Tag:Houston
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:22 am
 

3/6 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Alabama has only pros and no cons according to the #1 recruit in 2013, Robert Nkemdiche.

Kerry Coombs leaving Cincinnati for Ohio State has shaken up recruiting in the state a little.

 Florida and Florida State are the top two for linebacker Stacy Thomas.

 Linebacker Mike McCray could pick Michigan this weekend.

 Deion Sanders Jr. is bypassing signing with Houston or North Texas to go to prep school in Atlanta.

 From UCLA to Alabama, the offers are rolling in for Eddie Vanderdoes.

 High school coaches had good things to say when talking about Penn State's new head coach Bill O'Brien.

 Running back Eric Harrell picked up his first offer from Kansas.

Commitments

 Ole Miss closed out their 2012 class with cornerback Anthony Standifier and added their third commit in 2013 in wide receiver Dannon Cavil.

 Linebacker Reggie Spearman committed to Indiana.

 Receiver Austin Bennett pledged to Arkansas over the weekend.

 Running back Chase Abbington is staying in state after committing to Missouri.

Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:12 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 5:39 pm
 

Monday Mailbag - Sooners, Aggies and Davonte Neal



Posted by Bryan Fischer


Starting a new feature on the blog as the recruiting season picks up and spring ball starts across the country: The Monday Mailbag. My colleague Bruce Feldman runs a similar feature on Friday that is a must-read but there are plenty of questions out there that need answering and, well, I'm here to answer them since college football is very much a 24/7/365 sport nowadays. So without further ado, let the smorgasbord of questions commence.
Great start to the mailbag because it's a chance to bring up Dennis Dodd and Brett McMurphy's early top 25 ballots. I'm sure there's some griping from plenty of fans about how both have the order but I pretty much see eye-to-eye on most of the picks. To answer the question, I see a few teams that are a tad over-hyped going into next year, starting with Oklahoma, especially at number three overall. Are they top-10 worthy? Absolutely with 15 starters coming back and quarterback Landry Jones among them. But the way they struggled down the stretch last season was worrisome, especially with the injuries to Dominique Whaley and Ryan Broyles and how the offense just wasn't the same. I'm guessing the coaching staff will put more emphasis on spreading the ball around and hope for a boost in the run game with all of the tailbacks healthy to provide more consistency. Don't discount the loss of defensive coordinator Brent Venables either, the guys were not around for when Mike Stoops was and he didn't recruit them so it will take a little time to develop some chemistry. With plenty of time to study it, I don't think the 'Belldozer' package will be as effective as it was in 2011 unless there's more passing to keep defenses honest.

One other factor that should be noted is it'll be a tough Big 12 this year with newcomers TCU and West Virginia both having good teams on top of rival Texas taking what should be a step forward this year. It's possible the Sooners have a better team than last year but doesn't mean they'll be able to take advantage. I also expect several of the incoming recruits to see extended playing time, especially among the tight ends and receivers (I'd guess Taylor McNamara and Durron Neal for sure) Stoops signed.

A few others that are a tad over-hyped: Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame. Under appreciated? You're looking at TCU, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina.
Great timing for this question considering what the Aggies did on the recruiting trail over the weekend. Seven commitments is an impressive number and pushes the program to a nation's best 13 total commitments for the class of 2013. After already grabbing a top 15 class with the group they just signed, Kevin Sumlin and his staff have certainly hit the ground running. It helps tremendously that several of the coaches came over from Houston and had already been evaluating some of these recruits and developed a prior relationship. One of the things that I got when talking with Sumlin last month was that he certainly would make it a point to sell the fact that A&M was the only SEC program in the state. While Texas will almost always have the pick of the litter when it comes to in-state guys, you can tell recruits going forward will give a longer look at playing in College Station because of that. With the 2013 class, they have two excellent offensive linemen who are two of the top five or ten guys along the line in the state and they have a handful of speedy playmakers on both sides of the ball committed as well. Bottom line is that the program has jumped out to a big start and probably should be able to hold on and better what they did on Signing Day in 2012.

Darrell, surely you know by now not to go against the great Les Miles. The Mad Hatter had a great team last year that went through a lot off the field that some people forget. I think the national title game helped, in some respects, prepare this team for 2012 because it tempered expectations a little and also gave them a reason for the team to think, 'it's us vs. them,' in some respect.

