Tag:California
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:58 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:11 pm
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Pac-12 Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. There was some head coaching turnover in the Pac-12 and a few interesting moves in terms of assistants which makes 2012 a very interesting year in the conference. Combined with the fact that this is the best year in a while for talent on the West Coast and there some buzz about what is going on in the Pac-12.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100 Moving
10. California 18 3
17. USC 12 3
21. Oregon 18 2
25. Stanford 17 2

Top storylines

1. What's the fall out from Tosh Lupoi leaving for Washington?

The departure of Lupoi, Cal's best recruiter, might end up a seismic shift in the Pac-12 recruiting landscape. He was responsible for getting the Golden Bears into the top 10 in the team rankings and was on the verge of landing another five-star defender to give him an impressive three on defense. Instead plenty of Cal recruits and commitments have decided to take late official visits and only a handful can be considered solid verbal pledges. Lupoi might not be able to have a huge impact on the Huskies class but they're in the running for a few top players late in the process. Needless to say, this is a big move and one that might have a huge impact in 2012 and beyond.

2. How high does Oregon go?

The near departure of head coach Chip Kelly threw many recruits for a loop but it looks like, despite some negative recruiting by other schools, the current class will remain intact with the Ducks also in the running for some elite five-star guys on the West Coast come Signing Day. Oregon currently sits just outside the top 20 but if they land one or two of the guys that are left on their board, it's very possible to find them in the top 15 with one of the most talented classes headed to Eugene in a long time.

3. Roster management in Los Angeles

It's a good thing both head coaches in Los Angeles have NFL experience because they're going to have to do some good ol' fashioned roster management - something that does happen outside of the SEC - albeit for different reasons. Lane Kiffin and USC are finally starting to feel the effects of sanctions and have to be careful to not only sign 15 or fewer recruits on Signing Day but come in under the NCAA-imposed  limit of 75 scholarship players by the fall. The Trojans are in the running for some top talent and, with early enrollees, will actually bring in more than 15 players so it will be interesting to see what the team looks like going forward. Across town, this was expected to be a small UCLA class of 17 or so recruits but the Bruins currently have 25 commits. There are some creative things Jim Mora can do so it will be interesting to see who winds up on the roster come the fall.

4. Which new coach winds up with the best class?

The massive coaching turnover in the Pac-12 has made things interesting among the conference's middle class. Rich Rodriguez had an early head start but it took awhile to get his full staff on board and that might have cost him some. Todd Graham has to deal with a lot of negative recruiting thanks to the way he left Pitt but has managed to do better than tread water and could land one of the state's top players. Meanwhile, Mike Leach has done a remarkable job of remaking the Wazzu class to fit his offense and aggressively get players who might have been overlooked by others but are simply players when it counts on the field. Finally, Jim Mora has done a great job getting some elite talent to get excited about UCLA. Should be an interesting finish.

Most impressive class: California

Most underrated class: Oregon State

Work left to do: Arizona

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
5. Shaq Thompson DB California
6. Ellis McCarthy DT UCLA
8. Andrus Peat OL Uncommitted
13. Nelson Agholor ATH Uncommitted
16. Arik Armstead OL/DT Uncommitted
21. Zach Banner OL Uncommitted
26. Josh Garnett OL Uncommitted
30. D.J. Foster ATH Uncommitted
37. Jordan Simmons OL USC
41. Aziz Shittu DT Uncommitted
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Robert Anae, Tony Gibson and Calvin Magee, Arizona
Mike Norvell, Arizona State
Marcus Arroyo, Ron Gould and Todd Howard, California
Eric Bieniemy, Darian Hagan and Bobby Kennedy, Colorado
Jerry Azzinaro, Gary Campbell, Mark Helfrich and John Neal, Oregon
Mark Banker, Brent Brennan, Mike Cavanaugh and Danny Langsdorf, Oregon State
Lance Anderson, Pep Hamilton and Mike Sanford Jr., Stanford
Adrian Klemm, Demetrice Martin, Noel Mazzone and Angus McClure, UCLA
James Cregg, Clay Helton, Kennedy Pola and Ed Orgeron, USC
Brian Johnson, Morgan Scalley and Kalani Sitake, Utah
Eric Kiesau, Tosh Lupoi, Johnny Nansen and Peter Sirmon, Washington
Mike Breske, Jeff Choate and Jim Mastro, Washington State

