Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Cal
Posted on: July 3, 2011 1:55 am
Edited on: July 3, 2011 11:54 am
 

Badger Sports 7-on-7 Nationals Day 1 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

DALLAS – The sun was out, the weather was hot and the games were fierce at SMU's Gerald Ford Stadium Saturday afternoon for the Badger Sports 7-on-7 National Championship tournament. Teams from across the country rolled into town with high expectations as round robin play began and while no one made it through the day undefeated, the competition level was high from goal line to goal line.

The most talked about player at the event was easily Westlake Village (Calif.) receiver Jordan Payton. After becoming USC's first commitment for the class of 2012, the savvy wide out spent most of the spring and summer worried more about his own game than the recruiting game. However, since decommitting from the Trojans last week, he's been checking his phone a lot more often for information from college coaches.

“I've been 'monitoring' it,” Payton said with a laugh. “That's what I call it. I've been emailing back and forth with Michigan and several other schools.”

It should be noted that Payton was still out on the fields in the Texas heat running the same routes, making the same great catches and finding the end zone when he wasn't moonlighting as a safety for his 1925 All-Star team. Still, things were just a little bit different now that he was no longer committed.

“All of the schools, it's weird because they offer you and then they didn't talk to me as much because I was committed,” he said. “Now, Michigan, Cal, Arizona State, Florida (are talking to him). I'm interested to hear what Florida State's going to say.

“It's like I'm in a different area, I don't know what to do. I've only been committed. But I'm feeling good and I'm happy and taking it slow.”

The MaxPreps Top 100 receiver is still considering the local team, USC, and will meet with coaches next week to discuss his options. The biggest reason in pulling his verbal pledge back was to give the staff a chance to figure out their limited scholarship numbers and Payton knows that having to sit across from the coaches and talk with them about his place in the program going forwards is going to be a bit awkward when it happens.

“I'll be down there to talk with them so we'll see how that goes,” he said. “I have no idea what to expect to be honest with you.”

Kind of like talking with an ex-girlfriend?

“Exactly,” he said.

Payton does have a short list of schools he's considering and there tends to be a common theme as he tries to figure out where he'll eventually wind up signing with.

“All the schools I'm talking with all have great business schools,” he said. “Second, I just want to feel comfortable. I'm not saying I didn't feel comfortable with USC but I just felt it was that time. I'm just not sure that I want to be in LA.”

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder will likely play most of his recruitment close to the vest before announcing and one of the key reasons why is the fact that he's trying to orchestrate a few other players to join him at his eventual destination.

“I'm going to tell you this, it's going to be interesting the next couple of weeks for in recruiting,” Payton said. “You're going to see a lot of changes. Just think Fab Five.”

Knowing how the comment would sound, Payton was quick to clarify “like” the Fab Five and that it didn't mean they were for sure headed to Michigan.

Treggs burning up on and off the field

On the field and off, two of the most polished players on any team were Payton and Bellflower (Calif.) receiver Bryce Treggs. The two are friends and with Payton no longer a lock to go to USC, the two have started to explore the possibility of playing together at the next level instead of against each other on the turf at SMU.

“We're actually talking about that,” Treggs said. “That'd be pretty good. I mean, if me and Jordan go to the same school, it'd be pretty much unfair.”

When asked about Payton's 'Fab Five' remarks, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder opened up a little bit more about the prospect of them playing together.

“Well you have all those players that went to Michigan and made it the program they are today,” Treggs said. “He's basically saying that we might be able to do that. Not necessarily that we're going to do it at Michigan but that's his idea. Him, me, Shaq Thompson, Ishmael Adams, a lot of guys.”

“The Cali Five, I guess.”

Treggs said he unofficially visited Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Stanford and Notre Dame over the past few months. Many observers have read the tea leaves and believe that he will eventually end up playing for his father's alma mater, Cal, though. It's easy to see why they believe that whenever Treggs is asked who is recruiting him the hardest.

“Probably Cal... definitely Cal,” he said. “It's not a lock, I'm going to look at all of my other options. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a decision before the season so I can get it out of the way and focus on having a good senior year. I hope I can lead my team to a CIF championship.”

Treggs was blowing by corners with ease despite the sweltering heat, scoring several touchdowns by utilizing the fade route along the numbers Saturday. Running routes in 101 degree heat was a bit of an adjustment for someone used to ocean breezes and Santa Anna winds however.

“It was very hot,” Treggs said. “In California, we've got that breeze from the beach and stuff like that. After the first two games we adapted to it so we're fine right now.

“I would say I'm in the zone right now. We have so many receivers on our team, you never know when you're going to get the ball with so many weapons. There's not really one go-to guy so I just run my route hard every time and when Troy (Williams) picks me, I'm ready to make a play.”

