Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2012 Prospects Everywhere at State 7-on-7

The class of 2012 was well represented at last weekends 7-on-7 state championships on the campus of Texas A&M. Included were some famous sons, more Gilmer playmakers, a Texas A&M commitment, a Newton sleeper and prospects on the sidelines just supporting their team.

-The first player seen upon walking into intramural fields was Texas A&M commit Dennis Smith (Wimberley, Texas). Smith is looking much stronger than a year ago this time and his body is near perfectly proportioned at 6-foot, 220-pounds. He said he ran a 4.6-forty yard dash at Texas A&M summer camp and reports a 335-pound bench press, 405-pound squat and 260-pound power clean. Smith also mentioned that he just wants to get on the field whether it be at running back or linebacker or safety. It will not be a surprise for Smith to end up on the defensive side of the ball at outside linebacker. He will likely be 6-foot, 235-240-pounds a year into college.

-The son of former Texas A&M and Houston Oilers star Ray Childress was an early attention grabber on Thursday. Ford Childress (Houston, Texas/Kinkaid). The near 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-handed signal caller played tight end as a sophomore, but certainly looked the part scanning the field and delivering impressive throws throughout the day for a quarterback that doesn't have the experience of others. He displayed quality arm strength to the sidelines when he balanced up and stepped into throws. He also showed some impressive touch around the goal line and on third and shorts. He has already camped at Texas A&M and plans to attend camps at Houston, TCU and SMU. According to a member of the Kinkaid coaching staff, Houston is showing serious interest already.

-One of the top handful of 2012 prospects on hand in College Station was Justin Thomas (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark). The 5-foot-9 (a shade under), 160-pound jet with a reported 4.49-forty yard dash enjoyed success on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as he does on Friday nights in the Golden Triangle. Thomas has attended camps at Texas, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas Tech with the Red Raiders having already extended a verbal offer. Thomas is being recruited as a corner by the majority of programs and he says he has no problems playing on the defensive side of the ball. Thomas has played in the shadow of Oklahoma signees Trey Franks and James Haynes the last two seasons. Expect Thomas to become one of the top two-way players in the state in 2010.

-Quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) has already his fair share of media attention despite entering the 2010 season without varsity experience as a signal caller. His reputation as a thrower of the football has carried over to summer camps with impressive showings at Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M camps with the Bears having extended a verbal offer. Up next for the 6-foot-4, 198-pound right-hander is a July 18 trip to LSU. According to a member of the Second Baptist coaching staff, Briscoe may be more accurate at the same age than Texas freshman Connor Wood, but doesn't possess the same agility and athletic ability (very few pro-style QB's are as athletic as Wood). Briscoe displayed his reputation as an accurate quarterback on Thursday. His accuracy is indeed impressive considering his elbow is a little low and he doesn't get on top of the ball as well one would like. He showed the arm strength to hit closing windows in the intermediate passing game on several occasions.

-What more can be said about the Gimer Buckeyes. Head coach Jeff Traylor is one of the very best in the state having turned down 5A job offers every year to stay at his alma mater. He continues to have one of the top staffs in the state as well led by his brother Kurt Traylor. On the field, Gilmer has won a pair of 3A state titles with several more deep playoff runs. After winning the state title in 2009 and losing a number of talented players to FBS programs, the thought was that 2010 would be a rebuilding year for the Buckeyes. While it could still be with inexperience, but talent, at quarterback, the skill positions are loaded with playmakers on both sides of the ball as usual led by a strong 2012 class. Leading the way is slot receiver/defensive back Darrion Pollard (Gilmer, Texas). The 5-foot-9, 170-pound darting quick prospect made seemingly every big play on offense over a two day period of time. He made one of the highlight catches of the entire event with a leaping, one-handed grab over a defender. His ability to seperate out of his breaks was equally impressive.

On the defensive side of the ball, 2012 corner Traylon Webb (Gilmer, Texas) and 2013 corner Trey Washington (Gilmer, Texas) were impressive looking future stars. Webb, the younger brother of former Gilmer and Missouri freshman Braylon Webb, has similar size to his brother at near 6-foot-2 on a long armed frame. Washington is also 6-foot-2 and is a likely sophomore starter for Coach Traylor and staff. He is the cousin of former Gilmer and Oklahoma receiver Manuel Johnson.

