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Tag:California
Posted on: January 7, 2012 3:15 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 7:56 pm
 

McCarthy commits to Cal but recruitment not over

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Throughout the process, Monrovia (Calif.) defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy had pretty much been tied to staying in the state but which school it would be remained a mystery. The top 10 recruit finally made a public announcement to California on Saturday at the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl but even then, things might not end up that way on Signing Day.

"I just really like Coach Tosh (Lupoi) ," McCarthy said on NBC. "I like the progam a lot and I've built a relationship with him and the team."

The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder had USC as his leader throughout much of his recruitment but Cal made a late push, with commits like Shaq Thompson and Jordan Payton leaning on McCarthy to commit during Bowl practices earlier in the week. While the Trojans are unlikely to stop pursuing him until the end, he is a great pickup for the moment for the Bears.

"He has come out of nowhere to become one of the most recruited defensive players in the nation," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Film shows him dominating at both the end and tackle positions."

The five-star is the top defensive tackle and eighth overall player in the class of 2012 according to MaxPreps. McCarthy racked up 55 tackles and nine sacks despite missing three games because of injury during his senior year.


Posted on: January 7, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 3:37 pm
 

Jordan Payton commits to California

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Westlake Village (Calif.) wide receiver Jordan Payton let it out via his Twitter account on Friday but put on the California hat at the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl to publicly announce that he had committed to the Bears.

"I'll be going, for the next four years, to the University of California," Payton said. "I just felt most comfortable at Cal, I love everything about the school and the coaches."

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder was USC's first commitment for the class of 2012 but opened things back up during the summer. He also considered Michigan, Notre Dame and UCLA among other schools.

"He can stretch the field, shows sure hands, excellent speed, size and leaping ability," analyst Tom Lemming said. "An athletic WR who can get in and out of his cuts quickly, runs precise routes, has the agility to change directions quickly, and has the burst and speed to get separation on the fastest of defenders. A go-to guy with the ability to become an impact offensive player in college."

The four-star is the number seven wide receiver and 81st overall player in the class of 2012 according to MaxPreps, Payton had 61 catches for 769 yards and 10 touchdowns and played safety and grabbed 40 tackles and two interceptions.



Posted on: January 3, 2012 8:11 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 8:13 pm
 

Offensive lineman Matt Cochran commits to Cal

Posted by Bryan Fischer

PHOENIX -- It was down to two schools for Atwater (Calif.) offensive lineman Matt Cochran and when better to commit to where you want to go to college than on national television at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl with friends and family looking on.

"I'm going to be attending the University of California, Berkeley," Cochran said.

The 6-foot-4, 320-pound interior lineman was also seriously considering Tennessee and held offers from schools across the country. Cochran likely will play center upon arriving in the Bay Area but can also play guard or defensive tackle.

He is teammates with top 100 defensive tackle Aziz Shittu and had a monster year for Buhatch Colony High. Cochran's brother, Aaron, is a top 2013 recruit.

Maxpreps ranks Cochran as the 24th best guard/center in the country.




Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

National notes: Movers & shakers in team rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.

The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.

Team rankings movers

Alabama

Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.

Ohio State

In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.

Notre Dame

The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.

USC

The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.

California

Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.

Team rankings shakers

Florida State

This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.

Florida

A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.

Auburn

Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.

Teams sitting pretty

Texas

Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.

Michigan

Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early  The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.

Mora turning heads in Westwood

As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.

Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin  and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.

December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.

Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.

Video of week

I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:

Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:03 am
 

UCLA lands coveted corner Ishmael Adams

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of Jim Mora's priorities in the time between officially taking over at UCLA and Signing Day was to make a big splash on the recruiting trail and he did just that on Monday. Westlake Village (Calif.) cornerback Ishamel Adams was not planning on committing to the Bruins but felt he could best help the class in doing so.

"It was coming down to the wire and UCLA needs to make moves on bigger recruits," Adams told BruinBlitz.com. "They thought that my name might bring out other recruits to UCLA and change the program with me. I decided to declare earlier and not wait to the end."

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound defensive back was considered a heavy Cal lean but surprised many by staying close to home. Adams held scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona, Notre Dame, Oregon and others but the new staff in Westwood won him over with their approach to the game.

"The new coaches are total 'league' minded right now," he said. "They are all about business and winning games."

Adams becomes the 22nd commitment in UCLA's class of 2012 a little over a month away from Signing Day. The four-star corner is ranked 111th overall in the country by MaxPreps and is considered the 12th-best player at his position.

"An expert at the bump and run, he competes on every down and shows All-American skills in man to man coverage," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Stocky in his build, he loves to mix it up, breaks on the ball quickly, and rarely misses a tackle. Has fast hands and can turn and run with the swiftest of receivers. He's as confident and hard working as they come."

Adams had 34 tackles and two interceptions his senior season.

Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 2:18 pm
 

Steven Moore stays close to home, commits to Cal

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After being committed to Arizona for some time, the recent coaching change allowed Elk Grove (Calif.) offensive tackle Steven Moore to open up his recruitment. That turned out to be a good thing for California, the school that the athletic Moore committed to on Wednesday.

"It's close to home, a good education and their all new facilities," Moore told Scout as to why he picked the Bears.

The 6-foot-7, 265-pounder also held offers from Boise State, UCLA and Utah among others but picked Cal in large part due to the coaching staff. It was a difficult recruiting process for Moore but one that he's glad is over.

"I definitely am relieved," said Moore. "Everyone in my family is happy."

California now has 14 commitments for the class of 2012 and Moore becomes the third offensive tackle to pledge for next year.


