Posted on: December 29, 2011 6:28 pm
By MaxPreps' Stephen Spiewak
Keivarae Russell, the nation's No. 138 recruit, committed to Notre Dame Thursday afternoon, according to the Seattle Times.
The 6-foot, 182-pound running back from Mariner (Everett, Wash.) chose the Fighting Irish over home-state Washington.
"Notre Dame, as far as athletically and academically, you can't beat it," Russell said. "Once you get a degree from Notre Dame, you're basically set for life."
Russell's commitment comes just two days after Notre Dame narrowly lost out on the nation's No. 1 recruit Gunner Kiel, whocommitted to LSU.
Landing two top running backs was a priority for Notre Dame this recruiting cycle after only reeling in Cam McDaniel in the previous recruiting cycle. It pursued both Keith Marshall and Byron Marshall but came up short for each.
Russell joins Ohio running back William Mahone, a power runner who should complement Russell nicely.
In helping Mariner to a 5-5 season, Russell earned first team all-state honors in Washington's Class 4A.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:58 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:59 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Plenty of Ohio recruits will be paying attention to the Michigan State-Ohio State game this weekend.
The Spartans still have a chance with highly touted running back William Mahone.
Likewise, recruits in the northeast will have their eye on Syracuse-Rutgers.
Brian Kelly is focusing on skill position players for Notre Dame's class of 2012.
Mekale McKay won't choose between basketball and football, he'll play both at UTEP.
At USF, FIU and South Alabama among others, recruiting is different when selling a program with no history.
Linebacker Bryce Cottrell will visit Oregon next week for an official visit.
Florida State commit Dante Fowler is flirting with Florida yet again.
A list of visitors for the Alabama-Florida game with plenty of big names.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:50 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
A big international flavor at last night's NBA draft. Wonder how different things would be if college recruiting was a draft instead of its current system?
Five issues that will shape Notre Dame's upcoming recruiting class.
Athlete Anthony Brown hopes he'll get a USF offer soon.
Running back William Mahone visited Michigan State this week.
LSU has 12 commits in this list of top players in the state of Louisiana.
Mike Stoops and Arizona have opened a pipeline from the state of Oklahoma.
Offensive tackle Jordan Diamond said he plans to visit Arkansas in early August.
Northwestern added three commitments Thursday night.
Fellow Big Ten program Indiana also added three commitments yesterday.
Linebacker Jamal Lyles and defensive end Josiah Price both committed to Michigan State.
Defensive end James Washington pledged to Syracuse.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:42 pm
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 24, 2011 12:54 am
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 offensive side of the ball from the camp:
With the final stop for the Elite 11 and a good number of talented quarterbacks in the Midwest, Ohio State hosted some of the best signal callers in the nation. With three of the top four guys in the MaxPreps Top 100 in attendance, there was some very good play from the most important position on the field. Zeke Pike struggled during the Elite 11 but bounced back with a solid day during the Nike Camp.
The top quarterback in the nation and number two overall player, Kiel easily lived up to the hype. He was the best quarterback at an Elite 11 event this year and has the size, arm and accuracy you look for. Physically, he looks ready to play right away and is smooth from drop back to follow through. He can still improve but he's got a presence to him and is a very polished prospect overall.
Tall and lanky, Winston was another top player who lived up to his high ranking. He's light on his feet and though he runs the ball well, he's got a very good arm and throws the ball effortlessly. He can really spin the ball and threw a very pretty fade route. During a two-minute drill simulation, he showed off a calm demeanor and playmaking skills. He's not as polished as some other quarterbacks but he's got everything you look for in a college quarterback.
A rising junior, you can tell why Michigan made Morris the cornerstone of their 2013 class. He has good size and really nice footwork. The lefty throws a nice ball and throws the ball well on the move. He is accurate and had a surprisingly quick release. Morris had the confidence of an older quarterback and was eager to learn at the same time.
