Tag:Oklahoma
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:54 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 9:03 pm
 

Top 2013 defensive lineman Bigelow commits to USC

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After crushing crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday, head coach Lane Kiffin had just one thing on his mind as USC served out the final year of their bowl ban: recruiting.

The win over their rival sent the Trojans out on a high note as the staff hit the road to recruit the next day and it's already paying dividends as Bear (Del.) defensive lineman Kenny Bigelow committed Wednesday night, giving the program its first 2013 pledge and one of the nation's top players in the class.

“It’s a beautiful place out there,” Bigelow told 247Sports. “I really liked the environment. Just to be out in California for the weekend and seeing the sights, it’s a really great place. Seeing the alumni come out of USC, and not just football greats, but actors like Will Ferrell and movie producers is amazing.”

Likely to be one of the top players at his position once the rankings come out, the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder already held scholarship offers from Auburn, UConn, Rutgers, Oklahoma and Illinois among others. Bigelow took an unofficial visit to the Coliseum over the weekend to see the win over UCLA and with the Trojans entering scholarship reductions due to NCAA sanctions in 2012, he sees an opportunity for playing time and the chance to learn from the best in line coach Ed Orgeron.

“I think I can go into that football program and standout immediately,” Bigelow said. “They have a great defensive line, I saw a lot of defensive ends, but I didn’t see a lot of defensive tackles. I think I could go there and compete for a starting position and make that defense a lot better.”

Bigelow is USC's first commitment for the class of 2013 and the Trojans have just two defensive ends committed in 2012. He racked up 20 sacks this season while playing on the same high school team as quarterback David Sills, also a Trojan commitment but in the class of 2015.

Photo credit Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com






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 14, 2011 8:19 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 8:28 pm
 

National Notes: Houston, Hutchings & De La Salle

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Had a chance to go out to see San Francisco Bay Area powerhouse De La Salle play California High last Friday. The Spartans have been one of the most successful programs in the country this decade and have sent plenty of players to Division I schools and eventually the NFL.

This year's squad has three seniors already committed to FBS schools and two juniors drawing plenty of attention as well. The headliner is four-star quarterback and Wisconsin commitment Bart Houston, who is every bit of his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame. Houston had a very good summer on the camp circuit and parlayed that into a solid season with the Spartans, leading them to a 9-1 record heading into the playoffs. If there's one thing you'll hear about him, it's that he's the perfect fit for the Badgers offensive system with a quick release, some mobility, good decision-making and the arm to get the ball downfield on post and fade routes.

Houston ended up 13-of-20 for 220 yards against California in a 24-3 win that didn't have the De La Salle ground game looking as sharp as it normally is. The signal-caller showed flashes of what makes him a top 100 player according to Maxpreps however, displaying nice touch on intermediate routes and spinning the ball well on short routes. There was only one or two decisions Houston would have liked back but was efficient the entire night and even added a short touchdown run. In short, you can understand why the Badgers went out of their normal recruiting areas to heavily recruit Houston because he certainly fits the mold of their previous quarterbacks to a T.

"Bart really impressed me with his accuracy, poise, leadership skills, pocket presence, and arm strength," analyst Tom Lemming says of Houston. "His accuracy is uncanny and he seems to put the ball on the money just about every time even when under pressure."

The best player on the field however was junior linebacker Michael Hutchings, who is also the top defensive player in the Bay Area and top underclass linebacker on the West Coast. At 6-foot-2, 210-pounds or so, Hutchings moves well in space and covers a whole lot of ground in the passing game. He likely will end up as an outside linebacker but it's not hard to see him bulking up and being able to play inside in a 3-4 scheme. Physically he has a big upper body and reminds some of former USC linebacker Keith Rivers. He got lost on a few plays but for the most part read his keys very well and you can tell he'll head to college with a plenty of experience.

"Last year we had a tough game against Cal High when I was on the field as a sophomore," Hutchings said. "It was definitely a grind, something we wanted to come back and get. I still say it was a sub par performance this game but they're a heck of a team."

The De La Salle linebacking corps is one of the best units in the country and also features California commit Michael Barton. The pair is close on and off the field and continue to develop into better players with the senior mentoring the younger linebacker.

