Tag:Marcus Roberson
Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:58 pm
 

Freshmen defensive player of the year candidates

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CBSSports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd has tabbed Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict as his preseason defensive player of the year. Burfict is a known quality at the college level but things get a bit murkier when you start to look at possible candidates for freshman defensive player of the year. It's difficult for high schoolers to make the jump to the next level and make an impact but some, such as Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson last season, have what it takes to play right away and provide a boost to their team's defense. Here's five candidates to be freshmen defensive player of the year out of the class of 2011.

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Clowney was the consensus best player in the class of 2011 and is expected to contribute right away as a pass rusher for the Gamecocks. He's already big enough to play in college and is lightning quick coming out of his stance, often blowing by the tackle before they've even moved. South Carolina led the SEC in sacks last season and should put even more pressure on the quarterback with Clowney making his way to the backfield.

Karlos Williams, Florida State

Williams is one of the bigger safeties coming out of high school and could almost bulk up a little and play linebacker. Wherever he lines up, expect Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to put Williams in a position to make plays. Freshmen have come in and played well for FSU in the past and the talented 6-foot-2, 215 pound safety might be the next one to.

Ray Drew, Georgia

The Pastor of the Pass Rush, as Drew is affectionately nicknamed, is a terror for opposing quarterbacks. He can standup and play a little linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 scheme and has the flexibility of moving around the defensive line. He should be able to compete for a starting spot from day one and will at least be used situationally to generate some pass rush. The top player in the state of Georgia coming out of high school should be a household name nationally before too long.

Aaron Lynch, Notre Dame

Notre Dame seemed to collect defensive ends like they were candy in the class of 2011 but Lynch was one of the few who enrolled early. He impressed coaches throughout the spring and dominated during the annual Blue and Gold game, racking up seven tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. The expectations are sky high for Lynch and with there's no reason to think he can't get on the field to make an impact for the nation's most televised team.

Marcus Roberson, Florida

Still a bit skinny, Roberson will have to learn to be a good tackler at the next level. That said, he's a terrific cover corner and can turn and runs with the best wide outs in the game. It was thought he would play early for the Gators in nickel situations but the dismissal of Janoris Jenkins might mean he's starting at corner sooner rather than later.

Posted on: February 15, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 4:15 pm
 

The Class of 2011 Mock Draft

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The recruiting class of 2011 is finally signed and sealed with Jadeveon Clowney's announcement on Valentine's Day. While college coaches have turned their attention to evaluating the class of 2012, their NFL counterparts are locked in war rooms evaluating tape on the draft eligible players coming out in 2011. Of course we wondered, if NFL teams had to select from current group of high school recruits, who would they draft? 

The following mock draft of the 1st round takes a look at where top high school recruits would go based on team needs and draft position. 