There weren't a ton of great running backs in attendance but Mahone stood out with his combination of size and speed. Though he wasn't the fastest guy running routes, he did show a good burst and nice hands. He's not going to reverse field on you a bunch of times and looks like a downhill runner. He's one of the top backs in the Midwest but still has some room to improve.
Stanford might have been one of the most heavily recruited players at the camp and you can see why after a few minutes of watching him. He's got the frame to fill out a little and is ideal height as an outside receiver who can also play out of the slot. Stanford gets into and out of his breaks quickly and is a good route runner. One thing that sticks out is his long arms and very big hands, which just snatch the ball out of the air. He creates separation from opposing defensive backs and while he's not the fastest guy out there, he still manages to do what ever he wants.
The Tennessee commit should fill a slot receiver role quickly. He's fast and has really good feet which allow him to turn on a dime. He's not as polished as others and had a drop or two but was solid throughout the camp. He seemed to improve as the day went on and if he gets bigger, could be a nice addition for the Vols.
Davis is another smaller guy who will end up as a slot guy who can stretch the field. He's small but silky smooth running routes. Davis has a solid pair of hands but needs to work on really driving some of his routes to create more separation with his man.
Knapp took home MVP honors and was solid and consistent all day long. He's good tackle size and doesn't have much bad body weight. Knapp can get a little stronger in his upper body to handle the bull rush but he's athletic enough to keep moving and maintain an advantage. He also has a very quick kick step and can get back in pass protection quickly and stay balanced.
A little smaller than others, Stock is more of a guard but he might excel as a center. He's got good feet and pulls around to block very well. During one-on-one drills he kept his man in front of him and didn't let his man out leverage him.
Herron definitely projects as an interior offensive lineman and needs to get rid of some bad body weight. That said, he was very good in pass protection and moves his feet nicely. His arms are long and he does a good job at keeping the defender from getting into him too much. Every once and awhile he'd get off balance and lean too much however. Herron did well at the camp overall and might see his offer list pick up as he was one of the better players there.
Posted on: May 22, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: May 22, 2011 9:19 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a talent-laden Elite 11 on the campus of Ohio State Friday, the Nike Football Camp on Saturday tried to match the talent level and may have ended up exceeding it overall based on the number of big names in attendance.
The latest stop in the camp circuit attracted several hundred of the nation's top athletes and one of the headliners was Cincinnati (Ohio) defensive end Adolphus Washington, who excelled during one-on-one drills once he got into the swing of things.
“I did pretty good,” Washington said. “I messed up in the one-on-ones the first time but overall I did pretty good. I came and bounced back.”
The 6-foot-3, 260 pound end had really good footwork outside of one rep and had a nice array of pass rush moves. He's compact but explosive and proved he was one of the top guys at his position.
“It's good competition to see who I have to go against in my class,” he said. “It's lets you know that other people are out there working. Just because you are one of the top (guys) in the country doesn't mean much, they're coming after you because you are one of the top guys.”
The Taft High product has the frame to add on weight and perhaps even the ability to move inside for some reps at defensive tackle. With almost too many scholarship offers to count, Washington has seen plenty of schools stop by during the evaluation period, including some big names in the past week.
“Notre Dame on Monday, Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee,” he rattled off. “It was a couple of them.”
As hectic as things have been for Washington, he's managed to trim his list of schools down as he starts to focus on the recruiting process and the journey to eventually making a commitment.
“I actually have a top five: Ohio State, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan and Miami in Florida,” Washington said. “I'm not really crossing anybody out but that's my top five that I like right now.”
Washington hasn't taken any unofficial visits to see those five schools yet but he is about to put a check mark next to one of those schools pretty soon to indicate he's visited.
“Me and Dwayne (Stanford) are going to Michigan next week,” Washington said. “We're looking forward to looking at their roster, seeing how the social environment is, graduation rates, how do African-American students do at their school and things like that.”
