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Tag:Todd Graham
Posted on: January 27, 2012 2:29 pm
 

Five-star ATH D.J. Foster chooses Arizona State

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The college football public may not be consider Todd Graham one of the bigger or better hires of the 2011-2012 coaching carousel, but that didn't matter to new five-star Arizona State commitment D.J. Foster. 

Foster announced Friday that he will be signing with Graham's Sun Devils this coming Wednesday, choosing Arizona State over an array of national offers including USC, Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame and others. The 6'0", 185-pound athlete ran for 3,058 yards this year for the Tempe-area Saguaro High School Sabercats, but could play wide receiver or corner for the Sun Devils.

At his announcement, Foster cited the ability to play close to home -- and close to his family -- as a deciding factor.

Foster becomes easily the highest-profile member of Graham's first recruiting class for his new team, ranking at No. 30 on the Maxpreps top 100 and No. 4 on Tom Lemming's list of 2012's top 25 athletes. Lemming has this to say about Foster

He led the Sabercats at the RB, WR, and CB positions. He is a lockdown corner who is very comfortable playing against the other team's fastest receiver, and he's very confident with a smooth backpedal and he can turn and run with the best of them. One of the nation's premier cover corners, he also showed great hands, burst, and displayed outstanding moves in the open field at WR. To top it off D.J. is considered to be one of the West's top punt and kickoff returners.

Those kinds of skills should serve the Sun Devils whatever position Foster ultimately ends up settling in, though running back may prove to be Graham's biggest area of need; in 2011 ASU finished 70th in the nation in yards per-carry, with lead rusher Cameron Marshall taking the lion's share of the Sun Devils' carries. 

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:10 am
 

Big East Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. Things are in a state of flux in the Big East and it seems that the lack of stability at some programs has hampered some recruiting classes. Things are still going well but it's going to be an interesting Signing Day for the league with several new head coaches and programs shuffling in and out like recruits change commitments.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100 Moving
None - - -

Top storylines

1. Does Greg Schiano leaving destroy Rutgers' class? 

If there's a coaching change to come out of left field, it might be Schiano's, who leaves just days before Signing Day. Rutgers had been in the middle of building their best recruiting class in years and had locked up a lot of in-state talent in a great year for recruits in New Jersey. Now all of that is in jeopardy with the shock recruits are feeling quite evident from many of their comments. Expect the Scarlet Knights to drop out of the running for several of the top uncommitted guys on their board and other school calling everybody in their class to see if they want to take a late official visit and reconsider their pledge.

2. Can Paul Chryst build out a good first effort?

Another swift departure out of town for Todd Graham has led to a very good hire for Pittsburgh in Chryst, who jumps over from Wisconsin where he did an excellent job of developing talent. Graham did a good job of keeping top in-state talent close to home and landed the top big back in the country in Rushel Shell. There are a lot of good pieces, especially on offense, but it's up to Chryst to keep everybody committed and build on it with others in his first effort on the recruiting trail as head coach. More than anything, he can hopefully bring some stability to the program.

3. How are the newcomers doing?

Every report and indication has the Mountaineers playing in the Big 12 in 2012, until the i's are dotted and t's crossed, they're going to be stuck in Big East purgatory for now. Dana Holgorsen knows the league and recruiting in Texas in particular but has hit the state of Florida extremely hard with the incoming class. Regardless of the exact timing, this will be the first group of recruits brought in to play in the Big 12 so it's worth tracking to see if that leads to a boost when the faxes are in or whether the big Orange Bowl victory or coaching turnover has a bigger impact.

4. West Virginia's first Big 12 class... at some point.

While the majority of teams the Big East has added over the past year or so won't join the league for another year, it's still worth tracking how the newcomers fare on the recruiting trail. In the case of a school like Boise State, the past success of the program has led to one of the best classes in recent memory with solid depth and a handful of players that should be in the mix for playing time earlier than is normal on the Blue Turf. Houston and UCF have done a solid job considering coaching turnover and scandal while SMU has still tried to keep things going despite losing the school's top recruiter. The class of 2012 might not play right away in the Big East but you have to keep tabs on them since they will in the not to distant future.