-Newton High, tucked deep in East Texas on the Louisiana border has produced a number of college prospects over the years as well as winning a 2A state title or two. The 2012 class features athlete Brent Spikes (Newton, Texas). The 6-foot, 185-pound versatile prospect was the 10-2A Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore after recording 123 tackles in 14 games. On a Friday night, one can see him line up at running back as well, which is the position he worked out at June 13 at Texas camp. Spikes showed his speed all day winning the fastest man at the camp full of speedy prospects in his class. He reports a best 40-yard dash time of 4.37 and 22.0 200-meter time (hand-timed). Texas is his childhood favorite, but he would also like to hear from Florida and Alabama.

-One of the most impressive prospects on the hoof was on the sidelines Thursday. Sophomore (2013) defensive tackle Jake Rawlerson (Celina, Texas) stood above the rest. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound long armed and well defined prospect with 5.08-forty yard dash speed has camped at Oklahoma State (twice), TCU and Texas A&M (last Friday).

-Junior quarterback Dane Evans (Sanger, Texas) has camped at Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Rice, Houston and SMU this summer. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Evans has lived in Texas and Oklahoma throughout his youth.

-Offensive tackle Mac Long (Edna, Texas) was another prospect that cheered on his team from the sidelines. The 6-foot-4, 277-pound guard prospect was one of a handful of 2012 prospect in College Station with verbal offers. Texas Tech and Houston have extended verbal offers with Baylor taking a serious look. He has camped at Texas Tech, Houston, Baylor, SMU and Texas A&M this summer.

-Talented 2012 corner prospect Jarrett Irving (Spring, Texas/DeKaney) looked the part of a blue chip prospect both physically and athletically. At 5-foot-10 and 178 solid, well proportioned pounds, Irving has grabbed the attention of every FBS program that stopped by the 5A school in the spring to take a look at star 2012 running back Trey Williams (Spring, Texas/DeKaney). He lists LSU, Texas Tech and Texas A&M as schools of interest early on.

-Remember the name Raashaan Reason (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) in the class of 2013. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound running back/athlete will be a another weapon for the already uber talented West Mesquite offensive in 2010. He was a key member of the varsity track team as a freshman with a 10.8-split in the 4x100-relay team, a 22'6" long jump and a 6'2" high jump. West Mesquite head coach Mike Overton commented that Reason is the fastest player in the program.

-Safety David Busby (Coppell, Texas) will camp at LSU this week. Busy is 5-foot-10, 175-pounds and was a starter in the Cowboys secondary as a sophomore. Expect the junior to receive early offers playing next to senior corner Bennett Okotcha (Coppell, Texas).

Monday, July 12, 2010

2012 OT's Gaining Interest

The state of Texas is always home to a number of talented offensive line prospects. While the depth of the offensive line class is still months away from its peak, a number of talented prospects have already popped up after impressive sophomore campaigns. In fact, the verbal offers are already beginning to be made.

Germain Ifedi (Houston, Texas/Westside): Ifedi is a very impressive prospect on the hoof at 6-foot-5, 310-pounds. The brother of former Westside defensive end and Memphis freshman Martin Ifedi attended camp at Texas A&M over the weekend and plans to take in a camp at TCU as well. He lists Ohio State as his childhood favorite. Memphis has already extended a verbal offer to the all-district selection.

Trey Keenan (Argyle, Texas): The 6-foot-6, 255-pound tackle has quietly flown up the radar of regional programs throughout the season and spring. The athletic prospect that can run (reports a 4.88-forty yard dash) and mirror laterally has been so impressive that Texas Tech and Kansas have extended verbal offers with Texas A&M a strong possibility in the coming weeks. Keenan bench presses 345 and squats 425.

Simon Goines (Keller, Texas/Central): Goines can be seen on the football field or basketball court in the metroplex. At 6-foot-7 (has been reported to be nearing 6-foot-8 now) with good feet, Goines has caught the eye of a number of programs in the Southwest Region. On July 16 and 17th, the junior will be making his first unofficial visits of the summer to Louisiana Tech and LSU. Along with LSU and Louisiana Tech, he lists Texas A&M, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Stanford as schools of interest. The majority of his listed schools came through Keller Central in the spring and are showing interest. Because of a full AAU schedule playing for the Dallas Heroes, he hasn't been able to make any camps.

