Tag:Ohio State Nike Camp
Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:58 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 10:59 pm

Big DT Sheldon Day commits to Notre Dame

Posted by Bryan Fischer

While Florida State snagging quarterback Jameis Winston might have stolen most of the recruiting headlines on Wednesday, Notre Dame added an equally big pickup of their own as Indianapolis (Ind.) defensive tackle Sheldon Day gave the Irish his verbal commitment in the early evening.

"It was the academics, great football, and (defensive line) Coach (Mike) Elston and Coach (Brian) Kelly and the whole entire staff," Day told 247Sports.com.

The 6-foot-2, 286-pounder was a stand out at the Ohio State Nike Camp and The Opening earlier this the summer and held offers from schools such as Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Day is the 13th commit for the Irish in the class of 2012 but just the second along the defensive line.

Posted on: July 3, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: July 3, 2011 11:54 am

Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals Day 1 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

DALLAS – The sun was out, the weather was hot and the games were fierce at SMU's Gerald Ford Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship tournament. Teams from across the country rolled into town with high expectations as round robin play began and while no one made it through the day undefeated, the competition level was high from goal line to goal line.

The most talked about player at the event was easily Westlake Village (Calif.) receiver Jordan Payton. After becoming USC's first commitment for the class of 2012, the savvy wide out spent most of the spring and summer worried more about his own game than the recruiting game. However, since decommitting from the Trojans last week, he's been checking his phone a lot more often for information from college coaches.

“I've been 'monitoring' it,” Payton said with a laugh. “That's what I call it. I've been emailing back and forth with Michigan and several other schools.”

It should be noted that Payton was still out on the fields in the Texas heat running the same routes, making the same great catches and finding the end zone when he wasn't moonlighting as a safety for his 1925 All-Star team. Still, things were just a little bit different now that he was no longer committed.

“All of the schools, it's weird because they offer you and then they didn't talk to me as much because I was committed,” he said. “Now, Michigan, Cal, Arizona State, Florida (are talking to him). I'm interested to hear what Florida State's going to say.

“It's like I'm in a different area, I don't know what to do. I've only been committed. But I'm feeling good and I'm happy and taking it slow.”

The MaxPreps Top 100 receiver is still considering the local team, USC, and will meet with coaches next week to discuss his options. The biggest reason in pulling his verbal pledge back was to give the staff a chance to figure out their limited scholarship numbers and Payton knows that having to sit across from the coaches and talk with them about his place in the program going forwards is going to be a bit awkward when it happens.

“I'll be down there to talk with them so we'll see how that goes,” he said. “I have no idea what to expect to be honest with you.”

Kind of like talking with an ex-girlfriend?

“Exactly,” he said.

Payton does have a short list of schools he's considering and there tends to be a common theme as he tries to figure out where he'll eventually wind up signing with.

“All the schools I'm talking with all have great business schools,” he said. “Second, I just want to feel comfortable. I'm not saying I didn't feel comfortable with USC but I just felt it was that time. I'm just not sure that I want to be in LA.”

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder will likely play most of his recruitment close to the vest before announcing and one of the key reasons why is the fact that he's trying to orchestrate a few other players to join him at his eventual destination.

“I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks for in recruiting,” Payton said. “You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five.”

Knowing how the comment would sound, Payton was quick to clarify “like” the Fab Five and that it didn't mean they were for sure headed to Michigan.

Treggs burning up on and off the field

On the field and off, two of the most polished players on any team were Payton and Bellflower (Calif.) receiver Bryce Treggs. The two are friends and with Payton no longer a lock to go to USC, the two have started to explore the possibility of playing together at the next level instead of against each other on the turf at SMU.

“We're actually talking about that,” Treggs said. “That'd be pretty good. I mean, if me and Jordan go to the same school, it'd be pretty much unfair.”

When asked about Payton's 'Fab Five' remarks, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder opened up a little bit more about the prospect of them playing together.

