on the campus of Samford University.

The group ended up taking three vans from Miami to Birmingham, a trip that lasted over 13 hours. The long drive was the furthest thing from their mind when they held up the championship trophy though.

"Everybody was excited about getting out of Florida and coming to Alabama," Pompano Beach (Fla.) cornerback Adrian Burton said. "The difference between Tampa and here is we came up here undefeated. We didn't lose one game in this tournament and we won outside of our elements. We wanted to prove we were college-ready and came to play outside of our elements by playing in another state."

The team was the most vocal of any of the 15 teams that came to the event from all over the South. Part of the hooting and hollering after every play was strategy, especially once they reached the championship game and kept quiet in order to throw the other team off.

"The competition was really good," Gainesville (Fla.) corner Chris Bivins said. "We talked a bunch throughout the day but we decided to calm it down for the championship game and make them think we weren't playing. We were quiet and things started clicking."

Bivins is not full-time member of Footballers Fire but decided to come along on the trip and play with several of his friends on the team. He deferred to other members of the team in terms of playing time but still managed to make an impact in the secondary, playing both slot and outside receivers.

Burton, on the other hand, was in for nearly every play on defense and picked off two passes during the tournament, one more than he had in Tampa. Grabbing an extra pick wasn't as meaningful for the talented corner as grabbing a second title however.

"It meant a lot to me personally," Burton said. "We heard on ESPN that there was no way we can repeat, it was a fluke. Honestly we don't take that too lightly. We went from the cut list (from the South Florida Express) to winning two 7-on-7 championships. What more can we say?"

Texas Tech is one school showing a lot of interest in Burton but has yet to offer him a scholarship. Defensive backs coach Otis Mounds is the coach recruiting him and Burton had good things to say about the former South Florida high school coach.

"He has to be one of the coolest guys I've met who is a recruiter," Burton said. "He talks about real stuff, real situations, he doesn't actually talk that much about football. In his words, there's only two things they want us to come to Texas Tech for, to play ball and get your education. Education and football, I'm glad he pointed that out and it's not just football."

Bivins is also seeing his recruitment pick up with the May Evaluation period in full swing and already holds five offers, including ones from Utah and USF. He picked up his first SEC offer from South Carolina on Thursday and is excited about what the Gamecocks bring to the table.

"They've been contacting me lately. Coach (Steve) Spurrier Jr. came to school but I wasn't there because I had a track meet," Bivins said. "I called him on the phone and he said they were going to offer me a scholarship because they love big corners with long arms and speed."

Both players will head to the Badger Sports National 7-on-7 Tournament in Dallas over Fourth of July weekend.

Ward drops into coverage

Aberdeen (Miss.) defensive end Channing Ward didn't show up for Day One of the tournament and many thought he had taken an unofficial visit or just stayed home for the weekend. Turns out he had a good excuse as he was anchoring Aberdeen High's 4x100 and 4x200 track team and ended up running a 11.3 second 100 meters at a hefty 6-foot-2, 250 pounds.

The big and fast defensive end ended up playing linebacker for much of Day Two of the tournament and did so mainly to get better with his footwork and show off a little bit more to observers.

"It was a good challenge," Ward said. "I had to keep my feet moving. I think it will make me a better defensive end because I have to keep my feet moving. I felt ok."

Ward recently picked up another offer to add to his growing list that is sitting at 16 and includes Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss and Notre Dame among others.

"I picked up an offer from Miami last Friday," Ward said. "I have interest in them."

There are also several schools close to extending a scholarship and Ward offered up one school who might be the next to pull the trigger.

"Florida State. The've been writing me a lot and told me to come to their camp," Ward said. "I'm going this summer. I'll also probably go to LSU and Auburn (camps). I've been to both of them to watch a game and on Junior Day."

Alabama and Mississippi State are the two schools recruiting him the hardest with Crimson Tide assistant Jeff Stoutland being his primary recruiter and one of the few who are recruiting him as a hybrid defensive end/linebacker. He still hasn't narrowed down his list of schools but looking for a few things in his future school.

"Graduation rate, good vibe from the coaches," he said.

Ward has offers from just about every SEC schools and projects more as a defensive end than linebacker in college.

Dural doesn't live up to his own high standards

One of the few commitments participating in the tournament was Beaux Bridge (La.) wide receiver Travin Dural. The LSU commitment didn't get too many balls thrown his way and had trouble meshing with his teammates he met just two days before on their way from Louisiana.

"I didn't feel like I played my best, I kind of had an off weekend," Dural said. "I did alright in some games but just didn't really get it going."