Christian Okafor (Houston, Texas/Westbury): The 6-foot-6, 300-pound first team all-district performer has caught the eye of Texas A&M and TCU. He has attended camps at both universities with Texas A&M last weekend. Like Ifedi, Okafor is very impressive on the hoof having measured 6-foot-6 without shoes on at both camps. Texas A&M has jumped out to an early leader after a very impressive visit over the weekend, but he is also keeping a close eye on TCU, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2011 class tidbits from Texas state 7-on-7

College Station, Texas -- The annual state 7-on-7 championships were held Thursday through Saturday on the campus of Texas A&M, and as usual, many of the states top prospects were on hand making attention grabbing plays. While the state has many top prospects that have already made their college decisions as the leader in early recruiting, the field featured a number of talented players that have yet to make decisions or are still considering their options as soft commitments.

-Receiver Mark Roberts (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark) is a soft commitment to the University of Houston. The 6-foot-3 1/2, 178-pounds Roberts also has an offer from Iowa State and serious interest from Texas Tech and TCU. He said on Thursday that he clocked an impressive 4.44 at TCU camp in June.

-Darting, quick receiver/corner Jalen Claiborne (Carthage, Texas) has been to camps at Houston, SMU, TCU and Baylor this summer. Word from the Carthage coaching staff has Houston the closest to offering the 5-foot-9, 160-pounder that has legit 4.45-speed. Claiborne was impressive at both receiver and corner on Thursday. He showed some burst after the catch, terrific ball skills and the ability to accelerate past would be tacklers/defenders. He caught 58 passes for 1,066 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.

-Quarterback Reggie Garrett (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark) has an offer from Texas Southern along with interest from FBS programs from around the region. Garrett, 6-foot-2, 181-pounds, will put up big numbers as a senior throwing to the previously mention Mark Roberts and top 2012 corner/slot receiver prospect Justin Thomas (Orange, Texas/West Orange-Stark).

-High-ceiling defensive end/defensive tackle Alex Cooper (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) is closing in on his first offers. Kansas State and SMU are showing serious interest in the 6-foot-5, 245-pound athletic prospect. Cooper has camped this summer at SMU, Baylor, North Texas, Houston and Texas A&M.

-Sleeper receiver Vasquez Haynes (Houston, Texas/Second Baptist) is begging to see his stock rise. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound transfer from Westbury Christian is receiving looks from Ole Miss, Boise State, Iowa State, Houston and Oklahoma. He has camped at Ole Miss and Houston and will be Texas A&M today. An Oklahoma camp is also possible.

-Running back Gus Johnson (Glmer, Texas) has an offer from Tulsa. The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder was one of the more impressive prospects on the hoof in College Station and showed the ability not only catch the ball, but also quickly change direction and get up the field. With a healthy senior season, expect his recruitment to take off. He rushed for 452 yards and 9 touchdowns on 48 carries last year.

-Inside linebacker Nick Morrow (Edna, Texas) has camped at SMU and Rice. SMU has talked about offering the 6-foot, 218-pound downhill run stuffer. Morrow posted 134 tackles and three interceptions in 2009.

-Athlete Cody Johnson (Anahuac, Texas) has attended camps at Rice and TCU with Texas A&M possible. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound high school quarterback is being recruited as a safety by the Owls. He threw for 934 yards and 18 scores as a junior.

-Sleeper outside linebacker Rodney Young (Spring, Texas/DeKaney) has five offers on the table. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder with 4.6-speed has been offered by Kansas State, Northwestern, Kansas, UTEP and Texas-San Antonio. He is also receiving interest from Baylor and TCU among others. He attended camps at Baylor and TCU in June.

-Receiver Gary Owens (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) is closing in on his first offer. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Owens will make a second unofficial visit to Tulsa on July 17-18. North Texas is also showing serious interest.

-Fellow West Mesquite receiver Fred Ngwu (6-2, 185) is receiving interest from Rice, UTEP and Louisiana Tech among others. He will camp at Louisiana Tech July 24.

-Quarterback Daxx Garman (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) is an Arizona commitment, but is still listening to other programs. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-handed signal caller has offers from Iowa State and Rice in addition to Arizona along with interest from Arizona State and many others. Garman transferred into Southlake Carroll in the spring from Oklahoma.

-Cornerback Bennett Okotcha (Coppell, Texas) is considering offers from Baylor, Wake Forest, Minnesota, Tulsa, Wisconsin and North Texas. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Okotcha says he hopes to have a decision by the beginning of the season.

-Quarterback Joe Minden (Coppell, Texas) has offers from Air Force and Stephen F. Austin. Minden, 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, will be in his first year starting in 2010.

-Jack-of-all-trades Ronnell Sims (Abilene, Texas) is considering offers from Rice, Baylor, Louisiana Tech and Tulsa. The 5-foot-9 165-pound quarterback can play slot receiver or possibly corner on the next level. He is the cousin of star running back and Oklahoma State commit Herschel Sims. Speaking of Herschel Sims, he was sporting his Oklahoma State hat on Friday and was impressive as always.

