Tag:Rick Neuheisel
Posted on: April 10, 2011 12:58 am
Edited on: April 10, 2011 1:01 am
 

Dewey shines at TCU Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Some of the top quarterbacks from Texas and the Midwest descended upon TCU's campus for the second stop in the 2011 edition of the Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp Saturday afternoon.

Although several quarterbacks impressed on a slightly windy but otherwise picturesque spring day, Austin (Texas) quarterback Preston Dewey threw a tight spiral and displayed a strong and accurate arm to take home the Golden Gun Award as the top signal caller at the camp.

"It felt really good, all the hard work I've been doing paid off today," Dewey said. "I just came out here to do what I can do and show everybody that I can play at the next level."

Dewey might have been the best quarterback at either Elite 11 camp this year in terms of being a complete player. He had good footwork and never got off balance too much when throwing. He held the ball tight and has a good release that gets the ball to where he wants it quickly. Dewey has a very good arm that can make all the throws.

The 6-foot-3, 210 pound quarterback is as intriguing off the field as he is on it. Previously at Austin-area powerhouse Westlake High, Dewey transferred to local private school St. Andrew's Episcopal. Taking advantage of transfer regulations, he reclassified to the class of 2012, giving him an extra year of high school.

"A couple people have done it and it's not real common," he said. "Brock Mansion did it at Cal and T.J. Millweard did it at (private Fort Worth school) All Saints. I checked out all the NCAA stuff and if I can be eligible and I can. There's no problem with that. I want to be where I am right now and I want to be recruited by who I am right now instead of going to a smaller school or walking-on."

The 18-year-old Dewey is using the extra time at the prep level to his advantage. Not only did the transfer allow him to start right away at quarterback, it also meant that he could have more time learning from St. Andrew's head coach and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Ty Detmer.

"It's awesome," Dewey said. "With his background, he has all the knowledge in the world. He's helped me out a ton. I think I've learned more about football this past year than I have my entire life just because of everything he knows about the game. I couldn't have asked for a better coach."

As a result of a strong "junior" season last year under Detmer, Dewey is seeing his recruiting picking up. He is up to four scholarship offers, including two from the Pac-12.

"UCLA I actually had never talked to (until recently)," he said. "I was in school and my dad texted me that UCLA just offered. I was like, 'Are you serious?' That was my first big offer.

"Utah and Wyoming both sent me an email and said call them. So I did and they both offered me on the same night. It's pretty exciting knowing Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel, guys who have been around the game and know what they're looking for in a quarterback, have offered me a scholarship. It's humbling and gives me a lot of confidence."

Because his offers are from schools located around the country, Dewey realizes he will probably be leaving the state to play college football. He was hoping to play for Texas A&M, where his father played football, but the Aggies already have a quarterback for the class of 2012 in San Antonio (Texas) signal caller Trevor Knight. Texas showed some interest but backed off after picking up a commitment from Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback Connor Brewer.

"I still want to go to a big school that can compete for a national championship," Dewey said. "I've kind of accepted the fact that I'm going to have to go out of the state and pretty far from home. I really don't have a problem with it."

Dewey says he would like to make a commitment at the end of the summer or right before the start of the season. He's already taken unofficial visits to several schools, including Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson and South Carolina.

Tech commit Nicholas looks sharp

Abilene (Texas) quarterback Clayton Nicholas was one of the few campers in attendance who actually had already committed to a school. A Texas Tech pledge, he preformed well throughout the session and displayed a strong arm but wasn't perfect as he readily admitted.

"I did alright, I missed a throw here or there but you've got to learn from it," Nicholas. "You've got to get the ball downfield and do what you have to do."

The 6-foot-3, 200 pound Nicholas had a very quick drop back and delivery but tended to drop his arm angle at times. He needs to work on throwing over the top a bit more which will should translate into improved accuracy for his otherwise strong arm. Nicholas understood that the camp was also an opportunity to work on things mentally in order to improve as a quarterback.

"I really come out here to work on leadership, command, knowing what all the players are doing what the route is, everything," he said. "All the things an Elite 11 quarterback would work on."