“Well you have all those players that went to Michigan and made it the program they are today,” Treggs said. “He's basically saying that we might be able to do that. Not necessarily that we're going to do it at Michigan but that's his idea. Him, me, Shaq Thompson, Ishmael Adams, a lot of guys.”

“The Cali Five, I guess.”

Treggs said he unofficially visited Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Stanford and Notre Dame over the past few months. Many observers have read the tea leaves and believe that he will eventually end up playing for his father's alma mater, Cal, though. It's easy to see why they believe that whenever Treggs is asked who is recruiting him the hardest.

“Probably Cal... definitely Cal,” he said. “It's not a lock, I'm going to look at all of my other options. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a decision before the season so I can get it out of the way and focus on having a good senior year. I hope I can lead my team to a CIF championship.”

Treggs was blowing by corners with ease despite the sweltering heat, scoring several touchdowns by utilizing the fade route along the numbers Saturday. Running routes in 101 degree heat was a bit of an adjustment for someone used to ocean breezes and Santa Anna winds however.

“It was very hot,” Treggs said. “In California, we've got that breeze from the beach and stuff like that. After the first two games we adapted to it so we're fine right now.

“I would say I'm in the zone right now. We have so many receivers on our team, you never know when you're going to get the ball with so many weapons. There's not really one go-to guy so I just run my route hard every time and when Troy (Williams) picks me, I'm ready to make a play.”

Williams, a 2013 player who was one of the sharper quarterbacks at the event, and Treggs easily had the best timing at the event and it was not limited to deep routes. The connection between the two runs deep and was developed over years of playing together.

“The timing has been there since forth or fifth grade,” Treggs said. “We used to play Pop Warner for the Carson Colts together. So the timing is definitely there and it's good to be out here with somebody you know.”

Treggs, it seems, knows just about everybody and it will be interesting to see what coaching staff gets to know him the best through the recruiting process.

Rippy growing as a linebacker

It's often become common place for top recruits to come to camps or combines to be seen and heard but sit on the sidelines when it comes to competition time. MaxPreps Top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy, despite being from McKees Rocks (Pa.), was not one such player and battled the heat and humidity of Texas to focus on getting better against some of the best players in the country.

“We played some good teams, they were competitive,” Rippy said. “I'm working on everything, from being a linebacker to playing like a corner or strong safety in coverage. The drops, the backpedal, being aggressive, all of it.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rippy holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee. With so many options to choose from, narrowing down the list is becoming a difficult task and one he's not sure when he'll wind up cutting down to a more manageable ten or fewer.

“I don't know to be honest,” he said. “I've got all these schools and don't get me wrong, they're all great schools and you're bound to go pro from whatever school. People go pro from IUP up in Pennsylvania so any school, it's just about playing.”

Like many recruits nowadays, Rippy has hit the road over the spring and summer to visit schools and see what the coaching staffs are like in person.

“Had a lot of unofficals up till now and I'm about to take a couple more visits,” he said. “I don't know where yet and that's the thing. One of the big things I've learned in the recruiting process is that when you get those first 10 offers, you want all of that attention. Then, once you get 20 or 30, you don't want that attention any more.”

“It's going to be hard to pick a school, it's going to be very hard.”

For a time, there was one program that stood out from the pack but as the attention has increased on his college choice, he's actually broadened his outlook instead of narrowing it down.

“At first, people knew that I favored Florida a lot,” Rippy said. “I came to realize that I'd rather keep it wide open. I'll go to Alabama or Auburn or wherever. Between now and August, I'm just going to going to weigh my options.”

Thompson looking at four

Yet another top 100 player who performed well at SMU was Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson. While he mostly was batting away balls that had too much air on them, day one of the tournament also allowed him to show his offensive attributes. Playing both ways was just one way the talented athlete showed off his love for the game.

“It's too hot out here. The turf is hotter, less wind, it's just a hot day,” Thompson said. “But it's a great day to play football and that always makes it a great day.”

