Tag:Aziz Shittu
Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:49 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 7:14 pm
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End of July Pac-12 Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The month of July has come to a close and what better time to take a broad overview of how a conference is doing on the recruiting trail than the first week in August, roughly six months from Signing Day. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Pac-12, where the conference itself is just over a month old.

Arizona (12)

Defensive tackle Gerron Borne (Reserve, La.)
Offensive lineman Beau Boyster (Bellflower, Calif.)
Defensive lineman Cayman Bundage (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Defensive end Ben Dixon (Ventura, Calif.)
Offensive lineman T.D. Gross (Santee, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Zach Hemmila (Chandler, Ariz.)
Defensive end Kyle Kelley (Irvine, Calif.)
Quarterback Josh Kern (San Antonio, Texas)
Tight end Taylor McNamara (San Diego, Calif.)
Defensive end Dwight Melvin (Laveen, Ariz.)
Offensive lineman Steven Moore (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Quarterback Nathan Sudfeld (Modesto, Calif.)

Arizona State (22)

Offensive lineman Dejon Allen (Compton, Calif.)
Wide receiver Josiah Blandin (Long Beach, Calif.)
Athlete Cedric Dozier (Bellflower, Calif.)
Linebacker Salamo Fiso (Long Beach, Calif.)
Wide receiver Randall Goforth (Long Beach, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Evan Goodman (Lakeland, Fla.)
Running back Russell Hansbrough (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Oliver Johnson (Pierce JUCO/Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Milo Jordan (Corona, Calif.)
Tight end Kody Kohl (Gilbert, Ariz.)
Wide receiver Kenny Lawler (Upland, Calif.)
Defensive end Jarvis Lewis (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Defensive end Michael Mann (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Offensive lineman Stephon McCray (Fresno, Calif.)
Linebacker Carlos Mendoza (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Quarterback T.J. Millweard (Fort Worth, Texas)
Linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo (Pasadena City JUCO/Pasadena, Calif.)
Linebacker Kimball Rowe (Long Beach, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Niu Sale (LA Harbor JUCO, Wilmington, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Jake Sheffield (Palm Desert, Calif.)
Wide receiver Richard Smith (Long Beach, Calif.)
Defensive end Chad Wheeler (Santa Monica, Calif.)

California (4)

Linebacker Michael Barton (Concord, Calif.)
Quarterback Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.)
Linebacker Hardy Nickerson (Oakland, Calif.)
Wide receiver Bryce Treggs (Bellflower, Calif.)

Colorado (9)

Running back Terrence Crowder (Galena Park, Texas)
Quarterback Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Tyler Henington (Denver, Col.)
Offensive lineman Gerrad Kough (Pomona, Calif.)
Defensive end Clay Norgard (Highlands Ranch, Col.)
Defensive tackle Justin Solis (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Wide receiver Gerald Thomas (The Colony, Texas)
Wide receiver Jeffrey Thomas (Duncanville, Texas)
Wide receiver Peyton Williams (Southlake, Texas)

Oregon (7)

Defensive back Eric Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Stephen Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive end Alex Balducci (Portland, Ore.)
Tight end Evan Baylis (Aurora, Colo.)
Defensive end Cody Carriger (Butte, Mont.)
Wide receiver Oshay Dunmore (Newport, Ore.)
Quarterback Jeff Lockie (Danville, Calif.)
Quarterback Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)

Oregon State
(6)

Offensive lineman Gavin Andrews (Granite Bay, Calif.)
Wide receiver Malik Gilmore (Lakewood, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo (Corvallis, Ore.)
Tight end Dustin Stanton (Marysville, Wash.)
Quarterback Brent Vanderveen (Arroyo Grande, Calif.)
Wide receiver Cleveland Wallace (San Jose, Calif.)

Stanford (11)

Safety Alex Carter (Ashburn, Va.)
Wide receiver Connor Crane (Denton, Texas)
Linebacker Noor Davis (The Villages, Fla.)
Wide receiver Deante' Gray (Houston, Texas)
Wide receiver Dontonio Jordan (Cornith, Texas)
Defensive back Drew Madhu (Tampa, Fla.)
Linebacker Blake Martinez (Oro Valley, Ariz.)
Defensive Tackle Ikenna Nwafor (Irving, Texas)
Offensive lineman Graham Shuler (Brentwood, Tenn.)
Athlete Jontrey Tillman (Baldwin, La.)
Wide receiver Kodi Whitfield (Los Angeles, Calif.)

UCLA (10)

Defensive end Eli Ankou (Bear, Del.)
Defensive end Morgan Breslin (Diablo Valley JUCO, Pleasant Hill, Calif.)
Defensive back Shannon Edwards (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Isaiah Folasa (Corona, Calif.)
Defensive back Raymond Ford (Gardena, Calif.)
Running back Steven Lakalaka (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Linebacker Aaron Porter (La Habra, Calif.)
Tight end Ian Taubler (Fresno, Calif.)
Running back Psalm Wooching (Kailua Kona, Hawaii)
Offensive lineman Mario Yakoo (Spring Valley, Calif.)


