Tag:Jerry Hinnen
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:03 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 12:36 pm

DE Williams signs with USC over SEC schools

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If it's National Signing Day, it must mean Lane Kiffin is somewhere landing blue-chip recruits. And that hasn't changed in 2012.

The latest example: defensive end Leonard Williams, from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach (Fla.), who announced he would sign with Kiffin's USC over Auburn, Florida and Florida State. A 6'5", 260-pound strongside end who could grow into a defensive tackle, Williams is a high-upside prospect ranked by Maxpreps as the nation's No. 25 defensive end

Tom Lemming writes of Williams:

Leonard has been blessed with long arms, quick feet, and excellent mobility. He started out slow but developed into a blue chip prospect by the end of the season. Exceptional against the run, he's pretty good against the pass. Shows good straight line speed, is excellent in pursuit, and is able to stack, shed, and display some good change of direction ability. A big-framed player who could weigh 300 pounds in college and wind up playing DT.

Thanks to NCAA sanctions the Trojans have one of the smallest classes in the CBS Sports National Signing Day top 25, with only 13 commitments. But those 13 are still strong enough to put Kiffin's team at No. 12 in those rankings.

For updates on the newest Trojans throughout National Signing Day, follow our CBSSports.com USC RapidReports.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:37 am

Top 100 WR Thomas Johnson signs with Texas A&M

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Texas's loss was Texas A&M's gain as top 100 wide receiver and former Longhorn commitment Thomas Johnson turned the Aggies' Signing Day around in a big way by heading to College Station.

A 6'0", 180-pound three-and-a-half star prospect from Dallas's Skyline High School, Johnson chose the Aggies over local offers from teams like TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma and national programs like Cal and Oregon.

Johnson ranks as the class of 2012's No. 84 overall prospect in the Maxpreps top 100, and the nation's No. 8 wide receiver--meaning his signature will go a long way (and then some) towards easing the sting from receiver Bralon Addison's defection to Oregon earlier Wednesday.

Tom Lemming writes of Johnson:

He is a home run threat who gets significant yardage after the catch, runs precise routes, shows soft hands, brilliant speed, quickness, does a great job of beating the press, and catches the ball with his hands and away from his body. A go-to type of guy with average size and above average speed and athletic ability.

Johnson offers a big boost to a strong Aggie class that currently ranks 11th in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25

For regular updates on the Aggies' Signing Day, follow our CBSsports.com Texas A&M RapidReports.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 11:20 am

Top 100 LB Kwon Alexander picks LSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the nation's top linebackers has chosen to go spurn an offer from his home state at Auburn and sign with LSU.

Oxford (Ala.) blue-chip linebacker Kwon Alexander announced he will sign with the Bayou Bengals despite a long recruitment from their SEC West rivals on the Plains. A 6'3", 215-pound prospect who entered his senior season as one of the nation's top handful of recruits before an ACL injury, Alexander still finished at No. 96 overall in the Maxpreps top 100 and the No. 4 outside linebacker.

Tom Lemming writes about Alexander's ability:

Here's a defender who can run with the backs. He impresses you with his overall game, makes plays from sideline to sideline, is an effective pass rusher and also does an outstanding job when dropping back into the passing lanes. The No. 1 defensive player in Alabama.

Alexander also sported offers from Alabama, Florida and Florida State.

Alexander is LSU's second big defensive addition of the day following safety Corey Thompson's late switch from Texas A&M. The Tigers now have 23 commitments and could move up in the CBS Sports National Signing Day top 25.

For more updates throughout the day on LSU's Signing Day, follow our CBSSports.com LSU RapidReports.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:10 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 10:13 am

Auburn signs top 100 WR Williams, OL Adams

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Still stinging from Jordan Moore's decision to head to TCU Tuesday nightAuburn rebounded in a big way by signing a pair of teammates from the Peach State.

Wide receiver JaQuay Williams and offensive lineman Will Adams both announced they would sign with the Tigers at their Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga. The headliner of the pair is undoubtedly the four-star Williams, the nation's No. 53 overall prospect according to the Maxpreps top 100 and the No. 4 receiver in the class.

The 6'4", 201-pound Williams had been committed to Auburn since early 2011 but had taken a recent visit to Georgia and was considering a late flip to the Bulldogs.

Adams, meanwhile, had been a longtime Georgia Tech commitment before the Tigers stepped in with a late offer. A 6'5", 280-pound lineman that could play multiple positions on the line, Adams' decision will help ease Auburn's pain on (reportedly) losing out on guard Alex Kozan

After starting the day with the fewest number of commitments in the SEC, the additions of Adams and Phenix City (Ala.) quarterback Jonathan Wallace bring the Tigers to 17 signees. Auburn currently ranks 21st in the CBS Sports National signing Day Top 25.

For updates throughout the day on Auburn's new class, follow our CBSSports Auburn RapidReports. 

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:22 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 10:16 am

LB Northrup makes switch from 'Canes to 'Noles

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Blue-chip linebacker Reggie Northrup has backed out of a commitment to Miami and will instead sign with Hurricane archrivals Florida State.

6'2", 220-pound three-star recruit from First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fla., Northrup committed to the 'Canes last June but made the Signing Day switch to the 'Noles. Northrup also claimed offers from Arkansas, North Carolina and Ohio State.