Most impressive class: Pittsburgh

Most underrated class: South Florida

Work left to do: Syracuse

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
11. Rushel Shell RB Pittsburgh
27. Ronald Darby ATH Uncommitted
29. Darius Hamilton DE Uncommitted
35. Devin Fuller ATH Uncommitted
91. Leonte Carroo WR Rutgers
95. Bennie Coney QB Cincinnati
105. Chad Voytik QB Pittsburgh
107. Wayne Morgan DB Uncommitted
108. Adam Bisnowaty OL Pittsburgh
109. Quanzell Lambert LB Rutgers
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Kerry Coombs, Mark Elder and Steve Stripling, Cincinnati
George DeLeone, UConn
Vance Bedford, Clint Hurtt and Brian Jean-Mary, Louisville
Bob Bostad and Joe Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Brian Angelichio and Jeff Hafley, Rutgers
Todd Fitch and Phil McGeoghan, South Florida
Scott Shafer and Tyrone Wheatley, Syracuse
Robert Gillespie and Daron Roberts, West Virginia

Head coach under pressure: Skip Holtz, South Florida

Top Big East class prediction: Louisville

Top Big East signee: Rushel Shell

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
32 QB Bennie Coney
RB Dennis Norfleet
OL Caleb Stacey
Butch Jones has done a good job at hitting needs and filling out his class. Coney won't be ready to play right away but has the physical tools to fit right into the offense. Norfleet is an absolute steal at running back.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Casey Cochran
WR Neally Cunningham
WR John Green
Not a lot of remarks about this group other than the fact that Cochran is a very solid pick up at quarterback and is smart and has a strong arm.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Keith Brown
LB James Burgess
LB Nick Dawson
The trio of top linebacker Charlie Strong has managed to grab headline this class but it has several other very good grabs that could have played at bigger programs. OL depth is notable.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 OL Adam Bisnowaty
RB Rushel Shell
QB Chad Voytik
The headliners for the Panthers are on offense and they should fit right into Chryst's system. Voytik has a compact throwing motion and strong arm while Shell is a multipurpose threat who is a load going downhill.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 WR Leonte Carroo
OL J.J. Denman
LB Quanzell Lambert
You can put TBD next to this class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB Chris Bivins
WR D'Vario Montgomery
TE Sean Price
Bivins and Price are SEC-caliber players and terrific adds by the staff. Montgomery is a big time threat who should see early playing time and is part of a very athletic freshman class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Kyle Knapp
TE Ron Thompson
Knapp and Thompson are two solid adds but other than that, the most remarkable thing about the Orangemen is adding all-Namer Pancho Barnwell.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 QB Ford Childress
WR Deontay McManus
ATH Brandon Napoleon
Childress is a guy you can project to put up big time numbers in Holgorsen's system and you can say the same about a dynamic threat in McManus. Good job at addressing needs while adding athleticism.



Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:58 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:11 pm
 

Pac-12 Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. There was some head coaching turnover in the Pac-12 and a few interesting moves in terms of assistants which makes 2012 a very interesting year in the conference. Combined with the fact that this is the best year in a while for talent on the West Coast and there some buzz about what is going on in the Pac-12.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100 Moving
10. California 18 3
17. USC 12 3
21. Oregon 18 2
25. Stanford 17 2

Top storylines

1. What's the fall out from Tosh Lupoi leaving for Washington?

The departure of Lupoi, Cal's best recruiter, might end up a seismic shift in the Pac-12 recruiting landscape. He was responsible for getting the Golden Bears into the top 10 in the team rankings and was on the verge of landing another five-star defender to give him an impressive three on defense. Instead plenty of Cal recruits and commitments have decided to take late official visits and only a handful can be considered solid verbal pledges. Lupoi might not be able to have a huge impact on the Huskies class but they're in the running for a few top players late in the process. Needless to say, this is a big move and one that might have a huge impact in 2012 and beyond.

2. How high does Oregon go?

The near departure of head coach Chip Kelly threw many recruits for a loop but it looks like, despite some negative recruiting by other schools, the current class will remain intact with the Ducks also in the running for some elite five-star guys on the West Coast come Signing Day. Oregon currently sits just outside the top 20 but if they land one or two of the guys that are left on their board, it's very possible to find them in the top 15 with one of the most talented classes headed to Eugene in a long time.