Although he didn't live up to his own high standards, Dural did compete against some of the best defensive talent he's seen and he felt he measured up well despite having an off weekend.

"I wanted to play with the best and see how I do," he said. "They say these are some of the best players in the country so I wanted to see how good I really am. I kind of showed that I can compete with them."

Firmly committed to LSU, his commitment was pretty open and shut as soon as the Tigers became interested in the in-state prospect.

"When I got the offer," he said of when he committed. "That was the school I wanted to go to ever since I was little. That helped because I wanted to go there and didn't have to worry about committing when I wanted to go there."

The 6-foot-2, 170 pound Dural is still receiving mail from several programs but isn't being actively recruited by anybody. Many schools will stop by to see him when spring football starts in two weeks but putting on the pads isn't something Dural is looking forward to.

"No," he said with a grin. "It's going to be hot out there. I'm in track right now so I'm not even in football shape. I do the 200 and high jump, long jump and 4x200 (relay). I've got the state track meet next weekend at LSU. Last week at regionals, our relay team ran the seventh fastest time in the nation."

Gross looks good at quarterback

There were not a lot of high caliber quarterbacks in Birmingham but Memphis (Tenn.) signal caller Will Gross was one of the top two or three at the event, throwing a good spiral and really showing some velocity on throws. He's already received offers from Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt and picked up a big one last week after a few schools stopped by during the evaluation period.

"Memphis, Wake Forest, Alabama and UConn," Gross said of the schools that came by Melrose High. "Alabama offered Thursday. I'm blessed. I'm glad the coaches see something in me. They have a good program and get you ready for the NFL. They have a great staff. I'm going to visit next month."

While some schools are recruiting him as an athlete, Alabama is recruiting him as quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 175 pound Gross wants to play quarterback in college and that will be an issue he'll bring up to those schools pursuing him.

"Mississippi State and Arkansas State," he said of schools that are recruiting him the hardest. "It doesn't matter where I go. I'm very patient and want to take my time. I might commit during the season."

Gross has already taken a few unofficial visits and will take some time over the next few weeks to plan where he'll go next. He won't limit his planning to just unofficial visits though, he plans on taking all five of his official visits and is already trying to figure out when and where to go.

"I don't know them all," he said. "I know three, Louisville, Kentucky and Alabama. Those are my top three right now."

Alabama's recent offer appears to make them the co-leader along with Louisville for Gross but he remains open until taking his visits.

Recruitment of Kimbrow heating up

A few miles away from Gross, running back Brian Kimbrow is becoming a hot name for recruiters. The city of Memphis is always a must stop for coaches on their way around the south and Memphis East is becoming the first destination in the city thanks in large part to Kimbrow.

"Duke stopped by, Western Kentucky, Tennessee and some more coaches are supposed to come by next week," Kimbrow said. "Notre Dame has come by. Lots of people."

The 5-foot-9, 170 pound scat-back recently picked up offers from Maryland and Wake Forest to put his total number of offers at close to 30. With so much attention being shown at this point in the recruiting process, Kimbrow is just taking everything as it comes and keeping a level head.

"It's hard to say right now because I'm being patient. I don't want to rush into recruiting and end up going somewhere that doesn't fit me," he said.

So far Kimbrow is taking unofficial visits like most top recruits and is starting out local before heading out to schools outside of the region this summer.

"I've been to Tennessee, Memphis and I have plans to go to Cincinnati and Vanderbilt," he said. "I have plans to go to Notre Dame. I've also been to Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss."

Kimbrow has no set timetable for when he makes his commitment but the talented athlete, who also could be a slot receiver in college, is looking to stay focused on his high school team before worrying about where he'll end up in college.

"More than likely it will be after the season so I can focus on that during the season," he said of a commitment date. "Right now though, I'd say Tennessee and Vanderbilt and Cincinnati are standing out though.

"It doesn't matter where I go, I just want a place that fits me."

Notes

- Talented Lemming Top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy didn't play too much this weekend due to nagging injuries but did mention he was hearing a lot from Florida and that the Gators are at the top of his list at the moment. He was planning on taking more unofficial visits over the next few months so that might change.

- Marietta (Ga.) sophomore quarterback Eddie Printz did not have a very good first day, struggling to throw a spiral and get things going for Team Georgia. He came back much sharper on day two however, really spinning the ball well while leading his team to the championship game. He had some serious talent to throw to at wide out and while they saved him on day one, Printz made them look good on day two with some very nice deep balls.

