Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: August 22, 2011 11:03 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
One could technically include this class in the Big East rankings but they top the Mountain West rankings for the last time. Quarterback Tyler Matthews has had a terrific summer and is a sharp signal-caller and the rest of the class is full of speed athletes like defensive back Daje Johnson.
2. Boise State
There seems to be more talent in this class, at this point, than other years thanks to the rise in the Broncos' profile. The staff has done well in talent-rich Florida, Texas and California and have a great quarterback incoming in Nick Patti.
3. San Diego State
The departure of head coach Brady Hoke last year means a new recruiting pitch for the Aztecs but they've managed to bring in some quality players. Quarterback Matt Morin is a strong-armed pick up for the program and they have several other underrated local talents halfway until Signing Day.
4. Air Force
It's always hard to judge service academy recruiting classes but at the moment, Air Force is winning the recruiting version of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Running back Johnathan Johnson has BCS offers and the rest of the class is full of solid players.
5. Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming
These four school do not have any commitments for the class of 2012.
Posted on: August 2, 2011 8:39 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the Big East and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.
Big East Commitment List
Best class: TCU
The Horned Frogs are taking advantage of the move to a BCS conference on the recruiting trail, pulling in a very good class that isn't too far off of the other in-state powers. They've got two good quarterbacks in Austin Aune and Top 100 signal-caller Tyler Matthews, both of whom should benefit from a redshirt year once the arrive on campus. Tight end Griffin Gilbert is a bit of an under-the-radar guy but he catches everything thrown his way and could certainly add to the pro-style offense the team runs. Stud athlete Daje Johnson should be an all-conference performer in no time under Gary Patterson.
Work left to do: Rutgers
It's a solid but not spectacular class for the Scarlet Knights. They have some good pieces that fills some needs but there is no impact player that can come in and make an impact from day one like Savon Huggins was as part of last year's class.
Under the radar class: USF
The Bulls have the smallest class on the list but they have some players who could come in and play right away in tight end Sean Price and cornerback Chris Bivins. They picked up a quarterback who flashed a lot of potential in limited time last year in Tyler Cameron and have done a good job of grabbing other players who could play at one of the state's big three. They still need to find some more players to fill it out but halfway to Signing Day, the program is in good shape.
Top commit: Quarterback Bennie Coney (Plant City, Fla.), committed to Cincinnati.
Loading up: Louisville on offensive linemen (4), West Virginia on wide receivers (4), Cincinnati on defensive backs (4).
Frequent Fliers: Louisville, Syracuse and West Virginia, each with commitments from seven states.
Fence builders: TCU, 13 of 15 commitments from Texas.
Road to Signing Day storyline: Will the new coaches be able to close out?
The Big East is full of new head coaches (and a few entering their sophomore seasons) who are looking to close out their first full recruiting classes with a bang. Dana Holgorsen is out of his normal recruiting area at West Virginia but so far has done well, grabbing very good athletes such as Deontay McManus. Todd Graham has made in-roads at Pitt early on and could land some quality local athletes as well. But it's a long six months to Signing Day and it will be interesting to see if they can make their first effort at their new school a building block for the future.
Top 25 Teams:
22. West Virginia
Posted on: August 2, 2011 7:40 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 8:36 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The month of July has come to a close and what better time to take a broad overview of how a conference is doing on the recruiting trail than the first week in August, roughly six months from Signing Day. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Big East, where every school has a double-digit commitment list.
Offensive lineman Deyshawn Bond (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive back Kevin Brown (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive back Drake Burns (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Running back Deionte Buckley (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive end Jonathan Burt (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Linebacker Errol Clarke (Miami, Fla.)
Quarterback Bennie Coney (Plant City, Fla.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Athlete Alex Dale (Memphis, Tenn.)
Defensive back Marcus Foster (Troy, Ohio)
Wide receiver Jeremy Graves (Maple Heights, Ohio)
Defensive back Andre Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Defensive end Ryan Leahy (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Wide receiver Vincent Miller (Lexington, Ky.)
Defensive end Josh Posley (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Offensive lineman Kyle Williamson (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Defensive end Brendan Battles (North Eastham, Mass.)
Wide receiver Neally Cunningham (Palm Bay, Fla.)
Running back Montrell Dobbs (New Berlin, N.Y.)
Linebacker Jon Hicks (Paimyra, Pa.)
Defensive back Chauncey Lanier (Davie, Fla.)
Athlete Michael Ellis Marder (Orlando, Fla.)
Defensive back Obi Melifonwu (Grafton, Mass.)
Defensive tackle Mikal Myers (Newburgh, N.Y.)
Linebacker Elijah Norris (Washington, D.C.)
Kicker Bobby Puyol (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Tyler Samra (Ramsey, N.J.)
Linebacker Jason Sylva (Plymouth, Mass.)
Defensive back Jhavon Williams (Wellington, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Sid Anvoots (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Kicker Joshua Appleby (Harvest, Ala.)
Athlete Demetrius Frazier (Brunswick, Ga.)
Quarterback Will Gardner (Douglas, Ga.)
