Tag:Tennessee
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Tennessee adds third running back for 2012

Posted by Bryan Fischer

If there's something you can't have enough of in the SEC, it's good running backs. Tennessee hopes they found another in the class of 2012 in Georgia's backyard after Athens (Ga.) speedster Quenshaun Watson committed to the Vols earlier this week.

“I have been feeling them a lot ever since my unofficial visit up there,” Watson told 247Sports. “I just wanted to wait ‘til after the season to go ahead and let them know that I would be coming to their school. I just didn’t want it over my head, so I just thought I’d let everybody know where I was going."

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder actually plays at Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley's alma mater. Watson held a scholarship offer from Indiana but the Vols staff made all the difference in him committing.

“They have welcomed me into their family very well," he said. "All the coaches love me — offensive, defensive, all of them. All of them have welcomed me into their family.”

Watson becomes the 20th pledge for Tennessee's class of 2012 and third at the running back position. He rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns during his senior campaign.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: November 17, 2011 10:51 am
 

11/16 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Mark Richt thinks there's more momentum coming for Georgia on the recruiting trail.

 Cincinnati has already extended offers to several 2013 recruits.

 Some more on Iowa's pair of recent commitments.

 Nick Saban racked up the frequent flyer miles when he was putting his first recruiting class together.

 Trey Griffey is taking things slow in his recruitment, has BCS offers from Iowa State, Michigan State, and Washington State.

 The story behind De'Anthony Thomas' late switch from USC to Oregon

 Former Michigan recruit Demar Dorsey says Tennessee, Miami and Texas Tech are showing interest.

 The move to the Big 12 won't change how West Virginia recruits.


Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2011 4:13 pm
 

NCAA issues cause Montgomery to cross off UCF

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With the resignation of wide receivers coach David Kelly and serious NCAA issues at the school, UCF has been dropped as a school under consideration for Winter Park (Fla.) receiver Dvario Montgomery.

“That basically wrapped it up for me and showed me that that’s not where I want to be at all,” Montgomery told the Orlando Sentinel. “I kind of [crossed] them off my list.”

Montgomery is still looking at South Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and Louisville. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound athlete recently returned from an official visit to College Park and is now high on the Terps along with the Bulls.

“It was real good,” he said of his visit. “I liked the atmosphere, the only thing about it, it was cold. I could adapt to that fine. Other than that, everything was nice. I loved the coaches. Coach (Randy) Edsall, all of them … they were showing me so much love. They showed me basically everything that happens. The players, everyone was true, there was no messing around … I respected it.”

Montgomery is planning to commit after the season and figures to take his time looking at schools after crossing off local option UCF for numerous reasons.

Posted on: November 9, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2011 3:06 pm
 

SEC quarterback recruiting more misses than hits

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Look up and down the depth charts of NFL teams and you'll find five starting quarterbacks from SEC schools. 15% of the league seems like a good number but for a conference that has won five straight national championships and is widely considered to be home to the best football in the country, it's much smaller than you'd expect. After all, one school - USC - has three starting quarterbacks in the league and one was a career backup in college.

In light of the so-so quarterback play around the SEC this year (apart from Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and generally from Georgia's Aaron Murray), the question should be asked: Why can't SEC teams recruit great quarterbacks? There's not a single SEC quarterback in the top 20 in passing efficiency and a signal-caller has thrown for more than 350 yards in a game this season just twice. Twice. They play great defense in the league but that doesn't explain why Jarrett Lee throws up easy interceptions from time-to-time or the position is an open door at schools like Ole Miss.

One reason the league has struggled to churn out good quarterbacks is schools generally don't find many good ones in their own backyards. Tennessee feels great about their (now injured) quarterback Tyler Bray but remember he's from California. Of those starting quarterbacks in the NFL, Matthew Stafford is from Texas and Jay Cutler played high school football in Indiana. Both had solid careers in college but have blossomed at the next level while Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow has struggled to produce at the next level. Is it conservative coaching (or lack of any good QB coaching), systems, too much defense or something in the water? States like Florida have been known to produce a good quarterback from time-to-time but it's just not a strength of the region. In the end, it comes down to recruiting a quality player and there just haven't been enough of them headed down South.

This season for example, Alabama lost out on five-star quarterbacks Gunner Kiel and in-state prospect Jameis Winston. Sure a big time quarterback commits to an SEC school from time-to-time but generally, you don't have top high school players at the position flocking to play at schools in the league. Meanwhile, Pac-12 and Big 12 schools, among others, keep churning out great passers. Increasingly, it seems, the high-flying offenses elsewhere have attracted the good ones and resulted in diminished play at SEC schools. Even when they do grab a big name, such as Florida's John Brantley, things just haven't worked out. Russell Shepard went to LSU with great fanfare but is now a play-making wide receiver as another example.

In the class of 2012, Auburn has the highest rated prospect at the position in Zeke Pike but there are plenty of questions about his mechanics, arm strength and maturity. Newcomer Texas A&M might have the best recruit in dual-threat Matt Davis. In 2011 the Gators grabbed two of the best in the country but we'll see how they play down the road after being thrown to the wolves as freshmen. One of them, Jeff Driskel, is the first consensus top quarterback to go a league school in years. Recruiting is an inexact science - look at powers like Texas struggle to find "the guy" - but it seems like more schools have a QB lab with issues in the SEC.

It's tough to succeed with great defenses but you can't fault lack of skill position on offense for lack of production if look at the rosters and incoming classes. There are plenty of reasons why each school in the SEC has struggled with quarterback play over the years - from development to playing against tough defenses - but ultimately it comes down to recruiting the right guys. There is a secret to success and conference schools have seemingly found it at every position but one. We'll see if things improve going forward but for now, no one is confusing the SEC as the cradle of quarterbacks.
 
Posted on: November 8, 2011 6:48 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 6:48 pm
 

Tennessee picks up cornerback Daniel Gray

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Though he hasn't even taken so much as an unofficial visit to see the school, Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) cornerback Daniel Gray committed to Tennessee sight unseen late Tuesday afternoon.

"They play my type of coverage," Gray told VolQuest.com. "I really trust coach (Terry) Joseph and know he can help me get where I want to be as a player."

Gray will visit Knoxville in early December but will also take official visits to several other schools before Signing Day. The 6-foot, 165-pound defensive back also held offers from Ole Miss, Nebraska and Texas Tech among others and has liked Tennessee for years thanks in large part to former All-American safety Eric Berry - one of several defensive backs Gray models his game after.

"I feel like I'm a very physical player," he said. "I try to be physical at the line in man coverage and I feel like with my speed, I can run with receivers."

The 19th commitment for the Vols class of 2012, Gray is the third defensive back of the group.


Posted on: November 4, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: November 4, 2011 10:48 am
 

11/4 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Some commitments on the Nebraska visitor list this weekend.

Alabama has recruited Louisiana with mixed results.

Maryland, Alabama, Auburn, California, Clemson, Florida State and Miami are finalists for DT Eddie Goldman.

Chris Moody is down to South Carolina, Mississippi State, N.C. State and Memphis but has to decide what position he wants to play first.

 Ohio State's recruiting woes are not as bad as first thought.

 Tennessee commit Dalton Santos will take visits to Arkansas and Texas A&M.

 Georgia is keeping tabs on N.C. State commit Niles Clark.


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.

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