Tag:Tom Lemming
Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:53 pm

Defensive end Whitehead picks N.C. State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's not often a recruit chooses one school over one that played for an SEC title and another who played in a BCS game. That's just what Lithonia (Ga.) defensive end Kenderius Whitehead did however, feeling more comfortable at N.C. State than any other school that was recruiting him.

“I was looking for the best school for me, as far as playing time and my education,” Whitehead told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I want to do computer science and N.C. State is a great school for that degree.”

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound pass rusher picked the school over his other finalists, Georgia and Clemson. Many thought that the Bulldogs were in prime position to land Whitehead but it appeared that heading away from home was a factor in his recruitment.

 “I grew up around Athens my whole life,” he said. “I thought about this decision a lot. I just want to see some different places and do different things.”

Whitehead's commitment gives the Wolfpack 22 for the class of 2012 with Signing Day fast-approaching. He is among the highest-rated the staff has landed a pledge from, with Maxpreps ranking him as the 23rd prospect at his position.

"Kenderius shows the speed and quickness off the edge that the college scouts like," said analyst Tom Lemming. "Needs to add weight and strength but his ability to bend off the edge and then explode into the backfield has impressed many a scouts. He shows very quick hands and the ability to play off blocks and find the ball. He has impressed everyone with his hustle, desire, and aggressive style of play. Plays DE in high school and could wind up playing OLB in college."
Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:43 pm

Oklahoma adds Midwest running back Smith

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oklahoma was the final official visit for Midlothian (Ill.) running back David Smith and it appears he liked what he saw, making things official and committing to the Sooners on Tuesday.

"I talked it over with my parents, my coach, and next fall I'll be attending the university of Oklahoma," Smith said at a press conference.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound back also held offers from schools such as Cincinnati, Purdue and West Virginia. Maxpreps' 15th-ranked tailback has been high on Oklahoma for some time and should fit in well in their offensive system.

"Shoot, I'm just excited, I don't know. I'm just excited about this, I don't know what to say really. It's crazy man," Smith told SoonerScoop.com. "I mean, it's a dream come true."

Smith rushed for 837 yards and topped 1,000 all-purpose yards last season as a senior. He is Oklahoma's 19th class of 2012 commitment.

"He shows outstanding vision, speed, and cutting ability," analyst Tom Lemming said. "A compact type of back who is a patient runner, he can accelerate on a dime, plays with good balance, runs hard between the tackles, and seems to get stronger as the game progresses. He really came into his own the second half of last season and has become one of the more heavily recruited RB prospects in the Midwest."
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:44 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 12:47 pm

It's official as Kiel, three others enroll at ND

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's officially offiical. Notre Dame sent out the following release conforming Maxpreps' top ranked quarterback Gunner Kiel is enrolled with the Irish along with several other early enrollees and transfers:

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame football team added four players to its roster Tuesday, head coach Brian Kelly announced.

The Irish added one transfer student and three early-enrollee freshmen to the football squad.

Running back Amir Carlisle (Santa Clara, Calif./Kings Academy/USC) transferred to Notre Dame after attending the first semester of his freshman year at the University of Southern California.

Defensive lineman Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central), quarterback Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East) and defensive back Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union) graduated from their respective high schools last December.

The four players signed their scholarship forms and were enrolled at the University Tuesday, the first day of the 2012 spring semester at Notre Dame.

Carlisle played in eight games for the Trojans in 2011. He totaled 19 rushes for 118 yards (6.2 yards per carry) and posted seven receptions for 41 yards with one touchdown. His best game for USC came at Colorado when Carlisle led the Trojans with 90 yards on 10 carries and caught two passes for 31 yards, including a 19-yard TD reception.

As a senior at Kings Academy, Carlisle was named a 2010 high school All-American by Parade and SuperPrep after gaining 2,110 rushing yards (averaged 10.0 yards per carry) and 28 TDs. He also caught 12 passes for 231 yards (19.3 average) with three TDs. In his high school career, Carlisle rushed for 5,108 yards (11.0 yards per carry) with 73 rushing TDs and posted 26 career 100-yard rushing games in 28 high school games.

