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Tag:SEC
Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:05 pm
 

Florida nabs Illinois linebacker

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With Will Muschamp running the defense down at The Swamp, one would expect a few defensive players to flock to the program even if he hasn't coached a game there yet. Bolingbrook (Ill.) linebacker Antonio Morrison was certainly interested in playing for the defensive mastermind and made a verbal commitment to Florida on Tuesday via his high school's Facebook page.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder gives the Gators some much needed size at the linebacker position. He is the third commitment at the spot and 16th overall for the program.

Morrison also held offers from Alabama, Miami, Illinois, Oregon and others. He racked up 82 tackles and four sacks last year as a junior.


Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Auburn replaces one DT with another in Tyler Nero

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Call it Newton's law of recruiting: for every decommit, an equal commit will take its place. At least this was the case at Auburn over the past two days.

On Monday, the Tigers saw Prichard (Ala.) defensive tackle Darius Philon decommit from the school and re-open his recruitment. On Tuesday, Auburn replaced the rather large hole left by him in the current recruiting class with Atmore (Ala.) defensive tackle Tyler Nero.

“I’ve been weighing my options for a good while and kind of I boiled it down over the last week and I feel like Auburn is the place to me,” Nero told AuburnUndercover.com. “I’m going off my gut feeling, my heart, my morals."

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Nero held offers from other SEC schools such as Florida and Arkansas but just felt like the Plains were where he felt most comfortable going to college for four years.

“I feel at home when I go to Auburn,” he said. “It’s like one big family there. The coaching staff, the players and just the way they run things -- I like the way it’s done."

Nero is the second defensive lineman to commit to the Tigers in the past week, joining end Gimel President. He is the 13th overall in the class of 2012 for the program and racked up 73 tackles and seven sacks last season as a junior.

A few of Nero's highlights are below:


Posted on: August 2, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Catching up on a few commitments

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's been a busy few days between Media Days and a short vacation for the Eye on Recruiting blog. Because we haven't put up every commitment on the blog, here's a recap on players who have committed over the past couple of days, sorted by conference.

ACC:

Florida State: defensive tackle Justin Shanks

Georgia Tech: running back Marcus Allen

Maryland: linebacker Avery Thompson

N.C. State: defensive end Joe Wright, receiver Charlie Hegedus

USF: offensive lineman Kofi Amichia

Wake Forest: running back Joshua Wilhite, tight end Zach Gordon


Big East:

Cincinnati: quarterback Bennie Coney, linebacker Erroll Clarke

Pitt: defensive back Marchez Coates, quarterback Chad Voytik

Rutgers: offensive lineman Derrick Nelson

TCU: junior college receiver Ricky Collins

UConn: defensive back Jhavon Williams

West Virginia: receiver Ray Martin and Trevor Williams, linebacker Sam Lebbie, defensive end Noble Nwachukwu, offensive lineman Tony Matteo


Big Ten:

Indiana: offensive lineman Jason Spriggs, quarterback Gunner Kiel

Michigan: defensive end Chris Wormley

Michigan State: receiver Aaron Burbridge, defensive back Jermaine Edmondson

Minnesota: offensive lineman Jonah Pirsig

Purdue: tight end Jonathan Curry, linebacker Andy Garcia


Big 12:

Baylor: cornerback Ryan Reid, defensive end Dominique Banks, linebacker Kendall Erhlich

Iowa State: wide receiver P.J. Harris, linebacker Adam Pavelenko

Kansas: quarterback Bilal Marshall and Seth Russell

Kansas State: offensive lineman Aderius Epps

Missouri: defensive lineman Ed Ray

Oklahoma State: defensive end Victor Irokansi

Texas A&M: defensive end Julian Obioha


SEC:

Arkansas: receiver D'Arthur Cowan, defensive back John Gibson

Auburn: defensive end Gimel President

Mississippi State: cornerback Will Redmond, receiver Frederick Brown

Ole Miss: tight end Austin Ray

South Carolina: linebacker Kaiwan Lewis, offensive lineman Joe Harris

Tennessee: kicker George Bullock, junior college defensive lineman Damien Jacobs


Pac-12:

Arizona: defensive tackle Dwight Melvin

Arizona State: offensive lineman Evan Goodman and Stephon McCray, defensive end Ben Dixon and Jarvis Lewis, running back Russell Hansbrough, linebacker Carlos Mendoza and Matt Rowe
UCLA: offensive lineman Isaiah Folasa

USC: defensive end Pio Vatuvei




Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:12 am
 

8/2 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Eye on Recruiting is back in action and better than ever. As a result, a super-sized roundup:

- Really good story on the nation's top recruit, Dorial Green-Beckham.

