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Tag:Cal
Posted on: December 30, 2011 9:37 am
 

12/30 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

2013 recruits Rueben Foster and Tray Matthews are recruiting each other and Foster is flirting with Georgia as a result.

 A Q&A with UCLA linebacker commit Kenny Orjioke.

 Top lineman Arik Armstead will announce shortly and it will likely be to finalist Cal.

 Recapping some of Nebraska's recruits.

 Oklahoma commit Sterling Shepard is proud to carry on his father's legacy.

 Colorado head coach Jon Embree talked a little recruiting.

 A Gator Bowl win could help Florida stave off Ohio State in recruiting.
Posted on: December 29, 2011 8:27 am
 

12/29 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Cincinnati has built it's recruiting class primarily with players close to the school.

 A look ahead at Ohio State's class of 2013.

 Michigan is losing some of its lead over Ohio State on the recruiting trail.

 Tight end Adam Breneman is a heavily recruited junior who recently received offers from Miami and Wake Forest.

Cedric Dozier is still solid to Cal and updates on Zach Banner and Josh Garnett's decisions.

 Nebraska's recruiting coordinator position still hasn't been filled.

 Who's the top RB in Georgia? Quinten James is stating his case and already has offers from Clemson, Vanderbilt and others.
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 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.




Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Productive weekend for Cal with commit of WR Powe

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Jeff Tedford has hosted big recruiting weekends in Berkeley before but this past weekend's list of official and unofficial visitors might have been one of the more impressive collection of recruits at Cal in some time. The success of the weekend will be measured with commitments though and the Bears grabbed at least one in Lakewood (Calif.) wide receiver Darius Powe.

"It's the education, the location, the fans, the players and trust in the coaches," Powe told BearTerritory.net.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide out held offers from Arizona, Nebraska, Oregon and UCLA but saw interest by Cal coaches pick up in the past few weeks. Visiting the school with commits such as Bryce Treggs and, especially, quarterback Zach Kline helped convince Powe to join the class as much as the coaches did.

"Oh yeah, we'll get closer," Powe said of playing with Kline. "It's really big to have a big QB there with me."

Powe becomes the fourth player at his position in the Bears' class of 2012 as the staff looks to replace several departing seniors. He wrapped up his senior season with 33 catches for 516 yards and eight touchdowns. California recently added a commitment from Freddie Tagaloa the week before Powe's as they look to pick up the momentum in the class of 2012.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:56 am
 

12/6 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

  Top quarterback Gunner Kiel will take an official visit to Notre Dame this weekend.

  Several Oklahoma State commits are upset at the Cowboys missing out on the title game.

  N.C. State commit Charlie Hedegus has some interest in South Florida.

  Steve Fairchild's firing has left Colorado State's recruiting in limbo.

  What happens if top running back Keith Marshall does not pick Georgia?

  Defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson rated his visit to Georgia Tech as a '8 or 9.'

  Carl Pelini was hired in part to fix FAU's recruiting problems.

  Rice fired recruiting coordinator/running backs coach Rick LaFavers.

Commitments

  Quarterback Tyler Cameron switched his commitment from USF to Wake Forest. The Bulls added a JUCO offensive lineman however.

  Wide receiver Chris Harper became the latest in a Southern California to SMU pipeline.

  Former Texas Tech pledge Christian Okafor has committed to Cal.

  Washington added North Torrance (Calif.) athlete Ryan McDaniel.

  Another commit for UCLA despite the coaching change as running back Paul Perkins pledged to be a Bruin.

Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 11:36 pm
 

National Notes: Top assistants to keep an eye on

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Welcome to December, otherwise known as closing time. Bowl practices and holidays make things a little more complicated for some coaches but others enjoy the grind as they hit the home stretch two months out from Signing Day. Here's a list of four recruiters in each part of the country to keep an eye on in each part of the country.

West

Ed Orgeron, USC

Does any recruiter have a better reputation than Ed Orgeron? Probably not. The Trojans defensive line coach has been relentless in the recruiting trail and instrumental in helping manage the program's numbers situation with limited scholarships to hand out. He's hit SoCal hard and been a big reason why plenty of offensive (Max Tuerk, Jordan Simmons) and defensive (Ellis McCarthy, Noah Spence) are committed to, or looking at, USC. Also note that linebackers coach Joe Barry has done a great job with his position group, Orange County (Calif.) and Arizona during his time in LA.

Tosh Lupoi, California

It's been pretty amazing to see Lupoi's rise as a recruiter and coach at Cal but you can see why when looking at his handiwork. He's a younger Orgeron but is quickly becoming his equal after landing players such as Brennan Scarlett and Viliami Moala last year. As a Bay Area-native, he's done a great job of getting talent close to home while also going national and bringing players in. Though the Bears class is somewhat small, expect it to grow in a cover as Lupoi enters the home stretch. His top target right now is five-star Arik Armstead.

Demetrice Martin, Washington

The Huskies staff has lots of Southern California connections but Martin has been a great closer down the stretch with kids. He's relatable as a young guy and knows many of the high school coaches in the area. Don't be surprised if he lands some skill position talent for UW's class this year from the LA area.

John Neal, Oregon

One of the Ducks' ace recruiters, Neal has hit other areas of the country with success and does well in the cities. He landed nearby athlete Oshay Dunmore and had a hand in defensive backs Eric and Stephen Amoako committing from the Dallas-area. Several athletes from the East and Southern California are in contact with him and don't be shocked to hear his name come up some more.

