Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:58 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
CBSSports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd has tabbed Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict as his preseason defensive player of the year. Burfict is a known quality at the college level but things get a bit murkier when you start to look at possible candidates for freshman defensive player of the year. It's difficult for high schoolers to make the jump to the next level and make an impact but some, such as Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson last season, have what it takes to play right away and provide a boost to their team's defense. Here's five candidates to be freshmen defensive player of the year out of the class of 2011.
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Clowney was the consensus best player in the class of 2011 and is expected to contribute right away as a pass rusher for the Gamecocks. He's already big enough to play in college and is lightning quick coming out of his stance, often blowing by the tackle before they've even moved. South Carolina led the SEC in sacks last season and should put even more pressure on the quarterback with Clowney making his way to the backfield.
Karlos Williams, Florida State
Williams is one of the bigger safeties coming out of high school and could almost bulk up a little and play linebacker. Wherever he lines up, expect Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to put Williams in a position to make plays. Freshmen have come in and played well for FSU in the past and the talented 6-foot-2, 215 pound safety might be the next one to.
Ray Drew, Georgia
The Pastor of the Pass Rush, as Drew is affectionately nicknamed, is a terror for opposing quarterbacks. He can standup and play a little linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 scheme and has the flexibility of moving around the defensive line. He should be able to compete for a starting spot from day one and will at least be used situationally to generate some pass rush. The top player in the state of Georgia coming out of high school should be a household name nationally before too long.
Aaron Lynch, Notre Dame
Notre Dame seemed to collect defensive ends like they were candy in the class of 2011 but Lynch was one of the few who enrolled early. He impressed coaches throughout the spring and dominated during the annual Blue and Gold game, racking up seven tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. The expectations are sky high for Lynch and with there's no reason to think he can't get on the field to make an impact for the nation's most televised team.
Marcus Roberson, Florida
Still a bit skinny, Roberson will have to learn to be a good tackler at the next level. That said, he's a terrific cover corner and can turn and runs with the best wide outs in the game. It was thought he would play early for the Gators in nickel situations but the dismissal of Janoris Jenkins might mean he's starting at corner sooner rather than later.
Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: May 9, 2011 11:16 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
CBSSports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd rolls out an updated Post-Spring Top 25 today and while he names an MVP for each team, we figure every team is going to need an incoming freshman to step up if they want to keep their spot in the top 25 throughout the season. Here's each team's impact freshman out of their class of 2011:
1. Oklahoma: Dodd notes that the class of 2010 has turned out very well for the Sooners but they'll need a few guys from the class of 2011 to help fill out the depth chart. Running back Brandon Williams is a talented running back out of the state of Texas who is expected to play right away with DeMarco Murrary gone and the offense needing another player in their "diamond" formation with three running backs.
2. Alabama: Alabama's defense is expected to be one of the best Nick Saban has ever had but that doesn't mean a freshman can't be a contributor on special teams and with spot play on defense. Linebacker Trey DePriest enrolled early and seemed to make an impression on the coaching staff. Junior college transfer Aaron Douglas, a freshman All-American at Tennessee, could also end up being a starting tackle too.
3. LSU: Anthony Johnson was one of the top defensive tackles coming out of high school and he looked like he would be the next great LSU man in the middle after a very good spring for an early enrollee. He has the size and quickness to play right away and could make an impact as a pass rusher on third down as he gets acclimated to the speed of college football.
4. Oregon: The Ducks don't have to replace much on offense but they are looking for a few pass catching threats to step up for quarterback Darron Thomas. Another early enrollee and one of the highest rated recruits Oregon has brought in, Colt Lyerla could be one of the answers at tight end, receiver and running back. In short, he's a great athlete and Chip Kelly will find a way to get the ball in his hands.
5. Stanford: The Cardinal are pretty set on offense with Andrew Luck back and running the show but there are a few spots on defense where some freshmen could come in. The new staff must find two new linebackers for this upcoming season and it wouldn't be surprising if James Vaughters ends up making a push for one of them.