Offensive lineman DeAndre Herron (Avon, Ind.)
Defensive back Kevin Houchins (South Eucid, Ohio)
Defensive end Larry Jefferson (College Park, Ga.)
Offensive lineman T.C. Klusman (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Offensive lineman Joe Manley (Bowling Green, Ky.)
Defensive back Devontre Parnell (Winnsboro, S.C.)
Linebacker Daqual Randall (Palmetto, Fla.)
Wide receiver Brandon Snell (Miami, Fla.)
Defensive back Marchez Coates (Pomfret, Md.)
Wide receiver Trenton Coles (Clairton, Pa.)
Linebacker Dakota Conwell (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Brandyn Cook (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Wide receiver Chris Davis (Austintown, Ohio)
Athlete Demitrious Davis (Austintown, Ohio)
Defensive back Marzett Geter (McKees Rocks, Pa.)
Defensive end Myles Hilliard (Bedford, Ohio)
Defensive back William Parks (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Quarterback Chad Voytik (Cleveland, Tenn.)
Linebacker Alkwan Williams (Johnstown, Pa.)
Wide receiver Carlton Agudosi (Franklin, N.J.)
Offensive lineman Brandon Arcidiaconco (Warminster, Pa.)
Kicker Kyle Federico (Ponte Vedra, Fla.)
Tight end Michael Giacone (Jersey City, N.J.)
Athlete Davon Jacobs (Wayne, N.J.)
Linebacker Steve Longa (Saddle Brook, N.J.)
Offensive lineman Chris Muller (Boyertown, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Derrick Nelson (Washington, D.C.)
Wide receiver Ruhann Peele (Linden, N.J.)
Running back Desmon Peoples (Warminister, Pa.)
Defensive end Julian Pinnix-Odrick (Montclair, N.J.)
Quarterback Blake Rankin (Bloomsburg, Pa.)
Athlete Delon Stephenson (Parlin, N.J.)
South Florida (10)
Offensive lineman Kofi Amichia (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Defensive back Chris Bivins (Gainesville, Fla.)
Quarterback Tyler Cameron (Jupiter, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Reno Henderson (Ocala, Fla.)
Wide receiver Rayshawn Jenkins (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Defensive end Daniel Perry (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Tight end Sean Price (Citra, Fla.)
Defensive back Jalen Spencer (Pensacola, Fla.)
Defensive back D.J. White (McDonogh, Ga.)
Athlete LaMarlin Wiggins (Plant City, Fla.)
Defensive end Poncho Barnwell (Rochester, N.Y.)
Offensive lineman Ben Barrett (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Defensive tackle Harold Brantley (Hershey, Pa.)
Defensive tackle Marcus Coleman (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
Wide receiver Alvin Cornelius (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Defensive end Jason Emerich (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.)
Defensive back Dontez Ford (McKees Rocks, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Kyle Knapp (Portage, Mich.)
Athlete Ben Lewis (Middletown, Md.)
Athlete Devante McFarland (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Linebacker Leroy Owens (Palatka, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Omari Palmer (Middle Island, N.Y.)
Tight end Joshua Parris (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Linebacker James Washington (Winter Park, Fla.)
Defensive back Julian Whigham (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Linebacker Tashon Whitehurst (Gainesville, Fla.)
Running back LaDarius Anthony (Kilgore, Texas)
Quarterback Austin Aune (Argyle, Texas)
Running back B.J. Catalon (Houston, Texas)
Wide receiver Ricky Collins (Kilgore JUCO, Kilgore, Texas)
Defensive end Devonte Fields (Arlington, Texas)
Tight end Griffin Gilbert (Austin, Texas)
Defensive tackle Joey Hunt (El Campo, Texas)
Athlete Daje Johnson (Plugerville, Texas)
Running back Rashodrick Linwood (Linden, Texas)
Athlete Kolby Listenbee (Arlington, Texas)
Quarterback Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive end James McFarland (West Monroe, La.)
Kicker Jaden Oberkrom (Arlington, Texas)
Kicker Ethan Perry (Spring Branch, Texas)
Defensive back Edward Pope (Carthage, Texas)
West Virginia (17)
Defensive tackle Imarjaye Albury (Miami, Fla.)
Quarterback Ford Childress (Houston, Texas)
Defensive back Da'Quan Davis (Towson, Md.)
Running back Jarrod Harper (Frostburg, Md.)
Linebacker Joseph Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Wide receiver Darreall Joyner (Miami, Fla.)
Linebacker Sam Lebbie (Hyattsville, Md.)
Offensive lineman Tony Matteo (Akron, Ohio)
Wide receiver Deontay McManus (Baltimore, Md.)
Athlete Brandon Napoleon (Jersey City, N.J.)
Defensive end Bret Niederreither (Lewisberry, Pa.)
Defensive end Noble Nwachukwu (Wylie, Texas)
Offensive lineman Tyler Orlosky (Lakewood, Ohio)
Athlete Albert Reid (Washington, D.C.)
Wide receiver Devonte Robinson (Delray Beach, Fla.)
