Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:18 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 8:36 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The class of 2012 rankings won't be updated for a few more weeks but with most high school seasons over, it's not too hard to see what players might be moving their way up in the rankings and who might slide down a little bit. Here's a look at each position group and some players that might be a little higher on the board come January.
On the way up: Hueytown (Ala.) dual-threat quarterback Jameis Winston (Committed to Florida State)
What did he do: Winston threw for over 2,400 yards and 28 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 15 touchdowns on the ground at a pace of nearly one every 10 carries. He was co-MVP of the Elite 11 over the summer and will play in the Under Armour All-American game. He recently performed well in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
The case: He can't move up much further but there's little doubt that he's been the most impressive quarterback in the country since the summer on. He can make plays with his legs and has improved significantly as a passer. There's no doubt that he should be in the top 10 and there's a good case to be made for him to leap-frog Gunner Kiel as the top signal-caller overall.
Also on the way up: Maty Mauk (committed to Missouri), Zach Kline (committed to Cal)
On the way down: Zeke Pike (committed to Auburn)
On the way up: Houston (Texas) running back Trey Williams (committed to Texas A&M) and Daphne (Ala.) running back T.J. Yeldon (committed to Auburn).
What did they do: Williams has been putting up eye-popping numbers at Dekaney to the tune of over 3,600 yards and 45 touchdowns. He had six touchdowns in his last outing to lead his team to the state title game. Yeldon finished the regular season with close to 2,200 yards and 31 touchdowns.
The case: As much press as top-ranked running back Johnathan Gray gets in Texas, Williams has been doing just as good - if not better - in a tougher district. Both are the focal points for their teams but Williams has done extremely well as an all-around runner. Yeldon has dominated the state of Alabama on the ground and easily has been one of the best backs in the entire country this season.
Also on the way up: Mike Davis, Randy Johnson (Committed to Miami)
On the way down: Johnathan Williams (committed to Arkansas), Malin Jones (committed to Northwestern)
On the way up: Buford (Ga.) tight end Kurt Freitag (committed to Alabama)
What did he do: Playing for powerhouse Buford, Freitag was an integral part of the offense in the passing game and running game this season. He had several touchdowns as a red zone threat and was a nasty blocker. He also played on defense.
The case: Freitag displayed soft hands and ran solid routes all season - drawing the attention of plenty of major colleges. He's got great size at 6-foot-3, 245-pounds and in a weak year at the position, should be moving way, way up.
Also on the way up: Sean Price (committed to USF), Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (committed to USC).
On the way up: Bellflower (Calif.) wide receiver Bryce Treggs (committed to Cal) and Carson (Calif.) receiver Darreus Rogers (committed to USC)
What did they do: Offensive line and wide receiver were extremely deep position groups out on the West Coast and Treggs and Rogers were both among the best of the best. Treggs continued to impress after a terrific summer and finished with close to 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns. Despite being triple-teamed at times, Rogers racked up 1,251 yards and eight touchdowns, including three 200+ yard performances in Carson's biggest games. He stepped up when needed and looked primed for a jump.
The case: Both are ranked as top 15 wide outs but should be ticketed for a jump, possibly into the top 100. Treggs is not the biggest guy but still shows flashes of DeSean Jackson with his ability to get behind defenses and Rogers was a flat-out gamer.
Also on the way up: Amara Darboh (committed to Michigan), Chris Black (committed to Alabama)
On the way down: Jordan Payton
On the way up: DeSoto (Texas) offensive lineman Curtis Riser (committed to Texas) and Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) offensive tackle Max Tuerk (committed to USC).
The case: It's always hard to project certain linemen but these two stated why they're the top linemen in their respective states. It's a good year for versatile players at the position in Texas but Riser had most of the regular season to show why Longhorns fans and coaches are excited about him going to the 40 acres. He got hurt near the end of the season but he was a rock for a big time DeSoto squad. Tuerk started the year overshadowed in Southern California by Erik Magnuson and Kyle Murphy but out played each during the season, including Murphy head-to-head last week.
Video of the week
Since he was mentioned as someone on the rise, here's some senior highlights of running back Trey Williams.
Tags: Alabama, Amara Darboh, Arkansas, Auburn, Bryce Treggs, Cal, California, Chris Black, Curtis Riser, Darreus Rogers, DeSean Jackson, Erick Magnuson, Florida State, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, Johnathan Williams, Kurt Freitag, Kyle Murphy, Malin Jones, Maty Mauk, Max Tuerk, Miami, Michigan, Mike Davis, Missouri, Northwestern, Randy Johnson, Sean Price, T.J. Yeldon, Texas, Texas A&M, Trey Williams, USC, USF, Zach Kline, Zeke Pike
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:28 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- As things wrapped up on Day 4 of The Opening, one couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness on behalf of the nearly 150 athletes at the event. Knowing the end was coming and that they soon would have to hop on a plane home, many players couldn't believe the all-star event had come to a close.