-Receiver Darius Joseph (Abilene, Texas) has camped at SMU already this summer and is planning to do the same at TCU next Friday. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Joseph is still looking for his first offer.

-One of the prospects that looked impressive on Friday that has flown under the radar is running back/linebacker James Myles (Stephenville, Texas). The 6-foot, 235-pound prospect showed the ability to run, change direction and make plays on the ball on offense for Stephenville all day. Myles said he has offers from Baylor and TCU and has the Bears in the lead due to Baylor head coach Art Briles' connections to Stephenville.

-Cornerback/safety Michael Mudoh (Sugar Land, Texas/Bush) has offers from Baylor, Colorado State and UTEP. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound versatile defensive back prospect will camp at Texas A&M today and TCU and possibly Tulsa to round out July. Mudoh is part of an impressive Bush secondary that features 2012 corners Prince Ene (5-foot-9, 165) and Fort Bend Austin move-in Malcolm Smiley (5-11, 170).

-Receiver Josh Doctson (Mansfield, Texas/Legacy) has offers from Duke, Wyoming and Tulsa. The 6-foot-3, 174-pound run and catch receiver is drawing interest from a number of programs in the region.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two notable Big 12 classes

In nearly every recruiting cycle in the Southwest Region, Texas and Oklahoma gain the majority of the accolades. While the Longhorns and Sooners are well deserving of the attention that comes their way, a couple of programs are quietly building impressive 2011 classes in their own right. One of them, Texas Tech, is not only putting together one of the top classes in the Big 12, but is also knocking on the door of a top 15 class nationally.

Texas Tech (14 commitments)

The Red Raiders have surprised many with their success in the 2011 recruiting cycle. It’s safe to say head coach Tommy Tuberville and staff hit the ground running gaining commitments from some of the top prospects in Texas, while also looking to make their mark in Florida and areas of the Southeast Region.

Quarterback Michael Brewer (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis) got the party started on the offensive side with a March 5 commitment. The 6-foot, 175-pound Brewer is one of the top signal callers in the region and brings name recognition having been the starter for the 4A state champs in 2009. Brewer was joined in late March by two of the top prospects in the state at their positions. Running back Kenny Williams (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and receiver Derek Edwards (Brenham, Texas) were huge commitments for Texas tech. Williams, 5-foot-10, 210-pounds, is a powerful back with impressive pop/snap in his hips that allows him to run through would be tacklers with powerful force. He also possesses the speed to eat up ground in the open field. Edwards is an athletic receiver prospect with high-point ball skills. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder caught more than 800-yards in passes in Brenham’s run to the 4A state finals in 2009.

Texas Tech has continued to add key playmaking pieces after the impressive trio. Tight end Jace Amaro (San Antonio, Texas/MacArthur) picked the Red Raiders over Texas A&M April 2. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Amaro will provide Tuberville and staff with a well rounded tight end prospect that can play in a three-point stance, but also has the speed to stretch the field vertically from his position. On May 7, Texas Tech added running back Bradley Marquez (Odessa, Texas/Odessa High). The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Marquez complements Williams’ running style nearly perfectly. Marquez is at his best when he is a one cut, vertical runner with quickness and burst through the hole. Similar to fellow West Texas running back Herschel Sims (Abilene, Texas/Abilene High), Marquez is adept out of the backfield and will provide the offense with a passing game threat as a running back or in the slot.

The Red Raiders have also recruited very well on the offensive line. Tackle prospect Le’Raven Clark (Rockdale, Texas) is one of the more underrated prospects in the state at 6-foot-6, 245-pounds with the athletic ability to play defensive end or tight end at the FBS level. Guard prospects Tony Morales (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston) and Alfredo Morales (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston) will be maulers in the middle. The twins block for the uber talented Jamal Turner (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston) at Sam Houston. Tony Morales, 6-foot-4, 305-pounds, is slightly bigger than brother Alfredo, 6-foot-3, 290-pounds.

The defensive part of the class doesn’t feature the headliners like the offensive side of the ball, but has some capable front seven prospects. Inside linebacker Devon Hocutt (Killeen, Texas/Ellison) plays the game with passion and a non-stop motor. The 5-foot-11, 263-pounder has clocked in the low 4.8’s consistently at a number of combines and could very well make the move to the defensive line at the next level. Speedy linebacker Terrell Hartsfield (Chatham, Va./Hargrave Military Academy) is a sleeper prospect on the East Coast with good size at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds.