I'm like most writers and have LSU #1 based on what they return and disagree that they lose "key" players so that prohibits them from taking the top spot in the preseason. It could be, for example, a positive that the rotation of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson is over and the Tigers stick with talented transfer Zach Mettenberger, who many expect to grab hold of the job this spring.

LSU returns only five starters on defense but they rotated so many players in last season that I don't think it will be an issue for them as younger players like Anthony Johnson get more snaps. Incoming freshmen like Avery Johnson - Patrick Peterson's younger brother mind you - should be able to contribute early on special teams and offense to complement the strong run game the team should have. The national championship game really colored a lot of people's opinion of LSU the wrong way and it's sometimes good to remember that there's a lot of talent on this squad.
Neal is referring to Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal, who will be committing to a school Tuesday morning. His recruitment has been an interesting one, not only waiting nearly a month after Signing Day to pick but because of all the twists and turns he's taken. First off, he's a dynamic playmaker who is built to be a slot guy in a spread offense and get the ball in space. He's also a solid cornerback and should play early on special teams no matter what - there's a reason he's a top 100 player in the class of 2012.

Neal is quiet and it was like pulling teeth for a while to get him to mention a school he had interest in before his senior season ended. He's taken a lot of recent official visits and most have him picking between Notre Dame, Arizona and Arkansas tomorrow. I've heard good things about Notre Dame in this case but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up staying close to home and picking Arizona either. His high school head coach was recently hired there and family is very important to Neal so there are definite draws for the Wildcats. Old CBS Sports pal Rich Rodriguez no doubt told the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder how well he'd fit in the offense down in Tuscon too. I'll stick with a cautious prediction of Neal going to South Bend but I would be surprised for him to state in-state either.

That will wrap things up for the first Monday Mailbag, plenty of others to come in the weeks and months ahead. Tweet your questions to me at @BryanDFischer on Twitter and I'll try and answer as many as I can.

Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:58 am
 

Texas A&M gets four from Junior Day

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It was an important recruiting weekend across the country and new Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was one of several coaches who went home happy after the Aggies picked up four commitments during their Junior Day activities on Saturday.

The headliner of the quartet is Dallas (Texas) offensive lineman Ishmael Wilson. A 6-foot-5, 300-pounder, he is one of the top linemen in the state and held offers from major programs such as Alabama, LSU and Texas. Joining him in A&M's class of 2013 along the line is Birdville (Texas) offensive lineman Joas Aguilar, right, who promptly committed to his only known offer while in College Station.

Among the skill position commits, talented Killeen (Texas) running back Johnny Jefferson was recruited by some of the staff members when they were at Houston and picked up an offer on the unofficial visit and promptly committed. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound back picked Texas A&M over Oklahoma State, TCU and others.

"I decided the night before," Jefferson told Scout. "I just had a gut feeling. As soon as we got there, head coach Sumlin and (running backs coach) Clarence McKinney put me a room and told me that they wanted to show me what the school and what Texas A&M could offer me. I went on my tour and I basically had my mind made up in the middle of it. We are going to offer you. I knew it was right for me, so I committed."

The final pledge of the day was Rosenberg (Texas) defensive back Victor Davis, who held offers from Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Sumlin and the Aggies now have 10 commitments in the upcoming class after signing a top 15 group earlier this month.

Photo by Kyle Dantzler
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:23 am
 

Valentine's Day Recruiting Roundup

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 2, 2012 10:53 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 11:17 am
 

Signing Day Coast-to-Coast Wrap



Posted by Bryan Fischer


It's time to pick up the wrapping paper, survey the damage and get excited to play with your new toys as Signing Day - i.e. Christmas in February for college football coaches and fans - has come to a close. Here's a broad overview of what happened from coast-to-coast.

Houston, we have a five-star

If there was one big - to borrow a metaphor from another sport - curve ball on Signing Day that made everybody scratch their head in disbelief it was word that Fresno (Calif.) wide receiver Deontay Greenberry had surprisingly signed with Houston during the middle of the day. It's normally a bit unusual when a program like UH signs anybody from outside the states of Texas or Louisiana and even more puzzling when they sign a highly rated player. But Greenberry? In addition to becoming the highest-ranked recruit the program has ever inked, the switch was cause for celebration inside the football office for a coup of epic proportions.

