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Tag:Brian Kimbrow
Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:10 am
 

Ranking the SEC recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Florida (#3 overall according to MaxPreps)

Three top 100 players and a solid foundation on the offensive line give Florida the top spot at the moment in the SEC. Plenty can change but this class brings a mix of players who fit Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis' style and who are terrific athletes.

2. Alabama (#7)

This class also has three top 100 players and it would be no surprise to see the Crimson Tide end up in the top spot come Signing Day. They lost out on in-state quarterback Jameis Winston but picked up a good replacement signal-caller in Alec Morris and this class features a lot of really good athletes who could play multiple positions.

3. LSU (#9)

The Tigers have two top 100 commits but one of them, Avery Johnson, is on shaky ground and is still pretty open with his recruitment. That said, this class is full of talented athletes that can play on either side of the ball and, though it might take a year or two in the program, could have some impact defensive players.

4. Auburn (#10)

Auburn has certainly seen a championship bounce in their recruiting, grabbing three top 100 recruits for 2012. Tight end Darrion Hutcherson can come in and play right away, as can several others out of this group.

5. South Carolina (#12)

The Old Ball Coach Steve Spurrier has mopped up in-state talent as of late and is doing so again with this class. Shaq Roland is the lone top 100 recruit but this class fills needs and brings in several talented skill position players.

6. Georgia (#20)

Despite Mark Richt being on the hot seat, he certainly can recruit. They have two top 100 players on either side of the line in Jonathan Taylor and John Theus and they've added several other quality players on defense so far.

7. Vanderbilt (#23)

This class is headlined by top 100 recruit Brian Kimbrow but there's also a lot of other talented recruits that Commodores fans have been unaccustomed to landing. James Franklin and company have particularly gone after the defensive line and have hit Georgia and Tennessee hard for recruits.

8. Arkansas

There's no big name for the Razorbacks in this class but it's a solid group of athletes with a lot of potential. The wide receivers in particular could take some time to develop but have the physical tools to be very good in Bobby Petrino's system.

9. Kentucky

Loaded with Blaylocks (three players with the last name) and linemen, this class has done a good job honing in on a few diamonds in the rough. Quarterback Patrick Towles is an Elite 11-level quarterback and could play early in his career.

10. Tennessee

This class has some momentum after being one of the smaller classes at the beginning of July. At the linebacker position in particular they've done a great job of landing talented recruits but have to address other areas to rise up this list.

11. Ole Miss

It's a solid but not spectacular effort so far for Houston Nutt. They are bringing in several good running backs but need to continue their course if they want to move up the pecking order.

12. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs have mined the in-state talent and gotten several above average athletes but there is no big name you would expect after having a big season.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:07 am
 

SEC Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's season preview time and what better time to take a broad overview of how the conference is doing on the recruiting trail than now, roughly six months from Signing Day. Here's a look at the verbal commitments for the SEC, where several teams are in the running for a top ten class.

   Alabama (16)

Defensive end Ryan Anderson (Daphne, Ala.)
Defensive tackle Dakota Ball (Lindale, Ga.)
Wide receiver Chris Black (Jacksonville, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Athlete Kenyan Drake (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Athlete Casey Gladney (Columbia, S.C.)
Offensive lineman Brandon Greene (Ellenwood, Ga.)
Kicker Adam Griffith (Calhoun, Ga.)
Defensive end Caleb Gulledge (Prattville, Ala.)
Athlete Tyler Hayes (Thomasville, Ala.)
Defensive tackle Darren Lake (York, Ala.)
Linebacker Dillon Lee (Buford, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Quarterback Alec Morris (Allen, Texas)
Linebacker Reggie Ragland (Madison, Ala.)
Running back Justin Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.)
Athlete Justin Thomas (Prattville, Ala.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Athlete Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla.)

   Arkansas (15)

Offensive lineman Cordale Boyd (Memphis, Tenn.)
Wide receiver Jalen Cobb (Warren, Ark.)
Defensive back Jared Collins (Tulsa, Okla.)
Wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan (Olive Branch, Miss.)
Defensive back John Gibson (Missouri City, Texas)
Wide receiver Keon Hatcher (Owasso, Okla.)
Wide receiver Eric Hawkins (Longview, Texas)
Athlete Nathan Holmes (Port Arthur, Texas)
Defensive end Brandon Lewis (Memphis, Tenn.)
Running back Donovan Roberts (Norman, Okla.)
Defensive end Jeremy Sprinkle (White Hall, Ark.)
Linebacker Jakarri Thomas (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Linebacker A.J. Turner (Lepanto, Ark.)  
Offensive lineman Jeremy Ward Pottsville, Ark.)
Defensive end Deatrich Wise (Carrollton, Texas)

   Auburn (13)

Offensive lineman Shane Callahan (Parker, Colo.)
Defensive back Joshua Holsey (Fairburn, Ga.)
Athlete Darrion Hutcherson (Dadeville, Ala.)
Offensive lineman Will Latu (College of the Canyons JUCO, Santa Clarita, Calif.)
Wide receiver Ricardo Louis (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Defensive end Cassanova McKinzy (Birmingham, Ala.)
Defensive tackle Tyler Nero (Atmore, Ala.)
Tight end Ricky Parks (Hogansville, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Quarterback Zeke Pike (Edgewood, Ky.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive end Gimel President (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
Running back Jovon Robinson (Memphis, Tenn.)
Wide receiver JaQuay Williams (Tyrone, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Running back T.J. Yeldon (Daphne, Ala.)

