Tag:BCS
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 2:05 pm
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Five-star tailback Marshall commits to Oregon

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oregon's recruiting for the class of 2012 hasn't received the boost many thought it would with an appearance in the BCS national championship game and back-to-back Pac-10 titles. Wednesday morning however, it did get a big bump with the commitment of San Jose (Calif.) running back Byron Marshall.

"Yes I committed to Oregon last night," Marshall told 247sports.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior selected the Ducks over Arizona State, California, Notre Dame and Washington. He is regarded as the top tailback on the West Coast and is ranked as the fourth-best in the country.

"He runs low to the ground with great speed, vision and balance," Maxpreps analyst Tom Lemming said of Marshall. "A physical runner, he will not go down with arm tackles, shows good cutback ability and is even effective between the tackles. He shows the good vision to find an open space in the defense and exploits it for big gains."

The five-star is easily Chip Kelly's top recruit for the class of 2012 and was a priority for his staff with needs to fill at the position. Marshall's father told 247sports that the speedy running back will take his official visit to Eugene for the Civil War game against Oregon State.

Marshall is the younger brother of Arizona State running back Cameron Marshall.





Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:57 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 5:58 pm
 

Michigan adds local back Drake Johnson

Posted by Bryan Fischer

To say that Ann Arbor (Mich.) running back Drake Johnson wanted to play football at Michigan would be a drastic understatement considering he lives extremely close to the school. On Tuesday, his dreams came through with a scholarship offer from Brady Hoke and staff followed by his quick commitment to the program.

"When I was in little league, we used to be the Washtenaw Jr. Wolverines," Johnson told Rivals. "I always had really close ties to Michigan within my family and within the people I know. Michigan has always been the place I wanted to go, and now that the chance has come up it is almost magical."

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder only had one other scholarship before the Wolverines came through with one, to Eastern Michigan. Though he was starting to see attention from other BCS schools, he's excited to head to the school he's always wanted to go to with a new offense that appears to be a perfect fit.

"I'm more of a power kind of tailback, so I like the pro and I like running from under center," Johnson said. "With Brady Hoke coming here and his success this season, that is something that is attractive and somewhere I could definitely see myself playing."

Johnson is the second, and likely last, running back to commit to Michigan for the class of 2012. He is the 24th overall commitment for the Wolverines' class and have an extremely productive season as he is close to breaking the single season state rushing record.



Posted on: November 2, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Examining Alabama's recruiting class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In case you haven't heard there is a, well, epic match up on CBS this week between Alabama and LSU in Tuscaloosa. As part of extensive coverage of both teams on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Network, the Eye on Recruiting will be breaking down the biggest reason each team is thinking BCS national championship this year: the players they are recruiting.

Today we'll take a look at what Nick Saban is doing on the trail. The Tigers currently have 20 commitments for the class of 2012.

Team Ranking: 4th overall, 2nd in the SEC
Number of recruits: 19
Number of five-stars: One, cornerback Geno Smith.
Best position:
Linebacker. Ryan Anderson, Tyler Hayes, Dillon Lee and Reggie Ragland.
Weakest position:
Offensive lineman, one commitment.
Top recruit:
#19 Geno Smith (left)
Sleeper:
Defensive tackle Darren Lake.
Top target:
#9 overall recruit Landon Collins.

Ever since Nick Saban signed on in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide have been in the running for the top recruiting class in the country. It's remarkable how consistently good they've recruited, grabbing a mix of five-star talent with solid in-state prospects that turn into high draft picks later. If there's an elite recruit somewhere in the country, chances are they have Alabama somewhere on their shortlist, especially on defense.

This year's class isn't complete by any means but is stacked with athletes that can run and that can hit. Geno Smith is the top ranked player committed to the Tide and should be an excellent fit in Saban's defensive system that has churned out an NFL corner just about every year. Safety Eddie Williams is a big safety who can roam the secondary and provide punishing hits while out-leaping opposing receivers for interceptions. No group is as deep as the linebackers the team is looking to sign in February. Dillon Lee is a big interior 3-4 linebacker who can drop quickly in coverage while Reggie Ragland is another polished linebacker that fits the mold of a Courtney Upshaw or Dont'a Hightower. This class is heavy on defense and, frankly, loaded on that side of the ball.

