Tag:Jameis Winston
Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:58 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 10:59 pm
 

Big DT Sheldon Day commits to Notre Dame

Posted by Bryan Fischer

While Florida State snagging quarterback Jameis Winston might have stolen most of the recruiting headlines on Wednesday, Notre Dame added an equally big pickup of their own as Indianapolis (Ind.) defensive tackle Sheldon Day gave the Irish his verbal commitment in the early evening.

"It was the academics, great football, and (defensive line) Coach (Mike) Elston and Coach (Brian) Kelly and the whole entire staff," Day told 247Sports.com.

The 6-foot-2, 286-pounder was a stand out at the Ohio State Nike Camp and The Opening earlier this the summer and held offers from schools such as Auburn, Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Day is the 13th commit for the Irish in the class of 2012 but just the second along the defensive line.





Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Top quarterback Winston commits to Florida State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

If you are a college head coach looking for a Top 100 quarterback in the class of 2012, that ship has pretty much sailed.

The nation's top dual-threat quarterback and number two overall at the position, Hueytown (Ala.) signal-caller Jameis Winston made his decision and came off everyone's recruiting board as he verbally committed to Florida State Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm just comfortable that's where I want to be," Winston said on national television. "I'm very confident and see myself there in the near future."

The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder is a threat to beat you with his arm and his legs. He was recently named an MVP at the Elite 11 quarterback competition in California and has a terrific blend of athleticism that just gives defenses fits. Winston is still a bit raw but provides the Seminoles with a future star at the position.

While at the Elite 11 last month, he was able to get a glimpse at his future by asking current Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel about what it takes to be the quarterback in Tallahassee.

"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."

Alabama and LSU were Winston's other finalists. Living about an hour from Tuscaloosa, it was tough to pass on the local football powerhouse but the talented quarterback is extremely happy with his decision even if a few others are not.

"Alabama fans, they're probably going to hate me," he said on television. "But my job right now is not to please the fans in general. I'm just focused on leading my high school team to a state championship."

Winston is also an excellent baseball player and has said he would bypass football if he was drafted high enough. Although he's projected to go anywhere to the middle rounds to the first, baseball was not the first thing on his mind Wednesday as he made his decision. If he does end up enrolling in college, he will play both sports and, by going to Florida State, will likely redshirt with Manuel firmly entrenched as the starter this season.

"I'm thinking about it, the baseball draft is coming soon," Winston said. "But right now I'm just focused on leading my team to a state championship and baseball will come later."

Last season as a junior, Winston threw for 2,334 yards and 17 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He is Jimbo Fisher's 16th commitment for the class of 2012 and second quarterback to join the fold.


Image for MaxPreps Video.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:12 pm
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Posted on: July 23, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Elite 11 Top Performers

Posted by Bryan Fischer

MALIBU, Calif. -- The 2011 edition of the Elite 11 quarterback competition wrapped up on Friday on the gorgeous campus of Pepperdine University. With 24 of the country's best signal-callers in attendance, it was tough to narrow down the list to 11. The staff at the event had their list of 11 and here's a breakdown of how CBSSports.com saw it after watching everyone throw (in alphabetical order).

Neal Burcham (Greenbrier, Ark.)

Burcham rolled into the Elite 11 as an unknown with only one offer (from Central Arkansas) but left with everyone excited to see how his recruitment will take off - because it will. There was no glaring hole in his game and he was able to make all the throws. He's got good height but might be a tad on the thin side, nothing to scare teams off though. He makes a quick decision during 7-on-7 drills and 99% of the time it's the right one. The coaching staff were shaking their heads at how he could be so lightly recruited and after seeing him, so were we.

Bart Houston (Concord, Calif.), Committed to Wisconsin

If there's one thing you think when watching Houston, it's how he really is a perfect fit for Wisconsin. He's cerebral in the pocket and can diagnose what is going on quickly, then delivers a precision strike. There's nothing that jumps off the page with him but that's because he's solid in every area you look at. He knows when to check down and didn't seem to force anything all week.

Chad Kelly (Buffalo, N.Y.), Committed to Clemson

Kelly has had a productive July, looking good at The Opening and turning in another good performance at the Elite 11. He has a strong arm and was able to get the ball to the perfect spot. Kelly was outgoing on the sidelines with his fellow campers but once he was on the field, he got very serious. Just an overall good performance by the Clemson commit.

Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.), Committed to Cal

Kline had the best arm out of anyone in Malibu and one of the receivers even remarked he was surprised at how quickly the ball got to him. He tossed some beautiful fade routes and there really wasn't any spot on the field he couldn't get it to. There are times where he'll be a bit wild or take a chance he shouldn't but Kline no doubt proved he was the top quarterback on the West Coast.

Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.)

Kiel is the nation's top quarterback and number two overall player and did nothing at the Elite 11 to suggest otherwise. He's one of the most polished prospects to come out of high school in some time and has great mechanics and a very strong arm. He lapsed at times but nevertheless showed everything you look for in a future all-conference quarterback.

Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.), Committed to Washington

Lindquist turned in his best performance of the summer and showed why it might be a tighter battle with fellow Washington commit Cyler Miles when they both get to campus. He was actually one of the few quarterbacks to have the arm strength to complete one drill that focused on using only the upper body. Lindquist threw a tight spiral all week and delivered a really catchable ball to the right spot just about every time.


