Tag:Tom Lemming
Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:41 am

Four commit at Offense-Defense Bowl

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It was a busy Thursday night for commitments at the Offense-Defense Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Four players committed to schools according to reports and each were major additions to their respective recruiting classes.

Westville (N.J.) defensive tackle Jamil Pollard was the first to put the hats on the table and picked up a Penn State one, according to multiple reports. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound interior presence makes up for the loss of Tommy Schutt to Ohio State earlier this month.

Pollard is ranked as the 10th best defensive tackle by MaxPreps in the class of 2012 and selected PSU over Boston College and also held offers from Alabama and Florida among others. He is the 14th commitment for Penn State's class of 2012.

"He shows enormous strength, burst off the ball, and an aggressive, take no prisoners style of play," analyst Tom Lemming said. "This young man never quits, never lets up, and he will chase until the whistle. He just fires off the snap and is an explosive violent tackler. He shows quick hands and surprising range for a 285 pounder. He's also considered a Division I prospect at the tackle position on offense but prefers to play DT."

That wasn't the only big lineman to commit at the game. Las Vegas (Nev.) offensive guard Cedrick Poutasi gave Utah's recruiting class a big boost when he committed to the Utes.

"This guy proves to be very explosive off the line and he's powerful, quick-footed, smart, and tough. Has a take no prisoners' attitude at the LT position and doesn't just like to block players, he likes to bury them," said Lemming. "He does a very good job of getting into position in both the run and pass game, sealing off defenders, and keeps his legs moving while he's finishing off his blocks. He runs exceptionally well for a 325 pounder and will do nothing but get better."

In a good year for linemen out West, Poutasi was one of the better interior linemen and is a notable pickup as the program continues to transition to the Pac-12. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound guard also held offers from Arizona, Oregon and Oklahoma State among others.

Poutasi is Utah's 17th commitment for the class of 2012 and sixth on the offensive line.

In addition, Lyndhurst (Ohio) tight end/defensive end Pharaoh Brown committed to Oregon.

"I was blown away by his pass rushing skills, instincts, and potential," said Lemming. "A tall, lengthy DE, he will gain 40 to 50 pounds over the next couple of years and develop into an All-American pass rusher. He's not yet there but he looks very good on junior film. He's as athletic as they come, can dunk a basketball with either hand, does a great job of playing off blocks, staying on his feet, and getting to the ball."

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Brown was previously committed to Michigan but recently reopened his recruitment. Maxpreps ranks him as 25th in the class as a defensive end but he'll likely head to Eugene as the Ducks' second tight end in 2012.

Pleasant Grove (Utah) guard/tackle Brandon Fanaika continued the run of linemen committing at the game, pledging to Stanford over local school Utah State. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder can play on either side of the ball for the Cardinal but will likely end up as an offensive guard.

"Shows very good feet, a passion for the game, and an aggressive style of play," said Lemming. "He performs very well at LT and OG and is exceptional at DT. He's one of those types of players with the attitude that he will not stay blocked. Shows exceptional initial quickness off the ball, strong hands, keeps his pads low, and knows how to split the double team. Very strong, he can dominate the point of attack and is known for his ability to stop everything up the middle."

Stanford is losing several offensive linemen so Fanaika will at the very least provide depth for the team. He is Stanford's 16th commit for the upcoming class and fourth to join the line.

Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:03 am

UCLA lands coveted corner Ishmael Adams

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of Jim Mora's priorities in the time between officially taking over at UCLA and Signing Day was to make a big splash on the recruiting trail and he did just that on Monday. Westlake Village (Calif.) cornerback Ishamel Adams was not planning on committing to the Bruins but felt he could best help the class in doing so.

"It was coming down to the wire and UCLA needs to make moves on bigger recruits," Adams told BruinBlitz.com. "They thought that my name might bring out other recruits to UCLA and change the program with me. I decided to declare earlier and not wait to the end."