USC (10)

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (Rocklin, Calif.)
Athlete Jaydon Mickens (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Running back Jahleel Pinner (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Wide receiver Darreus Rogers (Carson, Calif.)
Linebacker Jabari Ruffin (Downey, Calif.)
Linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita, Calif.)
Defensive end Pio Vatuvei (Patterson, Calif.)
Running back Kevin York (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton JUCO)

Utah (9)

Defensive end Hunter Dimick (Syracuse, Utah)
Defensive end Moses Folauhola (West Valley City, Utah)
Athlete Chase Hansen (Highland, Utah)
Defensive back Austin Lee (Sandy, Utah)
Wide receiver Delshawn McClellon (Cerritos, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Nua Poteki (Sandy, Utah)
Offensive lineman Kiha Sai (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Defensive end Sione Tupouata (Ephraim, Utah)
Quarterback Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)

Washington (18)

Defensive end Kalei Auelua (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Wide receiver Braden Bishop (Mountain View, Calif.)
Defensive end Jeremy Castro (Murrieta, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Nathan Dean (Kirkland, Wash.)
Kicker Korey Durkee (Gig Harbor, Wash.)
Athlete Bryan Harper (Ontario, Calif.)
Defensive end Malcolm Jackson (Spring Valley, Calif.)
Defensive back Damontae Kazee (San Bernardino, Calif.)
Wide receiver Taylor Lagace (Arcadia, Calif.)
Quarterback Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Quarterback Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Tairen Owens (Pasadena, Calif.)
Wide receiver Michael Rector (Tacoma, Wash.)
Linebacker Blake Rodgers (Las Flores, Calif.)
Athlete Kendyl Taylor (Chandler, Ariz.)
Quarterback Jason Thompson (Renton, Wash.)
Defensive back Darien Washington (Orange, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dwayne Washington (Cerritos, Calif.)

Washington State
(10)

Quarterback Austin Apodaca (Longmont, Colo.)
Defensive tackle Maurice Bennett (Madison, Miss.)
Defensive back David Bucannon (Fairfield, Calif.)
Running back Terrell Davis (Saanichton, B.C., Canada)
Wide receiver Travis Gardner (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Athlete Rashad Jackson (Missouri City, Texas)
Defensive back Vershad Jackson (Missouri City, Texas)
Wide receiver Dalen Jones (Woodland, Calif.)
Linebacker Jordan Pulu (Federal Way, Wash.)
Defensive back Taylor Taliulu (Alea, Hawaii)

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Aaron Porter, Alex Balducci, Alex Carter, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Austin Apodaca, Austin Lee, Aziz Shittu, Beau Boyster, Ben Dizon, Blake Martinez, Blake Rodgers, Braden Bishop, Brent Vanderveen, Bryan Harper, Bryce Treggs, Cal, Carlos Mendoza, Cayman Bundage, Cedric Dozier, Chad Wheeler, Chase Hansen, Clay Norgard, Cleveland Wallace, Cody Carriger, Colorado, Connor Crane, Cyler Miles, Dalen Jones, Damontae Kazee, Darien Washington, Darreus Rogers, David Bucannon, Deante' Gray, Dejon Allen, Delshawn McClellon, Dontonio Jordan, Drew Madhu, Dustin Stanton, Dwayne Washington, Dwight Melvin, Eli Ankou, Eric Amoako, Evan Goodman, Even Baylis, Gavin Andrews, Gerald Thomas, Gerrard Kough, Graham Shuler, Hardy Nickerson, Hunter Dimick, Ian Taubler, Ikenna Nwafor, Isaac Sumalo, Isaiah Folasa, Jabari Ruffin, Jahleel Pinner, Jake Rodrigues, Jake Sheffield, Jarivs Lewis, Jason Thompson, Jaydon Michens, Jeff Lindquist, Jeff Lockie, Jeffrey Thomas, Jeremy Castro, Jontrey Tillman, Jordan Pulu, Josh Kern, Josiah Blandin, June Commitment List, Justin Solis, Kalei Auelua, Kendyl Taylor, Kenny Lawler, Kevin York, Kiha Sai, Kimball Niumatalolo, Kimball Rowe, Kodi Whitfield, Kody Kohl, Korey Durkee, Kyle Kelley, Lemming Top 100, Malcolm Jackson, Malik Gilmore, Mario Yakoo, Maurice Bennett, Max Tuerk, Michael Barton, Michael Mann, Michael Rector, Milo Jordan, Morgan Breslin, Moses Folauhola, Nathan Dean, Nathan Sudfeid, Niu Sale, Noor Davis, Nua Poteki, Oliver Johnson, Oregon, Oregon State, Oshay Dunmore, Pac-12, Peyton Williams, Pio Vatuvei, Psalm Wooching, Randall Goforth, Rashad Jackson, Raymond Ford, Richard Smith, Russell Hansbrough, Salamo Fiso, Scott Starr, Scott Starr, Shane Dillon, Shannon Edwards, Sione Tupouata, Stanford, Stephen Amoako, Stephon McCray, Steven Lakalaka, Steven Moore, T.D. Gross, T.J. Millweard, Tairen Owens, Taylor Lagace, Taylor McNamara, Taylor Taliulu, Terrell Davis, Terrence Crowder, Travis Gardner, Travis Wilson, Tyler Henington, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vershad Jackson, Washington, Washington State, Zach Hemmila, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:28 pm
 

The Opening: Day 4 closes out all-star event

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- As things wrapped up on Day 4 of The Opening, one couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness on behalf of the nearly 150 athletes at the event. Knowing the end was coming and that they soon would have to hop on a plane home, many players couldn't believe the all-star event had come to a close. 

"It's a very humbling, lifetime experience," Yulee (Fla.) running back Derrick Henry said. "I'll never forget it. All this competition, the whole 150, it's a blessing. It's nice getting guys' prospectives on different colleges and stuff like that, it's been good."

As one of three sophomores at the event, Henry was just trying to soak in the event. Playing with some of the top players in the country, The Opening was a chance to learn from the best in anticipation of coming back next year as the elder statesman.