In short: Houston stole a five-star recruit on the week before Signing Day from Notre Dame.

This wasn't a local big time kid, this was the state of California's best wide receiver and somebody the Irish were counting on to play early and often with the departure of guys like Michael Floyd. The Cougars were not only closer to a BCS game than the storied program but they picked their pockets for one of their top recruits. It should have been a big day for Brian Kelly to trumpet guys like number two overall player and Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel or Greenberry's cousin, cornerback Tee Shepard. Instead it was Kelly who was trying to spin the loss during his annual press conference.

"It is hard for me to feel disappointed about something I have never had, or someone I have never coached," Kelly said. "I'm more excited about the 16 who did sign."

The reason the 6-foot-3, 187-pound wide out flipped was primarily due to Houston receivers coach Jamie Christian, who came over from Arizona State. Christian had kept the Sun Devils in the running (Greenberry took a visit in October and considered them as late as December) despite a commitment to Notre Dame until Dennis Erickson's staff was fired and deserves the lion's share of the credit for getting Greenberry on campus last weekend and for ultimately landing a top-ranked guy. Cougars' head coach Tony Levine has developed some very successful wide receivers over the past several years and it appears he's got somebody a lot more talented than he's ever coached coming in with the class of 2012.

One in January, another in February

Texas coach Mack Brown has picked up the title Mr. February due to his penchant for winning a recruiting title but lack of success in translating that into a national title. After the run Nick Saban has had at Alabama recently, it might be time to find something that accurately describes his dominance in the first two months of the year because he's not limited to one or the other. As expected, the Crimson Tide took home the top recruiting class in the country in 2012 but perhaps the only thing that was surprising about it was that it wasn't, well, surprising.

"We knew exactly pretty much what we were gonna get," Saban said. "We didn't really have any surprises."

The only thing that even registered on the meter was when defensive tackle Korren Kirven decided to go away from home and play for the Crimson Tide (part of the reason why a numbers crunch led to some like defensive tackle Darius Philon signing at Arkansas). All told, 28 players will be considered part of yet another recruiting title for a program that seems to land any recruit they want, including an impressive six top 100 players.

The headliner is Geismar (La.) defensive back Landon Collins, who signed sans drama Wednesday and even seems to have patched things up with his mother following the bizarre reaction she had when he committed at the Under Armour All-American Game early last month. A ball-hawk who isn't afraid to lower the shoulder and stick the ball carrier, Collins is bound to find a role early on in the secondary. This class didn't really load up on offensive lineman but filled out just about everywhere else was stacked. The front seven in particular could see plenty of recruits turn into All-Americans, led by the impressive Reggie Ragland and Dillon Lee. Offensively there are some speedsters at wide out and T.J. Yeldon might be the best running back coming into the conference.

The Tide, it appears, just can't stop rolling.

M-I-Z-D-G-B

Though the news had broken that the country's top overall player in the class of 2012 would likely be headed to Columbia, nobody was truly sure until the the 6-foot-6 Dorial Green-Beckham put on the Missouri hat and officially sent his LOI in. The announcement seemed a little ho-hum despite the nearly 1,000 people watching locally and the national television audience but that's mainly a testament to the reserved Green-Beckham himself.

With many analysts calling him the second coming of Randy Moss, there's immense pressure on the top-ranked wide receiver and for good reason. There are few prospects as impressive physically as Green-Beckham and though he doesn't have great hands and needs some polish, the underlying natural talent is a good reason why he was highly regarded and highly recruited. Missouri has had success building around taller, bigger pass catchers in their offense and it looks like they'll have three years to see what kind of eye popping numbers

It can't be understated how big this is for a program like Mizzou. Landing the top recruit in the country is not just about getting a good player, it's about adding a level of prestige to the program. A talent like DGB only comes along once in a generation and for the Tigers to keep him at home is understandably huge, especially with the move to the SEC. Gary Pinkel has had plenty of success over the past several years even if it hasn't resulted in a championship and everybody understands that the competitions is about to be ratcheted up several notches going forward. With the signature of Green-Beckham, Pinkel and Mizzou proved that even if guys like Mack Brown, Bob Stoops and Nick Saban really want a kid, the Tigers can compete off and - hopefully - on the field in their new league going forward.

Nerd Search 2012

Outside of alumni and those that have to write about the Pac-12, there weren't too many mentions of Stanford on Signing Day every year.