Williams, a 2013 player who was one of the sharper quarterbacks at the event, and Treggs easily had the best timing at the event and it was not limited to deep routes. The connection between the two runs deep and was developed over years of playing together.

“The timing has been there since forth or fifth grade,” Treggs said. “We used to play Pop Warner for the Carson Colts together. So the timing is definitely there and it's good to be out here with somebody you know.”

Treggs, it seems, knows just about everybody and it will be interesting to see what coaching staff gets to know him the best through the recruiting process.

Rippy growing as a linebacker

It's often become common place for top recruits to come to camps or combines to be seen and heard but sit on the sidelines when it comes to competition time. MaxPreps Top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy, despite being from McKees Rocks (Pa.), was not one such player and battled the heat and humidity of Texas to focus on getting better against some of the best players in the country.

“We played some good teams, they were competitive,” Rippy said. “I'm working on everything, from being a linebacker to playing like a corner or strong safety in coverage. The drops, the backpedal, being aggressive, all of it.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rippy holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Penn State and Tennessee. With so many options to choose from, narrowing down the list is becoming a difficult task and one he's not sure when he'll wind up cutting down to a more manageable ten or fewer.

“I don't know to be honest,” he said. “I've got all these schools and don't get me wrong, they're all great schools and you're bound to go pro from whatever school. People go pro from IUP up in Pennsylvania so any school, it's just about playing.”

Like many recruits nowadays, Rippy has hit the road over the spring and summer to visit schools and see what the coaching staffs are like in person.

“Had a lot of unofficals up till now and I'm about to take a couple more visits,” he said. “I don't know where yet and that's the thing. One of the big things I've learned in the recruiting process is that when you get those first 10 offers, you want all of that attention. Then, once you get 20 or 30, you don't want that attention any more.”

“It's going to be hard to pick a school, it's going to be very hard.”

For a time, there was one program that stood out from the pack but as the attention has increased on his college choice, he's actually broadened his outlook instead of narrowing it down.

“At first, people knew that I favored Florida a lot,” Rippy said. “I came to realize that I'd rather keep it wide open. I'll go to Alabama or Auburn or wherever. Between now and August, I'm just going to going to weigh my options.”

Thompson looking at four

Yet another top 100 player who performed well at SMU was Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson. While he mostly was batting away balls that had too much air on them, day one of the tournament also allowed him to show his offensive attributes. Playing both ways was just one way the talented athlete showed off his love for the game.

“It's too hot out here. The turf is hotter, less wind, it's just a hot day,” Thompson said. “But it's a great day to play football and that always makes it a great day.”

Easily the most impressive defensive back on the field from a physical standpoint, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Thompson has a host of programs who are heavily pursuing him ever since he decommitted from Cal awhile ago.

“I'd say Washington and Cal and Notre Dame,” he said. “Mainly Washington, they've been calling me, hitting me up and see how I'm doing. They're getting there but I'm still open. I'm ready for anything.”

Though it appears there will be no more unofficial visits for the four-star safety, he's already moved on to figuring out who will receive an official visit as the calendar inches closer to the date prospects can begin visiting in a formal capacity.

“During the season I'm probably going to take a trip to Washington,” he said. “Cal, UCLA or Notre Dame, one of those too.”

Thompson said his top four schools were – not surprisingly - Cal, Washington, UCLA and Notre Dame. The distance from home for the two non-California schools likely won't be a huge factor but is still something he's considering.

“Not really, I've got family basically all over,” Thompson said. “It's just the people I grew up with are the people that I'm most comfortable with. So I'll probably stay closer to home.”

Notes

- The most anticipated game of the day matched up B2G and 1925, who have played against each other several times in championship settings like Saturday. There was a little bit of trash talk and a lot of plays being made. Notre Dame commit Deontay Greenberry would probably had taken home an award for most swagger and was nearly unstoppable in the red zone for 1925. Receiver Gabe Marks and Arizona State soft verbal commitment Kenny Lawler starred for B2G.

- Quarterback Jeremy Liggins was the primary signal caller for Team Louisiana and he stood out for his size (6-foot-3 and about 260-pounds) and the ability to get rid of the ball quickly when he wanted to. He was able to get the ball downfield to several speedy receivers as well. Darion Monroe, a Texas A&M commit, was a standout on the defensive side of the ball.

- Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike was a bit inconsistent on intermediate routes but made several nice tosses down the field. He looked better than he did at the Ohio State Nike and Elite 11 camps and had plenty of targets to throw to. Fellow Auburn commit Darrion Hutcherson looks like he could suit up on the Plains tomorrow and tight end Jesse James, who's headed to Penn State, were both big mismatches due to their size and ability to find an open spot on the field. Also on the team was receiver Jason Croom, who said he's nearing a decision and will announce next month.

