Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 2:38 pm

Stanford nabs talented offensive lineman Shuler

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With a rigid academic profile and a football team that is now BCS-caliber, Stanford has to search the country for recruits that fit their specific profile for what they're looking for. The Cardinal staff went all the way into Brentwood (Tenn.) Monday night for their latest commitment, offensive lineman Graham Shuler, who felt the school was just what he was looking for.

"I actually decided a couple of weeks ago but I’ve really just been praying about it and talking about it with my coaches and my family and just really making sure that this is the best decision for me and at the end of last week, I just really realized this is it, this is where I want to be and what I want to do," Shuler told Scout. "I wanted to go to a school where I could get an incredible academic environment and a great education that would prepare me for my future. There’s no better school in the country that can prepare me for the field like Stanford can and the rest of my life in the classroom."

The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Shuler is the son of former Auburn tackle Rob Shuler, who played in the early 80's. While the son didn't follow in his father's footsteps to the SEC, he is on board with a rising power in the Pac-12 and is looking to help recruit a promising class for the school this year.

"I mean, right now I’m very excited about my decision," he said. "I’m not really sure what all I’m allowed to do. I want to better Stanford as much as possible and I will be a spokesperson, advocate for them for the rest of my life. So might as well start now. I want to be the best, I want to be on the team that’s the best, and that happens by surrounding yourself with the best players."

The fifth commitment for Stanford's class of 2012, Shuler has a 3.9 GPA and held offers from Clemson, Boston College, Mississippi State and Syracuse among others. As a testiment to the the Cardinal's national reach, all five commitments are from a different state and none of them are from California.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 1:20 pm

Another Stephenson High player headed to the SEC

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Stephenson High has been a football factory the past several years and this year's senior class is loaded with as many as 18 FBS-caliber signees. Stone Mountain (Ga.) defensive back Kyle Fleetwood added to the school's number of commitments Sunday night, pledging to South Carolina and giving his high school an impressive seven players who are committed to an SEC school.

“Honestly, the shoe fits me,” Fleetwood told TheBigSpur.com. “The city is great. It is a great city for football. The fans are great. They have great support up there. I also have a chance to play early. I can play multiple positions for them and that increases my chance to play early. They are also graduating most of their players and that was a big thing for my family. It is a great place to be. It fits me the best.”

The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder held offers from LSU, Penn State, Louisville, Stanford and Ole Miss among others. He visited Columbia unofficially Sunday and liked the Gamecocks plan for him in college so much that he left the city as a commitment.

“They told me that I would probably start out at both safety spots when I come in but I could play a little corner as well if I wanted too,” he said. “I also could play Spur later down the line. The told me that they have six defensive backs on the field on passing downs and that sounded great.”

High school teammate and defensive tackle Carlos Hood is also committed to the Gamecocks. Fleetwood's pledge is the sixth for South Carolina's class of 2012 but first defensive back for the school. Assistant coach Lorenzo Ward gets credit for recruiting both Stephenson players and he is still working on landing several more.
Posted on: June 6, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 12:53 pm

Georgia Tech picks up linebacker Stargel

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Coaches talk all the time about how if they can just get a player to campus, they've got a good shot at landing a commitment from them. Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson has a very nice campus in Atlanta to show off and he must have been a pretty good tour guide over the weekend for Gulf Shores (Ala.) linebacker Tyler Stargel, who liked the program so much he committed on Saturday.

“I’ve always seen Georgia Tech from the highway while passing through Atlanta,” Stargel told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I had never been there until today. I’ve been talking to Georgia Tech’s coaches and developed a relationship. They invited me to tour the campus and meet everyone, and I didn’t realize what a great place it was until today. I like the facilities, the people, the area and, most importantly, the academics — because that’s a very important part in my upbringing.

“I’m proud to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket.”

The 6-foot-3, 250 pound linebacker is originally from Georgia and lived north of Atlanta until moving to Alabama two years ago. He held offers from Memphis, Troy and a few other schools but snapped Georgia Tech's offer once it was offered.

“Coach Johnson and my family talked a long time about the scholarship offer," Stargel said. "He was very upfront about everything. He said ‘We like you, the scholarship is there and you don’t have to worry about us pulling away.’ I liked what he said. I didn’t commit there but after talking with my parents on the drive back home, I decided to call back and commit.”