My how times have changed.

Not only did the Cardinal tie for the national lead with six top 100 prospects, but they landed multiple five-stars and had people talking less about Andrew Luck and more about the fact that maybe this program can indeed sustain excellence going forward. There's no denying that it was one of the best years for talent on the West Coast in some time and the big reason why was the number of elite offensive lineman. If this were a few years ago, many of them would be penciled in to go to USC or Oregon or out of the area to programs like Notre Dame but instead it was Stanford who reeled the majority of the elite guys in this year (Josh Garnett, Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy). If you were to call this the best offensive line class in recent recruiting history, you wouldn't find too many who would argue. That's just how much of a difference the school was this year and the coaches' efforts were rewarded with a top 10 class ranking.

It wasn't just an academic powerhouse like Stanford who made waves either. Northwestern landed a pair of top players in Malin Jones and Ifeadi Odenigbo. Vanderbilt brought in what some called the best class in school history. Duke landed a lightly recruited guy who, according to recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick on the CBSSports.com Signing Day Central Show, runs a sub-4.3 40 yard dash. Lots of recruits talk about wanting academics but it appears they're finally following up.

Pocket squares and pads seem to be the latest thing on the recruiting trail.

More recruiting SECcess

It wasn't quite the banner year for the league that it could have been but 2012 certainly was a great Signing Day for the best conference in the country. Eight of the SEC's 14 teams finished in the final top 25 class rankings, highlighted by Alabama at the top and both of the league newcomers turning in great first efforts. Texas A&M ended up stealing defensive tackle Edmund Ray from Missouri and added wide receiver Thomas Johnson, a former Texas commitment, to a group that finished 14th. Florida was a top five class despite missing out on some guys and even a few programs that have recently struggled did well with Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn grouped together from 20-22.

The Bulldogs had to land just about every target left on their board and they did ok, notably beating Florida State late for linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons despite a little issue with his grandfather not signing his letter of intent until Thursday. The Bulldogs missed out on Juco wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (who went to Tennessee) and offensive tackle Avery Young (to Auburn) but also landed five-star offensive lineman John Theus and what might be the best one-two punch at running back in the class with Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. It wasn't a "Dream Team" but Georgia still showed you can have a very good class and it only be alright in such a deep league.

Kentucky brought in what might be the top quarterback in the state this year in Patrick Towles and took advantage of Alabama's number crunch in grabbing running back Justin Taylor. The state of Georgia was a big producer of talent for a lot of the league's schools and is quickly becoming the go-to state for most FBS programs after the big three of California, Texas and Florida. The theme this year was even if a school didn't pick up a commitment from a kid, there's a high chance he went to another SEC school.

Quality over quantity

This was finally the year that we'd see NCAA sanctions limit USC and Lane Kiffin had to be creative in how he managed the numbers on top of grabbing the best talent available. Even though the Trojans missed out on linemen Peat and Murphy, it was still a good haul with Zach Banner, Jordan Simmons and Max Tuerk on top of skill position talent like five-star Nelson Agholor, linebacker Jabari Ruffin, end Leonard Williams and wide receiver Darreus Rogers. Given the way the staff has recruited over the past two years, it's looking more likely that the school can get through harsh NCAA sanctions better than was previously thought. Missing out on three guys may seem like a lot but it should help next year by giving Kiffin those scholarships to use for early enrollees in 2013.

Meyer Mayhem

FYI to coaches across the country, if Urban Meyer starts circling your recruits, you better be prepared to bring your A+++ game if you want to land them. The master recruiter took Ohio State's class from middling prior to his hire to tying the nation's lead with six top 100 recruits and a number three overall class ranking. This was, mind you, with only two months on the job to recruit with a program that just got slapped with a bowl ban from the NCAA. Meyer really attacked the defensive line and looks like he'll be importing a high quality, SEC-caliber defensive line with Se'Von Pittman, Tommy Schutt, Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington. He's already jumped on several top 2013 players and if this year was any indication, it could be a long couple of years for his Big Ten counterparts.