   Florida (17)

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 Member
Kicker Austin Hardin (Atlanta, Ga.)
Offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, N.C.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Running back Matt Jones (Seffner, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive back Rhaheim Ledbetter (Bolling Springs, N.C.)
Defensive tackle JaFar Mann (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Defensive back Marcus Maye (Melbourne, Fla.)
Linebacker Antonio Morrison (Bolingbrook, Ill.)
Defensive tackle Dante Phillips (Venice, Fla.)
Linebacker Lorenzo Phillips (Patterson, La.)
Wide receiver LaTroy Pittman (Citra, Fla.)
Defensive back Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla.)
Linebacker Jeremi Powell (Largo, Fla.)
Tight end Colin Thompson (Warminster, Pa.)
Defensive tackle Quinteze Williams (Tyrone, Ga.)

   Georgia (13)
 
Kicker Collin Barber (Cartersville, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Chester Brown (Hinesville, Ga.)
Wide receiver C.J. Curry (Gainesville, Ga.)
Defensive end James Deloach (Millen, Ga.)
Defensive end Jalen Fields (Milledgeville, Ga.)
Athlete Leonard Floyd (Eastman, Ga.)  
Athlete Quayvon Hicks (Blackshear, Ga.)
Kicker Marshall Morgan (Miami, Fla.)
Wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw (Milledgeville, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Greg Pyke (Baltimore, Md.)
Tight end Ty Smith (Moultrie, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor (Millen, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Offensive lineman John Theus (Jacksonville, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member

   Kentucky (17)

Offensive lineman Darone Bailey (Coahoma JUCO/Clarksdale, Miss.)
Defensive back Daron Blaylock (Marietta, Ga.)
Defensive back Shawn Blaylock (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Defensive back Zach Blaylock (Marietta, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Thomas Chapman (Louisville, Ky.)
Kicker Landon Foster (Franklin, Tenn.)
Defensive tackle Patrick Graffree (Elizabethtown, Ky.)
Defensive back Josh Harris (Maysville, Ky.)
Offensive lineman T.J. Jones (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
Offensive lineman Zach Myers (Miamisburg, Ohio)
Defensive end Langston Newton (Carmel, Ind.)
Defensive back Jonathan Reed (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive end Daniel Ross (Jeffersontown, Ky.)
Wide receiver DeMarcus Sweat (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Jon Toth (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Quarterback Patrick Towles (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Offensive lineman Jordan Watson (Fayetteville, Ga.)

   LSU (18) 

Athlete Devante Bourque (Crowley, La.)
Defensive end Torshiro Davis (Shreveport, La.)
Wide receiver Travin Dural (Beaux Bridge, La.) 
Offensive lineman Derek Edinburgh (New Orleans, La.)
Defensive end Ronnie Feist (Edgard, La.)
Offensive lineman Reid Ferguson (Buford, Ga.)
Tight end Dillon Gordon (River Ridge, La.)
Linebacker Trey Granier (Thibodaux, La.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive end Jerald Hawkins (Baldwin, La.)
Wide receiver Kavahra Holmes (Breaux Bridge, La.)
Defensive end Danielle Hunter (Katy, Texas)
Wide receiver Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Athlete Lamar Lewis (Lafayette, La.)
Defensive back Jalen Mills (DeSoto, Texas)
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 (10)

Defensive back Jordan Batiste (Lutcher, La.)
Quarterback C.J. Beathard (Franklin, Tenn.)
Defensive tackle Issac Gross (Batesville, Miss.)
Athlete Mike Hilton (Tyrone, Ga.)
Running back I'Tavius Mathers (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Offensive lineman Jake Meador (Whiteland, Ind.)
Tight end Austin Ray (Columbia, Mo.)
Offensive lineman Ben Still (Memphis, Tenn.)
Defensive end Temario Strong (Batesville, Miss.)
Running back Jaylen Walton (Memphis, Tenn.)

   Mississippi State (16)

Defensive end Nelson Adams (Brandon, Miss.)
Defensive back Quadry Antoine (Belle Chasse, La.)
Athlete Adairius Barnes (Port Gibson, Miss.)
Kicker Devon Bell (Vicksburg, Miss.)
Linebacker Torrey Bell (New Oreleans, La.)
Wide receiver Frederick Brown (Jackson, Miss.)
Defensive end Ryan Brown (Marrero, La.)
Offensive lineman Cole Carter (Caledonia, Miss.)
Offensive lineman Devon Desper (Madison, Miss.)
Athlete Deonte Evans (McComb, Miss.)
Running back Xavier Grindle (Columbia, Miss.)
Athlete Brandon Holloway (Tampa, Fla.)
Defensive tackle Nick James (Long Beach, Miss.)
Defensive back Cedric Jiles (Clinton, Miss.)
Athlete Will Redmond (Memphis, Tenn.)
Tight end Gus Walley (Leakesville, Miss.)