- It's easy to overlook Detroit (Mich.) athlete Dennis Norfleet when you're walking by him on the sideline but it is not, however, easy to overlook him when he steps on the field. The 5-foot-9 (maybe) scatback was simply a playmaker on Saturday, catching everything thrown his way and making defenders miss often.

Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:56 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 1:42 pm
 

June Pac-12 Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's the final week in June, and as the temperature gauge continues to rise and we move into July, it's time to see how schools are building their recruiting class of 2012. Today, we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Pac-12, which officially becomes a conference on July 1st.

Arizona (7)

Offensive lineman Beau Boyster (Bellflower, Calif.)
Defensive lineman Cayman Bundage (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Offensive lineman T.D. Gross (Santee, Calif.)
Quarterback Josh Kern (San Antonio, Texas)
Tight end Taylor McNamara (San Diego, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Steven Moore (Elk Grove, Calif.)
Quarterback Nathan Sudfeld (Modesto, Calif.)

Arizona State (12)

Offensive lineman Dejon Allen (Compton, Calif.)
Wide receiver Josiah Blandin (Long Beach, Calif.)
Linebacker Salamo Fiso (Long Beach, Calif.)
Wide receiver Randall Goforth (Long Beach, Calif.)
Defensive back Oliver Johnson (Pierece JUCO/Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Milo Jordan (Corona, Calif.)
Tight end Kody Kohl (Gilbert, Ariz.)
Wide receiver Kenny Lawler (Upland, Calif.)
Quarterback T.J. Millweard (Fort Worth, Texas)
Linebacker Kimball Niumatalolo (Pasadena City JUCO/Pasadena, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Jake Sheffield (Palm Desert, Calif.)
Wide receiver Richard Smith (Long Beach, Calif.)

California (2)

Linebacker Michael Barton (Concord, Calif.)
Quarterback Zach Kline (Danville, Calif.)

Colorado (5)

Running back Terrence Crowder (Galena Park, Texas)
Quarterback Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Tyler Henington (Denver, Col.)
Defensive end Clay Norgard (Highlands Ranch, Col.)
Wide receiver Jeffrey Thomas (Ducanville, Texas)

Oregon (7)

Defensive back Eric Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Stephen Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive end Alex Balducci (Portland, Ore.)
Tight end Evan Baylis (Aurora, Colo.)
Defensive end Cody Carriger (Butte, Mont.)
Wide receiver Oshay Dunmore (Newport, Ore.)
Quarterback Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)

Oregon State
(6)

Offensive lineman Gavin Andrews (Granite Bay, Calif.)
Wide receiver Malik Gilmore (Lakewood, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo (Corvalis, Ore.)
Tight end Dustin Stanton (Marysville, Wash.)
Quarterback Brent Vanderveen (Arroyo Grande, Calif.)
Wide receiver Cleveland Wallace (San Jose, Calif.)

Stanford (9)

Safety Alex Carter (Ashburn, Va.)
Wide receiver Connor Crane (Denton, Texas)
Linebacker Noor Davis (The Villages, Fla.)
Wide receiver Deante' Gray (Houston, Texas)
Wide receiver Dontonio Jordan (Cornith, Texas)
Defensive back Drew Madhu (Tampa, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Graham Shuler (Brentwood, Tenn.)
Athlete Jontrey Tillman (Baldwin, La.)
Wide receiver Kodi Whitfield (Los Angeles, Calif.)

UCLA (6)

Defensive back Shannon Edwards (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Defensive back Raymond Ford (Gardena, Calif.)
Running back Steven Lakalaka (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Tight end Ian Taubler (Fresno, Calif.)
Running back Psalm Wooching (Kailua Kona, Hawaii)
Offensive lineman Mario Yakoo (Spring Valley, Calif.) USC (10)

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (Rocklin, Calif.)
Athlete Jaydon Mickens (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Wide receiver Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Jahleel Pinner (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Wide receiver Darreus Rogers (Carson, Calif.)
Linebacker Jabari Ruffin (Downey, Calif.)
Linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita, Calif.)
Running back Kevin York (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton JUCO)

Utah (9)

Defensive end Hunter Dimick (Syracuse, Utah)
Defensive end Moses Folauhola (West Valley City, Utah)
Athlete Chase Hansen (Highland, Utah)
Defensive back Austin Lee (Sandy, Utah)
Wide receiver Delshawn McClellon (Cerritos, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Nua Poteki (Sandy, Utah)
Offensive lineman Kiha Sai (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Defensive end Sione Tupouata (Ephraim, Utah)
Quarterback Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)

Washington (15)

Defensive end Kalei Auelua (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Offensive lineman Nathan Dean (Kirkland, Wash.)
Kicker Korey Durkee (Gig Harbor, Wash.)
Athlete Bryan Harper (Ontario, Calif.)
Defensive end Malcolm Jackson (Spring Valley, Calif.)
Defensive back Damontae Kazee (San Bernardino, Calif.)
Wide receiver Taylor Lagace (Arcadia, Calif.)
Quarterback Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Quarterback Cyler Miles (Denver, Colo.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Tairen Owens (Pasadena, Calif.)
Wide receiver Michael Rector (Tacoma, Wash.)
Linebacker Blake Rodgers (Las Flores, Calif.)
Athlete Kendyl Taylor (Chandler, Ariz.)
Defensive back Darien Washington (Orange, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dwayne Washington (Cerritos, Calif.)

