Tag:UCF
Posted on: April 6, 2011 5:58 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Top 100 Offers & Leaders: 1-10

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Tom Lemming's Top 100 for 2012 List was released today and it has some of the most talented recruits in the country for the upcoming class. In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at who they have offers from and who might be the leader for their commitment.

1. WR Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo.)

Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin.

Possible leader: Alabama.

2. QB Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.)

Offers: Alabama, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Purdue, TCU, Tennessee, USC, Wisconsin.

Possible leader: Notre Dame.

3. WR Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas)

Committed to Texas.

4. DE Noah Spence (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Offers: Auburn, Boston College, Cincinnati, UConn, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech.

Possible leader: Penn State.


5. DE Mario Edwards (Denton, Texas)

Committed to Florida State.

6. OT John Theus (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Offers: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Rutgers, South Carolina, Texas, UCF.

Possible leader: Georgia.

7. DT Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif.)

Offers: Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State.

Possible leader: USC

8. RB Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas)

Offers: Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, USC.

Possible leader: Texas.

9. DB Landon Collins (Geismar, La.)

Offers: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC.

Possible leader: LSU.

10. RB Barry Sanders Jr.

Offers: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Florida State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA.

Possible leader: Alabama.

Posted on: April 5, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: April 5, 2011 10:18 am
 

2012 Defensive Backs to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Geismar (La.) star Landon Collins is the top defensive back in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other players - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Collins off the top spot and become the top defensive back for the class of 2012.

Travis Blanks (North Florida Christian, Tallahassee, Fla.)

Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 200 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, USF, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt

What's to like: Blanks has good height and projects best at safety but can play nickel corner or on the outside. He can turn his hips very quickly and can overpower smaller receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Needs to work on: Blanks is athletic but we're unsure of the competition he is going against. We'd like to see him against some top flight receivers and see how he does. He needs to get stronger as well.

Jordan Diggs (Bishop Verot High, Fort Meyers, Fla.) 

Height: 6-foot-1 
Weight: 195 pounds 
Offers from Auburn, Boston College, UConn, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, South Carolina, USF, Tennessee, UCF, Vanderbilt, West Virginia

What's to like: Diggs certainly looks the part of a Division-I safety with or without the pads. He has a physical upper body and can come in and lay a big hit. He closes on the ball quickly and is quite cerebral on the field, directing teammates to where they need to be. The best part about Diggs is his passion for the game and willingness to learn about the position.

Needs to work on: Diggs still needs to work on his quickness and at times seems a bit stiff in his hips.

Tee Shepard (Central East High, Fresno, Calif.)

Height: 6-foot-1 
Weight: 175 pounds 
Committed to Notre Dame

What's to like: Shepard will be a bigger corner at the next level and his length will give opposing receivers issues. He is one of the best in terms of covering a player one-on-one and does a good job of knowing where the ball is at all times. He also has surprisingly good hands for a defensive back.

Needs to work on: Thompson is not one to lay a huge hit on an opponent and real seems to hang out on the outside. He'll pursue players but really won't attack them at the line of scrimmage.

Geno Smith (St. Pius X School, Atlanta, Ga.)

Height: 6-foot 
Weight: 170 
Offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, USC, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech

What's to like: Smith can turn and run with the best of the wide receivers out there and he sticks to them closely. He plays the ball in the air well and is a surprisingly willing and able tackler. He closes on the ball well and could play early on at the nickel corner spot.

Needs to work on: He needs to get stronger and could also work on his press in Cover-2.

Shaquille Thompson (Grant Union High, Sacramento, Calif.) 

Height: 6-foot-1 
Weight: 195 pounds 
Offers from Auburn, Cal, Oregon, UCLA, UNLV, USC

What's to like: Thompson is the younger brother of former All-American corner Syd'Quan Thompson and you can tell that the family knows how to play the defensive back position. The younger Thompson is a terrific athlete and one of the better tacklers in this class. He closes extremely quickly and does well when in press coverage as well. He will likely play safety but he as the ability to play corner as well.

Needs to work on: Thompson still needs to beef up a little as he would be a bit thin at safety in college. There are times when he seems a bit unsure of what he's doing and just reacts but playing a single position in college will help him focus on getting better.