   South Carolina (18)

Defensive end Darius English (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Defensive back Kyle Fleetwood (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Wide receiver Jody Fuller (Monroe, N.C.)
Defensive back T.J. Gurley (Cairo, Ga.)
Linebacker T.J. Holloman (Atlanta, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Carlos Hood (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Linebacker Kaiwan Lewis (Hammonton, N.J.)
Athlete Rico McWilliams (Hampton, Ga.)
Quarterback Brendan Nosovitch (Allentown, Pa.)
Tight end Kelvin Rainey (Yulee, Fla.)
Wide receiver Shaq Roland (Lexington, S.C.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Running back Kendric Salley (Williston, S.C.)
Wide receiver Kwinton Smith (Dillon, S.C.)
Offensive lineman Brock Stadnik (Greensboro, N.C.)
Offensive lineman Clayton Stadnik (Greensboro, N.C.)
Offensive lineman Cody Waldrop (Seffner, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Mason Zandi (Chapin, S.C.)

   Tennessee (13)

Athlete Cody Blanc (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Wide receiver Drae Bowles (Jackson, Tenn.)
Kicker George Bullock (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Running back Imani Cross (Gainesville, Ga.)
Linebacker Khalid Henderson (Austell, Ga.)
Running back Alden Hill (Alliance, Ohio)
Offensive lineman Damien Jacobs (East Miss. JUCO, Scooba, Miss.)
Athlete Justin King (Dunwoody, Ga.)
Defensive end LaTroy Lewis (Akron, Ohio)
Quarterback Nathan Peterman (Fruit Cove, Fla.)
Linebacker Otha Peters (Covington, La.)
Wide receiver Keithon Redding (Decatur, Ga.)
Linebacker Dalton Santos (Van, Texas)

   Vanderbilt (15)

Defensive end Caleb Azubike (Nashville, Tenn.)
Defensive back Brandon Banks (Brandywine, Md.)
Defensive end Ladarius Banks (Dallas, Ga.)
Wide receiver Cory Batey (Nashville, Tenn.)
Kicker Colby Cooke (Goochland, Va.)
Defensive end Josh Dawson (Tucker, Ga.)
Wide receiver Jaydrick Declouet (Patterson, La.)
Offensive lineman Barrett Gouger (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Defensive end Tre Griffin (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Defensive back Paris Head (Buford, Ga.)
Linebacker Darreon Herring (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Running back Brian Kimbrow (Memphis, Tenn.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Athlete Jaborian McKenzie (Natchez, Miss.)
Linebacker Jacob Sealand (Tucker, Ga.)
Defensive end Stephen Weatherly (Atlanta, Ga.)

Category: NCAAF
Tags: A.J. Turner, Adairius Barnes, Adam Griffith, Alden HIll, Alec Morris, Alex Taylor, Antonio Morrison, Arkansas, Auburn, Austin Hardin, Austin Ray, Avery Johnson, Barrett Gouger, Ben Still, Brandon Banks, Brandon Greene, Brandon Holloway, Brandon Lewis, Brendan Nosovitch, Brian Kimbrow, Brian Poole, Brock Stadnik, C.J. Beathard, C.J. Curry, Caleb Azubike, Caleb Gulledge, Carlos Hood, Casey Gladney, Cassanova McKinzy, Cedric Jiles, Chester Brown, Chris Black, Clayton Stadnik, Cody Blanc, Cody Waldrop, Colby Cooke, Cole Carter, Colin Thompson, Collin Barber, Cordale Boyd, Cory Batey, D'Arthur Cowan, D.J. Humphries, Dakota Ball, Dalton Santos, Damien Jacobs, Daniel Ross, Danielle Hunter, Dante Phillips, Darius English, Daron Blaylock, Darone Bailey, Darren Lake, Darreon Herring, Darrion Hutcherson, Deatrich Wise, DeMarcus Sweat, Deontay Evans, Derek Edinburgh, Derrick Raymond, Devante Bourque, Devon Bell, Devon Desper, Dillon Gordon, Dillon Lee, Donovan Roberts, Drae Bowles, Dwayne Thomas, Eddie Williams, Eric Hawkins, Florida, Frederick Borwn, George Bullock, Georgia, Gimel President, Greg Pyke, Gus Walley, I'Tavius Mathers, Imani Cross, Issac Gross, Jaborian McKenzie, Jacob Sealand, JaFar Mann, Jakarri Thomas, Jake Meador, Jalen Cobb, Jalen Fields, Jalen Mills, James Deloach, JaQuay Williams, Jared Collins, Jaydrick Declouet, Jaylen Walton, Jerald Hawkins, Jeremi Powell, Jeremy Sprinkle, Jeremy Ward, Jerquinick Sandolph, Jessamen Dunker, Jody Fuller, John Gibson, John Theus, John Thomas, Jon Toth, Jonathan Reed, Jonathan Taylor, Jordan Batiste, Jordan Watson, Josh Dawson, Josh Harris, Joshua Holsey, Jovon Robinson, July Commitment List, Justin King, Justin Taylor, Justin Thomas, Kaiwan Lewis, Kavahra Holmes, Keithon Redding, Kelvin Rainey, Kendric Salley, Kentucky, Kenyan Drake, Keon Hatcher, Khalid Henderson, Kwinton Smith, Kyle Fleetwood, Ladarius Banks, Lamar Lewis, Landon Foster, Langston Newton, LaTroy Lewis, LaTroy Pittman, Lemming Top 100, Leonard Floyd, Lonnie Outlaw, Lorenzo Phillips, LSU, Marcus Maye, Marshall Morgan, Mason Zandi, Matt Jones, Mike Davis, Mike Hilton, Mississippi State, Nathan Holmes, Nathan Peterman, Nelson Adams, Nick James, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Otha Peters, Paris Head, Patrick Graffree, Patrick Towles, Quadry Antoine, Quayvon Hicks, Quinteze Williams, Reggie Ragland, Reid Ferguson, Rhaheim Ledbetter, Ricardo Louis, Ricky Parks, Rico McWilliams, Ronnie Feist, Ryan Anderson, Ryan Brown, SEC, Shane Callahan, Shaq Roland, Shawn Blaylock, South Carolina, Stephen Weatherly, T.J. Gurley, T.J. Holloman, T.J. Yeldon, Temario Strong, Tennesee, Thomas Chapman, Torrey Bell, Toshiro Davis, Travin Dural, Tre Griffin, Trey Granier, Ty Smith, Tyler Hayes, Tyler Nero, Vanderbilt, Will Latu, Will Redmond, Willie Bailey, Xavier Grindle, Zach Blaylock, Zach Myers, Zeke Pike
 
