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

National Notes: Top assistants to keep an eye on

Posted by Bryan Fischer

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

West

Ed Orgeron, USC

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

Tosh Lupoi, California

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

Demetrice Martin, Washington

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

John Neal, Oregon

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

South

Dameyune Craig, Florida State

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

Mike Bobo, Georgia

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

Tee Martin, Kentucky

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

Frank Wilson, LSU

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

Midwest

Tony Alford, Notre Dame

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

Fred Jackson, Michigan

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

Adrian Klemm, SMU

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

Urban Meyer/Luke Fickell, Ohio State

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

Davis decommits from Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

Busy week for Armstead

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

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

Video of the week



Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: December 4, 2011 10:05 pm
 

Former Nebraska pledge decides on LSU

Posted by Bryan Fischer

New Orleans (La.) linebacker Deion Jones was set to head to Nebraska earlier in the recruiting process but has decided on going to LSU to play college football, informing coaches that he wanted to be a Tiger just days before the team would play in the SEC championship game.

"I committed to LSU (Thursday) night," Jones told TigerBait.com.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound outside linebacker held offers from Arizona, Kentucky and TCU among others before committing to Nebraska and, now, LSU. One of the biggest reasons why Jones made the switch was his desire to remain close to home.

"I thought mostly about family," he said. "I wouldn't have been able to see my family as much. To me family is a big thing. I have a feeling I will excel."

Playing for a national championship contender year-in and year-out doesn't hurt either. Jones had 169 tackles, eight sacks and three interceptions during his senior campaign. He is LSU's 21st commitment in the class of 2012 and the third from a linebacker.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 22, 2011 1:27 am
Edited on: November 22, 2011 2:40 pm
 

National Notes: Who ends up where?

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're a little over two months away from Signing Day and with the end of the regular season - both high school and college - approaching, now's a good time to survey recruits in the top 50 and look at who they're considering and where they might end up. The list will see plenty of players verbally commit in January with several all-star games and the pressure to publicly announce so don't be surprised to see this list shrink quickly.

Rank Player Notes Best Guess
1. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR
6-6/225
Considering: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Auburn, Alabama
2. Gunner Kiel, QB
6-4/215
Kept quiet since decommitting from Indiana. Visited Notre Dame, looking at Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee and USC as dark horses.
3. Noah Spence, DE 6-4/245 Considering: Penn State, Maryland, Florida, Notre Dame, N.C. State (Dad's alma mater) and USC.
4. Mario Edwards, DE 6-4/285 Committed to Florida State, but watch out for Oklahoma.
5. Shaq Thompson, DB/RB 6-2/210 Two horse race between California and Washington. Shock if he goes anywhere but Berkley.
7. Andrus Peat, OL 6-6/310 Considering: Nebraska (Brother plays there), Notre Dame, Texas, Florida State, Stanford and Arizona State.
8. Ellis McCarthy, DT 6-4/310 Crosstown battle between USC and UCLA.
12. Landon Collins, DB 6-1/205 Comes down to LSU/Alabama.
15. Barry Sanders, RB 5-11/195 Considering: Oklahoma State (Dad's alma mater), Stanford, Alabama, Florida State.
16. Zach Banner, OL 6-8/295 Considering: Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame, Washington.
18. Stefon Diggs, WR
6-1/190
Considering: Auburn, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Florida State among others.
21. Eddie Goldman, DT
6-4/315
Alabama and Florida State are the leaders with Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Maryland and South Carolina under consideration.
22. Nelson Agholor, ATH
6-2/185
Kept recruiting under wraps and doesn't talk schools. Stays in-state it's Florida, leave the state it's USC.
25. Davonte Neal, WR/DB 5-10/180 Waiting until after the season to look at recruiting.
26. Keith Marshall, RB 5-11/190 Looking at Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, North and South Carolina.
31. Kwon Alexander, LB 6-3/215 Tore his ACL during the season.
32. Arik Armstead, OL/DL
6-7/285
Football and basketball recruit, de-commit from USC. Considering Alabama, Cal, Alabama, Notre Dame and Arkansas among others.
37. Darius Hamilton, DL
6-4/250
Rutgers is the favorite but Cal, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech are under consideration.
40. Joel Caleb, ATH
6-3/205
Likely down to Virginia Tech and West Virginia with Penn State issues.
41. Jordan Diamond, OL
6-6/310
Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin seem to be contenders.
43. Josh Garnett, OL 6-5/300 Education is a major factor, looking at Auburn, Miami, Michigan and Washington.
44. Quay Evans, DL 6-3/310 Most of the SEC is after Evans.
49. Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL 6-4/220 Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and late player USC are in the running.

Oregon loses but still wins the weekend

It wasn't a great Saturday for Oregon fans after USC's upset win in Eugene but spirits were brightened as soon as they heard junior Beaverton (Ore.) running back Thomas Tyner committed to the program.