Posted on: December 20, 2011 7:59 pm
 

Two more commitments for Mora and UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

So much for a lack of experience recruiting.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora gained two more commitments Monday to run his total to three since taking over in Westwood with the pledges of Arcadia (Calif.) safety Taylor Lagace and Marrieta (Ga.) linebacker Kenny Orjioke.

"I called up Coach (Adrian) Klemm and Coach Mora and told them I was a Bruin," Orjioke told Scout. "Coach Mora was ecstatic. And Coach Klemm, he was the one who reached out to me and offered. All the coaches talked with me and everything worked out great and I'm excited."

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Orjioke's commitment marks a coming home of many sorts. He played last season for Junipero Serra High in the region and despite holding scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona State, California, Georgia Tech, Louisville and others, the offer from UCLA was the one he wanted.

"I grew up in Southern California and I still have a lot of friends out there," he said. "I knew when I was offered that was where I would end up, so there was no reason to prolong it."

Legace switched his commitment from Washington shortly after secondary coach Demetrice Martin was hired by the Bruins.

"Coach (Martin) left for UCLA and I feel he will make me work to be the best player I can possibly be," the 6-foot, 175-pound Lagace said.

UCLA is getting close to a full class with 21 commitments for 2012.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:18 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 8:36 pm
 

National Notes: On the way up on offense

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The class of 2012 rankings won't be updated for a few more weeks but with most high school seasons over, it's not too hard to see what players might be moving their way up in the rankings and who might slide down a little bit. Here's a look at each position group and some players that might be a little higher on the board come January.

QUARTERBACK

On the way up: Hueytown (Ala.) dual-threat quarterback Jameis Winston (Committed to Florida State)

What did he do: Winston threw for over 2,400 yards and 28 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He also rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 15 touchdowns on the ground at a pace of nearly one every 10 carries. He was co-MVP of the Elite 11 over the summer and will play in the Under Armour All-American game. He recently performed well in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.

The case: He can't move up much further but there's little doubt that he's been the most impressive quarterback in the country since the summer on. He can make plays with his legs and has improved significantly as a passer. There's no doubt that he should be in the top 10 and there's a good case to be made for him to leap-frog Gunner Kiel as the top signal-caller overall.

Also on the way up: Maty Mauk (committed to Missouri), Zach Kline (committed to Cal)

On the way down:
Zeke Pike (committed to Auburn)

RUNNING BACK

On the way up: Houston (Texas) running back Trey Williams (committed to Texas A&M) and Daphne (Ala.) running back T.J. Yeldon (committed to Auburn).

What did they do: Williams has been putting up eye-popping numbers at Dekaney to the tune of over 3,600 yards and 45 touchdowns. He had six touchdowns in his last outing to lead his team to the state title game. Yeldon finished the regular season with close to 2,200 yards and 31 touchdowns.

The case: As much press as top-ranked running back Johnathan Gray gets in Texas, Williams has been doing just as good - if not better - in a tougher district. Both are the focal points for their teams but Williams has done extremely well as an all-around runner. Yeldon has dominated the state of Alabama on the ground and easily has been one of the best backs in the entire country this season.

Also on the way up: Mike Davis, Randy Johnson (Committed to Miami)

On the way down: Johnathan Williams (committed to Arkansas), Malin Jones (committed to Northwestern)

TIGHT END

On the way up: Buford (Ga.) tight end Kurt Freitag (committed to Alabama)

What did he do: Playing for powerhouse Buford, Freitag was an integral part of the offense in the passing game and running game this season. He had several touchdowns as a red zone threat and was a nasty blocker. He also played on defense.

The case: Freitag displayed soft hands and ran solid routes all season - drawing the attention of plenty of major colleges. He's got great size at 6-foot-3, 245-pounds and in a weak year at the position, should be moving way, way up.

Also on the way up: Sean Price (committed to USF), Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (committed to USC).

WIDE RECEIVER

On the way up: Bellflower (Calif.) wide receiver Bryce Treggs (committed to Cal) and Carson (Calif.) receiver Darreus Rogers (committed to USC)

What did they do: Offensive line and wide receiver were extremely deep position groups out on the West Coast and Treggs and Rogers were both among the best of the best. Treggs continued to impress after a terrific summer and finished with close to 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns. Despite being triple-teamed at times, Rogers racked up 1,251 yards and eight touchdowns, including three 200+ yard performances in Carson's biggest games. He stepped up when needed and looked primed for a jump.

The case: Both are ranked as top 15 wide outs but should be ticketed for a jump, possibly into the top 100. Treggs is not the biggest guy but still shows flashes of DeSean Jackson with his ability to get behind defenses and Rogers was a flat-out gamer.

Also on the way up: Amara Darboh (committed to Michigan), Chris Black (committed to Alabama)

On the way down: Jordan Payton

OFFENSIVE LINE

On the way up: DeSoto (Texas) offensive lineman Curtis Riser (committed to Texas) and Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) offensive tackle Max Tuerk (committed to USC).

The case: It's always hard to project certain linemen but these two stated why they're the top linemen in their respective states. It's a good year for versatile players at the position in Texas but Riser had most of the regular season to show why Longhorns fans and coaches are excited about him going to the 40 acres. He got hurt near the end of the season but he was a rock for a big time DeSoto squad. Tuerk started the year overshadowed in Southern California by Erik Magnuson and Kyle Murphy but out played each during the season, including Murphy head-to-head last week.

Video of the week

Since he was mentioned as someone on the rise, here's some senior highlights of running back Trey Williams.




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