Posted on: July 21, 2011 2:34 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Double the fun on Day 3 of the Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MALIBU, Calif. -- As if the picturesque Pepperdine campus was not enough for the Elite 11 campers, the competition literally moved within steps of the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday as 24 of the top quarterbacks in the country were put through two workouts and the first 7-on-7 drills of the five-day long process to determine the best high school quarterback in the country.

For Scottsdale (Ariz.) five-star Connor Brewer, the Elite 11 was yet another stop on the busy summer camp schedule and one, when he stopped to think about it, that was among the best he's attended.

"A couple of weeks ago I was at The Opening and played with the best athletes, and here I'm playing with the best quarterbacks in the nation," Brewer said. "It's a couple of great camps in a row. This one is really special for me."

In addition to a slight location change to a nearby off-campus field, there were several notable differences between Wednesday's workouts and the previous two days of competition.

"The main difference today was we woke up and Coach (Trent) Dilfer told us we were ranked 1-24 based on how we preformed," Brewer said. "Luckily I was No. 5, tied with Gunner Kiel. That's not fine for me, I definitely want to be that No. 1. It's something to keep working towards.

"The 7-on-7 drills, it got a little hectic. It got better as it went on but it's a fun day."

Brewer has been sharp but has struggled at times to be consistent with his accuracy on intermediate to deep throws. Looking to move from fifth up to first by the end of camp, Brewer has already identified a few areas he will work on the final two days in hopes of ascending to the top spot.

"I think I need to participate more in film sessions, answer more questions and definitely start picking their brain," he said. "I also need to start making some of the deep passes. I just have to keep up the hard work and keep competing with all these guys."

Although the Texas commit's recruitment has been shut down for some time, that hasn't stopped the Longhorns' first class of 2012 commitment from recruiting others. One of his top targets has been fellow Arizonan and offensive tackle Andrus Peat.

"I think in about a week he's visiting Texas," Brewer said. "He was going to go on the 23rd then he changed it to the 25th so I was going to make it up with him but our school camp was at that time. But he's going up there and it's going to be a lot of fun for him, I know he's going to love it and I'm excited for him to see Texas.

"I know he can get in there and play at an early stage, which is big for him. Everybody we have committed, all the guys we've got, he would fit in perfectly. His personality, he's a great kid. Coach (Mack) Brown recruits only the best kids. He's been talking to some of our recruits and I think just getting that familiarity with everybody is going to help him."

Peat isn't the only high-profile target Brewer has his sights on, as he thinks another out-of-state player would look pretty good in burnt orange on Signing Day

"Nelson Agholor, I'm trying to get him," Brewer said. "Whether he's playing safety or wide receiver, he can do it all. We'll see how that works out."

There's been plenty of talk about The Longhorn Network recently, and as one of the first commits that will see the channel on the air, the out-of-state player is looking forward to the opportunity for the school.

"It's really exciting to know that everyday there's going to be a whole ESPN channel just for you and your team," he said. "It's going to be sweet and a lot of publicity obviously. It could be good and could be bad sometimes but I think it's going to be pretty awesome.