Stargel is the third commitment for the Yellow Jackets' class of 2012 and the first out of state commitment. He was drawing attention from several SEC programs but it appears that he'll wind up playing college football close to where he grew up. He racked up 87 tackles and two sacks last season as a junior. 
Posted on: June 3, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 11:37 am

SEC changes tune, says no more oversigning

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oversigning. Roster Management. Initial counters. Transfers. Those were some of the buzz words as the SEC wrapped up their annual spring meetings this week in Destin, Florida (CBSSports.com colleague Brett McMurphy has been covering the meetings on his blog). Oversigning, a topic that has been debated at length in the media coming into the meetings, was expected to be one of the things the league actually took action on and that they did Friday afternoon.

The SEC presidents voted to approve several proposals that will be adopted league-wide immediately, with several expected to be forwarded for possible adoption by the NCAA. The most noteworthy of the proposals was reducing the annual cap on signees from 28 to 25. Several schools, such as Florida and Georgia, had already been abiding by the lower limit.

Current NCAA rules permit schools to take 25 "initial counters" per year (high school players who enroll at a school for the first time are considered an initial counter) but schools can sign up to 28 players to a letter of intent to take into account players who do not qualify academically.

Several SEC coaches developed a reputation of being notorious oversigners. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt signed 38 players in 2009 (though fewer than 25 actually enrolled in school), prompting the currrent limit of 28 signees that commonly became known as 'The Houston Nutt Rule.' All 12 of the league's coaches were also at the meetings this week and voted to keep the limit at 28 but were overturned by the presidents, who voted 12-0 in favor of the new rule.

"No one wants to win more than I do," commissioner Mike Slive told reporters. "But you don't want to win at the expense of young people. You want to win for them." 

The 25 signee limit is just one of several that will change the way the SEC (and possibly others in the future) recruits. Other new rules were adopted to address the number of signees, how players are counted when they enroll and having the league office oversee all medical scholarship exemptions. The conference also eliminated an exception allowing graduate students to transfer and not have to sit out a year. This rule will not start until October, allowing transfers considering SEC schools to still enroll without a penalty, such as former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson.

"You should stay at our institutions long enough to have the type of academic experience that you expect student-athletes to have," Slive said. "You shouldn't solely transfer in for an athletic experience."

All of the talk and actual change that came about in Destin this week is a remarkable turnaround for the conference. Last year the conference pushed through legislation related to how to count incoming players that essentially created a loophole to the 28 man limit and other changes related to counting financial aid. It was just two years ago that the SEC submitted the 28 signees limit to the NCAA membership, which was subsequently accepted and made a national rule.

Slive and the presidents didn't think about things or slowly phase in legislation, they made a hardline stance this week and said no more oversigning.

What does this mean going forward? At the moment, these proposals are limited to the SEC so Texas A&M or Washington can still sign 28 players in the upcoming class of 2012. Big Ten schools have already adopted even stricter signing rules and have been leading the outrage over oversigning for several years.

The deadline to submit NCAA legislation is in a few weeks so we'll know exactly what is on the horizon nationally but there's at least one or two SEC coaches going back to their recruiting board and making a few adjustments. Many of the league's coaches sign a player they know cannot qualify in hopes of placing him in a junior college and then getting him eligible. Starting this year, the so-called 'sign and place' kids will be no more.

Bottom line is you'll see 25 or fewer players actually sign a letter of intent with SEC schools come February. The days of kids getting squeezed out of a scholarship because of a coach oversigning appear to be over and no matter what you think of the oversigning debate, that's a good thing.

Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:00 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 12:01 am

May SEC Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The calendar has turned from May to June and it's time to see how schools are building their class of 2012. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the SEC, where several schools - as one would expect - are having a strong year so far.

Alabama (12)

Defensive end Ryan Anderson (Daphne, Ala.)
Defensive tackle Dakota Ball (Lindale, Ga.) Athlete Kenyan Drake (Powder Springs, Ga.) Offensive lineman Brandon Greene (Ellenwood, Ga.) Kicker Adam Griffith (Calhoun, Ga.) Defensive end Caleb Gulledge (Prattville, Ala.)
Athlete Tyler Hayes (Thomasville, Ala.)
Linebacker Dillon Lee (Buford, Ga.)
Linebacker Reggie Ragland(Madison, Ala.) Running back Justin Taylor(Atlanta, Ga.) Athlete Justin Thomas(Prattville, Ala.) Athlete Eddie Williams(Panama City, Fla.)

