Tag:Mountain West
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:00 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:03 pm
 

A week out: MaxPreps Top 25 team rankings



Posted by Bryan Fischer


We're a week away - if you can believe it - from the class of 2012 finally putting pen to paper and ending all of the drama surrounding their recruitment. There's still plenty of uncommitted players out there and lots of teams looking to move up in the class rankings. At the moment, it looks like Alabama has a stranglehold on the top spot but there's a small chance that another team could knock them out if a surprise or two ends up committing.

Below is an overview of the current Maxpreps top 25 class rankings,  from the Crimson Tide to the Cardinal, and a few notes on each.


MaxPreps Top 25 recruiting classes for 2012
School Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 DB Landon Collins
DB Geno Smith
ATH Eddie Williams
RB T.J. Yeldon
The Crimson Tide have already won a title in January and it's possible they'll get another come February 1st. This group has so many playmakers on both sides of the ball that several in this group will have to redshirt. Alabama is also in the running for several top commits so the rich might get even richer.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DT Malcom Brown
RB Johnathan Gray
WR Cayleb Jones
OL Curtis Riser
Just another ho-hum group of stars for the Longhorns. The class is highlighted by Gray, who set just about every record imaginable in high school and should be a factor early on in running the ball.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Jonathan Bullard
OL Jessamen Dunker
OL D.J. Humphries
TE Kent Taylor
Will Muschamp has a chance to reload quickly with the current group of commits. He's got good depth coming in along both lines and is in the running for several elite players like Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor and Tracy Howard.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Urban Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- Team page
- Commitment list
31 DB Deon Bush
DE Jelani Hamilton
RB Randy Johnson
DE Tyriq McCord
There's a ton of explosiveness in this class but there's also a few questionable players in this group in terms of talent level. After "Duke" Johnson's senior year, it looks like the Hurricanes are getting the two best players in the state in him and Hamilton.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 OL John Michael McGee
TE Taylor McNamara
WR Durron Neal
WR Derrick Woods
The offense reloads at receiver quite well and Neal has a chance to be a special playmaker with his talent. The offensive line also gets a nice boost with McGee and Ty Darlington in the interior.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Vadal Alexander
DE Torshiro Davis
LB Trey Granier
WR Avery Johnson
The Tigers are still in the running for some elite players when Signing Day rolls around but Les Miles has to be happy with the speed and athleticism the current class has. Johnson, if he sticks, could fill in quickly for the departed Rueben Randle.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 DE Chris Casher
DE Mario Edwards Jr.
DE Dante Fowler Jr.
QB Jameis Winston
 This might be the best collection of D-linemen in the country. Edwards is likely to end up in Tallahassee and it's almost unfair to pair him with guys like Casher and Fowler off the edge. If Winston arrives on campus, then this group has great potential down the road.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 QB Zach Kline
OL Freddie Tagaloa
DB Shaq Thompson
WR Bryce Treggs
This is a top 10 class for now. The emphasis is added because the departure of Tosh Lupoi to Washington has really thrown this group for a loop and caused several, such as Thompson, to look around before signing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Matt Davis
DB DeVante Harris
LB Jordan Richmond
RB Trey Williams
This was a top 10 class before Mike Sherman was fired and it looks like Kevin Sumlin will be able to keep the Aggies right around there. Davis and Williams are two dynamic players on offense and it's possible they'll be joined by former Texas commit, wide receiver Thomas Johnson too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Mike Davis
DB Jordan Diggs
DB Chaz Elder
WR Shaq Roland
There's not the buzz with this group like there was last year grabbing #1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney. Still, they have two great pick ups in Davis and Roland on offense and several other pieces that should make this a top 8-12 class come February 2nd.  
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DB Travis Blanks
ATH Germone Hopper
QB Chad Kelly
DT Carlos Watkins
Another very good class for the Tigers, Blanks is versatile and might be the best cover guy in 2012. Kelly has a strong arm and should take over for Tajh Boyd when the time comes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Gunner Kiel
WR Deontay Greenberry
DB Tee Shepard
DB Elijah Shumate
Landing Kiel is a signature moment for Brian Kelly and gives the Irish their quarterback of the future. The Cali Kids, Greenberry and Shepard, will play right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 RB J.C. Coleman
RB Drew Harris
DE Jarontay Jones
DB Donaldven Manning
 Jones is a big time DE but the there's plenty of players who will re-stock the wide receiver and defensive back positions. Coleman and Harris are going to be a very good 1-2 punch in the back field very soon.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB T.J. Davis
TE Darrion Hutcherson
RB Jovon Robinson
WR JaQuay Williams
Coordinator changes hurt this group, especially in terms of depth, but there are quality ball players from top to bottom. It wouldn't be surprising if Hutcherson and Williams leave a mark as freshmen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
12 WR Darreus Rogers
LB Jabari Ruffin
OL Jordan Simmons
OL Max Tuerk
This is the first class truly limited by NCAA sanctions but that doesn't mean Lane Kiffin hasn't been able to pull in some great players. The Trojans are also in the running for elite, top 20 players on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Todd Gurley
DL Jordan Jenkins
RB Keith Marshall
OL John Theus
It's not a 'Dream Team' like last year but there's several players like Gurley and/or Marshall who will play early on. They have to land their remaining targets, such as lineman Avery Young, to go from solid to a great class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Devante Bourque
WR Jason Croom
DB LaDarrell McNeil
TE Justin Meredith
With mass staff changes and a down year, the Vols haven't gotten the elite player or two that everybody is used to seeing. Croom and Meredith are excellent weapons on offense though but there's a chance they could lose one of their top defenders on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DE Eli Harold
LB Kwontie Moore
DE Michael Moore
DE Courtnye Wynn
Kwontie Moore is an impressive linebacker who can hit like Ray Lewis and run like a safety. The defensive linemen in this class should have plenty guys who see early playing time.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 DE DeForest Buckner
RB Byron Marshall
QB Jake Rodrigues
WR Dwayne Stanford
Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has thrown some for a loop but it looks like the Pac-12 champs will only add to a very good 2012 class. Marshall and Rodrigues are perfect fits on offense
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Cordale Boyd
OL Jeremy Ward
RB Jonathan Williams
This isn't a great recruiting class for the Hogs but it could be if Dorial Green-Beckham signs, as many expect. Williams has injury concerns but might be the sleeper running back in the class of 2012.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Brandon Banks
RB Brian Kimbrow
QB Patton Robinette
Kimbrow and Robinette appear to be the future of the Commodores offense and that's a great start for a group that might end up as good or better as their counterparts in the state.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Devonte Fields
ATH Daje Johnson
QB Tyler Matthews
Very few teams in the country are bringing in as fast, collectively, a group as the Horned Frogs are. Johnson is a special talent and Matthews can take his time to develop into a nice signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Nick Davidson
LB Noor Davis
RB Barry Sanders
DT Jordan Watkins
It's not often you find the Cardinal in the top 25 in recruiting but things are rolling on the Farm. This is linemen heavy and has several recruits who should see early playing time. Stanford is also in the mix for elite offensive linemen Josh Garnett and Andrus Peat.