Head coach under pressure: Jeff Tedford, California

Top Pac-12 class prediction: California

Top Pac-12 signee: Shaq Thompson

Pac-12 school-by-school
North Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 QB Zach Kline
OL Freddie Tagaloa
DB Shaq Thompson
WR Bryce Treggs
This is a top 10 class for now. The emphasis is added because the departure of Lupoi to Washington has really thrown this group for a loop and caused several, such as Thompson, to look around before signing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 DE DeForest Buckner
RB Byron Marshall
QB Jake Rodrigues
WR Dwayne Stanford
Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has thrown some for a loop but it looks like the Pac-12 champs will only add to a very good 2012 class. Marshall and Rodrigues are perfect fits on offense
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 WR Malik Gilmore
DB Tyler Hasty
OL Isaac Seumalo
This might be one of Mike Riley most talented classes during his time in Corvallis. Seumalo is one of the top offensive linemen on the West Coast and Gilmore is very underrated at the wide out spot. There are plenty of players who could play as freshmen or sophomores from this group.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Nick Davidson
LB Noor Davis
RB Barry Sanders
DT Jordan Watkins
It's not often you find the Cardinal in the top 25 in recruiting but things are rolling on the Farm. This is linemen heavy and has several recruits who should see early playing time. Stanford is also in the mix for elite offensive linemen Josh Garnett and Andrus Peat.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Jeff Lindquist
QB Cyler Miles
DE Damion Turpin
You wonder if this class could have been even better had Lupoi been hired earlier but as is, it's a very good effort out of Steve Sarkisian and staff. They failed to land the top OL's in the state but picked up two very good QB's to build around in Lindquist and Miles.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Robert Lewis
WR Gabriel Marks
OL Alex Mitchell
Mike Leach's hire has certainly turned heads on the Palouse and the recruiting trail. He's hit California for some players who were overlooked by other programs but are great fits for his system and done a good job in a short time span.
South Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Javelle Allen
LB C.J. Dozier
WR Trey Griffey
Even though he was hired early in the process,  Rodriguez hasn't made a huge splash in recruiting. But with new facilities and his staff finally in place, that will come. Allen is a very good fit for RichRod's offense.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 ATH Randall Goforth
OL Evan Goodman
OL Stephon McCray
Former head coach Dennis Erickson had assembled one of the better classes in the conference and while it has taken some hits, Todd Graham has mostly kept it together.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DB Kenneth Crawley
QB Shane Dillon
DB Yuri Wright
Landing Wright is a risk but there's no doubt he's a talented player who can contribute early on. This class should add depth across the board despite not having a big time impact player.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DB Ishmael Adams
DT Ellis McCarthy
QB T.J. Millweard
DB Marcus Rios
Jim Mora answered all the questions people had about an NFL guy recruiting in college with this effort. Landing McCarthy is a program-changer because big West Coast DT's don't exactly grow on trees.
- Team page
- Commitment list
12 WR Darreus Rogers
LB Jabari Ruffin
OL Jordan Simmons
OL Max Tuerk
This is the first class truly limited by NCAA sanctions but that doesn't mean Lane Kiffin hasn't been able to pull in some great players. The Trojans are also in the running for elite, top 20 players on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
22 ATH Chase Hansen
OL Cedrick Poutasi
QB Travis Wilson
Kyle Whittingham has talked about what a plus the move to the Pac-12 has been for recruiting and this class is one example of getting better players by being in a BCS conference.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Adrian Klemm, Alex Mitchell, Andrus Peat, Angus McClure, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Aziz Shittu, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., BCS, Bobby Kennedy, Brent Brennan, Brian Johnson, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, C.J. Dozier, Cal, California, Calvin Magee, Cedrick Poutasi, Chase Hansen, Chip Kelly, Clay Helton, Colorado, Colorado, Cyler Miles, D.J. Foster, Damion Turpin, Danny Langsdorf, Darian Hagan, Darreus Rogers, DeForest Buckner, Demetrice Martin, Dennis Erickson, Dwayne Stanford, Ed Orgeron, Ellis McCarthy, Eric Bieniemy, Eric Kiesau, Evan Goodman, Freddie Tagaloa, Gabriel Marks, Gary Campbell, Isaac Seumalo, Ishamel Adams, Jabari Ruffin, Jake Rodrigues, James Cregg, Javellle Allen, Jeff Choate, Jeff Lindquist, Jeff Tedford, Jerry Azzinaro, Jim L. Mora, Jim Mastro, Jim Mora, John Neal, Johnny Nansen, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Kalani Sitake, Kennedy Pola, Kenneth Crawley, Kyle Whittingham, Lance Anderson, Lane Kiffin, Malik Gilmore, Marcus Arroyo, Marcus Rios, Mark Banker, Mark Helfrich, Max Tuerk, Mike Breske, Mike Cavanaugh, Mike Leach, Mike Norvell, Mike Riley, Mike Sanford Jr., Morgan SCalley, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davidson, Noel Mazzone, Noor Davis, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Pep Hamilton, Peter Sirmon, Pitt, Randall Goforth, Rich Rodriguez, Robert Anae, Robert Lewis, Ron Gould, Shane Dillon, Shaq Thompson, Signing Day Overview, Stanford, Stephon McCray, Steve Sarkisian, T.J. Millweard, Todd Graham, Todd Howard, Tony Gibson, Tosh Lupoi, Tosh Lupoi, Travis Wilson, Trey Griffey, Tyler Hasty, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Zach Banner, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:00 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:03 pm
 