Athlete J.T. Washington (Satellite Beach, Fla.)
Wide receiver Trevor Williams (Towson, Md.)
Tags: Albert Reid, Alex Dale, Alkwan Williams, Alvin Cornelius, Andre Jones, Austin Aune, B.J. Catalon, Ben Barrett, Ben Lewis, Bennie Coney, Big East, Blake Rankin, Bobby Puyol, Brandon Arcidiaconco, Brandon Napoleon, Brandyn Cook, Branodn Snell, Brendan Battles, Bret Niederreither, Carlton Agudosi, Chad Voytik, Chauncey Lanier, Chris Bivins, Chris Davis, Chris Muller, Cincinnati, D.J. White, Da'Quan Davis, Daje Johnson, Dakota Conwell, Daniel Perry, Daqual Randall, Darreall Joyner, Davon Jacobs, DeAndre Herron, Delon Stephenson, Delonte Buckley, Demetrius Frazier, Demitrious Davis, Deontay McManus, Derrick Nelson, Desmon Peoples, Devante McFarland, Devonte Fields, Devonte Robinson, Devontre Parnell, Deyshawn Bond, Dontez Ford, Drake Burns, Edward Pope, Elijah Norris, Errol Clarke, Ethan Perry, Ford Childress, Griffin Gilbert, Harold Brantley, Imarjaye Albury, J.T. Washington, Jaden Oberkrom, Jalen Spencer, James McFarland, James Washington, Jarrod Harper, Jason Emerich, Jason Sylva, Jeremy Graves, Jhavon Williams, Joe Manley, Joey Hunt, Jon Hicks, Jonathan Burt, Joseph Jackson, Josh Posley, Joshua Appleby, Joshua Parris, Julian Pinnix-Odrick, Julian Whigham, June Commitment List, Kevin Brown, Kevin Houchins, Kofi Amichia, Kolby Listenbee, Kyle Federico, Kyle Knapp, Kyle Williamson, LaDarius Anthony, LaMarlin Wiggins, Larry Jefferson, Leroy Owens, Louisville, Marchez Coates, Marcus Coleman, Marcus Foster, Marzett Geter, Michael Ellis Marder, Michael Giacone, Mikal Myers, Mikal Myers, Montrell Dobbs, Myles Hilliard, Neally Cunningham, Noble Nwachukwu, Obi Melifonwu, Omari Palmer, Pittsburgh, Poncho Barnwell, Rashodrick Linwood, Rayshawn Jenkins, Reno Henderson, Ricky Collins, Ruhann Peele, Rutgers, Ryan Leahy, Sam Lebbie, Sid Anvoots, Steve Longa, Syracuse, T.C. Klusman, Tashon Whitehurst, TCU, Tony Matteo, Trenton Coles, Trevor Williams, Tyler Cameron, Tyler Matthews, Tyler Orlosky, Tyler Samra, UConn, USF, Vincent Miller, West Virginia, Will Gardner, William Parks
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:30 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:38 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
MALIBU, Calif. -- With everybody settled into their picturesque surroundings at Pepperdine University during day two of the Elite 11, the throws were sharper, the completion percentage was up and - perhaps just as important - so was the level of competition.
"It's been good out here with all these great quarterbacks," Bessemer (Ala.) quarterback Jameis Winston said. "I'm just out here competing, that's the main thing."
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound signal-caller was the top performer Tuesday and was really spinning the ball well during a brisk morning throwing session. Despite the effort he put in on each throw, Winston understands that he's still evolving from an athlete into a quarterback and that there are several parts of his game that he can work on.
"Drops," he identifies immediately almost before the question is even asked. "I want to also work on my hips more. I have to get my hips open more so I don't hurt anything down low. So I just have to work my hips more and get open. I've got to get better everyday."
Winston was almost like a little brother on the field to college counselor E.J. Manuel out of Florida State. The two have similar builds (though Winston is much thinner) and a similar throwing motion. Often conversing between snaps, the college starter had no problem mentoring the high school star.
"E.J. helps me a lot on making sure I'm staying on top of the ball and not squeezing the ball," Winston said. "He's helped me a lot and he's at one of my final schools, Florida State."
Down to three schools in his recruitment, Maxpreps' second ranked quarterback and 21st overall player in the class of 2012 is considering the Seminoles and hasn't been shy about asking Manuel about the program.
"I've asked him about Florida State and their program," Winston said. "He's been pretty real with me. He's told me the ups and downs - there's not many downs but he told me some."
The other finalists for the five-star quarterback are both SEC powerhouses, one close to home and the other a few hours away by car. With distance not a huge factor for Winston, he's had to look closer at what each program brings to the table for him.
"Alabama is the home school," he said. "I mean, there's no place like home. I've been there a million times, just over and over. LSU, it's just a great competitive atmosphere and I want to be in that competitive atmosphere wherever I go, especially with baseball and football."
Winston is a top high school baseball player in addition to his success on the gridiron. While Florida State and LSU are perennial contenders at the College World Series, the success of the baseball program at any of the three schools he's considering is only a small factor in his decision.