"This is my first time coming up here, and I'm starting to enjoy the whole thing," he said. "But next time it's going to be business."

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Henry was one of the most impressive athletes, physically, at the event. Though he plays running back in high school, if he continues to grow, he might develop into a tight end -- a position he got reps at during the 7-on-7 portion of the event.

"It just gives me a chance to get out there and catch some balls and get some touchdowns," he said. "I'll do anything to get my team the win."

Though he was split out catching passes instead of running down hill, there's no question what position he wants to play at the next level.

"Oh running back, that's what I play," Henry said. "I'm just doing this because it's 7-on-7. You've got to do what you've got to do to get the ball."

The Opening also gave Henry a chance to talk with plenty of older, heavily recruited athletes such as Nelson Agholor, Terry Richardson and Dillon Lee just on his 7-on-7 team. Already solidified as one of the top players in the Class of 2013, Henry has been picking up scholarship offers at a good clip over the past few months.

"I got an offer from Stanford, North Carolina, Tennessee and some others," he said. "I know I'm over 50. It's a humbling experience. I thank god everyday for this opportunity. I just use it as motivation to keep working hard in the weight room and the classroom and the field. Hopefully I can give back to my teammates by using my talent and my name to get them opportunities for the young guys who are under (the radar)."

Although many had considered him a Florida State lean early on, it's another in-state program that has moved out in front nearly a year and a half before he eventually signs a letter of intent.

"Florida is my leader, then Georgia, Florida State and Alabama," Henry said. "I'm open to any school; it's just where I feel comfortable and at home at, that chemistry I have with the coaches and where my family likes."

Reeves down to two

With so many talented players on the fields at the Nike campus, tempers were bound to flare given the level of competition. But, surprisingly, things were mostly limited to some good-natured trash talking because of the bond the players had formed over the past few days.

"It's very competitive out here,” defensive back Armani Reeves said. “But they're all good guys. When we go inside the lounge in there, we're all family and have a good time. But when we come out to (the fields), that's the time to compete and that's what we do.”

Things have been competitive on the recruiting front for the Roxbury (Mass.) corner. Reeves recently narrowed down his list of schools to two and talked about both, starting with Notre Dame.

"They're a great school academically," he said. "Coach (Bob) Diaco, Coach (Brian) Kelly, they're trying to turn that program around and make it a championship school. When they talked they had a lot to offer. When they showed me around, the campus was beautiful and I got to hang out with a bunch of the players. I had a good time there.”

The Irish are not the only program in the running for Reeves' services, as the Nittany Lions are neck and neck with them in Reeves' eyes.

"As far as Penn State goes, it feels like home," he said. "Coach (Joe) Paterno, I talk to him every time I see him. We even Skype now. All of those coaches treat me like family and express how much they want me. I'm just enjoying the process and trying to think about everything."

Several recruits have reported they have Skyped with the coaching legend and like the others, Reeves feels it's a unique connection to one of college football's icons thanks to a bit of modern technology.

"Yeah it's pretty cool," Reeves said. "He was cracking jokes with me. He's new to the whole thing so when you have an old guy like him doing something like Skype, it's just fascinating. He was just talking and we forgot about recruiting, telling me stories and stuff. It was really fun, I had a good time."

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound defensive back returned from unofficial visits to both schools shortly before heading to Oregon for The Opening. While he is officially down to two schools, a timetable for a decision on which one he will commit to is up in the air.

"Hopefully I'll make a decision soon but if not, I don't mind waiting," he said. "I just came back from those visits like two or three weeks ago so I'm just taking this time enjoying my time out here with these fellas."

Elder getting closer to decision 

Proving that defensive backs can also have a pair of good hands, College Park (Ga.) corner Chaz Elder made one of the defensive plays of the day when he caught a beautiful over the shoulder interception in the end zone to prevent a touchdown.

“My teammate told me to watch for the corner,” Elder said. “So I went over to try and get over the top. I got over there a little to late, but luckily the wide receiver missed it and I was able to catch it.”

Coming a long way from home and making plays is something new for Elder, but the overall experience in Portland has been a rewarding one for the talented cornerback.

“It's been great,” he said. “This is the furthest I've ever been outside of Georgia. I like it. (The plane ride) is kind of long. It's very long but it's alright.”

One of the top players in a deep pool of talent in Georgia this year, Elder has more than 25 scholarship offers from major powerhouses, but he has narrowed his list to three schools.

“With (Georgia), I like the fact that me and Coach Mark Richt have a good relationship,” Elder said. “South Carolina, I like the fact that they're known for having good DB's. Plus I like the defense they run because it's similar to what I run now in high school. With Vanderbilt, they're upcoming and I could help change the face of the program.”

Vanderbilt is making news in the recruiting world by picking several major commitments, including one from Top 100 running back Brian Kimbrow. The momentum the school has under new coach James Franklin is something that matters to Elder.

“That's a big factor,” he admitted. 

Elder won't open up as to which of the three programs is out in front but plans to make a decision soon, likely in August before his senior seasons begins. 

Howard staying open

There were plenty of players who had fun at The Opening, but it was hard to top the excitement about the event that Miramar (Fla.) defensive back Tracy Howard had following a 7-on-7 win.

“It's been one of the best experiences of my life,” Howard said. “To come way out to Portland, Oregon, I know I haven't been this far from home. The only place I've been is the Bahamas on a cruise. It's definitely a blessing to get out here with the top talent and compete against those guys.”