Category: NCAAF
Tags: ACC, Adolphus Washington, Alabama, Andrus Peat, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Johnson, Avery Young, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Brandon Banks, Bri'onte Dunn, Brian Kelly, Brian Kimbrow, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, Cal, California, Carlos Watkins, Cayleb Jones, Chad Kelly, Chaz Elder, Chip Kelly, Chris Casher, Clemson, Cordale Boyd, Courtnye Wynn, Curtis Riser, D.J. Humphries, Daje Johnson, Dante Fowler Jr., Darreus Rogers, Darrion Hutcherson, DeForest Buckner, Deon Bush, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Woods, Devante Bourque, DeVante Harris, Devonte Fields, Donaldven Manning, Dorial Green-Beckham, Drew Harris, Durron Neal, Dwayne Stanford, Eddie Williams, Eli Harold, Elijah Shumate, Erik Magnuson, Florida, Florida State, Freddie Tagaloa, Geno Smith, Georgia, Germone Hopper, Greg Mattison, Gunner Kiel, J.C. Coleman, Jabari Ruffin, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Rodrigues, Jameis Winston, JaQuay Williams, Jarontay Jones, Jason Croom, Jelani Hamilton, Jeremy Ward, Jessamen Dunker, John Michael McGee, John Theus, Johnathan Gray, Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Richmond, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Jovon Robinson, Justin Meredith, Keith Marshall, Kent Taylor, Kevin Sumlin, Kwontie Moore, Kyle Kalis, LaDarrell McNeil, Landon Collins, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, LSU, Malcom Brown, Mario Edwards jr., Matt Davis, Max Tuerek, Miami, Michael Moore, Michigan, Mike Davis, Mike Sherman, Mountain West, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davison, Noah Spence, Non-BCS, Noor Davis, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, Pac-12, Patton Robinette, Randy Johnson, Ray Lewis, Rodd Gurley, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Rueben Randle, SEC, Shaq Roland, Shaq Thompson, South Carolina, Stanford, Stefon Diggs, T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Tajh Boyd, Taylor McNamara, TCU, team rankings, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Johnson, Tommy Shutt, Torshiro Davis, Tosh Lupoi, Tracy Howard, Travis Blanks, Trey Granier, Trey Williams, Ty Darlington, Tyler Matthews, Tyriq McCord, Urban Meyer, USC, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Will Muschamp, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: August 22, 2011 11:03 am
 