A week out: MaxPreps Top 25 team rankings



Posted by Bryan Fischer


We're a week away - if you can believe it - from the class of 2012 finally putting pen to paper and ending all of the drama surrounding their recruitment. There's still plenty of uncommitted players out there and lots of teams looking to move up in the class rankings. At the moment, it looks like Alabama has a stranglehold on the top spot but there's a small chance that another team could knock them out if a surprise or two ends up committing.

Below is an overview of the current Maxpreps top 25 class rankings,  from the Crimson Tide to the Cardinal, and a few notes on each.


MaxPreps Top 25 recruiting classes for 2012
School Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 DB Landon Collins
DB Geno Smith
ATH Eddie Williams
RB T.J. Yeldon
The Crimson Tide have already won a title in January and it's possible they'll get another come February 1st. This group has so many playmakers on both sides of the ball that several in this group will have to redshirt. Alabama is also in the running for several top commits so the rich might get even richer.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DT Malcom Brown
RB Johnathan Gray
WR Cayleb Jones
OL Curtis Riser
Just another ho-hum group of stars for the Longhorns. The class is highlighted by Gray, who set just about every record imaginable in high school and should be a factor early on in running the ball.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Jonathan Bullard
OL Jessamen Dunker
OL D.J. Humphries
TE Kent Taylor
Will Muschamp has a chance to reload quickly with the current group of commits. He's got good depth coming in along both lines and is in the running for several elite players like Stefon Diggs, Nelson Agholor and Tracy Howard.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Urban Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- Team page
- Commitment list
31 DB Deon Bush
DE Jelani Hamilton
RB Randy Johnson
DE Tyriq McCord
There's a ton of explosiveness in this class but there's also a few questionable players in this group in terms of talent level. After "Duke" Johnson's senior year, it looks like the Hurricanes are getting the two best players in the state in him and Hamilton.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 OL John Michael McGee
TE Taylor McNamara
WR Durron Neal
WR Derrick Woods
The offense reloads at receiver quite well and Neal has a chance to be a special playmaker with his talent. The offensive line also gets a nice boost with McGee and Ty Darlington in the interior.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Vadal Alexander
DE Torshiro Davis
LB Trey Granier
WR Avery Johnson
The Tigers are still in the running for some elite players when Signing Day rolls around but Les Miles has to be happy with the speed and athleticism the current class has. Johnson, if he sticks, could fill in quickly for the departed Rueben Randle.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 DE Chris Casher
DE Mario Edwards Jr.
DE Dante Fowler Jr.
QB Jameis Winston
 This might be the best collection of D-linemen in the country. Edwards is likely to end up in Tallahassee and it's almost unfair to pair him with guys like Casher and Fowler off the edge. If Winston arrives on campus, then this group has great potential down the road.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 QB Zach Kline
OL Freddie Tagaloa
DB Shaq Thompson
WR Bryce Treggs
This is a top 10 class for now. The emphasis is added because the departure of Tosh Lupoi to Washington has really thrown this group for a loop and caused several, such as Thompson, to look around before signing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Matt Davis
DB DeVante Harris
LB Jordan Richmond
RB Trey Williams
This was a top 10 class before Mike Sherman was fired and it looks like Kevin Sumlin will be able to keep the Aggies right around there. Davis and Williams are two dynamic players on offense and it's possible they'll be joined by former Texas commit, wide receiver Thomas Johnson too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Mike Davis
DB Jordan Diggs
DB Chaz Elder
WR Shaq Roland
There's not the buzz with this group like there was last year grabbing #1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney. Still, they have two great pick ups in Davis and Roland on offense and several other pieces that should make this a top 8-12 class come February 2nd.  
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DB Travis Blanks
ATH Germone Hopper
QB Chad Kelly
DT Carlos Watkins
Another very good class for the Tigers, Blanks is versatile and might be the best cover guy in 2012. Kelly has a strong arm and should take over for Tajh Boyd when the time comes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Gunner Kiel
WR Deontay Greenberry
DB Tee Shepard
DB Elijah Shumate
Landing Kiel is a signature moment for Brian Kelly and gives the Irish their quarterback of the future. The Cali Kids, Greenberry and Shepard, will play right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 RB J.C. Coleman
RB Drew Harris
DE Jarontay Jones
DB Donaldven Manning
 Jones is a big time DE but the there's plenty of players who will re-stock the wide receiver and defensive back positions. Coleman and Harris are going to be a very good 1-2 punch in the back field very soon.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB T.J. Davis
TE Darrion Hutcherson
RB Jovon Robinson
WR JaQuay Williams
Coordinator changes hurt this group, especially in terms of depth, but there are quality ball players from top to bottom. It wouldn't be surprising if Hutcherson and Williams leave a mark as freshmen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
12 WR Darreus Rogers
LB Jabari Ruffin
OL Jordan Simmons
OL Max Tuerk
This is the first class truly limited by NCAA sanctions but that doesn't mean Lane Kiffin hasn't been able to pull in some great players. The Trojans are also in the running for elite, top 20 players on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Todd Gurley
DL Jordan Jenkins
RB Keith Marshall
OL John Theus
It's not a 'Dream Team' like last year but there's several players like Gurley and/or Marshall who will play early on. They have to land their remaining targets, such as lineman Avery Young, to go from solid to a great class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Devante Bourque
WR Jason Croom
DB LaDarrell McNeil
TE Justin Meredith
With mass staff changes and a down year, the Vols haven't gotten the elite player or two that everybody is used to seeing. Croom and Meredith are excellent weapons on offense though but there's a chance they could lose one of their top defenders on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DE Eli Harold
LB Kwontie Moore
DE Michael Moore
DE Courtnye Wynn
Kwontie Moore is an impressive linebacker who can hit like Ray Lewis and run like a safety. The defensive linemen in this class should have plenty guys who see early playing time.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 DE DeForest Buckner
RB Byron Marshall
QB Jake Rodrigues
WR Dwayne Stanford
Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has thrown some for a loop but it looks like the Pac-12 champs will only add to a very good 2012 class. Marshall and Rodrigues are perfect fits on offense
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Cordale Boyd
OL Jeremy Ward
RB Jonathan Williams
This isn't a great recruiting class for the Hogs but it could be if Dorial Green-Beckham signs, as many expect. Williams has injury concerns but might be the sleeper running back in the class of 2012.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Brandon Banks
RB Brian Kimbrow
QB Patton Robinette
Kimbrow and Robinette appear to be the future of the Commodores offense and that's a great start for a group that might end up as good or better as their counterparts in the state.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Devonte Fields
ATH Daje Johnson
QB Tyler Matthews
Very few teams in the country are bringing in as fast, collectively, a group as the Horned Frogs are. Johnson is a special talent and Matthews can take his time to develop into a nice signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Nick Davidson
LB Noor Davis
RB Barry Sanders
DT Jordan Watkins
It's not often you find the Cardinal in the top 25 in recruiting but things are rolling on the Farm. This is linemen heavy and has several recruits who should see early playing time. Stanford is also in the mix for elite offensive linemen Josh Garnett and Andrus Peat.