"I've heard that they are going to find a (high school football) game, probably do it on one of our games. It's going to be fun. I definitely want to be in a broadcast, that's awesome. I'm excited to go compete, especially on that network and that stage."

Many people have talked about the recruiting advantage Texas will have with a channel dedicated to them. Brewer was quick to point out that the coaching staff never promised he'd be on the network in exchange for his verbal pledge to the school.

"No they never said that," he said. "Just kind of once it came along, obviously the first commit, the quarterback commit, that kind of started coming up. That's just kind of how it went on. The coaches really never said anything to me but if they did, I would have liked that."

Kelly fitting right in - as himself

If there was one person who truly, truly appreciated the temperate climate in Southern California this week, it was Buffalo (N.Y.) signal-caller Chad Kelly. Despite a little fog from the marine layer in the morning session, the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder had no problems enjoying himself tossing the football around Wednesday.

"This is great, to be out in Malibu, you don't see weather like this in Buffalo," Kelly said. "It's just great to be out here with all these quarterbacks, you've talked with some of them before but now to be playing football with them, it's just great."

Like many of his fellow quarterbacks looking to make the jump from high school to the college after this upcoming season, the chance to pick up on certain things that their high-school coaches aren't teaching has been a big takeaway from the event.

"Just the progressions, PSLs, pure progression stuff, that's big time," Kelly said. "Coming from someone like Coach Dilfer, that's key. Being in high school and playing against teams that are good, that will come in handy, and against teams that are bad, that just means putting up more points. It's excellent just learning out here."

As the nephew of Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly, the young quarterback has always avoided treading too much on his uncle's legacy and is determined to make sure he's on his own path to success -- hopefully, with nobody even knowing about the connection between the two.

"I try not to think about it, but it's always in the back of your mind," he said. "He's one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, ever, in the NFL. You try not to think about (the comparison). I don't tell people, I'd rather nobody know. All these quarterbacks out here, I doubt half of them even know who he is or know I'm related to him. I really just try to play it off and be me as much as I can."

Committed to Clemson since the middle of June, Kelly is part of another very good recruiting class for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers. After a few unofficial visits down South, he found the Clemson program was simply the fit for him.

"Everything. From the stadium to the people to the coaching staff," he said. "Everybody is passionate about football, they want their people to graduate, they want them to be good people in society. There's so much that went into it and I knew right from the start when I got there that it was the right place."

Recently hired from Tulsa, new Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is a big factor in Kelly choosing the school, and the pair have become close despite not knowing each other for that long.

"We talk all the time," he said. "He's always messaging me on Facebook. He's awesome and everybody there is, too. He's new but the offense that they run is perfect for me, I run it in high school. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The good-natured Kelly has no problem representing his school, having shaved the Tigers logo into his head a few weeks ago at The Opening and reminding fellow Elite 11 camper and Auburn commit Zeke Pike who would win the game between the two schools this upcoming season.

"Clemson," Kelly says with a smile. "For sure. With the athletes they've got this year… it's going to be fun watching them, it's going to be a show."

Voytik down to two

The Elite 11 isn't just about the players who reside in recruiting services' top 100 lists; it's also a chance for some lesser-known prospects to get their chance to prove themselves on a national stage. Cleveland (Tenn.) quarterback Chad Voytik has been a bit under the radar to some fans, but the talented player has proved he belongs over the past few days at the competition.

"I came out strong and I felt like I built on that," Voytik said. "There’s a lot of good quarterbacks out here so I’m really trying to focus on my self and not worry about the other guys. Of course I want to compete and know what I’m up against, but I’m going to stick to what I know and who I am."

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound signal-caller has one of the strongest arms at the camp and a compact throwing motion that can really deliver the ball quickly.

“I feel like I’m right at the top with my accuracy and arm strength. I think I'm with the best guys out here," he said. "I know I’m not the tallest, but I feel like I make up for it with my intangibles.”

Voytik holds scholarship offers from several schools in the South but has narrowed his recruiting options to two schools as he looks to make a decision soon, possibly after the Elite 11 is over.

“It’s Pitt and Vandy," Voytik said. "I’m down to those two schools for the most part. I really like Pitt right now. They’re probably the leader. But Vandy’s close behind.”

New Panthers coach Todd Graham has not been afraid to expand the program's recruiting to grab quality prospects such as Voytik. On the quarterback's end, the school has plenty of things going for it as he looks at the positives and negatives of each option.

“It’s just the fit, the coaching staff and the kind of offense they run,” he said. “They opportunity (to play early) is the main factor. I’ve been there twice, and I loved it when I was up there.”

In-state program Vanderbilt has built some momentum on the recruiting trail with a string of quality commitments recently, and that is certainly something working in the school's favor.

“They’re getting some great recruits,” Voytik said. “They’ve got a bunch of Tennessee kids like (running back Brian) Kimbrow. That’s a good program, I feel like they’re on the rise. It may be a year or two, but I feel like they’re going to turn things around and it’s a good school.”

Based on all indications however, it looks like the Tennessee native will head to the northeast to play his college ball.


