Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:58 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
It was an important recruiting weekend across the country and new Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was one of several coaches who went home happy after the Aggies picked up four commitments during their Junior Day activities on Saturday.
The headliner of the quartet is Dallas (Texas) offensive lineman Ishmael Wilson. A 6-foot-5, 300-pounder, he is one of the top linemen in the state and held offers from major programs such as Alabama, LSU and Texas. Joining him in A&M's class of 2013 along the line is Birdville (Texas) offensive lineman Joas Aguilar, right, who promptly committed to his only known offer while in College Station.
Among the skill position commits, talented Killeen (Texas) running back Johnny Jefferson was recruited by some of the staff members when they were at Houston and picked up an offer on the unofficial visit and promptly committed. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound back picked Texas A&M over Oklahoma State, TCU and others.
"I decided the night before," Jefferson told Scout. "I just had a gut feeling. As soon as we got there, head coach Sumlin and (running backs coach) Clarence McKinney put me a room and told me that they wanted to show me what the school and what Texas A&M could offer me. I went on my tour and I basically had my mind made up in the middle of it. We are going to offer you. I knew it was right for me, so I committed."
The final pledge of the day was Rosenberg (Texas) defensive back Victor Davis, who held offers from Oklahoma State and Tulsa. Sumlin and the Aggies now have 10 commitments in the upcoming class after signing a top 15 group earlier this month.
Photo by Kyle Dantzler
Posted on: November 3, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2011 12:21 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
To say Texas Tech does not like Texas A&M is an understatement. There is a statue in Lubbock, where Tech is located, where the rear end of a horse is pointed at College Station, where A&M is located. While you won't catch many - if any - Red Raiders fans in the city, there will be at least one family proudly wearing the red and black after College Station (Texas) running back Quinton White committed to Texas Tech Wednesday.
“I was nervous, because I didn’t know if Tech was going to offer me,” White told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “I’m a smaller running back. I’m not that fast. I originally committed to Tulsa and was pretty solid there. Then I got the offer today and was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. It’s for real.’"
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound back was not recruited by A&M and held offers from the service academies, UTEP and Louisiana Tech among others before committing to Tulsa. The offer from a Big 12 school was his first from a BCS school but White had plenty of reasons to commit to the Red Raiders.
“I like their offense,” White said, “and (receiver) Detron Lewis went there who was a graduate from A&M Consolidated. I like what they did with him. It’s a good program to be in, and Tommy Tuberville’s a great head coach.”
White is the 19th commitment for Texas Tech's class of 2012 and only running back. He has rushed for 714 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:24 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Running back Shadrach Thornton will visit Georgia Tech officially this weekend. He's a soft verbal commit to Kentucky.
Junior quarterback Jake Hall was offered by UNLV with San Diego State, UCLA and others showing interest.
Fewer players from Texas are on Tulsa's roster but that doesn't make the state any less of a priority.
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen bashed team recruiting rankings. Of course.
Linebacker T.J. Neal has narrowed down his list of schools to Nebraska, West Virginia and Syracuse and doesn't mind traveling to get there.
There will be no official visitors for Notre Dame's game against Navy but last week's bunch left impressed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 10:47 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Oklahoma State's wide open offense is attracting all kinds of talented players on that side of the ball looking to put up big numbers in college. Broken Arrow (Okla.) tight end Zac Veatech is no stranger to what the Cowboys have been doing under Mike Gundy and committed to the program recently.
"I've grown up liking the program, it's close to home and my mom definitely likes that, and they've got great facilities and what not," Veatech told OStateIllustrated.com.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder held scholarship offers from Baylor, Houston, Kansas and others but has settled on Oklahoma State to end the recruiting process. He's already seen one game - against Tulsa, which ended in the wee hours of the morning - and has enjoyed his relationship with assistant coach Joe Wickline.
"I really like [Coach Wick]," he said. "He's definitely a no BS kind of guy for sure. He's real straight forward and I like him a lot. He's definitely different than most recruiters I talk to in a good way."
Veatech is the 15th commitment for the class of 2012 for the Cowboys. Surprisingly, he's the first in-state recruit for the program and is the only tight end to give his verbal pledge.