"Yes," he says before cautioning," but Alabama's baseball program is coming up."
Projected by some to go as high as the first round draft in next year's MLB Draft, Winston knows it's possible he'll have to make a decision similar to Nebraska quarterback and Kansas City Royals first round pick Bubba Starling.
"Yes I've followed him," Winston said. "I'm going to consider (going pro). I don't know right now because I'm not as advanced as he is. He got there this year and I'm just considering it. Thinking about it but trying to have fun. It's in the back of my mind."
Slated to make one fan base very happy when he ultimately picks a school on August 3rd, Winston revealed that he's already decided where he'll play his college ball - football and baseball - but didn't offer any hints as to where that might actually be.
"I know where I'm going," he said. "The coaches know."
Kline reps the West Coast
Danville (Calif.) quarterback Zach Kline had one of the shortest commutes to the Elite 11 from the Bay Area and though he is used to going down to the beach or enjoying a cool summer day, the experience with 23 other top quarterbacks at the Elite 11 has been eye-opening for him.
"It's been awesome," Kline said. "Nothing is like it, ever. It's the best thing I've ever been to and you have the best players here."
The California kid was sporting a Rafael Nadal-like look on Tuesday with long hair and a headband. Though he was one of the most outgoing and relaxed players on the field, that masked his workman-like approach to learning as much as he could from the coaches and counselors at the event.
"A lot of things like making every throw count and the little things matter the most," he said about what he learned. "Even the smallest thing down to a drop, the fake on the play action matters more than anything and is the difference between a completion and an interception. And just kind of getting to know these guys and the things that they see."
In between meals and film sessions, the Cal commit has been able to take time to bond with his fellow campers, many of whom he is already close with.
"I know these guys real well," Kline said. "Connor Brewer I've been friends with for awhile, for a couple of years. Jake Rodrigues I've been friends with for a long time as well. Tyler Matthews same deal. Gunner Kiel, I was at the Elite 11 last year as a ball boy with him. He's the man, he's a great quarterback and just a cool dude to hang around with. Same for all of those guys, every single one of them."
Regarded by many as the top quarterback on the West Coast, the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is confident in himself and showed that he can make all the throws on the field, going neck-and-neck with other highly ranked players like Winston and Kiel. Still, despite actually belonging with the best in the nation, Kline knows there's still something left for him to prove.
"Definitely," he says before identifying the biggest reason why. "Tanner Mangum is giving me a run for my money. He's good, a great quarterback and a great dude too. He's a good friend of mine as well and he's going to do big things at BYU, just an awesome quarterback, can't wait to watch him."
Appleby stars in the classroom
While Mangum wore a yellow jersey for being the winner of the Golden Arm competition on the field Monday, North Canton (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby sported a red jersey on Tuesday after taking home honors for best performance in the classroom. The chance to show off his quarterback IQ was a welcome one for someone who had prepared to do so for quite some time.
"I got a chance to get up in front on the board, in front of everybody, and impress Coach (Trent) Dilfer," Appleby said. "I put a lot of time and preparation coming into this. I've been hours upon hours into knowing this playbook and I take pride in being the most prepared at this camp."
With so much teaching on and off the field from instructors, Appleby made an apt analogy to schoolwork when talking about what specifically he'll take back to his high school.
"It's graduate level stuff," he said. "In my offense, I'm a little more advanced and making those checks and making those slide protections, or any audible I need too. So having this knowledge and understanding of how it's really supposed to work is really going to broaden my skill level from a mental aspect as well from the coaching we're going to get from a fundamental aspect."
The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder looks like he's physically ready to play on Saturdays and appears fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered last year. He throws a very catchable ball but can really put some spin on it if required. Even having the opportunity to showcase his quarterback skills alongside the other campers has been quite the experience for Appleby.
"It's awesome, there's no better place than to be here right now," he said. "The talent level is unbelievable. It's the top 24 for a reason and as the days go by and we get near the end, the elite will rise towards the top. Then we'll see who's number one and I have full intentions of being that number one."
Committed to Purdue, Appleby is in constant contact with the Boilermakers staff to keep them updated on his progress at the Elite 11.
"I'm going to be in contact with them and at the end of the day, I kind of update them with what's going on," he said. "It's kind of tough with the time zone, I keep forgetting how late it is over there. But I tell my high school coach as well and we're going to all together get better."
Clearly advanced mentally and physically, the senior to-be is undecided if he'll enroll early and take part in spring football with Purdue next year.
"I don't know at this point," he said. "We're looking into it but I don't know the details at this point."
- Tanner Mangum won the Golden Arm competition for the second day in a row. After proudly sporting the yellow jersey on Tuesday, he will do so again during Wednesday's throwing sessions.
- Utah commit Travis Wilson has the frame to put on a few pounds of muscle but the 6-foot-6 quarterback has all the tools to make it at the next level. His release might be the best part of his game, as the ball comes out quickly and effortlessly.
- One of the surprises of day two was North Carolina commit Patton Robinette. He came in a close second behind Mangum in the Golden Arm competition but was sharp throughout practice. He did a good job hitting the receivers in the right spot and knowing just how much to put on the ball. Robinette also did a good job on throws to the outside and could really drive the ball on out routes.