Category: NCAAF
Tags: ACC, Adolphus Washington, Alabama, Andrus Peat, Arkansas, Auburn, Avery Johnson, Avery Young, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Brandon Banks, Bri'onte Dunn, Brian Kelly, Brian Kimbrow, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, Cal, California, Carlos Watkins, Cayleb Jones, Chad Kelly, Chaz Elder, Chip Kelly, Chris Casher, Clemson, Cordale Boyd, Courtnye Wynn, Curtis Riser, D.J. Humphries, Daje Johnson, Dante Fowler Jr., Darreus Rogers, Darrion Hutcherson, DeForest Buckner, Deon Bush, Deontay Greenberry, Derrick Woods, Devante Bourque, DeVante Harris, Devonte Fields, Donaldven Manning, Dorial Green-Beckham, Drew Harris, Durron Neal, Dwayne Stanford, Eddie Williams, Eli Harold, Elijah Shumate, Erik Magnuson, Florida, Florida State, Freddie Tagaloa, Geno Smith, Georgia, Germone Hopper, Greg Mattison, Gunner Kiel, J.C. Coleman, Jabari Ruffin, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Rodrigues, Jameis Winston, JaQuay Williams, Jarontay Jones, Jason Croom, Jelani Hamilton, Jeremy Ward, Jessamen Dunker, John Michael McGee, John Theus, Johnathan Gray, Jonathan Bullard, Jonathan Williams, Jordan Diggs, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Richmond, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Jovon Robinson, Justin Meredith, Keith Marshall, Kent Taylor, Kevin Sumlin, Kwontie Moore, Kyle Kalis, LaDarrell McNeil, Landon Collins, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, LSU, Malcom Brown, Mario Edwards jr., Matt Davis, Max Tuerek, Miami, Michael Moore, Michigan, Mike Davis, Mike Sherman, Mountain West, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davison, Noah Spence, Non-BCS, Noor Davis, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, Pac-12, Patton Robinette, Randy Johnson, Ray Lewis, Rodd Gurley, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Rueben Randle, SEC, Shaq Roland, Shaq Thompson, South Carolina, Stanford, Stefon Diggs, T.J. Davis, T.J. Yeldon, Tajh Boyd, Taylor McNamara, TCU, team rankings, Tee Shepard, Tennessee, Terry Richardson, Texas, Texas A&M, Thomas Johnson, Tommy Shutt, Torshiro Davis, Tosh Lupoi, Tracy Howard, Travis Blanks, Trey Granier, Trey Williams, Ty Darlington, Tyler Matthews, Tyriq McCord, Urban Meyer, USC, Vadal Alexander, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington, Will Muschamp, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:12 am
 