"Barton is such a hard worker," Hutchings said. "Him and (Boise State commit Blake) Renaud guided me last year and now Barton has taken over this year. I just want to follow in their footsteps and keep the tradition going."

Hutchings is approaching the 15 offer mark and figures to see plenty more college coaches contact him in the coming months as the recruiting cycle shifts over to the class of 2013 on a full-time basis. Most of the Pac-12 has been in touch or extended an offer but even with plenty of time until Signing Day, Hutchings is already starting to develop a short list of schools.

"I have a group of favorites, USC, Cal, UCLA, Washington," he said. "And Oklahoma also.

"I was at Cal last week for the Washington State game. I looked at AT&T Park a little bit and got to be around the team. I probably won't take any other visits in the next couple of weeks but after the season in December I will."

Don't be surprised if this comes down to a USC/Cal battle with Hutchings committing some time over the summer following visits to both schools. Academics seem to be a big part of each school's pitch and the Bears have De La Salle alum and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi assigned to the impressive linebacker. Though he's already successfully recruited Barton, it might be a little tougher for Lupoi to land Hutchings as USC is just one of several schools who are also making the future top 100 player a priority.

For now though, recruiting is being pushed aside as the Spartans turn their attention to the playoffs. With a title in hand thanks to a perfect 7-0 mark in the East Bay Athletic League and likely number one seed headed into the North Coast Section playoffs, another state championship is out there for the taking.

"We don't want to have any regrets," Hutchings said. "We want to go into every game, hit hard, don't make mistakes and have no regrets. We want to go into the playoffs and finish the season off right. As a junior, I just want to lead the junior and help the seniors win their state championship just like they did last year."

Georgia adds versatile quarterback

There weren't a ton of commitments this weekend but the most notable was Palm Beach (Fla.) quarterback Faton Bauta. A transfer from New York, he came in and won the quarterback spot at one of the big local programs - Palm Beach Dwyer - and has been dead set at playing the position in college, which Georgia appeared to recruit him at.

"My goal is set on being a quarterback at the next level and beyond. I am going to do whatever it takes and work hard every day like I do to get that goal I have set," he told UGASports.com. "My goal is still growing, to be an elite quarterback. I am going to keep working hard on my skills to do everything to make myself a better quarterback."

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder is a versatile athlete and could play multiple positions in college such as linebacker or an H-back type. Bauta does have a strong-arm and is a hard-nosed runner who has passed for 1,006 yards on the season with 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Though he still has to learn some of the subtleties of being a quarterback, that's the position he'll start off at in college.

"What Aaron Murray does, I know he's a dual threat as well; he runs the ball well, and throws the ball well. For me, I'm going to strive to be the best quarterback I can be. And in my eyes, I know I can be Aaron Murray and more," Bauta said.

Georgia now has 14 commitments for the class of 2012 and though it is not as stacked as last year's 'Dream Team' was, adds the talented Bauta to a group that includes five-star offensive tackle John Theus and impressive defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor. The Bulldogs did take a quarterback with last year's class and have also received a pledge from 2013 signal-caller Brice Ramsey.

Video of the week

This week was a big one for Belle Glade (Fla.) running back Kelvin Taylor, who broke Emmitt Smith's (yes, that Emmitt Smith) all-time rushing record in the state of Florida on a 388 yard, six touchdown night Friday. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder now has 8,975 yards and 141 touchdowns for his career and amazingly he's just a junior. He is the son of former NFL and Florida Gators running back Fred Taylor. It appears to be a Florida-Alabama battle for his commitment at this point with the Gators having a bit of an edge obviously.

Below is video of Taylor's run to break the record, a 34 yard scamper for a touchdown followed by him giving his mother the ball. He briefly discussed the record-setting performance here.



Recruiting Roundup

  Pitt commit Rushel Shell also set a record over the weekend, rushing for more than 100 yards in his 39th consecutive game.

  Auburn commit Zeke Pike will enroll early.

  A few notes and some analysis of Oregon recruiting.

  Texas commit Johnathan Gray is getting close to some very impressive records himself.

  Adolphus Washington's visit to Cincinnati went very well.

  Georgia is gaining ground with defensive end Jordan Jenkins after he visited for the Auburn game. The program also recently offered DeVondre Seymour, son of former All-Pro defensive tackle Richard Seymour.



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.