"He shows strong hands, surprising running ability for a 245 pounder, turns up field quickly, and can catch everything within his frame," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Shows good movement skills and can be a very effective blocker while on the run. Not super fast but he shows good initial quickness and strong hands."
Posted on: September 14, 2011 6:57 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
A quick check of the Boise State commitment list shows 14 commitments from four different states across the country. Chris Petersen's staff has always done a great job of finding diamonds in the rough from the surrounding area and California but the program's recent BCS-busting success has allowed them to expand their recruiting base nationally.
And, it appears, internationally too.
The Broncos added two commitments this week in defensive linemen Elliott Hoyte of Tavistock, England and future teammate Rory Connop from Edmonton, Canada.
"It’s really the opportunity I’ve been waiting for," Hoyte told the Tavistock Times. "I’m really looking forward to it — I’m a bit apprehensive, I don’t think there’s anything I can’t handle from the sporting side, the only thing I think I will struggle with is not seeing my family for such a long time."
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Englishman plays for Great Britain's national youth team as a tight end-defensive end. His father, Nigel, played football in the states when he was younger and is now a coach for the national team and a mentor to his son.
"Boise is a really good place, I’ve met the coaches, they are very much into the kids getting their education and working hard, there’s no way he will be allowed to fail academically," the elder Hoyte told the paper.
Closer to Boise, or at least on the same continent, Connop did not play high school football but managed to become a Prarie Football League All-Star for the Edmonton Wildcats. The 6-foot-4, 265-pound lineman also held offers from Kansas, Tulsa and Pitt.
Hoyte is scheduled to arrive at Boise State in January and begin practicing with the team during the spring. The international pair gives the Broncos 18 total commitments for the class of 2012.
(Hat tip to the Idaho Statesman)
Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 9:50 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
- Check out some new photos of #1 overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham.
Missouri commit Donavin Newson could be out for the season with a torn MCL.
Former Georgia commit Kent Turene and former FIU commit Corey Tindal are both at an Atlanta area prep school.
Cincinnati is the first major offer for offensive lineman Austin Bland.
Several Baylor and Tulsa commitments shined in week one.
Texas A&M's move to the SEC could expand the recruiting footprint for other conference teams.
Georgia commit Derrick Henry may be having second thoughts and is considering Florida.
Vanderbilt added offensive tackle Blake Fromang out of Florida.
Posted on: August 23, 2011 4:01 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The Mustangs have gone out-of-state a lot for their 2012 commitments and received several verbals from the state of California. With a solid base of Texas talent, especially on defense, to go with skill position players from out-of-state, SMU is doing well under June Jones on the recruiting trail.
There's a trio of solid wide receivers coming in 2012 for an offense that is without offensive coordinator Chad Morris (who's now at Clemson) so it will be interesting to see if they can eventually put up numbers like those in the past. Running back Quinton White is small but quick and a good fit at Tulsa.
3. Southern Miss
Offensive lineman Caleb Peterson is the headliner of this class as Southern Mississippi snatched him away from Auburn (the city that is). This is a good mix of players that fills needs while also bringing in good size and speed at the skill positions.
This class would be a lot higher if they had more commitments but keeping dual-threat quarterback Will Gross at home is big for a program without a lot of success the past few years. Corner Sheldon Dawson is another local player the Tigers have picked up who is going to contribute early.
No surprise to see the Cougars grab several local commitments given the depth of talent in the Houston area. Steven Aikens is an underrated linebacker who has size and speed to play at a high level in college.
A smaller class but one that relies on underrated Texas talent. Darrion Pollard is a really speedy, sharp wideout and the program should continue to receive a few verbals once they have a chance to evaluate players during their senior season.
It's rare for a program like Tulane to get a player as fast as Walker Van Hooser but the 5-foot-11 wide receiver will bring 10.6 100-meters speed to the team in 2012. Plus his nickname is "Fudge" so that's worth at least a little bump in the rankings.
Pretty quiet on the recruiting front for UAB with a class relying mostly on Alabama and Georgia for recruits. Kelton Brackett is a solid pick up at the corner spot.