While it is almost common place for verbal commitments to continue to look around as part of the recruiting process leading up to Signing Day, Nicholas seems to be sold on the Red Raiders and firmly committed.

"I am solid with them," Nicholas said. "They're the only school really talking with me and they're the only school I'm looking at. It's a good school for me and they like to throw it around which is what I'm made for.

"All of the offensive coaches have been really good to me."

Nicholas was unsure if he was going to show up Sunday for the TCU Nike Camp but if he did, he might do a little recruiting for the Red Raiders.

Other quarterbacks of note

Underclassmen who made an impression at the event were 2013 quarterback Kenny Hill of nearby powerhouse Southlake Carroll High and 2014 quarterback Jerrod Heard. Seniors-to-be Brady Burgin of Highland Park (Texas), Houston (Texas) quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe and Allen (Texas) quarterback Alec Morris also stood out. Grand Prairie (Texas) quarterback Jared Johnson also looked good and was very accurate but will likely be recruited as an athlete due to his height (about 5-foot-10). Virginia Tech commit and local quarterback T.J. Millweard did not show up.

Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:13 am
 

Class comparison: USC vs. UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're still digesting the class of 2011 and what better way to look at it than through the lens of two rivals. USC and UCLA have a bitter rivalry but it's been a bit one-sided on the recruiting trail for the last decade. Rick Neuheisel didn't have as many scholarships to hand out for the class of 2011 but in the end, that didn't matter that much.

USC vs. UCLA
Quarterback

Cody Kessler and Max Wittek vs. Brett Hundley. USC has always been able to pluck the best quarterback from Southern California and this year they grabbed not one, but two of them (and got them to enroll early to boot). That said, Hundley is an exciting quarterback and it would shock no one if the early enrollee was the starter coming out of fall camp. He should fit in the Pistol offense better than any other UCLA quarterback under Neuheisel.

Running Back
 

Javorius Allen and Amir Carlisle vs. Steven Manfro. Allen is a bigger back that should vie for playing time after a redshirt year as USC’s backfield thins out. Carlisle is a very versatile guy and is a steal (literally, from Stanford) in this class.

Wide Receiver
 

George Farmer, Victor Blackwell, Junior Pomee and Marqise Lee vs. Devin Lucien. Not only does USC beat UCLA four-to-one in terms of numbers, Lucien might not be as talented as any of the four wide outs the Trojans bring in. Farmer is the top wide out in the country and would have been enough to tilt this category in favor of USC alone.

Tight end

 

Raymond Nelson and Connor McDermott. USC didn’t sign a tight end in this class, though Pomee could add weight and slide inside. McDermott’s height might make him an offensive tackle at the next level but he’s very athletic. Nelson is a solid fit and could see early playing time.

Offensive Line
 

Jeremy Galten, David Garness, Cyrus Hobbi, Marcus Martin and Aundrey Walker vs. Jake Brendel, Will Oliver, Torian White and Ben Wysocki. Both teams were thin at the offensive line and they both addressed their needs. USC grabbed two of the top interior lineman in the country in Hobbi and Walker and also grabbed some junior college players to help with the numbers. Brendel could be a sleeper and White was one of the better lineman from Southern California.

Defensive Line
 

Charles Burks, Greg Townsend Jr., J.R. Tavai, DeVante Wilson, Christian Heyward, Cody Temple, Antwaun Woods and Steve Dillon vs. Sam Tai, Kevin McReynolds and Brandon Tuliaupupu. Townsend, Woods and Heyward are three players with all-league potential and there’s no telling with the rest of the group once Ed Orgeron gets his hands on them. McReynolds should see early playing time and also has the tools of an all-conference performer.

Linebacker
 

Lamar Dawson, Dallas Kelley, Tre Madden and Anthony Sarao vs. Ryan Hofmeister, Mike Orloff and Aaron Wallace Jr. UCLA picks up several players with high upside, especially the physically impressive Wallace. USC grabs players who will be expected to help out right away and talented out-of-staters Dawson and Sarao are two very good gets for linebackers coach Joe Barry.