- After a rough week at The Opening, Oregon verbal Jake Rodrigues has bounced back nicely at the Elite 11. It still seems like he gets a little bit too wide of a base but he was accurate and was able to get good power on just about every one of his throws.
- If there's anyone who could be labeled Mr. Consistent, it would be Bart Houston. He doesn't wow you out of the gate but he's got the perfect mix of arm strength, frame, throwing motion and accuracy to know he'll be a perfect fit at Wisconsin.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Austin Appleby, Bart Houston, Bubba Starling, BYU, Cal, College World Series, Connor Brewer, E.J. Manuel, Elite 11, Florida State, Gunner Kiel, Jake Rodrigues, Jameis Winston, Kansas City Royals, LSU, Nebraska, North Carolina Utah, Oregon, Patton Robinette, Pepperdine, Purdue, Rafel Nadal, SEC, Tanner Mangum, The Opening, Travis Wilson, Trent Dilfer, Tyler Matthews, Wisconsin, Zach Kline
Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 4:40 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Mangum was the top quarterback at the event and impressed with his strong arm and decision making. He's got a good release that was evident in the 7-on-7 setting and was probably the most accurate signal-caller on the field. He was a leader and was on the same page as his teammates early on, so it's no surprise he guided them to the championship game.
Quarterback Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.), committed to TCU
One of the bigger quarterbacks on the field, he was a big guy who delivered a catchable ball right where the receiver was expecting it. He's got a strong arm that can get the ball downfield and displayed nice touch on corner routes and when trying to hit guys against a cover-2. He seems as if he'll be a perfect fit in Fort Worth with his skill set and football IQ.
Athlete Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla.)
One of the top athletes in the country, Agholor could play on either side of the ball but spent his time at The Opening as a receiver. He's got the size to be very effective and can really flash his speed and create space for the offense. The only thing that we didn't see was for him to take over during 7-on-7 play and dominate but he was certainly a top performer based what he showed last week.
Running back Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas), committed to Texas
It seemed as if Gray touched the ball on just about every series for his 7-on-7 team (fellow Texas commit Connor Brewer was the quarterback by the way) and he ended up showing great burst and change of direction as soon as he snagged the ball out of the air. Ranked at the best running back in the nation, Gray showed he was a complete package and someone Longhorn fans should get very excited about in Brian Harsin's offense in 2012.
Wide receiver Deontay Greenberry (Fresno, Calif.), committed to Notre Dame
Greenberry has put together two dominant performances in back-to-back weeks against national competition. He's athletic and fast and is one of the few players who stood out as really being able to take over a game. He was, quite simply, dominant and able to get any ball he wanted. He sometimes gets a little lazy running his routes, but his talent is off the charts.
Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens (Los Angeles, Calif.), committed to USC
Mickens almost looked as if he was on the JV compared to some of the players at the event but that didn't matter as he is a flat-out player. He turned in the play of the day Friday by zigging across the field several times and stopping on a dime. He's fast enough to pull away from just about anybody, and even if you think you're close to "tackling" him, he more often than not can scoot away.
Tight end Taylor McNamara (San Diego, Calif.), committed to Arizona
There were plenty of weapons on McNamara's 7-on-7 team, but he was its most consistent target. He's got the size to create match-up issues with linebackers and safeties alike. He's still rail thin but has the size and skills to develop into another great tight end in the desert. He gets off the line well and also has a solid pair of hands.
Tight end Sean Price (Citra, Fla.), committed to USF
Every time you turned around it seemed Price was catching a touchdown or making a big play. He's done well in these types of competitions, and against top talent at The Opening, he was no exception. He's got great size and, with is gigantic hands, seemed to nab everything thrown his way. Though he's not the fastest guy, he's got football speed and just finds a way to get open.
Offensive tackle Vadal Alexander (Buford, Ga.)
Alexander showed remarkable improvement from the Georgia Nike Camp over a month ago and was solid throughout the week. He was named position MVP and did so by rarely losing one-on-ones and showing off good athleticism for someone his size.
Offensive tackle Zach Banner (Lakewood, Wash.)
Easily the biggest player at the entire event, the 6-foot-7, 340-pounder was able to handle much quicker defensive ends surprisingly well considering that is something he normally struggles with. Banner was dominant in the run-blocking drills and though he didn't win every one-on-one rep, managed to move his feet well and keep his man in front of him most of the time.
Offensive lineman Josh Garnett (Puyallup, Wash.)
With so many tackles at the event, Garnett decided to move inside and get several reps at guard and he left many observers impressed. One of the calmest, nicest players off the field, he had a mean streak on the field and was like a brick wall. He's got the athleticism to play just about every position on the line and showed it during the event.
Offensive tackle Patrick Miller (West Palm Beach, Fla.)
Miller is tall and lean but surprisingly moved well side-to-side and handled fast, big defensive lineman pretty well. He still needs to get stronger but he more than held his own and showed off a bit of a mean streak during drills. There were times when he got a little bit off balance but for the most part, he was a difficult match up for all the defenders.
