Tag:Emmitt Smith
Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:15 am
 

Legacy running back Kelvin Taylor commits to UF

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Some people thought it was only a matter of when for Belle Glade (Fla.) running back Kelvin Taylor and it turns out Junior Day was the opportune time to make a commitment. One of the country's top back's, the Florida legacy committed to the Gators Saturday morning on an unofficial visit and will follow in his record-setting father's footsteps.

"I LOVE MY GATOR FAM!!!! #gatornation," Taylor tweeted.

The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder passed Emmitt Smith to become the state's all-time career rushing leader last season as a junior. Taylor's father, Fred, was a former star in Gainesville before becoming an all-Pro in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Florida wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill was actually teammates with the elder Taylor on several SEC championship squads and the prior relationship no doubt helped land the younger Taylor, who also strongly considered Alabama.

"Congrats to my son @ImKelvinTaylor on his commitment to the best university in the world #GATORNATION," Fred Taylor tweeted shortly after his son committed.

A Maxpreps Top Junior, Taylor enters his senior season with 9,698 career yards and will be ranked as one of the top running backs in a deep year at the position in the state of Florida. He becomes the fifth commitment for Florida in the class of 2013 and second running back, joining the smaller, quicker Winter Haven (Fla.) back Adam Lane.

Photo via Kelvin Taylor



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

National Notes: Houston, Hutchings & De La Salle

Posted by Bryan Fischer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia adds versatile quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

Video of the week

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

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



Recruiting Roundup

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

  Auburn commit Zeke Pike will enroll early.

  A few notes and some analysis of Oregon recruiting.

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

  Adolphus Washington's visit to Cincinnati went very well.

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



Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:01 am
 

Surveying the Field: News & notes from all around

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Plenty went on over the weekend in the recruiting world it's time to get caught up and figure out what it all means.

The big news was five-star tackle Arik Armstead had decommitted from USC. Perhaps one of the few recruits who you figured would follow through on his verbal pledge because his brother was a senior defensive lineman at the school, Armstead surprised many observers by announcing that he was exploring other options. His brother, Armond, was expected to play significantly at defensive end and tackle for the Trojans but has been withheld from competition after a medical scare sent him to the hospital in March. No reason was given by USC coaches and Armond has apparently passed all tests.

"Obviously, [Arik] was disappointed with the way things were handled between the school and our family the last six months," said his father, Guss Armstead, in a statement.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Arik is also a standout basketball player, adding a layer to his recruitment. He is still considering USC for both sports but it appears he'll be taking other visits and listening closer to what other coaches have to say. He'll be in South Bend for an official visit to see Notre Dame play USC this week and will take one to Alabama for their big showdown against LSU.

"It weighs on me a little bit, and I know I have a tough decision coming ahead, but I'm looking forward to it," Arik told USCFootball.com. "Going through the recruiting process, this will definitely change a lot for me. But I'm eager to see what new schools and other options I'll have after making this decision [to de-commit]."

As soon as he opened his recruitment up, Armstead picked up offers from Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon. It sounds as though they might be too late and the big tackle's recruitment will come down to the schools he was considering before pledging to the Trojans: Cal, Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame and Arkansas.

It will be tough to read how the rest of his recruitment will shake out simply because he's been off the market for so long. The Trojans aren't a long shot to get his signature on Signing Day but they certainly are not the favorite given the history over the past few months. That's a big blow as Armstead was USC's big fish in a small recruiting class this year. Family is important so that might give Cal a leg up for Arik but don't sleep on Notre Dame.

Either way, plenty of time for Armstead to figure out things and he is someone to keep tabs on.

Oregon hosts five-star talent and leave impression

While USC lost a five-star, Oregon is doing their best to land a few. They hosted a number of quality recruits for their game against Arizona State and managed to land two of them. The two the Ducks are really hoping to get a commitment out of however are Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson and Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy.

Oregon hasn't seen their recruting reflect their status as a top 10 team and BCS bowl participant, showing modest improvement over the past few years but still behind other schools in the Pac-12. It's been a great year for West Coast talent however and it looks like they could capitalize with a few of the upper tier prospects.

"The crowd was amazing," Thompson told 247Sports. "It was probably the best part for me. They just stay crazy the whole game. I've never heard anything like it and I've been in a lot of different environments. You can tell the whole community rallies around the team, which is cool because that's how it is in Del Paso Heights (his neighborhood)."

A longtime Cal commit, Thompson opened things back up and has started to show considerable interest in Oregon and Washington, to the point that it appears to be a three-way race. His brother was a Bear and he's made good connections to the staff in Berkeley but the other two Pac-12 programs have come after him hard. Adept at playing either running back or safety at the next level, most schools are recruiting the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder on the defensive side of the ball. Don't expect a decision you can count on until he puts pen to paper even if he verbally commits to a school.

For McCarthy, it was a busy week as he was presented with his Army All-American jersey Monday afternoon. Despite the festivities going on, he still had his trip to Eugene on his mind.

"They don't spare any expense on their players, on anything, for academics and athletics," he told Rivals. "They spend whatever money they need to for their players to get better and to be in better shape and to stay healthy."

It might be a stretch to say that Oregon is the leader for McCarthy, long thought to be considered a USC lean, but the Ducks are certainly high on the list. He'll take several other official visits, so look for a commitment afterward but before Signing Day.

Eye-popping numbers all over

It seemed like everywhere you looked a high school player was throwing or rushing or catching an insane amount of yards or touchdowns this week. Here's a sampling of the records that happened over the weekend.

- Orlando (Fla.) freshman quarterback Tucker Israel tied a national record with 10 touchdown passes in a 68-10 win last Friday. At 6-foot, 180-pounds, he's bound to have a college coach or 10 keep tabs on him in the future.

- Future 2013 five-star - and son of Florida legend Fred Taylor - Kelvin Taylor rushed for 426 yards in a win, setting a county record. He's being heavily recruited by Florida and Alabama right now but it would be shocking to see him get away from the Gators. As this story notes, he could break Emmitt Smith's state rushing record this season as a junior and is within straking distance of the all-time high school mark.

- Wide receiver Robbie Rhodes caught 10 passes for 394 yards and eight touchdowns to tie a national receiving record. Both the yards and touchdowns scored were state records.

- Number one overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham came close to matching Rhodes last week (354 yards, three touchdowns) but has a chance to set a national receiving record this week against Marshfield High. Here's some highlights of Green-Beckham's game from this week.

Video of the week

Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins committed to Clemson after his high school game and did so in a very unique manner.



Recruiting Roundup

Auburn commit Josh Holsey is planning visits to Florida State, LSU and maybe Georgia.

Offensive tackle Avery Young's first official visit will be to Auburn.

If recruits pick TCU, it might not be because of the Horned Frogs move to the Big 12.

Oklahoma State commit Zac Veatch is a versatile athlete.

Conference realignment concerns are clouding West Virginia's recruiting.

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