"It's a very humbling, lifetime experience," Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry said. "I'll never forget it. All this competition, the whole 150, it's a blessing. It's nice getting guys' prospectives on different colleges and stuff like that, it's been good."
As one of three sophomores at the event, Henry was just trying to soak in the event. Playing with some of the top players in the country, The Opening was a chance to learn from the best in anticipation of coming back next year as the elder statesman.
"This is my first time coming up here, and I'm starting to enjoy the whole thing," he said. "But next time it's going to be business."
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Henry was one of the most impressive athletes, physically, at the event. Though he plays running back in high school, if he continues to grow, he might develop into a tight end -- a position he got reps at during the 7-on-7 portion of the event.
"It just gives me a chance to get out there and catch some balls and get some touchdowns," he said. "I'll do anything to get my team the win."
Though he was split out catching passes instead of running down hill, there's no question what position he wants to play at the next level.
"Oh running back, that's what I play," Henry said. "I'm just doing this because it's 7-on-7. You've got to do what you've got to do to get the ball."
The Opening also gave Henry a chance to talk with plenty of older, heavily recruited athletes such as Nelson Agholor, Terry Richardson and Dillon Lee just on his 7-on-7 team. Already solidified as one of the top players in the Class of 2013, Henry has been picking up scholarship offers at a good clip over the past few months.
"I got an offer from Stanford, North Carolina, Tennessee and some others," he said. "I know I'm over 50. It's a humbling experience. I thank god everyday for this opportunity. I just use it as motivation to keep working hard in the weight room and the classroom and the field. Hopefully I can give back to my teammates by using my talent and my name to get them opportunities for the young guys who are under (the radar)."
Although many had considered him a Florida State lean early on, it's another in-state program that has moved out in front nearly a year and a half before he eventually signs a letter of intent.
"Florida is my leader, then Georgia, Florida State and Alabama," Henry said. "I'm open to any school; it's just where I feel comfortable and at home at, that chemistry I have with the coaches and where my family likes."
Reeves down to two
With so many talented players on the fields at the Nike campus, tempers were bound to flare given the level of competition. But, surprisingly, things were mostly limited to some good-natured trash talking because of the bond the players had formed over the past few days.
"It's very competitive out here,” defensive back Armani Reeves said. “But they're all good guys. When we go inside the lounge in there, we're all family and have a good time. But when we come out to (the fields), that's the time to compete and that's what we do.”
Things have been competitive on the recruiting front for the Roxbury (Mass.) corner. Reeves recently narrowed down his list of schools to two and talked about both, starting with Notre Dame.
"They're a great school academically," he said. "Coach (Bob) Diaco, Coach (Brian) Kelly, they're trying to turn that program around and make it a championship school. When they talked they had a lot to offer. When they showed me around, the campus was beautiful and I got to hang out with a bunch of the players. I had a good time there.”
The Irish are not the only program in the running for Reeves' services, as the Nittany Lions are neck and neck with them in Reeves' eyes.
"As far as Penn State goes, it feels like home," he said. "Coach (Joe) Paterno, I talk to him every time I see him. We even Skype now. All of those coaches treat me like family and express how much they want me. I'm just enjoying the process and trying to think about everything."
Several recruits have reported they have Skyped with the coaching legend and like the others, Reeves feels it's a unique connection to one of college football's icons thanks to a bit of modern technology.
"Yeah it's pretty cool," Reeves said. "He was cracking jokes with me. He's new to the whole thing so when you have an old guy like him doing something like Skype, it's just fascinating. He was just talking and we forgot about recruiting, telling me stories and stuff. It was really fun, I had a good time."
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back returned from unofficial visits to both schools shortly before heading to Oregon for The Opening. While he is officially down to two schools, a timetable for a decision on which one he will commit to is up in the air.
"Hopefully I'll make a decision soon but if not, I don't mind waiting," he said. "I just came back from those visits like two or three weeks ago so I'm just taking this time enjoying my time out here with these fellas."
Elder getting closer to decision
Proving that defensive backs can also have a pair of good hands, College Park (Ga.) corner Chaz Elder made one of the defensive plays of the day when he caught a beautiful over the shoulder interception in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.
“My teammate told me to watch for the corner,” Elder said. “So I went over to try and get over the top. I got over there a little to late, but luckily the wide receiver missed it and I was able to catch it.”
Coming a long way from home and making plays is something new for Elder, but the overall experience in Portland has been a rewarding one for the talented cornerback.
“It's been great,” he said. “This is the furthest I've ever been outside of Georgia. I like it. (The plane ride) is kind of long. It's very long but it's alright.”
One of the top players in a deep pool of talent in Georgia this year, Elder has more than 25 scholarship offers from major powerhouses, but he has narrowed his list to three schools.
“With (Georgia), I like the fact that me and Coach Mark Richt have a good relationship,” Elder said. “South Carolina, I like the fact that they're known for having good DB's. Plus I like the defense they run because it's similar to what I run now in high school. With Vanderbilt, they're upcoming and I could help change the face of the program.”