6. Oklahoma State: Already expected to have an explosive offense this year to possibly propel them to a BCS game, the Cowboys have high hopes for incoming running back Herschel Sims. Defenses will have to make sure they are ready for the passing game first and Sims might be able to take advantage of some daylight.
7. Texas A&M: Defensive leader Von Miller is off to the NFL (if there is an NFL next year) and while it will be hard for any freshman to replace that kind of production in College Station, look for linebacker Shaun Ward to at least be in the mix to play once he gets on campus.
8. Florida State: The Seminoles are going to have high expectations for the first time in awhile and there are high expectations being placed on incoming tight end Nick O'Leary. While most people talk about him as being the grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus, the talented O'Leary is also quite a pass catcher who should play right away.
9. Ohio State: There could be two impact players for the Buckeyes depending on how things shake out in fall camp. Quarterback Braxton Miller is certainly in the race to be the starter with Terrelle Pryor suspended for five games and showed flashes during the spring. Linebacker Curtis Grant was one of the top players coming out of high school and should be able to fill in right away on defense.
10. Nebraska: The Huskers have their sights on a Big Ten title in their first year in the league and if they're going to take some pressure off quarterback Taylor Martinez, running back Aaron Green could be a big part of the offense.
11. Michigan State: Mark Dantonio fought off some big time programs for in-state linebacker Lawrence Thomas and one of the reasons why is Thomas is expected to come in right away and play well for the Spartans.
12. Wisconsin: The Badgers typically don't play many freshmen but tight end Austin Traylor could help break in a new quarterback as both a blocker and receiver.
13. Arkansas: Brey Cook knew the Razorbacks would need to replace both tackles and he enrolled early and ended up at the top of the depth chart coming out of spring ball. Anytime you can get a young freshmen start at tackle, you know you have a good one on your hands.
14. Boise State: Most of the freshmen for Boise State are expected to redshirt and develop but kicker Jake van Ginkel could end up the starter with a good fall camp because he has quite a leg.
15. Auburn: Where to start? The Tigers lose a lot of players to either graduation or the draft and several from this class are expected to compete for playing time. Don't be surprised if Kris Frost is a starter at linebacker and able to leave his mark on the Plains early on.
16. TCU: Gary Patterson expereinced a Rose Bowl bounce on the recruiting trail and landed a very good athlete in LaDarius Brown, who will be able to contribute right away on offense and special teams.
17. Virginia Tech: The Hokies need to replace a lot of their secondary and the incoming class is loaded with defensive backs as a result. Ronny Vandyke might be the one to step up based on his size and speed and help out right away.
18. South Carolina: This happens to be the easiest choice on the list since Jadeveon Clowney was the number player in the class of 2011. He should provide an instant pass rush threat to a team that didn't generate much from the front four last year.
19. Notre Dame: Irish fans came out of the spring singing the praises of Aaron Lynch and the early enrollee defensive end certainly put on a show to give them a reason for it.
20. Mississippi State: Defensive tackle P.J. Jones was one of the top guys in the incoming class and Bulldog fans hope he can be a factor early on under a new defensive coordinator.
21. Arizona State: There's very few spots avaliable for the incoming Sun Devils with so much of the starting lineup set with upperclassmen but Mo Latu should be able to provide some depth along the offensive line.
22. Utah: The Utes brought in a very good class and you could tell they sold the opportunity to be the first to play in the Pac-12 their entire careers at Utah. Running back Harvey Langi is a load with the football and junior college safety Keith McGill is a big body who can come in play right away.
23. Georgia: The "Dream Team" recruiting class will come into Athens with high expectations but top running back Isaiah Crowell should boost a rushing attack that was in the bottom three in the SEC last year.
24. West Virginia: New offensive coordinator/future head coach Dana Holgorsen should have an explosive offense led by Geno Smith and incoming running back Andrew Buie could be another speedy player to get the ball in his hands.