Easily the most impressive defensive back on the field from a physical standpoint, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Thompson has a host of programs who are heavily pursuing him ever since he decommitted from Cal awhile ago.

“I'd say Washington and Cal and Notre Dame,” he said. “Mainly Washington, they've been calling me, hitting me up and see how I'm doing. They're getting there but I'm still open. I'm ready for anything.”

Though it appears there will be no more unofficial visits for the four-star safety, he's already moved on to figuring out who will receive an official visit as the calendar inches closer to the date prospects can begin visiting in a formal capacity.

“During the season I'm probably going to take a trip to Washington,” he said. “Cal, UCLA or Notre Dame, one of those too.”

Thompson said his top four schools were – not surprisingly - Cal, Washington, UCLA and Notre Dame. The distance from home for the two non-California schools likely won't be a huge factor but is still something he's considering.

“Not really, I've got family basically all over,” Thompson said. “It's just the people I grew up with are the people that I'm most comfortable with. So I'll probably stay closer to home.”


- The most anticipated game of the day matched up B2G and 1925, who have played against each other several times in championship settings like Saturday. There was a little bit of trash talk and a lot of plays being made. Notre Dame commit Deontay Greenberry would probably had taken home an award for most swagger and was nearly unstoppable in the red zone for 1925. Receiver Gabe Marks and Arizona State soft verbal commitment Kenny Lawler starred for B2G.

- Quarterback Jeremy Liggins was the primary signal caller for Team Louisiana and he stood out for his size (6-foot-3 and about 260-pounds) and the ability to get rid of the ball quickly when he wanted to. He was able to get the ball downfield to several speedy receivers as well. Darion Monroe, a Texas A&M commit, was a standout on the defensive side of the ball.

- Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike was a bit inconsistent on intermediate routes but made several nice tosses down the field. He looked better than he did at the Ohio State Nike and Elite 11 camps and had plenty of targets to throw to. Fellow Auburn commit Darrion Hutcherson looks like he could suit up on the Plains tomorrow and tight end Jesse James, who's headed to Penn State, were both big mismatches due to their size and ability to find an open spot on the field. Also on the team was receiver Jason Croom, who said he's nearing a decision and will announce next month.

- It's easy to overlook Detroit (Mich.) athlete Dennis Norfleet when you're walking by him on the sideline but it is not, however, easy to overlook him when he steps on the field. The 5-foot-9 (maybe) scatback was simply a playmaker on Saturday, catching everything thrown his way and making defenders miss often.

Posted on: June 30, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:59 am

Purdue finds signal caller for 2012

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Despite suffering an ACL tear last season, North Canton (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby had proved enough on the field and during the camp circuit to draw several scholarship offers and plenty of interest from major programs. He earned an offer from Purdue earlier in June and on a return visit to campus this week, decided to end the recruiting process and join the Boilermakers' recruiting class.

"I've been to 19 places, believe it or not, since the fall on unofficial visits and camps," Appleby told GoldandBlack.com. "People think we're crazy, but Purdue just really stuck out. It's a world-class education; there's not too many places that can beat Purdue."

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Appleby performed well at the Ohio State Nike Camp earlier this summer and held offers from Bowling Green, Louisville and others. Although he pulled the trigger on a commitment a bit earlier than he was planning on, the fit at Purdue was just too good to pass up.

"I didn't think it was going to be this fast," he said, "But I knew it was going to be before the season started in August. There's really no reason to wait. I have an unbelievable opportunity. I feel strongly about my decision."

Appleby passed for 1,427 yards and 14 touchdowns before getting injured last season. He is the sixth commit for Purdue and their class of 2012.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:26 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:10 pm

Iowa nabs versatile Chicago athlete

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After starting off their class of 2012 slow, Iowa is starting to pick up some momentum. The Hawkeyes added their third commitment this week on Thursday night and got a good one in versatile Chicago athlete Maurice Fleming Jr.