- Florida quarterbacks Tyler Cameron and Kendric Bostic will pick between several schools Tuesday.

- Several BCS schools are recruiting Diddy's son Justin Combs, a cornerback out of New York.

  Michigan's recent tradition of hosting a BBQ at the Big House continued over the weekend and attracted some top recruits.

 Florida target Adam Lane found out he was invited to the Army All-American Bowl.

  Tight end Kurt Freitag is down to four finalists in Alabama, Florida State, Florida and Miami.

As Oklahoma's recruiting class fills up, a good look at how it is a game of chance.

Top offensive tackle Andrus Peat is down to three schools: Texas, Florida State and Nebraska, where his brother is at.
Recruits in Ohio might be thinking twice about going to Ohio State.

Commitments:

Defensive end Chris Wormley committed to Michigan.

Arkansas picked up cornerback Jared Collins and receiver Keon Hatcher.

Quarterback Bennie Coney is headed to Cincinnati.

Running back Marcus Allen, no not that Marcus Allen, committed to Georgia Tech over Florida State, Tennessee and others.

Arizona State continues to grow their recruiting class, picking up offensive lineman Stephon McCray and running back Russell Hansbrough.

Iowa added offensive tackle Ryan Ward as a commitment.

Defensive end Ben Dixon is the latest Arizona commit.

West Virginia added receiver Ray Martin, linebacker Tony Matteo and defensive end Noble Nwachukwu.

Missouri received a commitment from defensive tackle Ed Ray.
Posted on: July 29, 2011 11:26 am
 

7/29 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- Interesting story on recruiting services for players.
Quarterback Faton Bauta took an unofficial visit to UCF.

Athlete Janarion Grant was one of the top performers at USF's Sling and Shoot 7-on-7 Tournament.

Miami head coach Al Golden talks a little recruiting.

 Minnesota seeks an in-state recruiting coup.

  West Virginia is hoping to close out their summer with a commitment or two out of their summer camp.

With North Carolina coach Butch Davis gone, Virginia Tech lost a recruiting thorn in their side.

Commitments:

Mississippi State added receiver Fred Brown and speedster Brandon Holloway to their class.

 Offensive lineman Joe Harris selected South Carolina over Georgia and Clemson.

 Corner Jhavon Williams will head to UConn to play ball.

 Kansas picked up quarterback Bilal Marshall from South Florida.

  Receiver D'Arthur Cowan made it official: he was going to Arkansas.

Number 18 is in for Arizona State and it's defensive end Jarvis Lewis.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 11:42 pm
 

Tennessee snags defensive end from Ohio

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Tennessee was looking for a little momentum a few days ago on the recruiting trail. It looks like they found it.

Akron (Ohio) defensive end LaTroy Lewis became the latest to commit to Tennessee Thursday afternoon, part of an impressive little run by Derek Dooley and staff.

“They like the way I play, and they think I can come in and be a pretty good rush player for them right away,” Lewis told GVX247.com. “They want me to get in. They want me to learn the system. ... The only thing is getting acclimated to the system, and (Dooley) wants me to get in and understand what’s going on at first and go from there.”

The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder held scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Boston College among others. He's the latest in a nice run by the Vols, becoming the sixth commitment since Sunday to join the recruiting class and mostly thanks to linebackers coach Peter Sirmon.

“It’s pretty laid-back. It’s pretty good,” Lewis said. “We talk from time to time, see how things are going with each other.”

Lewis gives the program eight verbal pledges for the class of 2012. He had 70 tackles, eight for a loss, and 13 sacks last season as a junior.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:44 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Alabama adds 2013 linebacker from Georgia

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With film so readily available nowadays, the evaluation process coaches go through is steadily getting earlier and earlier. As a result, scholarship offers or commitments from recruiting classes beyond the upcoming one aren't all that uncommon.

Alabama has been known for their talent at evaluating under Nick Saban, but he wasn't the only one to recognize that LaGrange (Ga.) linebacker Reuben Foster was a talent, so Saban locked the rising-junior up on Monday with a commitment at the Crimson Tide's summer camp.