"I'm really excited to be here at Notre Dame. I had great respect for the school and football program when I went through the recruiting process a year ago and I'm proud to be enrolled here. I know this will be a great fit for me and I can't wait to get started."

Day was a second-team selection on the SI.com High School All-America team. The Indianapolis Star Super Team Player of the Year for 2011 was also runner-up for 2011 Indiana Mr. Football award chosen by Indiana Football Coaches Association. Day made 55 tackles including 12 for loss, nine sacks, 12 quarterback pressures and recovered two fumbles as a senior. He helped Warren Central to 11-1 record in 2011, with the only loss occurring in the sectional final to eventual Indiana 5A champion Carmel. 

"I'm excited to get here and get started on my classwork and to start the conditioning program with Coach (Paul) Longo," Day said. "I really liked meeting the guys during my recruiting process and I'm excited to start workouts with them this winter."

Many internet scouting services rated Kiel the top quarterback recruit in the nation this year. The 2011 Indiana Mr. Football passed for 2,517 yards and 28 TDs as a senior and rushed for 482 yards and 11 TDs. He helped lead Columbus East High School to the Indiana state 4A semifinals as a senior and was named the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year. Kiel passed for 7,175 yards in his high school career.

"This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me," Kiel said. "There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.

"Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn't be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I'm excited about the future of the program."

Shepard was rated the third-best cornerback in his class by Scout.com and the number-36 player nationally by MaxPreps and Tom Lemming. Shepard was forced to sit out his senior season after transferring from Central East High School in Fresno. He made 10 interceptions in his high school career and played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix.

"I'm really happy to part of the Notre Dame football family," Shepard said. "This is a special place and I'm excited to finally be here. Getting a jump start on my training and in my classes can only help me for the future."

Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:57 pm

UCLA adds to 2013 class with Eddie Printz

Posted by Bryan Fischer

UCLA is still finalizing their class of 2012 but Jim Mora seems to have picked up that does not mean you focus only on the upcoming signees. The Bruins added a commitment from a 2013 player by going across the country on Monday and grabbing Marietta (Ga.) quarterback Eddie Printz.

"I committed to UCLA," Printz said. "I'm looking forward to playing for Jim Mora and the Bruins."

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound quarterback was previously committed to SMU and held offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky and Vanderbilt among others. He recently visited Westwood on an unofficial visit and after meeting the coaching staff, including former recruiter Adrian Klemm and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.

“I decided to commit after sitting down and talking with the UCLA coaches,” Printz told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It became apparent with their desire to bring me on board and continue to build a winning program. After taking a tour around the campus, I got to see everything they had to offer — such as gorgeous facilities, a beautiful campus, the year-round sunny weather, being so close to the beach, the academic reputation … the decision became very clear.”

Printz threw for 3,350 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior and is no doubt familiar with Mora from his time down the road as the Atlanta Falcons head coach. The signal-caller's teammate, senior linebacker Kenny Orjioke, is also committed to the Bruins.

"Technically sound, he reads defenses well, he's exceptional in short to intermediate passes, and he can also throw the deep out with authority," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He can place the ball in tight spaces and is exceptional when throwing the ball on the run. A major talent with a bright future."

Posted on: January 16, 2012 10:47 am

Todd Gurley heads to Georgia

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Just as they have in past years, Georgia is closing well in the lead up to Signing Day and added another piece of the puzzle last week with the commitment of Tarboro (N.C.) athlete Todd Gurley.

"It was very difficult just having all of these great schools recruiting me," Gurley told UGASports.com. "It kind of came down to Clemson and Georgia and me taking that visit. I kind of love Clemson and always wanted to play there, but deep down inside Georgia is where my heart was at so that's where I needed to be."

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder plays primarily at running back and is a very nice complement to fellow Bulldog Keith Marshall in the 2012 class. Gurley was able to see Georgia at a low point during the season and the high point and hopes to give fans more of the latter once he heads to Athens.

"It didn't really bother me too much because they lost to two great teams. Boise State had a lot of experience and a lot of seniors and South Carolina just had a great team," he said. "Then I came back for a visit for the Kentucky game and watched them clinch the East and how big that was for them."