Washington State
(5)

Quarterback Austin Apodaca (Longmont, Colo.)
Defensive back David Bucannon (Fairfield, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dalen Jones (Woodland, Calif.)
Linebacker Jordan Pulu (Federal Way, Wash.)
Defensive back Taylor Taliulu (Alea, Hawaii)
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Alex Balducci, Alex Carter, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Austin Apodaca, Austin Lee, Aziz Shittu, Beau Boyster, Blake Rodgers, Brent Vanderveen, Bryan Harper, Cal, Cayman Bundage, Chase Hansen, Clay Norgard, Cleveland Wallace, Cody Carriger, Colorado, Connor Crane, Cyler Miles, Dalen Jones, Damontae Kazee, Darien Washington, Darreus Rogers, David Bucannon, Deante' Gray, Dejon Allen, Delshawn McClellon, Dontonio Jordan, Drew Madhu, Dustin Stanton, Dwayne Washington, Eric Amoako, Even Baylis, Gavin Andrews, Graham Shuler, Hunter Dimick, Ian Taubler, Isaac Sumalo, Jabari Ruffin, Jahleel Pinner, Jake Rodrigues, Jake Sheffield, Jaydon Michens, Jeff Lindquist, Jeffrey Thomas, Jontrey Tillman, Jordan Payton, Jordan Pulu, Josh Kern, Josiah Blandin, June Commitment List, Kalei Auelua, Kendyl Taylor, Kenny Lawler, Kevin York, Kiha Sai, Kimball Niumatalolo, Kodi Whitfield, Kody Kohl, Korey Durkee, Lemming Top 100, Malcolm Jackson, Malik Gilmore, Mario Yakoo, Max Tuerk, Michael Barton, Michael Rector, Milo Jordan, Moses Folauhola, Nathan Dean, Nathan Sudfeid, Noor Davis, Nua Poteki, Oliver Johnson, Oregon, Oregon State, Oshay Dunmore, Pac-12, Psalm Wooching, Randall Goforth, Raymond Ford, Richard Smith, Salamo Fiso, Scott Starr, Scott Starr, Shane Dillon, Shannon Edwards, Sione Tupouata, Stanford, Stephen Amoako, Steven Lakalaka, Steven Moore, T.D. Gross, T.J. Millweard, Tairen Owens, Taylor Lagace, Taylor McNamara, Taylor Taliulu, Terrence Crowder, Travis Wilson, Tyler Henington, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: June 26, 2011 6:57 pm
 

Boise State plucks another from Texas

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Without a doubt, Boise State has done a great job of developing under the radar talent from California over the past few years. With the way things are shaping up in 2011 and 2012, Texas might be the next state we'll say that about the Broncos. The program picked up their sixth commitment from the Lone Star State and 10th overall on Saturday, grabbing a verbal pledge from Spring (Texas) linebacker Ben Weaver.

"The coaches and the players played a huge part in it," Weaver told The Idaho Statesman. "It seemed like family already. The players seem to love it and they all say good things. Even though it's far away from my house in Houston, it didn't seem like it would make a difference."

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Weaver held scholarship offers from Arizona, Cal, Texas Tech and Utah among others. He recently visited the Bears and Red Raiders on unofficial visits but neither school gave the vibe that the Broncos did when he visited there.

"Those were my top three schools," he said. "After my trip, I knew I was going to commit. It was clear to me that Boise was the one."

It appears that Boise State has stepped up their recruiting efforts nationally as Weaver is part of a 2012 recruiting class that has players from Florida, Texas and California but none from Idaho or the surrounding states. The Broncos added five players from Texas in 2011 and have surpassed that number with over seven months to go until Signing Day.

Weaver had nearly 100 tackles, two interceptions and three sacks last season as a junior (highlights below).

Posted on: June 25, 2011 12:37 am
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:16 pm
 

UCLA adds two on productive Friday

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's supposed to be the beginning of the dog days of summer but that hasn't stopped UCLA from hitting the recruiting trail hard in late June. The Bruins continued some earlier momentum and added two commitments Friday afternoon in a one-two punch of in-state commitments on offense.

“I called Coach [Rick] Neuheisel, I told him I’m ready to be a Bruin,” Fresno (Calif.) tight end Ian Taubler (right) told BruinReportOnline.com. “I’m part of the UCLA family. I loved all the coaches there. I can see myself out there.”