Offensively, wide outs Chris Black and Amari Cooper are not Julio Jones physically but are super fast and quick - just the type of player you want to get into open space so they can score. There's a few athletes, such as Justin Thomas, who could play multiple positions while Kenyan Drake could be the next in line at the running back position to impress with a great blend of speed and power. They didn't land top quarterback Gunner Kiel the first time but have a solid replacement in Alec Morris, who is a big signal-caller at every bit of 6-foot-3, 240-pounds.

The one glaring need for this class is probably at offensive line. That is normally a position the staff has done a great job with but this year it seems to be lacking, with only Brandon Greene committed at the position. Don't be surprised if the school doesn't sign at least one additional tackle if not more.

Heading into the home stretch of this recruiting cycle, Saban is looking to do what he does best: close. With Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer no longer coaching college football, it's fairly easy to say that he's the best recruiting coach in the country. It remains to be seen how hard they'll go after Kiel now that he's back on the market but there's certainly a chance after the Tide lost another highly ranked quarterback, Jameis Winston, to Florida State. Running back Keith Marshall, Barry Sanders Jr., wide receiver Dwayne Stanford, offensive tackle Avery Young, defensive end Jordan Jenkins, tackle Armond Armstead and cornerback Tracy Howard are some other top targets remaining on the board the program is heavily pursuing. Safety Landon Collins will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend for an official visit and a win could go a long way in him putting on crimson instead of purple and gold.

As big a game as this will be Saturday, it is also one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the season for the Alabama coaches. Nick Saban already has a great group committed in 2012 and certainly will add to it between now and Signing Day.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 6:32 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 6:38 pm
 

Examining LSU's recruiting class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In case you haven't heard there is a, well, epic match up on CBS this week between Alabama and LSU in Tuscaloosa. As part of extensive coverage of both teams on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Network, the Eye on Recruiting will be breaking down the biggest reason each team is thinking BCS national championship this year: the players they are recruiting.

Today we'll take a look at what Les Miles is doing on the trail. The Tigers currently have 20 commitments for the class of 2012.

Team Ranking: 6th overall, 3rd in the SEC
Number of recruits: 20
Number of five-stars: Zero. Three four-star recruits.
Best position:
Offensive line. Vadal Alexander, Derek Edinburgh, Reid Ferguson, Patrick Miller.
Weakest position:
Quarterback, zero commitments.
Top recruit:
#54 Vadal Alexander (left)
Sleeper:
Defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Top target:
#9 overall recruit Landon Collins.

Under Nick Saban a few years ago and now under Miles, LSU has consistently been near the top of the SEC and overall team recruiting rankings. Though they have rarely landed the top overall class in the country, they have done a great job of locking up every good player in the state of Louisiana and then hand-picking talent from Texas and the rest of the South to put together a strong run on the recruiting trail. In fact, there may not be a more consistent program in the country than the Tigers over the past decade, thanks in large part to a great talent base that has consistently churned out quality SEC and eventual NFL players year after year.

This year's class is really build around both lines with a handful of skill position talent that should be able to redshirt and develop given the youth already present on the team. Alexander is the top player and could be either a guard or a tackle while Miller is a prototypical left tackle that only needs to pack on a few pounds before he can jump in and play. On the defensive side, Torshiro Davis is a lightning quick speed rusher at outside linebacker/defensive end while Hunter is someone who isn't a highly rated guy but can develop like so many great defensive linemen have in Baton Rouge. Others, such as corner Jalen Mills, could contribute early on special teams while learning from the veterans ahead of them.

The one glaring need for this class is probably at quarterback. Though two signal-callers signed last year, the Tigers will be losing two seniors in Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. A lot of players have already committed so LSU might look at taking a chance on someone under-the-radar knowing they'll likely redshirt with two players in front of them. They will also target another couple of players on defense.