1/20 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The big story yesterday was recruit Yuri Wright, recruited by Rutgers, Notre Dame, Michigan and others, getting expelled for tweeting.

 Gunner Kiel is happy and relieved at Notre Dame.

 Tennessee is not recruiting the younger brothers of Eric Berry.

 Andrus Peat will take a late trip to Florida State.

 Alex Balducci and Byron Marshall are among the visitors to Oregon this week.

 This is a big recruiting weekend for UConn.

 Likewise, it's a key weekend for Will Muschamp and Florida.

 Michigan State is seeking a strong finish to the class of 2012.

 A few Texas recruiting updates and analysis less than two weeks away from Signing Day.

 Tosh Lupoi's move to Washington has had a big impact on California's class.

COMMITMENTS:

 UCLA picked up tight end Nate Iese Thursday night.

 Quarterback K.J. Maye committed to Minnesota.

 Running back Robert Lewis flipped from SMU to Washington State.

 Offensive lineman Caleb Peterson will follow Larry Fedora from Southern Miss to North Carolina.

 Syracuse added JUCO defensive tackle Zian Jones.

 Georgia Tech picked up commit #16 in Lynn Griffin and could be adding another from Australia.

 Arkansas flipped Missouri pledge and cornerback Will Hines.

 Meanwhile, Missouri flipped Houston commit Levi Copelin.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 6:31 pm
 

O'Connor latest lineman to join Ohio State class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Urban Meyer's recruiting haul continued on Tuesday, with Windsor (Col.) offensive lineman Joey O'Connor becoming the latest to commit to Ohio State's impressive class of 2012.

"I called coach Meyer and he was excited that I committed and welcomed me to the family," O'Connor told BuckeyeGrove.com.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman was previously committed to Penn State and also considered California and Iowa seriously. O'Connor but did not hold an offer from the Buckeyes until visiting this past weekend but made the decision to commit after getting one and talking things over with his family.

"Yeah (the visit) was good," he said. "They and I feel that it is what is best for me."

O'Connor gives Ohio State 21 commitments for the class of 2012, which will sign in just over two weeks. He is also the fourth lineman to pledge to Meyer this year and might not be the last.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:28 am
Edited on: January 17, 2012 12:30 am
 

Five-star Ellis McCarthy flips to UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Let's play a game called do you remember when? I'll start, do you remember when Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy went on national television and committed to California?

If you don't, here's a post - picture and everything - of the moment.

Well, things changed Monday night following an in-home visit by assistant coach Demetrice Martin and multiple reports confirming that UCLA has flipped McCarthy to the Bruins, hot on the heels of the program picking up quarterback Eddie Printz. Gotta love 18-year olds and recruiting this time of year.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder figured to flip to one of the two Los Angeles schools with the departure of defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi to Washington and with his father being pro-UCLA, it ended up being the Bruins.

"The relationship I built with coach Tosh was a big factor in my decision to go to Cal," McCarthy said in a text message to Rivals. "The minute I found out he was gone I knew I didn't want to be there."

McCarthy racked up 55 tackles and nine sacks despite missing three games because of injury during his senior year and is ranked as the top defensive tackle in the country and number eight overall in the class of 2012 by Maxpreps.

Given the way things have played out, you have to think there's going to be plenty more drama between now and Signing Day.

Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:33 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 6:03 pm
 

Lupoi hire heats up Washington recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With just two and a half weeks until Signing Day, Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian picked up the biggest commitment of his tenure on Monday when news officially surfaced that California defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would be moving to Seattle to become defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator with the Huskies.

“Coach Lupoi is a terrific young coach and a dynamic recruiter,” Sarkisian said in the school's release. “He will have an immediate impact with our team both on the field and in recruiting.”

Indeed, Lupoi has developed a sterling reputation as one of the most dynamic recruiters in the country and is largely responsible for Cal's ninth-ranked recruiting class in MaxPreps's recent team rankings. In December, he made the list of top assistants who are good recruiters. Several of the Bears' socially savvy (i.e. those that have Twitter accounts) recruits have already weighed in on the move, from number five overall player Shaq Thompson saying, "he has a lot to think about," to five-star uncommitted lineman Arik Armstead adding that things just got real (he was thought to be close to committing Monday afternoon). CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Breech also points out that current players were left in the dark about the move, with defensive lineman Gabe King tweeting that he left without so much as a text.