Ranking the Mountain West recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. TCU

One could technically include this class in the Big East rankings but they top the Mountain West rankings for the last time. Quarterback Tyler Matthews has had a terrific summer and is a sharp signal-caller and the rest of the class is full of speed athletes like defensive back Daje Johnson.

2. Boise State

There seems to be more talent in this class, at this point, than other years thanks to the rise in the Broncos' profile. The staff has done well in talent-rich Florida, Texas and California and have a great quarterback incoming in Nick Patti.

3. San Diego State

The departure of head coach Brady Hoke last year means a new recruiting pitch for the Aztecs but they've managed to bring in some quality players. Quarterback Matt Morin is a strong-armed pick up for the program and they have several other underrated local talents halfway until Signing Day.

4. Air Force

It's always hard to judge service academy recruiting classes but at the moment, Air Force is winning the recruiting version of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Running back Johnathan Johnson has BCS offers and the rest of the class is full of solid players.

5. Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming

These four school do not have any commitments for the class of 2012.

Posted on: August 12, 2011 2:34 pm
 

NCAA decision has impact beyond HS games

Posted by Bryan Fischer

On Thursday, the NCAA moved swiftly to end any talk of high school games on The Longhorn Network or conference networks but upon closer examination, the decision could have a bigger impact than once thought.

The Board of Directors, responsible for passing the interpretation on games, also appeared to close the door to another significant programming source: recruiting. Other programming featuring recruits, such as shows or highlights, look to be off the table for the networks.

The interpretation approved by the Board:
Broadcasts of Youth Programming on Institutional- or Conference-Branded Networks (I)
The academic and membership affairs staff determined it is not permissible for an institution- or conference-branded network to broadcast (audio or video) programming involving prospective student-athletes. [References: NCAA Constitution 2.11 (the principle governing recruiting) and NCAA Bylaws 13.2.1 (general regulation), 13.4.3.1 (recruiting advertisements), 13.10.3 (radio/TV show), 13.10.3.1 (announcer for broadcast of prospective student-athlete’s athletics contest), 13.10.3.2 (game broadcast/telecast), 13.15.1 (prohibited expenses) and 13.15.1.2 (fundraising for high school athletics program)]
The language obviously rules out high school games on for the Longhorn Network and others, such as those run by the Big Ten, Mountain West and, soon, by the Pac-12. By saying those networks can't air any "programming involving prospective student-athletes," any shows dedicated to recruiting appear to be off the table. This could include Signing Day coverage which would have been a stable of the February programming for all of the networks given the frenzy around that time of year.

