Posted on: March 3, 2012 11:52 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 11:55 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
ROSWELL, Ga. -- The recruiting landscape shifted into a higher gear on Saturday as hundreds of players from as far away as Michigan descended upon Centennial High School in suburban Atlanta for the first New Level Athletics Elite 7-on-7 tournament of the year. With 18 teams taking part, the event drew some of the top talent from across the country to show off their skills and allowed several to make a name for themselves, hoping that will translate into scholarship offers down the road.
One player who needed no introduction was Marietta (Ga.) running back and Alabama commitment Tyren Jones. Easily among the 10 best players in the state after a terrific junior year, the speedster was the focal point of Team Georgia's offense as they fought their way out of the round-robin format that made up day one.
"Some people might know who I am but I'm not really worried about it," Jones said. "I just want to go out here and help my team win."
Although he is a multi-purpose back, Jones lined up at receiver for the day and looked like a natural. Though he looks like more a guy that would be utilized out of the slot, he typically was found on the outside against the opposition's top cornerback and still had little trouble finding soft spots in coverage or beating his man deep.
"I just want to prove that I can catch the ball well," he said. "I'm lining up to play receiver even though I'm a running back."
The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder's commitment to the Crimson Tide came after attending a recent Junior Day in Tuscaloosa and picking up an offer from head coach Nick Saban. While the timing surprised a few folks, Jones liked what the program was offering and feels his talents will mesh extremely well within the offense.
"It wasn't really a pitch, they just told me that I fit really well into their system and their system really fits me," he said. "They said I'm an all-purpose running back and that's what they need at Alabama. They watched film and saw me split out some an basically said I'm going to come out of the backfield and catch the ball."
Jones was particularly impressed with the facilities and was sold on how well the program took care of the players in terms of nutrition and weightlifting. Although some might be deterred at Alabama signing the top recruiting class seemingly every year, the tailback is looking forward to the competition and thinks the class of 2013 might come in as the best of the past few years anyway.
"I think it's something special this year," Jones said. "We can win some more national championships. They don't really brag about (winning national titles) but they know they have the talent and the recruiting to win another.
Still, that hasn't stopped a few programs from continuing to make their pitch with plenty of time between now and Signing Day.
"Purdue, Florida and I'd say Georgia," he said of programs still recruiting him hard. "They're all still talking to me and sending letters."
Jones' 7-on-7 teammate - and Georgia commit - Shaquille Wiggins was not with the squad because he was in Athens for the Bulldogs' Junior Day but will return for the championship round on Sunday. The addition not only gives the group a top cornerback but somebody that has been very open about his program being the one everybody should be looking at. Although Jones' recent pledge to Alabama is strong, he still hears it from Wiggins despite him being a bit of a recruiter himself.
"Not really, I talk to him every once and a while but it's not too much," Jones said. "I'm really (recruiting teammate) Brandon Kublanow to come down with me. Other than that, I'm talking to friends and trying to make sure Reuben Foster stays (committed). He's real excited but it sounds like he's going to stay with Alabama."
While recruiting will sort itself out for others, Jones will turn his attention to the field on Sunday with hopes of doing something he's planning on doing a lot in college: winning.
Kamara is cold and hot at the same time
One of Michael Jordan's most memorable games in a career full of them was Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Most remember it simply as 'The Flu Game.'
While the stakes were significantly (significantly) less on the fields Saturday, Norcross (Ga.) running back Alvin Kamara was channeling his inner-Jordan. Under the weather with flu-like systems he was still one of the fastest players at the event and helped contribute several big plays and victories for Georgia Elite.
"I'm trying to hang in there I'm so sick," Kamara said. "I dropped a few balls. But I'm bouncing back, we'll have to see with these next games."
On top of a fever and his skin a few shades lighter than what it normally is, the cheerful Kamara also was dealing with the opposition's best shot. As one of several players with multiple FBS offers, he had a bit of a target on his back while he was running routes and catching passes.
"A little bit," he said. "Some guys see me and say, 'Oh he's got all these offers and blah, blah, blah.' But that's just going to make me play harder."
The cold and windy conditions in the Atlanta area were pretty much the opposite of Kamara's recruitment. Holding just a single offer, from Syracuse, at the Rising Seniors Bowl right before New Year's, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has turned into one of the hottest prospects in the country.
"It's been crazy," he said. "From one to eleven. It's just crazy."
HIs most recent offer came from the opposite coast and USC, with plenty of other schools close to extending an one. He doesn't have a top group of schools but there have still been a few that have stuck out in his mind and are recruiting him the hardest.