Posted on: April 5, 2011 8:55 am
 

4/5 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

An atrocious national championship game closes out the college basketball season. It's a good reminder that the recruiting season never ends however.

- UCF has built up a bit of a pipeline from the Denver area to Orlando and the Knights are hoping that helps with quarterback Cyler Miles.

- Nice photo gallery of the LA Nike Football Training Camp.  
- Washington is getting aggressive in their pursuit of a quarterback in the class of 2012.

- The top running back in the country, Jonathan Gray, took in both Texas A&M and Texas this past weekend.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:12 pm
 

2012 Linebackers to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Oxford (Ala.) star Kwon Alexander is the top linebacker in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other linebackers - in no particular order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Alexander off the top spot and become the top linebacker for the class of 2012.

Deaysean Rippy (Sto-Rox High, McKees Rocks, Pa.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 210 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Colorado, UConn, Florida, Florida State, Iowa, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: It's no surprise to see Rippy become one of the most recruited athletes in the country after watching his film. He has been on the radar since his sophomore year and is a really versatile player as an outside linebacker. His pass rush skills are exceptional and he is fast enough to even be a safety at the next level. Rippy is one of the best players in coverage among this group of linebackers.

Needs to work on: Rippy is still a bit undersized if he wants to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 and could add a bit of weight.



Noor Davis (The Villages High, The Villages, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 225 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Boston College, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pitt, Purdue, USF, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCF, UCLA, USC, Virginia

What's to like: Davis is an exceptional prospect at the outside linebacker position and it's hard not to like what you see when you see him in person or on film. He is a smart player on the field who reads the play quickly and almost always takes a good angle to make the tackle. It's almost funny to see him standout on the field due to his size and the way he hits.

Needs to work on: Davis needs to learn some of the nuances of playing outside linebacker and move beyond a pass rusher from the outside.



Jabari Ruffin (Downey High, Downey, Calif.) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Committed to USC

What's to like: Ruffin certainly looks the part and is probably the best linebacker west of the Mississippi. He looked sharp at the recent LA Nike Camp and his athleticism jumps out at you when you realize he played offense last season. Not only does he have speed to burn but his explosiveness is really apparent when you see him get ready to deliver a big hit.

Needs to work on: There's not a whole lot more that Ruffin needs to do to be successful but he should benefit from playing only linebacker in college. Becoming a read and react player instead of relying mostly on his athleticism to make plays is the next step for him to become a great player.



Reggie Ragland (Bob Jones High, Madison, Ala.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 235 pounds 
Committed to Alabama

What's to like: Ragland's size and speed make him a very, very good prospect manning the middle linebacker position. He's instinctive and when he reads his keys is one of the best in the country. He fills gaps very well and usually ends up blowing people up rather than just tackling them. He also does a good job of engaging a defender and then getting said defender out of his way.

Needs to work on: Ragland is a bit of a lose cannon at times and sometimes tries to do too much. He'll need to improve his coverage skills as well, especially if he's to be a middle backer in a Cover-2 scheme that requires him to run down the field.

Cassanova McKinzy (Woodlawn High, Birmingham, Ala.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 230 pounds 
Committed to Auburn

What's to like: McKinzy's name first of all. Beyond that though, there's plenty of things that Auburn coaches saw in McKinzy, including great size and speed at outside linebacker. He's very athletic and could play running back at the next level if he wanted to. McKinzy wraps up very well when tackling and is very instinctive.

Needs to work on: McKinzy may have all the measurables but he is still a bit raw at linebacker. He'll need to refine his coverage skills and improve his ability to read and react.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:52 am
 

2012 Defensive Ends to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Harrisburg (Pa.) star Noah Spence is the top defensive end in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other lineman - in no particular order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Spence off the top spot and become the top defensive end for the class of 2012.

Mario Edwards Jr. (Denton Ryan High, Denton, Texas) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 260 pounds 
Committed to Florida State.

What's to like: Edwards is almost a defensive tackle rushing the quarterback from the outside. He plays just as well - if not better - against the urn as he does pass rushing. You can tell he's had some coaching (he's the son of former Florida State and NFL player of the same name) because he's quite polished as a defensive end. His massive size also makes him one of the strongest ends in the country.

Needs to work on: There's a lot to like about Edwards but like most ends in high school, he could work on staying low out of his stance and getting his hands in a better position against taller offensive tackles.