The Wolverines are one of the programs that meet the criteria that Washington is looking for in a school. While he's still a few months away from pulling the trigger, the very confident defensive end knows what he is looking for and won't commit until he's comfortable that the school has all that he's looking for.
“I'm looking into academics first,” he said. “Do they have the major I'm trying to get my degree in? What's the social life there and see how the team works together and stuff like that.”
Washington has not really eliminated any schools but at this point in the process it will be hard for others outside his top five to jockey into position to land his signature on Signing Day. Even within his top five pretty much set, there are two schools who have been on Washington from the beginning and continue to recruit him as a top priority.
“Michigan is actually recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “Coach (Greg) Mattison and Coach (Mark) Smith. Alabama too with Coach Sal (Sunseri).”
Though Washington didn't take home defensive end MVP Saturday, he was among the most polished pass rushers at the camp and you can easily tell why plenty of the nation's top programs are after the talented defender.
Stanford stands out too
While Washington was a stud on defense, his Cincinnati Taft High teammate Dwayne Stanford might have been even more impressive at wide receiver Saturday. With an outstanding frame and polished pass catching skills, it's easy to see why he is also among the country's best at the receiver position.
“I got to see where I was at today against some of the top DB's in the area and I think I showed I did pretty well,” Stanford said. “I didn't know any of them but I know from watching them that they were pretty good and knew what they were doing.”
Like many of the attendees, attending the Nike Camp was about more than just going through one-on-ones and catching passes.
“To get teaching, that's the main reason why I came here,” he said. “The first three hours I got teaching and I learned a lot about my footwork and route running. A lot of good stuff here. And also just to see where I'm at against the other top receivers out here. I'm always looking to get better against the best.”
The 6-foot-4, 200 pound wide out also listed a few of the schools to stop by Taft in the past few weeks and for Stanford, every school that does come by to evaluate him serves as motivation and part of the drive to be one of the best in the country at his position.
“This week we had Tennessee stop by, North Carolina, USC was here, some others,” Stanford said. “It's been busy. I'm working to get better and prove to these colleges that I am what they see.”
With a busy spring full of things to do, Stanford hasn't had a chance to see many of the schools who have extended him a verbal scholarship offer. With school about to be wrapped up, his schedule will be jam-packed with unofficial visits over the coming month or two this summer.
“Basically, I want to get around to all of these colleges on the East Coast,” he said. “Next weekend I'm going to try and make it up to Michigan and see them. I'm going to be on the road all of June.”
One of the things that he is looking to do is continue to play with his close friend and teammate Washington at the next level. While there's always talk of package deals in college football recruiting, it appears that it will be very hard to separate the two from signing with the same program.
“Definitely,” Stanford confirmed of the duo's playing together. “We're going to take most of our visits together. We'll sit down and see where's the best school for us individually and where the best school for us is together. Hopefully our individual schools are the same school that fits us best together. We definitely want to stay together and it's something we'll try and make happen.”
Unlike Washington however, Stanford hasn't narrowed down his list of over 20 offers and counting. It's clear that he wants to be able to do some research on a school and if possible see them for himself before naming a few top teams in the mix for his services.
“No, no really because I haven't taken any visits yet,” he said. “I took one to Cincinnati and Ohio State but those were during the season. Now I'm going to take these visits and really focus on seeing if it's a school that I can really see myself at.”
Academics are important to Stanford and his parents. While that is one of his top criteria in selecting a school, so too is how he fits into a program and the town that he'll live in for four or five years.
“I just want to see how the coaches use me and stuff like that,” he said. “I just want to feel like it's a good fit for me. The atmosphere and how it feels and that I like what's going on there.”
Mahone leaves lasting impression
Already one of the top running backs in the Midwest, Austintown (Ohio) athlete William Mahone didn't need to stop by Ohio State to show what he could do. But there he was at the Nike Camp, showing off a good burst, soft hands and many of the skills that get colleges from across the country excited just thinking about landing him.