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 2, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 3:33 pm
 

SEC Recruiting Breakdown

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It was an active month on the SEC recruiting trail as we near the halfway point to Signing Day. Here's a quick take on a few of the teams as we enter July.

Alabama
The Crimson Tide added two players in June and have continued to load up on athletes that could end up helping out at multiple positions in college. Defensive tackle Darren Lake is a bit under the radar but he is the type of nose tackle that fits into Nick Saban's defense and frees up the rest of the players to make plays. The class is a bit defensive-heavy, so there could be more emphasis on offensive players in the next few months.

Auburn

June was a good month for the Tigers as they added some talented skill position players to surround quarterback Zeke Pike. JaQuay Williams is going to be a nice red zone target and T.J. Yeldon should help with running back depth once he gets to campus.

South Carolina

The Gamecocks doubled their class in June and they added quality pieces at the same time. The big pickup was Kelvin Rainey out of Florida who was drawing a bunch of attention from some powerhouse programs. The staff also has made some nice gains with several Georgia prospects and it wouldn't be all that surprising if they reel in one or two more from the state in the coming months.

Tennessee

Derek Dooley and the Vols are surprisingly the SEC recruiting runts at the moment with only three commitments. They were in on several players that ended up making commitments elsewhere, which is a bit of a blow, especially since some of them went to SEC rivals. It's not a great year for in-state talent but what players there are, the Vols have had somewhat of a hard time keeping. There's plenty of time to turn things around but the staff has their work cut out for them.

Vanderbilt

The new regime in Nashville is not backing down from anyone and there's certainly a new attitude under head coach James Franklin. They're actually the top dogs in-state at the moment and they've raided Georgia successfully for a few solid building blocks. The 'dores grabbed the top player in the state in running back Brian Kimbrow and have plenty of momentum nearing the halfway point of the recruiting season.
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:07 pm
 

June SEC Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The temperature gauge continues to rise and, as we move into July, it's time to see how schools are building their recruiting classes of 2012. Today, we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the SEC.

   Alabama (14)

Defensive end Ryan Anderson (Daphne, Ala.)
Defensive tackle Dakota Ball (Lindale, Ga.)
Athlete Kenyan Drake (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Athlete Casey Gladney (Columbia, S.C.)
Offensive lineman Brandon Greene (Ellenwood, Ga.)
Kicker Adam Griffith (Calhoun, Ga.)
Defensive end Caleb Gulledge (Prattville, Ala.)
Athlete Tyler Hayes (Thomasville, Ala.)
Defensive tackle Darren Lake (York, Ala.)
Linebacker Dillon Lee (Buford, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Linebacker Reggie Ragland (Madison, Ala.)
Running back Justin Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.)
Athlete Justin Thomas (Prattville, Ala.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Athlete Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla.)

   Arkansas (7)

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

   Auburn (10)

Offensive lineman Shane Callahan (Parker, Colo.)
Defensive back Joshua Holsey (Fairburn, Ga.)
Athlete Darrion Hutcherson (Dadeville, Ala.)
Wide receiver Ricardo Louis (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Defensive end Cassanova McKinzy (Birmingham, Ala.)
Tight end Ricky Parks (Hogansville, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive tackle Darius Philon (Prichard, Ala.)
Quarterback Zeke Pike (Edgewood, Ky.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Wide receiver JaQuay Williams (Tyrone, Ga.)
Running back T.J. Yeldon (Daphne, Ala.)

   Florida (13)

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 Member
Kicker Austin Hardin (Atlanta, Ga.)
Running back Matt Jones (Seffner, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive tackle JaFar Mann (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Dante Phillips (Venice, Fla.)
Linebacker Lorenzo Phillips (Patterson, La.)
Wide receiver LaTroy Pittman (Citra, Fla.)
Defensive back Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla.)
Linebacker Jeremi Powell (Largo, Fla.)
Tight end Colin Thompson (Warminster, Pa.)
Defensive tackle Quinteze Williams (Tyrone, Ga.)

   Georgia (10)
 
Kicker Collin Barber (Cartersville, Ga.)
Wide receiver C.J. Curry (Gainesville, Ga.)
Defensive end James Deloach (Millen, Ga.)
Defensive end Jalen Fields (Milledgeville, Ga.)
Athlete Leonard Floyd (Eastman, Ga.)  
Athlete Quayvon Hicks (Blackshear, Ga.)
Kicker Marshall Morgan (Miami, Fla.)
Wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw (Milledgeville, Ga.)
Tight end Ty Smith (Moultrie, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor (Millen, Ga.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member

   Kentucky (11)

Offensive lineman Darone Bailey (Coahoma JUCO/Clarksdale, Miss.)
Defensive back Daron Blaylock (Marietta, Ga.)
Defensive back Shawn Blaylock (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Defensive back Zach Blaylock (Marietta, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Thomas Chapman (Louisville, Ky.)
Defensive tackle Patrick Graffree (Elizabethtown, Ky.)
Defensive back Josh Harris (Maysville, Ky.)
Offensive lineman Zach Myers (Miamisburg, Ohio)
Defensive back Jonathan Reed (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Wide receiver DeMarcus Sweat (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Quarterback Patrick Towles (Fort Thomas, Ky.)