Adolphus Washington (Taft High, Cincinnati, Ohio) 
Height: 6-foot-6 
Weight: 240 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Boston College, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M, USC

What's to like: Washington has great size, speed and, as a top basketball prospect as well, athleticism. It's simply hard to notice a player who just explodes out of his stance and can move around like a player much smaller than what he really is.

Needs to work on: Washington can get a scholarship in either football or basketball but if it is football, he needs to refine his moves because he is a bit raw. Right now he's a superb athlete but if he sticks with football and refines his technique, Washington might be scary good.

Darius Hamilton (Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.) 
Height: 6-foot-4 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Offers from: Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, UConn, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, UCF, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: Hamilton has great size and the long arms you look for in elite lineman. He's got a really good motor and is relentless in his pursuit of the ball. He sheds blocks well and gets to the quarterback quickly. Hamilton could also add some weight to his great frame and slide inside and be a defensive tackle. He also has a good pedigree being the son of former New York Giant Keith Hamilton.

Needs to work on: Hamilton really just needs to refine his techniques and learn the nuances of the position. Going up against some elite offensive tackles this summer might also be a good thing for him as he rarely is challenged in high school.

Jordan Jenkins (Harris Country High, Hamilton, Ga.) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 225 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Purdue, South Carolina, USF, Tennessee, UCF, USC, Vanderbilt

What's to like: Several big-time defensive ends have come out of the state of Georgia the past few years and Jenkins appears to be the next in line. What jumps out is his explosion off the line and into the backfield. He's fast enough to run down ball carriers that run away from him and also makes life hard on the quarterback on a straight speed rush.

Needs to work on: Jenkins isn't the most creative at getting into the backfield and could stand to improve on his pass rush moves by mixing in some swim moves and an improved spin move. He can also improve his play recondition.



Jelani Hamilton (St. Thomas Aquinas High, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-5 
Weight: 245 pounds 
Offers from: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, LSU, Miami, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech

What's to like: Hamilton certainly looks the part of a major prospect at the defensive end position. He displays surprising quickness and is quite athletic for his size. Hamilton ends up making plays wherever he is on the field and he should be coveted by some teams for his ability to add some weight and slide inside in some pass rushing situations.

Needs to work on: Hamilton still needs to learn to fire off the line lower and use his tremendous strength to create leverage.



Posted on: April 3, 2011 11:11 am
 

March Non-BCS Schools Early Commitments

Posted by Bryan Fischer

March is over and the calendar has turned to the month of April so it's time to take a look at some notable non-BCS schools' early commitments for the class of 2012.

Boise State (1)

Defensive back Marcus Rios (Elk Grove, Calif.)

BYU (4)

Defensive back Matt Hadley (Connell, Wash.)
Offensive lineman Zach Lindsay (Kaysville, Utah)
Defensive back Rhett Sandlin (Sandy, Utah)
Wide receiver Josh Weeks (Show Low, Ariz.)

East Carolina (1)

Athlete Quataye Smyre (Statesville, N.C.)

Houston (5)

Offensive lineman Blake Herman (Needvile, Texas)

Defensive end Gregory Jackson (Aldine, Texas)

Wide receiver Jordan Jolly (Navarro JUCO)

Running back Terrence Taylor (Diboll, Texas)

Defensive back Davonte Thomas (Aldine, Texas)

Marshall (2)

Offensive lineman Tyler Combs (Louisa, Ky.)

Linebacker Devon Johnson (Richlands, Va.)

Nevada (0)

SMU (1)

Running back Robert Lewis (South Gate, Calif.)

Tulsa (1)

Defensive back Rob Riederer (Holton, Kan.)

UCF (0)

Posted on: April 1, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: April 1, 2011 11:23 am
 

2012 Offensive Linemen to Watch

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Jacksonville (Fla.) offensive tackle John Theus is the top offensive lineman in the nation according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other lineman - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Theus off the top spot and become the top lineman for the class of 2012.

Zach Banner (Lakes High, Lakewood, Washington) 
Height: 6-foot-9 
Weight: 315 pounds 
Offers from: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Cal, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin

What's to like: As you can tell from Banner's offer list, just about every program in the country likes what they see of the big tackle. He is simply imposing given his height and is big enough to not be pushed around at left tackle once he gets on campus. He's surprisingly mobile and uses his long arms to drive defenders away.