“I felt like I did really good today, this is one of the best camps I've been to,” Mahone said. “There was some great competition out there today and I had a really good time.”
The 5-foot-10, 210 pounder was among the bigger running backs to show up and he tried to use that to his advantage during several of the drills. While he was best in the open field and taking on linebackers one-on-one, he did have to make a slight adjustment when it came to blocking individual defenders.
“I picked up on some more footwork drills and I need to work on my blocking,” he said. “I was surprised that we did some blocking today, I really wasn't ready for it. I kind of struggled with that a little bit so I know I need to work on it.
“It's different (without pads). You can't have that mentality where you want to take somebody out, you have to hold back a little.”
Already holding a double-digit offer list, Mahone continues to pick up scholarships weekly. The evaluation period has seen plenty of assistant coaches roll by Fitch High to get a look at him this spring and see how impressive he is in person.
“The most recent would be Minnesota about a week ago,” he said. “We've had Stanford stop by our high school. Pitt, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State and a lot of other schools.”
Most of Mahone's offers come from schools in the Midwest or along the East Coast. While many are several hundred miles away from home, he's still on the fence as to what's an acceptable distance away from home he's comfortable going.
“It would be kind of nice to stay home but then again, if I need to go, I'm going to go,” he said. “I guess you could say I'm on the fence about distance away from home.”
There's plenty of other factors that will go into his decision however.
“I want a good relationship with the coaching staff, I want to feel like a family,” he said. “Coaching stability. I also want to be able to get on the field as soon as I can.”
Mahone has taken a few unofficial visits already this past year and has seen Michigan State, Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia already. He plans on visiting Notre Dame and Boston College in the near future but there already seems to be one school emerging as a leader for his commitment.
“The best relationship I have with coaches is at Pittsburgh,” Mahone said. “They're just warm and embracive. I went down there for my first visit with the new staff and they were real cool. I went back a month later, me and my mom went down there, and it was even better. I saw the campus and feel like I can have great success there.”
The plan is to narrow his list of schools down this summer and then take all five official visits before verbally committing sometime during the season.
Knapp stands out along the offensive line
One of the great things about the Nike Camps are the chance to see a player perform well that might be a little under the radar. Portage (Mich.) offensive tackle Kyle Knapp isn't heavily recruited but he has seen his stock rise as of late and he did nothing to slow it down Saturday, picking up the group's MVP award and shutting down some big time defensive linemen in one-on-ones.
“It's just a great feeling, I've been working at it for a long time, non-stop,” Knapp said. “I'm ready to continue it and keep working my butt off to keep it going.”
The 6-foot-4, 265 pound Knapp has a great frame and looks to be a natural left tackle. He could get a little stronger but is very athletic and moves well, stays balanced when pass blocking and has a very quick drop step. He needed all his skills during the competition given the talent he had to face.
“There were some really good defensive linemen,” he said. “They're quick and big but I feel like I handled myself well. I'm going to continue to work on my pass blocking and keep going. The coaches helped me with everything.”
Knapp is still a bit under the radar in the Midwest but is seeing his stock rise after performing well at several camps this spring. While he has yet to pick up his first BCS offer, he's got a solid group of schools who have extended a scholarship and will likely pick up a lot more once coaches get a hold of his film.
“I've got six right now, Western Michigan, Toledo, Ball State, Bowling Green, FIU and South Alabama,” he said. “There are some other schools talking with me but I'm not sure who's close to offering. Michigan has come by for a transcript visit. Iowa has come by for a transcript visit, Syracuse too.”
It will be a busy summer for Knapp with the trip to Columbus being just a pitstop along the way. He doesn't mind competing and will have plenty of chances to prove he's one of the better prospects in the region along the offensive line.