A talkative player on the field, Howard doesn't mind finding a player on the opposing team and talking a little trash to back up his coverage skills

“Oh Sean Price,” Howard responds almost instantly about who he talks the most trash with. “We're good friends, it's not bad talk, we're just getting each other better.”

Though Howard has been leaning toward Florida for a good portion of the recruiting process, he's narrowed his list of schools he's considering and looking at all of the options equally.

“I'm just staying open right now,” he said. “I'm down to a few: Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Notre Dame.”

Notes 

-- Very impressive day by defensive linemen Sheldon Day and Ellis McCarthy. Though Day was named position group MVP, McCarthy was unblockable during one-on-ones and went around and through his man, all on a bad ankle. Aziz Shittu rebounded from a sub-par day Friday to perform well. Curtis Riser was the top offensive lineman of the group on Saturday to go with good performances from Vadal Alexander and Issac Seumalo.

-- No matter what position he played, Fresno (Calif.) athlete Deontay Greenberry was a flat-out player. From skying on jump balls in the end zone to intercepting passes during limited time on defense, the Notre Dame-bound Greenberry was consistently a top performer over all three days of competition.

-- Geismar (La.) safety Landon Collins was named the 7-on-7 MVP and overall MVP of The Opening. He was everywhere on the field and quite literally had too many interceptions to count over the two days of 7-on-7. He more than lived up to his billing as a top 10 player in the class of 2012 and might even be underrated based on what he has done this summer.

-- Another defensive back that stood out was Clemson commit and Tallahassee (Fla.) safety Travis Blanks. Blanks had two interceptions in the opening game Saturday (and nearly had two more) and continued his stellar play throughout the day. He is one of the most versatile defensive backs in that he's equally good as a safety and cornerback.

-- There weren't many of them, but the walking wounded on the sidelines generally sported cardinal and gold. USC commits Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (stitches) and Jabari Ruffin (fractured wrist) were both out of action Saturday.

-- Team Alpha Talon, with honorary coaches Josh Freeman and Dwayne Bowe, won the 7-on-7 tournament. The team featured Bralon Addison, Nelson Agholor, Deon Bush, Landon Collins, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Trae Elston, Justin Ferguson, Derrick Henry, Germone Hopper, Chad Kelly, Duke Johnson, Dillon Lee, Kaiwan Lewis, Steven Longa, Lamar Louis, Marcus Maye, Armani Reeves, Terry Richardson and Randy Uzoma.  

-- The overall offensive line MVP was Vadal Alexander while Sheldon Day took home the same honors on the defensive line. Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy and defensive end Jamal Marcus were one-on-one champions.

-- The 7-on-7 All-Tournament team was Travis Blanks, Cyrus Jones, Johnathan Gray, Deontay Greenberry, Marcus Maye, Bryce Treggs and Tee Shepard.

Posted on: July 8, 2011 12:17 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:37 pm
 

The Opening Day Two Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Day 2 of "The Opening" didn't finish up with a bang like day one did with a national champion being crowned in the SPARQ rating. Instead, some of the top players in the country took to the fields of the Nike campus for what amounted to a regular Nike camp in the middle of the day before getting chance to hang out for several hours before selecting 7-on-7 teams.

No more testing for some of the finest recruits in the country, it was time to get into the actual football part of the camp.

"It's been great. Playing against the top recruits, competing against each other, having fun in the lounge, it's great," Aledo (Texas) running back Johnathan Gray said.  "I expected everything. If you've got the top 150 kids in the country, you expect nothing but the best. That's what you get (from Nike). They're treating us like superstars out here. We're just enjoying our time."

When not outrunning linebackers (he out ran them all on Thursday afternoon), Gray spent a good chunk of the afternoon in the players' lounge relaxing and mingling with other recruits. As one of several players committed to Texas at the event, the 6-foot, 200-pounder has been able to spend some quality time with his future teammates and the bonding they are doing is something Gray hopes will pay off later.

"There's a couple of us here from Texas just playing and going through the drills," he said. "It's fun, I met them earlier so being up here with them, it's fun being with your fellow commits and building that team chemistry up."

Ranked as the best running back in the country and eighth overall in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps, Gray knows there are plenty of eyes on him while he's going through drills, perhaps even more than on his fellow commitments. Despite the added outside pressure, he is saying focused on the task at hand.

"I don't really look at is as number one and all that stuff, I just come out here to have fun and compete," he said. "That's what this is about. Doing your best."

A solid verbal commitment to the Longhorns, there's not much Gray has on his docket football-wise between now and when his high school begins fall camp in August. With an outside shot of breaking the national rushing record, the upbeat running back is just looking to focus on getting better over the coming month.

"This will be the last camp I do," he said. "I'll just go back to my high school and go workout and go through conditioning drills and stuff to get ready for the season."

While 40-yard dashes and weight room sessions will take up a good chuck of his time in the near future, he won't be limiting himself to the football field. Though his high school team qualified for the Texas state 7-on-7 tournament next week at Texas A&M, Gray will be somewhere where there's plenty of lights, action and air conditioning.

"I'll be in Vegas for a basketball tournament," he said. "It's going really good, the team is doing good and they're winning. This will be my first time back with them since surgery and track and all that. I'm waiting to meet up with those guys.

"I'm a defensive guy, they put me in to stop the best player on the other team."

When asked if one of the greatest offensive threats on the football field is like former NBA defensive specialist Bruce Bowen on the court, Gray takes a second to think about it.

"Yeah," he said with a laugh. "You can call me that."