Needs to work on: He's a bit stiff so improving flexibility to reach those athletic defensive ends at the next level is something Banner could improve. Also, he'll need to improve firing off the ball and staying low.

Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach High, Boynton Beach, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-6 
Weight: 315 pounds 
Committed to Florida

What's to like: Dunker exploded onto the recruiting scene late last year and became one of the most coveted players on the East Coast. Dunker has only played one year of football after coming over from basketball so you know he has terrific athleticism. He is a prototypical left tackle's size and weight already.

Needs to work on: Because he has only one year of football experience, he still needs to learn the nuances of playing left tackle. He has a solid year under his belt and he'll need to look at improving his footwork and pass protection.

D.J. Humphries (Mallard Creek High, Charlotte, N.C.) 
Height: 6-foot-5 
Weight: 280 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, USF, Tennessee, Texas, UCF, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

What's to like: Humphries is a mauler out on the field and there's not much that can stop the big guy. At this point, he is probably more of an interior lineman such as a guard based on his size and style of play. Humphries also does a good job of firing off the ball and staying low.

Needs to work on: At times, Humphries can overextend himself and that might leave him vulnerable to double moves from defensive lineman. He is so much bigger and stronger than the other players that he hasn't develop much finesse when he blocks.

Andrus Peat (Corona Del Sol High, Tempe, Ariz.) 
Height: 6-foot-7 
Weight: 285 pounds 
Offers from Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Colorado, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest, Washington

What's to like: Peat is one of the best lineman in the country because he's really the complete package at left tackle. He really drives his blocks down the field and there's few, if any, defenders that can get by him. What coaches like even more is that despite his high school team going 1-10 last year, he didn't really loaf or take plays off if you watch some of his film.

Needs to work on: There's not a of things to work on for Peat but he can continue fill out his big frame and improve his footwork.

Jordan Simmons (Crespi High, Encino, Calif.) 
Height: 6-foot-5 
Weight: 330 pounds 
Offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Miami, Michigan, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, San Diego State, SMU, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington

What's to like: Simmons is almost always the biggest player on the field and as a result is like a brick wall to defenders. He does well in one-on-one situations against much more athletic defensive ends uses his very long arms extremely well.

Needs to work on: He has recently dropped some bad weight and needs to continue to do so and add more muscle. He's more of a guard in college so learning to really work inside-out will be another thing to watch next season.

Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 3:56 pm
 

O'Leary discusses DaMarcus Smith release

Posted by Bryan Fischer

UCF head coach George O'Leary discussed not releasing quarterback DaMarcus Smith from his letter of intent after the Knights' practice today. Video courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel.



Regarding DaMarcus Smith asking to be released from his LOI:

"I met with him a month ago. He basically talked to me about the situation. He left me saying he was 100 percent a Knight. Every time he goes back to the Louisville area, it seems to be questionable what's taking place there. His mother called me last night and expressed that they would like a release. I told her, 'No.' They have to do what they have to do as far as an appeal. They have to do that. They're not getting a release from UCF."

On the importance of the LOI:

"To me, you spend a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of hours recruiting a kid. I think the big thing is that you sign a legal document. That's what it is, a legal document. I've never in all my coaching given a release to an LOI. I'm not about to start. He knew that. I told him that. Again, that's why they have such a stiff penalty for people who don't fulfill the NLI."

Whether Smith gave a reason for wanting out:

"Not really, except that he really wants to go to Louisville. That's why there's a long recruiting period. A letter was signed by him and his mom. Again, I think as a head coach of a Division I program, those letters are what commits a youngster to your program, just like it commits us to them with financial aid. Again, as far as we're concerned, it's out of our hands. They'll file an appeal. It's not our decision. Our decision is not to grant a release. I would never grant a release in any situation, really."

On UCF's quarterback situation in the fall:

"That's the other thing you look at. You look at it a couple different ways. Now who is the victim? Because we stopped recruiting quarterbacks when he basically let us know he was involved and wanted to be here, long before National Signing Day. We'll work fine. That's why I'm still giving Rob (Calabrese) some reps today. There's a method to the madness."

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