NFL Mock Draft with the Class of 2011
Round 1
1. Carolina Panthers
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Pointe HS, headed to South Carolina: The number one player for the class of 2011 also goes number one to the Panthers, who are looking for help on the defensive line. Easily the most NFL-ready of any prospect on this list coming out of high school, some NFL scouts that have seen his tape have said he could actually make the jump to the NFL out of high school. He probably wouldn't go this high however.
2. Denver Broncos
Anthony Johnson, DT, O. Perry Walker HS, headed to LSU: Draft analyst Chad Reuter says the Broncos are expected to play some three- and four-man fronts under new head coach John Fox. Drafting Johnson would give them a tackle that could fit in well in both schemes.
3. Buffalo Bills
De'Anthony Thomas, CB, Crenshaw HS, headed to Oregon: The Bills need help all over the defensive side of the ball and grabbing Thomas provides them with a terrific cover corner who isn't afraid to deliver a big hit. He would boost a unit that intercepted just 11 passes last season.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Ray Drew, DE, Thomas County Central HS, headed to Georgia: The Bengals need a pass rusher and they can get a very flexible one in Drew. Already 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, he has the frame to bulk up and fit in well at the defensive end spot in either the 4-3 or the 3-4.
5. Arizona Cardinals
Curtis Grant, OLB, Hermitage HS, headed to Ohio State: Grant has great size for an outside linebacker and he could feature his pass-rush skills in an already aggressive Cardinals defense.
6. Cleveland Browns
George Farmer, WR, Junipero Serra HS, headed to USC: Already a polished product coming out of high school, Farmer would provide the deadly accurate Colt McCoy with a nice target on the outside.
7. San Francisco 49ers
Marcus Roberson, CB, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, headed to Florida: It was tough to pass on quarterback Jeff Driskel but the 49ers go for flexibility in Roberson, a speedy corner who could also develop into a safety.
8. Tennessee Titans
Jeff Driskel, QB, Hagerty HS, headed to Florida: Looking to move on from the Vince Young era, the Titans turn to easily the top quarterback in the class. Although he can run well, a strong arm and accurate passing calm any fears the front office might have.
9. Dallas Cowboys
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, DeMatha HS, headed to Alabama: A prototype left tackle, Kouandjio is the best offensive lineman in the class and a no-brainer pick for a team that needs offensive lineman.
10. Washington Redskins
Trey Metoyer, WR, Whitehouse HS, headed to Oklahoma: Mike Shanahan might not know who he has at quarterback but whoever it is will have a very good receiver in Metoyer.
11. Houston Texans
Viliami Moala, DT, Grant HS, headed to Cal: Although they also need a corner, the move to the 3-4 under Wade Phillips will force the Texans to grab the big-bodied Moala to lineup inside next to Mario Williams.
12. Minnesota Vikings
Aaron Lynch, DE, Island Coast HS, headed to Notre Dame: Current end Ray Edwards will be a free agent so the Vikings turn to Lynch to replace him. Given his dominance at the Army All-American Bowl, he would be perfect to have on the opposite side of Jared Allen.
13. Detroit Lions
La'El Collins, OT, Redemptorist HS, headed to LSU: The Lions need some sort of youth along the line and they can grab a future starter in Collins, who did a good job handling Jadeveon Clowney at the Under Armour All-American game practices.
14. St. Louis Rams
Charone Peake, WR, Dorman HS, headed to Clemson: Sam Bradford needs some weapons at wide out and Peake would bring size and speed to the receiving corps.
15. Miami Dolphins
Malcolm Brown, RB, Cibolo Steele HS, headed to Texas: Needing a new running back, Brown should fit in well in an offense that needs a big back to handle the load.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ishaq Williams, OLB/DE, Abraham Lincoln HS, headed to Notre Dame: The Jaguars need to draft someone who can pass rush and Williams can do that from either outside linebacker or defensive end.
17. New England Patriots (from Oakland)
Anthony Chickillo, DE, Alonso HS, headed to Miami: He would provide an instant boost to the Patriots' pass rush after a dominating Under Armour All-American game.
18. San Diego Chargers
Tony Steward, OLB, Pedro Menendez HS, headed to Clemson: He looks like he could be an NFL linebacker already and he should be able to fit in as either an outside linebacker or inside linebacker in San Diego's 3-4 scheme.
19. NY Giants
Christian Westerman, OL, Hamilton HS, headed to Auburn: The Giants have an aging offensive line and Westerman could step in and fill a number of positions at either tackle or guard.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quandre Diggs, CB, Angleton HS, headed to Texas: The Bucs draft Ronde Barber's replacement in Diggs, who is the younger brother of Chargers corner Quentin Jammer.
21. Kansas City Chiefs
Colt Lyerla, OLB, Hillsboro HS, headed to Oregon: Looking to replace the versatile Mike Vrabel, the Chiefs select one of the most athletic players in the class of 2011.
22. Indianapolis Colts
Hasean Clinton-Dix, Dr. Phillips HS, headed to Alabama: Needing some insurance for when Bob Sanders is out, the Colts grab the versatile Clinton-Dix.
23. Philadelphia Eagles
Aundrey Walker, OG, Glenville HS, headed to USC: Needing help inside, the big body of Walker should help the Eagles ground game.
24. New Orleans Saints
James Wilder Jr., RB, Plant HS, headed to Florida State: With Pierre Thomas likely headed for free agency, the Saints opt to grab an every down back in Wilder, who could also play on the other side of the ball at linebacker.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Matthew Hegarty, OL, Aztec HS, headed to Notre Dame: Pete Carroll once again drafts an offensive lineman in the first round as he rebuilds the Seattle offense.
26. Baltimore Ravens
Jaxon Shipley, WR, Brownwood HS, headed to Texas: The older receiving corps of the Ravens get a needed speed upgrade in Shipley, who is also a very good route runner.
27. Atlanta Falcons
Brandon Shell, OT, Goose Creek HS, headed to South Carolina: The right side of the Falcons offensive line are free agents and Shell has the size to be a right or left tackle to help protect Matt Ryan.
28. New England Patriots
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Carver HS, headed to Georgia: Needing a running back to finally get the ground game going, the Pats turn to Crowell, who can also catch passes out of the backfield.
29. Chicago Bears
Antonio Richardson, Pearl-Cohn HS, headed to Tennessee: The Bears' offensive line was average to say the least last year and they address their needs with Richardson.
30. NY Jets
Lawrence Thomas, DE/OLB, Renaissance HS, headed to Michigan State: The Jets could use Thomas at either end or as a pass rushing linebacker.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers
Tyler Moore, OL, Countryside HS, headed to Nebraska: A versatile lineman, he could play at a number of spots along Pittsburgh's injury-riddled offensive line.
32. Green Bay Packers
Stephon Tuitt, DE, Monroe HS, headed to Notre Dame: Already young and loaded on defense, the Packers grab Tuitt to help bolster the depth up front.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Big 12 Recruiting Breakdown