The interpretation should also extend to school-owned radio networks broadcasting high school games or airing shows dedicated to recruiting. The language of "branded network" could also mean that respective digital networks and websites are also limited in what they can show.

Of course, NCAA interpretations have caused confusion before, such as the one involving recruiting services such as Rivals or Scout. At the moment however, it appears the NCAA has plugged a bigger hole then intended. Is a YouTube video ok?
Posted on: August 3, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: August 3, 2011 11:36 am
 

Pac-12 move paying off for Utah recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer

There are few programs that can expect a windfall on the recruiting trial without doing much at all. Such is the case at Utah where, by virtue of moving from the Mountain West to the Pac-12, the school has already begun to get better recruits out of high school just by selling the fact that they are now in a BCS conference.

"College football is all about recruiting," Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. "80% of your success, or lack thereof, is tied directly to the athletes that you are able to get into your program. You obviously have to manage and develop those athletes once they get in your program but you have got to have the raw material. Being in a BCS conference now gives us a level playing field in that regard."

The Utes picked up several verbal commitments last year within days of the announcement that they were moving on to the so-called conference of champions. The program also beat out new division rival USC for running back Harvey Langi last year and are off to a very solid start with their class of 2012. Rival coaches have already remarked how much tougher it is on the recruiting trail with Utah fighting over some of the same players - just how Whittingham likes it.

"It's competitive, I'll tell you that," he said of recruiting this year. "That's something we anticipated and we didn't haves any surprises, we just knew that we're going to be battling with USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State and all of those schools for the top kids. It hasn't been anything we didn't expect."

There hasn't been a big change in how Utah goes about its business outside of a few coaches wearing polos with new logos though. Evaluation, especially during players' senior years, has been and will continue to be part of the Utes' secret to success.

"We evaluate hands on, our assistant coaches go out and beat the bushes," Whittingham said. "They watch film, they watch the kids practice, watch them in the weight room and all the things that the NCAA allows us to, we take advantage of. We don't rely on the Internet or recruiting services or anything like that. We've made a living on discovering that diamond in the rough.

"We've got a list as long as your arm of guys playing in the NFL on rosters right now that were not recruited or recruited very lightly."

Utah currently has nine commitments for the class of 2012 and is heavy (somewhat literally) with players on both sides of the line. An athlete such as in-state player Chase Hansen is a very good pickup for the school and he can end up at a number of spots on either offense or defense. Whittingham also added an Elite 11 quarterback this year in San Clemente (Calif.) signal-caller Travis Wilson.

In addition to being on the shortlist for a few top players, it wouldn't be surprising if the program picks up some recruits in this class that they'll eventually be able to add to that long list of NFL players. Not bad at all for switching conferences.

Posted on: July 3, 2011 11:10 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 10:21 am
 

Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals Day 2 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

DALLAS – Right before the championship game, Keyshawn Johnson was hoping this would be his team's moment.

Since starting the 1925 All-Star 7-on-7 team with former NFL veteran Brian Kelly a little over two years ago, his team fell short of the national title last year and had yet to break through and win even a regional title this year.

Sunday afternoon was indeed Johnson's moment however as 1925 got over the hump and finally hoisted a trophy, winning the Badger Sports/New Level Athletics 7-on-7 National Championship at SMU's Gerald Ford Stadium.

“Being in it two years and winning a championship (is great),” said Johnson, a former USC wide receiver, before joking, “I told one of the kids who is going to Notre Dame, I told him if you go to Notre Dame you won't be winning one of these.”

“We were going to championships and we were losing,” said running back Mike Davison. “But nationals were the one we wanted and that's what we need to win. That's the one that matters and I'm glad we won because we're national champs and we've got the bragging rights.”

1925 lost three players due to injury before the tournament but still managed to run through the championship bracket undefeated using plenty of FBS-bound athletes. One of the keys to the team though was actually the smallest player on the field, the 5-foot-3 Davison, and one of the few who didn't hold a major scholarship offer.