"Alabama and Georgia are up there," he said. "Everybody heard the story about Alabama. With Georgia, their coaches keep up with me real well."
'The story' about Alabama stems from the fact that the school sent him 105 recruiting letters. In one day.
The memorable recruiting strategy certainly left a mark in the running back's mind even if he held the Crimson Tide in high esteem beforehand.
"It was wild, they just fell out of my mailbox and I wasn't even expecting it," Kamara said. "My mom went wild. She was like, 'Can they do that?'"
Kamara doesn't have any unofficial visits planned and isn't counting on going to any junior days in the next few weeks either. In many ways, he's just going with the flow of the recruiting process that he's seen pick up very quickly. Wisconsin and Oklahoma State might be close to adding to his total of offers and while he will add them to his growing pile, Kamara is evaluating all of them based on what he's looking for in a program before making a commitment.
"Just a school that feels like home, coaches that I get along with and somewhere I can just feel like I belong," he said. "I want to fit in. I'm going to make my decision whenever it feels right. I don't have a time frame."
While his timetable for a commitment is still up in the air, Kamara is interested in seeing things outside of his hometown and that means he'll take visits even if he knows where he wants to go.
"I want to get to everywhere I can and see everything," he said. "I don't want to miss anything. Even if I (commit), I definitely will take (official visits)."
Cheek checks in with Cal
Lawrenceville (Ga.) defensive back Trevellous 'Tre' Cheek was one of the standouts from the first day of competition at the NLA Elite 7-on-7. His play between the lines might have had something to do with his good day outside of them after picking up his first offer from California.
"I've always wanted to go to a (school like) Cal," Cheek said. "They're a great school and great at football too. I have family about an hour away."
While it might sound strange for a Georgia corner to be familiar with the Bears and hold them in high regard, there's a reason he is already planning on a visit out West. Cheek has talked with several members of the team already in order to get to know the program better, including McDonough (Ga.) defensive back Avery Sebastian, a 2011 signee from the area. As a result of being the first to offer, Cal has a slight edge at the moment over other schools - including his childhood favorite.
"I grew up a Florida fan since I can remember. I was brought up that way," Cheek said. "Cal beat them (with an offer) though. That first offer is kind of special. Coach (Ashley) Ambrose is a good guy."
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Cheek attended Kentucky's Junior Day last week and enjoyed the trip to see what the Wildcats had to offer. On his way back home, he stopped by Louisville, where their Junior Day had already ended but the coaching staff waited around for his arrival and to talk to him. Cheek believes both are close to offering and is hearing more from Clemson and Arkansas. He will head to the Tiger's April 14th Junior Day and based on the amount of attention schools are giving him, it figures that won't be the only visit Cheek will take this spring.
"West Virginia is close, coach (Daron) Roberts has been talking to me," Cheek said. "Tennessee (receivers coach Darin Hinshaw) said they'll offer me but he was waiting for Coach (Derek) Dooley to sign off on it and it might take a little time. But I'm looking forward to that one."
Though there were no really big wide receivers at the event, Cheek handled just about everyone with ease on Saturday. He often played press coverage and had no problem turning to run after getting a good jam on the line of scrimmage. His ability to play up close to the offense, Cheek said, is one of the reasons several coaching staffs have been talking to him quite a bit.
"Just about everybody is talking to me as a corner," he said. "Most of the coaches I spoke with said that I've very physical and they haven't seen cornerbacks like that. They think that since I'm a very physical corner, they can teach the coverage part. They can teach that, they can't teach the (physicality)."
With an offer from Cal in his back pocket and plenty more sure to come, Cheek's recruitment should be one to follow on the road to Signing Day. At the moment, he has no issues leaving the state to play college football and is looking more at the school than its location.
"Oh no," he said with a big smile and laugh. "As long as I'm getting an education. I want to major in physical therapy and minor in broadcasting or communication."
Tags: 2012 NLA, Alabama, Alvin Kamara, Arkansas, Ashley Ambrose, Avery Sebastian, Brandon Kublanow, Cal, California, Clemson, Darin Hinshaw, Daron Roberts, Derek Dooley, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Michael Jordan, NBA, New Level 7-on-7, New Level Elite, New Level Elite 7-on-7, Nick Saban, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Reuben Foster, Rising Seniors Bowl, Shaquille Wiggins, Syracuse, Tennessee, Tre Cheek, Trevellous Cheek, Tyren Jones, Tyren Jones, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:01 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Alabama is off to a quick start in the class of 2013.
