Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:11 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2011 6:59 pm

June Big East Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's the final week in June and as the temperature gauge continues to rise and we move into July, it's time to see how schools are building their recruiting class of 2012. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Big East, where conference newcomer TCU is hitting the recruiting trail hard.

   Cincinnati (13)

Offensive lineman Deyshawn Bond (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive back Kevin Brown (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive back Drake Burns (Fort Thomas, Kent.)
Running back Deionte Buckley (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Defensive end Jonathan Burt (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Athlete Alex Dale (Memphis, Tenn.)
Defensive back Marcus Foster (Troy, Ohio)
Wide receiver Jeremy Graves (Maple Heights, Ohio)
Defensive back Andre Jones (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Defensive end Ryan Leahy (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Wide receiver Vincent Miller (Lexington, Ky.)
Defensive end Josh Posley (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Offensive lineman Kyle Williamson (Cincinnati, Ohio)

   Connecticut (8)

Wide receiver Neally Cunningham (Palm Bay, Fla.)
Linebacker John Hicks (Paimyra, Pa.)
Athlete Michael Marder (Orlando, Fla.)
Defensive back Obi Melifonwu (Grafton, Mass.)
Defensive tackle Mikal Myers (Newburgh, N.Y.)
Linebacker Elijah Norris (Washington, D.C.)
Offensive lineman Tyler Samra (Ramsey, N.J.)
Linebacker Jason Sylva (Plymouth, Mass.)

   Louisville (8)

Offensive lineman Sid Anvoots (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Kicker Joshua Appleby (Harvest, Ala.)
Athlete Demetrius Frazier (Brunswick, Ga.)
Defensive back Kevin Houchins (South Eucid, Ohio)
Defensive end Larry Jefferson (College Park, Ga.)
Offensive lineman T.C. Klusman (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Defensive end Teko Powell (Miami, Fla.)
Wide receiver Brandon Snell (Miami, Fla.)

   Pittsburgh (6)

Wide receiver Trenton Coles (Clairton, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Brandyn Cook (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Defensive back Marzett Geter (McKees Rocks, Pa.)
Defensive end Myles Hilliard (Bedford, Ohio)
Defensive back William Parks (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Linebacker Alkwan Williams (Johnnstown, Pa.)

   Rutgers (6)

Wide receiver Carlton Agudosi (Franklin, N.J.)
Linebacker Steve Longa (Saddle Brook, N.J.)
Offensive lineman Chris Muller (Boyertown, Pa.)
Wide receiver Ruhann Peele (Linden, N.J.)
Running back Desmon Peoples (Warminister, Pa.)
Quarterback Blake Rankin (Bloomsburg, Pa.)

   South Florida (8)

Defensive back Chris Bivins (Gainesville, Fla.)
Offensive lineman Reno Henderson (Ocala, Fla.)
Wide receiver Rayshawn Jenkins (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Defensive end Daniel Perry (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Tight end Sean Price (Citra, Fla.)
Defensive back Jalen Spencer (Pensacola, Fla.)
Defensive back D.J. White (McDonogh, Ga.)
Athlete LaMarlin Wiggins (Plant City, Fla.)

   Syracuse (9)

Defensive end Poncho Barnwell (Rochester, N.Y.)
Offensive lineman Ben Barrett (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Wide receiver Alvin Cornelius (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Linebacker Myles Davis (New Berlin, N.Y.)
Defensive end Jason Emerich (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.)
Athlete Devante McFarland (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
Offensive lineman Omari Palmer (Middle Island, N.Y.)
Tight end Joshua Parris (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Linebacker James Washington (Winter Park, Fla.)

   TCU (13)

Running back LaDarius Anthony (Kilgore, Texas)
Quarterback Austin Aune (Argyle, Texas)
Running back B.J. Catalon (Houston, Texas)
Defensive end Devonte Fields (Arlington, Texas)
Tight end Griffin Gilbert (Austin, Texas)
Defensive tackle Joey Hunt (El Campo, Texas)
Athlete Daje Johnson (Plugerville, Texas)
Running back Rashodrick Linwood (Linden, Texas)
Athlete Kolby Listenbee (Arlington, Texas)
Quarterback Tyler Matthews (McPherson, Kan.), Tom Lemming Top 100 for 2012 Member
Defensive end James McFarland (West Monroe, La.)
Kicker Jaden Oberkrom (Arlington, Texas)
Defensive back Edward Pope (Carthage, Texas)

   West Virginia (10)

Defensive tackle Imarjaye Albury (Miami, Fla.)
Quarterback Ford Childress (Houston, Texas)
Defensive back Da'Quan Davis (Towson, Md.)
Running back Jarrod Harper (Frostburg, Md.)
Linebacker Joseph Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Wide receiver Deontay McManus (Baltimore, Md.)
Athlete Brandon Napoleon (Jersey City, N.J.)
Offensive lineman Tyler Orlosky (Lakewood, Ohio)
Athlete Albert Reid (Washington, D.C.)
Athlete J.T. Washington (Satellite Beach, Fla.)

Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:26 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:19 pm

D.C. running back commits to West Virginia

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Anytime a player goes on an unofficial visit, fans and media members are generally on their toes about a possible commitment. Such was the case this week as Washington (D.C.) running back Albert Reid made the trip down to Morgantown and ended up leaving a verbal pledge for West Virginia.

"I just committed because it was a second home. I feel comfortable up there. I like the offense they run and I feel myself fitting in really good," Reid told WVSports.com. "I just felt like it was home."

With a mostly new coaching staff, including new head coach Dana Holgorsen, the chance to get to know them better on the visit allowed Reid to feel comfortable enough to make a decision.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pound back also held scholarship offers from Iowa, Colorado, Stanford and Vanderbilt among others. Reid becomes the eighth overall commitment for West Virginia in 2012 and fifth on offense, which is no surprise given Holgorsen's reputation for explosive offenses.

His highlights are below:

Posted on: June 23, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:02 pm

6/23 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- As the No. 2 overall recruit and the top quarterback in 2012, Gunner Kiel is keeping his recruitment low key.

- Running the numbers on SEC recruiting compared to ACC recruiting turns out about how you'd expect.

Arkansas is keeping tabs on speedy wide receiver Eric Hawkins.

Florida State, Florida, South Carolina, USF and Miami are defensive tackle Earl Moore's top five according to this Q&A he did.

The decommitment of Kyle Kalis is just the latest news in Ohio State's recruiting woes.

Offensive lineman Blake Bars visited Michigan and now has a top five.

Wisconsin is off to a fast start in putting together their 2012 recruiting class.


Florida added the commitment of kicker Austin Hardin, who selected the Gators over Auburn and Tennessee.

Cornerback Hugs Etienne committed to Wisconsin over West Virginia.

Pitt added former Ohio State signee Ejuan Price.

Dual threat quarterback Brenden Motley selected Virginia Tech over Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:22 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:27 pm

Heath Evans 7-on-7 Notebook

Posted by Bryan Fischer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Plenty of top players from high school teams all over the state of Florida were in action this past weekend at the 6<sup>th</sup> Annual Heath Evans Foundation 7-on-7 Tournament. Featuring two teams from MaxPreps' Preseason Top 25 for 2011 and several members from Tom Lemming's Top 100 for 2012, the fields at the King's Academy were filled with fast paced action and plenty of scoring.

One of the standouts was Tampa (Fla.) wide receiver Austin Aikens, who helped propel his team to the title and was one of the top players at the event.

"It felt real good,” Aikens said on Saturday. “I was out there making plays my team needed during the clutch."

While Plant High ended up taking the taking the title for the first time, it was just as satisfying toppling last year's state champion St. Thomas Aquinas, which beat Plant for the championship last fall. Aikens knows, however, that beating Aquinas in the summer is a different matter from beating them in the fall and he's trying to step his game up as a result.

"I'm looking to gain some more weight and polish off my route running and catching skills that I've got as a receiver so I can help my team,” he said. “We're pretty much getting there, we're starting to gel together and become one team and know what each other is thinking. Players are starting to step up when we need them to step up."

Events like Heath Evans are designed not only to give players an outlet to compete but also to showcase their skills. With the spring evaluation period over and the summer camp schedule picking up, Aikens already holds several scholarship offers and is starting to see plenty of attention from college coaches.

"It's going good,” he said. “I have offers from Missouri, Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Temple, Boston College. So it's going pretty well for me. I'm still wide open."

While the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is still sorting out his offer list, he maintains he'll likely make a decision after the football season is over. He recently took an unofficial visit to several schools in North Carolina and could be leaning towards heading out of state for college.

"About four weeks ago I went up and visited Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest,” Aikens said. “It was good, I really liked North Carolina's campus and facilities. North Carolina has some interest in me too."

Bauta shines in race to become starter

Palm Beach (Fla.) athlete Faton Bauta is trying to shed the label of “athlete” and get people used to calling him a quarterback. The dual-threat signal caller certainly impressed on the field during the tournament, showing off a strong arm and hitting some tight windows on some of his throws. The transfer from New York is not assured of the starting job just yet so the extra time with his teammates leading up to the season was crucial to developing some chemistry before the pads come on in August.