"I just got off the phone with the coaches at Iowa and I gave them my verbal commitment," Fleming Jr. told Rivals. "In the end the chance to play for the Hawkeyes was just too much for me to pass up. It's a great opportunity for me at Iowa and I decided I'm done. I'm a solid commitment to the Iowa Hawkeyes."

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder was one of the top performers at the Ohio State Nike Camp and he's equally good at wide receiver and cornerback but will end up on the defensive side of the ball for the Hawkeyes. While he held offers from Cincinnati, Indiana and Wisconsin among others, heading to Iowa City next fall was just the best fit for him.

"Really it was everything for me at Iowa," he said. "I know they will make me a great person and a great player. I want to be a shut down corner for them and I also want to be one of the best cornerbacks in the country and Iowa will help me get to that level. Iowa is just a big-time school, and a big-time atmosphere and again everything just feels right for me with Iowa. My dream has been to play in the Big Ten and to also get to the NFL someday, and I can't think of a better school for that than Iowa."

Fleming Jr. is the fourth commitment for Iowa's class of 2012 and second to hail from the state of Illinois.
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:16 am

Perkins stays home and joins Notre Dame's class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

David Perkins doesn't have the connection to Notre Dame that many think he does playing high school football just a few miles from campus. The talented athlete grew up in Kalamazoo (Mich.) before transferring to Washington High in northern Indiana and making a name for himself with a breakout season in 2010. After seeing his recruitment pickup this spring however, Perkins started to get closer to the school down the street.

Finally, on Tuesday, the South Bend (Ind.) athlete made it official that he would stay close to home and play for the Irish.

“After I visited, they just started growing on me,” Perkins said at his press conference, according to The South Bend Tribune. “And then they just recruited me hard after that.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Perkins plays a variety of positions and excelled at defensive end at the recent Ohio State Nike Camp. He held scholarship offers from Arizona, Boston College, Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State among others but once Perkins picked up an offer from Notre Dame, the recruiting process was over.

"The plan that they set out for me," he said of what he liked about the school. "The strong relationship that I built with the coaches. Notre Dame, it's not just a four-year decision. This is something to be proud of having an education from there, moving forward even after football, it's a great thing to carry on your résumé. They recruit great players, great people and all in honesty, I do believe Notre Dame will win the National Championship and I will be part of it."

Perkins rushed for 765 yards and three touchdowns and also caught four touchdowns on offense last season as a junior. On the other side of the ball at defensive end and linebacker, he racked up 63 tackles and 13 sacks. He's currently a three-star player according to MaxPreps but could be in line for a fourth with another big year this fall.

“He’s tall and he can run, and that’s two qualities Notre Dame looks for,” recruiting analyst Tom Lemming told the paper. “He’s not yet a super player, but he has the potential to be that.”

Picking up Perkins gives the Irish 10 commitments for the class of 2012.

Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:42 pm

Joe Paterno, running back Will Mahone and Skype

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is a living legend and seen his fair share of recruiting methods over his 62 years of coaching. After all, when Paterno first took over the reigns in Happy Valley, the cell phone was decades from even being conceived. As technology and NCAA recruiting rules have progressed though, so has JoePa believe it or not.

The 84 year old has cut back from recruiting a little bit - he rarely hits the road and hasn't traveled for an in-home visit in over three years - but using video conferencing technology this year has allowed him to continue to make an apperance in recruits' homes. Services such as Skype, which transmits video and audio over the internet to computers and phones, has exploded onto the scene lately with coaches such as Alabama's Nick Saban making frequent use of the latest and greatest thing in recruiting.

"The only question Joe had about it was, 'How do you spell Skype?'" Jay Paterno, the Penn State quarterbacks coach and Joe's son, told the Altoona Mirror. "I actually knew. Then he said, 'What exactly does it mean?'"

Well, thanks to Austintown (Ohio) running back William Mahone and another social networking service, Twitter, we now have acutal proof that JoePa is Skyping like the best of them.