Secondary

Ryan Henderson and Isiah Wiley. UCLA didn’t sign a single defensive back in 2012, which is hard to believe. Henderson is very nice prospect and Wiley should be able to get into the rotation right away.

Overall
 

Call it a knockout in favor of the Trojans, this one wasn’t even close. UCLA was limited in the number of scholarships they were able to give out but then again, USC was supposed to be too. In the end, the Trojans signed double the number of players, which is quite amazing and a credit to how good a recruiter Lane Kiffin is. Given the sanctions, one would have expected UCLA to take advantage with this class but it appears they took advantage of no one in the class of 2011.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:38 pm
 

Pac-12 Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the Pac-12:

WINNERS

USC
: Maybe you can't explain it, but you can't deny it, either: Lane Kiffin is a phenomenon on the recruiting trail. Whether it was pulling linebacker Lamar Dawson out of Kentucky, Ohio tackle Aundrey Walker (pictured) out of the clutches of Ohio State, or defensive lineman Christian Heyward from down the road in San Diego, the Trojans were every bit as everywhere on Signing Day as they were in their Pete Carroll heyday. Recruits like athlete Marqise Lee (likely the next USC stud safety) and Jan 28. guard commitment Cyrus Hobbi should be cornerstones for Kiffin for years to come ... not to mention longtime Trojan commitments like receiver George Farmer (the nation's No. 20 player) who signed on the dotted line as expected. Losing De'anthony Thomas to the current Pac-12 overlords in Eugene stings, no doubt, but it doesn't change the fact that no team in the country helped themselves more on Signing Day than Kiffin's. NCAA sanctions, schmenCAA schmanctions.

Oregon: The Ducks struck both early and late on Signing Day. They started at just after 8 a.m. EST by plucking Traverse City offensive lineman Jake Fisher out of northern Michigan, a player Chip Kelly would later say compares to any lineman in the country. Things got even better some 14 hours later when Thomas -- the nation's No. 15 player and a beyond-perfect fit for Kelly's light-speed offense and the open spaces it creates -- became the highest-profile Signing Day switch in the country. Inbetween those two highs the Ducks missed out on a handful of California prospects (like Heyward and Lee), but after signing what's likely the strongest class in school history and gleefully robbing Kiffin of his highest-ranked recruit, no one's going to complain.

Washington: As nice as the Duck haul was, before the Thomas news our Maxpreps team rankings still had the Huskies as the No. 2 class in the Pac-12 and the No. 15 class nationally. Steve Sarkisian didn't bring in any surprise last-minute signings -- in fact, their Signing Day might have been a net negative with tailback Kameron Jackson's flip to Cal balancing the addition of Ventura (Ca.) JUCO quarterback Antavius Sims -- but it was a day of celebration all the same after U-Dub dominated the state of Washington. Following last week's conversion of Washington State- committed tailback Bishop Sankey of Spokane, all five of the Seattle Times "Blue Chip" selections for the state wound up Huskies. They'll likely have to cast their net a little wider in the future, but locking down top-notch in-state talent like five-star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Maxpreps' No. 27 player overall) is a excellent way to build on the momentum of the Huskies' Holiday Bowl win.

LOSERS

Utah:
We mentioned in our Pac-12 Signing Day preview that the Utes would likely need to sign both Moreno Valley (Calif.) teammates Ryan Anderson -- a defensive back and Ute commit -- and Junior Pomee, a coveted wide receiver, to make a splash in their new conference digs. Instead, Kiffin and USC stole away both players. The Utes still signed several nice players (most notably running back Harvey Langi), but on paper this isn't the sort of class that announces the Utes as a major West Coast player.

Arizona State: When you lose a blue-chip hometown prospect on Signing Day because he just so happened to see a license plate from the state representing your competition , it has officially been a bad day. At least the Sun Devils kept quarterback Michael Eubanks from deserting to Utah ... but then again, they couldn't do the same with Chino (Calif.) athlete Quinton Pedroza, who flipped to the Utes. With only 13 players, the Sun Devil class appears to have neither quantity nor a particularly high level of quality.