“It was a great experience, it was fun. We were working hard at it and I knew we were going to get it done,” he said. “It's very important to me too. I'm trying to get more offers, more exposure. I'm glad I was a big factor in this so now colleges can say this guy can do it. Hopefully I can go D-1.”

Davison holds an offer from Alabama State with several other schools on the verge of offering the speedy scatback. Able to cut a full speed and stop a dime, he was easily the most elusive player on the roughly 115-degree turf the past two days.

Known by his nickname of “Mike-Mike,” Davison was often imitated but no one could come close to the real thing. After a player on the team from Louisiana made a few quick cuts against the 1925 defense, Notre Dame commit and 1925 athlete Deontay Greenberry yelled out, “You're not Mike-Mike!”

After battling the eventual runner up, Team Houston, to a tie at the end of the first of their two games, 1925 failed to complete a play in the sudden-death, longest-yard overtime. As a result, all Team Houston had to do was get a yard on a running play to win the game but it ended up being Davison who saved the day for 1925.

“They were like, 'Mike get on the field' because the other team just needed one play to win the game,” he said. “I ran on to the field and they said 'hike' and I just sprinted into the back field and tackled him. Then we won the game when I got the draw and got a couple of yards.”

Croom down to two

Although his team got knocked out early, Norcross (Ga.) wide receiver Jason Croom put together an impressive two days worth of catches. Using his big 6-foot-5 frame, he was a weapon in the end zone and also made some tough catches in traffic to solidify himself as one of the best options on the Goon Squad.

Scheduled to make a decision later next month, Croom has narrowed down his recruiting list to just two schools as he wraps up a very productive run on the spring and summer camp circuit.

“It's between Mississippi State and Tennessee,” he said.

Croom has already made it down to Knoxville for an unofficial visit and had plenty of good things to say about the Volunteers.

“I really like everything,” said Croom. “I like the coaching staff. When I went down there, I liked the facilities a lot and the academics. That's the most important part, they have a good APR rating and they push you on and off the field. They told me I can make a big impact and all I'll have to do is go down there and show what I can do.”

While Croom wouldn't leave any hints about which school he was leaning towards, it's clear he has a special connection with Mississippi State and that could be a major factor in to his decision.

“I've had a good relationship with them for the longest time because they were my second offer,” he said. “I've been talking to them throughout this whole thing so I've got a good relationship with basically the whole coaching staff. When I went down there I met some of the players and they were real cool, they treat you like family and joke around and stuff. But when I went down there they were also working real hard in the weight room and stuff and I know they help their players academically. They make sure they finish their classwork before they do anything else.”

Croom will commit on August 18th, which is right before his senior season gets underway. He's narrowed his choices down to two and will only take an official visit to whichever program he ends up verbally committing to next month.

Miami, they were in my top three but they're out of it now.” he said. “I'll just take one (official) because I've already got my decision made.”

Marks enjoys his time in Texas

In addition to 1925 capturing the championship, the other California All-Star team, B2G, was very impressive over the two day event. Los Angeles (Calif.) wide receiver Gabe Marks impressed with his route running ability, hands and was savvy enough to know where holes were in the defense. Despite being a fairly polished receiver, he came out to help his team win and improve between the lines.

“I really want to work on my routes and my releases,” Marks said. “I'm just trying to win some games and go against some of the top competition.”

Working alongside Ventura (Calif.) quarterback Marc Evans and teaming up with Upland (Calif.) receiver Kenny Lawler, B2G had quite a day on offense before running out of gas late. For the most part though, the group was clicking in large part because they had been playing with one another throughout the summer.

“We work out with each other all the time and we do all of the events together,” Marks said. “We definitely have a good chemistry. We like sticking with one quarterback so we don't have to worry about that transition if a new guy plays with us.”

Holding offers from several Pac-12, Mountain West and Conference USA programs, Marks is beginning to focus on just a handful of programs to allow time for him to compete during his senior season in high school.

“I'm starting to narrow down my list of schools, I've got SMU, Utah and UCLA as my top three.” he said. “Then I have Colorado and Boston College to finish out my top five.”