Defensive tackle James Castleman (Amarillo, Texas) is a talented prospect with good size at 6-foot-4, 265-pounds, while metroplex end Kindred Evans (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) possesses much of the same high-ceiling upside ability as Clark. Evans, 6-foot-5, 216-pounds, has the ability to develop into a top-notch pass rusher.

Texas Tech is also on the board in the 2012 class with a commitment from probable national 100 prospect Derek David (Rockdale, Texas). The 6-foot-3, 220-pound hard-hitting linebacker is a current teammate of Red Raider commitment Le’Raven Clark as well as the brother of current Blinn junior college and Texas Tech commitment Logan David (Rockdale, Texas). The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Logan David could play either defensive tackle or offensive guard. All three were members of the 8-3 Rockdale team last season.

Oklahoma State (13 commitments)

The Cowboys began building their 2011 class with a February 2 commitment from quarterback J.W. Walsh (Denton, Texas/Guyer). The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Walsh possesses a plus arm that will provide the Cowboys the ability to stretch the field vertically any time they desire, quick and reactive feet in the pocket and the mobility to make plays on the move whether it be running or throwing. The son of Guyer head coach John Walsh, J.W. plays in an offense in which he is both under center and in the shot gun, which will place his adjustment to the next level ahead of many other high school quarterbacks who play in the shot gun only.

On April 29, running back Herschel Sims (Abilene, Texas) said yes to the Cowboys giving Mike Gundy and staff two of the top offensive prospects in the Lone Star state. Sims, in a cycle in Texas full of big time running back prospects, may be the most rounded of them all. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and at times line up in the slot and work fluidly will give Oklahoma State an all-around back that never has to leave the field. While he’s not as quick as current running back Kendall Hunter, the two have similar body types. Sims is in the neighborhood of 5-foot-8, 190-pounds.

Joining the talented duo as offensive commitments for the Cowboys is a pair of offensive linemen in 6-foot-5, 275-pound tackle Travis Cross (Plano, Texas/West) and guard/tackle Michael Bowie (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro J.C.) as well as receivers David Glidden (Mustang, OK), 5-foot-8, 165-pounds, and Johnny Haynes (Irving, Texas/MacArthur). Haynes, 5-foot-10, 183-pounds, will be a threat in the quick game. He plays as a running back after the catch rarely going down on first contact.

While the two Lone Star state stars get the most mention in the class, two defensive prospects have very high ceilings. Cornerback Miketavious Jones (Houston, Texas/North Shore) recently put on a show at the one-day camp in Stillwater running a 4.42-forty yard dash, a smoking 4.01 pro agility shuttle (5-10-5), a 10’2” broad jump and a 34-inch vertical leap. Add in what one sees on Friday nights, which is a physical style of play both in coverage and against the run and Oklahoma State snagged one of the top corner prospects in Texas. Jones, 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, needs only to add strength in the weight room and finish more plays with improved ball skills to become a top future corner in the Big 12.

Joining Jones as a high-ceiling defensive prospect in the Cowboys class is end Jimmy Bean (Denton, Texas/Guyer). The 6-foot-4, 218-pound long-armed prospect features a body type that will likely reach 6-foot-4, 260-pounds in time. Bean, still somewhat new to the game as a late bloomer, improved by leaps and bounds from the start of the season to the end during his junior campaign. He flashed the ability to chase the ball from sideline-to-sideline at times as well as the ability to develop into a quality pass rusher off the edge.

Oklahoma State has dipped into Southeast Region as well on the defensive side of the ball securing commitments from 6-foot-4, 255-pound end Ryan Robinson (Ellisville, MS/Jones County J.C.) and inside linebacker Demarcus Sherod (Decatur, Ga./Columbia). Sherod, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, reportedly turned down offers from three SEC programs (Tennessee, South Carolina & Kentucky) in choosing Oklahoma State.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Five "steals" in the state of Texas

The state of Texas is the ultimate evaluation state. With so many prospects committing to the power programs in February, March and April of their junior years, the ability for programs to enter the state or simply evaluate the rest of the state and find gems is a yearly occurrence. This is especially the case in the 2011 class.