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ranking the Big 12 recruiting classes and breaking them down at the same time.

1. Texas

Overview: Mack Brown earned the title of Mr. February once again, turning a losing season and six new coaches into another top 10 class. Once again, the top talent in Texas is headed to Austin in a class that fills a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. 
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley may have a familiar last name but he has the skills to easily pickup where his brother left off.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Malcolm Brown, one of the best running backs to commit to the Longhorns out of high school in years. 
Just missed on: Offensive tackle Christian Westerman to Auburn.

2. Oklahoma

Overview: The Sooners have a ton of talent returning for 2011 and a likely top three team in the country but that didn’t stop them from bringing a talented recruiting class. It wasn’t a big class but the talent in it should hit the field sooner rather than later (pun very much intended). 
Hidden gem: Cornerback Bennett Okotcha, a former Notre Dame commit, has continued to get better and could be a steal after a redshirt year. 
Pencil in for the fall: Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who should be the next freshman wide receiver to put up numbers in the Oklahoma offense. 
Just missed on: Athlete Brandon Carter to TCU.

3. Texas Tech

Overview: Tommy Tuberville has certainly made his mark on the recruiting trail for the Red Raiders this year. Pulling prospects from Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama and Pennsylvania show that Tech is no longer just grabbing the players passed over by Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, this may be the most talented class to ever head to Lubbock. 
Hidden gem: Defensive end/linebacker Branden Jackson, who could be a terrific hybrid player with his speed and athleticism. 
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Kenny Williams has the size and power to add to the Tech ground game from day one. 
Just missed on: Cornerback Marcus Roberson to Florida.

4. Oklahoma State

Overview: Credit to Mike Gundy for signing an impressive class, especially on offense, despite experiencing a lot of staff turnover. The Cowboys filled needs and brought in some great skill position talent in 2011. 
Hidden gem: Athlete Desmond Roland is very versatile and could play all over for Oklahoma State. 
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Herschel Sims should slot into the running back rotation from the get go. 
Just missed on: Possibly Jon Jenkins, a former commit at defensive tackle who still hasn’t made his choice.

5. Texas A&M

Overview: The Aggies might not have taken advantage of Texas’ down year quite as much as they might have liked but they did put together a very solid class. Grabbing a few linebackers filled a big need. 
Hidden gem: Kicker Taylor Bertolet, one of the best kickers in the country and even kicked the game-winning field goal in the Under Armour All-America game. 
Pencil in for the fall: Outside linebacker Shaun Ward should come in and compete for playing time right away.