"Jo pa on skype!" Mahone tweeted Tuesday morning, along with the picture on the right.

Already holding an offer from Penn State, Mahone is primarily being recruited by Jay Paterno. In addition to the Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Northwestern and Boston College are some of the programs who are heavily pursuing the 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back who shined at the recent Ohio State Nike Camp

Mahone has already unofficially visited State College to see the elder Paterno up close and personal and while he still might still be a few months from making a decision, getting a call -excuse me - getting a Skype call from a legend like JoePa probably helps the Nittany Lions' chances.
Posted on: May 30, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 5:46 pm
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Posted on: May 24, 2011 4:51 pm

Ohio State Nike Camp Top Performers: Defense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Some of the best from all over the Midwest and East Coast came to play on the campus of Ohio State for this past Saturday's Nike Camp. Here's a few of the top performers on the defensive side of the ball from the camp: 

Defensive line:

Adolphus Washington

One of the highest regarded players at the camp, Washington mostly lived up to the hype. He's a bit smaller than listed but is compact and shows great explosiveness. His feet were very good for the most part and he does a good job of staying low and getting underneath offensive linemen. Washington's rip move is very nice and he knows what moves he's going to do before the snap and executes them just about every time on his way to the quarterback.

Ondre Pipkins

Pipkins' performance was one of the surprises of the camp and showed off a powerful ability to penetrate and rush the passer during his one-on-ones. He's very strong and already a two gap player inside at defensive tackle. He's about the right size for the next level entering his senior year but needs to make sure he doesn't add any more weight. He gets off the line well and didn't lose a rep on his way to position group MVP.

David Perkins

Perkins was a defensive end at the event but it's clear from just looking at him that he's an outside linebacker. He showed off his athleticism by blowing past offensive linemen and probably was the fastest of the group coming off the edge. He's got some moves but you really couldn't tell how well he moves in space if he were a linebacker. Both him and Pipkins were aggressive in getting reps and winning them which is something coaches will like about them too.


James Ross

Ross was one of the headliners and the Michigan commitment did not disappoint at all. Physically, he looks ready for the next level and while he's only 6-foot-1, looks much bigger once he eventually puts on the pads. His feet were constantly moving and he changed directions quickly and smoothly. He was one of, if not the, best players in pass rush drills and a stand out during 7-on-7 as well.

Jaylon Smith

Smith must have felt comfortable roaming around the Ohio State practice fields since his brother does it on a daily basis as a Buckeye running back. Just a sophomore, he looks very good in coverage and really can turn his hips to run with the receiver. He nabbed the MVP award over others like Ross and is very much a complete player. There's still a few things he needs learn but overall he was one of the best players on defense at the camp.

Darrien Howard

Howard stood out as one of the biggest players at the linebacker position - he almost could have swapped places with Perkins and played on the defensive line. Also an underclassman, he was able to dominate any of the smaller running backs in the pass rush drills but could also cover tight ends and others during pass rush drills. He's got middle linebacker written all over him and will probably will have plenty of offers from teams running a Tampa-2 system that requires him to drop to the middle of the field.

Defensive backs:

Sebastian Smith

The position group MVP, Smith was one of the taller defensive backs to come to a Nike Camp. He's a tad taller than 6-foot-2 but is athletic and moves like a safety who is much smaller. Strong and fluid, he had a nice backpedal and could turn his hips quickly. Expect Smith's stock to take off once schools take another look at him.

De'van Bogard

Another highly regarded prospect who was in attendance, Bogard has good size for a safety and probably could play a little nickel corner with some coaching. He's still a bit raw but reacts well to the receiver and the ball when it's in the air. Bogard roamed the secondary effectively and should continue to grow at the position.

Marcus Foster

One thing you notice about Foster was how quickly he could turn and change directions. He's another big body roaming the secondary and you could see him continuing to grow and eventually end up as an outside linebacker. The Cincinnati commit really would go after the ball when it was in the air and seemed to snatch it out of the air when he got his hands on it.

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