The trip to Dallas has allowed him a chance to get an in-depth look at what it would be like if he committed to SMU. Outside of adjusting to the extremely hot weather – especially for someone who lives just a few miles from the beach – the experience was a good one overall.

“SMU is a great school, they're definitely one of the nicer schools I've seen,” said Marks. “The one thing would be the weather, that'd take some getting used to. But I love the coaches, they're great and it's a great system that would be a good fit for me.”

One of the big drawing points for the private school on the field is head coach June Jones' Run and Shoot offense, which has allowed receivers similar to Marks put up big numbers. Off the field, there's a lot of positives as well.

“Their academics are top notch,” he said. “You can have a good career after football and that's what I'm using football for. If I don't make it to the league, I want something to fall back on.”

If Marks is looking to stay closer to home, UCLA offers that option and the Bruins have plenty going for them as they try to land the 6-foot, 170-pounder.

“Their academics and the fact they're so close to home,” Marks said when asked what he liked about the school. “You grow up watching the coaches and the team so they're the hometown school.”

Marks will likely make a decision in December after taking official visits. At the moment, he has already planned three visits, to Utah, SMU and UCLA, during the season.

Liggins looking to stay in the SEC

One of the biggest – if not the biggest – players on the field was actually Oxford (Miss.) quarterback Jeremy Liggins. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound signal caller was sharp for most of day two of the tournament and made several nice throws into tight windows.

“I felt like we did pretty good,” Liggins said. “Keyshawn Johnson's team though, he brought in some ballers. We just kind of threw a team together and we didn't have a practice or anything. I felt like if we practiced, we could come out and compete with these boys.”

Playing for the Louisiana team, Liggins led an overachieving squad that made a very nice, deep run in the double-elimination event. Developing some timing with his newfound receivers was key to moving the ball on Sunday after a bit of a slow start the day before.

“It's pretty hard because I'm not used to how these guys run,” he said. “But after the first game yesterday, we kinda started to connect and I felt pretty comfortable with those guys (today) because I know that once I put the ball out there, they're going to go make plays on the ball.”

Liggins holds several scholarship offers already and figures to pick up more once the season begins. If there's one thing he's locked into with the recruiting process, it's a certain brand of southern football.

“I've got a lot of offers but I'm really just looking at the SEC,” he said. “I've got ones from Florida, South Carolina and others.”

With his size and speed, Liggins knows that plenty of coaches are looking to move him to other positions. He could wind up as a defensive lineman in college at first glance but he's also trying to make it clear that he wants a shot behind center first.

“In 10th grade, they were looking at me as an athlete but now a lot want me at QB,” Liggins said. “I want to play QB. I feel like if I get the right training, I can be a good quarterback. But if I have to move somewhere (to another position) to help a team win, that's what I'll do.”

After a busy spring evaluation period and a summer full of unofficial visits, Liggins has already narrowed down his list of schools in anticipation of making a decision later this year.

“I'd say my top four is LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State,” he said. “I've been to all of them. I like them because they're all pretty nice campuses. Playing with Alabama and LSU, you know you're going to compete for a national championship every year and that's what I'm looking for. And I know they're a pipeline for the NFL.

“Playing time, playing QB and the school. All of it. I'm looking for a school that has good tradition and that put good students out and have a good graduation rate.”

Hutchinson excited to be building at Auburn

While there were plenty of commitments playing in the tournament, it was somewhat rare to have two on the same team. Such was not the case with the Goon Squad, which featured a pair of future Auburn Tigers in Dadeville (Ala.) tight end Darrion Hutcherson and Edgewood (Ky.) quarterback Zeke Pike. The two connected on plenty of throws over the weekend and even when one player hit a rough patch, the other was able help turn things around.

“If I'm struggling, he'll pick me up and if he's struggling, I'll pick him up,” Hutcherson said. “That's just how it is.”

The bond the two developed over the past few months on the 7-on-7 circuit is something Hutcherson expects to have dividends when the two eventually end up on the Plains.

“It definitely allows us to build that relationship early,” he said. “We're going to have a strong relationship at Auburn because we're out here doing (7-on-7). This is just like a vacation and getting extra work in.”