All four of these schools have fewer than five commitments so it's tough to do anything but lump them together at the bottom of the conference rankings.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 2:34 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:31 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
MALIBU, Calif. -- As if the picturesque Pepperdine campus was not enough for the Elite 11 campers, the competition literally moved within steps of the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday as 24 of the top quarterbacks in the country were put through two workouts and the first 7-on-7 drills of the five-day long process to determine the best high school quarterback in the country.
For Scottsdale (Ariz.) five-star Connor Brewer, the Elite 11 was yet another stop on the busy summer camp schedule and one, when he stopped to think about it, that was among the best he's attended.
"A couple of weeks ago I was at The Opening and played with the best athletes, and here I'm playing with the best quarterbacks in the nation," Brewer said. "It's a couple of great camps in a row. This one is really special for me."
In addition to a slight location change to a nearby off-campus field, there were several notable differences between Wednesday's workouts and the previous two days of competition.
"The main difference today was we woke up and Coach (Trent) Dilfer told us we were ranked 1-24 based on how we preformed," Brewer said. "Luckily I was No. 5, tied with Gunner Kiel. That's not fine for me, I definitely want to be that No. 1. It's something to keep working towards.
"The 7-on-7 drills, it got a little hectic. It got better as it went on but it's a fun day."
Brewer has been sharp but has struggled at times to be consistent with his accuracy on intermediate to deep throws. Looking to move from fifth up to first by the end of camp, Brewer has already identified a few areas he will work on the final two days in hopes of ascending to the top spot.
"I think I need to participate more in film sessions, answer more questions and definitely start picking their brain," he said. "I also need to start making some of the deep passes. I just have to keep up the hard work and keep competing with all these guys."
Although the Texas commit's recruitment has been shut down for some time, that hasn't stopped the Longhorns' first class of 2012 commitment from recruiting others. One of his top targets has been fellow Arizonan and offensive tackle Andrus Peat.
"I think in about a week he's visiting Texas," Brewer said. "He was going to go on the 23rd then he changed it to the 25th so I was going to make it up with him but our school camp was at that time. But he's going up there and it's going to be a lot of fun for him, I know he's going to love it and I'm excited for him to see Texas.
"I know he can get in there and play at an early stage, which is big for him. Everybody we have committed, all the guys we've got, he would fit in perfectly. His personality, he's a great kid. Coach (Mack) Brown recruits only the best kids. He's been talking to some of our recruits and I think just getting that familiarity with everybody is going to help him."
Peat isn't the only high-profile target Brewer has his sights on, as he thinks another out-of-state player would look pretty good in burnt orange on Signing Day
"Nelson Agholor, I'm trying to get him," Brewer said. "Whether he's playing safety or wide receiver, he can do it all. We'll see how that works out."
There's been plenty of talk about The Longhorn Network recently, and as one of the first commits that will see the channel on the air, the out-of-state player is looking forward to the opportunity for the school.
"It's really exciting to know that everyday there's going to be a whole ESPN channel just for you and your team," he said. "It's going to be sweet and a lot of publicity obviously. It could be good and could be bad sometimes but I think it's going to be pretty awesome.
"I've heard that they are going to find a (high school football) game, probably do it on one of our games. It's going to be fun. I definitely want to be in a broadcast, that's awesome. I'm excited to go compete, especially on that network and that stage."
Many people have talked about the recruiting advantage Texas will have with a channel dedicated to them. Brewer was quick to point out that the coaching staff never promised he'd be on the network in exchange for his verbal pledge to the school.
"No they never said that," he said. "Just kind of once it came along, obviously the first commit, the quarterback commit, that kind of started coming up. That's just kind of how it went on. The coaches really never said anything to me but if they did, I would have liked that."
Kelly fitting right in - as himself
If there was one person who truly, truly appreciated the temperate climate in Southern California this week, it was Buffalo (N.Y.) signal-caller Chad Kelly. Despite a little fog from the marine layer in the morning session, the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder had no problems enjoying himself tossing the football around Wednesday.
"This is great, to be out in Malibu, you don't see weather like this in Buffalo," Kelly said. "It's just great to be out here with all these quarterbacks, you've talked with some of them before but now to be playing football with them, it's just great."