6. Kansas State

Overview: Junior college heavy to no one’s surprise, the Wildcats grabbed talented players from different parts of the country. 
Hidden gem: Former top recruits Arthur and Bryce Brown are part of this class as transfers and are still very talented despite most glossing over them because they transferred awhile back. 
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive end Ian Seau may have a familiar name (he’s Junior Seau’s nephew) but he will have no problem getting Wildcat fans to think of Ian whenever they hear of Seau.

7. Kansas

Overview: Turner Gill’s first full class as head coach doesn’t have a ton of impact players but it is a deep and versatile class.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd is a very explosive athlete who could end up being a steal. 
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Darrian Miller is an early enrollee so he will already be going through spring drills to learn the system. One of the best backs from the Midwest, he should step in right away at Kansas.

8. Baylor

Overview: Solid if not spectacular is the best way to describe Baylor’s class. There’s a ton of talent that should benefit from a redshirt year and good coaching from Art Briles
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jonathan Lee has the size and speed to quickly become a factor in the passing game. 
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Trevor Valdez has a terrific motor and great quickness inside.

9. Missouri

Overview: Not the typical class we’ve seen from Missouri over the past couple of years but nevertheless a solid class to build around. 
Hidden gem: Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser should be a dependable backup early in career before being tapped to put up some big numbers for the Tigers. 
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been waiting for a few years to play for Mizzou and should step in right away in the middle of the defense.

10. Iowa State

Overview: A very surprising class given some of the talents the Cyclones brought in. Although they’re ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 classes, there’s still a talent upgrade headed to Ames. 
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Quenton Bundrage is a very speedy kid who could be very productive in just about any offense. 
Pencil in for the fall: Running back DeVondrick Nealy is a great get for Iowa State out of Florida.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 1:44 pm
 

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the SEC:

WINNERS:

Alabama:
No surprise that Nick Saban's crew put together yet another huge Signing Day, with the No. 1 spot in the Maxpreps team rankings wrapped up after adding No. 1 offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to what had already been a massive haul. The Tide pulled in a perfect 3-4 defensive end in Jeoffrey Pagan (pictured) and flipped supremely athletic outside linebacker Brent Calloway back from Auburn (after he'd committed to the Tigers at the U.S. Army All-American game), two major missions accomplished. Top those off with the rest of the Tide's commitments -- including five-star teammates RB Dee Hart and S Hasean Clinton-Dix -- staying securely in the fold, and missing out on Isaiah Crowell (and likely No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney ) barely even stings.

Video: Jeoffrey Pagan highlights

Georgia: Linebacker Kent Turene was an awfully nice pickup. But landing Crowell was a seismic development, the one member of the much-ballyhooed "Dream Team" the tailback-starved Bulldogs absolutely had to have. He alone was enough to push Mark Richt into the winner's column, but add in Turene and the successful fending off of challenges for commits like defensive back Corey Moore, and even missing out on Pagan won't be enough to wipe the smile off of the faces of Bulldog fans.

Video: Todd Grantham talks Signing Day  

Auburn: Losing Calloway to the hated Tide stung, and the euphoria of watching Kouandjio announce for the Tigers dissipated quickly as he elected not to sign his LOI on Signing Day, eventually joining Calloway and his older brother in Tuscaloosa. But Chizik got a ton of help for his occasionally-porous defense anyway, inking one of the nation's best safeties in Erique Florence and a rock-solid defensive tackle prospect in Crowell teammate Gabe Wright. The Tigers also wasted no time replacing cornerback decommitment Marcus Roberson with coveted Mississippi athlete Jermaine Whitehead, a Mississippi State commitment. Even without Kouandjio, the Tigers landed a top-10 class that proved their program-changing 2010 haul was no fluke. Still, Tiger fans have to wonder: if they weren't coming to Auburn, couldn't Calloway and Koundjio have gone somewhere other than Alabama?