3. Roster management in Los Angeles

It's a good thing both head coaches in Los Angeles have NFL experience because they're going to have to do some good ol' fashioned roster management - something that does happen outside of the SEC - albeit for different reasons. Lane Kiffin and USC are finally starting to feel the effects of sanctions and have to be careful to not only sign 15 or fewer recruits on Signing Day but come in under the NCAA-imposed  limit of 75 scholarship players by the fall. The Trojans are in the running for some top talent and, with early enrollees, will actually bring in more than 15 players so it will be interesting to see what the team looks like going forward. Across town, this was expected to be a small UCLA class of 17 or so recruits but the Bruins currently have 25 commits. There are some creative things Jim Mora can do so it will be interesting to see who winds up on the roster come the fall.

4. Which new coach winds up with the best class?

The massive coaching turnover in the Pac-12 has made things interesting among the conference's middle class. Rich Rodriguez had an early head start but it took awhile to get his full staff on board and that might have cost him some. Todd Graham has to deal with a lot of negative recruiting thanks to the way he left Pitt but has managed to do better than tread water and could land one of the state's top players. Meanwhile, Mike Leach has done a remarkable job of remaking the Wazzu class to fit his offense and aggressively get players who might have been overlooked by others but are simply players when it counts on the field. Finally, Jim Mora has done a great job getting some elite talent to get excited about UCLA. Should be an interesting finish.

Most impressive class: California

Most underrated class: Oregon State

Work left to do: Arizona

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
5. Shaq Thompson DB California
6. Ellis McCarthy DT UCLA
8. Andrus Peat OL Uncommitted
13. Nelson Agholor ATH Uncommitted
16. Arik Armstead OL/DT Uncommitted
21. Zach Banner OL Uncommitted
26. Josh Garnett OL Uncommitted
30. D.J. Foster ATH Uncommitted
37. Jordan Simmons OL USC
41. Aziz Shittu DT Uncommitted
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Robert Anae, Tony Gibson and Calvin Magee, Arizona
Mike Norvell, Arizona State
Marcus Arroyo, Ron Gould and Todd Howard, California
Eric Bieniemy, Darian Hagan and Bobby Kennedy, Colorado
Jerry Azzinaro, Gary Campbell, Mark Helfrich and John Neal, Oregon
Mark Banker, Brent Brennan, Mike Cavanaugh and Danny Langsdorf, Oregon State
Lance Anderson, Pep Hamilton and Mike Sanford Jr., Stanford
Adrian Klemm, Demetrice Martin, Noel Mazzone and Angus McClure, UCLA
James Cregg, Clay Helton, Kennedy Pola and Ed Orgeron, USC
Brian Johnson, Morgan Scalley and Kalani Sitake, Utah
Eric Kiesau, Tosh Lupoi, Johnny Nansen and Peter Sirmon, Washington
Mike Breske, Jeff Choate and Jim Mastro, Washington State

