Tag:Mike Bobo
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:06 pm
 

Mark Richt goes to jail for top 100 recruit

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No one who follows college football is surprised when coaches go to extraordinary lengths to sign a pivotal recruit. But that doesn't mean it still wasn't something of a shock to see headlines that Georgia's Mark Richt had taken himself to jail Wednesday night to try and land Valdosta (Ga.) linebacker prospect Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Of course, the story's not at all what those headlines would make it appear to be--though that doesn't mean it's not fascinating in its own right. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Richt's "in-home" visit with Harvey-Clemons was interrupted when the 6'5", 200-pound linebacker had to make a visit to the local prison for the bail bonds company part-owned by his grandfather (and legal guardian).

Thanks to some complications, Richt and Bulldog offensive coordinator Mike Bobo eventually ended up tagging along for what wound up a "bonding" experience in more ways than one.

Positive as the trip wound up being -- Richt was reportedly assured the Bulldogs remain very much in the mix for Harvey-Clemons' signature after the visit -- even Richt knew the trip would wind up becoming fodder for recruiting fans.

“I’m sure this was an experience that Coach Mark Richt will never forget,” Harvey-Clemons' uncle, Roy Hart, told the AJC "with a chuckle. “Coach Richt said ‘I can’t wait to read the headlines about this one.’”

Harvey-Clemons is the No. 93 prospect on the Maxpreps top 100 and will have his choice of some of the nation's top programs. The Bulldogs are one of three reported leaders alongside Florida and Florida State, with Harvey-Clemons set to visit Miami this weekend.

But despite that attention, Harvey-Clemons still has to pay his dues in grandfather Woodrow Clemons' bonds business.

“My kids are at the age where they have to work and do something," Clemons said. "They’ve got to start learning about the real world. And with being bond agents, they can pick up the ‘fear’ of going to jail … Josh understood he had to go do this. I own the business and one day Josh will own part of it, so he knows the responsibilities that come with it. And it definitely beats working at Wal-mart or a hamburger joint.”

This may be true. Though we're wondering if, happy ending and all, Richt wouldn't have minded a trip to pick up a garden hose or a Big Mac instead.

Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 11:36 pm
 

National Notes: Top assistants to keep an eye on

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Welcome to December, otherwise known as closing time. Bowl practices and holidays make things a little more complicated for some coaches but others enjoy the grind as they hit the home stretch two months out from Signing Day. Here's a list of four recruiters in each part of the country to keep an eye on in each part of the country.

West

Ed Orgeron, USC

Does any recruiter have a better reputation than Ed Orgeron? Probably not. The Trojans defensive line coach has been relentless in the recruiting trail and instrumental in helping manage the program's numbers situation with limited scholarships to hand out. He's hit SoCal hard and been a big reason why plenty of offensive (Max Tuerk, Jordan Simmons) and defensive (Ellis McCarthy, Noah Spence) are committed to, or looking at, USC. Also note that linebackers coach Joe Barry has done a great job with his position group, Orange County (Calif.) and Arizona during his time in LA.

Tosh Lupoi, California

It's been pretty amazing to see Lupoi's rise as a recruiter and coach at Cal but you can see why when looking at his handiwork. He's a younger Orgeron but is quickly becoming his equal after landing players such as Brennan Scarlett and Viliami Moala last year. As a Bay Area-native, he's done a great job of getting talent close to home while also going national and bringing players in. Though the Bears class is somewhat small, expect it to grow in a cover as Lupoi enters the home stretch. His top target right now is five-star Arik Armstead.

Demetrice Martin, Washington

The Huskies staff has lots of Southern California connections but Martin has been a great closer down the stretch with kids. He's relatable as a young guy and knows many of the high school coaches in the area. Don't be surprised if he lands some skill position talent for UW's class this year from the LA area.

John Neal, Oregon

One of the Ducks' ace recruiters, Neal has hit other areas of the country with success and does well in the cities. He landed nearby athlete Oshay Dunmore and had a hand in defensive backs Eric and Stephen Amoako committing from the Dallas-area. Several athletes from the East and Southern California are in contact with him and don't be shocked to hear his name come up some more.

South

Dameyune Craig, Florida State

Not sure anybody has gone into another powerhouse's backyard and raided it like Craig has Alabama's. The big star was quarterback Jameis Winston but he's also been instrumental in landing Chris Casher and Justin Shanks. There's a few more targets on the Seminoles board and don't be surprised if Craig is the one helping get them to Tallahassee.