Vanderbilt is making news in the recruiting world by picking several major commitments, including one from Top 100 running back Brian Kimbrow. The momentum the school has under new coach James Franklin is something that matters to Elder.
“That's a big factor,” he admitted.
Elder won't open up as to which of the three programs is out in front but plans to make a decision soon, likely in August before his senior seasons begins.
Howard staying open
There were plenty of players who had fun at The Opening, but it was hard to top the excitement about the event that Miramar (Fla.) defensive back Tracy Howard had following a 7-on-7 win.
“It's been one of the best experiences of my life,” Howard said. “To come way out to Portland, Oregon, I know I haven't been this far from home. The only place I've been is the Bahamas on a cruise. It's definitely a blessing to get out here with the top talent and compete against those guys.”
A talkative player on the field, Howard doesn't mind finding a player on the opposing team and talking a little trash to back up his coverage skills
“Oh Sean Price,” Howard responds almost instantly about who he talks the most trash with. “We're good friends, it's not bad talk, we're just getting each other better.”
Though Howard has been leaning toward Florida for a good portion of the recruiting process, he's narrowed his list of schools he's considering and looking at all of the options equally.
“I'm just staying open right now,” he said. “I'm down to a few: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Notre Dame.”
-- Very impressive day by defensive linemen Sheldon Day and Ellis McCarthy. Though Day was named position group MVP, McCarthy was unblockable during one-on-ones and went around and through his man, all on a bad ankle. Aziz Shittu rebounded from a sub-par day Friday to perform well. Curtis Riser was the top offensive lineman of the group on Saturday to go with good performances from Vadal Alexander and Issac Seumalo.
-- No matter what position he played, Fresno (Calif.) athlete Deontay Greenberry was a flat-out player. From skying on jump balls in the end zone to intercepting passes during limited time on defense, the Notre Dame-bound Greenberry was consistently a top performer over all three days of competition.
-- Geismar (La.) safety Landon Collins was named the 7-on-7 MVP and overall MVP of The Opening. He was everywhere on the field and quite literally had too many interceptions to count over the two days of 7-on-7. He more than lived up to his billing as a top 10 player in the class of 2012 and might even be underrated based on what he has done this summer.
-- Another defensive back that stood out was Clemson commit and Tallahassee (Fla.) safety Travis Blanks. Blanks had two interceptions in the opening game Saturday (and nearly had two more) and continued his stellar play throughout the day. He is one of the most versatile defensive backs in that he's equally good as a safety and cornerback.
-- There weren't many of them, but the walking wounded on the sidelines generally sported cardinal and gold. USC commits Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (stitches) and Jabari Ruffin (fractured wrist) were both out of action Saturday.
-- Team Alpha Talon, with honorary coaches Josh Freeman and Dwayne Bowe, won the 7-on-7 tournament. The team featured Bralon Addison, Nelson Agholor, Deon Bush, Landon Collins, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trae Elston, Justin Ferguson, Derrick Henry, Germone Hopper, Chad Kelly, Duke Johnson, Dillon Lee, Kaiwan Lewis, Steven Longa, Lamar Louis, Marcus Maye, Armani Reeves, Terry Richardson and Randy Uzoma.
-- The overall offensive line MVP was Vadal Alexander while Sheldon Day took home the same honors on the defensive line. Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy and defensive end Jamal Marcus were one-on-one champions.
-- The 7-on-7 All-Tournament team was Travis Blanks, Cyrus Jones, Johnathan Gray, Deontay Greenberry, Marcus Maye, Bryce Treggs and Tee Shepard.
Tags: Alabama, Armani Reeves, Aziz Shittu, Bob Diaco, Bralon Addison, Brian Kelly, Brian Kimbrow, Bryce Treggs, Chad Kelly, Chaz Elder, Clemson, Curtis Riser, Cyrus Jones, Deon Bush, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Henry, Dillon Lee, Dillon Lee, Duke Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Ellis McCarthy, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia, Germone Hopper, Issac Sumalo, Jabari Ruffin, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, James Franklin, Joe Paterno, Johnathan Gray, Josh Freeman, Justin Ferguson, Kaiwan Lewis, Lamar Louis, Landon Collins, LSU, Marcus Maye, Mark Richt, Miami, Nelson Agholor, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Penn State, Randy Uzoma, Sean Price, Shledon Day, Skype, South Carolina, Stanford, Steven Longa, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, The Opening, The Opening 2011, Tracy Howard, Trae Elston, Travis Blanks, USC, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt
Posted on: July 9, 2011 1:17 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:33 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
BEAVERTON, Ore. – Day three of The Opening could not have turned out any better for the assembled campers as wall-to-wall 7-on-7 action and a lineman challenge took place on a picturesque day at the Nike campus.