Everybody is recruiting Alexander

As one of the top linebackers in the country with scholarship offers from just about every school, Kwon Alexander knows all about the recruiting process. It follows him everywhere, from his phone to his email to, it appears, The Opening.

"Kwon's a good kid, I love him," Stephenson (Ga.) running back and Florida commit Mike Davis says while wrapping his arm around Alexander. "I just hope he comes to Florida. I'm recruiting him."

"They're up there," Alexander confirms within earshot of Davis. "They're in my top ten."

Such is life for the Oxford (Ala.) five-star linebacker. Luckily Alexander is aware that he can't be as open about schools as he once was. As a result of it getting closer and closer to the season, he has started to narrow down his list and dial in on just a few schools in the recruiting process.

"Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Oregon, USC, Ole Miss," he said. "Distance is not a factor.

"I'm looking for a family. I'm looking for good academics, a great team, some good people to be around and to just play ball."

With one of the schools he is strongly considering just down the highway from Nike's campus in Oregon, Alexander acknowledges that the situation involving the NCAA is making him a little hesitant about the Ducks but not enough to eliminate them.

"I'm still looking at them," Alexander said. "I mean, it's Oregon. They still look good."

While the two West Coast programs are receiving attention, there's still plenty of schools closer to home that are trying hard not to let Alexander get away from the region. With plenty of SEC powerhouses chasing after him, he knows that things are only just beginning to pickup among is selected few schools.

"Of the local schools, probably Auburn is recruiting me the hardest," he said. "Then probably Alabama after that. LSU is coming after me."

It often takes a unique approach to land the signature of an athlete of Alexander's caliber and there's at least one school who has thrown something different at him.

"Ole Miss offered me in basketball," he said. "That stuck out because that's my first offer in basketball. I haven't really thought about (playing both sports). It's nice but I don't know.

"I know it would be a lot of stress and stuff from playing both sports. I know I wouldn't have time to do a lot of things so I really just don't know yet."

Alexander plans to narrow his list down again before the season starts with a decision coming next year.

McCarthy down to five

Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy isn't planning on making a final decision on a school until the U.S. Army All-American Bowl but that hasn't stopped him from narrowing down his list to five. With all of that time before making a decision, the top interior defensive lineman in the country is using it to his advantage and taking in a few of the schools on his list.

“Right now, it's USC, Cal, Oregon, Washington and Florida,” McCarthy said. “(Unofficals) to just the close ones like USC. I went to UCLA a couple of weeks ago. It went really well, I just talked to the coaches and they showed me around campus."

With constant contact between him and all five of the schools, the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder is mainly looking for one thing in the recruiting process.

“When I talk to all those coaches, they make me feel comfortable,” McCarthy said. “When I went to Cal, they made me feel reel comfortable with all the players and stuff like that. When I talk with the USC players, they make me feel that way.

“I haven't talked to the (USC) coaches lately. After I get home, I might call them. At USC I talk to Coach “O” (Ed Orgeron). At Cal I mainly talk to coach Tosh (Lupoi).”

Ranked seventh overall in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012, McCarthy realizes he's a target for plenty of schools as an uncommited player ranked so highly. While it's hard for him to say if a school is standing out, it doesn't take him that long to come up with an answer to who is recruiting him the hardest.

“Probably Cal,” he said. “It's between Cal and USC.”

McCarthy is planning on taking official visits to four of the five schools on his list. The local school, USC, will likely not receive an official visit during the season because he has been to the Coliseum for plenty of games over the years. While on any of his visits however, McCarthy has a few things that he will be looking for and checking off once he gets there.

“I just want to go to a place where I feel comfortable and if I weren't playing football I could stay for four years,” he said. “I want to major in business. It's really important, I might want to go to a really big business school.”

Aziz Shittu is ready for action

With day two of The Opening marking the transition into actual football drills, there was perhaps no player who was happier to stop running 40-yard dashes and start doing some field work than Buhach (Calif.) defensive lineman Aziz Shittu.

"With the testing, I wasn't coming out here looking forward to the testing," Shittu said. "I'm a football player-type of guys, I play football. It was fun though."

The Opening is a unique camp because players will be in football pads, which should make for some great action along the trenches. Count Shittu as one of those that can't wait for full speed, one-on-one drills. In fact, he's already picked out one of the five-star offensive linemen at the event he wants to compete against.

"I'm looking forward to going against Zach Banner," Shittu said. "For reasons he should know. If he sees this, it's Zach Banner."

One of the more outgoing players at the event, the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder is making friends at the event just as quickly as he get to the quarterback.

"Oh yeah, it's great getting acquainted," Shittu said. "Me, I'm a talkative guy. Ellis McCarthy is my roommate, Korren Kirven, Luke (Kaumatule), I'm talking to everybody."

It's not to often you'll find McCarthy and Shittu more than 20 feet away from each other when they are at the same event. The two California defensive lineman have competed before at Nike Camps and it appears the two close friends are looking to ensure that their friendship lasts well through college.

"We're going to go to the same school," Shittu said. "That's the plan, that's what we talk about. 

"Me and Ellis, we just chill. I'll be telling jokes and he'll be laughing and I'll be telling jokes and he'll be laughing. We're just compatible."

On the recruiting front, Shittu recently decommitted from Stanford because it was just too soon in the process for him to be locked into one school. Though the Cardinal are still under consideration, the door is open for several other schools to jump on the talented defensive lineman.

"Stanford is still in the mix," he said. "Everybody is kind of standing out in my top 10. Cal, USC, UCLA, Washington, all those schools are standing out, just to name a few."