Arkansas (6)

Offensive lineman Cordale Boyd (Memphis, Tenn.) Wide receiver Jalen Cobb (Warren, Ark.) Athlete Nathan Holmes (Port Arthur, Texas) Running back Donovan Roberts (Norman, Okla.) Linebacker A.J. Turner (Lepanto, Ark.)   Offensive lineman Jeremy Ward Pottsville, Ark.)

Auburn (8)

Offensive lineman Shane Callahan (Parker, Colo.)
Offensive lineman Michael Flint (Oxford, Ala.)
Defensive back Joshua Holsey (Fairburn, Ga.)
Athlete Darrion Hutcherson (Dadeville, Ala.)
Wide receiver Ricardo Louis (Miami Beach, Fla.) Quarterback Zeke Pike (Edgewood, Ky.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Defensive end Cassanova McKinzy(Birmingham, Ala.) 
Defensive tackle Darius Philon (Prichard, Ala.)


Defensive back Willie Bailey (Hallandale, Fla.) Running back Mike Davis(Stone Mountain, Ga.) Offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Running back Matt Jones(Seffner, Fla.) Defensive tackle JaFar Mann(Stone Mountain, Ga.) Defensive tackle Dante Phillips (Venice, Fla.) Wide receiver LaTroy Pittman (Citra, Fla.) Linebacker Jeremi Powell(Largo, Fla.)
Tight end Colin Thompson (Warminster, Pa.)
Defensive tackle Quinteze Williams(Tyrone, Ga.)


Wide receiver C.J. Curry(Gainesville, Ga.) Defensive end Jalen Fields (Milledgeville, Ga.) Athlete Leonard Floyd(Eastman, Ga.)   Kicker Marshall Morgan(Miami, Fla.) Wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw (Milledgeville, Ga.) Tight end Ty Smith(Moultrie, Ga.)

Kentucky (5)

Defensive back Shawn Blaylock (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Thomas Chapman(Louisville, Ky.) Defensive back Josh Harris(Maysville, Ky.) Wide receiver DeMarcus Sweat (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Quarterback Patrick Towles(Fort Thomas, Ky.)

LSU (12) 

Defensive end Torshiro Davis (Shreveport, La.) Wide receiver Travin Dural(Beaux Bridge, La.)   Defensive end Ronnie Feist (Edgard, La.) Tight end Dillon Gordon(River Ridge, La.) Linebacker Trey Granier(Thibodaux, La.)
Defensive end Jerald Hawkins (Baldwin, La.)
Wide receiver Avery Johnson(Pompano Beach, Fla.) Athlete Lamar Lewis (Lafayette, La.)
Defensive back Derrick Raymond (Metairie, La.)
Defensive back Jerquinick Sandolph (Boutte, La.)  Defensive back Dwayne Thomas (New Orleans, La.) Tight end John Thomas(Bossier City, La.)

Ole Miss (4)
Quarterback C.J. Beathard (Franklin, Tenn.)
Defensive tackle Issac Gross (Batesville, Miss.) Offensive lineman Ben Still (Memphis, Tenn.) Defensive end Temario Strong(Batesville, Miss.)

Mississippi State(2)

Offensive lineman Devon Desper(Madison, Miss.)
Athlete Deontay Evans(McComb, Miss.)

South Carolina (5)

Linebacker T.J. Holloman (Atlanta, Ga.) Defensive tackle Carlos Hood (Stone Mountain, Ga.) Running back Kendric Salley (Williston, S.C.)
Offensive lineman Brock Stadnik (Greensboro, N.C.)
Offensive lineman Clayton Stadnik (Greensboro, N.C.)

Tennessee (2)

Running back Imani Cross(Gainesville, Ga.)
Wide receiver Corey Smith (Akron, Ohio)

Vanderbilt (6)

Defensive end Ladarius Banks (Dallas, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Barrett Gouger (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Defensive end Tre Griffin (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Linebacker Darreon Herring (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Linebacker Jacob Sealand (Tucker, Ga.)
Defensive end Stephen Weatherly (Atlanta, Ga.)
Posted on: June 2, 2011 9:01 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 9:02 pm

Missouri gets up close look at Green-Beckham

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The May Evaluation period ended Tuesday night but that doesn't mean college coaches are going to stop evaluating players this summer. While assistants have been going from high school to high school over the past month and a half to look at players up close and personal, they are now able to do so near their college campus in the form of school camps. Missouri is one of the schools taking advantage right away, hosting a school camp in nearby Springfield, Missouri on Wednesday.