- One of Printz's wide outs was Norcross (Ga.) athlete Jason Croom. He was the top receiver at the event and was a nightmare to cover with his 6-foot-5, 230 pound frame. At this point, he's a bit of a hybrid receiver/tight end until he fills out but he certainly has some very good pass catching skills. Georgia might be close to offering which might change things in his recruitment but it looks like Miami might be the team to beat at the moment. Georgia commit C.J. Curry was also on the team and played well but it was Croom who was the best receiver at the event.

- Justin Combs, son of Sean "Diddy" Combs, picked up offers Middle Tennessee and Wyoming recently and took an unofficial to UAB after the tournament. He has family in Alabama and one of his coaches said he is looking to step out from his dad's shadow but doesn't mind going to a smaller school to play football.

- Memphis (Tenn.) running back Jovon Robinson has a bit of a rivalry with Kimbrow in terms of who will be the top running back in the city and certainly showed he was capable of the top spot in terms of pass catching and quickness. His most recent offer was from Penn State and he said several SEC schools who have already offered stopped by to evaluate him further last week.

- Olive Branch (Miss.) wide receiver De'Arthur Cowan was one player who impressed from the Mississippi team. He said he had five offers, including ones from Arkansas and Mississippi State. Ole Miss visited his school last week and could be the next to offer. Cowan displayed good hands and ran nice routes but he needs to add some weight to his very skinny frame.

- Footballers Fire quarterback Ghierry Van der Kuyp has a very unusual sidearm throwing motion but he managed to be the most accurate quarterback at the event. He is being recruited by several programs as a wide receiver and the Hialeah (Fla.) athlete is close to getting offers from Miami and Florida. A commitment to Miami might follow if they offer because both of his parents are Miami fans. When Footballers Fire went up big on Team Georgia in the championship game, Van deer Kuyp played some wide receiver but badly injured his ankle and had to be taken off the field.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:12 pm
 

2012 Linebackers to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oxford (Ala.) star Kwon Alexander is the top linebacker in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other linebackers - in no particular order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Alexander off the top spot and become the top linebacker for the class of 2012.

Deaysean Rippy (Sto-Rox High, McKees Rocks, Pa.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 210 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, UConn, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: It's no surprise to see Rippy become one of the most recruited athletes in the country after watching his film. He has been on the radar since his sophomore year and is a really versatile player as an outside linebacker. His pass rush skills are exceptional and he is fast enough to even be a safety at the next level. Rippy is one of the best players in coverage among this group of linebackers.

Needs to work on: Rippy is still a bit undersized if he wants to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 and could add a bit of weight.



Noor Davis (The Villages High, The Villages, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 225 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pitt, Purdue, USF, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCF, UCLA, USC, Virginia

What's to like: Davis is an exceptional prospect at the outside linebacker position and it's hard not to like what you see when you see him in person or on film. He is a smart player on the field who reads the play quickly and almost always takes a good angle to make the tackle. It's almost funny to see him standout on the field due to his size and the way he hits.

Needs to work on: Davis needs to learn some of the nuances of playing outside linebacker and move beyond a pass rusher from the outside.



Jabari Ruffin (Downey High, Downey, Calif.) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Committed to USC

What's to like: Ruffin certainly looks the part and is probably the best linebacker west of the Mississippi. He looked sharp at the recent LA Nike Camp and his athleticism jumps out at you when you realize he played offense last season. Not only does he have speed to burn but his explosiveness is really apparent when you see him get ready to deliver a big hit.

Needs to work on: There's not a whole lot more that Ruffin needs to do to be successful but he should benefit from playing only linebacker in college. Becoming a read and react player instead of relying mostly on his athleticism to make plays is the next step for him to become a great player.



Reggie Ragland (Bob Jones High, Madison, Ala.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 235 pounds 
Committed to Alabama

What's to like: Ragland's size and speed make him a very, very good prospect manning the middle linebacker position. He's instinctive and when he reads his keys is one of the best in the country. He fills gaps very well and usually ends up blowing people up rather than just tackling them. He also does a good job of engaging a defender and then getting said defender out of his way.

Needs to work on: Ragland is a bit of a lose cannon at times and sometimes tries to do too much. He'll need to improve his coverage skills as well, especially if he's to be a middle backer in a Cover-2 scheme that requires him to run down the field.

Cassanova McKinzy (Woodlawn High, Birmingham, Ala.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 230 pounds 
Committed to Auburn

What's to like: McKinzy's name first of all. Beyond that though, there's plenty of things that Auburn coaches saw in McKinzy, including great size and speed at outside linebacker. He's very athletic and could play running back at the next level if he wanted to. McKinzy wraps up very well when tackling and is very instinctive.

Needs to work on: McKinzy may have all the measurables but he is still a bit raw at linebacker. He'll need to refine his coverage skills and improve his ability to read and react.

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