Posted on: October 31, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: October 31, 2011 11:59 pm
 

National Notes: Recruiting the recruited

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Three months. Three stress-filled, long months until Signing Day.

To complicate things, it's the stretch run of the season, the holidays and bowl game time. Coaches have to worry about filling out a recruiting class as well as keeping their current commitments from looking around. Surprise official or unofficial visits can sometimes throw staffs for a loop. It's a complicated time of numbers juggling, keeping kids happy and, oh yeah, coaching.

With all that in mind, here's a run down of the top commitments from the ACC, Big 12 and Big East that each school has to keep in the fold and sign in February.

ACC

Boston College: Steven Daniels, linebacker. He signed with the Eagles last year but didn't qualify and could be looking around, they need the tackling machine quickly.

Clemson: Travis Blanks, defensive back. One of the top defensive backs on the East Coast, he can play right away with his coverage skills.

Florida State: Mario Edwards, defensive end. They've got a great defensive line class but no one like Edwards, who is strongly considering Oklahoma.

Maryland: Mike Madaras, offensive linemen. A local kid from a power conference at an area of need, the staff has burned some bridges locally and making sure Madaras stays in the fold is big.

N.C. State: K'Hadree Hooker, defensive tackle. The staff is on shaky ground but they'd be wise to keep the in-state DT.

Wake Forest: Jared Crump, wide receiver. 6-foot-3, 4.5 receivers don't grow on trees nor come from Florida to the Triangle often.

Duke: Deion Williams, linebacker. He's a tad undersized but a great cross-country get for the Blue Devils.

Georgia Tech: Tyler Stargel, linebacker. Would be a big interior presence with his size.

Miami: Jelani Hamilton, defensive end. One of the top players in the area, keeping him home would do wonders for the rest of the class.

North Carolina: Patton Robinette, quarterback. The Elite 11 signal-caller has already taken a few visits elsewhere.

Virginia: Kwontie Moore, linebacker. The complete package, he'd be a much-needed upgrade on defense.

Virginia Tech: Jarontay Jones, defensive end. One of the top players in Georgia, it's possible he could pull a late switch.

Big 12

Baylor: Kiante' Griffin, athlete. Could come in and play on either side of the ball.

Iowa State: Grant Rohach, quarterback. It's not too often ISU gets a quarterback like Rohach out of California.

Kansas: Brian Beckmann, offensive lineman. Big body like Beckmann is someone they must have to build around.

Kansas State: Aderius Epps, offensive lineman. See above.

Missouri: Jonathan Williams, running back. Henry Josey has done a great job and Williams is that type of player.

Oklahoma: Polo Manukainiu, defensive end. He's already a shaky commitment and is taking visits elsewhere.

Oklahoma State: Kendall Sanders, athlete. He would be a great fit for the Cowboys.

Texas: Johnathan Gray, running back. He's pretty solidly committed but that still doesn't mean you stop recruiting #1 RB in the country.

Texas Tech: Dominique Wheeler, wide receiver. He should play early with his speed.

TCU: Daje Johnson, defensive back. You need defensive backs in the Big 12 and Johnson is one of the fastest in Texas.

Big East

Cincinnati: Dennis Norfleet
, running back. He's small but he's dynamic in space a great fit for the offense.

Connecticut: Casey Cochran
, quarterback. Grabbing the best in-state player is always a good start for a new head coach.

Louisville: Larry Jefferson,
defensive end. He could provide a nice boost on either side of the ball.

Pittsburgh: Rushel Shell
, running back. He was likely to end up at Pitt all along but they need to keep the five-star happy.

Rutgers: Leonte Carroo,
wide receiver. One of the top players in the state, he could help them with his Don Bosco teammates.

South Florida:
Chris Bivins, defensive back. One of the better corners in Northern Florida, one wonders if the Gators came in with a later offer.

Syracuse: Tashon Whitehurst,
linebacker. Not the fastest player, he's still a nice get from Florida at his position.

West Virginia: Deontay McManus
, wide receiver. He's a great fit in Dana Holgorsen's offense but the commitment isn't super strong.

Notre Dame sees Perkins decommit

First it was USC that saw a high-profile decommit and now the team they recently beat is suffering the same thing. South Bend (Ind.) linebacker David Perkins opened things up Monday, a loss for the Irish on the defensive side of the ball.