The 6-foot, 210-pound junior was at the game and made his pledge known on Twitter later on. Tyner will be ranked as one of the top backs on the West Coast in 2013 after rushing for 1,821 yards and 19 scores last season.

Running back Byron Marshall also committed to Oregon this week giving the Ducks a combo of speedsters to plug into Chip Kelly's offense. A good weekend despite the loss for the program and it just goes to show that, in cases like Tyner's, atmosphere is just as important as winning a big game. It's one reason why most head coaches don't mind inviting plenty of players in if a top ranked team is in town. In many ways, it's hard to lose if the stadium is rocking.
 
Rich Rodriguez hires will be important but will do well at Arizona


News broke late Monday night that former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was hired by Arizona. I'd agree with my colleague Dennis Dodd that the hire is a home run. Mike Stoops wasn't a bad recruiter but his staffs did miss on a few players and never seemed to get a marquee in-state recruit. Southern California and Texas were two areas where the Wildcats did well in and expect much of the same under RichRod.

Though his tenure in Ann Arbor didn't end well, Rodriguez still proved he could evaluate and recruit - landing several top 25 classes despite mounting losses. His background has been on the East Coast but he's got connections to Florida and should do well in attracting players to his spread offense. Two priorities when building his staff need to be addressed first however: a good defensive coordinator and someone with West Coast ties.

There's a lot of flash surrounding the hire and Rodriguez has had success just about everywhere he's been outside of Michigan so expect recruits in 2012 to take notice but with Signing Day so close, this hire will make an impact on the class of 2013. With instability at Arizona State and possibly at UCLA plus USC hampered by scholarship reductions, there's a chance he could make a splash and leave his mark early in Southern California.

Video of the week

Some highlights of Oregon's latest pledge.










Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:56 am
 

11/18 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Arkansas stuck with linebacker Beau Hankins.


 Dwayne Stanford and Arik Armstead are two of the visitors to the Oregon-USC game tomorrow.


Some recruits of note
that Michigan State is targeting down the stretch.


 LSU has plenty of players on their radar as they look to fill the final few spots in their class. 


 Several important visitors will be in Corvallis as Oregon State hosts a few recruits
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Malcolm Lewis says he will head to Miami

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Miami has done a good job of keeping their recruiting class together despite the Nevin Shapiro allegations thanks to a mix of Al Golden's relentless recruiting and plenty of local players looking to play for the Hurricanes. Though the program lost a commitment recently, they added one Thursday in Miami (Fla.) speedster Malcolm Lewis.

"I am hoping to make a big impact," Lewis told CaneSport.com. "The thing that really made me want to go there was that they bring freshmen in to play. I saw Philip Dorsett getting a lot of playing time this year and I am hoping that will be me next year."

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound wide receiver committed to Miami over West Virginia, Florida State and LSU. Lewis has already taken a few official visits but seems firmly committed to being a Hurricane.

"I don't know if I will take any more visits," he said. "I am feeling real good right now about the situation at Miami. I spent a lot of time there in the summer and went to a couple of their camps. I am real comfortable with the coaches. They are good coaches, coaches I feel I can be around for four years."

Lewis is ranked as the 23rd best wingback in the class of 2012 by Maxpreps and gives the nation's 4th best recruiting class their 27th overall commitment.

"All you need to do is throw him the ball," analyst Tom Lemming said about Lewis. "He shows elite speed, runs precise routes, can create after the catch, and does a great job of finding the opening."

Posted on: November 11, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: November 11, 2011 11:36 am
 

Crimson Tide add offensive tackle for 2012

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Though Alabama didn't win their 'Game of the Century' against fellow SEC West member LSU, the Crimson Tide did come out of it with a commitment from Collierville (Tenn.) offensive tackle Brandon Hill.

“I committed to Alabama three hours before the game on Saturday,” Hill told BamaOnLine.com. “I was talking to my mom and she always asks me what college I want to go to and that she wants me to be close. I’ve always been thinking to myself that I would get that feeling on what college to go to when I’m asking myself ‘why wouldn’t I go to that college?’ When I got to Alabama over the weekend and we were talking about academics and all that, I thought ‘Why wouldn’t I go to Alabama?’”

The 6-foot-6, 350-pounder also held offers from Georgia, Kentucky, Memphis and Ole Miss but picked Alabama due to a number of factors, including sending a good number of their players to the NFL.

“Most players that go to Alabama and do well go to the league and I want to make my dreams come true," he said. "Why wouldn’t I want to go to Alabama and go against the best of the best every day? The atmosphere, the academic plan, and the coaches all stood out."