UCLA: Signing Day wasn't actually all that bad for the Bruins; landing Washington D.C. defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds was arguably the biggest pickup of Rick Neuheisel's entire class, and the Bruins avoided any high-profile decommitments from players like California lineman Torian White (who'd had a serious flirtation with USC) or top receiving recruit Devin Lucien. But the glaring contrast between the hole UCLA had already dug for themselves on the recruiting trail and Kiffin's smashing Signing Day successes meant that the Bruins were going to end up looking like L.A. losers no matter what they did Wednesday.

VIDEO

CBS College Sports' Aaron Taylor breaks down the state of Pac-12 recruiting:

Posted on: February 2, 2011 12:49 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 12:50 pm
 

Good news for UCLA as McReynolds picks Bruins

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If you were watching CBS College Sports a few minutes ago -- and if you weren't, why not? -- you saw Rick Neuheisel get what had to be the best news he's gotten in a while: defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds announced for our CBSCS viewers that he'll be attending UCLA.

The 6'3", 304-pound sparkplug selected the Bruins over heavy interest from programs as diverse as Kansas State, Mississippi State and Syracuse. Tom Lemming rates McReynolds as the nation's No. 5 defensive tackle thanks to his leverage skills and run-stopping ability, with McReynolds showing off his talents at the Under Armour All-American game.

It's been something of a rocky recruiting season for Neuheisel as he worked to overhaul his coaching staff and deal with the fallout from the Bruins' disappointing season, and his failures on the trail have only been magnified by the work done by Lane Kiffin. But McReynolds represents a huge pickup, and shows that the Trojans don't have a monopoly on good Signing Day news out of Los Angeles today.

More Signing Day coverage   is here  at CBS.
Posted on: January 15, 2011 6:41 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Star-studded weekend for Los Angeles schools

Posted by Bryan Fischer 

The high in Los Angeles was a toasty 80 degrees Saturday afternoon. With weather like that, it’s easy to see why millions live there and millions more come to visit every year. It’s also easy to see why USC and UCLA are hosting their biggest recruiting weekend of the year. Both schools are bringing in a star-studded list of recruits from all over the country, both committed and uncommitted. 

USC commitments such as wide receiver George Farmer, running back De’Anthony Thomas, defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, defensive ends Greg Townsend Jr. and Steve Dillon, guard Marcus Martin and linebacker Kent Turene are in for their official visits. Although this is not Turene’s (from Sunrise, FL) first visit to campus, it should go a long way in keeping his commitment firm after taking visits to Nebraska and Tennessee. 

Head coach Lane Kiffin and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron are looking to grab some of the uncommitted prospects in for a visit such as tight end Junior Pomee, athlete Marqise Lee, tackles Cyrus Hobbi and Aundrey Walker, linebacker Lamar Dawson, running back Buck Allen and safeties Marcus Roberson and Enrique Florence. Of that group, Pomee, Lee and Hobbi are the best bets to eventually sign with USC but none are sure things. Keep an eye out for Utah cornerback commit Ryan Henderson to possibility put on the Trojans hat as well. Not hurting the Trojans’ cause, the recruits will be staying at the posh J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live a few miles from campus. 

UCLA will have to overcome coaching uncertainty with their high profile list of visitors. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow is working out the details with the school for his departure to Utah and his replacement, former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, hasn’t officially come on board so he can’t recruit this weekend. Head coach Rick Neuheisel still hasn’t hired a defensive coordinator either. 

The remaining coaching staff will look to shore up the commitments of linemen Jake Brendel, Torian White and Ben Wysocki and linebacker Ryan Hofmeister. One of the top defensive ends in the nation, Jermauria Rasco is also coming into visit but it is highly unlikely that he picks the Bruins. Several other recruits who are committed elsewhere or uncommitted are defensive tackle Danny Shelton, tight end Conor McDermott, cornerback Stefan McClure, receiver Devin Lucien, defensive end Puka Lopa and tackle Fou Fonoti. Look for the Bruins to land one or two off this list despite the coaching turnover. 

For all of the athletes on their official visit, especially the ones from out of state, this isn’t a bad weekend to visit either school at all.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com