After NFL players and Nike coaching staff members drafted teams from the nearly 150 players at the event on Thursday night, the pressure was on to gel quickly during round-robin play all day Friday. One of the consistent playmakers at the event with his blazing speed, fluid routes and soft hands was Tampa (Fla.) athlete Nelson Agholor.
A threat at multiple positions on the field, the talented Floridian was a touchdown threat every time he touched the ball on offense. Despite standing out on the field, it was hard to get him to talk about himself off it as he personified the definition of a team player.
"Yeah, I hope we have a good one the next day. We're ready to go and play hard," Agholor said. "We've got a great team."
NFL stars Josh Freeman of Agholor's local team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kansas City Chiefs wideout Dwayne Bowe were the honorary coaches of “Team Alpha Talon.” The 7-on-7 setting provided the players they picked a chance to spread the field and allow players such as Agholor to go up and make plays.
"We were blessed with two great coaches that put a bunch of athletes on the team," Agholor said. "We're going to do well. There's not one bad guy on our team. Everyone on our team is really good."
Featuring quarterback Chad Kelly (committed to Clemson), receiver Bralon Addison (Texas A&M) and running back Duke Johnson (Miami) among others, Agholor's team was one of the best in the field. Boasting players from 10 states, the all-star squad was an opportunity for Agholor and others to bond with players they had only heard about.
"These are guys you want to compete against everyday,” he said. “They say everyone around the nation is getting better, these are the guys that they're talking about. Now we're all together having fun and winning together."
Ranked 22nd overall in the MaxPreps Top 100, schools such as Florida, Florida State, Miami, Texas and USC are heavily pursuing the talented athlete as both a receiver and defensive back. With so much attention on the recruiting trail, Agholor is almost to the point where he narrows his list down to a more manageable five to 10.
"I have sort of an idea of a shorter list," he said. "That's between me and my coaches and parents right now. We're going to work something out and hopefully narrow it down soon.
"There's many things I'm looking for. When I first started recruiting, it was all about people and their morals, that was always number one. Academics is number two because I feel like there's a degree out there for everyone, it's up to you to go get it."
In terms of a decision, that will be awhile for the five-star athlete.
"I think I want to sign on National Signing Day," Agholor said. "I really want to think this all through. Schools know, who I'm in contact with, they know what type of interest is coming in and if not, I'm going to make it a little bit clearer soon."
Miller enjoys getting some pad work
While most of the skill position athletes were playing games, the big fellas down in the trenches were also having some fun and it came in something unique to The Opening: pads.
"It was fun, I haven't put pads on in awhile since I didn't play in the spring game," West Palm Beach (Fla.) offensive tackle Patrick Miller said. "It was sweet, I got a little hitting time in."
Armed with full shoulder pads and helmets, the one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive linemen were one of the highlights of the camp. For some players, such as Miller, who have largely been without contact, it did take a bit of an adjustment.
"Definitely, you're getting the cob webs out," he said. "You kind of forget how to pass set or something like that. But you're with all these great coaches and stuff and you get your technique back to where it was and everything. It's just part of getting ready for the season."
Working with former NFL lineman LeCharles Bentley among others, the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Miller has been able to pickup plenty of small tips and tricks that should serve him well going into his senior year.
"There's just so many small, miscellaneous things," Miller said. "I mean a pro tells you, and you're like, alright and you listen to him then. The only people I like to listen to is my head coach, my position coach but obviously, if an NFL player says it, you know it's right."
As one of the top offensive tackles in South Florida, Miller has offers from just about every SEC school, as well as Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami and others. He has taken several unofficial visits recently and will likely take a few more between now and trimming his list down.
"I think I'm going to narrow it down in the middle of the season," Miller said. "I know I'm going to visit Oklahoma and North Carolina. I've already visited Auburn, LSU and Tennessee and Florida too. I liked them all a lot, I liked Auburn a lot obviously. After taking these visits, I definitely was thinking I wanted to commit somewhere but now I realize I just want to wait and weigh my options. There might be something better out there for me."
Mangum sharp again in 7-on-7 setting
If you wanted to have a good 7-on-7 team at an event like this, you needed to pick a good quarterback. Noted quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr., who has worked Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton among others, was in charge of drafting “Team Vapor Carbon” with rookie Patrick Peterson. It's no surprise that Whitfield's acumen was on the money as Eagle (Idaho) quarterback Tanner Mangum was the top signal caller throughout the day.
"I'm just doing my best to make them look good," Mangum said. "I know they're talented, they're playmakers, so I'm just doing my best to make good decisions and keep up with them. It's an honor to be playing with them so I don't want to make them look bad."
Mangum team featured Notre Dame-bound receiver Deontay Greenberry, Florida-bound running back Mike Davis and plenty of other impressive skill position players. Being able to throw to such a talented group was nice for the 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback but that wasn't the biggest take away from the event.
"There's so many things but I think it's forming relationships with these guys," Mangum said. "These are the top players from across the country and you wouldn't have any other chance to meet them but here. It's an honor to be considered among them and it's been even better getting to know them."