Head coach under pressure: Jeff Tedford, California

Top Pac-12 class prediction: California

Top Pac-12 signee: Shaq Thompson

Pac-12 school-by-school
North Division Commits Top Players Notes
- 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 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
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
24 WR Malik Gilmore
DB Tyler Hasty
OL Isaac Seumalo
This might be one of Mike Riley most talented classes during his time in Corvallis. Seumalo is one of the top offensive linemen on the West Coast and Gilmore is very underrated at the wide out spot. There are plenty of players who could play as freshmen or sophomores from this group.
- 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.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Jeff Lindquist
QB Cyler Miles
DE Damion Turpin
You wonder if this class could have been even better had Lupoi been hired earlier but as is, it's a very good effort out of Steve Sarkisian and staff. They failed to land the top OL's in the state but picked up two very good QB's to build around in Lindquist and Miles.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Robert Lewis
WR Gabriel Marks
OL Alex Mitchell
Mike Leach's hire has certainly turned heads on the Palouse and the recruiting trail. He's hit California for some players who were overlooked by other programs but are great fits for his system and done a good job in a short time span.
South Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Javelle Allen
LB C.J. Dozier
WR Trey Griffey
Even though he was hired early in the process,  Rodriguez hasn't made a huge splash in recruiting. But with new facilities and his staff finally in place, that will come. Allen is a very good fit for RichRod's offense.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 ATH Randall Goforth
OL Evan Goodman
OL Stephon McCray
Former head coach Dennis Erickson had assembled one of the better classes in the conference and while it has taken some hits, Todd Graham has mostly kept it together.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DB Kenneth Crawley
QB Shane Dillon
DB Yuri Wright
Landing Wright is a risk but there's no doubt he's a talented player who can contribute early on. This class should add depth across the board despite not having a big time impact player.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DB Ishmael Adams
DT Ellis McCarthy
QB T.J. Millweard
DB Marcus Rios
Jim Mora answered all the questions people had about an NFL guy recruiting in college with this effort. Landing McCarthy is a program-changer because big West Coast DT's don't exactly grow on trees.
- 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
22 ATH Chase Hansen
OL Cedrick Poutasi
QB Travis Wilson
Kyle Whittingham has talked about what a plus the move to the Pac-12 has been for recruiting and this class is one example of getting better players by being in a BCS conference.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Adrian Klemm, Alex Mitchell, Andrus Peat, Angus McClure, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Aziz Shittu, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., BCS, Bobby Kennedy, Brent Brennan, Brian Johnson, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, C.J. Dozier, Cal, California, Calvin Magee, Cedrick Poutasi, Chase Hansen, Chip Kelly, Clay Helton, Colorado, Colorado, Cyler Miles, D.J. Foster, Damion Turpin, Danny Langsdorf, Darian Hagan, Darreus Rogers, DeForest Buckner, Demetrice Martin, Dennis Erickson, Dwayne Stanford, Ed Orgeron, Ellis McCarthy, Eric Bieniemy, Eric Kiesau, Evan Goodman, Freddie Tagaloa, Gabriel Marks, Gary Campbell, Isaac Seumalo, Ishamel Adams, Jabari Ruffin, Jake Rodrigues, James Cregg, Javellle Allen, Jeff Choate, Jeff Lindquist, Jeff Tedford, Jerry Azzinaro, Jim L. Mora, Jim Mastro, Jim Mora, John Neal, Johnny Nansen, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Kalani Sitake, Kennedy Pola, Kenneth Crawley, Kyle Whittingham, Lance Anderson, Lane Kiffin, Malik Gilmore, Marcus Arroyo, Marcus Rios, Mark Banker, Mark Helfrich, Max Tuerk, Mike Breske, Mike Cavanaugh, Mike Leach, Mike Norvell, Mike Riley, Mike Sanford Jr., Morgan SCalley, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davidson, Noel Mazzone, Noor Davis, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Pep Hamilton, Peter Sirmon, Pitt, Randall Goforth, Rich Rodriguez, Robert Anae, Robert Lewis, Ron Gould, Shane Dillon, Shaq Thompson, Signing Day Overview, Stanford, Stephon McCray, Steve Sarkisian, T.J. Millweard, Todd Graham, Todd Howard, Tony Gibson, Tosh Lupoi, Tosh Lupoi, Travis Wilson, Trey Griffey, Tyler Hasty, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Zach Banner, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:54 am
 

1/26 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Mark Richt went to jail to visit a recruit, but it's not exactly what you're thinking.

 Offensive tackle Vincent Valentine will pick among Florida, Illinois or Nebraska.

 Alabama and Auburn spend a little bit of money to recruit...

 Todd Graham is making progress at Arizona State right before signing his first class.

 A profile of UCLA-bound cornerback Justin Combs.

 Top 100 offensive lineman Jordan Diamond had a great visit to Arkansas.

 Oklahoma early enrollee Taylor McNamara was finally cleared.

 Top Florida cornerback Tracy Howard is giving Miami a chance.

 Washington will host Cedric Dozier on an official visit.

 Chip Kelly is up in the air but, this time, to finish a recruiting class.

Commitments:

 Linebacker Thaddeus LaGrone committed to Houston.

 Nebraska snagged their first 2013 commitment in Tre'vell Dixon.

 Quarterback Steven Bench committed to Penn State.