Mike Bobo, Georgia

It's funny but Bobo's on the field duties have caused a few Georgia fans to want him out of the program but his time spent in recruits' homes and on the trail has been a big asset to the Bulldogs. He was one of the people behind last year's 'Dream Team' and has managed to sell stability at a program that only got it with 10 straight wins during the regular season. This year appears to be another time for him to shine with in-state recruits once again.

Tee Martin, Kentucky

That Martin has done a good job as a recruiter should surprise no one but given that he the former Tennessee star has done it at Kentucky is a little bit. He managed to get a huge surprise last Signing Day in wide out Daryl Collins and might be able to pull off the same magic again this year. Martin has done a great job in Alabama in particular and the only question seems to be if he can resist heading back to Knoxville with a staff opening there.

Frank Wilson, LSU

Last year he was a machine, with a hand in landing offensive tackle La'El Collins, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and running back Kenny Hilliard among others (all three saw plenty of playing time in LSU's run to New Orleans). Easily the Tigers' best recruiter, Wilson has been one reason why there's a figurative fence around the state of Louisiana. Linebacker Trey Granier was one of his big gets with the 2012 group and don't be surprised if he gets a few others as well.

Midwest

Tony Alford, Notre Dame

Don't be surprised if Alford can snag a big fish for Notre Dame late in the process. He got a commitment from Justin Ferguson out of Florida and appears to be focusing his time on the state to land a few others. With some issues at Florida, he could be one person to take advantage given his ties in the northern part of the state.

Fred Jackson, Michigan

The Wolverines have put together the best class of 2012 in the country and Jackson is a big part of it. He's mainly an in-state guy and lucky for him he's got a great group coming out and done an even better job of keeping them home. He's plucked two out of Farmington Hills (Mich.) in Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia and played a role in Royce Jenkins-Stone's pledge. He's been at the school a long time and knows how to sell Michigan to players.

Adrian Klemm, SMU

Klemm is not a household name by any means but should be based on what he's done this year. Though SMU isn't exactly a powerhouse, June Jones has engineered a turnaround in Dallas and Klemm has been a big part as recruiting coordinator. Though the school is located in a talent-rich area of a talent-rich state, the former New England Patriot has done a great job getting talented Los Angeles-area players to come East. Six SoCal natives are committed to the Mustangs class of 2012 at the moment and more could be coming. With rumors of Jones taking the Arizona State job, expect Klemm to come along to really ramp up the LA ties.

Urban Meyer/Luke Fickell, Ohio State

Yes, Meyer's not an assistant coach. But he hasn't really assembled his staff at this point and thus is going a significant share of the recruiting himself. He has certainly been active and because Fickell is remaining on staff, we'll count these two as one super-recruiter. Though recruiting hasn't been up to Ohio State standards with the 2012 group, that was to be expected given the turnover at head coach and NCAA violations in Columbus. Fickell landed Curtis Grant and Ryan Shazier last year and did a good job with Adolphus Washington this year. The two are going to be a very good asset despite what amounts to a false start with the upcoming class. Things have already paid off dividends and the Buckeyes are in the running for defensive end Noah Spence.

Davis decommits from Florida

Been a wild few days down in the South. Stone Mountain (Ga.) running back Mike Davis was one of the recent invites to the Army All-American Bowl and had the jersey ceremony for himself and fellow teammate Raphael Kirby on Thursday. At the time, rumors started to surface that he was having issues with the staff and would soon decommit.

Over the weekend he went on an official visit to Tennessee and finally on Sunday night, he made the new official that he was no longer a Florida pledge.

"My mind right now is open," Davis told Rivals. "My recruitment has opened back up. I've talked to my parents, my mom, my brother, all my family. Right now it's Florida State, South Carolina, Alabama and Miami. But things can change."

From the sounds of things, the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder is completely wide open and will not be considering the Gators despite being in their 2012 class since February and one of their biggest supporters.

"I can't really talk about it," he said cryptically. "Some things happened that I don't want to comment on between me and the coaches. All I'll say is that it was a miscommunication between them, me and my brother. Some things that weren't supposed to happen." 