Offensive lineman Curtis Riser (Desoto, Texas), committed to Texas
Riser was dominant throughout the entire week, and it was a bit of a surprise that he didn't get MVP honors. He was excited for each rep and had a good celebration whenever he stopped one of the defensive linemen. He's very big and certainly looks to be the part of a guard but still was able to move fairly well. The one thing that stood out was how powerful he was, often driving back the defensive linemen coming at him.
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:11 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 6:59 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Tags: Albert Reid, Alex Dale, Alkwan Williams, Alvin Cornelius, Andre Jones, Austin Aune, B.J. Catalon, Ben Barrett, Big East, Blake Rankin, Brandon Napoleon, Brandyn Cook, Branodn Snell, Carlton Agudosi, Chris Bivins, Chris Muller, Cincinnati, D.J. White, Da'Quan Davis, Daje Johnson, Daniel Perry, Delonte Buckley, Demetrius Frazier, Deontay McManus, Desmon Peoples, Devante McFarland, Devonte Fields, Deyshawn Bond, Drake Burns, Edward Pope, Elijah Norris, Ford Childress, Griffin Gilbert, Imarjaye Albury, J.T. Washington, Jaden Oberkrom, Jalen Spencer, James McFarland, James Washington, Jarrod Harper, Jason Emerich, Jason Sylva, Jeremy Graves, Joey Hunt, Jon Hicks, Jonathan Burt, Joseph Jackson, Josh Posley, Joshua Appleby, Joshua Parris, June Commitment List, Kevin Brown, Kevin Houchins, Kolby Listenbee, Kyle Williamson, LaDarius Anthony, LaMarlin Wiggins, Larry Jefferson, Louisville, Marcus Foster, Marzett Geter, Michael Ellis Marder, Mikal Myers, Mikal Myers, Myles Davis, Myles Hilliard, Neally Cunningham, Obi Melifonwu, Omari Palmer, Pittsburgh, Poncho Barnwell, Rashodrick Linwood, Rayshawn Jenkins, Reno Henderson, Ruhann Peele, Rutgers, Ryan Leahy, Sid Anvoots, Steve Longa, Syracuse, T.C. Klusman, TCU, Teko Powell, Trenton Coles, Tyler Matthews, Tyler Orlosky, Tyler Samra, UConn, USF, Vincent Miller, West Virginia, William Parks
Posted on: June 2, 2011 1:39 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Tags: Andre Jones, Austin Aune, B.J. Catalon, Ben Barrett, Big East, Blake Rankin, Branodn Snell, Carlton Agudosi, Cincinnati, D.J. White, Daje Johnson, Delonte Buckley, Demetrius Frazier, Desmon Peoples, Devonte Fields, Drake Burns, Edward Pope, Ford Childress, Griffin Gilbert, Imarjaye Albury, Jalen Spencer, James McFarland, Jarrod Harper, Joey Hunt, Jonathan Burt, Joseph Jackson, Josh Posley, Kolby Listenbee, LaDarius Anthony, Larry Jefferson, Louisville, Marcus Foster, May Commitment List, Myles Davis, Omari Palmer, Pittsburgh, Rayshawn Jenkins, Reno Henderson, Ruhann Peele, Rutgers, Ryan Brown, Ryan Leahy, Sid Anvoots, Steve Longa, Syracuse, TCU, Teko Powell, Tyler Matthews, Tyler Samra, UConn, USF, West Virginia
Posted on: May 21, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 12:59 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The sixth and final stop of the Elite 11 quarterback competition turned out to be one of the best stops of the entire spring camp circuit. Three of the top four quarterbacks in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 showed up and just about everyone met or exceeded expectations.
Hueytown (Ala.) signal caller Jameis Winston had the longest trip out of just about everyone who showed up Friday afternoon but came out throwing and looked sharp throughout the two and a half hour throwing session.
“I think it was a productive day. I did some good things, I could have done better on some things but I don't think I did anything bad,” Winston said.
Ranked as the second best quarterback in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps, the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder threw a very nice ball and was exceptional on fade routes where he could show off his arm. Winston was light on his feet during drills, moving well and showing off improved footwork – one area of his game where he felt he could have improved on even more.
“Drops,” he zeroed in on. “I'm not that comfortable with the five step drops, the seven step drops. When I'd hitch, I was on my back leg a lot. My arm made up for it but I've got to get better at it.
“What people don't know is that my whole life I was a Wing-T quarterback. I've only had two years in a spread system. I've really only had two years throwing the football.”
A true dual-threat quarterback who can beat a team with his arm and his legs, Winston admits he is still a little more comfortable when he's throwing on the run outside of the pocket.
“Well, god gave me the legs to do it,” he said with a smile. “I am comfortable running just because I have more space but I'm more comfortable in the pocket as well.”
Winston doesn't really have a preference for what type of system he plays in college and certainly has his pick of whichever spread or pro-style system suits him best. With well over 25 scholarship offers with his name on it headed to Hueytown once coaches can send written offers, Winston is only beginning to pare down his recruiting.
