Tag:New Mexico
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:30 pm

Friday Kouandjio update

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Auburn or Alabama? That’s a choice Cyrus Kouandjio will have the weekend to think about according to The Washington Post.

"I'm going to go through the weekend, sit down and talk to everybody," Kounadjio told the Post after school. "You know, see their opinions on things."

Kounadjio’s father said on Thursday that his son is also considering Iowa but it appears the Hawkeyes have been dropped as of Friday afternoon. The 6-foot-7, 300 pound offensive tackle also considered New Mexico earlier in the recruiting process.

Kounadjio’s family ties appear to be making the decision difficult with several outlets saying his parents favor Alabama, where his brother Arie is a freshman offensive lineman. Cyrus is MaxPrep’s third-ranked player overall and top offensive tackle for the class of 2011.

In the meantime, Alabama and Auburn fans have to be relieved that they will have a weekend to help recruit Kounadjio on his Facebook page. 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 6:22 pm

DeMatha coach says Kouandjio 'looked miserable'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn fans won't want to hear it, but to listen to Cyrus Kouandjio's high school coach, his announcement today that he'd be playing for the Tigers left him far from satisfied.

Longtime DeMatha head coach Bill McGregor spoke to our colleagues at Maxpreps and told them that Kouandjio seemed "miserable" during what's typically one of the most joyous moments of a recruit's life:
"I figured everything was done (after the press conference) and all of a sudden Auburn calls and says that he hasn't faxed anything in.

"Then somebody said, 'Cyrus isn't happy with his decision.'

Kouandjio told McGregor, who is one of the nation's most successful coaches, "I don't know if it's the decision I wanted to make" ...

"The ironic part is that he looked miserable when he made his decision (on national television). It was like a cloud of gloom."
Kouandjio has reportedly elected to hold off on signing his letter of intent until a later date, a report he all but verified by writing on Facebook that he was "not completely sure" about his decision and would "just wait."

Putting that 2 together with the 2 of McGregor's comments, and it seems clear that Kouandjio's sure about very little regarding his decision at this point. Whether he ultimately sticks with his Auburn announcement, switches to the Alabama program to join his older brother Arie Kouandjio, or even throws the unthinkable curveball in the direction of New Mexico is anyone's guess right now ... including maybe even Kouandjio himself.

Posted on: January 31, 2011 7:45 pm

Where's Cyrus Kouandjio going?

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Who: Hyattsville (MD) offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. MaxPreps’ top offensive tackle and third-ranked player overall.

What’s the big deal: Frankly, Kouandjio is the 2011 version of Seantrel Henderson from last year. At 6-foot-7 and 325 pounds, Kouandjio is the perfect size for a dominating left tackle. He may be slightly ahead as a run blocker than as a pass blocker but he is athletic enough to hold his own no matter what. Strong and without much bad weight on his frame, most of his focus should be devoted to learning the playbook when he steps on campus.

When: He will announce on Signing Day at 8:05 AM ET at the Team USA vs. The World All-Star Game.

Considering: Alabama, Auburn, Iowa and New Mexico.

Best guess: Alabama. Kouandjio’s older brother, Arie, is a lineman for the Crimson Tide already and it seems like it would be tough to go against the thought of playing alongside one’s brother. Cyrus has been very adamant in public comments that he will make his own decision and his recent visit to Auburn was taken by many as a sign that the Tigers are a serious contender. It’s hard to see him passing up Alabama however, especially as hard as they’ve been recruiting him.

Posted on: January 23, 2011 1:56 pm

NFC Championship players a long way from recruits

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Today’s NFC Championship game between Green Bay and Chicago pits two great rivals and many of the NFL’s best players against each other. Although some were all-world recruits coming out of high school, most were not. Just listen to the players when they announce their alma maters, mixed in with the USC’s and Florida’s are Abilene Christian and a few directional schools.

B.J. Raji was a two-star, 6-foot-2, 295 pound defensive tackle from Washington Township (NJ) in the class of 2004. His only other offers were from Rutgers and Wisconsin and he selected Boston College shortly after his official visit there. An anchor for the Eagles defense, he was a third-team AP All-American and first-team All-ACC pick his senior year. The Packers selected him ninth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers was jealous of Raji’s offer list. After having zero Division I offers out of high school in Oroville, CA, Rodgers went to Butte Junior College. Cal coach Jeff Tedford noticed Rodgers while recruiting a tight end at Butte and eventually turned him into one of the most productive quarterbacks in Cal history. After some thought he could be the overall number one pick in 2005, he slid to Green Bay with the 24th overall pick and the rest is (fairly recent) history.

Despite having a famous last name, Clay Matthews was an unranked linebacker in the class of 2004 coming out of high school. He walked-on at USC and used the weight room to transform himself. He eventually received a scholarship in 2006 and was part of a fearsome front seven at USC in 2009 that was one of the best defenses in college football. The Packers grabbed Matthews with the 26th pick in 2009 and he will likely end up as the NFL’s defensive player of the year.

Similar stories are abound on the Bears as well. Brian Urlacher was actually a wide receiver coming out of high school and only held offers from New Mexico and New Mexico State. After heading to New Mexico, head coach Dennis Franchione flipped Urlacher to linebacker and he eventually led the nation in tackles his junior year. Selected ninth overall in 2000, the seven time Pro-Bowler has been a mainstay on the Bears and one of the most recognizable defenders in the league.

Unlike the aforementioned players, Julius Peppers might be the player with the most hype coming out of high school and college. A Parade All-American coming out of South Nash Senior High (NC), Peppers went on to finish second on the all-time sacks list at North Carolina and won the Bednarik and Lombardi Awards. The second overall pick in 2002, Peppers was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year and hasn’t looked back since.

Numerous other players took off-the-beaten paths to get to the NFC Championship game though. Bears running back Matt Forte was a two-star back who went to Tulane. Starting tackle J’Marcus Webb was a top recruit from the Dallas-area who signed with Texas. He eventually transferred to a junior college before finishing up at West Texas A&M. Devin Hester was a five-star corner who took his talents to ‘The U’ and had great success there. The Packers A.J. Hawk was a three-star linebacker from Centerville (OH) who eventually became one of the best Ohio State linebackers in recent memory and a first round pick.

As many of these players will tell you, it’s not about where you start, it is how hard you work and how you finish. A win today and another in a few weeks and any star ratings they may have had in high school will just look funny while they're holding up the Lombardi Trophy.

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