   LSU (15) 

Athlete Devante Bourque (Crowley, La.)
Defensive end Torshiro Davis (Shreveport, La.)
Wide receiver Travin Dural (Beaux Bridge, La.)  
Defensive end Ronnie Feist (Edgard, La.)
Offensive lineman Reid Ferguson (Buford, Ga.)
Tight end Dillon Gordon (River Ridge, La.)
Linebacker Trey Granier (Thibodaux, La.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive end Jerald Hawkins (Baldwin, La.)
Wide receiver Kavahra Holmes (Breaux Bridge, La.)
Wide receiver Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
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 (7)

Defensive back Jordan Batiste (Lutcher, La.)
Quarterback C.J. Beathard (Franklin, Tenn.)
Defensive tackle Issac Gross (Batesville, Miss.)
Offensive lineman Jake Meador (Whiteland, Ind.)
Offensive lineman Ben Still (Memphis, Tenn.)
Defensive end Temario Strong (Batesville, Miss.)
Running back Jaylen Walton (Memphis, Tenn.)

   Mississippi State (8)

Defensive end Nelson Adams (Brandon, Miss.)
Defensive back Quadry Antoine (Belle Chasse, La.)
Linebacker Torrey Bell (New Oreleans, La.)
Defensive end Ryan Brown (Marrero, La.)
Offensive lineman Cole Carter (Caledonia, Miss.)
Offensive lineman Devon Desper (Madison, Miss.)
Athlete Deonte Evans (McComb, Miss.)
Defensive back Cedric Jiles (Clinton, Miss.)

   South Carolina (10)

Defensive end Darius English (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Defensive back Kyle Fleetwood (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Linebacker T.J. Holloman (Atlanta, Ga.)
Defensive tackle Carlos Hood (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Athlete Rico McWilliams (Hampton, Ga.)
Tight end Kelvin Rainey (Yulee, Fla.)
Running back Kendric Salley (Williston, S.C.)
Offensive lineman Brock Stadnik (Greensboro, N.C.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Offensive lineman Clayton Stadnik (Greensboro, N.C.)
Offensive lineman Mason Zandi (Chapin, S.C.)

   Tennessee (3)

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

   Vanderbilt (11)

Defensive end Caleb Azubike (Nashville, Tenn.)
Defensive end Ladarius Banks (Dallas, Ga.)
Wide receiver Cory Batey (Nashville, Tenn.)
Defensive end Josh Dawson (Tucker, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Barrett Gouger (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Defensive end Tre Griffin (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Defensive back Paris Head (Buford, Ga.)
Linebacker Darreon Herring (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Running back Brian Kimbrow (Memphis, Tenn.)
Linebacker Jacob Sealand (Tucker, Ga.)
Defensive end Stephen Weatherly (Atlanta, Ga.)

Category: NCAAF
Tags: A.J. Turner, Adam Griffith, Alex Taylor, Arkansas, Auburn, Austin Hardin, Avery Johnson, Barrett Gouger, Ben Still, Brandon Greene, Brian Kimbrow, Brian Poole, Brock Stadnik, C.J. Beathard, C.J. Curry, Caleb Azubike, Caleb Gulledge, Carlos Hood, Casey Gladney, Cassanova McKinzy, Cedric Jiles, Clayton Stadnik, Cole Carter, Colin Thompson, Collin Barber, Cordale Boyd, Cory Batey, Dakota Ball, Dante Phillips, Darius English, Darius Philon, Daron Blaylock, Darone Bailey, Darren Lake, Darreon Herring, Darrion Hutcherson, DeMarcus Sweat, Deontay Evans, Derrick Raymond, Devante Bourque, Devon Desper, Dillon Gordon, Dillon Lee, Donovan Roberts, Dwayne Thomas, Eddie Williams, Florida, Georgia, Imani Cross, Issac Gross, Jacob Sealand, JaFar Mann, Jake Meador, Jalen Cobb, Jalen Fields, James Deloach, JaQuay Williams, Jaylen Walton, Jerald Hawkins, Jeremi Powell, Jeremy Sprinkle, Jeremy Ward, Jerquinick Sandolph, Jessamen Dunker, John Thomas, Jonathan Reed, Jonathan Taylor, Jordan Batiste, Josh Dawson, Josh Harris, Joshua Holsey, June Commitment List, Justin Taylor, Justin Thomas, Kavahra Holmes, Kelvin Rainey, Kendric Salley, Kentucky, Kenyan Drake, Khalid Henderson, Kyle Fleetwood, Ladarius Banks, Lamar Lewis, LaTroy Pittman, Lemming Top 100, Leonard Floyd, Lonnie Outlaw, Lorenzo Phillips, LSU, Marshall Morgan, Mason Zandi, Matt Jones, Mike Davis, Mississippi State, Nathan Holmes, Nelson Adams, Nick Saban, Ole Miss, Paris Head, Patrick Graffree, Patrick Towles, Quadry Antoine, Quayvon Hicks, Quinteze Williams, Reggie Ragland, Reid Ferguson, Ricardo Louis, Ricky Parks, Rico McWilliams, Ronnie Feist, Ryan Anderson, Ryan Brown, SEC, Shane Callahan, Shawn Blaylock, South Carolina, Stephen Weatherly, T.J. Holloman, T.J. Yeldon, Temario Strong, Tennesee, Thomas Chapman, Torrey Bell, Toshiro Davis, Travin Dural, Tre Griffin, Trey Granier, Ty Smith, Tyler Hayes, Vanderbilt, Willie Bailey, Zach Blaylock, Zach Myers, Zeke Pike
 