“There are a lot of good schools out there interested in me, and Notre Dame doesn’t let you take visits, and I want to take visits,” Perkins told 247Sports. “I feel like I committed too fast and didn’t give myself a chance to go through the whole recruiting process. I’m going to reopen it and go through the process and see what all is out there."

It's not unusual to hear this kind of thing from kids as we draw closer to Signing Day but interesting to hear it from a local player like Perkins. He has several programs such as LSU, Michigan State, Tennessee and Oregon that could be players if he doesn't keep Notre Dame in the mix.

The Irish have 15 commitments for 2012 as of now.

Video of the week

Here are some highlights of Texas commit Cayleb Jones, the second best wide receiver in the country and a five-star prospect.



Recruiting Roundup

Guito Ervilus has North Carolina as his leader after a visit.

Georgia Tech impressed a good number of recruits in their game against Clemson.

UCLA is the latest offer for running back Fabian Moreau.

Does playing Florida in Jacksonville hurt Georgia's recruiting?

Offenisve lineman Brandon Fanaika is interested in Arkansas.

 Brian Kelly wants easier access to recruits.


Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:52 am
 

National Notes: Kiel, Notre Dame's big weekend

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Quite a busy week on the recruiting trail.

Things kicked off on Friday with the decommitment of five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel from Indiana, which was surprising only in regards to the timing. Many were quite surprised when he chose the Hoosiers over national powers like Oklahoma and Alabama but it made sense on some levels - his brother was there, they were the in-state school close to home, Kevin Wilson had a good reputation for developing quarterbacks.

Still, top-flight quarterbacks do not usually wind up at schools like Indiana and especially not when there were not other major recruits coming with them and winning is a major issue. I went to see Kiel play in his playoff game but he was held out by coaches for precautionary reasons after he was slightly injured during practice. In talking with him after the game, you got the sense that because he was "reconsidering" his commitment, this was an opening for him to make sure that he took his official visits and checked out other schools.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," he said. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

Kiel has remained fairly quiet about his recruitment but you almost get the sense that he was boxed into making his commitment too early. He was planning to announce in late June but kept pushing things back and pushing things back. Then fellow top 100 signal-caller Jameis Winston committed to Florida State, which set off a chain of dominoes. Kiel's other finalists, perhaps sensing that he wouldn't be picking them, moved on to others. It's rare for the five-star guy not to be the one that sets off the chain but that could be the case here.

Now he's back on the market and looking at schools. He was part of a star-studded visiting class in South Bend for USC-Notre Dame (more on that later) and figures to quickly schedule several visits to schools. It's hard to say which schools are in the running since he's pretty tight-lipped but polished quarterbacks like Kiel don't fall off trees and you'd have to think he received quite a few calls from college coaches. Since he wants to enroll early this won't be a four month ordeal but it will be an interesting six or so weeks for the country's number two player.

Stars came out in South Bend
There are some games that just seem to draw the official visitors out and Notre Dame's rivalry game against USC was billed as their Super Bowl on and off the field. 12 members from the Maxpreps Top 100 were in South Bend taking in the sights and sounds over the weekend, with several coming in Saturday so as to spend an extra night in town before flying out Monday.

Of course, things didn't exactly go as planned for the Irish on the field, falling to the Trojans 31-17 but that didn't have too much of an effect on the visitors.

"The game atmosphere was crazy, even the pre-game atmosphere was crazy," Zach Banner told 247sports. "The whole school was amped up and you could feel the tradition. It's an old rivalry and you could just feel a lot was on the line. I like how Notre Dame sticks with their tradition."

The problem for Notre Dame wasn't the weather, crowd or anything like that, it was that they A) lost the game by more than the score indicated and B) lost to a school they're recruiting against for several of the visitors. Recent USC decomit Arik Armstead was among those in attendance, as were several other California recruits. It will be awhile before the freshness of the official visit wears off of the players but, long-term, losing to USC in the manner they did doesn't exactly help Brian Kelly's efforts.

The Irish are still going to recruit very well however, and are in line for another top 15 class this year. They still have a very good chance at landing running back Keith Marshall and several others so Notre Dame fans shouldn't get too caught up in how many commitments they bring in from this group until further down the road. The biggest thing the team has to do now is win, because that seems to cure just about everything on the recruiting trail.