Mark Richt says they are always recruiting at Georgia. The Bulldogs picked up a Juco cornerback commit.
An early look at Washington's recruiting in the class of '13.
Derek Dooley defended his decision to sign troubled cornerback Deion Bonner.
Stanford, Michigan could be trying to flip offensive tackle Steve Elmer.
Stefon Diggs says he is ready to play at Maryland.
Running back Ryan Green picked up an offer from USC.
Arizona, Arizona State are out to change the perception of their program among in-state recruits.
Michigan State is set to host several prospects on their next Junior Day.
Greg Schiano is happy Rutgers was able to keep the 2012 recruiting class intact.
Texas commit Ricky Seals-Jones is a top athlete in the state.
It's a big recruiting weekend for Virginia and Mike London.
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:23 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Michigan opts for the personal approach on Junior Days.
2014 running back Wadzaire Blanc has snagged a South Carolina offer.
Maryland needs their top recruit to help stop the transfers.
A Q&A with Houston coach Tony Levine where he talks about recruiting some.
Urban Meyer says Ohio State's 2012 class lacks speed.
Offensive tackle Will Allen was invited to Alabama's Junior Day.
Duke Johnson has been the perfect ambassador for Miami football.
Linebacker/safety Su'a Cravens was at USC's Junior Day and recently picked up a Clemson offer.
Running back JoJo Kemp has USF as his early leader.
Derek Dooley rips the SEC's new oversigning rules.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 10:05 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Signing Day and its aftermath appear to be over so it's time to recap everything that happened with the latest and greatest.
Great look at what went on behind the scenes in the recruitment of Dorial Green-Beckham. Emptying the Missouri Signing Day notebook.
Georgia's record-breaking recruiting rankings streak appears to be over.
Bobby Petrino and the Arkansas staff talked about their recruiting class.
Florida struck out on Signing Day with some uncommitted prospects.
Great story about Vanderbilt's recruiting class with a behind the scenes look.
Negative recruiting was a hurdle for Miami leading up to Signing Day but if Al Golden can keep it up, watch out for the Canes.
It was smooth sailing for Oregon despite the Chip Kelly uncertainty.
Here's everything new Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had to say about his recruiting class.
Some recruiting wins notwithstanding, Derek Dooley needs to win at Tennessee now.
Darius Philon was more committed to Alabama than the school was to him.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 8:48 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Breaking down who won and who lost in the SEC on National Signing Day:
Mike Slive. Anyone who doubted Missouri's conference cred had to fall silent for at least a day as the Tigers introduced the nation's No. 1 recruit into the SEC East. The rest of the Tigers' class may not be as deep as many of their new league rivals', but when said class also includes a star as overpoweringly bright as Dorial Green-Beckham, it's hard to see any flaws.
Alabama. Yawn--just another No. 1-ranked class of 25-plus blue-chips for Nick Saban's perpetual recruiting motion machine, with the surprise signing of highly regarded Virginia defensive tackle Korren Kirven the icing on a cake the Crimson Tide had baked long before Wednesday. By his own admission, Saban said they "didn't have any surprises," for worse or -- this being Alabama -- better. Once Kirven had declared and top safety Landon Collins had finally gotten his mother on board, the drama in Tuscaloosa was over.
In fact, after a big Junior Day haul, Saban and Co. are already off and sprinting for 2013. Come next February, it's likely there won't be any surprises then either. It may not be exciting for anyone hoping for stunning announcements, big rankings swings, and overheated speculation -- the Tide may have used it all up in last year's Cyrus Kouandjio saga -- but it's the same lethally efficient formula that's netted Saban two national championships in three seasons. Nothing much changed for Alabama on Signing Day, but unfortunately for the rest of college football, that means nothing much has changed when it comes to the difficulty of knocking the Tide off their perch, either.
James Franklin. When Franklin's blazingly hot start last summer netted him a commitment from All-American running back Brian Kimbrow, the nation's no. 52 player, the response from many observers around the SEC was "That's impressive. It'll be even more impressive if he actually signs."
Not every one of those early Vanderbilt commitments made it across the finish line. But Kimbrow did, along with 20 other quality players that had the 'Dores in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25 a week beforehand. Vandy couldn't quite hang on to that lofty ranking, but even having the SEC's eternal doormat in a "top 25" conversation is an achievement for Franklin arguably on par with Saban's in Tuscaloosa.