“I've got a lot of camps coming up,” he said. “I'm going to a one-day Wisconsin camp, Iowa's Elite camp. I'm going to go to Notre Dame... I've got them all, I've got a loaded schedule.”
Knapp said will wait until the fall to see how his recruiting plays out and likely commit halfway through the season.
- While plenty of parents were wearing Ohio State gear on the sidelines of the camp, there wasn't any being worn on the field. Ironically it was archival Michigan's maize and blue that littered the field. Quarterback Shane Morris, linebacker James Ross and cornerback Terry Richardson were among the top performers and represented their future school well on enemy territory. Richardson was the most recent to commit to going to Ann Arbor for college and discussed his verbal pledge last week.
“I committed to Michigan because I felt comfortable with them,” he said. “I did like Alabama and all the other schools but I felt the best at Michigan and that's why I picked them. I have a lot of friends going there and we'll make it happen up there.”
Richardson injured his hamstring at a track meet the night before running the 200 meters but still managed to lock down opposing receivers. He was one of several players whispering in a few recruits' ears about how good it was to be a Michigan man.
- In addition to Knapp taking home offensive line MVP honors, Morris took home quarterback MVP. Kansas City (Mo.) Ondre Pipkins was a terror during one-on-ones and was defensive line MVP while Ray Harris was running backs MVP, Tre Parmalee was wide receiver MVP, Jaylon Smith was linebackers MVP and Sebastian Smith was defensive back MVP.
- Others that impressed along the defensive line were Michigan commit Mario Ojemudia, who should be a very good outside linebacker at the next level, Se'Von Pittman, class of 2013 defensive end Jason Hatcher, tackle Sheldon Day, Pipkins, Alex Pace and Dayrl Goldsmith.
- The defensive backs had a very good day, with Cameron Burrows, Marcus Foster, Shaquille Davis and De'Van Bogard among those that impressed. The linebacker group was also deep and the aforementioned Ross was one of the top players in space. Class of 2013 prospect Mike McCray looked good and David Perkins also impressed with how well he moved.
- Stanford was easily the top guy at the receiver position, using his long arms to snag whatever was thrown his way. He's a good, polished route runner who gets into and out of breaks well and has deceptive speed for someone with his build. Corey Smith, Kevin Davis, Jeremy Graves, Gervon Simon and Urston Smith also performed well. Zeke Pike bounced back from a rough day at the Elite 11 to throw the ball much better. Pat Dill was another signal caller who looked good.
Tags: Adolphus Washington, Alabama, Alex Pace, Boston College, Cameron Burrows, Cincinnati, Corey Smith, David Perkins, Dayrl Goldsmith, De'Van Bogard, Dwayne Stanford, Gervon Simon, Greg Mattison, James Ross, Jason Hatcher, Jaylon Smith, Jeremy Graves, Kentucky, Kevin Davis, Kyle Knapp, Marcus Foster, Mario Ojemudia, Mark Smith, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mike McCray, Minnesota, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio State Elite 11, Ohio State Nike Camp, Ondre Pipkins, Pat Dill, Penn State, Pitt, Ray Harris, Sal Sunseri, Se'Von Pittman, Sebastian Smith, Shane Morris, Shaquille Davis, Sheldon Day, Stanford, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, tre Parmalee, Urston Smith, USC, West Virginia, William Mahone, Wisconsin, Zeke Pike
Posted on: March 12, 2011 7:36 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Tons of great action today with the Elite 11 kicking off at UCF, the Badger Sports 7-on-7 at USF and the Jacksonville Under Armour Combine.
- Coveted athlete Shaq Thompson has re-opened his recruitment just days after committing to Cal.
- A brief look at how recruiting could be impacted at Ohio State in the wake of the Jim Tressel controversy.
- A few names to watch at today's previously mentioned Badger Sports 7-on-7.
- Miami could be one of the schools in the running for 2011 quarterback Jerrard Randall.
- Michigan State is eyeing an Ohio running back William Mahone.