Video: Gene Chizik talks Signing Day at CBS College Sports , Kiehl Frazier commits , Coaches react to Erique Florence decision

Ole Miss: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen enjoys pointing out the raw numbers of his team's players and recruits come from the state they share with the Rebels, but it was Houston Nutt who ran away with nearly all of the state's top-ranked talent. Having already secured the signatures of former Bulldog commitment five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson and highly-regarded receiver Tobias Singleton, the Rebels added to their in-state haul by keeping top-100 wideout Nickolas Brassell out of the clutches of the Tide. The battle between Nutt and Mullen on the recruiting trail was more-or-less a draw in 2010, but there's little question who had the upper hand this season.

LSU: The day was unusually quiet by the usually madcap Bayou Bengals' Signing Day standards, but that happens when you have your state on virtual lockdown and that state provides enough talent for one of the nation's best classes all on its own. Simply making sure their commitments (most notably offensive tackle La'El Collins and defensive counterpart Anthony Johnson) made it across the dotted line would have guaranteed Les Miles a successful Signing Day. But keeping Shreveport's Jermauria Rasco (pictured) -- one of the nation's most highly sought-after defensive ends -- at home (and away from Texas) more than made up for missing out on Florida defensive tackle Tim Jernigan.

Vanderbilt:
The Commodores won't finish anywhere near the top of the league's recruiting rankings, of course. But given the limited time James Franklin had to work with, the results were quite impressive. Franklin flipped Virginia Tech quarterback commitment Lafonte Thourogood first thing Signing Day morning and brought in several other candidates for immediate playing time, like Ohio tight end Dorien Bryant.

LOSERS:

Florida:
The Gators, as always, can still boast one of the nation's best classes, and no one anywhere signed a better QB-RB combo than Jeff Driskel and the underrated Mike Blakely. Roberson's arrival was a nice Signing Day surprise, and Will Muschamp and Co. turned away a serious Ohio State challenge for receiver JaJuan Story. But particularly looking at the way their rivals at Georgia and Florida State finished, Gator fans won't be happy about being unable to make up any ground with prospects like Jernigan, Curtis Grant, or Stephone Anthony. Roberson wound up the only new addition on Signing Day, and even he somewhat fell into the Gators' laps after his wild commitments and decommitments to Texas Tech and Auburn. Muschamp will be cut plenty of slack this season after his late arrival in Gainesville, but another class that so completely cedes the limelight to the Dawgs and 'Noles won't be as easily forgiven.


Mississippi State:
How thin was the Bulldogs' final class after seeing the likes of Johnson, Singleton and -- most painfully -- Whitehead decommit? Not one of their 23 commitments ranked among the top 25 at their position, according to Tom Lemming. The Bulldogs struggled going head-to-head with Ole Miss within Mississippi, and came up empty when going abroad for players like Washington D.C.-based Kevin McReynolds, who signed with UCLA. Players like receiver Joe Morrow and defensive tackle P.J. Jones are unquestionably SEC-grade talents, but after such a productive, promising year on the field, the lack of recruiting punch is puzzling.

Arkansas: There's nothing particularly disappointing about the Razorbacks' 2011 class (though watching tight end commitment Chris Barnett sign with Michigan wasn't fun), and keeping home-grown talent like quarterback Brandon Allen and tackle Brey Cook in Arkansas was a bright spot. But when you share a division with Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, "nothing particularly disappointing" may not be good enough to stay in the mix for a division title.






Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 5:26 pm
 

MaxPreps: First-year coaches' grades

By MaxPreps's Stephen Spiewak

A head coach's first recruiting class is often his worst.

Taking a head coaching job in the middle of the offseason, a critical time in the recruiting period, is a burdensome task. New hires rush to retain recruits from the previous regime by quickly building and reaffirming relationships with current commits while also branching out to land their own targets to fit their offensive and defensive philosophies.

However, new hires do benefit from the media deluge that typically follows the announcement that they're taking the job.

Here's a look at some notable coaches in their first recruiting season at their current school and how they fared on the recruiting trail.