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Taubler had USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford in his final four. He was down to the two Los Angeles schools this week and just picked up an offer from the Trojans on Thursday but it was ultimately the Bruins that he felt most comfortable with.

“If I wanted the offer, I had to call and commit,” Taubler said about USC. “It’s an honor but I don’t think that’s where I needed to be. I called USC and told them I committed to UCLA.”

The Pac-12 South program wasn't done on Friday as they picked up the verbal pledge of Spring Valley (Calif.) offensive lineman Mario Yakoo to fill a position of need for the Bruins.

"I called up Coach (Tim) Hundley and he offered me and I committed right then," Yakoo told the site. "I talked to Coach Neuheisel too and they were both pretty excited."

Yakoo, who is 6-foot-4, 310-pounds, also held offers from Arizona, Oregon State and San Diego State. The pair of Friday commits give UCLA three for the week and five overall in the class of 2012.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:51 pm
 

Washington Nike Camp Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SEATTLE – The 13th and final stop on the annual Nike Training Camp schedule made it's way back to the Northwest, and plenty of elite talent came out to Husky Stadium to compete. While these events are typically a time for the skill-position players to impress, the offensive linemen were actually the ones who stole the show.

Puyallup (Wash.) offensive tackle Joshua Garnett showed why he was a Top 100 prospect by flat-out dominating the opposition.

"I'm just happy to be out here, glad to get the MVP today,” Garnett said. “Definitely glad I didn't lose any one-on-ones, the only lineman that didn't lose any. Went over to the defensive side of the ball and won three of the four reps on defensive line, felt pretty good about that. Definitely showed my athleticism on both sides of the ball."

Garnett wasn't the only top offensive lineman in attendance. One of his good friends, Top 100 tackle Zach Banner, also participated. While the two play the same position and therefore didn't really go head-to-head, Garnett had no problem mentioning that he won the MVP award.

“Oh yeah, it felt good,” Garnett said. “He likes to talk a lot, he's a little louder than I am if you guys didn't notice. I'm definitely a little more calm, more mellow. I think it's good to come out and show people my talent. Just because I'm not 6-9, 350, I can still play and do the same exact stuff.

"When we go out in public, people say, 'Jeez, is that Zach Banner?' then we'll come out here in the drills and they'll see my athleticism. I'm not saying he's not, but he did allow some guys to go inside. Definitely I think it's good to come out here and show the difference."

The pair are so close that as recruiting has taken off, they've been able to talk and bounce ideas off each other. One idea many observers have floated is that the two are a package deal, and Garnett does not shy away from the fact that the two might end up at the same school.

“We're definitely going to be looking at the same schools, we're good friends,” he said. “We're going to look at the same schools just because of that chemistry we have together.

“Looking at Zach's list, there's going to be a couple schools that aren't going to be on (my list), probably about three or four of them. Me and Zach have different goals going to college. I'm really big into the football, don't get me wrong I want to play football, but I'm going to be looking into medical school and looking more at a pre-med program than I am a football power. I know I can can go to Florida or Miami or any SEC school, but I want to look at my life past if I played in the NFL.”

The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder is ranked 43rd in the country for the class of 2012 by MaxPreps. The four-star prospect is focused on life off the field as much as he is on it when it comes to recruiting. The biggest thing he's looking for is a program that allows him to succeed on the field while also preparing him for a career in medicine. Coincidentally, there was a top school across the street from where he was performing Sunday.

“U-Dub, obviously they have a great medical school,” Garnett said. “No. 1 medical school in the nation, so I'll definitely talk to some of the biology teachers and stuff. I'm definitely looking at U-Dub hard, and it helps them an awful lot having this medical school right next to it.

“Next week me and my dad are planning on going down to Stanford and Cal. My uncle lives close to Pasadena, in Upland, so we're going to go to UCLA and 'SC just to see those schools.”

Garnett holds more than 30 scholarship offers from powerhouses across the country, but at least two West Coast programs are sticking out as recruiting him the hardest.

“SC is coming after me hard, and so is Cal-Berkley, probably the hardest,” Garnett said.

Banner narrows list, impresses at Nike Camp

While Garnett is the athletic tackle that coaches look for, Lakewood (Wash.) offensive tackle Zach Banner is the mammoth left tackle prototype that has coaches drooling over his 6-foot-8, 320-pound frame. He performed well Sunday and left no doubts that he was an elite college recruit.

“I feel like I did good, I came out here and worked my tail off,” Banner said. “I got invited to The Opening and it's all a blessing. Me and Josh are going to go down there together. We've been working our tails off this whole spring and summer, and it's paying off for us. I know it's paying off for me, and coaches are seeing it.”

Like his good friend Garnett, Banner enjoys some healthy competition and felt the camp setting brought out the best in the both of them, even if he wasn't the one taking home the MVP award.