Steve Spurrier's nerves. South Carolina isn't traditionally the first team you'd think of when looking for a comparison to Alabama when it comes to recruiting success. But the Gamecocks might be this year, thanks in part to joining the Tide in the team rankings top 10 (believe it or not, Carolina quietly finished third in the SEC). But like Alabama, the Gamecocks also enjoyed a pleasantly uneventful Signing Day, with 19 of the 25 Gamecocks who signed today having already committed before the 2011 season started.
“It’s been a peaceful Signing Day today, which was kind of nice,” recruiting coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. said. And when you peacefully land players like Shaq Roland and Jordan Diggs, doubly so.
Mark Richt's nerves. On the other side of the spectrum from Alabama and South Carolina, there was Georgia's National Signing Day. The day started with the disappointment of missing out on receivers Cordarelle Patterson (Tennessee) and JaQuay Williams (Auburn) (leaving the Bulldogs with just one wideout in the class), then picked up with a commitment from Maxpreps top 100 linebacker/safety Josh Harvey-Clemons. But that a.m. joy dissolved into p.m. worry as Harvey-Clemons grandfather and legal guardian reportedly refused to sign Harvey-Clemons' letter of intent. Adding insult to injury, Richt's premature public comments on Harvey-Clemons may have even constituted a minor NCAA violation.
With or without Harvey-Clemons, the Bulldogs are still going to boast a star-studded class with nearly as many top 100 recruits (five, or six) as any team in the country. But the potential of losing Harvey-Clemons to hated Florida with the Gators already sitting some 15 spots ahead in the team rankings is likely to cause a restless evening (or evenings) in Athens all the same.
LSU's in-state clout. There's about 105 FBS teams or so that would gladly trade classes with LSU's, especially after the addition of out-of-state gems like Oxford (Ala.) linebacker Kwon Alexander. But in a somewhat down year for talent in the Pelican State, the Tigers had to lock down the borders to put together a truly elite class, and that didn't happen--not only did Collins and highly-regarded linebacker Denzel Devall stick with their Alabama commitments, Texas shocked Les Miles by snatching away the Tigers' blue-chip linebacker Torshiro Davis. (Davis rubbed salt in Miles's wound by saying LSU's players "don't seem that happy.")
Those were the top three players in the state by many accounts, and LSU didn't land any of them. It's not the end of the world, but for a program built on an annual harvest of blue-chippers from the bayou, it's a worrying sign all the same.
Arkansas. As usual under Bobby Petrino, the Razorbacks signed a respectable-but-not-spectacular class that Petrino will no doubt turn into something far more than the sum of its parts once it comes together in Fayetteville. But to come as close as they reportedly did to signing the player that would have helped cement their status as a national power and come up short has to sting.
SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN
Auburn. On the good side: wide receivers JaQuay Williams and Ricardo Louis each stuck with their original commitments to the Tigers, offensive lineman Will Adams flipped from Georgia Tech, and top tackle Avery Young gave Auburn a top-100 cornerstone at Georgia and Florida's expense. On the not so good side: Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby, Leonard Williams, Alexander and Jordan Moore all had Auburn as one of their finalists and all went in a different direction. Gene Chizik's boom-or-bust Signing Day somehow managed to neither quite boom nor bust.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Johnson, Avery Young, Bobby Petrino, Brian Kimbrow, Caleb Azubike, Cordarelle Patterson, Cyrus Kouandjio, Denzel Devall, Derek Dooley, Dorial Green-Beckham, Eddie Goldman, Evan Boehm, Florida, Gene Chizik, Geno Smith, Georgia, Georgia Tech, James Franklin, JaQuay Williams, Jeremy Ward, Jerry Hinnen, John Theus, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jenkins, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Jovon Robinson, Keith Marshall, Kwon Alexander, Landon Collins, Leonard Williams, Les Miles, LSU, Mark Richt, Maty Mauk, Mike Davis, Mike Slive, Missouri, National Signing Day, National Signing Day Winners and Losers, Nick Saban, Otha Peters, Pat Robinette, Ricardo Louis, Ronald Darby, Shaq Roland, South Carolina, Steve Spurrier, Steve Spurrier Jr., T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Texas, Torshiro Davis, Trey Granier, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Will Adams, Will Muschamp, Zeke Pike
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:22 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Help is on the way for Arkansas's occasionally porous defense, though it's coming at the expense of suddenly backsliding Tennessee.
Already stung by Texas linebacker Dalton Santos switching his commitment from the Vols' "UT" to the Longhorn version this past weekend, Derek Dooley's class took another blow Tuesday when Covington (La.) linebacker Otha Peters committed to Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks following an official visit to Fayetteville. Peters was also visited last week in Covington by Petrino and new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes.
