Posted on: February 27, 2012 7:02 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
No, the class of 2012 wasn't over.
26 days after Signing Day, Castle Rock (Colo.) offensive lineman Alex Kozan put one of the finishing touches on the class by signing with Auburn, the school confirmed in a release.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder had narrowed it down to finalists Auburn, Iowa and Michigan before finally faxing in his Letter of Intent on Monday to the Tigers.
Kozan's commitment caps a very good class of 2012 at the offensive line position for Auburn, having also signed Avery Young, Shane Callahan, Patrick MIller, Jordan Diamond, Robert Leff and Will Adams. Kozan becomes the 22nd commit overall and participated in the inaugural Semper Fi Bowl ealier this year.
"A super technician who never forgets an assignment," analyst Tom Lemming said of Kozan. "A strong and quick LT, he can bend his knees and move his feet. Rarely caught out of position, he shows the ability to slide and cut off edge rushers, can redirect quickly, and is the leader of an exceptionally good offense and led his team to a state title in 2010. Has what it takes to play LT or OG in college."
Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:37 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The (arguably) biggest win for Auburn on National Signing Day was landing Maxpreps top 100 offensive tackle Avery Young. But as it turned out, the Tigers had a win just as big waiting for them --and at the same position -- after National Signing Day.
That's thanks to Jordan Diamond, the 6'6", 310-pound four-star tackle from Chicago's Simeon High School who signed with Auburn Friday night. Diamond picked the Tigers over offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Arkansas and others.
Diamond ranked as the nation's No. 67 overall prospect at Maxpreps and the No. 9 offensive tackle in the class, giving Auburn five members of the Maxpreps top 100, tying them for third-most in the conference behind Alabama and Georgia.
"Auburn is getting a hard, dedicated player with great character," Simeon head coach Dante Culbreath told the Chicago Tribune. "Jordan felt comfortable with the Auburn coaching staff, like here at Simeon. It was a matter of that relationship and how he felt."
From Tom Lemming's scouting report on Diamond:
The No. 1 prospect in the state of Illinois is the prototypical LT. Blessed with long arms and quick feet, he can effectively block on the second level and eliminate linebackers ... He has a take no prisoners' attitude, never lets up, shows good hand/punch in pass protection, can seal and sustain blocks, and he's exceptionally strong at the point of attack. He anchors well and he uses his outstanding athletic ability to slide and mirror and cut off fast edge rushers. One of the most dominating LT's in the country.
Auburn is now poised to make a major post-Signing Day impact, with No. 14 overall athlete Stefon Diggs -- the nation's top remaining unsigned recruit -- also seriously considering the Tigers. Diggs is scheduled to sign Feb. 10.
Relive all the highlights from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:54 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Mark Richt went to jail to visit a recruit, but it's not exactly what you're thinking.
Offensive tackle Vincent Valentine will pick among Florida, Illinois or Nebraska.
Alabama and Auburn spend a little bit of money to recruit...
Todd Graham is making progress at Arizona State right before signing his first class.
A profile of UCLA-bound cornerback Justin Combs.
Top 100 offensive lineman Jordan Diamond had a great visit to Arkansas.
Oklahoma early enrollee Taylor McNamara was finally cleared.
Top Florida cornerback Tracy Howard is giving Miami a chance.
Washington will host Cedric Dozier on an official visit.
Chip Kelly is up in the air but, this time, to finish a recruiting class.
Linebacker Thaddeus LaGrone committed to Houston.
Nebraska snagged their first 2013 commitment in Tre'vell Dixon.
Quarterback Steven Bench committed to Penn State.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Big 12, Big Ten, Cedric Dozier, Chip Kelly, Florida, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Jordan Diamond, Justin Combs, Mark Richt, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, Penn State, SEC, Steven Bench, Taylor McNamara, Thaddeus LaGrone, Todd Graham, Tracy Howard, Tre'vell Dixon, UCLA, Vincent Valentine, Washington
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:42 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Here's a podcast I did where Gunner Kiel and parents in the recruiting process came up. Kiel is settling into life at Notre Dame today.
SMU got four early enrollees this year, including a Parade All-America.
Dalvin Tomlinson not visiting Georgia could be good news for Georgia Tech.
Quarterback Kanler Coker flipped from East Carolina to North Carolina.
West Virginia added athlete Nana Kyeremeh.
Houston added a commitment from defensive tackle Donald Hopkins.
Bret Bielema has been working to keep his recruiting class together.
Defensive end Michael Onuoha will visit Missouri this weekend.
Several prospects, such as Jordan Diamond, enjoyed their trip to Michigan.
Posted on: January 11, 2012 11:26 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
With official visits being scheduled left and right and coaching hires being made, the recruiting process for several top players is still in flux during the month of January. Such is the case for Chicago (Ill.) offensive lineman Jordan Diamond, who has a short list of schools but his final destination is still undetermined.
"I've got five but things could change," Diamond said. "With coaching staff changes going on, I'm definitely going to wait it out."
Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Auburn and Arkansas are the final five listed by the Maxpreps number seven offensive tackle in the class of 2012. He has officially visited all but the Wolverines so far and is looking for each program to match the criteria he's laid out.
"The opportunity to play early is going to be key," he said. "The ultimate thing is being comfortable though. Wherever I go I want to feel comfortable and fit in with the players and coaching staff. I want to bond as soon as I get there. When that feeling comes, I'll make the decision."