"It's going very well just being out here with them and competing with them,” Bauta said. “I like the way these guys play and I enjoy throwing the ball to them.

"I usually throw with them a lot on weekends or whenever we get the chance during the week. But out here, it's definitely good to work on the timing, there's more real game situations because you have

Dwyer High, ranked 17<sup>th</sup> in the country by MaxPreps, is breaking in several new players into the mix and face the added challenge of moving into a new classification this season. Bauta knows the team needs to gel in the offseason if they want to go from good to great during the regular season.

"We look great but obviously we have a lot to work on,” he said. “We're working towards perfection and we still have a lot of work to do but hopefully we'll be a great team this season. Hopefully we'll win that state championship."

Bauta already holds offers from Alabama, Louisville, Miami and West Virginia among others and a few recent unofficial visits netted him some more.

"Georgia and UCF, that's about it,” he said. “(Georgia) was huge, I went on a pretty big SEC tour and went there and threw for them. They like be a lot and they offered me, I sat down with coach (Mark) Richt and he's a great guy. All of the coaches were great. They're a great school and have top of the line everything. It was great to go out there and see what they're all about."

While several schools continue to recruit Bauta as an athlete, he's a quarterback at heart and that's what he wants to play at the next level.

“That's why I went on the tour, just to show these guys I can throw the ball,” he said. “Hopefully I can show the guys out here that I can throw the ball."

Bauta participated at the Florida State camp on Sunday after wrapping up things in Palm Beach at the Heath Evans tournament. While he doesn't have an offer from the Seminoles at the moment, it's possible they could break into his recruiting with one. Right now however, he's starting to narrow down his list based on a few of his big offers.

"I have a top seven and if you looked at the offers I have, you'd be able to figure it out,” Bauta said. “I'm really just keeping my options open right now in case something pops up with a school. I'm just seeing who likes me and who has the best chance of winning and having the most success during the four years I'm there. I want to get the best connection to the coaches and the players."

Howard makes plays on both sides of the ball

Cornerback Tracey Howard of Miramar (Fla.) knows he doesn't have much left to prove after a stellar junior year and a very good offseason on the all-star travel team South Florida Express. But there he was out in the heat, running routes on offense and playing receivers tight on defense.

"I think it's good because I'm out here with my team rather than as an individual,” Howard said. “I'm on my team getting better, developing chemistry on my team is a good feeling."

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound corner is working on getting stronger in the offseason and wants to improve his tackling before the season begins. At the same time he's looking to get better as an individual, Howard constantly has to fight off college recruiters looking to land his services.

"It's picking up,” he said. “It's getting kind of crazy right now but I try to stay humble about it and stay focused about it. I get help from my coaches and my family.

"I'm just staying open with the process. I won't say I have a long time to think about it like a year but I'm just trying to stay open.”

Howard plans on visiting Miami and Florida State soon and has already visited the other in-state power, Florida, for a spring practice. He plans on committing during the middle of the season or on Signing Day, depending on how his visits work out and if he's comfortable with a certain school. In the mean time, he's just doing what's asked of him to help his team win.

"It was good to play some receiver and make plays for my team,” Howard said. “I don't really play offense but I'm out here with my team having fun."


- One of the underclassmen who had an intriguing blend of size and speed was Tampa (Fla.) linebacker Paris Bostick of Plant High. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder looks like a big safety but he could continue to grow into an outside linebacker. Schools are already interested with him playing safety and while he doesn't have any offers yet, is looking to have a big season after concentrating on getting better this offseason.

"Just get faster and bigger,” Bostick said. “I'm in the weight room a lot with the team but I like to work harder than everybody else. I see people trying to up their game so I'm going to try and up my game more than them and keep my head on and not get into any trouble."

- Virginia Tech commit Donaldven Manning was sporting his future college's logos on some eye black.

- Booker T. Washington was a team full of underclassmen who impressed. They made it to the championship game against Plant but fell just short. Former Miami director of football operations “IceHarris is the head coach at the school now.

Posted on: June 19, 2011 10:03 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 10:05 pm

West Virginia picks up legacy athlete

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Some players who go through the recruiting process often do so with one scholarship offer in mind that they are just hoping comes along. For Jersey City (N.J.) athlete Brandon Napoleon, that offer was from the school he grew up rooting for in West Virginia. The biggest reason he was a fan of the Mountaineers when he was younger is the fact that his father played for the team.

On Saturday, Napoleon gave his father, former West Virginia running back Eugene Napoleon, an early Father's Day present when he received an offer from the school and made a commitment to his father's alma mater.