The move will undoubtedly impact both Washington and Cal's recruiting classes this year and in the future. Thompson, who also seriously considered the Huskies and has a good relationship with new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox after he recruited Thompson's brother at Cal, is one to keep an eye on in terms of decommitting. Five-star defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy could also easily flip to USC or UCLA by Signing Day.

This is, in no uncertain words, a huge hire by Sarkisian and Washington. Combined with an already excellent recruiter and coach in Peter Sirmon and Washington has made significant moves in the Pac-12 North and conference at large. The road to Signing Day is always filled with a few twists and turns and this appears to be a big one out West.

More on Thompson/Armstead's recruitment from MaxPreps
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:20 pm
 

2012 All-star game top performers


Posted by Bryan Fischer

The three major all-star games are over and the recruits are all on their way back home as they settle into a big three week stretch before Signing Day rolls around. As the last high school competitions of the 2011 season, the games also gave us a chance to see how players do against future FBS talent. Based on the performances during the Semper Fi game, Under Armour All-American game and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, here's a few standouts at each position.

QUARTERBACK

Jeff Lindquist, committed to Washington
Semper Fi game

The Huskies commits shined during all-star game week and Lindquist started things off by being the best QB in the Semper Fi game, tossing two touchdowns and keeping some plays alive with his feet when needed. He's got great pocket awareness and a strong arm, perfect fits in his future college system.

Cyler Miles, committed to Washington
Army All-American Bowl: 7-of-8, 155 yards, two total touchdowns

The co-MVP of the game, Miles was a savvy signal-caller who got the start for the West and was on point most of the game. He took some sacks but generally got the ball out quickly and was accurate in hitting his receivers. He throws a great deep ball and hit Dorial Green-Beckham for the play of the game on the longest touchdown pass in bowl history in the 2nd quarter.

Jameis Winston, committed to Florida State
Under Armour All-American game: 8-of-9, 178 yards and two touchdowns

The MVP, Winston is best described as a gamer. He wasn't perfect but used his legs to escape a collapsing pocket several times and nearly turned in some Michael Vick-esque plays. He was accurate in the passing game and delivered a beautiful deep ball to hit his target in stride for a 75-yard touchdown. If he sticks to football, the sky's the limit based on how good he is despite being raw.

RUNNING BACK

Mike Davis, undecided
Army All-American Bowl: six carries for 16 yards, two catches for 31 yards

Davis showed a great blend of speed and power and had the burst to get out of the hole and into daylight. He had a nice move that he bounced to the sideline for a 26 yard gain and was one of the few East offensive players who could get things going.

Randy 'Duke' Johnson, committed to Miami
Under Armour All-American game: nine carries for 50 yards, three catches for 18 yards, 161 all-purpose yards

It's pretty clear who the best back in the state of Florida is after Johnson put his moves on display for a national audience. His ability to weave in and out of tackles is remarkable and he's got the vision and moves to take advantage of even the smallest amount of space. His 83-yard kick return had him cutting across the field at least three times before being pushed out just short of the end zone. Johnson is clearly a threat to score every time he has the ball in his hands.

T.J. Yeldon, committed to Alabama
Army All-American Bowl: five carries for 16 yards, three catches for 39 yards

The Tide get another great back in Yeldon, who seemed to kick it in an extra gear whenever a defender came near him. He's got great athleticism and showed it off with a leaping try for the endzone that came up just short. He is an every down back with the way he can come out of the back field to catch passes or run between the tackles.

WIDE RECEIVER

Marvin Bracy, committed to Florida State
Under Armour All-American game: two catches for 56 yards and a touchdown

Need speed? Bracy has plenty of it and flaunted it by getting behind several defensive backs as a deep threat. His touchdown came on a 32 yard catch that was easily one of the highlights of the week as he twisted around to grab the ball and held on for the score.

Amari Cooper, committed to Alabama
Under Armour All-American game: two catches for 95 yards and a touchdown

Cooper produced a play to start off the game for the White with a 75-yarder from Winston that set the tone in the Under Armour game. He ended up snagging the ball in stride over a defender and was off to the races after that. His blend of good hands and speed make him one of the top players in the country and underrated by anybody who doesn't think he can make a big impact in Tuscaloosa.

D.J. Foster, undecided
Semper Fi game

Foster was a multipurpose tool during the game and played at receiver, running back and took some snaps as a wildcat quarterback. He's a solid guy who can take the ball downhill while using his speed and quickness in the open field.