In addition to the Razorbacks and Volunteers, Peters also claimed offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, TCU and Nebraska.
Peters' high school coach Malter Scobel told the Times Picayune that Peters had concerns about Dooley's job stability after the Vols' lackluster 2011 season.
“Otha had some valid reasons to make his change,” Scobel said. “It wasn’t anything silly. Tennessee’s up against a different challenge than they are in Arkansas. Otha was very straightforward with Tennessee about the decision, and I think they still would like to have him.”
We don't doubt it--the 6'1", 220-pound Peters was named 5A All-State even in talent-rich Louisiana, having recorded north of 14 tackles per game.
The Vols and Hogs are two of five SEC teams clustered between 20 and 25 in the current edition of the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25, with Tennessee four spots ahead of Arkansas. But the way both teams are trending, that may not be the case for long.
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 2:58 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. Nobody treats the day more like a national holiday than those in the SEC and this year could be a banner year for the conference, especially with newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri. There's a chance half the league ends up with a top 15 class and it is looking favorable that one team signs the country's top recruit. The rich, it seems, just seem to get richer on Signing Day.
1. Is this an all-time great class for Alabama?
As good as Nick Saban is at winning games and building all-time great defenses, he might be even better at recruiting. It hurts to lose trusted lieutenant Sal Sunseri to Tennessee but this still has the makings of one of Alabama's greatest hauls ever. In addition to the elite players the Crimson Tide have already landed, they have a really good chance at grabbing defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and there's still an outside chance they can flip quarterback Jameis Winston. Still, as presently constructed, there's no doubt Alabama winds up #1 in the team rankings and is in the discussions for one of the top classes in recent memory.
2. How well do the newcomers fare?
Welcome to the big, bad SEC Missouri and Texas A&M. Now, how well do you recruit? At the moment, not bad at all. Despite a head coaching change, the Aggies have several talented top 100 players and should finish in the top 12 if they don't crack the top 10. The Tigers grabbed one of the best high school quarterbacks in the country and are in the running for the nation's top recruit (though they may be behind, they're still in the race). The quality depth might be present like elite classes Florida or Alabama have but it appears that the move to a new league hasn't hurt either program.
3. Does Auburn expereince a championship bounce?
It's a catch-22 for the Tigers, on one hand they won a BCS national championship not too long ago and were cleared by the NCAA. On the other hand they've lost both their coordinators and have seen some waffling from some of their commitments. It still looks like they're destined for a top 15 class but it's also possible they lose a top player or two, such as recent decommit Ricardo Louis (whose recruitment isn't over). If they can land one of the elite prospects left on their board, such as lineman Avery Young or linebacker Kwon Alexander, it would be safe to say Auburn's class got a nice uptick from winning a title. If they don't, the staff turnover might have negated it.
4. Can Vanderbilt top Tennessee in the class rankings?
The fact that this is even a storyline is a testament to what James Franklin has done. Neither team has an incoming class that screams 'wow,' but each has a few impressive recruits. Tennessee will probably finish with a deeper class but it might lack an elite prospect while Vanderbilt could wind up with a few top players and solid but not great depth. It's a pivotal year for both programs and you wonder if getting someone like current pledge and top 25 running back Brian Kimbrow to sign will provide a boost for the Commodores over their in-state rival.
