Tag:Mario Ojemudia
Posted on: June 1, 2011 3:28 pm
 

MaxPreps' Preseason High School Football Top 25

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MaxPreps has released their preseason list of the Top 25 high school football teams in the country and it features some of the top programs from coast to coast. As with any team, their stregth relies on how deep the entire roster is but there's plenty of star power on each. Below is a list of the top 25 and the top recruit for each team.

Click here for a detailed breakdown of each team on MaxPreps.

1. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) - Defensive end Darius Hamilton

Hamilton is an explosive prospect who lives in the backfield. He has what college coaches are looking for at the position and it's no surprise to see his offer list bascially be a who's-who of powerhouse programs.

2. Armwood (Sneffer, Fla.) - Running back Matt Jones (Committed to Florida)

Jones is a big back who runs with power but also displays the quickness to change directions quickly. 

3. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) - Quarterback Bart Houston (Committed to Wisconsin

Houston should fit the Badgers' system perfectly and he proved he was one of the top quarterbacks in the country at the recent Stanford Elite 11 competition.

4. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) - Defensive end Jelani Hamilton

One of the top players in a talent-rich area of the country, Hamilton is an impact player with the size and speed you look for in a strongside end.

5. Allen (Allen, Texas) - Running back Jonathan Williams (Committed to Missouri)

It's never not a good year for runnning backs in the state of Texas and Williams is near the top this year. He puts up good numbers in the Eagles' spread and is a threat out of the backfield to catch the ball as well.

6. Prattville (Prattville, Ala.) - Quarterback Justin Thomas (Committed to Alabama

A multipurpose threat, Thomas can do it all with the ball in his hands. He's a very good quarterback and is able to keep the chains moving.

7. Trinity (Euless, Texas) - Linebacker Brian Nance

Nance holds offers from schools across the country and it's easy to see why when the 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker is running all over the field making tackles. 

8. Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) - Athlete Arik Armstead (Committed to USC)

Armstead is a big body at defensive tackle - which he says he'll play in college - but he has the prototype size and skills to be an elite offensive tackle, a position he dominates at in high school. 

9. St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) - Offesnive lineman Kyle Kalis (Committed to Ohio State)

Kalis reaffirmed his commitment to the Buckeyes but they'll know plenty of programs will continue to recruit one of the Midwest's top players.

10. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) - Offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley

It's a very good year for offensive linemen and Stanley is in the upper echelon with his size (6-foot-7, 290 pounds) and can handle any move defensive ends throw at him.

11. Katy (Katy, Texas) - Quarterback Brooks Haack

Haack is the triggerman for an offense that is normally very balanced but he could take advantage of defenses gearing up to stop the run by showing off his arm this season.

12. South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) - Defensive tackle Issac Gross (Committed to Ole Miss)

Gross mans the middle for the South Panola defense and is a quick tackle who has the size plenty of BCS programs were salivating over before he committed to the Rebels.

13. Centennial (Corona, Calif.) - Running back Romello Goodwin

Despite being the backup, Goodwin still turned in a very good season last year and figures to be rushing behind a very good offensive line.

14. Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.) - Linebacker Dominique Gibson

A rangy, athletic linebacker, Gibson should continue to make plays and rack up tackles despite a thin defenisve line infront of him.

15. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) - Athlete Stefon Diggs

One of the most explosive athletes in the class of 2012, Diggs changes direction on a dime and can blow by defenisve backs as easily as he can shutdown wide receivers. 

16. Harrison (Farmington Hills, Mich.) - Defensive end Mario Ojemudia (Committed to Michigan)

A storied high school program, Ojemudia is one of the best defenders to come through on the defensive line and is a terror for opposing offensive linemen to block.

17. Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) - Offensive tackle Patrick Miller

Dwyer will be searching for a new quarterback this season but luckliy for whoever starts at the position they won't have to worry about defenders coming from Miller's side as he has the frame and the movement you look for in a tackle.

18. Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) - Defensive tackle Tyrone Pearson

One of the top players in the region, the transfer from the Louisville area will be part of one of the top defensive lines in the country.

19. St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) - Linebacker Nate Gerbus

The biggest question mark for the team is at the linebacker spot but Gerbus should easily be able to hold down the fort.

20. Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) - Quarterback Travis Wright

Wright led an explosive offense a year ago and will place high expectations on his shoulders as he looks to prove he's one of the top quarterbacks in the state.

21. Aledo (Aledo, Texas) - Running back Johnathan Gray (Committed to Texas)

One of the top running backs in state history already, Gray figures to put up eye-popping numbers once again. A great blend of speed and power, he's the top running back in the country for the class of 2012.

22. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) - Wide receiver Jordan Payton (Committed to USC)

A known commodity since he burst onto the scene as a freshman, Payton has a good set of hands and runs very precise routes.

23. Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.) - Running back Latrell Dukes

Dukes was the team's leading rusher a year ago and figures to put up even better numbers in the Wing-T offense the school runs.

24. Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.) - Quarterback Connor Brewer (Committed to Texas)

Brewer does not have the strongest arm but he is among the most accurate quarterbacks in the country and has plenty of weapons around him to get the ball to.

25. Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) - Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (Class of 2013)

Nkemdiche is one of the top - if not the top - players in the next recruiting class. He's explosive, physically looks the part and already has the pass rush moves of someone much older.
Posted on: May 22, 2011 9:06 am
Edited on: May 22, 2011 9:19 am
 

Taft duo shines at Ohio State Nike Camp

Posted by Bryan Fischer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a talent-laden Elite 11 on the campus of Ohio State Friday, the Nike Football Camp on Saturday tried to match the talent level and may have ended up exceeding it overall based on the number of big names in attendance.

The latest stop in the camp circuit attracted several hundred of the nation's top athletes and one of the headliners was Cincinnati (Ohio) defensive end Adolphus Washington, who excelled during one-on-one drills once he got into the swing of things.

“I did pretty good,” Washington said. “I messed up in the one-on-ones the first time but overall I did pretty good. I came and bounced back.”

The 6-foot-3, 260 pound end had really good footwork outside of one rep and had a nice array of pass rush moves. He's compact but explosive and proved he was one of the top guys at his position.

“It's good competition to see who I have to go against in my class,” he said. “It's lets you know that other people are out there working. Just because you are one of the top (guys) in the country doesn't mean much, they're coming after you because you are one of the top guys.”

The Taft High product has the frame to add on weight and perhaps even the ability to move inside for some reps at defensive tackle. With almost too many scholarship offers to count, Washington has seen plenty of schools stop by during the evaluation period, including some big names in the past week.

Notre Dame on Monday, Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee,” he rattled off. “It was a couple of them.”

As hectic as things have been for Washington, he's managed to trim his list of schools down as he starts to focus on the recruiting process and the journey to eventually making a commitment.

“I actually have a top five: Ohio State, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan and Miami in Florida,” Washington said. “I'm not really crossing anybody out but that's my top five that I like right now.”

Washington hasn't taken any unofficial visits to see those five schools yet but he is about to put a check mark next to one of those schools pretty soon to indicate he's visited.

“Me and Dwayne (Stanford) are going to Michigan next week,” Washington said. “We're looking forward to looking at their roster, seeing how the social environment is, graduation rates, how do African-American students do at their school and things like that.”

The Wolverines are one of the programs that meet the criteria that Washington is looking for in a school. While he's still a few months away from pulling the trigger, the very confident defensive end knows what he is looking for and won't commit until he's comfortable that the school has all that he's looking for.

“I'm looking into academics first,” he said. “Do they have the major I'm trying to get my degree in? What's the social life there and see how the team works together and stuff like that.”

Washington has not really eliminated any schools but at this point in the process it will be hard for others outside his top five to jockey into position to land his signature on Signing Day. Even within his top five pretty much set, there are two schools who have been on Washington from the beginning and continue to recruit him as a top priority.

“Michigan is actually recruiting me the hardest,” he said. “Coach (Greg) Mattison and Coach (MarkSmith. Alabama too with Coach Sal (Sunseri).”

Though Washington didn't take home defensive end MVP Saturday, he was among the most polished pass rushers at the camp and you can easily tell why plenty of the nation's top programs are after the talented defender.

Stanford stands out too

While Washington was a stud on defense, his Cincinnati Taft High teammate Dwayne Stanford might have been even more impressive at wide receiver Saturday. With an outstanding frame and polished pass catching skills, it's easy to see why he is also among the country's best at the receiver position.

“I got to see where I was at today against some of the top DB's in the area and I think I showed I did pretty well,” Stanford said. “I didn't know any of them but I know from watching them that they were pretty good and knew what they were doing.”

Like many of the attendees, attending the Nike Camp was about more than just going through one-on-ones and catching passes.

“To get teaching, that's the main reason why I came here,” he said. “The first three hours I got teaching and I learned a lot about my footwork and route running. A lot of good stuff here. And also just to see where I'm at against the other top receivers out here. I'm always looking to get better against the best.”