As a BYU commitment for several months, Mangum is one of several players who are already dead-set on their college of choice. With 11 players on his team who have not made a commitment and plenty more at the event, there has surprisingly not been many conversations asking him for advice on the recruiting process.
"Not too much," he said. "Everyone here is pretty set in where they're going, there's a few guys that aren't committed. There aren't any here, but I'm doing my best to recruit some guys to get to the "Y." Dylan Collie and I are working together to get some guys to BYU. There's some big recruits that have committed there and I think that 2012 recruiting class will be pretty good."
The recruiting class that the pair is apart of is the Cougar's first as a football independent. The opportunity to go out on their own and the advantages with that are a big draw for several recruits according to Mangum.
"I think it's helping a lot, it's a big positive," he said. "It allows us to play some big time teams on national television and I think guys draw to that and want to play for that. It's helping out a lot."
The Opening is not the only national competition Mangum is taking part in. He will head down to Pepperdine in a little over a week for the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camp, something he lights up when asked about it.
"I'm very excited," Mangum said. "I've grown up watching that since I was a kid and it's always been a dream of mine. So it's a dream come true for sure."
Dawson sees two recruiting him hard
One of the more physically imposing defenders on the field was 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker Nick Dawson. Flying across the country from Charlotte (N.C.) to the Nike campus was no problem for the talented athlete as he's having a blast so far at The Opening.
"Everything's great," Dawson said. "It's so unique it doesn't make sense. And every day it gets better and better. I'm just out here to compete with the top 150 and I'm doing going good."
Like many players, the opportunity to interact and learn from NFL players has been a moment that often leaves Dawson in awe as he receives tips from the best of the best.
"I'm just getting coached up, you can't ask for any more than this,” he said. “Aaron Curry is out here coaching the linebackers Ray Rice with the running backs. Dwayne Bowe with the receivers, there's just so many unique athletes out here."
Holding offers from schools such as Arkansas, Auburn, Miami, USC and others, Dawson is trying to begin the arduous task of narrowing down his list of programs he is considering.
"Everything is going great with my recruiting," he said. "I'm trying to narrow it down but I don't really have a top five right now."
Just because it's tough to limit his options going forward, doesn't mean a few schools aren't standing out.
"Louisville and Clemson are recruiting me the hardest," he said. "I went to Clemson's camp and Louisville's also. They were great, everything was great. Both of the schools were perfect. I'm just trying to figure out which one is the best, best, best for me. I'm in the process of doing that right now."
Dawson had entertained thoughts of committing during The Opening but could not decide on a school enough to give his verbal pledge. He said he was unsure when he would eventually pull the trigger and commit.
- It wasn't a great day of football for USC commitment Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick. He banged his head against another player while making a play for a ball and ended up having to sit out most of the day (against his wishes it should be noted) after receiving stitches above his eye.
"Four. It wasn't too bad," Cope-Fitzpatrick said before getting to the bad news. "If football doesn't work out, I'm trying to be a model for Nike."
- Oregon commit Jake Rodrigues struggled mightily during 7-on-7, tossing more interceptions than touchdowns and misreading the defense a few times. He was able to throw the ball better as the day went on but he just wasn't as sharp as he was yesterday.
- USF-bound tight end Sean Price has performed well in 7-on-7 events before and did so once again Friday afternoon. He was able to use his big frame and speed to create mismatches and was a nice target in the red zone.
- All-around athlete Cedric Dozier is really rangy as a defensive back. He grabbed quite a few interceptions, including a nice one off Cal commit Zach Kline. Top ten defensive back Landon Collins also impressed in the secondary.
- Number one ranked running back Johnathan Gray is a special back. Known for his rushing skills, he was explosive out of the backfield and displayed some soft hands. He lined up next to future Texas teammate Connor Brewer and the pair definitely had some chemistry out on the field.
- Tight end Taylor McNamara, headed to Arizona, had a really nice day and went up and caught some throws that very few people could get to. Ray Rice jokingly started calling him Todd Heap after making so many plays.
- The play of the day came from receiver Jaydon Mickens. The USC-bound athlete took a short pass and turned it into a 40+ yard touchdown by traversing the field three times and leaving several defenders unable to move. Even speedy Dwayne Bowe was impressed and quite excited about the play.
Tags: Aaron Curry, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Ben Roethlisberger, Bralon Addison, BYU, Cal, Cam Newton, Cedric Dozier, Chad Kelly, Clemson, Connor Brewer, Deontay Greenberry, Duke Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Dylan Collie, Elite 11, Florida, Florida State, George Whitfield, Jake Rodrigues, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jaydon Mickens, Jonathan Gray, Josh Freeman, Kansas City Chiefs, Landon Collins, LeCharles Bentley, Lemming Top 100, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Miami, Mike Davis, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Dawson, Nike, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Patrick Miller, Pepperdine, Ray Rice, Sean Price, SEC, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Taylor McNamara, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, The Opening, The Opening 2011, USC, USF, Zach Kline
Posted on: July 5, 2011 10:52 am
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.