Dorial Green-Beckham, undecided
Army All-American Bowl: two catches, 88 yards and a touchdown

Green-Beckham had a pair of drops but the one-handed, record-setting grab he had in the first half was enough to overcome them. The first thing that stands out is his size, dwarfing anybody but one or two offensive linemen, and speed (definite two-stepper) that are some of the reasons why he's the top player in the class of 2012. He's still raw but his physical tools are unmatched by any wide out.

Jaydon Mickens, undecided
Semper Fi game

Mickens caught a touchdown and was named the MVP after doing just about everything he could in the West's victory. He nearly had a touchdown pass but the ball went off the receiver's hands but had several nice catch-and-runs to make up for it. He's shifty in traffic and if he's in open space, good luck catching him.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Jonathan Bullard, committed to Florida
Army All-American Bowl: one sack, three tackles

Bullard surprised with his strength and size from the end spot and gave the tackles trouble all game long. He was able to apply a constant stream of pressure and played the run well - a rarity in some of these games. He committed to Florida during the game and should be someone who plays early given how ready he looks for college.

Jordan Jenkins, uncommitted
Under Armour All-American game: eight tackles, two for loss, two sacks

Jenkins was playing out of position at tackle but made an impact with his quickness to get by offensive linemen with ease. He moved outside for a play or two but the ability to handle the interior line like he did was just another sign of a great player.

Noah Spence, committed to Ohio State
Under Armour All-American game: seven tackles, four for a loss, three sacks

There's a reason he's the number one defensive end in the nation as he was quick off the snap, had the power and agility to pass rush and could play the run well. Spence filled the stat sheet and was in the backfield just about every play. With his size at the moment combined with polished pass rush moves, it won't be too long before every Big Ten quarterback knows his name and number.

Adolphus Washington, committed to Ohio State
Army All-American Bowl: two tackles, two sacks

Another great performance out of Washington is one reason why the Buckeyes' defensive line class looks absolutely frightening in 2012. He displayed a terrific first step and chased players down from the backside like a man on a mission. Though the West offensive line was pretty solid, Washington was a thorn in their side all game long.

Channing Ward, committed to Ole Miss
Under Armour All-American game: seven tackles, three for a loss, two sacks

Ward was unblockable and terrorized opposing quarterbacks all night long so much that the coaches need to take him out to give the other team a chance. He led the White team defense in every category and had even more pressure than what showed up in the box score. He looked an awful lot like DeMarcus Ware against some talented offensive linemen down in Tampa.

LINEBACKER

Joe Bolden, committed to Michigan
Under Armour All-American game: seven tackles, one for a loss

Bolden wasn't the most impressive linebacker at the even but he was extremely solid and among the most sound defensive players at the game. He racked up seven tackles and fit the gap well after recognizing run plays.

Reggie Ragland, committed to Alabama
Under Armour All-American game: seven tackles, half for a loss

The first thing that stands out is Ragland's size and ability to be just an absolute load coming downhill. He'll fit in well as an inside linebacker playing the run as I didn't see too much of him in coverage.

DEFENSIVE BACK

Landon Collins, committed to Alabama
Under Armour All-American game: four tackles, interception

Collins is one of the top players in the country and proved it against all-star competition. He can hit - delivering a touchdown-saving, loud hit at the goal line - and cover. He's instinctive and beyond all else hits another level once the bright lights come on.

De'Vante Harris, undecided
Under Armour All-American game: seven tackles

Harris made waves after the game by decommitting from Oklahoma but that shouldn't overshadow his performance on the field. He was able to play wide receivers well and came up to tackle well when needed in run support. What really impressed were his instincts, knowing just when to come off his man and when to sink back.

Tracy Howard, undecided
Army All-American Bowl: one tackle

Howard is as close as it gets to being a shutdown corner for this class and opposing quarterbacks rarely looked his way during the game. What stands out about him is how fluid he is in coverage and the ability to play his man while reading the quarterback. He's savvy and understands the game better than most.

Marcus Maye, committed to Florida
Under Armour All-American game: seven tackles, fumble recovery

Normally a safety, Maye slid up and played linebacker in the game and impressed with how well he did in traffic. He was flying all around and used his speed to track down some speedy players. He was, naturally, solid in coverage and showed plenty of range that will serve him well at safety. He did a great job of turning his hips and changing directions quickly too.

Kendall Sanders, committed to Texas
Army All-American Bowl: two tackles, two interceptions

Sanders picked off two passes during the game and was roaming around like a ball-hawk that he could be. His position isn't set in college but based on the Army Bowl, cornerback or nickelback is a good start when he arrives in Austin. He turns his hips well and did a good job of sinking off his man into the throwing lane.

Tee Shepard, committed to Notre Dame
Semper Fi game

Shepard locked down his opposing receiver and was rarely tested by opposing quarterbacks all night. He's so lengthy that he can play the press coverage well or back off and roam a little to play ball-hawking corner. He turns his hips so well that he can change directions quicker than a receiver can sometimes.