The same Springfield, Missouri that is also home to a Missouri target who also happens to be the nation's top player: Dorial Green-Beckham.

"I can't comment on that," head coach Gary Pinkel said when asked about Green-Beckham. "I'd go to jail. I don't want to go to jail."

While Pinkel wouldn't go to jail if he mentioned the talented wide out's name but he would commit an NCAA secondary violation. Nevertheless, the Tigers staff did what they could to impress Green-Beckham, with Pinkel riding to the event in a black and gold Harley Davidson motorcycle according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound receiver visited Columbia last week on an unofficial visit but had yet another opportunity to gauge how the staff works as he was put through the paces at one of the four summer camps put on by the Tigers. According to the Post-Dispatch:

Still recovering from a hamstring strain that kept him from defending his 100-meter title at Missouri's track and field championships last week, Green-Beckham was extremely limited in the camp. The soon-to-be senior spent some time catching passes from different quarterbacks but mostly conversed with members of the Missouri coaching staff. He has been on Missouri's recruiting radar since he was in eighth grade, and it was not long before other top schools around the nation started showing attention as well.

Green-Beckham holds scholarship offers from just about every school in the country and has recently begun to narrow down his list. Missouri, Oklahoma and several SEC schools have emerged as leaders for the receiver that MaxPreps analyst Tom Lemming has compared to Randy Moss.

"I think you look for competitiveness, quickness and speed," Pinkel said of qualities he looks for in a player. "It's all about movement, change of direction. That's what football is."

Pinkel also described a lot of the qualities the county's top wide receiver has. There were 343 players at the camp in Springfield but it was the local star, Green-Beckham, who likely drew most of the attention from the Missouri staff Wednesday as a result.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 5:35 pm

Recruits stick with Ohio State despite Tressel

By MaxPreps' Jarrod Ulrey

Among the members of the 2012 recruiting class who already have made verbal commitments to play football for Ohio State, there seemed to be one overriding characteristic to their feelings in the days that have followed Jim Tressel's resignation May 30: Ohio State is still Ohio State.

That was among the comments Upper Arlington (Columbus, Ohio) junior wide receiver Frank Epitropulous made on his Facebook page on Memorial Day afternoon, a little longer than a month after he first committed.

His father, John Epitropoulos, who played for the Buckeyes during the late 1970s, said May 31 that his son had no other comment than his statement on Facebook which read: "Thanks Coach Tressel for giving me the opportunity to play at OSU. You will be missed. Ohio State is still Ohio State and I'm still a Buckeye. Go Bucks!"

Similar sentiments rang from many of the other eight members of Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class.

Just two days after the Columbus Dispatch reported that sources encouraged Tressel to resign amid the mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program, the Buckeyes nailed down a new recruit.

Tyvis Powell of Bedford told various news outlets June 1 that he had chosen to play for Ohio State over Michigan State, West Virginia and Syracuse. He announced the commitment on the front steps of his high school.

Since early December, the only other recruits Ohio State has added have been Epitropoulos and St. Ignatius (Cleveland) tight end Blake Thomas, who verbally committed May 17. Twelve other Ohio residents, meanwhile, have committed to play for schools in the Big Ten or SEC since that time.

"I knew eight years ago I wanted to play for Ohio State," Powell said. "I'm not going to take my talents out of state. I'm going to play for coach (Luke) Fickell."

Read more of this story on MaxPreps
Posted on: June 1, 2011 9:45 am

6/1 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The weather is literally heating up across the country but as the calendar has turned to June, recruiting has slowed down thanks to the end of the Spring Evaluation Period. There's still plenty of links though:

- Be sure and check out CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy's story about the issue of oversigning dominiating the SEC spring meetings this week.

- The issues at Ohio State could result in dramatic changes in recruiting in the Big Ten going forward. 

- Eric Berry's younger brothers are definitely going to be a package deal.

- Tight end Josh Parris decommitted from South Florida

- South Carolina extended an offer to safety Lucas Thompson
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com