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.
Tags: 1925, B2G, Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship, Brandon Simmons, Bryce Treggs, Charless Davis, Chris Harper, Darrion Hutcherson, David Williams, Deaysean Rippy, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Turner, Devian Shelton, Eddie Printz, Edward Parris, Elliot Fareber, Gabriel Marks, Gehrig Dieter, Goose Cohorn, Graham Gillispie, Ike Spearman, Ishmael Adams, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jalen Mills, Jason Croom, Jaydon Mickens, Jeff Coprich, Jeremiah Allison, Jeremy Graves, Jermaine Ervin, Jesse James, Johnny Johnson, Jorday Payton, Justin Combs, Kahlil Pettway, Kenny Lawler, Marc Evans, Marc Phillipi, Matt Morin, Michael Robert, Mike Davison, Randall Goforth, Richard Smith, Robert Lewis, Roger Lewis, Seth Jacobs, Shannon Edwards, Shaq Thompson, Steven Longa, Tee Shepard, Trenton Irwin, Troy Williams, Tyler Stewart, Zeke Pike
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:42 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
USC's Rising Stars Camp has been one of the premier camps on the West Coast for years, dating back to the early days of the Pete Carroll era. The Trojan coaching staff loves to evaluate players in person and the camp is typically where several new offers go out and, more often than not, a few commitments happen.
Though the camp is now closed to the media due to NCAA restrictions placed on the school, the offers going out and commitments haven't stopped. Rocklin (Calif.) tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick had a good day Thursday, picked up an offer and committed on the spot.
"It seemed like they were going to offer me yesterday after the camp," Cope-Fitzpatrick told USCFootball.com. "I called my mom and we talked about it. If they offered, what would I do?
"I pretty much came down here for an offer. When the camp was over today, the coaches let me know that it was a done deal - that they were offering me. I committed right away."
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound receiving threat was not expected to get an offer from the Trojans due to their scholarship situation and the presence of three young players at the position already on the roster. After battling several other players and putting on a show during the week however, Cope-Fitzpatrick was able to pick up the offer of his dreams.
"This just seemed like the perfect fit and the perfect time to commit, so I did it," he told the site. "I got to play against a lot of top guys here and meet with them. Maybe some future teammates."
Cope-Fitzpatrick becomes the 10th commitment for USC, which is limited to 15 due to NCAA sanctions. That number is expected to change due to early enrollees and early departures after the season. His season highlights can be found here.
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:28 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Football is a sport played in the elements and the hundreds of top athletes from all over the West Coast got a dose of rain, wind and hail during Sunday's Nike Training Camp on the Stanford campus. Here's a few of the top performers on the offensive side of the ball:
One of the strongest groups at the camp, the offensive linemen might have welcomed the chance to play in a little bit of rain the most. It's a good year for linemen on the West Coast and this group was very reflective of that.
Magnuson has a great frame and could fill out even more into a monster at left tackle. He's got a bit of a mean streak and was very competitive all day, especially in one-on-ones. He uses his hands well and keeps the defender in front of him very well. He was very flexible and probably could play either right or left tackle at the next level.
Another big tackle prospect, Murphy showed why he's receiving attention from schools all over the country. He stays upright with the proper bend at the hips and had one of the better kick steps. He knew which angle the defender was taking during one-on-ones and adjusted well to stay between him and the quarterback. He can improve his footwork just a tad but it's already some of the best in the West.
Seumalo took home position group MVP and was the most technically sound and consistent offensive lineman at the camp from start to finish. You could tell his dad is a coach (at Oregon State) and how he was ready for just about anything thrown at him. He's got good size and can play either offense or defense because of his quickness. Seumalo looks like he could really be an asset run blocking with the way he gets after things and drives defenders off the ball.
It wasn't a particularly strong group at running back with only a handful actually holding offers. Lewis, an SMU commitment, was the best of the best and nabbed the MVP award.
Seeing Lewis up close, it's hard to see him being a 15 carry a game back. At the same time, he's a huge threat to score with his combination of speed and quickness; he moves side-to-side extremely well. Lewis can catch the ball well and he can really excel at the next level in the slot or even as a multipurpose threat like Oregon State's James Rodgers.
Probably the deepest group at the camp, the wide outs were very impressive despite the less than ideal pass catching weather. Arizona speedster Davonte Neal took home MVP honors and couldn't find a matchup out of the slot he didn't like.
Greenberry has seen his stock take off the past few months and he did nothing to slow it down at the Farm. He accelerates into top gear quicker than just about everybody and is very fluid while running his routes. It actually was difficult for the quarterbacks to throw to him because they often wouldn't anticipate him running so fast. Greenberry tended to round off his routes and not get into and out of his breaks however.