Shittu doesn't have any visits planned and is looking to schedule his official visits after week two of the college football season once he gets a better idea of what teams he wants to visit and for what games.

Bivins doesn't mind getting schooled by a legend

Everybody knew he run some routes from the moment they saw that NFL legend Jerry Rice had on cleats and gloves. Rice was much more selective on day two of The Opening however. Though he was mainly a teacher Thursday, coaching many of the wide receivers on how to get a better release off the line for example, everybody knew he'd run a route or two against the defensive backs. 

The only question was who would he go against?

"I was with him at first," Gainesville (Fla.) cornerback Chris Bivins recounted. "But then he ran like a 20-yard comeback. It was the longest comeback I've ever had to guard."

Bivins got the opportunity of the lifetime to defend against Rice. Though the former All-Pro managed to catch the ball, the 6-foot, 170-pound Bivins did a good job of staying close for most of Rice's route before the 'oohs' and the 'ahhs' came from the crowd after he caught it.

"I can tell why he was beating everybody back in the day," Bivins said. 

A South Florida commitment, Bivins fought and clawed his way to the event with a very impressive run during the spring and summer camp circuit. One of the hardest workers in the defensive back group, the talented corner ended up with a great reward for all that he put in over the past few months.

"He only did one rep and that was with me," he said. "It was a real good experience. One of the best to ever play the game."

Posted on: July 5, 2011 9:07 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 9:13 am
 

7/5 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Now back to the recruiting grind with plenty of links:

- The Sporting News has released their list of 125 of the top recruits from the class of 2012 and starts out with Nos. 125-76.

- Depth at offensive tackle is one of the things this year's recruiting class has that last year's didn't.

Defensive back Chaz Elder is down to Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Maryland wide receiver commit Malcolm Culmer is a speedy deep threat for the Terps.

Oklahoma State has lost several commits and that's something Mike Gundy calls 'disappointing.'

Texas and Texas A&M seem to be out front nationally according to some analysts.

  Some updates on Michigan targets Josh Garnett, Aziz Shittu and Jordan Payton. The Wolverines still need some help at defensive tackle.

Commitments:

Defensive back Julian Whigham committed to Syracuse.
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 1:42 pm
 

June Pac-12 Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's the final week in June, and as the temperature gauge continues to rise and we move into July, it's time to see how schools are building their recruiting class of 2012. Today, we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Pac-12, which officially becomes a conference on July 1st.

Arizona (7)

Offensive lineman Beau Boyster (Bellflower, Calif.)
Defensive lineman Cayman Bundage (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Offensive lineman T.D. Gross (Santee, Calif.)
Quarterback Josh Kern (San Antonio, Texas)
Tight end Taylor McNamara (San Diego, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Steven Moore (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Quarterback Nathan Sudfeld (Modesto, Calif.)

Arizona State (12)

Offensive lineman Dejon Allen (Compton, Calif.)
Wide receiver Josiah Blandin (Long Beach, Calif.)
Linebacker Salamo Fiso (Long Beach, Calif.)
Wide receiver Randall Goforth (Long Beach, Calif.)
Defensive back Oliver Johnson (Pierece JUCO/Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Milo Jordan (Corona, Calif.)
Tight end Kody Kohl (Gilbert, Ariz.)
Wide receiver Kenny Lawler (Upland, Calif.)
Quarterback T.J. Millweard (Fort Worth, Texas)
Linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo (Pasadena City JUCO/Pasadena, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Jake Sheffield (Palm Desert, Calif.)
Wide receiver Richard Smith (Long Beach, Calif.)

California (2)

Linebacker Michael Barton (Concord, Calif.)
Quarterback Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.)

Colorado (5)

Running back Terrence Crowder (Galena Park, Texas)
Quarterback Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Tyler Henington (Denver, Col.)
Defensive end Clay Norgard (Highlands Ranch, Col.)
Wide receiver Jeffrey Thomas (Ducanville, Texas)

Oregon (7)

Defensive back Eric Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Stephen Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive end Alex Balducci (Portland, Ore.)
Tight end Evan Baylis (Aurora, Colo.)
Defensive end Cody Carriger (Butte, Mont.)
Wide receiver Oshay Dunmore (Newport, Ore.)
Quarterback Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)

Oregon State
(6)

Offensive lineman Gavin Andrews (Granite Bay, Calif.)
Wide receiver Malik Gilmore (Lakewood, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo (Corvalis, Ore.)
Tight end Dustin Stanton (Marysville, Wash.)
Quarterback Brent Vanderveen (Arroyo Grande, Calif.)
Wide receiver Cleveland Wallace (San Jose, Calif.)

Stanford (9)

Safety Alex Carter (Ashburn, Va.)
Wide receiver Connor Crane (Denton, Texas)
Linebacker Noor Davis (The Villages, Fla.)
Wide receiver Deante' Gray (Houston, Texas)
Wide receiver Dontonio Jordan (Cornith, Texas)
Defensive back Drew Madhu (Tampa, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Graham Shuler (Brentwood, Tenn.)
Athlete Jontrey Tillman (Baldwin, La.)
Wide receiver Kodi Whitfield (Los Angeles, Calif.)