Seminole DLight

Mark Stoops is the defensive coordinator at Florida State and he might be the happiest man in the state of Florida. As good as Ohio State's defensive line class was, FSU's might be the best in the country. Though they lost Dante Fowler Jr., they still signed Chris Casher, Mario Edwards, Eddie Goldman, Justin Shanks and should get Dalvon Stuckey in a year or two after he goes to a Juco. The thing about the Seminoles is that they don't need every guy to come in and play right away but each is talented enough to make an impact in certain situations. Edwards has the pedigree and drive to become a high first round draft pick with his skill set and Stoops should use him in multiple spots. Adding guys like Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams are also huge gets for the program in the secondary. Whoever plays the best defense likely has a leg up in the ACC and it appears that's where Florida State did the best on Wednesday.

More on Signing Day
Columns
Dennis Dodd

Urban strikes gold right away; stigma of Tressel scandal already gone



Brett McMurphy

Forget suspense and excitement, it's just another 'Bama Signing Day
Related links
The Golden Touch

The early indication that things would be going Miami's way came when one of the country's top uncommitted recruits, Miramar (Fla.) cornerback Tracy Howard, flashed the "U" sign on national television and made, to some, the surprising decision to stay home and play for the Hurricanes. Although Howard's recruitment was a bit difficult to read, it appeared there was only a slim chance that he'd leave the state and most were predicting he was Florida's to lose down the stretch.

Much like Stanford this year, there weren't a whole lot of recruits the program missed out on that they were after hard - a remarkable accomplishment given what's swirling around Coral Gables. The loss of linebacker Reggie Northrup hurts because he could play multiple positions and is easily one of the top linebacker prospects in the state. That he switched to archival Florida State stung a little but that was one of the rare occasions were the Hurricanes were slowed down. This was the largest class in the country and plenty of the recruits should see early playing time with guys like Duke Johnson making an impact from the moment they step on campus. Al Golden had to climb a mountain but did a great job grabbing the guys he did.

Tosh.Ohhh

Not sure any assistant had a greater impact on multiple programs than new Washington coach Tosh Lupoi. California's class imploded, Washington landed the #5 player in the country in Shaq Thompson, UCLA added Jordan Payton and Oregon picked up Arik Armstead due to the uncertainty. One wonders if Lupoi had been hired earlier how much more impact he would have had for the Huskies' class but it's clear he shifted the recruiting trail in the conference in just a few short weeks.

In addition to Washington, USC, Stanford, plenty of other Pac-12 programs landed strong classes in what was a very, very good year for talent West of the Rockies. Oregon managed to flip several recruits, such as wide receiver Chance Allen from Oklahoma State and a terrific pick up in Bralon Addison from Texas A&M (who took a late visit and should fit perfectly in Chip Kelly's system). Though many were skeptical of the hire initially, Jim Mora grabbed a terrific class and fellow newcomers Rich Rodriguez and Mike Leach also had good first efforts. There really wasn't a "bad" class among the bunch and even lowly Colorado landed a top 100 player.

Texas being Texas

The Longhorns finished in a familiar spot right at the top of the class rankings and even though they couldn't push Alabama off the top spot, this has some major players who can play early and often. Malcom Brown is a beast at defensive tackle and Manny Diaz' defensive staff pulled one of the big surprises in taking Torshiro Davis away from LSU. The class has the top running back in the country with record-setter Johnathan Gray and the state's top wide out in Cayleb Jones. Mack Brown also closed very well, grabbing speedy Daje Johnson and linebackers Dalton Santos and Bryce Cottrell in addition to Davis. It will be a young Texas team in 2012 but with this class and the current roster, it will certainly be a talented one.



