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Tag:Cassanova McKinzy
Posted on: April 21, 2011 4:01 pm
 

Auburn adds big tight end for 2012

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Less than 24 hours after picking up a commitment from big time quarterback Zeke Pike, Auburn added the verbal of another big (literally) player in Dadeville (Ala.) tight end Darrion Hutcherson Thursday afternoon.

"I have been down there and I just feel real comfortable at Auburn," Hutcherson told AuburnSports.com. "I think it's time for me to join the family."

The 6-foot-6, 245 pound Hutcherson is a pass catching threat despite his size thanks to a 4.6 40-yard dash. He had 14 catches for over 400 yards as a junior and also grabbed 57 tackles and six sacks playing on the defensive line.

The talented athlete credited Auburn tight ends coach Jay Boulware as one of the key reasons why he decided to be part of the Tiger family.

"Coach Boulware is the best coach I have ever been around in my life," said Hutcherson. "He showed me around and talked to me. I really liked the things he told me. I gave him my word and I'm not going to go against it."

Hutcherson took an unofficial visit to campus last weekend and was impressed enough to give his commitment at a ceremony at his school. He also had offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Oklahoma State among others. Hutcherson is also the Tigers' fifth commitment for the class of 2012 and he has already been in contact with several of the others in order to build something special on the Plains.

"Me, Zeke, Cassanova (McKinzy) and the rest of the group are going to be in it together and we are going to get that crystal ball again before we leave," Hutcherson said.

Hutcherson lives about 20 minutes away from the school.

Photo courtesy David Morrison of the Opelika-Auburn News.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:12 pm
 

2012 Linebackers to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oxford (Ala.) star Kwon Alexander is the top linebacker in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other linebackers - in no particular order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Alexander off the top spot and become the top linebacker for the class of 2012.

Deaysean Rippy (Sto-Rox High, McKees Rocks, Pa.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 210 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, UConn, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: It's no surprise to see Rippy become one of the most recruited athletes in the country after watching his film. He has been on the radar since his sophomore year and is a really versatile player as an outside linebacker. His pass rush skills are exceptional and he is fast enough to even be a safety at the next level. Rippy is one of the best players in coverage among this group of linebackers.

Needs to work on: Rippy is still a bit undersized if he wants to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 and could add a bit of weight.



Noor Davis (The Villages High, The Villages, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 225 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pitt, Purdue, USF, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCF, UCLA, USC, Virginia

What's to like: Davis is an exceptional prospect at the outside linebacker position and it's hard not to like what you see when you see him in person or on film. He is a smart player on the field who reads the play quickly and almost always takes a good angle to make the tackle. It's almost funny to see him standout on the field due to his size and the way he hits.

Needs to work on: Davis needs to learn some of the nuances of playing outside linebacker and move beyond a pass rusher from the outside.



Jabari Ruffin (Downey High, Downey, Calif.) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Committed to USC

What's to like: Ruffin certainly looks the part and is probably the best linebacker west of the Mississippi. He looked sharp at the recent LA Nike Camp and his athleticism jumps out at you when you realize he played offense last season. Not only does he have speed to burn but his explosiveness is really apparent when you see him get ready to deliver a big hit.

Needs to work on: There's not a whole lot more that Ruffin needs to do to be successful but he should benefit from playing only linebacker in college. Becoming a read and react player instead of relying mostly on his athleticism to make plays is the next step for him to become a great player.



Reggie Ragland (Bob Jones High, Madison, Ala.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 235 pounds 
Committed to Alabama

What's to like: Ragland's size and speed make him a very, very good prospect manning the middle linebacker position. He's instinctive and when he reads his keys is one of the best in the country. He fills gaps very well and usually ends up blowing people up rather than just tackling them. He also does a good job of engaging a defender and then getting said defender out of his way.

Needs to work on: Ragland is a bit of a lose cannon at times and sometimes tries to do too much. He'll need to improve his coverage skills as well, especially if he's to be a middle backer in a Cover-2 scheme that requires him to run down the field.