UCLA (6)

Defensive back Shannon Edwards (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Defensive back Raymond Ford (Gardena, Calif.)
Running back Steven Lakalaka (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Tight end Ian Taubler (Fresno, Calif.)
Running back Psalm Wooching (Kailua Kona, Hawaii)
Offensive lineman Mario Yakoo (Spring Valley, Calif.) USC (10)

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (Rocklin, Calif.)
Athlete Jaydon Mickens (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Wide receiver Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Jahleel Pinner (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Wide receiver Darreus Rogers (Carson, Calif.)
Linebacker Jabari Ruffin (Downey, Calif.)
Linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita, Calif.)
Running back Kevin York (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton JUCO)

Utah (9)

Defensive end Hunter Dimick (Syracuse, Utah)
Defensive end Moses Folauhola (West Valley City, Utah)
Athlete Chase Hansen (Highland, Utah)
Defensive back Austin Lee (Sandy, Utah)
Wide receiver Delshawn McClellon (Cerritos, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Nua Poteki (Sandy, Utah)
Offensive lineman Kiha Sai (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Defensive end Sione Tupouata (Ephraim, Utah)
Quarterback Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)

Washington (15)

Defensive end Kalei Auelua (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Offensive lineman Nathan Dean (Kirkland, Wash.)
Kicker Korey Durkee (Gig Harbor, Wash.)
Athlete Bryan Harper (Ontario, Calif.)
Defensive end Malcolm Jackson (Spring Valley, Calif.)
Defensive back Damontae Kazee (San Bernardino, Calif.)
Wide receiver Taylor Lagace (Arcadia, Calif.)
Quarterback Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Quarterback Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Tairen Owens (Pasadena, Calif.)
Wide receiver Michael Rector (Tacoma, Wash.)
Linebacker Blake Rodgers (Las Flores, Calif.)
Athlete Kendyl Taylor (Chandler, Ariz.)
Defensive back Darien Washington (Orange, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dwayne Washington (Cerritos, Calif.)

Washington State
(5)

Quarterback Austin Apodaca (Longmont, Colo.)
Defensive back David Bucannon (Fairfield, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dalen Jones (Woodland, Calif.)
Linebacker Jordan Pulu (Federal Way, Wash.)
Defensive back Taylor Taliulu (Alea, Hawaii)
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Alex Balducci, Alex Carter, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Austin Apodaca, Austin Lee, Aziz Shittu, Beau Boyster, Blake Rodgers, Brent Vanderveen, Bryan Harper, Cal, Cayman Bundage, Chase Hansen, Clay Norgard, Cleveland Wallace, Cody Carriger, Colorado, Connor Crane, Cyler Miles, Dalen Jones, Damontae Kazee, Darien Washington, Darreus Rogers, David Bucannon, Deante' Gray, Dejon Allen, Delshawn McClellon, Dontonio Jordan, Drew Madhu, Dustin Stanton, Dwayne Washington, Eric Amoako, Even Baylis, Gavin Andrews, Graham Shuler, Hunter Dimick, Ian Taubler, Isaac Sumalo, Jabari Ruffin, Jahleel Pinner, Jake Rodrigues, Jake Sheffield, Jaydon Michens, Jeff Lindquist, Jeffrey Thomas, Jontrey Tillman, Jordan Payton, Jordan Pulu, Josh Kern, Josiah Blandin, June Commitment List, Kalei Auelua, Kendyl Taylor, Kenny Lawler, Kevin York, Kiha Sai, Kimball Niumatalolo, Kodi Whitfield, Kody Kohl, Korey Durkee, Lemming Top 100, Malcolm Jackson, Malik Gilmore, Mario Yakoo, Max Tuerk, Michael Barton, Michael Rector, Milo Jordan, Moses Folauhola, Nathan Dean, Nathan Sudfeid, Noor Davis, Nua Poteki, Oliver Johnson, Oregon, Oregon State, Oshay Dunmore, Pac-12, Psalm Wooching, Randall Goforth, Raymond Ford, Richard Smith, Salamo Fiso, Scott Starr, Scott Starr, Shane Dillon, Shannon Edwards, Sione Tupouata, Stanford, Stephen Amoako, Steven Lakalaka, Steven Moore, T.D. Gross, T.J. Millweard, Tairen Owens, Taylor Lagace, Taylor McNamara, Taylor Taliulu, Terrence Crowder, Travis Wilson, Tyler Henington, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: June 2, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 10:57 pm
 

May Pac-12 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 Pac-12, where several schools are starting to build momentum on the recruiting trail.

Arizona (2)

Quarterback Josh Kern (San Antonio, Texas)
Offensive lineman Beau Boyster (Bellflower, Calif.)

Arizona State (7)

Offensive lineman Dejon Allen (Compton, Calif.)
Wide receiver Josiah Blandin (Long Beach, Calif.)
Linebacker Salamo Fiso (Long Beach, Calif.)
Wide receiver Randall Goforth (Long Beach, Calif.)
Defenisve back Oliver Johnson (Pierece JUCO/Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Wide receiver Kenny Lawler (Upland, Calif.)
Wide receiver Richard Smith (Long Beach, Calif.)

California (2)

Linebacker Michael Barton (Concord, Calif.)
Quarterback Zach Kline(Danville, Calif.)

Colorado(3)

Quarterback Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Tyler Henington(Denver, Col.)
Defensive end Clay Norgard(Highlands Ranch, Col.)

Oregon(1)

Defensive back Eric Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Stephen Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Tight end Evan Baylis (Aurora, Colo.)
Wide receiver Oshay Dunmore (Newport, Ore.)
Quarterback Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)

Oregon State
(2)

Tight end Dustin Stanton (Marysville, Wash.)
Wide receiver Cleveland Wallace (San Jose, Calif.)