Category: NCAAF
Tags: Adolphus Washington, Al Golden, Alabama, Andrew Luck, Andrus Peat, Arik Armstead, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Young, BCS, Big Ten, Bob Stoops, Bralon Addison, Brian Kelly, Bryce Cottrell, Cal, California, Cayleb Jones, Chance Allen, Chip Kelly, Chris Casher, Colorado, Cordarrelle Patterson, Daje Johnson, Dalton Santos, Dalvon Stuckey, Dante Fowler Jr., Darius Philon, Darreus Rogers, Dennis Erickson, Deontay Greenberry, Dillon Lee, Dorial Green-Beckham, Duke, Duke Johnson, Eddie Goldman, Edmund Ray, Florida, Florida State, Gary Pinkel, Georgia, Gunner Kiel, Houston, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Jabari Ruffin, Jamie Christian, Jim Mora, John Theus, Johnathan Gray, Jordan Payton, Jordan Simmons, Josh Garnett, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Justin Shanks, Justin Taylor, Keith Marshall, Kentucky, Korren Kirven, Kyle Murphy, Landon Collins, Lane Kiffin, Leonard Williams, LSU, Mack Brown, Malcom Brown, Malin Jones, Manny Diaz, Mario Edwards, Mark Stoops, Matt Lubick, Max Tuerk, Miami, Michael Floyd, Mike Leach, Missouri, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, Nick Saban, Noah Spence, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, P.J. Williams, Pac-12, Patrick Towles, Randy moss, Reggie Northrup, Reggie Ragland, Rich Rodriguez, Ronald Darby, Se'Von Pittman, SEC, Shaq Thompson, Signing Day Wrap, Stanford, T.J. Yeldon, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Johnson, Todd Gurley, Tommy Schutt, Tony Levine, Torshiro Davis, Tosh Lupoi, Tracy Howard, UCLA, Under Armour All-American Game, Urban Meyer, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington, Zach banner
 
Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:41 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 11:45 am
 

Notre Dame loses Greenberry to Houston

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame fans became a bit worried when five-star wide receiver Deontay Greenberry visited Houston earlier this week after giving a verbal commitment to the Irish, and it appears those worries weren't without reason.

CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer confirmed on Wednesday that Greenberry had signed his letter of intent to play at Houston.

This comes as a big surprise as Greenberry had maintained all along that he wanted to go to school with his cousin, cornerback Tee Shepard. Shepard is a Notre Dame signing who signed his letter of intent to the school on Wednesday.

Greenberry is the ranked third amongst all wide receivers by MaxPreps, behind only Dorial Green-Beckham and Cayleb Jones. While losing Greenberry to Houston doesn't kill what's a pretty strong 2012 class for Notre Dame, it's also not the kind of news Brian Kelly and his staff were expecting to hear today. 

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's National Signing Day Central.
Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:24 am
 

1/30 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Great story about the long journey to South Carolina for commit Shaq Roland.

Washington has one solid quarterback commitment and another they're not 100% sure about.

 Chip Kelly landed his big fish in Arik Armstead.

 Offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker is ready for Florida.

 Baylor is doing a very good job on the recruiting trail this year.

 Recruiting is on the upswing for Utah, BYU and others in the state.

 Arkansas is Missouri's new talent rival.

 Alabama's Junior Day was very, very successful.

Commitments

 Oklahoma added junior college offensive tackle Will Latu over the weekend.

 Linebacker BJ Bello made a last minute flip to Illinois.

 Michigan State came close to filling out its class with the commitments of wide receiver Monty Madaris and running back Marcus Horne.

 Colorado added two commits over the weekend.

 Texas Tech grabbed a late pledge from Juco cornerback Olaoluwa Falemi.

 Nice pick up for Houston in wide receiver Andrew Rodriguez.

 Vanderbilt continues to grow their class, adding offensive lineman Kevin McCoy after a visit.

 Wide receiver Travin Henry committed to Georgia Tech.

 Sleeper linebacker Courtney Arnick has decided to play for Kansas.

 Another wide receiver is going to Arkansas with the commitment of Demetrius Wilson.

Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:10 am
 

Big East Signing Day Overview



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. Things are in a state of flux in the Big East and it seems that the lack of stability at some programs has hampered some recruiting classes. Things are still going well but it's going to be an interesting Signing Day for the league with several new head coaches and programs shuffling in and out like recruits change commitments.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100 Moving
None - - -

Top storylines

1. Does Greg Schiano leaving destroy Rutgers' class? 

If there's a coaching change to come out of left field, it might be Schiano's, who leaves just days before Signing Day. Rutgers had been in the middle of building their best recruiting class in years and had locked up a lot of in-state talent in a great year for recruits in New Jersey. Now all of that is in jeopardy with the shock recruits are feeling quite evident from many of their comments. Expect the Scarlet Knights to drop out of the running for several of the top uncommitted guys on their board and other school calling everybody in their class to see if they want to take a late official visit and reconsider their pledge.