Mickens and Neal were the two guys out of the slot that just about everyone had trouble covering. Mickens has a pair of good hands and does a good job of taking off towards the end zone as soon as he's secured the ball. A bit on the small side, he's just too quick for anybody to really get a hand on him for that to matter.
Walker holds a host of offers and seems to be on the cusp of going from a good wide receiver to a great one. He's got good size and is similar to Greenberry in terms of speed and quickness. He caught just about everything thrown his way and was able to create separation with defensive backs on deep routes.
Taubler might have been the biggest player at the event that was not an offensive lineman. Despite being a big tight end, he showed he could move and has surprisingly decent speed. His routes are pretty sharp and he comes off the ball well and gets into and out of his breaks quickly. In terms of looks and game, he's somewhat similar to Nick O'Leary out of the 2011 class but not quite as big.
Cope-Fitzpatrick was stating his case for the top tight end in California and did a good job. He's built very well physically and likely can come in as a tight end that can be a threat in both the passing game and blocking for the run game. He's one of the faster tight ends but still needs to improve his route running a bit.
The quarterbacks got the spotlight on Friday and just about everyone - with the notable exception of Connor Brewer - returned for another go around at Stanford's practice fields. Once again Zach Kline made a big impression by showing off his big arm and took home position group MVP.
There's not much for Kline to do at this point after shining two days in a row and collecting his second MVP award in as many Bay Area Nike Camps. The Cal commit has an arm that is one of the strongest in the class of 2012 and he can really put the ball wherever he wants to on the field. Kline has good fundamentals and his footwork is excellent. Overall, just he's very balanced from snap to throw and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him play early.
The BYU commit also followed up a good Elite 11 performance with what might have been an even sharper Nike Camp performance. He stands tall in the pocket and is very accurate at all three levels. He doesn't quite have the arm strength as Kline but it is still very good. At this point, it's hard to argue Magnum being the top prospect in Idaho based on what he's shown on the field and during the camp circuit.
Morin was MVP of the LA Nike Camp and had another good showing up North. While he wasn't quite as good as he was earlier, Morin was still sharp and the lefty displayed one of the strongest arms on Sunday. He would go through spurts where he wasn't as accurate but most of the day he was spinning the ball very well.
Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2011 9:05 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
LAS VEGAS - One of the top corners at the Las Vegas Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 tournament this past weekend was Ishmael Adams of event runner-up Team 1925. A big reason why he was routinely shutting down opposing teams' best receivers is the on and off the field work he puts in.
"I never feel like I'm at the peek of my game," Adams said. "I'm working on my speed with Maurice Greene. Out on the field, Brian Kelly is helping me with my footwork and hands. Keyshawn Johnson is helping me with my alignment and reading wide receivers and what they're going to do. Kelly helps a lot with cover-two because he's been to the pros where they practice that a lot."
Holding offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Oregon, SMU and Washington, Adams is planning on taking a few unofficial visits to get to know some schools a bit better.
"I'm going to Oregon's Junior Day," he said. "I'm going to visit Washington and try and go to a Cal camp. I'm going to try and get to UCLA, I think I'm going to try and get up there next week or the week after that. I'm also trying to get to a USC camp."
"With Adams' recruitment figuring to heat up over the coming months, especially with the May Evaluation period on the horizon, the 5-foot-10, 185 pound corner is looking at all schools but does see one standing out from the pack.
Not yet, I'm just keeping everything open right now," Adams said. "Washington talks to my family a lot so I talk with them and they're being real with me."
One of the first things Adams is looking for in a school is a strong dentistry program, which is what he would like to major in. Facilities and coaching staff are two other factors that will influence his eventual decision.
Utah athlete Hansen impressing at multiple positions
One of the most intriguing players at the competition was Highland (Utah) athlete Chase Hansen. A true embodiment of the athlete label, the talented recruit was working on one side of the ball during most of the tournament.
"I've been working on a lot of quarterback things but I'm out (at 7-on-7) mainly working all defense," Hansen said. "I'm definitely trying to work on defensive back/linebacker type stuff like footwork and whatever else I need."
Hansen likely projects best as a safety on defense with his 6-foot-3, 210 pound frame and good speed. However, he displayed a strong arm in limited action as a junior and has seen a number of teams also give him a look on the offensive side of the ball.
"It's been mixed. Basically what they've been saying is athlete," he said. "Some schools have said quarterback, other schools have said linebacker. Utah has said athlete while Washington has said just quarterback.
"Whatever position I'll be best at but I've been kind of working towards quarterback. We'll see what happens because I feel like I can play defense. But quarterback is definitely something I'll be working towards."
Holding just two scholarship offers, Hansen is starting to see interest from several Pac-12 schools increase and could be on the verge of several more offers.
"Just BYU and Utah right now," he said. "Stanford is recruiting me pretty heavily as a safety/quarterback and Washington as just a quarterback. As far as BYU and Utah, I'm just waiting to see what happens and get an idea of what I want to do."