“Definitely. Even though we play the same position, we both come out to prove that we're the best,” Banner said. “It's always friendly competition, and we'll go back and laugh at it.”

On a strong year for West Coast linemen, Banner stands out literally and figuratively. Ranked 12th overall in the class of 2012, he has no problem answering who is the top offensive lineman in the state, much less the country.

“Yes, yes I do,” he said, confirming he was the state's top dog. “You think about it, me and Josh, we're best friends. If they were a defensive end or someone who played across from me, then it would be pure battle. Not only do we play the same position, but we work out together, we're good friends, we're getting recruited by the same person.

“We care about getting better, and I know, for sure, both of us got better today.”

On the recruiting front, Banner holds offers from just about every school in the country and has started the process of narrowing things down.

“I gave out my top nine earlier this week and in no particular order, it's U-Dub, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama, USC, LSU, Florida State and Oklahoma,” he said. “I'm just narrowing it down as we go. I'm about to go into my senior year, so you have to do it sooner rather than later and I just felt like the nine, I'm not cutting anybody off.

“I'm going to narrow it down to a top five in December. I'll take all five of my official visits. No unofficials scheduled, but I do have two officials scheduled ... Michigan on Sept. 10 for the Notre Dame game and I'll be there all weekend for those two days. Then Notre Dame on Oct. 21 and 22 for the USC game. They're both good, and Michigan's game is the first night game there ever and the Notre Dame game will be the first night game in like 25 years. ”

Husky commits have friendly competition

Banner and Garnett were not the only players who had a healthy competition going. The two quarterbacks committed to the University of Washington, Denver signal caller Cyler Miles and Mercer Island (Wash.) quarterback Jeff Lindquist, both threw well this weekend as a preview of what's to come over the next four or five years for the Huskies.

“A little bit I guess,” Miles said when asked about the competition. “He's a cool guy, and I've got a lot of respect for him. He's a great quarterback, and I like him a lot. It's going to be fun. We're going to make each other better and wherever you go, there's going to be quarterbacks so it will be a good competition.”

“I met him today, so it was nice to get that relationship started,” Lindquist said. “In terms of competition, it was more of a friendly competition and trying to make each other better. There was no dirty mouthing or anything like that.”

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Miles enjoyed meeting Lindquist and several other future Washington teammates, who he ended up throwing to on a few occasions once he was warmed up.

“I felt I did all right, I was a little rusty at first,” he said. “It was good to interact with all the guys, a couple of whom have already committed just like me, so it was good to just hang with them. It was nice to see where I'm going to be at the next four years.”

The overcast skies forced the organizers to turn on the lights at Husky Stadium which was fine by Miles. The experience of playing on the turf and throwing into the end zone with big Washington lettering was a nice experience for him.

“It was nice, big old stadium with about 75,000 ...,” Miles trailed off, thinking about playing on the field in a few years. “It's great, though, to picture myself here next year and the year after that. It's exciting and something to look forward too.”

Miles pulled the trigger on a commitment to Washington just a few weeks ago in large part because of the relationship he developed with the coaching staff there.

“I just love the relationships the coaches have with the players,” he said. “It's a good fit for me because of the offense. I love the Pac-12 and the coaches, they were the ones most sincere with me, my mom and dad. I just felt like this fit me best.”

With two quarterbacks in the fold for 2012, both are continuing to spread the gospel about the Pac-12 program and trying to recruit a few others for the upcoming class.

“I'm trying to get Garrnett and Banner,” Miles said. “I'm just talking to them a little bit, at the end it's their choice. I'd love for all of them to come here and help build this program as it's rising up.”

“We'll probably get that coordinated,” Lindquist said of the two tackles. “We'll chip in here and there. I don't want to annoy them, but we'll get in a word here and there.”

Neal impresses once again

Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal is no stranger to the camp circuit. He's performed at both the LA and Stanford Nike Camps among others, and he surprisingly showed up in Seattle, hungry to improve his game.

"I felt I did good, but there's still some things I could work on,” Neal said. “I'm never satisfied, I'm always hungry and try and stay humble and keep working."

Neal's father, who handles all of his recruiting, showed up to watch his son in a UCLA sweatshirt on the chilly day. The younger Neal made sure to remind everybody that his dad was just trying to adjust to the weather, which was just a little bit different from the triple-digit heat at home.

"No, no, no, no indication at all, it's just to keep warm, that's all,” he said. “That's why he's wearing that and I'm wearing it and I have a Nike sweater on."

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound athlete showed off his athleticism all day and played at a high level at both receiver and corner. Schools are recruiting him at both, but Neal has no preference where he'll play at the next level.

"I feel comfortable at both positions," he said. "If they want to put me at receiver, I'll play receiver; if they put me at corner, I'll play corner. It doesn't matter, I just want to get on the field. Either/or, it doesn't matter to me. They're recruiting me as both. Some as receiver, some as corner. It just depends on where they want me to play."