The 6-foot-4, 200 pound wide out also listed a few of the schools to stop by Taft in the past few weeks and for Stanford, every school that does come by to evaluate him serves as motivation and part of the drive to be one of the best in the country at his position.

“This week we had Tennessee stop by, North Carolina, USC was here, some others,” Stanford said. “It's been busy. I'm working to get better and prove to these colleges that I am what they see.”

With a busy spring full of things to do, Stanford hasn't had a chance to see many of the schools who have extended him a verbal scholarship offer. With school about to be wrapped up, his schedule will be jam-packed with unofficial visits over the coming month or two this summer.

“Basically, I want to get around to all of these colleges on the East Coast,” he said. “Next weekend I'm going to try and make it up to Michigan and see them. I'm going to be on the road all of June.”

One of the things that he is looking to do is continue to play with his close friend and teammate Washington at the next level. While there's always talk of package deals in college football recruiting, it appears that it will be very hard to separate the two from signing with the same program.

“Definitely,” Stanford confirmed of the duo's playing together. “We're going to take most of our visits together. We'll sit down and see where's the best school for us individually and where the best school for us is together. Hopefully our individual schools are the same school that fits us best together. We definitely want to stay together and it's something we'll try and make happen.”

Unlike Washington however, Stanford hasn't narrowed down his list of over 20 offers and counting. It's clear that he wants to be able to do some research on a school and if possible see them for himself before naming a few top teams in the mix for his services.

“No, no really because I haven't taken any visits yet,” he said. “I took one to Cincinnati and Ohio State but those were during the season. Now I'm going to take these visits and really focus on seeing if it's a school that I can really see myself at.”

Academics are important to Stanford and his parents. While that is one of his top criteria in selecting a school, so too is how he fits into a program and the town that he'll live in for four or five years.

“I just want to see how the coaches use me and stuff like that,” he said. “I just want to feel like it's a good fit for me. The atmosphere and how it feels and that I like what's going on there.”

Mahone leaves lasting impression

Already one of the top running backs in the Midwest, Austintown (Ohio) athlete William Mahone didn't need to stop by Ohio State to show what he could do. But there he was at the Nike Camp, showing off a good burst, soft hands and many of the skills that get colleges from across the country excited just thinking about landing him.

“I felt like I did really good today, this is one of the best camps I've been to,” Mahone said. “There was some great competition out there today and I had a really good time.”

The 5-foot-10, 210 pounder was among the bigger running backs to show up and he tried to use that to his advantage during several of the drills. While he was best in the open field and taking on linebackers one-on-one, he did have to make a slight adjustment when it came to blocking individual defenders.

“I picked up on some more footwork drills and I need to work on my blocking,” he said. “I was surprised that we did some blocking today, I really wasn't ready for it. I kind of struggled with that a little bit so I know I need to work on it.

“It's different (without pads). You can't have that mentality where you want to take somebody out, you have to hold back a little.”

Already holding a double-digit offer list, Mahone continues to pick up scholarships weekly. The evaluation period has seen plenty of assistant coaches roll by Fitch High to get a look at him this spring and see how impressive he is in person.

“The most recent would be Minnesota about a week ago,” he said. “We've had Stanford stop by our high school. Pitt, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State and a lot of other schools.”

Most of Mahone's offers come from schools in the Midwest or along the East Coast. While many are several hundred miles away from home, he's still on the fence as to what's an acceptable distance away from home he's comfortable going.

“It would be kind of nice to stay home but then again, if I need to go, I'm going to go,” he said. “I guess you could say I'm on the fence about distance away from home.”

There's plenty of other factors that will go into his decision however.

“I want a good relationship with the coaching staff, I want to feel like a family,” he said. “Coaching stability. I also want to be able to get on the field as soon as I can.”

Mahone has taken a few unofficial visits already this past year and has seen Michigan State, Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia already. He plans on visiting Notre Dame and Boston College in the near future but there already seems to be one school emerging as a leader for his commitment.

“The best relationship I have with coaches is at Pittsburgh,” Mahone said. “They're just warm and embracive. I went down there for my first visit with the new staff and they were real cool. I went back a month later, me and my mom went down there, and it was even better. I saw the campus and feel like I can have great success there.”

The plan is to narrow his list of schools down this summer and then take all five official visits before verbally committing sometime during the season.