Posted on: July 1, 2011 4:16 pm
 

Vandy - yes Vandy - scores three big commitments

Posted by Bryan Fischer

For ages upon ages, Vanderbilt was looked at as a school that grabbed recruits that either other schools didn't want or because they simply wanted to get a good education. Under new head coach James Franklin, it appears the perception has changed and the school, at least for a few 2012 recruits, is a place to get a good education and play SEC football.

The Commodores made their biggest statement on the recruiting trail in years (probably decades) Friday afternoon as Nashville (Tenn.) defensive end Caleb Azubike, wide receiver Corey Batey and running back Brian Kimbrow all committed to the school in a big ceremony that was carried live on a state-wide radio station.

“The reason I made that decision is I like to be different,” Kimbrow, right, told 247Sports.com. “I like a challenge. I don’t want anything to be given to me. It’s close to home and it felt like home and it gave me an opportunity to be successful after football.”

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound running back is considered the top prospect in the state of Tennessee and ranked 38th in the MaxPreps Top 100. He spurned scholarship offers from schools such as Alabama, Arkansas, Notre Dame and USC to play for Vandy and while some see the decision to go to the school as a mistake, Kimbrow sees it as an opportunity.

“It’s very exciting, very exciting,” he said. “Most people might say I’m making a bad decision but I feel like it’s the best decision for me. Coach Franklin told me that fe feels like he can put me in a good situation and we can write our own destiny. That’s something that interests a lot of players around here.”

For Azubike, a 6-foot-4 pass rushing threat, the school that Coach Franklin was selling seemed to fall perfectly in-line with what he was looking for in his future program.

“I’ve been thinking about committing for a long time,” Azubike said. “I really liked Boston College and Mississippi State those are great schools. I decided Vandy was better. I still plan on taking visits to see what out there in the fall but right now Vandy is the best school for me.“

The trio puts Vanderbilt over the double-digit commitment mark for the class of 2012 with 11 total. All of the players in the class are from either Tennessee or Georgia so it's clear that Franklin and his staff are hitting two states for the majority of their talent.

Given the way Stanford has successfully pitched academics with competitive football over the past few years, perhaps it's time to think about Vanderbilt following in their footsteps.
Posted on: May 27, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Auburn's Big Cat Weekend hosting plenty of talent

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's Big Cat Weekend for Auburn and if you haven't heard about it (there were a few secondary violations at the event in 2009 that made the news), you might want to get up to speed quickly because there's plenty of talented headed to the Plains for the 2011 edition. This weekend is the Tigers' biggest recruiting effort of the year and involves a huge number of top prospects from all over the country. Given that the school just won the BCS national championship, this year's edition could be the most sucessful.

Below is a list of notable recruits expected to be there via of The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

WR Stefon Diggs, Olney, Md.
OL D.J. Humphries, Charlotte, N.C.
LB Kwon Alexander, Oxford, Ala.
OL Vadal Alexander, Buford, Ga.
CB Travis Blanks, Tallahassee, Fla.
OL Shane Callahan, Parker, Col.
OL Kyle Dodson, Cleveland, Ohio
CB Joshua Holsey, Fairburn, Ga. (Auburn commit)
CB Cyrus Jones, Baltimore, Md.
ATH Brian Kimbrow, Memphis, Tenn.
WR Ricardo Louis, Miami, Fla.
LB Cassanova McKinzy, Birmingham, Ala. (Auburn commit)
TE Justin Meredith, Anderson, S.C.
OL Patrick Miller, West Palm Beach, Fla.
LB Javierre Mitchell, Leeds, Ala.
TE Ricky Parks, Hogansville, Ga.
QB Zeke Pike, Edgewood, Ky. (Auburn commit)
RB Jovon Robinson, Memphis, Tenn.
DL Justin Shanks, Prattville, Ala.
CB Geno Smith, Atlanta, Ga.
TE Kent Taylor, Land O’Lakes, Fla.
WR JaQuay Williams, Franklin, Ga.
RB T.J. Yeldon, Daphne, Ala.
ATH Evan Berry, Fairburn, Ga. (class of 2014)
ATH Elliott Berry, Fairburn, Ga. (2014)
RB Jordan Huff, Mobile, Ala. (2013)
DL Dee Liner, Muscle Shoals, Ala. (2013)
DL Henry Poggi, Baltimore, Md. (2013)
LB Tre’ Williams, Mobile, Ala. (2014)

 
 
 
 
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