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound defensive back was considered a heavy Cal lean but surprised many by staying close to home. Adams held scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona, Notre Dame, Oregon and others but the new staff in Westwood won him over with their approach to the game.

"The new coaches are total 'league' minded right now," he said. "They are all about business and winning games."

Adams becomes the 22nd commitment in UCLA's class of 2012 a little over a month away from Signing Day. The four-star corner is ranked 111th overall in the country by MaxPreps and is considered the 12th-best player at his position.

"An expert at the bump and run, he competes on every down and shows All-American skills in man to man coverage," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Stocky in his build, he loves to mix it up, breaks on the ball quickly, and rarely misses a tackle. Has fast hands and can turn and run with the swiftest of receivers. He's as confident and hard working as they come."

Adams had 34 tackles and two interceptions his senior season.

Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:35 pm

Alabama adds big pick up in DT Alphonse Taylor

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It didn't take long for Alabama to flip a second highly regarded prospect. Less than a week after securing a commitment from former Auburn pledge T.J. Yeldon, former Florida State commit and Mobile (Ala.) defensive tackle Alphonse Taylor became the latest to join the Crimson Tide's recruiting class on Friday.

"After carefully considering the amazing opportunities in front of me, I am committing to play football for the University of Alabama and enroll in January," Taylor said in a statement. "I appreciate the support of my family, friends, teachers, and coaches who have always helped and supported me. While there were many factors to my decision, ultimately I want to play nose guard for Alabama whose fierce and dedicated defenses are a tradition in this state and around the nation."

The 6-foot-6, 350-pound tackle had been committed to the Seminoles since April but had a recent change of heart and opened things back up.

"He has explosive moves off the ball, quick hands, and is very coachable," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He has proven to be a dominating run blocker over the past two years with good initial quickness, long arms, and the frame to become a dominating OT at the next level."

Taylor becomes the 24th commitment for Alabama's class of 2012.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:57 pm

Florida linebacker commits to the Terps

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things haven't gone too well for Maryland on the field in 2011 but they're hoping the class of 2012 is part of a big turnaround for the program. Tallahassee (Fla.) linebacker Dallas Griffiths believes he can help turn the tide and committed to the Terps this week.

"Well, they really don't have too many people that are vocal on that team, and the coaches want me to come in and be the guy that calls the plays and gets the defense set up and be the centerpiece of that defense," Griffiths told TerrapinTimes.com.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder had a dominating senior season with 167 total tackles and one interception to go with a perfect 13-0 record and a state title. He also held offers from Georgia Tech, Southern Miss and UCF but is firmly committed to what Maryland is doing.

"I really liked the coaching staff, I liked what Coach (Randy) Edsall is establishing there with his program. I liked the fan base, it was great, you could tell they were behind him and the team," he said. "And I saw what he did at Connecticut and I am excited and want to be a part of what he is going to do at Maryland."

Griffiths is the 20th commitment for the Terps' class of 2012 and fifth linebacker.

"Dallas came on strong during the second half of the 2010 season showing terrific lateral agility, the ability to break down in the open field and make plays, decent strength, and shows the ability to effectively drop back into the passing lanes," analyst Tom Lemming said of the linebacker.

Posted on: December 22, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 1:27 pm

Leach adds two from Southern California

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It hasn't taken Mike Leach too long but he's already hit the fertile Southern California recruiting grounds hard at Wazzu. Culver City (Calif.) wide receiver Alex Jackson and linebacker Khalil Pettway like what the new Washington State coach was selling and promptly committed on Wednesday after getting offers.

"It is a real big opportunity," Pettway told Rivals. "I've been watching the Pac-10 since I was a kid and now to be a part of it is kind of humbling. The education is great in the Pac-12."

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Pettway also held offers from Arizona, SMU and West Virginia among others. He'll join teammate Jackson on the Palouse, who was excited to be part of the program with Leach in charge.

"I wanted to be part of an up and coming program and I felt like that's what they have at Washington State," Jackson told Scout.