Stanford(4)

Safety Alex Carter(Ashburn, Va.)
Linebacker Noor Davis (The Villages, Fla.)
Wide receiver Dontonio Jordan (Cornith, Texas)

UCLA (2)

Running back Steven Lakalaka (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Running back Psalm Wooching (Kailua Kona, Hawaii) USC (9)

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Athlete Jaydon Mickens(Los Angeles, Calif.)
Wide receiver Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Jahleel Pinner (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Wide receiver Darreus Rogers(Carson, Calif.)
Lineabcker Jabari Ruffin(Downey, Calif.)
Linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita, Calif.)
Running back Kevin York (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton JUCO)

Utah (4)

Defensive back Austin Lee (Sandy, Utah)
Offensive lineman Kiha Sai (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Defensive end Sione Tupouata (Ephraim, Utah)
Quarterback Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)

Washington State(2)

Defensive back David Bucannon (Vacaville, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dalen Jones(Woodland, Calif.)

Washington (4)

Wide receiver Braden Bishop(Mountain View, Calif.)
Quarterback Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Running back Tairen Owens(Pasadena, Calif.)
Defensive back Darien Washington (Orange, Calif.)

Posted on: May 16, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Stanford Nike Camp Top Performers: Defense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Football is a sport played in the elements and the hundreds of top athletes from all over the West Coast got a dose of rain, wind and hail during Sunday's Nike Training Camp on the Stanford campus. Here's a few of the top performers on the defensive side of the ball:

Defensive linemen

Many expected Stanford commit Aziz Shittu to show up and replicate what he did at the LA Nike Camp but he didn't end up coming. Considering the terrific talent at offensive line, the group along the d-line did pretty good at the camp.

Dwight Melvin

The position group MVP, Melvin looked and played like Shittu-light. He was quick off the line and had a good array of pass rush moves. He's uses his hands well and can really get up field. He's not tall but he's still got good size and should be able to garner multiple BCS offers in the near future.

Jaylen Ruiz

The class of 2013 defensive end had another nice camp and looks ready to play college ball already. He's quick and has a pretty good spin move. Ruiz is flexible and can probably play at either end or tackle but based on what he showed, could use his superior quickness to overwhelm guards and centers inside.

Linebackers

One of the weaker groups at Stanford, there were still a few bright spots. Underclassman Michael Hutchings from nearby powerhouse De La Salle High certainly could be one to watch as he looks like he's a senior headed to college and not into his junior year in high school.

Chris Santini

Still getting into the hang of playing linebacker, Santini was very good in open space and excelled during the 7-on-7 portion. He had a great diving interception, which he caught one-handed after tipping the ball. He's the requisite size for a linebacker and it will be interesting to see what he can do with the pads on. He's already received a lot of interest but some tape at linebacker could mean some big offers headed his way.

Scott Starr

Starr was one of the highest regarded linebackers at the event and he didn't really disappoint. He's good in space and is quicker than one would think given his size. He can improve his strength a bit as he might have trouble with some bigger running backs and offensive linemen.

Defensive backs

From top to bottom, this was probably the best group at the camp. Having elite talent certainly helps but there were high caliber guys all over, which made watching drills much more fun than other camps.

Johnny Johnson

A rising junior, Johnson displayed skills of a much more experienced corner. He was quick and could change direction on a dime. He did a good job of staying close to his man and then sinking off to help when he read the quarterback. He's not the tallest corner on the field but he is the most aggressive and has the swagger all good corners have.

Marcus Rios

A Boise State commit, Rios really impressed with his footwork, especially his backpedal. He got caught out of position once or twice but recovered nicely. He's got good quickness and was very savvy while playing corner. There's no question he's a BCS-caliber guy and it might be hard for the Broncos to keep him.

Tee Shepard

Shepard doesn't have much to prove as he's already one of the top corners in the country. He had a lingering shoulder injury so he played wide out instead of corner and flashed his speed by blowing by some other defensive backs. He's got a good build and is very agile, performing very well during cornerback drills. Shepard's backpedal is smooth and he keeps his center of gravity right where it should be.

Shaq Thompson

Like Shepard, there's not much for Thompson to prove but he exceeded expectations Sunday despite being limited with a bit of a tender ankle. Well developed, he looks like a physical safety at the next level but has the agility to play corner as well. He does a good job of changing directions and is a someone who can contribute early at safety, corner, wide out or running back based on his skill set.

Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:27 am
 

Stanford adds coveted defensive tackle

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Stanford recruiting, like the Pac-12 conference it will be a part of in a few months, is really entering a new era under head coach David Shaw. Picking up on where Jim Harbaugh left off on the recruiting trail, the Cardinal beat out several top programs and added the commitment of elite Atwater (Calif.) defensive tackle Aziz Shittu over the weekend.

An Army All-American and one of the most heavily recruited players on the West Coast, Shittu selected Stanford not because of what was going on in the program but what was going on in the classroom.

"I decided on Stanford not because of the next four years of my life but because of the next whole part of my life," Shittu told Rivals. "That's basically when it comes down to."

Defensive line coach Randy Hart and other members of the coaching staff have become very close to Shittu over the recruiting process and that bond had meant a lot to the 6-foot-3, 275 pound tackle.

"I've got a good relationship with all the guys up there," he said. "The campus is beautiful. It's a really nice place. It just has a good feel."

The central California star will now be able to concentrate on his school work and upcoming season for Buhach High. Shittu will await word on whether he is accepted to Stanford in the next few months before truly shutting down the recruiting process. He will continue to be recruited by several Pac-12 schools in anticipation that he doesn't qualify for school.

Shittu is the second commitment for Stanford's class of 2012. He had 76 tackles, 6.5 sacks and a fumble recovery last season as a junior.

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