Tanner Mangum (Eagle, Idaho), Committed to BYU

Not sure anyone has had a better month of July than Mangum. He proved he could not only hang with players more nationally recognized but that he was in the conversation to join them. Mangum has a really strong arm, sound mechanics and was a cerebral type who got the ball to where it needed to go. After watching him in action, he might be a better prospect out of high school than current Cougars starter Jake Heaps was.

Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.), Committed to Washington

Miles was one of the bigger players at the event and looked more like some of the college players then the other high schoolers. Miles didn't have the strongest arm but he can make the throws. He had a really good week during 7-on-7 and was making the right reads. The event didn't allow him to show off his athleticism but he used it to showcase his quarterback IQ.

Nick Patti (Orlando, Fla.), Committed to Boise State

Patti wasn't perfect all week but still threw the ball well enough to get on this list. Everyone brings up his height and if he were a few inches taller, he'd be on everybody's radar. Based on what he showed at the Elite 11, it doesn't matter how tall he is, he's a flat-out player. Patti can deliver the ball on a rope but also knows when to put some touch on the ball. He was a little off on downfield throws but very good on short to intermediate routes.

Chad Voytik (Cleveland, Tenn.)

Voytik is very compact and drops back very quickly and fluidly. There's no doubt he had one of the strongest arms at the camp and the ball just flew out of his hands. It was really impressive to seem him spin the ball and he proved that he deserved the national recognition that he was craving.

Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala.)

Winston really had a good week and was at the top of his game. He's been playing mostly baseball and was a bit skinny but still could spin the ball well. Watch Winston in a game and his athleticism pops out but in a different setting this week, he showed in he is a complete player by making reads and every throw the playbook.

Just missed the cut: Shane Dillon, Zeke Pike, Patrick Towles, Travis Wilson.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 2:30 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:38 am
 

Winston evolving into complete QB at Elite 11

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."

Notes:

- 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.

Posted on: July 13, 2011 9:44 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 9:45 am
 

7/13 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- I joined the In The Bleachers podcast to talk about The Opening so be sure to listen in.

- Top 100 quarterback Jameis Winston won't pass up first round money if he's drafted high. 

- The top returning high school passers for this upcoming season from Maxpreps

- There are plenty of factors going into the decision of number one recruit Dorial Green-Beckham.

- A look at the ACC Coastal division's recruiting classes.

 Florida put together two really good recruiting classes this past decade. Wide receiver Jeremy Glinton could commit to their current class.

 Miami has been very aggressive in their recruiting under Al Golden

Commitments:

 Virginia Tech recruiting is doing well after the Hokies added another receiver.

 UCLA added a defensive end from Delaware. 

It's no surprise but Colorado picked up a commitment from another player from Texas. 

 Another new Husky for Washington's recruiting class.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 11:28 am
 

Elite 11 Roster Unveiled

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The roster for the 2011 Elite 11 quarterback competition has been released, and it features some of the top signal-callers in the country. There are a few changes to the event itself, which expands the roster from 11 to 24 and goes from a four-day event to five. The annual competition will be held at the picturesque Pepperdine campus in Malibu, Calif.

Notable alumni at the event include Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Troy Smith, Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow and Blaine Gabbert. This year's lineup features the following players from the class of 2012:

Austin Appleby (North Canton, Ohio)
Committed to Purdue

Connor Brewer (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Committed to Texas

Neal Burcham
(Greenbrier, Ark.)

Tyler Cameron (Jupiter, Fla.)

Preston Dewey (Austin, Texas)
Committed to Miami

Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Committed to Colorado

Bart Houston (Concord, Calif.)
Committed to Wisconsin

Chad Kelly (Buffalo. N.Y.)
Committed to Clemson

Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.)

Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.)
Committed to Cal

Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Committed to Washington

Tanner Mangum (Eagle, Idaho)
Committed to BYU

Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.)
Committed to TCU

Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.)
Committed to Washington

Tyler O’Connor (Lima, Ohio)
Committed to Michigan State

Nick Patti (Orlando, Fla.)
Committed to Boise State

Zeke Pike (Fort Mitchell, Ky.)
Committed to Auburn

Patton Robinette (Maryville, Tenn.)
Committed to North Carolina

Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)
Committed to Oregon

Grant Rohach (Moorpark, Calif.)
Committed to Iowa State

Patrick Towles (Fort Thomas, Ky.)
Committed to Kentucky

Chad Voytik (Cleveland, Tenn.)

Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)
Committed to Utah

Jameis Winston (Hueytown, Ala.)
Posted on: May 27, 2011 10:50 am
 

5/27 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- Top defensive back Geno Smith says his leaders are Notre Dame, Alabama, Auburn, Texas and Tennessee

- Pitt offered defensive tackle Trae Clark

- Auburn's biggest recruiting weekend of the year is coming up and they're hoping Big Cat Weekend reels in the recruits

- Michigan State is reaching into Big 12 territory and extending offers. 

- One of the best quarterbacks in the country, Jameis Winston, is starting to tire of the recruiting game
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com