The Buckeyes, with new head coach Urban Meyer, appear to be one of the favorites to land the 6-foot-6, 310-pounder. In addition to being on the short list, Diamond's visit last month was a chance to get to know the program better.
"I took a visit on the 17th," he said. "The staff is very energetic. I love the players there and the coaching staff. Urban Meyer brings a lot of energy to what he does. I just had a good time overall there."
Diamond is ranked as the 41st overall recruit in the class of 2012 and plans on making an announcement on Signing Day.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.
The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.
Team rankings movers
Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.
In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.
The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.
The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.
Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.
Team rankings shakers
This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.
A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.
Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.
Teams sitting pretty
Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.
Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.
Mora turning heads in Westwood
As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.
Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.
December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.
Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.
Video of week
I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:
Tags: Adrian Klemm, Alabama, Alec Morris, Alphonse Taylor, Andrus Peat, Arik Armstead, Arizona State, Auburn, Brady Hoke, Brian Kelly, Bryce Treggs, Cal, California, Charlie Weis, Chris Casher, Dante Fowler, Davonte Neal, Demetrice Martin, Deontay Greenberry, Florida, Florida State, Gerald Bowman, Gunner Kiel, Guz Malzahn, Ishmael Adams, Jameis Winston, Jim Mora, Jimbo Fisher, Jordan Diamond, Kansas, Kenny Orjioke, Landon Collins, Lane Kiffin, Mack Brown, Marcus Rios, Mario Edwards, Mario Pender, Michigan, Nelson Agholor, Nick Saban, Noah Spence, Noel Mazzone, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pac-12, Reuben Foster, Rising Seniors Bowl, Scott Starr, Se'Von Pittman, SEC, Shaq Thompson, T.J. Yeldon, Ted Roof, Tee Shepard, Texas, Tommy Schutt, Tosh Lupoi, UCLA, Urban Meyer, USC, Will Muschamp, Zach Kline
Posted on: December 20, 2011 8:31 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Colorado added a pledge from cornerback Marques Mosley to give the Buffs 22 commitments for the class of 2012.
Purdue added commit #23 in defensive end Kingsley Ike.
Running back Greg Garmon enjoyed his visit to Arkansas.
Top athlete Nelson Agholor has visited Oklahoma, Florida and Notre Dame already and all three are serious contenders for his commitment.
Cornerback Tyree Holder was offered by Toledo.
Big time offensive tackle Jordan Diamond has visits to Michigan, Arkansas and Wisconsin left.
Arizona State's new coaching staff is going after a few top local players already committed.
Looking back and evaluating Florida's class of 2010.
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:27 am
Edited on: November 22, 2011 2:40 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
We're a little over two months away from Signing Day and with the end of the regular season - both high school and college - approaching, now's a good time to survey recruits in the top 50 and look at who they're considering and where they might end up. The list will see plenty of players verbally commit in January with several all-star games and the pressure to publicly announce so don't be surprised to see this list shrink quickly.
Oregon loses but still wins the weekend
It wasn't a great Saturday for Oregon fans after USC's upset win in Eugene but spirits were brightened as soon as they heard junior Beaverton (Ore.) running back Thomas Tyner committed to the program.
The 6-foot, 210-pound junior was at the game and made his pledge known on Twitter later on. Tyner will be ranked as one of the top backs on the West Coast in 2013 after rushing for 1,821 yards and 19 scores last season.
Running back Byron Marshall also committed to Oregon this week giving the Ducks a combo of speedsters to plug into Chip Kelly's offense. A good weekend despite the loss for the program and it just goes to show that, in cases like Tyner's, atmosphere is just as important as winning a big game. It's one reason why most head coaches don't mind inviting plenty of players in if a top ranked team is in town. In many ways, it's hard to lose if the stadium is rocking.
Rich Rodriguez hires will be important but will do well at Arizona
News broke late Monday night that former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was hired by Arizona. I'd agree with my colleague Dennis Dodd that the hire is a home run. Mike Stoops wasn't a bad recruiter but his staffs did miss on a few players and never seemed to get a marquee in-state recruit. Southern California and Texas were two areas where the Wildcats did well in and expect much of the same under RichRod.
Though his tenure in Ann Arbor didn't end well, Rodriguez still proved he could evaluate and recruit - landing several top 25 classes despite mounting losses. His background has been on the East Coast but he's got connections to Florida and should do well in attracting players to his spread offense. Two priorities when building his staff need to be addressed first however: a good defensive coordinator and someone with West Coast ties.
There's a lot of flash surrounding the hire and Rodriguez has had success just about everywhere he's been outside of Michigan so expect recruits in 2012 to take notice but with Signing Day so close, this hire will make an impact on the class of 2013. With instability at Arizona State and possibly at UCLA plus USC hampered by scholarship reductions, there's a chance he could make a splash and leave his mark early in Southern California.
Video of the week
Some highlights of Oregon's latest pledge.
Tags: Alabama, Andrus Peat, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Barry Sanders, Byron Marshall, Cal, Chip Kelly, Darius Hamilton, Davonte Neal, Dorial Green-Beckham, Eddie Goldman, Ellis McCarthy, Florida, Florida State, Gunner Kiel, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Joel Caleb, Jordan Diamond, Josh Garnett, Keith Marshall, Kwon Alexander, Landon Collins, LSU, Mario Edwards, Michigan, Mike Stoops, Nelson Agholor, Noah Spence, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Quay Evans, Rich Rodriguez, Rutgers, Shaq Thompson, Stanford, Stefon Diggs, Texas, Thomas Tyner, UCLA, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Zach Banner