Two priorities for Miles' staff are first and foremost keeping their current group together through Signing Day and landing in-state defensive back Landon Collins. One player who is openly looking around is Avery Johnson, younger brother of LSU all-everything Patrick Peterson. It's no surprise that he has plenty of programs recruiting him given who he's related to but Johnson is a dynamic receiver who can fit in just about any offense and make plays. While it wouldn't be shocking if Johnson ended up closer to home, it would be big news if Collins went anywhere but up the road a few miles to Baton Rouge. The staff should be busy working on those two as they find another player or two to fill out their class between now and February.

When the purple and gold walk out onto the field in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, they won't be at a talent disadvantage with Miles' keen eye for recruiting and developing SEC players. He's got another great group coming his way in 2012 in what should continue to be one of the biggest games in the SEC West, SEC and nationally for years to come.


Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:01 am
 

Surveying the Field: News & notes from all around

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Plenty went on over the weekend in the recruiting world it's time to get caught up and figure out what it all means.

The big news was five-star tackle Arik Armstead had decommitted from USC. Perhaps one of the few recruits who you figured would follow through on his verbal pledge because his brother was a senior defensive lineman at the school, Armstead surprised many observers by announcing that he was exploring other options. His brother, Armond, was expected to play significantly at defensive end and tackle for the Trojans but has been withheld from competition after a medical scare sent him to the hospital in March. No reason was given by USC coaches and Armond has apparently passed all tests.

"Obviously, [Arik] was disappointed with the way things were handled between the school and our family the last six months," said his father, Guss Armstead, in a statement.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Arik is also a standout basketball player, adding a layer to his recruitment. He is still considering USC for both sports but it appears he'll be taking other visits and listening closer to what other coaches have to say. He'll be in South Bend for an official visit to see Notre Dame play USC this week and will take one to Alabama for their big showdown against LSU.

"It weighs on me a little bit, and I know I have a tough decision coming ahead, but I'm looking forward to it," Arik told USCFootball.com. "Going through the recruiting process, this will definitely change a lot for me. But I'm eager to see what new schools and other options I'll have after making this decision [to de-commit]."

As soon as he opened his recruitment up, Armstead picked up offers from Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon. It sounds as though they might be too late and the big tackle's recruitment will come down to the schools he was considering before pledging to the Trojans: Cal, Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame and Arkansas.

It will be tough to read how the rest of his recruitment will shake out simply because he's been off the market for so long. The Trojans aren't a long shot to get his signature on Signing Day but they certainly are not the favorite given the history over the past few months. That's a big blow as Armstead was USC's big fish in a small recruiting class this year. Family is important so that might give Cal a leg up for Arik but don't sleep on Notre Dame.

Either way, plenty of time for Armstead to figure out things and he is someone to keep tabs on.

Oregon hosts five-star talent and leave impression

While USC lost a five-star, Oregon is doing their best to land a few. They hosted a number of quality recruits for their game against Arizona State and managed to land two of them. The two the Ducks are really hoping to get a commitment out of however are Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson and Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy.

Oregon hasn't seen their recruting reflect their status as a top 10 team and BCS bowl participant, showing modest improvement over the past few years but still behind other schools in the Pac-12. It's been a great year for West Coast talent however and it looks like they could capitalize with a few of the upper tier prospects.

"The crowd was amazing," Thompson told 247Sports. "It was probably the best part for me. They just stay crazy the whole game. I've never heard anything like it and I've been in a lot of different environments. You can tell the whole community rallies around the team, which is cool because that's how it is in Del Paso Heights (his neighborhood)."

A longtime Cal commit, Thompson opened things back up and has started to show considerable interest in Oregon and Washington, to the point that it appears to be a three-way race. His brother was a Bear and he's made good connections to the staff in Berkeley but the other two Pac-12 programs have come after him hard. Adept at playing either running back or safety at the next level, most schools are recruiting the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder on the defensive side of the ball. Don't expect a decision you can count on until he puts pen to paper even if he verbally commits to a school.

For McCarthy, it was a busy week as he was presented with his Army All-American jersey Monday afternoon. Despite the festivities going on, he still had his trip to Eugene on his mind.