“I'm starting to narrow it down, but not quite (all the way down) yet,” Winston said. “I plan on committing in July. I've just got to get out more, my parents haven't been out with me a lot.”
The trip to Ohio State for the Elite 11 will afford Winston the opportunity to take an unofficial visit to see the Buckeyes. He'll be visiting with the coaching staff and see all the school has to offer on Saturday before returning home.
“I hope Terrelle Pryor is up there so I can meet that big guy,” he said, only half-joking. “I just want to meet with the coaches, talk with coach (Jim) Tressel a little bit. This is a dream, being up here. I'm practicing on the same field as people like Eddie George and all those guys.”
An unofficial visit to LSU is in the cards for next week and there are several more penciled in on the calendar as Winston looks to keep to his schedule and commit in July.
“I've got to take my parents down to Florida State, I've got to take them down there because that's a place where I could see myself playing at,” he said. “LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma too. Oklahoma is my favorite school growing up so I'm going to try and get down there. And Vanderbilt, I like Vanderbilt a lot too. I'm going to try and go out west and visit schools like UCLA and Stanford.”
Both in-state schools, Alabama and Auburn, are also heavily pursuing the star QB. Winston says he's open to leaving home however, and is searching for a school that meets his criteria because he isn't worried about staying too close to home.
“First of all, people say academics but I actually am looking at academics,” Winston said. “I have a good GPA, I'm at a 4.1 right now. So I'm looking for academics but I'm also looking for players around me that want to win, that's the main thing.”
A two-sport star, Winston is one of the top high school baseball players in the country. A five-tool player who stars in the outfield, at shortstop and as a pitcher, several baseball scouts think he could go in the first three rounds of the upcoming MLB draft. While he is leaving the football/baseball decision for another day, wrapping up spring football at his high school last week means it's time for him to shift gears and go grab his glove.
“Baseball is going great,” he said. “I start summer ball next week. I'm going to be out there hitting home runs and striking people out.”
Winston said Alabama's baseball program is recruiting him the hardest and if he were to redshirt his first year in college football, he'd try and focus on baseball before competing to be the starting quarterback in the spring. While the strength of a school's baseball programs seems to be secondary to that of its football program in terms of Winston's recruitment, it is still a factor.
Based on the way he threw the ball around the Elite 11 however, it would seem that his future belongs on the gridiron first and the diamond second.
Pike not pleased with his performance
Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike came into the Elite 11 excited to prove that he was one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. After nearly three hours of throwing in the humid Columbus air however, the talented player didn't feel like he brought his “A” game to the competition.
“I did alright,” Pike said. “I didn't throw the ball as well as I thought I would. I'm kind of sore, I've been working real hard this week because it's the last week of summer ball. No excuses but I did preform the way I wanted to.
“That's part of being a quarterback, you're going to have a good game and you're going to have a bad game and you've got to bounce back.”
The Edgewood (Ky.) quarterback struggled at times during the competition, usually with his accuracy. He tended to overstride a little and didn't throw as tight a spiral as he normally does. There might be a little bit of truth to his arm being just a little bit tired as he has had a non-stop schedule since the beginning of the year. On top of leading a 7-on-7 travel team, Pike's high school just wrapped up spring practices right before he made the trip up.
“It's going good, we finished our last thing yesterday,” he said. “We're done for the rest of the school year and then we'll start back up June 1st so it's exciting.
“I'm going to 7-on-7 in Dallas later this summer. I'll probably go down to (Auburn's summer camp) and throw. I'll probably go down there a few more times but we'll see.”
As Auburn's only commitment in the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 – he's 30th overall – Pike is the cornerstone in the Tigers' recruiting class. He plans on doing a bit of recruiting for the school at Saturday's Nike Camp and talked glowingly about his connection with the school and the coaching staff.
“It's a place I kind of fell in love with,” he said. “It's where I knew I'd be happy and I'd love going to school there for four or five years. When it all comes down to it, it's about more than just football. It's about where you'll be happy at, where you can be successful at and I felt it there and that's where I felt the most comfortable at too.”
While he's a solid verbal commitment to the Tigers, that hasn't stopped several schools from continuing to pursue the him.
“They still send me a lot of mail and emails and messages,” Pike said. “I don't really read them anymore. I don't talk to as many coaches anymore but I try to keep the lines open with a couple coaches just in case anything ever happens, you never know. But I'm committed to Auburn and I'm going to be loyal to them.”
Kempt an underclassman to keep an eye on
The Elite 11 events are always a good time to see how underclassmen perform against top competition. Massillion (Ohio) quarterback Kyle Kempt was one of several at the event to catch the eye of observers and with good reason as he flashed all the tools he needed to be successful at the next level.
“I felt very good. I felt like I did very well in the drills,” Kempt said. “I was pretty accurate and I didn't try and do something I couldn't do. I just did everything I could to make it a catchable ball for the receiver and come out and show what I've got.”
The 6-foot-5, 190 pound Kempt throws a very catchable ball in a tight spiral. He seemed a bit neverous at the beginning but grew more comfortable as the event went on and was sharp when throwing routes to wide receivers.