Gurley rushed for over 2,300 yards and 38 touchdowns during his senior season and becomes the 17th class of 2012 commitment for Georgia.

"Todd has a straight up and down running style, great burst, vision, and shows good running instincts," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He can quickly get to the perimeter to cause damage on the outside and is big enough to be effective between the tackles."

Photo by Troy Cherry
Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:13 am

Georgia lands big committment from top 100 end

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After trailing for nearly all of his recruitment, Hamilton (Ga.) defensive end Jordan Jenkins surprised a lot of folks by staying home and committing to Georgia Monday night.

“Georgia is a better fit for me and my family together because I don’t want to go to some place where my mom is worried about me all the time," Jenkins said on Fox Sports South. I just want to go to a place I can feel comfortable, and I can go to the coach and I can confide in him and stuff like that. And that’s why I chose [Georgia].”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder qualifies as the biggest commitment defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has landed, with Jenkins picking Georgia over Alabama, Florida and Auburn.

"[It was] just that the depth chart wasn’t as deep, and my family … they didn’t exactly feel safe with me going to Alabama," he said. "And I love Alabama, I love them to death. My first few years ago, I thought I was going to end up at Alabama. I never would’ve thought I was going to Georgia."

Jenkins becomes commitment 16 for the Bulldogs and is one of their highest rated pledges with Maxpreps ranking him as the 13th best defensive end in the country and 97th overall in the class of 2012.

"Kind of a tweener size-wise but not talent-wise," analyst Tom Lemming said. "A dynamic ball player who is versatile, strong, hard to move off the ball, has proven to be a force against the run, and is an exceptionally affective pass rusher. His first step is explosive and he plays the game as it should be played, all out on every down. He plays best going downhill. A natural defender who could wind up playing DE or OLB in college. "

Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:45 pm

Missouri picks up Texas running back Hansbrough

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With Missouri's move to the SEC, many thought the school's productive pipeline from the state of Texas will start to dry up. For 2012 at least, those fears have no founding as the Tigers added the commitment of Arlington (Texas) tailback Russell Hansbrough over the weekend.

"I just gained a lot of trust in the coaches," Hansbrough told PowerMizzou.com. "I built strong relationships, and I wanted to commit before it was too late."

The 5-foot-7, 175-pound all-purpose runner was previously committed to Arizona State but, with the coaching change and a favorable depth chart situation at Missouri, Hansbrough decided to make a change with Signing Day fast approaching.

"They told me if I came in and worked hard, I would see time next year," he said.

Hansbrough becomes the Tigers' 18th class of 2012 commitment. He was ranked as the 12th best tailback in the country by Maxpreps and had 1,238 yards and 19 total touchdowns last season as a senior.

"Russell shows good field vision and he can find the open holes using blazing speed and quickness," analyst Tom Lemming said of Hansbrough. "He plays bigger than his size, runs hard, and shows the ability to finish off his runs. He catches the ball well out of the backfield and once he gets half a step on the defender, it's all over. Speed is the name of his game and he uses it to his great advantage."

Posted on: January 8, 2012 6:05 pm

Ifeadi Odenigbo commits to Northwestern

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's not everyday that Northwestern lands a top tier recruit but that was the case on Saturday as the Wildcats landed Dayton (Ohio) defensive end/linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is a pass rushing specialst off the edge and can play at either defensive end or as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

"He shows a remarkably quick first step, superior pass rushing skills, great balance, the ability to bend off the edge, and he's been blessed with strong hands and very quick feet," said analyst Tom Lemming. "A versatile ball player who can play DE, ILB or ILB. He has already made an impact as a pass rusher and shows the tools to do the same at the Division I level. He can make plays from sideline to sideline, is excellent in pursuit, shows good recognition skills and displays playmaking ability."

Odenigbo participated in the Under Armour All-American game last week and recorded two sacks after a solid week of practice. He held offers from schools like Ohio State, Michigan and UCLA put picked Northwestern over his other finalists, Stanford and Notre Dame.

The four-star is ranked as the 49th player in the class of 2012 by Maxpreps.
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