"They don't spare any expense on their players, on anything, for academics and athletics," he told Rivals. "They spend whatever money they need to for their players to get better and to be in better shape and to stay healthy."

It might be a stretch to say that Oregon is the leader for McCarthy, long thought to be considered a USC lean, but the Ducks are certainly high on the list. He'll take several other official visits, so look for a commitment afterward but before Signing Day.

Eye-popping numbers all over

It seemed like everywhere you looked a high school player was throwing or rushing or catching an insane amount of yards or touchdowns this week. Here's a sampling of the records that happened over the weekend.

- Orlando (Fla.) freshman quarterback Tucker Israel tied a national record with 10 touchdown passes in a 68-10 win last Friday. At 6-foot, 180-pounds, he's bound to have a college coach or 10 keep tabs on him in the future.

- Future 2013 five-star - and son of Florida legend Fred Taylor - Kelvin Taylor rushed for 426 yards in a win, setting a county record. He's being heavily recruited by Florida and Alabama right now but it would be shocking to see him get away from the Gators. As this story notes, he could break Emmitt Smith's state rushing record this season as a junior and is within straking distance of the all-time high school mark.

- Wide receiver Robbie Rhodes caught 10 passes for 394 yards and eight touchdowns to tie a national receiving record. Both the yards and touchdowns scored were state records.

- Number one overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham came close to matching Rhodes last week (354 yards, three touchdowns) but has a chance to set a national receiving record this week against Marshfield High. Here's some highlights of Green-Beckham's game from this week.

Video of the week

Defensive tackle Carlos Watkins committed to Clemson after his high school game and did so in a very unique manner.



Recruiting Roundup

Auburn commit Josh Holsey is planning visits to Florida State, LSU and maybe Georgia.

Offensive tackle Avery Young's first official visit will be to Auburn.

If recruits pick TCU, it might not be because of the Horned Frogs move to the Big 12.

Oklahoma State commit Zac Veatch is a versatile athlete.

Conference realignment concerns are clouding West Virginia's recruiting.

Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 4:23 pm
 

Recruiting & Realignment: How does it shake out?


Posted by Bryan Fischer

Peering into the crystal ball is something recruitniks do all the time. Which kid goes where? Is this recruit leaning toward school X or school Y? He talked about early playing time but he also wants to play with his friend in the Big Ten.

There are so many data points but it is still an inexact science. It's hard, but someone has to do it.

With all of the conference realignment news still swirling around college football, it's time once again to look into the future (The future? Yes, the future) and see - at least for the short term - what the landscape might look like. CBSSports.com has gathered up all of our experts on both the football side and the basketball side to project what all six of the current BCS automatic qualifying conferences will look like in 2014.

RapidReports: Up to the minute realignment updates
Eye on College Football: Conference Realignment Central

From the looks of it, no conference is going kaput. There is some shrinking and some bloating but all-in-all, it's just a few alteration from what the landscape will look like in 2012. Here are our projections for further conference realignment once the current wheeling and dealings are complete:

  • Big Ten -- remains at 12 teams
  • Pac-12 -- remains at 12 teams
  • SEC -- Adds Texas A&M and Virginia Tech
  • Big 12 -- Adds BYU to replace Texas A&M, but only in football
  • ACC -- Adds Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Loses Virginia Tech to the SEC
  • Big East -- loses Connecticut, Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Adds TCU, Houston and UCF; Navy and Air Force as football schools.

So we’ve got six conferences ranging in size from 12 to 16 programs. Which is strongest on the recruiting trail? Which is the deepest? Most top-heavy? Let’s take a look in alphabetical order.




Current picture: Four top 25 teams, 2-3 coaches on the hot seat.