2. Can Paul Chryst build out a good first effort?

Another swift departure out of town for Todd Graham has led to a very good hire for Pittsburgh in Chryst, who jumps over from Wisconsin where he did an excellent job of developing talent. Graham did a good job of keeping top in-state talent close to home and landed the top big back in the country in Rushel Shell. There are a lot of good pieces, especially on offense, but it's up to Chryst to keep everybody committed and build on it with others in his first effort on the recruiting trail as head coach. More than anything, he can hopefully bring some stability to the program.

3. How are the newcomers doing?

Every report and indication has the Mountaineers playing in the Big 12 in 2012, until the i's are dotted and t's crossed, they're going to be stuck in Big East purgatory for now. Dana Holgorsen knows the league and recruiting in Texas in particular but has hit the state of Florida extremely hard with the incoming class. Regardless of the exact timing, this will be the first group of recruits brought in to play in the Big 12 so it's worth tracking to see if that leads to a boost when the faxes are in or whether the big Orange Bowl victory or coaching turnover has a bigger impact.

4. West Virginia's first Big 12 class... at some point.

While the majority of teams the Big East has added over the past year or so won't join the league for another year, it's still worth tracking how the newcomers fare on the recruiting trail. In the case of a school like Boise State, the past success of the program has led to one of the best classes in recent memory with solid depth and a handful of players that should be in the mix for playing time earlier than is normal on the Blue Turf. Houston and UCF have done a solid job considering coaching turnover and scandal while SMU has still tried to keep things going despite losing the school's top recruiter. The class of 2012 might not play right away in the Big East but you have to keep tabs on them since they will in the not to distant future.

Most impressive class: Pittsburgh

Most underrated class: South Florida

Work left to do: Syracuse

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
11. Rushel Shell RB Pittsburgh
27. Ronald Darby ATH Uncommitted
29. Darius Hamilton DE Uncommitted
35. Devin Fuller ATH Uncommitted
91. Leonte Carroo WR Rutgers
95. Bennie Coney QB Cincinnati
105. Chad Voytik QB Pittsburgh
107. Wayne Morgan DB Uncommitted
108. Adam Bisnowaty OL Pittsburgh
109. Quanzell Lambert LB Rutgers
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Kerry Coombs, Mark Elder and Steve Stripling, Cincinnati
George DeLeone, UConn
Vance Bedford, Clint Hurtt and Brian Jean-Mary, Louisville
Bob Bostad and Joe Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Brian Angelichio and Jeff Hafley, Rutgers
Todd Fitch and Phil McGeoghan, South Florida
Scott Shafer and Tyrone Wheatley, Syracuse
Robert Gillespie and Daron Roberts, West Virginia

Head coach under pressure: Skip Holtz, South Florida

Top Big East class prediction: Louisville

Top Big East signee: Rushel Shell

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
32 QB Bennie Coney
RB Dennis Norfleet
OL Caleb Stacey
Butch Jones has done a good job at hitting needs and filling out his class. Coney won't be ready to play right away but has the physical tools to fit right into the offense. Norfleet is an absolute steal at running back.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Casey Cochran
WR Neally Cunningham
WR John Green
Not a lot of remarks about this group other than the fact that Cochran is a very solid pick up at quarterback and is smart and has a strong arm.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Keith Brown
LB James Burgess
LB Nick Dawson
The trio of top linebacker Charlie Strong has managed to grab headline this class but it has several other very good grabs that could have played at bigger programs. OL depth is notable.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 OL Adam Bisnowaty
RB Rushel Shell
QB Chad Voytik
The headliners for the Panthers are on offense and they should fit right into Chryst's system. Voytik has a compact throwing motion and strong arm while Shell is a multipurpose threat who is a load going downhill.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 WR Leonte Carroo
OL J.J. Denman
LB Quanzell Lambert
You can put TBD next to this class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB Chris Bivins
WR D'Vario Montgomery
TE Sean Price
Bivins and Price are SEC-caliber players and terrific adds by the staff. Montgomery is a big time threat who should see early playing time and is part of a very athletic freshman class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Kyle Knapp
TE Ron Thompson
Knapp and Thompson are two solid adds but other than that, the most remarkable thing about the Orangemen is adding all-Namer Pancho Barnwell.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 QB Ford Childress
WR Deontay McManus
ATH Brandon Napoleon
Childress is a guy you can project to put up big time numbers in Holgorsen's system and you can say the same about a dynamic threat in McManus. Good job at addressing needs while adding athleticism.



 
 
 
 
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