The pair gives the Cougars 19 commitments for the class of 2012 with National Signing Day almost a month away.

"Blessed with good hands, he has big-time speed, and excellent body control," analyst Tom Lemming said of Jackson. "He catches everything within reach and once he gets into the open field, look out."

Posted on: December 21, 2011 7:10 pm

Texas defensive end picks Arkansas

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Even before the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC, Arkansas has always recruited the Lone Star State well and that has picked up under Bobby Petrino. The coaching staff added another Texan on Wednesday as Manvel (Texas) defensive end Taiwan Johnson surprisingly committed to the Razorbacks.

“I love the community there and the coaching staff was great,” Johnson told 247sports. “The Arkansas Razorbacks are doing some big-time things. It's a chance for me to play in the SEC.”

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Johnson held scholarship offers from Oklahoma State, Missouri, SMU and others but many expected him to pledge to Nebraska. He took visits to both Lincoln and Fayetteville but felt the Hogs provided the best opportunity and was the right distance from home.

“I have made up my mind so there was no point in dragging it out,” Johnson said. “This way, I can focus on Arkansas and come in and make an impact.”

Johnson becomes the 22nd commitment for the Razorbacks' class of 2012.

"Taiwan shows quick feet, long legs, does a good job of playing off blockers, and has really improved his quickness over the past year," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He turned into one of the better pass rushers in the district in 2010 and should fill out to 270 pounds in a couple of years. He does a good job of fighting double-teams, staying on his feet, and finding the ball. He also shows very good lateral quickness and does a good job of hitting moving targets."
Posted on: December 21, 2011 2:42 pm

Wide receiver Chesson picks Michigan

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Michigan's top ranked recruiting class added another piece Wednesday morning. St. Louis (Mo.) wide receiver Jehu Chesson made things official by committing to the Wolverines, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder held scholarship offers from Missouri, Northwestern, Iowa and UCLA among others.

Chesson becomes the Wolverines 24th commit in the class of 2012 and second receiver, joining fellow midwest wide out Amara Darboh. The pair badly fill a position of need for the team ahead of Signing Day.

"He is one of the hardest working WR's I've seen in getting off the line, finding the open seam, and catching everything within reach," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He has tremendous work ethic and is not satisfied with being just a good player. Like the above mentioned receivers, he's a tall, athletic, and agile WR with soft, natural hands. He catches the ball away from his body and normally in full stride, adjusts well to poorly thrown balls, and catches the ball in traffic on a regular basis."

Chesson caught 53 passes for 757 yards and six touchdowns as a senior.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 7:38 pm

Meyer lands top defensive end Noah Spence

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Urban Meyer has taken over Ohio State and quickly brought in a defensive line class that rivals any in the country. The latest addition came Sunday with Harrisburg (Pa.) five-star Noah Spence, who committed on his official visit to Columbus on Sunday.

"I am committed to Ohio State and I just decided to do it before the Under-Armour game," Spence told Scout. "I We went into Urban Meyer's office and I said Coach I am done and I want to be a part of the Buckeye Nation. I'd still like to announce on TV where I am going, but I didn't want to wait anymore."

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Spence is ranked as the nation's top defensive end and number three overall prospect by Maxpreps. He held scholarship offers from just about every program from coast-to-coast but the comfort factor with Meyer and Ohio State allowed him to commit while on his visit.

"It feels so great, I am truly blessed," he said. "Feels like I got the monkey off my back and I thank God for being with me every step of the way and for blessing myself and my family."

Spence is the Buckeyes' 19th commitment for the class of 2012 and joins fellow top 100 recruits Se'Von Pittman and Tommy Schutt on the defensive line. He amassed 98 tackles and 12.5 sacks during his senior season and should compete for a starting spot early on at Ohio State.

"He blends great size with speed, quickness, and power," analyst Tom Lemming said of Spence. "He has a keen sense for the football and uses it on every down. Remarkably active with a terrific burst, he's able to rip off blocks with strong hands and tremendous natural strength."

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