Knapp stands out along the offensive line

One of the great things about the Nike Camps are the chance to see a player perform well that might be a little under the radar. Portage (Mich.) offensive tackle Kyle Knapp isn't heavily recruited but he has seen his stock rise as of late and he did nothing to slow it down Saturday, picking up the group's MVP award and shutting down some big time defensive linemen in one-on-ones.

“It's just a great feeling, I've been working at it for a long time, non-stop,” Knapp said. “I'm ready to continue it and keep working my butt off to keep it going.”

The 6-foot-4, 265 pound Knapp has a great frame and looks to be a natural left tackle. He could get a little stronger but is very athletic and moves well, stays balanced when pass blocking and has a very quick drop step. He needed all his skills during the competition given the talent he had to face.

“There were some really good defensive linemen,” he said. “They're quick and big but I feel like I handled myself well. I'm going to continue to work on my pass blocking and keep going. The coaches helped me with everything.”

Knapp is still a bit under the radar in the Midwest but is seeing his stock rise after performing well at several camps this spring. While he has yet to pick up his first BCS offer, he's got a solid group of schools who have extended a scholarship and will likely pick up a lot more once coaches get a hold of his film.

“I've got six right now, Western Michigan, Toledo, Ball State, Bowling Green, FIU and South Alabama,” he said. “There are some other schools talking with me but I'm not sure who's close to offering. Michigan has come by for a transcript visit. Iowa has come by for a transcript visit, Syracuse too.”

It will be a busy summer for Knapp with the trip to Columbus being just a pitstop along the way. He doesn't mind competing and will have plenty of chances to prove he's one of the better prospects in the region along the offensive line.

“I've got a lot of camps coming up,” he said. “I'm going to a one-day Wisconsin camp, Iowa's Elite camp. I'm going to go to Notre Dame... I've got them all, I've got a loaded schedule.”

Knapp said will wait until the fall to see how his recruiting plays out and likely commit halfway through the season.

Notes

- While plenty of parents were wearing Ohio State gear on the sidelines of the camp, there wasn't any being worn on the field. Ironically it was archival Michigan's maize and blue that littered the field. Quarterback Shane Morris, linebacker James Ross and cornerback Terry Richardson were among the top performers and represented their future school well on enemy territory. Richardson was the most recent to commit to going to Ann Arbor for college and discussed his verbal pledge last week.

“I committed to Michigan because I felt comfortable with them,” he said. “I did like Alabama and all the other schools but I felt the best at Michigan and that's why I picked them. I have a lot of friends going there and we'll make it happen up there.”

Richardson injured his hamstring at a track meet the night before running the 200 meters but still managed to lock down opposing receivers. He was one of several players whispering in a few recruits' ears about how good it was to be a Michigan man.

- In addition to Knapp taking home offensive line MVP honors, Morris took home quarterback MVP. Kansas City (Mo.) Ondre Pipkins was a terror during one-on-ones and was defensive line MVP while Ray Harris was running backs MVP, Tre Parmalee was wide receiver MVP, Jaylon Smith was linebackers MVP and Sebastian Smith was defensive back MVP.

- Others that impressed along the defensive line were Michigan commit Mario Ojemudia, who should be a very good outside linebacker at the next level, Se'Von Pittman, class of 2013 defensive end Jason Hatcher, tackle Sheldon Day, Pipkins, Alex Pace and Dayrl Goldsmith.

- The defensive backs had a very good day, with Cameron Burrows, Marcus Foster, Shaquille Davis and De'Van Bogard among those that impressed. The linebacker group was also deep and the aforementioned Ross was one of the top players in space. Class of 2013 prospect Mike McCray looked good and David Perkins also impressed with how well he moved.

- Stanford was easily the top guy at the receiver position, using his long arms to snag whatever was thrown his way. He's a good, polished route runner who gets into and out of breaks well and has deceptive speed for someone with his build. Corey Smith, Kevin Davis, Jeremy Graves, Gervon Simon and Urston Smith also performed well. Zeke Pike bounced back from a rough day at the Elite 11 to throw the ball much better. Pat Dill was another signal caller who looked good.

Posted on: April 25, 2011 9:15 am
 

4/25 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Great week ahead with the NFL Draft coming up. Always interesting to see the stories come out about how the players were rated coming out of high school.

- Oklahoma running back Donovan Roberts will visit Arkansas on Wednesday and could end up committing.

- A former Arena League quarterback is tutoring several Tampa area recruits in the art of quarterback.

- A diary of the recruiting process from offensive tackle Duaron Williams.

- Michigan commit Devin Funchess is more focused on football now. An update on his teammate, defensive end Mario Ojemudia.
 
 
 
 
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