#4 Florida State
#6 Virginia
#7 Miami
#17 Clemson

Future outlook: Jimbo Fisher appears to have the Seminoles back and recruiting like they were in the 1990's. Not only is Florida State attracting top talent, they're closing well and look to be a perennial contender with top five class after top five class. Clemson has recruited very well under Dabo Swinney but that hasn't translated into the bowl games the Tigers want to be playing in - which is one reason 2011 is make or break for him. One figures that Miami will get hit with serious NCAA sanctions that will hamper their recruiting abilities going forward. At the same time, the Hurricanes getting fewer players out of their own backyard could allow other schools in the conference to come in and grab better players - which could be a nice boost for schools such as Virginia or Maryland. The additions of UConn, Pitt and Syracuse don't do too much but do provide increased access to both states for the northern end of the conference.




Current picture: Three top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.

#2 Texas
#16 Oklahoma
#19 Missouri

Future outlook: The conference everybody is talking about will continue to be the conference everybody will be talking about. Texas and Oklahoma will still be Texas and Oklahoma as long as Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are on the sidelines for the Red River Rivalry every year. The Big 12 staying together means that schools such as Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri and others will continue to have access to a good number of Texas high school players - key in any success any of them have had over the years. Texas will still grab the best players in the state, that much won't change no matter what happens. There could be increased competition however, with Texas A&M being able to play the 'We're in the SEC' card. That probably hurts Oklahoma and Oklahoma State more than anyone. BYU will enjoy reaching into the Southwest even more than they currently do.




Current picture: Two top 25 teams, one coach on the hot seat.

#18 Cincinnati
#24 Rutgers

Future outlook: The realignment shakeup is all about the survival of the fittest but the Big East is, without a doubt, the least fit. They have had schools make waves in the national picture before but they've done so largely by coaching up players, not grabbing five-star recruits. Cincinnati has done a good job in the Midwest and should be helped out by nearby powerhouse Ohio State being down slightly. Rutgers is on shaky ground if Greg Schiano is let go but, if he sticks around, they should be a program that is helped by the trickle affect of Miami being down since they recruit Florida well. Not much is lost with the three schools going to the ACC, a good number of programs will still continue to recruit in states such as Pennsylvania and New York for players. TCU and West Virginia will probably be the top dogs in the rankings with both having strong ties to Texas and Dana Holgorsen's reputation proceeding him. UCF is a hidden gem that adds the most since Orlando has really come along in terms of number of BCS players the area produces.





Current picture: Five top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.

#1 Michigan
#13 Penn State
#20 Indiana
#21 Michigan State
#23 Wisconsin

Future outlook: Oh how the tables have been turned (off the field) in the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. No one in the Big Ten has taken advantage of the turmoil in Columbus than the Wolverines under Brady Hoke. Given the quick turnaround, national prominence of the program and Hoke's ties to California, don't expect to see much drop off in Michigan recruiting over the next few years if they continue to win. Joe Paterno figures to retire at some point but Penn State sits in the middle of a talent-rich state and will continue to a solid job on the recruiting trail going forward. New Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson has done good job early on in locking up in-state talent and landing the number one quarterback in the country is a giant block to build on with future recruiting classes. Ohio State has been hampered with all that has gone but if they hire a top flight coach - as one would expect - all bets are off. The recruits in the state of Ohio alone will be able to keep them in the upper echelon of the conference regardless. Also watch out for Wisconsin, which will likely start getting better quality recruits the next few years following their success on the field.




Current picture: Two top 25 teams, five coaches on the hot seat.

#15 Arizona State
#25 Washington

Future outlook: A few strong years of West Coast talent will form the basis of a strong conference going forward. The biggest cause for concern is the number of coaches who are on the hot seat and can lose their jobs. For some programs, that means starting over in recruiting. For others, it could be an upgrade. With both Los Angeles programs each dealing with some issues, the amount of talent available to programs like Washington, Utah, Colorado and others has never been higher. NCAA issues at Oregon might hamper the Ducks a little but as long as they're wearing a crazy uniform and have Phil Knight writing checks, they'll be ok. USC has continued to get top talent despite and should rebound from sanctions quicker than most programs because of that. If anything though, California will become much more of a battleground state with more programs looking at the recruits coming out the next few years.




Current picture: Eight top 25 teams, two coaches on the hot seat.