Neal holds offers from more than 25 schools but plans on pushing all his official visits and a decision until after the football season.

"There is no list," he said. "There's only undecided. A lot of people are recruiting me heavily. They're all really pushing hard, but I just let my dad handle the recruiting and I just play football.

"I'm just relaxing until after my senior season. ... I'll take all five officials, but I'm just going to do them all after the season when I have a lot of free time."

Led by quarterback and Texas commit Connor Brewer, Neal is focused on helping Chaparral High, ranked No. 24 in the country by Maxpreps, to success yet again in his senior season.

"We're going to be good. Hopefully we'll get that three-peat,” Neal said. “That's going to be on our shirts."

Notes

-- One of the players who Neal frequently battled against -- on both sides of the ball -- was Lakewood (Wash.) athlete Cedric Dozier. The two would have one rep where Neal was the receiver and Dozier playing the press corner, and then they'd flip around. Their match-up was pretty even, and Dozier felt it helped him improve his all-around game.

“I did all right for the most part,” Dozier said. “I competed with a lot of good players from all over, and it really forced me to step up. There's competition and you've got to play. I didn't come here just to play no nobodies. You've got to come out here to play. There's people from all over that's really good, and that means you have to step up.”

Dozier said he's completely open as to what school he'll attend, but Cal and Washington are recruiting him the hardest. He'll likely make a decision after the season.

-- Washington commit Michael Rector made his pledge public just a few days before the camp and, it turns out, there was a reason for making a commitment earlier than he had originally planned.

“At first my parents and I wanted to wait until July or after school,” he said. “With a new receiver (Dwayne Washington) committing too, they were only going to take two, so we thought about it the day before school was out and thought it wasn't too soon to make the decision.”

Rector tried to hook up with the two Husky quarterbacks as much as he could while at the camp in order to start developing timing before any of them even stepped on campus for college.

“It was fun,” he said. “We got together whenever we could and ran routes and stuff. We like it a lot, and we're looking forward to it.”

The most impressive quarterback at the event was not the pair of commitments to Washington but rising junior Max Browne. He impressed earlier this year at the Stanford Elite 11 and recently picked up an offer from Clemson. He grabbed the MVP award and displayed a very strong arm, fluid motion and was able to make all the throws. Lefty Matt Morin, also a regular on the camp circuit, also impressed.

-- Everett (Wash.) running back Keivarae Russell took home running back MVP honors and showed the ability to get into and out of breaks very quickly. Seattle cornerback Jayshawn Jordan won the defensive back award and performed well, playing his man and the ball closely.

Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:11 am
 

Productive weekend for 'Noles as they land three

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Florida State fans were expecting a big recruiting weekend in Tallahassee and Jimbo Fisher and staff delivered, bringing in three commitments so far this week with a few more on the horizon as the Jimbo Fisher Summer Camp gets underway. 

The first player to commit to the Seminoles was Orange (Calif.) tight end Christo Kourtzidis, who made his pledge public on Saturday.

"It came down to FSU, Nebraska, and California," Kourtzidis told Warchant.com. "It was nothing against all the other schools because all of them were great but FSU just fit me in every single way. The offense, campus, it was just the perfect fit."

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Californian is another big time commitment at the position after the school added nationally-ranked tight end Nick O'Leary in last year's recruiting class. One of the biggest factors that led Kourtzidis' to commit was the relationship he had with the coaching staff and in particular with his position coach James Coley.

"He's a players coach and I love that about Coach Coley," he said. "I'm really looking forward to having him coach me at Florida State."

The good news continued for the staff on Sunday as they added the commitments of Charlotte (N.C.) punter Cason Beatty and Orlando (Fla.) defensive tackle James Hamilton.

"I just liked the vibe of Florida State, liked the coaching staff," Hamilton told Warchant. "Coach Fisher and Coach Odell (Haggins) are two great guys. They want me to play defensive tackle, and I decided I do want to play defensive tackle in college. The school is great, it's close to home and they compete every year for a big bowl game and the national championship." 

The 6-foot-4, 330-pound Hamilton is also a standout offensive lineman in high school. He held offers from Clemson, North Carolina, Michigan State, USF and Texas A&M among others but the experience at Fisher's summer camp led him and the coaching staff to feel like his future was at Florida State on defense.

"They saw what I can do, saw my quickness, my explosiveness and what kind of damage I can do on the defensive side of the ball," he said. 

The trio's pledges give the Seminoles 13 commitments for the class of 2012. Beatty is the second kicker to join the class, while Hamilton is the fifth defensive lineman planning on heading to Tallahassee next fall. 