Brady Hoke-Michigan 
Notable recruits lost: Demetrius Hart
Notable recruits gained: Christian Bryant 
Analysis: Hoke became the man at Michigan after a long, drawn out process that not only involved former coach Rich Rodriguez but also the likes of Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles. The Wolverines landed on Hoke, who didn't hit many home runs, but brought in solid recruits like Bryant, Antonio Poole, and Thomas Rawls.  Grade: B+

Will Muschamp-Florida 
Notable recruits lost: Nick Waisome, Ryan Shazier
Notable recruits gained: Marcus Roberson 
Analysis: Coming off an epic 2010 recruiting class, it would've been nearly impossible for any coach to match what Urban Meyer did last year - even Urban Meyer himself. Muschamp had to focus his efforts on re-recruiting existing Florida commits. He couldn't close on the type of recruit that the Gators had become used to landing, like Tim Jernigan and Curt Maggitt. He should improve vastly in 2012. Grade: C+

Al Golden-Miami 
Notable recruits lost: Teddy Bridgewater, Eli Rogers
Notable recruits gained: Jalen Grimble 
Analysis: Golden certainly has some work to do, as most of South Florida's top recruits went elsewhere. Bringing in Grimble was a big surprise, and Golden has the Hurricanes poised to land quarterback Jacoby Brissett. He convinced Anthony Chickillo to stick with his commitment while mending fences at Miami Central and bringing in Thomas Finnie. Grade: A

David Shaw-Stanford 
Notable recruits lost: Anthony Sarao, Amir Carlisle 
Notable recruits gained: Wayne Lyons
Analysis: Stanford often loses recruits late in the recruiting cycle due to its strict academic standards, but the departure of Jim Harbaugh exacerbated the Cardinal's losses. However, it was not all bad news for Shaw and Stanford, which still landed Wayne Lyons, the nation's No. 45 recruit. With all of Stanford's success on the field this season, this is a slightly disappointing class, even taking into account the coaching turmoil. Grade: B

Randy Edsall-Maryland 
Notable recruits lost: none 
Notable recruits gained: Jeremiah Hendy 
Analysis: Maryland has seen some change in its recruiting class in the post-Ralph Friedgen era. The Terrapins lost recruits like Ryan Malleck and Jimmy Stewart, but Edsall was able to regain a pledge from A.J. Hendy. Otherwise, this class is similar to what it was before Edsall arrived: underwhelming. However, Edsall did a great job identifying and cultivating talent at UConn. Maryland fans have to hang their hats on next year's recruiting class, because the 2011 group is underwhelming. Grade: C

More Signing Day coverage on CBSSports.com
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 9:33 am
 

S Erique Florence chooses Auburn

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As quickly as Auburn's future secondary took a blow with the loss of Marcus Roberson, they've made back up the ground -- and then some -- with the addition of one of the nation's top safety prospects, Erique Florence.

Maxpreps' No. 5 safety prospect , the 6'2", 200-pound Florence has been believed to be a heavy Auburn lean for quite some time and made it official with an announcement at his Valley (Ala.) High School, some 30 minutes from Auburn. Florence is one of the nation's biggest hitters, with prototypical safety speed and size. Though he may need a quick adjustment period after playing quarterback for the Rams, the departure of safeties Aairon Savage and Zac Etheridge mean Florence should push for immediate playing time in Auburn's defensive backfield.

Florence considered USC, but in the end, the hometown Tigers were too tough to turn down. "I couldn't pick something I liked over something I loved," he said.

Florence's decision solidifies Auburn's standing as one of the strongest classes in the SEC and the country. Though the Jeoffrey Pagan decision has bumped their archrivals at Alabama one spot ahead of the Tigers in the Maxpreps' team rankings , no one at Auburn is going to complain with Florence safely in the fold.

More Signing Day coverage is here  at CBS.


Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:04 am
 

CB Marcus Roberson signs with Florida

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the most up-and-down recruitments of the past few weeks has ended with Marcus Roberson signing with the Florida Gators .

A 6'1", 180-pound cornerback out of Fort Lauderdale, Roberson is Maxpreps No. 10 CB and possesses excellent size and fluidity. After initially committed to Texas Tech (and defensive backs coach Otis Mounds, Roberson's uncle) before backing out and committing to Auburn earlier this week. But that commitment lasted less than 48 hours, leaving Roberson free to makes his final decision between the Gators and USC.