Shaq Thompson, committed to Cal
Army All-American Bowl: five tackles, two for loss

Thompson was all over the field on Saturday and backed up his number five overall ranking with his play against some of the best in the country. His size stands out but he can run and was a hard hitter that you didn't want to go over the middle in front of. He led the West in tackles and was the enforcer in the secondary.

Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:12 pm
Edited on: January 8, 2012 1:04 pm
 

West takes Army All-American Bowl 24-12



Posted by Bryan Fischer


SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Plenty of the nation's top recruits defended upon the Alamodome for yet another U.S. Army All-American Bowl and once again they did not disappoint. The final of the three major high school football all-star games wrapped up a busy start to 2012 with a West victory over the East 24-12 before a record crowd of 39,011 that put college bowl games to shame with the amount of talent on the field and the number of people in the stands.

"It was a great week," said Westlake Village (Calif.) wide receiver Jordan Payton. "It's so great to be out here with (the Army), that's the best part. It's an honor to be playing with all these guys, I love them all. I feel like we've been playing forever. It's been the best week of my life and football career."

Payton did not end up with a reception during the game but was one of 14 players to put on a school hat and commit. In the four-star receiver's case, he was one of three players to verbally pledge to California on national television, giving the Golden Bears as big of a win Saturday afternoon as the West squad.

"I think this is going to be real big," Sacramento (Calif.) safety and Maxpreps' number five overall player Shaq Thompson said. "Our class, the 2012 class, is really going to change things."

The top defensive tackle in the country and number eight overall player in the class, Monrovia (Calif.) product Ellis McCarthy was the other commitment.

"I just really like Coach Tosh (Lupoi) ," McCarthy said on NBC. "I like the progam a lot and I've built a relationship with him and the team."

While there was plenty of attention paid to the recruiting story lines taking place behind the end zone, there were also several players who had no trouble finding the area for six points either. The West took the opening drive 44 yards in eight plays and was capped off with a four-yard quarterback keeper by Washington commit Cyler Miles for the game's first points.

The East squad answered right back on the next series, marching down the field in a 10-play, 77-yard drive that saw Norfolk (Va.) linebacker and Virginia commit Kwontie Moore flip over to fullback and take it in for a two-yard touchdown.

"There was some real talent here and it was an honor to be on the same field as them," East quarterback and LSU pledge Gunner Kiel said. "This was the best of the best."

The Columbus (Ind.) signal-caller finished the day 3-of-6 for 71 yards and one interception to lead his team in passing. Kiel was one of several quarterbacks under siege by the opposing defensive line and struggled to stay in the pocket to find time to throw. The number two overall prospect in the class of 2012, he was overshadowed in the game by the only other player above him in the rankings, Hillcrest (Mo.) wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder had what wound up as the deciding touchdown late in the 2nd quarter, connecting with Miles on a 79-yard pass with a one-handed grab over future Clemson defensive back Travis Blanks before pulling away for the score. The play was the longest touchdown pass in the bowl's history.

"It was great, some of these guys will probably start wherever they go to school," Green-Beckham said. "I came out here to get ready for next year and try to be the best worker out here.

"It was a big adjustment speed-wise but I wanted to just come out here and keep competing."

Green-Beckham and Miles were named co-MVPs for the victorious West team but the record that will be in future Army Bowl programs was just as meaningful for the quarterback.

"That's a great honor," Miles said. "It's a great feeling, (Green-Beckham) has such a range. You can put it in a lot of places. 6-6, 225, you really can't miss with him."

East defensive back Yuri Wright, who is uncommitted but considering Notre Dame, Michigan and Rutgers among others, also covered Green-Beckham was equally impressed.

"Dorial Green-Beckham is a really good player," Wright said. "I'm not going to lie, he's really good."

Both teams finished about even in the yardage department (202 for the West, 198 for the East) but turnovers turned a close game into a rout. UCLA-bound corner Ishmael Adams had one interception while Texas pledge Kendall Sanders grabbed two to help shut down the East passing game.

With all-star games typically dominated by defensive lines that can force quarterbacks out of the pocket, the West stood up to the test better and was able to help protect Miles, 7-of-8, 155 yards and two total touchdowns, and buy him plenty of time to find his targets.

"The offensive line did great, I'm proud with those guys," he said. "That goes back to coaching during the week. We prepared great and we showed it. The o-line definitely performed today."

"You have to be ready for this, you knew you were going to play against all-stars from across the country and they play big time football," Uncommitted West offensive tackle Zach Banner said. "For you to come out here and not expect it, you're either cocky or you're stupid. I knew what these guys were going to bring and I think I raised my game."




 
 
 
 
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