Ranked as the 10th-best running back in the country by Maxpreps, losing Davis is big blow to Florida as the new staff tries to remake the team using more of a pro-style offense. One of the central pieces of the class and expected to compete early on for some playing time as a change of pace guy, Charlie Weis is now down to just Matt Jones at running back in 2012. With their top 2013 target off the board to Georgia in Derrick Henry, Florida now has to scramble to get another player back into the fold at the position.

Busy week for Armstead

After decommitting from USC, the recruitment of Pleasant Grove (Calif.) lineman Arik Armstead has steadily picked up. He's been going on several official visits the past few weeks and has kept his phone close by.

USC and Notre Dame are among the schools that have already stopped by for an in-home and several more are lined up over the next few days. Among the scheduled ones this week are Washington, Oregon and Auburn. He'll be making the short trip to Cal at some point during the weekend. Also keep in mind that Armstead wants to play basketball and that will be a factor in his decision.

Video of the week



Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:52 am
 

National Notes: Kiel, Notre Dame's big weekend

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Quite a busy week on the recruiting trail.

Things kicked off on Friday with the decommitment of five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel from Indiana, which was surprising only in regards to the timing. Many were quite surprised when he chose the Hoosiers over national powers like Oklahoma and Alabama but it made sense on some levels - his brother was there, they were the in-state school close to home, Kevin Wilson had a good reputation for developing quarterbacks.

Still, top-flight quarterbacks do not usually wind up at schools like Indiana and especially not when there were not other major recruits coming with them and winning is a major issue. I went to see Kiel play in his playoff game but he was held out by coaches for precautionary reasons after he was slightly injured during practice. In talking with him after the game, you got the sense that because he was "reconsidering" his commitment, this was an opening for him to make sure that he took his official visits and checked out other schools.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," he said. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

Kiel has remained fairly quiet about his recruitment but you almost get the sense that he was boxed into making his commitment too early. He was planning to announce in late June but kept pushing things back and pushing things back. Then fellow top 100 signal-caller Jameis Winston committed to Florida State, which set off a chain of dominoes. Kiel's other finalists, perhaps sensing that he wouldn't be picking them, moved on to others. It's rare for the five-star guy not to be the one that sets off the chain but that could be the case here.

Now he's back on the market and looking at schools. He was part of a star-studded visiting class in South Bend for USC-Notre Dame (more on that later) and figures to quickly schedule several visits to schools. It's hard to say which schools are in the running since he's pretty tight-lipped but polished quarterbacks like Kiel don't fall off trees and you'd have to think he received quite a few calls from college coaches. Since he wants to enroll early this won't be a four month ordeal but it will be an interesting six or so weeks for the country's number two player.

Stars came out in South Bend
There are some games that just seem to draw the official visitors out and Notre Dame's rivalry game against USC was billed as their Super Bowl on and off the field. 12 members from the Maxpreps Top 100 were in South Bend taking in the sights and sounds over the weekend, with several coming in Saturday so as to spend an extra night in town before flying out Monday.

Of course, things didn't exactly go as planned for the Irish on the field, falling to the Trojans 31-17 but that didn't have too much of an effect on the visitors.

"The game atmosphere was crazy, even the pre-game atmosphere was crazy," Zach Banner told 247sports. "The whole school was amped up and you could feel the tradition. It's an old rivalry and you could just feel a lot was on the line. I like how Notre Dame sticks with their tradition."

The problem for Notre Dame wasn't the weather, crowd or anything like that, it was that they A) lost the game by more than the score indicated and B) lost to a school they're recruiting against for several of the visitors. Recent USC decomit Arik Armstead was among those in attendance, as were several other California recruits. It will be awhile before the freshness of the official visit wears off of the players but, long-term, losing to USC in the manner they did doesn't exactly help Brian Kelly's efforts.

The Irish are still going to recruit very well however, and are in line for another top 15 class this year. They still have a very good chance at landing running back Keith Marshall and several others so Notre Dame fans shouldn't get too caught up in how many commitments they bring in from this group until further down the road. The biggest thing the team has to do now is win, because that seems to cure just about everything on the recruiting trail.

Video of the week

Check out this reverse by KJ Dillon and his alternative method of reaching the end zone.



Recruiting Roundup

Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford will take their official visits to Ohio State this week.

With Georgia off last week, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo went to check out commit Brice Ramsey.

Guito Ervilus is back on the field and considering North Carolina, Louisville, Tennessee, Florida State and Florida.

Arkansas commit Jakarri Thomas remains firm in his commitment to the Hogs.

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