Northrup is rated the No. 14 inside linebacker in the class of 2012 by Tom Lemming, who writes the following:

He's a sure tackler with good instincts, shows the ability to go sideline to sideline, and can play either OLB or ILB at the next level. Shows terrific speed to the ball, plays the game on his feet, shows the athleticism to affectively drop back into the passing lane, and is always around the ball. He see and reads keys impressively and is rarely caught out of position.

Northrup gives a big boost to a Seminole class that to date has been extremely high on quality but short on overall numbers. FSU currently ranks 8th in the CBS Sports National Signing Day top 25. Miami's 30-plus-player class, meanwhile, ranks sixth.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.

Photo by Gray Quetti for Maxpreps. 
Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:00 am

RB Taylor declines Tide offer, signs with 'Cats

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the poster children for the SEC's new oversigning policies has officially declined an offer to "grayshirt" at Alabama and will be a Kentucky Wildcat instead.

Washington High School running back Justin Taylora three-star prospect out of Atlanta, signed with the 'Cats this morning despite being a long-time Crimson Tide commitment. Taylor made national headlines recently when he was told by Nick Saban he would have to wait until 2013 to enroll at Alabama, thanks to a torn ACL suffered this past season and the Tide having reached their newly-imposed 25-player limit for the class of 2012.

Saban promised Taylor that he would put his 2013 offer in writing and Taylor initially accepted before backing off.

Though the ACL tear limited Taylor's senior season, Tom Lemming saw plenty in the 5'10", 205-pound prospect before the injury:

The scouts were impressed with Justin's elusiveness, strength, balance, and vision. Not a burner but he can accelerate on a dime. Shows good toughness as an inside runner, can catch the ball, and rarely puts the ball on the ground. Hails from a school that has produced several big-time backs.

Taylor gives Kentucky a class of 24 recruits.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:46 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 9:46 pm

Fast-rising S Jordan Moore pledges to TCU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

TCU hasn't had the best of luck on the trail over the past week, losing key commitments to Texas and Texas A&M. But the horned Frogs took a big step back in the right direction Tuesday night with a pledge from fast-rising Georgia safety Jordan Moore.

Moore made the announcement on the SportSouth network.

"Coach [Gary] Patterson is a great guy," Moore said. "[He and coach] Rusty Burns were essential in recruiting me in this process."

Thanks to a transfer of schools and injuries, Moore was a largely unknown quantity as recently as January, before his senior film and sprinter's speed earned him a host of late offers from some of the nation's top programs. Moore chose the Frogs over co-finalist Auburn, Ohio State, North Carolina and others.

6'2", 205-pound recruit from M.L. King High in Lithonia, Moore is the two-time defending Georgia state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and had originally planned to go to LSU on a track scholarship. Combine that speed with his protypical safety size, and it's easy to understand why so many schools were eager to extend an offer even this close to signing day.

“He just kind of blew up over night. When the colleges looked at his senior film, they couldn’t believe what they saw," King head coach Mike Carson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in mid-January. "They love his size and his speed, and they are shocked to see how physical he is.”

Thanks in part to Moore's impact on defense, King finished their season 12-1 and 7-0 in their conference.

Moore's commitment brings the Frogs back to 20 commitments for their 2012 class. The news stings for Auburn, though, still sitting on an SEC-low 15 commitments entering signing day. The Tigers currently rank 21st in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25, and with several huge names like defensive tackle Eddie Goldmandefensive back Ronald Darby and linebacker Kwon Alexander still on the Auburn board, the Tigers could make a big move up--or drop out of the top 25 entirely.

For live updates on Auburn's signees throughout signing day, follow our CBSSports.com Auburn RapidReports

Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:22 pm

LB Otha Peters flips to Arkansas from Vols

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Help is on the way for Arkansas's occasionally porous defense, though it's coming at the expense of suddenly backsliding Tennessee.

Already stung by Texas linebacker Dalton Santos switching his commitment  from the Vols' "UT" to the Longhorn version this past weekend, Derek Dooley's class took another blow Tuesday when Covington (La.) linebacker Otha Peters committed to Bobby Petrino's Razorbacks following an official visit to Fayetteville. Peters was also visited last week in Covington by Petrino and new defensive coordinator Paul Haynes.

In addition to the Razorbacks and Volunteers, Peters also claimed offers from Texas A&M, Ole Miss, TCU and Nebraska.

Peters' high school coach Malter Scobel told the Times Picayune that Peters had concerns about Dooley's job stability after the Vols' lackluster 2011 season.

“Otha had some valid reasons to make his change,” Scobel said. “It wasn’t anything silly. Tennessee’s up against a different challenge than they are in Arkansas. Otha was very straightforward with Tennessee about the decision, and I think they still would like to have him.”

We don't doubt it--the 6'1", 220-pound Peters was named 5A All-State even in talent-rich Louisiana, having recorded north of 14 tackles per game.

The Vols and Hogs are two of five SEC teams clustered between 20 and 25 in the current edition of the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25, with Tennessee four spots ahead of Arkansas. But the way both teams are trending, that may not be the case for long.

Looking for Signing Day video? We've got you covered from all angles here.

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