Most impressive class: Alabama
Most underrated class: South Carolina
Work left to do: Ole Miss
Assistant recruiters of note:
Jeremy Pruitt, Chris Rumph, Kirby Smart and Lance Thompson, Alabama
Curtis Luper, Trooper Taylor and Tommy Thigpen, Auburn
Kris Cinkovich, Tim Horton and Chris Klenakis, Arkansas
D.J. Durkin, Aubrey Hill, Derek Lewis and Dan Quinn, Florida
Todd Grantham and Rodney Garner, Georgia
Tee Martin, Randy Sanders and Chuck Smith, Kentucky
Brick Haley, Greg Studrawa and Frank Wilson, LSU
Maurice Harris and Chris Kiffin, Ole Miss
Greg Knox, Tony Hughes and Chris Wilson, Mississippi State
Andy Hill and David Yost, Missouri
G.A. Mangus, Steve Spurrier Jr. and Lorenzo Ward, South Carolina
Darin Hinshaw, Terry Joseph and Sal Sunseri, Tennessee
Clarence McKinney, Brian Polian and Terrell Williams, Texas A&M
John Donovan, Herb Hand and Ricky Rahne, Vanderbilt
Head coach under pressure: Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Top SEC class prediction: Alabama
Top SEC signee: Dorial Green-Beckham
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Alabama, Andy Hill, Arkansas, Aubrey Hill, Auburn, Avery Johnson, BCS, bo Wallace, Brandon Banks, Brian Kimbrow, Brian Polian, Brick Haley, Channing Ward, Chaz Elder, Chris Kiffin, Chris Klenakis, Chris Rumph, Chris Wilson, Chuck Smith, Clarence McKinney, Cordale Boyd, Curtis Luper, D.J. Durkin, D.J. Humphries, Dan Mullen, Dan Quinn, Darin Hinshaw, Darrion Hutcherson, Dave Yost, Derek Dooley, Derek Lewis, Devante Bourque, DeVante Harris, Dorial Green-Beckham, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Williams, Evan Boehm, Florida, Frank Wilson, G.A. Mangus, Geno Smith, Geno Smith, Georgia, Greg Knox, Greg Studrawa, Herb Hand, I'Tavius Mathers, Jadeveon Clowney, Jameis Winston, James Franklin, JaQuay Williams, Jason Croom, Jeremy Liggins, Jeremy Pruitt, Jeremy Ward, Jessamen Dunker, John Donovan, John Theus, Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jekins, Jordan Richmond, Jovon Robinson, Justin Meredith, Keith Marshall, Keith Marshall, Kent Taylor, Kentucky, Kirby Smart, Kris Cinkovich, Kwon Alexander, LaDarrell McNeil, Lance Thompson, Landon Collins, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Ward, LSU, Matt Davis, Maty Mauk, Maurice Harris, Mike Davis, Mike Sherman, Mississippi State, Missouri, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Patrick Towles, Patton Robinette, Quay Evans, Randy Sanders, Ricardo Louis, Richie Brown, Ricky Rahne, Rodney Garner, Rueben Randle, Sal Sunseri, SEC, Shaq Roland, Shaq Roland, Signing Day Overview, Simon Goines, South Carolina, Stefon Diggs, Steve Spurrier Jr., T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Tee Martin, Tennessee, Terrell Williams, Terry Joseph, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Chapman, Thomas Johnson, Tim Horton, Todd Grantham, Todd Gurley, Tommy Thigpen, Tony Hughes, Torshiro Davis, Tracy Howard, Trey Granier, Trey Williams, Trooper Taylor, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Will Muschamp, Will Redmond, Zach Blaylock
Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:48 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Though he's a year and a couple of weeks away from signing his name to a letter of intent, Tyrone (Ga.) cornerback Shaq Wiggins is already getting into the thick of recruiting. One of the top players at the Rising Seniors Bowl at the end of last year, the talented defensive back recently picked up several scholarship offers and is seeing plenty of attention as schools turn their sights to the class of 2013.
"The latest are Wake Forest, Virginia and Tennessee," Wiggins said. "Tennessee, Virginia and Michigan are recruiting me the hardest."
"The DB coaches are great. Coach Lance Thomas from Tennessee is a cool guy and Coach (Derek) Dooley is a great guy and a good coach. The environment and the people around the college are great too. I've been down there like three times."
Wiggins exploded onto the scene with a terrific junior year that saw him snag nine interceptions. Schools from across the country are in contact with him and several others are on the cusp of offering.
"I'd say South Carolina, Florida, Michigan State, North Carolina and USC are close," he said. "Schools like that."
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound corner was one of the top competitors at the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta, limited by cramps and a minor knee issue for most of the week before performing well in a game many didn't expect him to play. He had four tackles and led the victorious West team in pass breakups while running onto the field after icing between plays. While Wiggins knows what to look for in games, he also has an idea what he's looking for in colleges.
"It's a little bit of everything," he said. "The school itself, the education, the environment - I want to be surrounded by good people. Just things like that. Coaches, players and the team overall too."
Wiggins is planning on using the spring to get to campuses around the country and already has an idea as to when he wants to sit down and make his commitment.
"I've (already) visited Auburn, Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Georgia Tech," he said. "I might camp out at Alabama. I'm going to South Carolina's Junior Day, Florida's Junior Day, Virginia's Junior Day and maybe one more.
"I would like to get (a decision) done over the summer. I want to focus on my senior season, I want to have fun. Last year of high school, I'd never be able to it again. I plan on committing in June or July, sometime around then. I'll take a few visits during the spring."
Photo courtesy RisingSeniors.com