Cassanova McKinzy (Woodlawn High, Birmingham, Ala.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 230 pounds 
Committed to Auburn

What's to like: McKinzy's name first of all. Beyond that though, there's plenty of things that Auburn coaches saw in McKinzy, including great size and speed at outside linebacker. He's very athletic and could play running back at the next level if he wanted to. McKinzy wraps up very well when tackling and is very instinctive.

Needs to work on: McKinzy may have all the measurables but he is still a bit raw at linebacker. He'll need to refine his coverage skills and improve his ability to read and react.

Posted on: April 2, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2011 6:30 pm
 

March SEC Early Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's the second day in April but it's also the final week in March and several schools have already hit the ground running in the class of 2012. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments in the SEC, where Nick Saban leads the pack in terms of verbal commitments early in the recruiting cycle.

Alabama (10)

Defensive tackle Dakota Ball (Lindale, Ga.)
Athlete Kenyan Drake (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Brandon Greene (Ellenwood, Ga.)
Kicker Adam Griffith (Calhoun, Ga.)
Defensive end Caleb Gulledge (Prattville, Ala.)
Linebacker Reggie Ragland (Madison, Ala.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Running back Justin Taylor (Atlanta, Ga.)
Athlete Justin Thomas (Prattville, Ala.)
Athlete Eddie Williams (Panama City, Fla.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member

Arkansas (3)

Defensive tackle Calvin Barnett (Navarro JUCO)
Wide receiver Jalen Cobb (Warren, Ark.)
Offensive lineman Jeremy Ward (Pottsville, Ark.)

Auburn (3)

Offensive lineman Michael Flint (Oxford, Ala.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Defensive end Cassanova McKinzy (Birmingham, Ala.)
Wide receiver Alex Taylor (Lester, Ala.)

Florida (8)

Running back Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, Fla.)
Running back Matt Jones (Seffner, Fla.)
Defensive tackle JaFar Mann (Stone Mountain, Ga.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Defensive tackle Dante Phillips (Venice, Fla.)
Wide receiver LaTroy Pittman (Citra, Fla.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Linebacker Jeremi Powell (Largo, Fla.)
Defensive tackle Quinteze Williams (Tyrone, Ga.)

Georgia (5)

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

Kentucky (3)

Defensive tackle Thomas Chapman (Louisville, Ky.)
Defensive back Josh Harris (Maysville, Ky.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Quarterback Patrick Towles (Fort Thomas, Ky.)

LSU (6)

Defensive end Torshiro Davis (Shreveport, La.)
Defensive end Ronnie Feist (Edgard, La.)
Tight end Dillon Gordon (River Ridge, La.)
Linebacker Trey Granier (Thibodaux, La.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Wide receiver Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member
Tight end John Thomas (Bossier City, La.)

Ole Miss (0)

Mississippi State (2)

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

South Carolina (1)

Running back Kendric Salley (Williston, S.C.)

Tennessee (1)

Running back Imani Cross (Gainesville, Ga.), MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List member

Vanderbilt (0)

Posted on: March 24, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Auburn loves new linebacker commitment

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The defending national champions added to their class of 2012 Thursday afternoon with the commitment of linebacker Cassanova McKinzy.

“It’s just that every time I go there and visit it just feels like home,” McKinzy told AUTigers.com. “I grew up as an Auburn fan. I had always told myself that whatever decision I made my heart had to be in it because I would be there for the next four or five years of my life

The 6-foot-3, 225 pound McKinzy took an unofficial visit to see the Tigers last month and finally decided to pull the trigger and commit. He held scholarship offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Florida State and others but his recent trip to the Plains seemed to give Auburn the edge over the other schools.

“It helped a lot,” he told the website. “I got to hang around people I didn’t know. I got to meet some of the players. It just helped a lot.”

McKinzy racked up 123 tackles last season as a junior, including 19 tackles for a loss. The Birmingham (Ala.) linebacker is the second commitment for head coach Gene Chizik in the current class and can luckily say the recruiting process is over now.

“It actually feels good because now I can say I’m an Auburn Tiger,” McKinzy added. “The stress will be less now that I’m already committed. The recruiting process is very stressful.”

Auburn is hosting a Junior Day on Saturday and it's possible that McKinzy is just the first of several commitments for the Tigers this week.

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