Video of the week

Check out this reverse by KJ Dillon and his alternative method of reaching the end zone.



Recruiting Roundup

Adolphus Washington and Dwayne Stanford will take their official visits to Ohio State this week.

With Georgia off last week, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo went to check out commit Brice Ramsey.

Guito Ervilus is back on the field and considering North Carolina, Louisville, Tennessee, Florida State and Florida.

Arkansas commit Jakarri Thomas remains firm in his commitment to the Hogs.

Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: October 22, 2011 12:58 am
 

Top QB Gunner Kiel reopens his recruitment

Posted by Bryan Fischer

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. -- In news that was shocking only with regards to its timing, Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel decommitted from Indiana and opened up his recruitment Friday.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," Kiel said. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

Ranked as the top quarterback in the class of 2012 and number two overall in the country by Maxpreps, Kiel committed to the Hoosiers in late July over national powers such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan and USC.

"I think I made the right decision," he said of his original pledge. "Things happen. I thought hard about it but decided to go out and reevaluate it."

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder told new Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson Thursday night, two days after he was officially selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

"I just called him and told him I was re-evaluating my decision and will go out and visit some more schools," Kiel said.

Brother Dusty is a redshirt sophomore in Bloomington and Kiel maintained that the decommitment from the program had nothing to do with Dusty or the coaching staff. Their uncle, Blair, played quarterback at Notre Dame and the aptly-named Gunner will take an unofficial visit to see the Irish play USC Saturday night as he restarts the recruiting process.

"Yeah, I'm showing some interest in Notre Dame," Kiel said. "I'm looking forward to a great atmosphere. That's definitely a big rivalry game and it should be a lot of fun."

After selecting Indiana, both of Kiel's other finalists, Oklahoma, Mizzouri and Alabama, added commitments from quarterbacks. The complicated situation with the schools he previously considered is one explanation why the signal-caller remained tight-lipped as to which programs he would be looking at.

"I'm going to consider some other schools but I'm going to keep the (list) kind of personal right now," he said. "I just want to stay low again."

No decision has been made as to where he'll take official visits to but he'll settle on the first few destinations shortly after consulting with family members. Kiel added that distance is not a factor for any school and he will be using a set list of criteria that each finalist needs to have.

"Really just the same stuff I looked at last time," he said. "There's three main things: education, how well the coaching staff gets along with the players and how the players interact with each other and if they're a big family."

Columbus East defeated Shelbyville in the opening round of the Indiana state playoffs 49-21 on Friday night but the five-star didn't take a snap in the game, sitting out after slightly injuring himself during practice.

"I'm just a little nicked up, a little sore," Kiel said. "Coach just told me to rest up this week and get healthy for our next opponent next week. I could have played, I felt really healthy. I came out here and warmed up with the guys and was running around. I was good to go, just a little sore. I'll be alright."

Kiel is set to graduate in December and will enroll after playing in the All-American game, really the only clues as to what sort of timetable he is operating on for his decision.

"I'm still going to graduate at the end of the semester," he said. "I'm on the right path and have my grades looking good and I'm ready to go."

More on Maxpreps: Notre Dame-USC game big for recruiting
Posted on: October 21, 2011 11:50 am
 

Gunner Kiel decommits from Indiana

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In news that was shocking only with regards to its timing, five-star quarterback Gunner Kiel has decommitted from Indiana and reopened his recruitment.

“I’m just reevaluating my decision and plan on taking some future visits to other colleges,” Kiel told 247Sports on Friday morning.

Ranked as the top quarterback in the class of 2012 and number two overall by Maxpreps, Kiel committed to the Hoosiers in late July over national powers such as Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan and USC. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder told new Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson Thursday night according to the report, two days after he was officially selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Kiel's brother, Dusty, is a sophomore at Indiana and his uncle, Blair, played at Notre Dame. In addition to taking several official visits, the aptly-named Gunner will take an unofficial visit to see the Irish play USC on Saturday.

After selecting Indiana, both of Kiel's other finalists, Oklahoma and Alabama, added commitments from quarterbacks. His Columbus East team will play Shelbyville in the opening round of the Indiana state playoffs on Friday night.

 
 
 
 
 
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