"I come up here and it's like family to me," Foster told BamaOnLine.com. "I didn't want to wait any longer, so I told Coach today I was coming. It was the right fit for me, and I wanted to go ahead and start focusing on other stuff besides recruiting. The thing is, I fit in here. It's simple for me because I know I can come in and play and Alabama is going to compete every year for a national championship. That, and the way the coaches and players treat me is all I was looking for in a school. It's the perfect fit."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is regarded by some to be one of the best players in the class of 2013, and Georgia recruiting analyst Kipp Adams says Foster could be the best linebacker to come out of Georgia the past five years.

"Coach Saban sat me down and laid out his plans for me, and I loved everything I heard," Foster said. "It's a great system for me, and they know how to get guys ready for life after football. I look at the great players that have played at Alabama and I want to be part of that. We have a great tradition and history, and I'm honored to have the chance to maybe someday add to that."

Foster is the third commit for Alabama's 2013 class and is the first of the group on defense.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:30 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:38 am
 

Winston evolving into complete QB at Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MALIBU, Calif. -- With everybody settled into their picturesque surroundings at Pepperdine University during day two of the Elite 11, the throws were sharper, the completion percentage was up and - perhaps just as important - so was the level of competition.

"It's been good out here with all these great quarterbacks," Bessemer (Ala.) quarterback Jameis Winston said. "I'm just out here competing, that's the main thing."

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound signal-caller was the top performer Tuesday and was really spinning the ball well during a brisk morning throwing session. Despite the effort he put in on each throw, Winston understands that he's still evolving from an athlete into a quarterback and that there are several parts of his game that he can work on.

"Drops," he identifies immediately almost before the question is even asked. "I want to also work on my hips more. I have to get my hips open more so I don't hurt anything down low. So I just have to work my hips more and get open. I've got to get better everyday."

Winston was almost like a little brother on the field to college counselor E.J. Manuel out of Florida State. The two have similar builds (though Winston is much thinner) and a similar throwing motion. Often conversing between snaps, the college starter had no problem mentoring the high school star.

"E.J. helps me a lot on making sure I'm staying on top of the ball and not squeezing the ball," Winston said. "He's helped me a lot and he's at one of my final schools, Florida State."

Down to three schools in his recruitment, Maxpreps' second ranked quarterback and 21st overall player in the class of 2012 is considering the Seminoles and hasn't been shy about asking Manuel about the program.

"I've asked him about Florida State and their program," Winston said. "He's been pretty real with me. He's told me the ups and downs - there's not many downs but he told me some."

The other finalists for the five-star quarterback are both SEC powerhouses, one close to home and the other a few hours away by car. With distance not a huge factor for Winston, he's had to look closer at what each program brings to the table for him.

"Alabama is the home school," he said. "I mean, there's no place like home. I've been there a million times, just over and over. LSU, it's just a great competitive atmosphere and I want to be in that competitive atmosphere wherever I go, especially with baseball and football."

Winston is a top high school baseball player in addition to his success on the gridiron. While Florida State and LSU are perennial contenders at the College World Series, the success of the baseball program at any of the three schools he's considering is only a small factor in his decision.

"Yes," he says before cautioning," but Alabama's baseball program is coming up."

Projected by some to go as high as the first round draft in next year's MLB Draft, Winston knows it's possible he'll have to make a decision similar to Nebraska quarterback and Kansas City Royals first round pick Bubba Starling.

"Yes I've followed him," Winston said. "I'm going to consider (going pro). I don't know right now because I'm not as advanced as he is. He got there this year and I'm just considering it. Thinking about it but trying to have fun. It's in the back of my mind."

Slated to make one fan base very happy when he ultimately picks a school on August 3rd, Winston revealed that he's already decided where he'll play his college ball - football and baseball - but didn't offer any hints as to where that might actually be.

"I know where I'm going," he said. "The coaches know."

Kline reps the West Coast

Danville (Calif.) quarterback Zach Kline had one of the shortest commutes to the Elite 11 from the Bay Area and though he is used to going down to the beach or enjoying a cool summer day, the experience with 23 other top quarterbacks at the Elite 11 has been eye-opening for him.

"It's been awesome," Kline said. "Nothing is like it, ever. It's the best thing I've ever been to and you have the best players here."

The California kid was sporting a Rafael Nadal-like look on Tuesday with long hair and a headband. Though he was one of the most outgoing and relaxed players on the field, that masked his workman-like approach to learning as much as he could from the coaches and counselors at the event.