South

Dameyune Craig, Florida State

Not sure anybody has gone into another powerhouse's backyard and raided it like Craig has Alabama's. The big star was quarterback Jameis Winston but he's also been instrumental in landing Chris Casher and Justin Shanks. There's a few more targets on the Seminoles board and don't be surprised if Craig is the one helping get them to Tallahassee.

Mike Bobo, Georgia

It's funny but Bobo's on the field duties have caused a few Georgia fans to want him out of the program but his time spent in recruits' homes and on the trail has been a big asset to the Bulldogs. He was one of the people behind last year's 'Dream Team' and has managed to sell stability at a program that only got it with 10 straight wins during the regular season. This year appears to be another time for him to shine with in-state recruits once again.

Tee Martin, Kentucky

That Martin has done a good job as a recruiter should surprise no one but given that he the former Tennessee star has done it at Kentucky is a little bit. He managed to get a huge surprise last Signing Day in wide out Daryl Collins and might be able to pull off the same magic again this year. Martin has done a great job in Alabama in particular and the only question seems to be if he can resist heading back to Knoxville with a staff opening there.

Frank Wilson, LSU

Last year he was a machine, with a hand in landing offensive tackle La'El Collins, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and running back Kenny Hilliard among others (all three saw plenty of playing time in LSU's run to New Orleans). Easily the Tigers' best recruiter, Wilson has been one reason why there's a figurative fence around the state of Louisiana. Linebacker Trey Granier was one of his big gets with the 2012 group and don't be surprised if he gets a few others as well.

Midwest

Tony Alford, Notre Dame

Don't be surprised if Alford can snag a big fish for Notre Dame late in the process. He got a commitment from Justin Ferguson out of Florida and appears to be focusing his time on the state to land a few others. With some issues at Florida, he could be one person to take advantage given his ties in the northern part of the state.

Fred Jackson, Michigan

The Wolverines have put together the best class of 2012 in the country and Jackson is a big part of it. He's mainly an in-state guy and lucky for him he's got a great group coming out and done an even better job of keeping them home. He's plucked two out of Farmington Hills (Mich.) in Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia and played a role in Royce Jenkins-Stone's pledge. He's been at the school a long time and knows how to sell Michigan to players.

Adrian Klemm, SMU

Klemm is not a household name by any means but should be based on what he's done this year. Though SMU isn't exactly a powerhouse, June Jones has engineered a turnaround in Dallas and Klemm has been a big part as recruiting coordinator. Though the school is located in a talent-rich area of a talent-rich state, the former New England Patriot has done a great job getting talented Los Angeles-area players to come East. Six SoCal natives are committed to the Mustangs class of 2012 at the moment and more could be coming. With rumors of Jones taking the Arizona State job, expect Klemm to come along to really ramp up the LA ties.

Urban Meyer/Luke Fickell, Ohio State

Yes, Meyer's not an assistant coach. But he hasn't really assembled his staff at this point and thus is going a significant share of the recruiting himself. He has certainly been active and because Fickell is remaining on staff, we'll count these two as one super-recruiter. Though recruiting hasn't been up to Ohio State standards with the 2012 group, that was to be expected given the turnover at head coach and NCAA violations in Columbus. Fickell landed Curtis Grant and Ryan Shazier last year and did a good job with Adolphus Washington this year. The two are going to be a very good asset despite what amounts to a false start with the upcoming class. Things have already paid off dividends and the Buckeyes are in the running for defensive end Noah Spence.

Davis decommits from Florida

Been a wild few days down in the South. Stone Mountain (Ga.) running back Mike Davis was one of the recent invites to the Army All-American Bowl and had the jersey ceremony for himself and fellow teammate Raphael Kirby on Thursday. At the time, rumors started to surface that he was having issues with the staff and would soon decommit.

Over the weekend he went on an official visit to Tennessee and finally on Sunday night, he made the new official that he was no longer a Florida pledge.

"My mind right now is open," Davis told Rivals. "My recruitment has opened back up. I've talked to my parents, my mom, my brother, all my family. Right now it's Florida State, South Carolina, Alabama and Miami. But things can change."

From the sounds of things, the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder is completely wide open and will not be considering the Gators despite being in their 2012 class since February and one of their biggest supporters.

"I can't really talk about it," he said cryptically. "Some things happened that I don't want to comment on between me and the coaches. All I'll say is that it was a miscommunication between them, me and my brother. Some things that weren't supposed to happen." 

Ranked as the 10th-best running back in the country by Maxpreps, losing Davis is big blow to Florida as the new staff tries to remake the team using more of a pro-style offense. One of the central pieces of the class and expected to compete early on for some playing time as a change of pace guy, Charlie Weis is now down to just Matt Jones at running back in 2012. With their top 2013 target off the board to Georgia in Derrick Henry, Florida now has to scramble to get another player back into the fold at the position.

Busy week for Armstead

After decommitting from USC, the recruitment of Pleasant Grove (Calif.) lineman Arik Armstead has steadily picked up. He's been going on several official visits the past few weeks and has kept his phone close by.

USC and Notre Dame are among the schools that have already stopped by for an in-home and several more are lined up over the next few days. Among the scheduled ones this week are Washington, Oregon and Auburn. He'll be making the short trip to Cal at some point during the weekend. Also keep in mind that Armstead wants to play basketball and that will be a factor in his decision.

Video of the week



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