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end is aware that Auburn is losing several pieces from their magical run to the BCS championship last year but believes the current group of 2012 commitments can be part of another big run in a couple of years.

“You just have to go somewhere where your heart feels comfortable at,” Hutcherson said of why he picked the school. “Auburn had a great year with Cam Newton and Nick Fairley coming in and winning all the awards and the national championship. They've got a great coaching staff and now they're on a rebuilding year. Me and Zeke are going down there to start the number one recruiting class to get Auburn back rolling like they used to be.”

Hutcherson mentioned that he will an official visit to nearby Auburn and will possibly schedule one to Utah just to visit the school.
 

Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Boise State ahead of the game, grab 2013 commit

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're getting closer to the halfway point to National Signing Day, and while most of the schools are focusing in on their 2012 classes, Boise State is proving it's scouting even farther ahead than that, picking up a commitment from class of 2013 Fruitland (Idaho) athlete Joe Martarano.

"I left it up to Joe. I said, 'You can sit this thing out and ride out the recruiting process,'" his father, Victor Martarano, told The Idaho Statesman. "He said, 'I want to play for Boise State.' And he was lucky enough to have Boise State want him."

The elder Martarano played tight end at Boise State in the early 1990s, but it appears his son will play on the opposite side of the ball for the Broncos as a linebacker. Joe was receiving interest from Washington State and held a baseball scholarship offer from Utah

"I've been doing this gig for almost 35 years. Joe's one of those kids that comes along every 15 years. He's an exceptional kid," Martarano's coach, Bruce Schlaih, told the paper.

Martarano led his high school to state championships in football, baseball and basketball last season as a sophomore. 
Posted on: June 26, 2011 6:57 pm
 

Boise State plucks another from Texas

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Without a doubt, Boise State has done a great job of developing under the radar talent from California over the past few years. With the way things are shaping up in 2011 and 2012, Texas might be the next state we'll say that about the Broncos. The program picked up their sixth commitment from the Lone Star State and 10th overall on Saturday, grabbing a verbal pledge from Spring (Texas) linebacker Ben Weaver.

"The coaches and the players played a huge part in it," Weaver told The Idaho Statesman. "It seemed like family already. The players seem to love it and they all say good things. Even though it's far away from my house in Houston, it didn't seem like it would make a difference."

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Weaver held scholarship offers from Arizona, Cal, Texas Tech and Utah among others. He recently visited the Bears and Red Raiders on unofficial visits but neither school gave the vibe that the Broncos did when he visited there.

"Those were my top three schools," he said. "After my trip, I knew I was going to commit. It was clear to me that Boise was the one."

It appears that Boise State has stepped up their recruiting efforts nationally as Weaver is part of a 2012 recruiting class that has players from Florida, Texas and California but none from Idaho or the surrounding states. The Broncos added five players from Texas in 2011 and have surpassed that number with over seven months to go until Signing Day.

Weaver had nearly 100 tackles, two interceptions and three sacks last season as a junior (highlights below).

Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:35 pm
 

TCU's move to the Big East already paying off

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CBSSports.com Senior Writer Brett McMurphy is in Ponte Vedra, Florida this week covering the Big East's spring meetings and got a chance to catch up with the league's newest member, TCU head coach Gary Patterson. While still getting the hang of things looking East instead of West (or in this case, Mountain West, the league the Horned Frogs are leaving after this season), Patterson told McMurphy that things are already going well on the recruiting front.

“I think there will be [excitement moving to the Big East],” Patterson said. “The excitement is the new recruiting class, they’re the ones the Big East will have an effect on and maybe the class coming in. We haven’t really talked about it. Our whole thing is getting a chance to win one more championship in the league we’re in.” 

In talking with recruits, administrator at TCU and Patterson, the coach's words are very much on the mark. At their current pace, the program should sign their highest rated recruiting class ever next year. Things are looking very bright in Fort Worth and this week's meetings give Patterson and others a glimpse at what life will be like next year.

Be sure to read McMurphy's full story about TCU and the Big East.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com