"A lot of things like making every throw count and the little things matter the most," he said about what he learned. "Even the smallest thing down to a drop, the fake on the play action matters more than anything and is the difference between a completion and an interception. And just kind of getting to know these guys and the things that they see."

In between meals and film sessions, the Cal commit has been able to take time to bond with his fellow campers, many of whom he is already close with.

"I know these guys real well," Kline said. "Connor Brewer I've been friends with for awhile, for a couple of years. Jake Rodrigues I've been friends with for a long time as well. Tyler Matthews same deal. Gunner Kiel, I was at the Elite 11 last year as a ball boy with him. He's the man, he's a great quarterback and just a cool dude to hang around with. Same for all of those guys, every single one of them."

Regarded by many as the top quarterback on the West Coast, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is confident in himself and showed that he can make all the throws on the field, going neck-and-neck with other highly ranked players like Winston and Kiel. Still, despite actually belonging with the best in the nation, Kline knows there's still something left for him to prove.

"Definitely," he says before identifying the biggest reason why. "Tanner Mangum is giving me a run for my money. He's good, a great quarterback and a great dude too. He's a good friend of mine as well and he's going to do big things at BYU, just an awesome quarterback, can't wait to watch him."

Appleby stars in the classroom

While Mangum wore a yellow jersey for being the winner of the Golden Arm competition on the field Monday, North Canton (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby sported a red jersey on Tuesday after taking home honors for best performance in the classroom. The chance to show off his quarterback IQ was a welcome one for someone who had prepared to do so for quite some time.

"I got a chance to get up in front on the board, in front of everybody, and impress Coach (Trent) Dilfer," Appleby said. "I put a lot of time and preparation coming into this. I've been hours upon hours into knowing this playbook and I take pride in being the most prepared at this camp."

With so much teaching on and off the field from instructors, Appleby made an apt analogy to schoolwork when talking about what specifically he'll take back to his high school.

"It's graduate level stuff," he said. "In my offense, I'm a little more advanced and making those checks and making those slide protections, or any audible I need too. So having this knowledge and understanding of how it's really supposed to work is really going to broaden my skill level from a mental aspect as well from the coaching we're going to get from a fundamental aspect."

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder looks like he's physically ready to play on Saturdays and appears fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered last year. He throws a very catchable ball but can really put some spin on it if required. Even having the opportunity to showcase his quarterback skills alongside the other campers has been quite the experience for Appleby.

"It's awesome, there's no better place than to be here right now," he said. "The talent level is unbelievable. It's the top 24 for a reason and as the days go by and we get near the end, the elite will rise towards the top. Then we'll see who's number one and I have full intentions of being that number one."

Committed to Purdue, Appleby is in constant contact with the Boilermakers staff to keep them updated on his progress at the Elite 11.

"I'm going to be in contact with them and at the end of the day, I kind of update them with what's going on," he said. "It's kind of tough with the time zone, I keep forgetting how late it is over there. But I tell my high school coach as well and we're going to all together get better."

Clearly advanced mentally and physically, the senior to-be is undecided if he'll enroll early and take part in spring football with Purdue next year.

"I don't know at this point," he said. "We're looking into it but I don't know the details at this point."

Notes:

- Tanner Mangum won the Golden Arm competition for the second day in a row. After proudly sporting the yellow jersey on Tuesday, he will do so again during Wednesday's throwing sessions.

- Utah commit Travis Wilson has the frame to put on a few pounds of muscle but the 6-foot-6 quarterback has all the tools to make it at the next level. His release might be the best part of his game, as the ball comes out quickly and effortlessly.

- One of the surprises of day two was North Carolina commit Patton Robinette. He came in a close second behind Mangum in the Golden Arm competition but was sharp throughout practice. He did a good job hitting the receivers in the right spot and knowing just how much to put on the ball. Robinette also did a good job on throws to the outside and could really drive the ball on out routes.

- After a rough week at The Opening, Oregon verbal Jake Rodrigues has bounced back nicely at the Elite 11. It still seems like he gets a little bit too wide of a base but he was accurate and was able to get good power on just about every one of his throws.

- If there's anyone who could be labeled Mr. Consistent, it would be Bart Houston. He doesn't wow you out of the gate but he's got the perfect mix of arm strength, frame, throwing motion and accuracy to know he'll be a perfect fit at Wisconsin.

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