Hill's commitment gives Nick Saban and staff an even 20 commitments - three of whom are offensive linemen - for the class of 2012 with a few months left until Signing Day.

Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:37 am
 

11/8 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer
- #1 overall recruit Dorial Green-Beckham advanced in a close playoff game.

  Good overview of the top uncommitted talent in the state of Louisiana, including an LSU/Alabama battle for Landon Collins.

  Safety Lucas Thompson, an Under Armour All-American, has East Carolina as a favorite.

  Recruits and their families will have plenty of questions for Penn State.

  Georgia commit Blake Tibbs is making his case to be the top wide out in the state.


Posted on: November 7, 2011 7:05 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 10:43 pm
 

National Notes: Alabama, Mizzou-SEC, Penn State

Posted by Bryan Fischer

If you were a recruit in the southeastern part of the country, chances are you were at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa for the game built up to be the biggest of the century.

There were over 100 official and unofficial visitors taking in Alabama-LSU Saturday and just about all of them used a synonym of the word "awesome" to describe the atmosphere. No doubt the defensive recruits were a little more impressed at the level and style of play than the offensive recruits but no matter who it was, there were nothing but positive vibes from the experience.

"It was a great game," cornerback and Alabama commit Geno Smith told TideSports.com. "It was a great atmosphere, and I enjoyed the game a lot even though it was a tough loss. It was a fun game."

Smith was one of several Tide commitments in attendance as an unoffiical visitor. With several five-star recruits in on their official visits, such as tackle Arik Armstead and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, recruiting others to join Alabama's class of 2012 was going on by several commits despite the raucous atmosphere.

"It was so hard to talk to people," linebacker Reggie Ragland said. "It was that loud on the field, so I had to get up in people's faces just to talk to them. I know once the game got started, it was hard for the guys playing the game to even hear."

Yes Alabama lost a close game in overtime but there were plenty of positives to take away for those in attendance. Winning is the most important thing in recruiting but a loss to a team like LSU, in that atmosphere, with that head coach, means the Tide won't suffer on the recruiting trail. Come Signing Day, there will be plenty of players who forgot the outcome but remembered what it felt like being in the stadium and on the Crimson Tide sideline.

The biggest effect could be felt in the class of 2013. Five-star defensive end Robert Nkemdiche was among the double-digit number of underclassmen prospects in attendance and someone several coaches came over to talk to.

“Everything is still pretty much the same - Alabama and LSU are my top two," he told 247sports. "I liked the game and both teams have very good defenses. I haven’t been down to LSU yet. I really like Alabama, though.”

It wasn't the game of the century but it was Nick Saban's off the field given the quality and quantity of recruits looking on. It's some what early to truly digest if what happened in Tuscaloosa will have a lasting impact with some but we have plenty of time between now and February to figure it out.

Missouri moves to the SEC

The other big news over the weekend was Missouri's move to the SEC (finally, officially). It's important to note that the Tigers will be placed in the Eastern division and will have a game every year against West division "rival" Texas A&M. If you're on the MU coaching staff nothing could make you happier.

Without question, the move is a step up in competition but that doesn't mean Missouri can't compete. They'll still be able to go into Texas, which they have successfully under Gary Pinkel, just as often as they have. They'll also be able to make in-roads in talent rich states like Georgia and Florida with trips every other year. Like most schools, they're not going to be consistently recruiting five-star type players but playing in the SEC is something plenty of players value and will be a selling point.

One player the move could help with is top-ranked Dorial Green-Beckham. Though the talented wide receiver has kept pretty mum on his recruiting, he has talked glowingly about playing in the SEC and proximity to home is a huge factor for him. Though many consider Oklahoma and Arkansas the front-runners for his signature, the move certainly doesn't hurt the Tigers pursuit.

More than anything, winning some games next year will go a long way in the class of 2013.

Penn State issues already having an effect

As big as Alabama-LSU was this weekend, it paled in comparison to the story out of Penn State. We're at an early stage in all of this but no doubt that recruits are beginning to take notice of what is going on in State College.

The Nittany Lions currently have 16 commitments for the class of 2012 and many are taking a wait and see approach right now. As we've seen at other schools dealing with a big scandal, it will take some time to see what will happen with many of the players recruited by the staff at Penn State. Some players choose a school because of academics, location and what not - those will likely stick with their pledge. Others headed to school for a particular coach or Joe Paterno in particular, might find themselves taking additional visits and contacting other schools in order to have options on Signing Day.

Five-star and top defensive end Noah Spence appeared to be dropping PSU, tweeting that the school might not be for him Monday afternoon. It still too early to tell what's going to happen with Penn State's recruiting going forward but it's hard to say things will be ok given the news coming out of the area recently.

Video of the week

This week's spotlight is on running back Keith Marshall, who had quite the game on Senior Night with five touchdowns.





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