Like many of his fellow quarterbacks looking to make the jump from high school to the college after this upcoming season, the chance to pick up on certain things that their high-school coaches aren't teaching has been a big takeaway from the event.
"Just the progressions, PSLs, pure progression stuff, that's big time," Kelly said. "Coming from someone like Coach Dilfer, that's key. Being in high school and playing against teams that are good, that will come in handy, and against teams that are bad, that just means putting up more points. It's excellent just learning out here."
As the nephew of Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly, the young quarterback has always avoided treading too much on his uncle's legacy and is determined to make sure he's on his own path to success -- hopefully, with nobody even knowing about the connection between the two.
"I try not to think about it, but it's always in the back of your mind," he said. "He's one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, ever, in the NFL. You try not to think about (the comparison). I don't tell people, I'd rather nobody know. All these quarterbacks out here, I doubt half of them even know who he is or know I'm related to him. I really just try to play it off and be me as much as I can."
Committed to Clemson since the middle of June, Kelly is part of another very good recruiting class for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers. After a few unofficial visits down South, he found the Clemson program was simply the fit for him.
"Everything. From the stadium to the people to the coaching staff," he said. "Everybody is passionate about football, they want their people to graduate, they want them to be good people in society. There's so much that went into it and I knew right from the start when I got there that it was the right place."
Recently hired from Tulsa, new Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is a big factor in Kelly choosing the school, and the pair have become close despite not knowing each other for that long.
"We talk all the time," he said. "He's always messaging me on Facebook. He's awesome and everybody there is, too. He's new but the offense that they run is perfect for me, I run it in high school. It's going to be a lot of fun."
The good-natured Kelly has no problem representing his school, having shaved the Tigers logo into his head a few weeks ago at The Opening and reminding fellow Elite 11 camper and Auburn commit Zeke Pike who would win the game between the two schools this upcoming season.
"Clemson," Kelly says with a smile. "For sure. With the athletes they've got this year… it's going to be fun watching them, it's going to be a show."
Voytik down to two
The Elite 11 isn't just about the players who reside in recruiting services' top 100 lists; it's also a chance for some lesser-known prospects to get their chance to prove themselves on a national stage. Cleveland (Tenn.) quarterback Chad Voytik has been a bit under the radar to some fans, but the talented player has proved he belongs over the past few days at the competition.
"I came out strong and I felt like I built on that," Voytik said. "There’s a lot of good quarterbacks out here so I’m really trying to focus on my self and not worry about the other guys. Of course I want to compete and know what I’m up against, but I’m going to stick to what I know and who I am."
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound signal-caller has one of the strongest arms at the camp and a compact throwing motion that can really deliver the ball quickly.
“I feel like I’m right at the top with my accuracy and arm strength. I think I'm with the best guys out here," he said. "I know I’m not the tallest, but I feel like I make up for it with my intangibles.”
Voytik holds scholarship offers from several schools in the South but has narrowed his recruiting options to two schools as he looks to make a decision soon, possibly after the Elite 11 is over.
“It’s Pitt and Vandy," Voytik said. "I’m down to those two schools for the most part. I really like Pitt right now. They’re probably the leader. But Vandy’s close behind.”
New Panthers coach Todd Graham has not been afraid to expand the program's recruiting to grab quality prospects such as Voytik. On the quarterback's end, the school has plenty of things going for it as he looks at the positives and negatives of each option.
“It’s just the fit, the coaching staff and the kind of offense they run,” he said. “They opportunity (to play early) is the main factor. I’ve been there twice, and I loved it when I was up there.”
In-state program Vanderbilt has built some momentum on the recruiting trail with a string of quality commitments recently, and that is certainly something working in the school's favor.
“They’re getting some great recruits,” Voytik said. “They’ve got a bunch of Tennessee kids like (running back Brian) Kimbrow. That’s a good program, I feel like they’re on the rise. It may be a year or two, but I feel like they’re going to turn things around and it’s a good school.”
Based on all indications however, it looks like the Tennessee native will head to the northeast to play his college ball.