Hansen is planning on taking in one-day camps at Stanford, USC, BYU and Utah over the next few months to continue to get noticed by college coaches. He recently took an unofficial visit to see the Cardinal in person and is in the process of planning several others.
"I just took one to Stanford and might take one to Washington as well as Oregon," he said. "Stanford was awesome. I mean it's Stanford. I've always kind of wondered what the visit would be like and it was good, if not better than I thought it would be. The facilities, the tradition, the field was awesome. The city where it's located is awesome too."
Hansen plans on taking his time and waiting for more offers to come in before making a decision.
Cope-Fitzpatrick sees recruiting pickup
Rocklin (Calif.) tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is one of the top pass catchers on the West Coast and is starting to see his list of scholarship offers reflect as much.
"I picked up two from Colorado and Nebraska," Cope-Fitzpatrick said. "It's nice getting an offer from Nebraska, outside the Pac-12. Florida said they are going to offer in May. A lot of schools said when they come out (for the May Evaluation Period) they're going to offer."
Though the May Evaluation period may see his stock take off even further, Cope-Fitzpatrick is planning to tone things down between now and then on the recruiting front.
"It looks like I'm going to take a break right now," he said. "I've got spring ball so no visits or anything. Right around May things should pick back up again. I'm going to the Stanford Nike Camp because it's closer to where i live in the Sacramento area. It's convenient so I can take more trips. I'm going to do some college camps but I don't know which ones yet. Maybe to some ones that I don't have an offer to so I can show them."
Cope-Fitzpatrick recently took in Cal's Junior Day and throughly enjoyed his visit the Berkley. The Bears are one of his five Pac-12 offers but he doesn't plan on narrowing the list anytime soon.
"My main thing right now is to just get quantity," he said. "I'd like to get as many as I can until July and then cut it down to eight and stick with my eight all the way through December. Then I'll make my decision in early December. Definitely before Signing Day, I want schools to know I'm their guy."
News and Notes
- 2013 Bingham (Utah) defensive end Lowell Lotulelei was named Defensive Line MVP while Encino (Calif.) tackle Jordan Simmons was named Offensive Line MVP.
- Upland (Calif.) wide receiver Kenny Lawler said his recent commitment to Arizona State, "Was a soft verbal." He'll take all five of his official visits in the fall and will visit UCLA's spring practice and go to the Nike Camp at USC. Lawler also plans on attending the Arizona State Junior Day on April 2nd.
- Marc Evans was the top quarterback at the event and led his team, B2G, to a comeback win in the championship game. Though he doesn't have an offer, he said Cal and Oregon State are the front runners. He added that he plans on taking in Oregon State's spring game next month.
- Wide receiver Bryce Treggs said he was still sitting at eight offers, including ones from Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA. He is in the process of attending Junior Days over the next few months in order to get to know the coaching staffs of several schools.
"I'm going to ASU Junior Day and Notre Dame on the 16th," he said. "I was at Cal Junior Day and that was pretty good."
- Quarterback Jeff Lindquist reported offers from Washington, Washington State, Stanford and Northern Colorado but it appears that the Huskies might have the upper hand in his recruitment.
"It's really exciting, that's been my childhood school," he said. "I like the coaches and it's a really good school. Both my parents went there and I like that it's close to home."
- Wide out Kodi Whitfield is holding an Arizona State offer and recently picked up one from Washington. The Atlanta-born Whitfield said he plans on checking out several SEC schools such as Georgia in addition to taking a closer look at several Pac-10 schools.
"I have a lot of interest in Washington and I want to take a visit up there and will probably go up there for their spring game on April 30th," he said. "I'm thinking about going to Arizona State's Junior Day on the 2nd. I've taken a Junior Day visit to UCLA and have been receiving mail from Pac-10 schools like Oregon, Stanford, USC, Cal and some Big 10 schools like Northwestern."
Tags: Arizona State, Badger Sports, Badger Sports 7-on-7, Big Ten, Brian Kelly, Bryce Treggs, BYU, Cal, Chase Hansen, Colorado, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech, Ishmael Adams, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Jeff Lindquist, Jordan Simmons, Kenny Lawler, Keyshawn Johnson, Kodi Whitfield, Lowell Lotulelei, Marc Evans, Maurice Greene, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Pac-12, SEC, SMU, Stanford, Team 1925, Team B2G, UCLA, UNLV Badger Sports, UNLV Badger Sports 7-on-7, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State
Posted on: March 21, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2011 1:22 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Elite travel teams B2G and Keyshawn Johnson's 1925 staged a back and forth competition for the Badger Sports 7-on-7 West Region Championship at UNLV on Sunday.
Check out some highlights of the game featuring B2G quarterback Marc Evans, wide receiver Gabe Marks, tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, cornerback Kevon Seymour and 1925 standout wide receivers Jordan Payton, Kodi Whitfield, Bryce Treggs, corrnerback Ishmael Adams and linebacker Jeremiah Allison.