“In reality, you're just competing against everybody,” he said. “It's a lot of fun. You have some of the best quarterbacks in the nation here and it's awesome to be able to come out here and compete with them.”
Kempt performed at the Elite 11's first stop, in Orlando, but decided to come back and go through the ringer once again. It's all part of his strategy to go to as many camps as possible to both learn from instructors on how to be a better quarterback and also show off what he can do in hopes of picking up more scholarship offers.
“For college camps, we're going down to Alabama, we're going to go to USC, hopefully Stanford, then Oregon State and Washington.” He continued, “Then we're going to come back here and go to Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. We're going to do Notre Dame and Boston College and any other area camps we can find.”
Just a rising junior, Kempt already holds a verbal scholarship offer from Stanford and plenty of other schools are giving him a look.
“There are other schools showing interest,” he said. “I'm just going out and trying to prove myself and prove that they need to show a lot of interest in me.”
The offer from the Cardinal was a significant one for Kempt, not only because it was a major Division-I offer from a prestigious school, but because of the coach who saw something in him while he was just a sophomore.
“It meant a lot to me,” Kempt said. “Stanford is a great academic school. The guy who offered me was Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and (the offer) is still standing. Just to get it from him, from an NFL guy, it really meant a lot.”
Kempt is originally from Portland (Ore.) and moved to Ohio almost a year ago. While he now has roots in both the Midwest and the West Coast, where he eventually goes to school doesn't matter as much as some of the other criteria he is looking for in a program.
“A great campus, great academics,” he said. “I'm more of a pro-style offense quarterback so that's definitely the type of school I'm looking for. I really want a coaching staff that I can relate to and that I know I can go to for anything.”
Kempt's older brother was a backup quarterback at Oregon a few years ago and while he has talked with the Ducks a little, their spread system isn't the best fit for him so it's unlikely he'll head to his brother's alma matter. He is, however, already knee deep in the recruiting process and is able to go through it with ease thanks to the experience the family had with his brother.
“I've made an unofficial to Oregon State, I've made an unofficial to Washington,” he said. “I was actually here (at Ohio State) when they played Penn State and that was a great game. It was awesome, great atmosphere and some of the nicest people you'll meet.”
Based on his performance on the Ohio State practice fields Friday, don't be surprised to hear Kempt's name come up more and more as he makes his way around the country.
- Another underclassman who caught just about everyone's eye was Warren (Mich.) quarterback Shane Morris. While it probably had something to do with the way he was spinning the ball during the competition, he made sure everybody knew who he was by wearing a bright yellow Michigan shirt and cap. The recent commit to the school has good size and has an accurate arm. He plans on doing a bit of recruiting for the maize-and-blue at Saturday's Nike Camp.
- The country's top-ranked quarterback and number two overall player Gunner Kiel showed up and did not disappoint. He had to leave as soon as the camp was over but he was impressive from the first snap to the last. He's got a cannon for an arm and throws a really tight spiral. Kiel was the best looking quarterback at any of the Elite 11 stops and was extremely accurate in all phases.
He has plus footwork and physically looks ready to play at the next level immediately at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. He can shave a few ticks off his release but it's pretty good as is. His downfield throws were beauties, turning over the nose of the ball perfectly. Mechanically sound, he kept the ball high and should be a great pickup for whatever school lands him.
- North Canton (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby already has a double digit offer list but should see increased interest from BCS-level schools in the near future. He's got great size and a very strong arm. His release is a little long but has the makings of a BCS-level signal caller. His most recent offer was from Miami of Ohio and he's receiving heavy interest from Michigan State, Michigan and others.
“We really covered a lot of Big East schools during the spring,” Appleby said. “Louisville, Syracuse, Connecticut they all said I'm very high on their board. In the SEC, Vanderbilt seemed very impressed. A lot of them are real close and they say they it's just going to take a camp date (to get an offer).”
- Monroe (Conn.) quarterback Casey Cochran was sharp in yet another camp and should continue to get more interest as the year goes on. He just picked up an offer from Boston College and plans to go to camps at UConn, Temple and Syracuse among others.
- Buffalo (N.Y.) quarterback Chad Kelly can really move and has the arm to throw it around the field, he was sharp all day and can really spin it.
- A few others who impressed were TCU commit Tyler Matthews, Matt Alviti from Park Ridge (Ill.), Sean Maguire of West Orange (N.J.) and Brian Blackburn from Detroit (Mich.).
Tags: Alabama, Auburn, Austin Appleby, Big East, Boston College, Brian Blackburn, Casey Cochran, Chad Kelly, Eddie George, Elite 11, Florida State, Gunner Kiel, Jameis Winston, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tressel, Kyle Kempt, Lemming Top 100, Louisville, LSU, Matt Alviti, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio State Elite 11, Ohio State Nike Camp, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Sean Maguire, SEC, Shane Morris, Stanford, Syracuse, TCU, Temple, Terrelle Pryor, Tyler Matthews, UCLA, UConn, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington, Zeke Pike