By pulling the trigger for Will Muschamp and Co., Roberson becomes just the third new commitment for the Gators since their new head coach's arrival and could help ease the sting if --as many expect -- other top prospects like Curtis Grant and Tim Jernigan sign elsewhere. It remains to be seen how successful a Signing Day this will be for Muschamp, but thanks to Roberson it's off to a top-notch start; according to Maxpreps' Stephen Spiewak, Roberson's decision has pushed the Gators to the cusp of the top 10 in the Maxpreps team recruiting rankings .
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:18 pm
 

SEC Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As always, National Signing Day promises to be a seismic day in the nation's most cutthroat recruiting conference, the SEC. Here's a rundown of what you'll need to keep an eye on:

Players to Watch

Isaiah Crowell , RB, Carver (Columbus, Ga.): Potentially the final piece in the puzzle of Mark Richt's "Dream Team" of a 2011 class, Crowell will decide between his home-state Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama. The Maxpreps No. 6 running back and No. 55 player overall, Crowell has all the gifts necessary to make a Marcus Lattimore- esque impact, particularly at a Georgia program desperate for a difference-maker at the tailback position. No recruit at any position at any team in the SEC is as big a "must-get" as Crowell appears to be for the Dawgs.

Cyrus Kouandjio , OT, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.): The No. 3 player in the country according to Tom Lemming, the 6'7", 290-pound prototype tackle (pictured) might hail from Maryland but nonetheless appears to be an intra-state battle between Alabama and Auburn. The Tide can offer Cyrus to chance to play alongside brother Arie Kouandjio (a redshirt freshman at Tuscaloosa) and are considered the team to beat, but the Tigers have made a late charge after Cyrus's visit to the Plains last weekend.

Jermauria Rasco , DE, Evangel Christian (Shreveport, La.): Les Miles has already put together a stunning collection of homebred Louisiana talent for his 2011 class, but LSU fans may feel it won't be complete without the explosive Rasco, the Maxpreps No. 6 DE and a top-50 player overall. But to keep one of the most hotly-contested recruits in the country at home, Miles will have to fend off a serious charge from Florida State.

Teams to Watch

Alabama:
Few teams in the country (if any) close as well as the Tide, and if Nick Saban can land Crowell, Kouandjio, and consensus national No. 1 recruit Jadeveon Clowney (who you probably know by now will delay his announcement until Feb. 14), Alabama will lay claim to the nation's top recruiting class once again. Then again, even if they sign only one of the three, the Tide's class is so deep already they'll be in the mix for that honor all the same.

Georgia: It's not just Crowell; the Bulldogs are in play for several other major recruits, like Maxpreps No. 4 defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan and mammoth JUCO defensive tackle Johnathan Jenkins, who could have the same impact as the nose tackle in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense that Terrence Cody once had at Alabama. Putting the finishing touches on what's already a terrific class could prove to be a critical turning point for Mark Richt's Georgia tenure.

Auburn: As much attention as their competition in Tuscaloosa, Athens and Baton Rouge have received of late, it's Auburn that sits at No. 3 in the Maxpreps team recruiting rankings , and the Tigers could move even higher. No. 5 safety Erique Florence and coveted defensive tackle Gabe Wright are both expected to sign with Auburn, and Gene Chizik could also flip Mississippi State commitment Jermaine Whitehead, a prized defensive back. If Auburn can keep Alabama from re-flipping one-time Tide commitment Brent Calloway, their class should rank right alongside their in-state rivals.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

No one's going to complain too terribly much about Will Muschamp's finish on the recruiting trail, given the limited time with which he and his new staff have had to work. (Not to mention the presence of eye-popping skill position talent like ultra-polished quarterback Jeff Driskel.) But with Georgia and Florida State both poised to bring in substantial hauls, Florida fans still can't be happy about a class that stands at just 16 commitments today, or that Muschamp has added just two players to it since his hire. Finishing with big-time talents like fresh Auburn decommitment Marcus Roberson, blue-chip linebackers Curtis Grant or Stephone Anthony, or defensive tackle Tim Jernigan would go a long way towards soothing any frazzled Gainesville nerves.

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