Fisher's Summer Camp resumes Monday and several of Florida State's commitments and recruiting targets are expected to be in attendance. 
Posted on: June 14, 2011 8:22 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 10:30 am
 

6/14 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Eye on Recruiting Blog had to do a bit of travel so there's plenty to catch up on today. Here's a bunch of links to keep you occupied for a while:

- For the basketball junkies, be sure and bookmark the Basketball Eye on Recruiting Blog, run by the esteemed Jeff Borzello.

- Interesting story from SI.com's Andy Staples about sports agency IMG getting into high school football and 7-on-7. Speaking of 7-on-7, it's something some players need for exposure.

- A look at BYU's 2012 recruiting class, their first as a football independent. 

- A few tidbits from Arkansas' three-day camp. 

- Michigan is hosting a ton of players this week and are hoping to get a few commitments at the same time.

- Believe it or not, one high school has a whopping 10 players committed to FBS schools.

- Defensive lineman Kyle Kelley is attracting plenty of attention and Cal, USC and Notre Dame might be on the verge of offering.

- Defensive end Kenderius Whitehead was offered by Georgia after defensive coordinator Todd Grantham thought he looked like DeMarcus Ware.

Commitments:

- Washington added three commitments this past week in the aptly named receiver Dwayne Washington, offensive tackle Nathan Dean and cornerback Damonte Kazee.   

- Louisville picked up offensive lineman T.C. Klusman

- Virginia added a big commitment from defensive end Michael Moore, who is also the son of an assistant coach.  

- Florida nabbed a nice cornerback in Brian Poole Jr

- Recruiting at the "U" is going strong as the Hurricanes picked up two this week in defensvie end Dwayne Hoilett and cornerback Vernon Davis.

- Tight end Ricky Parks pledged to Auburn over Georgia and Alabama

- Georgia recruiting received a nice boost this past week, adding four commitments from fullback Quayvon Hicks, punter Colin Barber and the package deal of defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor and athlete James DeLoach.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 10:57 pm
 

May Pac-12 Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The calendar has turned from May to June and it's time to see how schools are building their class of 2012. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Pac-12, where several schools are starting to build momentum on the recruiting trail.

Arizona (2)

Quarterback Josh Kern (San Antonio, Texas)
Offensive lineman Beau Boyster (Bellflower, Calif.)

Arizona State (7)

Offensive lineman Dejon Allen (Compton, Calif.)
Wide receiver Josiah Blandin (Long Beach, Calif.)
Linebacker Salamo Fiso (Long Beach, Calif.)
Wide receiver Randall Goforth (Long Beach, Calif.)
Defenisve back Oliver Johnson (Pierece JUCO/Woodland Hills, Calif.)
Wide receiver Kenny Lawler (Upland, Calif.)
Wide receiver Richard Smith (Long Beach, Calif.)

California (2)

Linebacker Michael Barton (Concord, Calif.)
Quarterback Zach Kline(Danville, Calif.)

Colorado(3)

Quarterback Shane Dillon (El Cajon, Calif.)
Defensive tackle Tyler Henington(Denver, Col.)
Defensive end Clay Norgard(Highlands Ranch, Col.)

Oregon(1)

Defensive back Eric Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Stephen Amoako (Arlington, Texas)
Tight end Evan Baylis (Aurora, Colo.)
Wide receiver Oshay Dunmore (Newport, Ore.)
Quarterback Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif.)

Oregon State
(2)

Tight end Dustin Stanton (Marysville, Wash.)
Wide receiver Cleveland Wallace (San Jose, Calif.)

Stanford(4)

Safety Alex Carter(Ashburn, Va.)
Linebacker Noor Davis (The Villages, Fla.)
Wide receiver Dontonio Jordan (Cornith, Texas)

UCLA (2)

Running back Steven Lakalaka (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Running back Psalm Wooching (Kailua Kona, Hawaii) USC (9)

Defensive tackle Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Athlete Jaydon Mickens(Los Angeles, Calif.)
Wide receiver Jordan Payton (Westlake Village, Calif.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012
Running back Jahleel Pinner (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Wide receiver Darreus Rogers(Carson, Calif.)
Lineabcker Jabari Ruffin(Downey, Calif.)
Linebacker Scott Starr (Norco, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Max Tuerk (Santa Margarita, Calif.)
Running back Kevin York (Fullerton, Calif./Fullerton JUCO)

Utah (4)

Defensive back Austin Lee (Sandy, Utah)
Offensive lineman Kiha Sai (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Defensive end Sione Tupouata (Ephraim, Utah)
Quarterback Travis Wilson (San Clemente, Calif.)

Washington State(2)

Defensive back David Bucannon (Vacaville, Calif.)
Wide receiver Dalen Jones(Woodland, Calif.)

Washington (4)

Wide receiver Braden Bishop(Mountain View, Calif.)
Quarterback Jeff Lindquist (Mercer Island, Wash.)
Running back Tairen Owens(Pasadena, Calif.)
Defensive back Darien Washington (Orange, Calif.)

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