#3 Florida
#5 Alabama
#8 Texas A&M
#9 Auburn
#10 Virginia Tech
#11 LSU
#14 South Carolina
#22 Vanderbilt

Future outlook: The nation's best conference on the field and the recruiting trail will only get better with the additions of Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. It's scary, actually, to think about. LSU, the Mississippi schools, Florida and Alabama should all benefit to increased access to Texas and the Aggies won't be any slouch by telling recruits that they can stay home and play in the SEC. The same is true of the state of Virginia, which has annually produced plenty of great players. Other schools have taken advantage of Georgia's increase in FBS talent the past several years and even though UGA has a coach on the hot seat, they'll be able to recruit well because of who's nearby. Will Muschamp has shown there's no drop off in the state of Florida for the Gators going forward and the Alabama-Auburn rivalry is becoming just as fierce on the recruiting trail going forward as the Iron Bowl has been on the field. Bottom line, no one recruits like the SEC and they're only getting stronger with their recent additions.




Posted on: September 16, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 12:31 pm
 

9/16 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Arkansas running back commitment Jamel James says visiting the Razorbacks just felt like home.

USF commitment Rayshawn Jenkins is still planning to take official visits this year.

Can Georgia get Miami commitment Raphael Kirby to flip his commitment?

Speaking of Hurricanes commits, cornerback Larry Hope suffered a nasty gash in the head.

Running back Roshard Burney has his visit to West Virginia set.

One of the top 2013 running running backs, Greg Bryant, has Florida as his leader.

A Q&A about Penn State recruiting.

Has Utah's being in a BCS conference hurt BYU's recruiting?

Sean Constantine picked up an offer from Washington.

A quick recap of USC's recruiting efforts.

Posted on: September 5, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Surveying the Field on September 5

Posted by Bryan Fischer

What a great weekend of football. The college game is back and not only that, we've had five glorious days of it.

In what will be a regular feature called Surveying the Field, I'll be taking a look at the week that was in college football and in high school football to get everybody caught up on the star players, big plays and great wins that happened over the weekend.

The curious case of Gehrig Dieter

If I gave you three guesses as to who was the nation's best wide receiver through the first couple of weeks of the high school season, chances are you would never guess South Bend (Ind.) wide-out Gehrig Dieter.

You likely heard his name this week however, after he racked up 447 yards receiving to set an Indiana and national high school record. Yes, you read that right, 447 yards.

"I just broke the national record for yards in a game. DOUBLE AND TRIPLE TEAMED the entire game. 447 yards and 4 TDs #humbled," he tweeted after the game.

The amazing accomplishment gives Dieter an impressive 1,158 receiving yards on the year through three games. How many players would be thrilled to get that in an entire season?

Curiously, Dieter's recruitment has tracked with his eye-popping stats. Prior to this weekend he held offers from Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, SMU, Toledo and Western Michigan. Yep, not a single BCS offer.

That should change shortly I'm guessing.

"A very good athlete, he can track the deep ball over his head and if it's within reach he'll catch it. He also shows very good moves after the catch," CBS/MaxPreps analyst Tom Lemming wrote of Dieter.

Having seen Dieter in action during a 7-on-7 tournament over the summer, I was shocked that schools were not showing much interest. As Lemming wrote, he certainly is a great athlete and has the size and speed to be a big contributor for a good program in the future. My guess is he'll wind up in the Big Ten and be a better version of Dane Sanzenbacher at Ohio State.

Diggs helps Good Counsel top Manatee

It was an impressive showing by Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel to beat Manatee (Fla.) on Saturday. The game was a little sloppy but the Falcons still managed to beat a solid team with playmakers on defense like Clinton Heaven and Darius White.

No surprise to see athlete Stefon Diggs power Good Counsel to victory with two touchdowns, including the game winning score in double overtime. Diggs finished the day with six catches for 132 yards and showed why he excels in getting behind the defense. He's one of the fastest players in the country and is ranked 14th overall in the class of 2012.

“There was a lot of speed on both sides of the ball," Diggs told the Maryland Gazette. “Their defense was fast; faster than what we’re used to."