"It means I'm going to be just like my dad bleeding blue and gold the rest of my life," Napoleon told WVSports.com. 'It's very special to me not just because I committed there but because I get to walk on the same field my dad played on and follow his legacy, but start my own."

Mostly a quarterback in high school, the 6-foot, 180-pound Napoleon will likely end up as a defensive back upon arriving in Morgantown but his position in college isn't set yet.

"There is an opportunity to play early on either side of the ball," he said. "The people are good, everything down there is just a different life. It's a great place."

Napoleon selected West Virginia over Indiana, Connecticut, Illinois and Rutgers and becomes the school's sixth commitment for the class of 2012. He threw for almost 900 yards and had nine total touchdowns last season as a junior.
Posted on: June 18, 2011 4:21 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 4:55 pm

Myles Hilliard commits to Pitt

Posted by Bryan Fischer

When Todd Graham took over the head coaching duties at Pitt, many thought the school would concentrate their out-of-state recruiting on Texas, where Grahm coached in high school and recruited well while at Rice and Tulsa. While his staff has focused a lot of their efforts in the state, they haven't forgotten about nearby talent in the midwest. That paid off Friday with the commitment of Oakwood (Ohio) defensive end Myles Hilliard to the Panthers after he unofficially visited the school.

"On the way back, me and my dad were talking about it," he told PantherLair.com. Then when I got home, I went to sleep and woke up at four o'clock in the morning and I was just thinking about it, and I realized, yeah, I want to go there.

Hilliard held offers from Cincinnati, Minnesota, Syracuse and West Virginia, among others, but it was the connection he developed with the coaching staff at the school's summer camp that really sealed the deal for Pitt.

"It was just the coaches," he said. "Every college looked nice, but it was the coaches. I wanted somebody who I had a great relationship with and who was going to coach me and make me better."

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound defensive end spent time with position coach Paul Randolph and outside linebackers coach Randall McCray while camping and the two had been recruiting him hard ever since he picked up an offer from the school two weeks ago. Hilliard is the fourth commit for Pitt in the class of 2012, all but one of whom is on defense.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 1:51 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 1:53 pm

Miami picks up Pennsylvania athlete

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Al Golden has been tasked with turning Miami back into a national power and while he has a terrific talent base in South Florida, he's still going to go after some recruits nationally. Golden and the Hurricanes added one such national recruit this past week as Doyletown (Pa.) athlete Jake O'Donnell committed to the school after going through the coach's summer camp in Miami.

"I told him `I'm ready to be a Hurricane,' and he was very excited," O'Donnell told CaneSport.com. "I picked Miami because of the legacy of the football program. That stands out in the college football world. And what Al Golden did at Temple, he really turned that program around and I'm sure he'll do the same if not better at Miami."

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound O'Donnell not only was familiar with what Golden did at Temple, but actually attended one of his camps there. Primarily a defensive end/tight end in high school, he played a little linebacker and offensive tackle last year as well. Although it's uncertain what position O'Donnel will play at Miami, he's glad the recruiting process is over and he's found his school.

"It really felt right," he said. "People tell you once you go to the school you're meant to be at you'll know. And I knew. After I got back to Pennsylvania I took some time to think it over. The more and more I thought about it the more and more it made sense to go there."

O'Donnell racked up 43 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble on defense as a junior and selected Miami over offers from Temple, Syracuse, North Carolina and West Virginia. He becomes the Hurricanes' 13th commitment for the class of 2012.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 11:42 am

Michigan State adds elite quarterback

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Coming off one of the best seasons in school history last year, Michigan State is finally starting to see a bounce in their recruiting. The program added a big pickup to their 2012 class late Monday night when Lima (Ohio) quarterback Tyler O’Connor committed to the Spartans.

“I’m proud to be a Spartan,” O’Connor told SpartanTailgate.com. “I love everything about (MSU).” 

Recently named a finalist to the Elite 11 quarterback competition and invited to participate in the camp in Southern California, O'Connor selected Michigan State over scholarship offers from Northwestern, Boston College, Louisville and West Virginia among others.

"(Mark Dantonio) was very excited and was glad I trusted him and the team," he said. "He said they were ending any other communication with other QB's and looked forward to getting more recruits along my side." 

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound O'Connor not only has a good arm but enough speed to escape from the pocket. He threw for over 2,500 yards and 27 touchdowns last season as a junior. He also rushed for 470 yards and 13 touchdowns.

O'Connor is the fifth commitment for Michigan State's class of 2012 and as he said, will be the only quarterback Dantonio takes this class. The school took just one quarterback in 2011 as well.
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