Posted on: January 10, 2012 10:55 am
 

1/10 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

 Alabama won the national title last night and could be in line for another in February based on the updated Maxpreps team rankings.

TCU is recruiting and signing elite athletes with their move to the Big 12.

 Five West Virginia recruits are already enrolled for the spring.

A look at Georgia's big board and who they have left to recruit.

 Running back David Smith picked up a late Oklahoma offer and will visit the school officially.

 Cal commit Bryce Treggs apparently likes to express himself at basketball games.

 Todd Graham's first commitment at Arizona State is a Canadian.

 Texas recruit Johnathan Gray is in a walking boot after a high ankle sprain suffered in the Under Armour game.
Posted on: January 9, 2012 1:00 pm
 

Arizona State loses one back, gains Terrell Davis

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Arizona State lost one running back pledge but ended up picking up another not too long afterward. Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) running back Terrell Davis became new head coach Todd Graham's first commitment at the school when he verbally committed over the weekend.

“I was already planning to visit ASU on (January 13th) and if they offered me on the visit I would have committed then too," Davis told DevilsDigest.com. "It’s a great school and I knew I would commit to them as soon as they offered. I watched some stuff on the Internet about them and I could tell that they are a good program.”

The 6-foot, 215-pound back was previously committed to Washington State but opted instead for warmer climates and a more conducive offensive system for his talents. Davis is obviously aware that it's going to be quite a jump to Pac-12 football but one he's ready to make.

“Obviously high school football in Canada is very different than the U.S.,” he said. “You don’t have the big stadiums and big crowds, but just a few parents who come out and watch the games. It’s obviously a much higher level of competition there, but I’m looking forward to the challenge playing at the college level.”

Davis rushed for 1,355 yards and scored 20 touchdowns during his senior season.
Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:12 am
 

12/16 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Running back Mike Davis liked his unofficial visit to Georgia so much, he will return for an official.

Michigan State continues to recruit around the country to fill out their class of 2012.

Texas A&M commit Trey Williams wants to take a visit to Oregon.

A notebook filled with Ohio State recruiting nuggets.

 Oregon State is looking to sign several JUCOs during the early signing period.

 Recruiting is an early priority for Todd Graham at Arizona State.

 Penn State recruits face an uncertain future.

 Texas Tech gained a pair of JUCO commitments.

 Minnesota offered offensive lineman Adam Pankey.

 Wide out Monty Madaris is considering Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State and Kentucky.

 Stanford and Oklahoma State are the top two choices for Barry Sanders Jr.


Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:45 pm
 

Top big back Rushel Shell commits to Pitt

Posted by Bryan Fischer

For months, those that followed Pennslyvania recruiting closely thought Aliquippa (Penn.) running back Rushel Shell would pick Pittsburgh. On Friday morning, he made it official, selecting the Panthers over Alabama in a press conference at his high school.

"Next year I will be a Pitt Panther," Shell said, according to PantherLair.com. "At first, it was a close decision, but as time went, Pitt started to pull away and I just felt that it was the best choice for me."

A five-star and MaxPreps' top big back for the class of 2012, Shell was among the most heavily recruited players in the northeast this year. He's from the same high school (Hopewell) as Tony Dorsett and set the WPIAL all-time rushing record this year, two things that have many fans hoping he'll do similar things to the hall of famer once he arrives on Pitt's campus.

"I'm hoping by me committing, it will bring a couple more commits with me," he said. "I don't see why not. I'll try to do it like Tony Dorsett did: bring everyone with him, and from there, go to a national championship."

At 5-foot-11, 215-pounds, Shell is a load running down hill and has rushed for close to 8,000 yards, a few reasons why he's ranked as the number 11 player in the country.

"An exceptional between the tackles runner, he keeps his pads low, punishes defenders, and gets significant yardage after initial contact," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He shows an explosive second level burst and is a physical back with quick feet, reads his blocks, and displays good vision."

Shell is the 18th commitment for Pitt and new head coach Todd Graham and boosts their recruiting class to No. 16 in the team recruiting rankings. Upon signing in February, he'll become the highest ranked player to play for the Panthers in recent memory.


 
 
 
 
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