25. Florida: The Gators will transition to more of a pro-style offense under Charlie Weis so it's to be determined how everyone fits in but look out for tight end A.C. Leonard. He looks the part and could be a nice weapon for quarterback John Brantley.
Tags: A.C. Leonard, Aaron Douglas, Aaron Green, Aaron Lynch, Alabama, Andrew Buie, Anthony Johnson, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Austin Traylor, Big Ten, Boise State, Brandon Williams, Braxton Miller, Brey Cook, Charlie Weis, Chip Kelly, Colt Lyerla, Curtis Grant, Dana Holgorsen, Florida, Florida State, Gary Patterson, Georgia, Harvey Langi, Herschel Sims, Isaiah Crowell, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake van Ginkel, James Vaughters, Keith McGill, Kris Frost, LaDarius Brown, Lawrence Thomas, LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Mo Latu, Nebraska, Nick O'Leary, Nick Saban, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, P.J. Jones, Ronny Vandyke, Shaun Ward, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Top 25, Trey DePriest, Utah, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: April 6, 2011 12:29 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
CLICK HERE FOR THE TOM LEMMING TOP 100 FOR 2012
It was no surprise to see Springfield (Mo.) wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham top the initial Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012. After all, the talented athlete was the first sophomore to ever win the MaxPreps National Athlete of the Year award and he might have his own page in the state record books by the time he is finished.
The 6-foot-6, 220 pound Green-Beckham has some of the most impressive game film for a wide receiver in years and there was no doubt who Lemming thought was the best player in the class of 2012.
"He's got everything," Lemming said. "Height, super long arms, leaping ability, speed, and most of all, production. He's the best high school wide receiver since Randy Moss."
That's high praise for someone who hasn't even played their senior year of high school but Green-Beckham's impressive numbers back up the ranking. As a sophomore he caught 66 passes for 1,616 yards and 23 touchdowns and topped those numbers as a junior with 70 catches for 1,706 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Green-Beckham is also a talented athlete on the track and the court, leading his team to a state title in both sports. The big receiver is far and away the best player at his school in football and still puts up eye-popping numbers despite being double and sometimes even triple-teamed.
Holding scholarship offers from just about every school in the country, it's safe to say that Green-Beckham is drawing even more attention than last year's number one overall player Jadeveon Clowney. Although Big 12 schools close to home figure to play a key role in the recruiting process, top flight competition in the South is very intriguing to the talented wide receiver.
"A lot of the schools he has interest in are in the SEC," John Beckham, Green-Beckham's adopted father and high school coach told MaxPreps. "That seems to be where there are more schools that he's interested in."
The recruiting plans of the nation's number one player may be pushed back a bit however, as Green-Beckham deals with his brother Darnell, who was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.
Despite the tragic news, the nation's top player will look to fight through the difficult situation and aim for an even more impressive senior campaign. No matter what though, expect to know the name Dorial Green-Beckham very well by the time Signing Day rolls around.
Kiel number two, several others in contention for top QB spot
After two down years at the quarterback position, the class of 2012 looks to be one of the stronger groups to come out of high school in the past few years. Columbus (Ind.) signal caller Gunner Kiel tops the position group rankings and slides in behind Green-Beckham as the number two overall player in Lemming's rankings.
The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Kiel is the nephew of former Notre Dame quarterback Blair Kiel and his family is no stranger to the recruiting process with two brothers having gone through it. Brother Dusty is a quarterback at Indiana and his other brother, Drew, plays the same position at Illinois State. All three brothers might be quarterbacks but it's Blair who stands out as the most talented.
"He seems to have everything," Lemming said. "He's got great size, has the arm and all the intangibles to become a great college quarterback."
Kiel looks like a polished product on film and he has coaches from across the country salivating over the possibility of landing him. Notre Dame and Indiana are two schools that are recruiting him heavily that are close to home but Oklahoma, Missouri and Alabama are pursuing Kiel with all they've got. He recently took an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa to see the Crimson Tide and figures to make several other visits to schools this summer.
Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback and Texas commit Connor Brewer, Edgewood (Ky.) quarterback Zeke Pike and Plant City (Fla.) standout Bennie Coney are just a few of the other quarterbacks nationally that add to a very good position group this year.
Good year along the offensive line
One of the best position groups in the country top to bottom in the Lemming Top 100 is the offensive linemen. Jacksonville (Fla.) tackle John Theus is the number six overall player and is just one of several players 6-foot-6 or taller that college coaches hope will be their left tackle of the future.
Four offensive lineman are in the top 20, including Tempe (Ariz.) tackle Andrus Peat, Charlotte (N.C.) lineman D.J. Humphries and Lakewood (Wash.) tackle Zach Banner. The West in particular has an especially good and deep group of lineman this year. If you consider, as many do, Elk Grove (Calif.) lineman Arik Armstead an offensive tackle instead of a defensive tackle, he might just be in contention for the number one overall ranking.
Florida leads the way, Texas not far behind
It's no surprise but once again Florida, Texas and California are well represented in the initial top 100. Florida has 16 players on the list, led by Theus and Tallahassee (Fla.) defensive back Travis Blanks.
Texas has 10 athletes on the list but staggeringly has three of the top 10, the only state with multiple players among the elite of the elite. Georgia continues to churn out quality Division I talent and this year is no different as eight players from the Peach State made the list. California also had eight players make the cut with several quality players just missing out.
School-wise, the Texas Longhorns are well represented on the Top 100 as usual. Wide receiver commit Cayleb Jones is the number three recruit overall and quarterback Connor Brewer is 28th overall. Offensive lineman Curtis Riser out of DeSoto (Texas) is 79th. Lane Kiffin continues to recruit well at USC, landing verbal commitments from Armstead and Westlake Village (Calif.) receiver Jordan Payton.
Florida State looks well on their way to putting together another top five class in 2012 with commitments from Denton (Texas) defensive end and number five player overall Mario Edwards, 29th ranked defensive end Dante Fowler and the last player to make the list, Cape Coral (Fla.) running back Mario Pender who checks in at number 100.
Tags: Alabama, Andrus Peat, Arik Armstead, Bennie Coney, Big 12, Blair Kiel, Cayleb Jones, Connor Brewer, Curtis Riser, D.J. Humphries, Dante Fowler, Darnell Green-Beckham, Dorial Green-Beckham, Florida State, Gunner Kiel, Indiana, Jadeveon Clowney, John Theus, Jordan Payton, Lane Kiffin, Lemming Top 100, Mario Edwards, Mario Pender, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, SEC, Texas, Tom Lemming, Travis Blanks, USC, Zach Banner, Zeke Pike
Posted on: March 28, 2011 9:40 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
So everyone had Butler-VCU in their bracket's Final Four, right? I think the equivalent would be Cyrus Kouandjio actually signing with New Mexico on Signing Day.
- Wide receiver Tyson Graham is seeing interest from UCLA, Miami, Penn State and Georgia.
- Lots of updates from Michigan's Junior Day from this past weekend.
- Nice photo gallery from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from the Atlanta MVP Camp.
- Just a few names to keep an eye out for this year who could become the 2012 version of Jadeveon Clowney.
- Some more on tight end Brent Wilkerson's commitment to Penn State.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:24 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Though the big news of the day was related to the class of 2011 and Jadeveon Clowney, here's a few nuggets about some players in the class of 2012.
- Arlington (Texas) running back Russell Hansbrough recently picked up an offer from TCU and after visiting the Horned Frogs, could be close to committing.
- Roebuck (S.C.) offensive tackle Patrick DeStefano denies that Clemson is a lock for his commitment.
- Noted quarterback Zeke Pike is going to visit Arkansas next weekend. Another quarterback, Cyler Miles, received an offer from the Hogs recently.