Diggs is being recruited as a wide receiver and defensive back. Having seen him in action, he'd be a great fit either way but he's such a dynamic playmaker it will be hard to put him at corner. He's narrowed his list down to about 10 schools and plans to commit at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He hasn't selected where he'll take all five of his official visits to but Alabama, Cal, Florida State, Maryland and Virginia Tech are all serious players.

Execution powers Bellvue and De La Salle

California was host to some great high school games this weekend between several top 25 teams this weekend.

Just as Boise State used execution and sound defense to beat a Georgia team with superior athletes on Saturday, Bellvue (Wash.) managed to simply out work a talented Oaks Christian (Calif.) team. According to MaxPreps' Mitch Stephens, don't be surprised if Bellvue's talented sophomore running back Bishard Baker starts drawing attention from Pac-12 schools. Defensive back Tyler Hasty also starred with two interceptions and should see several schools show more interest as a result.

On the Oaks Christian side, their two best players have been receiving plenty of attention from schools on the West Coast. Cornerback Ishmael Adams is close to making a decision and it's pretty clear he's not going too far from home. UCLA seems to be the leader in the club house at this point (he visited there unofficially two weeks ago), but Cal, Colorado and Arizona State are pushing hard for his services. Notre Dame is also in the mix.

His teammate, wide receiver Jordan Payton, seems to be intent on leaving the area however. He had a solid game against Bellvue with nine catches for 103 yards and played well on defense. The USC de-commit will be one of several top 100 players headed to Michigan to see their night game against Notre Dame and both teams are in the running for his verbal commitment. At this point it seems like Michigan and Cal are in the lead but don't be surprised if Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Nebraska stay in the race for Payton's signature.

In a big match up between two top California teams, Wisconsin commit Bart Houston managed to give De La Salle a thrilling victory to edge Bellarmine on Saturday. Amazingly, both teams missed extra points late but the third-ranked Spartans still managed to come out on top after Houston sneaked across the goal line for a touchdown.

While Houston is solidly committed to the Badgers, the recruiting attention on the team centers on junior linebacker Michael Hutchings. Playing alongside Cal commit Michael Barton, De La Salle has a fantastic linebacking corps and Hutchings is the player that has scouts most excited for what he can do at the next level. Long thought to a USC lean, he recently came out and said that UCLA and Cal were really recruiting him heavily.

"I think all three in-state schools are about equal," Hutchings told Rivals. "Those are the three teams to beat right now."

With a good number of Spartans already committed to major FBS schools, keeping track of who the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has at the top of the list should be fun over the next year or more.

Video of the day

Check out this crazy punt return by Duluth (Ga.) athlete Myles Campbell and note the big hit that springs him free.


Recruiting Roundup

- Top recruit Dorial Green-Beckham won't reveal his list of schools but he is cutting it down to five.

- The Onion details new NCAA rules that have reduced recruiting to winks and eyebrow raises.

- Great story on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez' ties to his high school and Mission Viejo head coach Bob Johnson.

Texas high school football is big time and now it's a part of Oregon.

Defensive end Jordan Jenkins has Alabama as his leader, Florida in second and Auburn in third. Tigers head coach Gene Chizik made a visit to see Jenkins this week.

USC commit Darreus Rogers had a big game as Carson High beat Mater Dei.

Running back Keith Marshall, one of the top players in the country, defended Georgia coach Mark Richt after their loss to Boise State.

Receiver Corey Jones made a commitment to Pitt over the weekend.

Keep an eye on

Denton Guyer (Texas) vs. Cedar Hill (Texas), 9 ET on September 5

These two teams play in the annual Herbstriet Classic at Cowboys Stadium and it should be a rematch after Cedar Hill edged Guyer 42-41 last year in the event before Guyer got revenge in the state playoffs later that season. Cedar Hill already has a loss on their record after falling to the top team in the state, Allen, last week 28-13. They'll need to get the offense going and tighten their pass defense if they want to compete with Denton. Sophomore Jerrod Heard is the quarterback for Guyer and he showed some good things in the team's win against Garland last week. Should be a great game between two of Texas' top high school teams.

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