- Offensive lineman Caleb Stacey will visit West Virginia this weekend.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: March 25, 2011 2:03 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
News that South Carolina point guard Bruce Ellington was joining the Gamecock's football team was only the second most interesting bit of information to come out of Columbia Thursday night. According to Charleston Post & Courier beat writer Travis Haney, Jadeveon Clowney, the nation's number on recruit for the class of 2011, was frisked by police outside of the Salty Nut bar around 2 a.m.
Why Clowney, 18, was detained by police is not completly known but several people in South Carolina tweeted this picture of the 6-foot-6, 240 pound defensive end being frisked just outside of the bar:
The picture, taken by a South Carolina junior according to GamecockCentral.com, is a bit dark but shows Clowney being patted down by two police officers with his hands on a police cruiser. According to witnesses at the scene, several college kids (obviously aware of who Clowney was) started booing and becoming upset once the police pulled Clowney to the side.
It was later confirmed by several outlets that Clowney's high school, South Pointe High, did not have classes this morning due to a furlough day. A New York Times story shortly before Signing Day said the top ranked defensive end had issues and might not qualify for admission which would have made the incident look much worse had there been school today.
Haney reports that this isn't Clowney's first trip to a bar in the area and that he made a trip to one several weeks ago. A police report is expected to be released later today.
I will spell out the specific details at that point, but the preliminary indication is that officers were following a tip about an individual with a gun in the area and the 6-6, 240-pound Clowney fit the description.
Although it seems as though detaining Clowney was part of a routine search, the fact that he caught in the situation in the first place is enough for many people to raise their eye. This post will be updated as new information becomes available.
UPDATED: Clowney told The State his version of events and that the incident appears to be a big misunderstanding.
“I am just upset because there is stuff on the news about this,” Clowney told the paper. “I didn’t do nothing wrong. Yeah, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I didn’t have anything to do with (a robbery).”
Posted on: March 21, 2011 10:14 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Despite the wind and the brief bouts of rain, it was a very good weekend in Vegas for the Badger Sports 7-on-7. Be sure to check out all of the coverage from the event as the recruiting game rolls onwards.
- A report out of South Carolina says top recruit Jadeveon Clowney is still on track to qualify for school but is waiting to see how he does on several core classes.
- A few Oklahoma recruits are planning to hit the spring and summer camp circuit hard as the next batch of players trying to get noticed.
- Quarterback Carlis Parker picked up offers from North Carolina and South Carolina while taking unofficial visits to both.
- Updates on several Michigan targets for the class of 2012.
Posted on: February 27, 2011 10:23 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The Oscars are tonight and while Hollywood and the recruiting world don’t often mesh, we’re about to change that. Although the class of 2011 didn’t put on a tuxedo to announce what college they’re committing to (though we assume that’s coming), pretend for a second that they did and the NCAA handed out some golden statues to the best stories of the year. Who would they go to?
May we present the Recruiting Oscars for 2011:
Best Picture goes to...
Georgia running back commit Isaiah Crowell for ‘Bulldog’s are for me.’
Actor in a leading role goes to...
Georgia commit Jay Rome for being the ringleader for the ‘Georgia Dream Team.’
Actor in a supporting role goes to...
Alabama offensive lineman Arie Kounadjio for helping convince his brother Cyrus to attend Alabama and then announcing it to the world on his Twitter account.
Best costume design goes to...
Alabama for the presentation (and subsequent controversy) of 'Fax Cam' and the outfit worn by Fax Cam Girl.
Best director goes too...
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, who, despite being a head coach for less than two years, cleaned up in the state of Florida and brought in one of the top classes in the nation.
Best visual effects goes to...
Defensive back Floyd Raven, who's mother designed a picture perfect forgery of a Letter of Intent to send to Ole Miss before Raven eventually signed with Texas A&M.
Best makeup goes to...
USC head coach Lane Kiffin for being able to put a lot of makeup on USC's sanctions and scholarship limits to bring in 30 recruits to the land of Troy.
Best adapted screenplay goes to...
It's rare for sequels to win Oscars but Jadeveon Clowney takes home the golden statue for 'Number One Recruit Waits to Sign.'