Utah: The Utes have done a wonderful job evaluating the state and picking off a couple of very talented prospects already. Assistant coach Morgan Scalley has been a big part in snatching up a trio of prospects in the Houston area led by running back Jarrell Oliver (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles). The 5-foot-9, 197-pound downhill back with terrific vision and quick feet in the hole has somewhat flown under the radar in the best running back cycle in recent memory featuring tip of the tongue names such as Malcolm Brown (Cibolo, Texas/Steele), Aaron Green (San Antonio, Texas/Madison), Brandon Williams (Brookshire, Texas/Royal) and Herschel Sims (Abilene, Texas). While Oliver hasn’t received the press that many others have enjoyed, the 1,000-yard rusher picked up offers from Michigan, Arizona State, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Northwestern, Oregon State, Minnesota, Houston and others in addition to Utah in the May evaluation period. On June 21, Oliver instantly became the top steal in the Lone Star state to date committing to Utah.

Oliver is an impressive runner with good hands out of the backfield. He sees the play in front of him develop quickly and instinctively accelerates through the hole with burst. While he doesn’t have the ability to score from anywhere on the field at the next level, he finishes runs with powerful legs, ideal body lean and determination. He comes from a family of running backs with his father, Jarrod Oliver, having played at Oklahoma and cousins at New Mexico (Winslow Oliver) and Colorado (O.C. Oliver).

Utah has also received commitments from safety/receiver Joseph Bryant (Bryan, Texas) and safety Eric Rowe (Klein High). Bryant is a 6-foot-4, 195-pound hard-hitter with high-point ball skills.

Boise State: Boise State dipped into Texas and received a commitment on June 9 from versatile prospect Sam Ukwuachu (Pearland, Texas/Pearland High). The 6-foot-4, 202-pound defensive end and receiver hasn’t received the fan fare of others, but has high-ceiling potential to go with versatility in spades. His upside earned him offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Illinois, Louisville, Northwestern, Colorado, Houston and others along with serious interest from Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, TCU and Purdue.

Physically, “UK” as his friends and coaches know him, is just beginning to fill out. He possesses long arms, quickness, reactive feet/movements and big play ability as a pass rusher. He was evaluated as a defensive end, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and flex tight end by programs from around the country.

Houston: Jack-of-all-trades C.J. McElroy was a huge get for the hometown Cougars June 10. The 5-foot-9, 172-pound two-sport star has flown under the radar despite being one of the areas top playmakers for the last two seasons. The son of former major league relief pitcher Chuck McElroy totaled more than 1,000 all-purpose yards in 2009 despite missing three games with a minor knee injury. Utah was the first to offer in the May evaluation period and was quickly followed by Arizona, Kentucky, Boise State, Wyoming and Houston. Programs such as Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Kansas State also showed serious interest.

McElroy fits the Cougars high powered spread offense like a glove. He has the ability to play in the backfield, in the slot and will be a major factor in the punt and kick-off return game with punt returns being his specialty due to a very quick footed, darting make you miss style in the open field. Houston assistant coach Tony Levine recruited McElroy.

The Cougars also have two other prospects that fall into the steal category. Quarterback Bram Kohlhausen (Houston, Texas/Lamar) is one of two underrated throwers in the Houston area and defensive tackle Javion Slone (Port Arthur, Texas/Memorial) has high-ceiling potential.

Iowa State: The Cyclones gained a big commitment June 22 out of the Dallas area in safety/outside linebacker Jared Brackens (Mesquite, Texas/North Mesquite). The 6-foot-1, 200-pound prospect is one of the more under recruited prospects in the metroplex in the 2011 cycle. Brackens possesses high-point ball skills and timing, the ability to run sideline to sideline, quickness and closing speed to the ball and hard hitting ability to finish plays. At times, he can be a knock back tackler from the safety position although he likely projects to outside linebacker at the next level with the ability to play downhill as well as drop in coverage. Iowa State assistant Curtis Bray recruited Brackens.

Texas Tech: It’s tough to call a prospect that is committed to perennial bowl game participant a steal, but the versatile Le’Raven Clark (Rockdale, Texas) is just that. At 6-foot-6, 250-pounds with quickness, agility and 4.9-speed, the 3A star could project at a number of positions on the next level. Three-point stance tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle and offensive tackle are all possibilities. Clark stood 6-foot-4, 210-pounds when I first saw him as a sophomore and has blossomed into a high-ceiling offensive tackle prospect. Clark has very good feet, the ability to mirror in pass pro, the ability to run and reach the second level, ideal arm length and strong hands. His frame can carry more than 290-pounds in time as it continues to play catch up to his athletic ability.

Clark chose the Red Raiders over offers from Nebraska, Oklahoma State, TCU, Utah, Baylor, Houston, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri and others.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday quick hitters

Outside linebacker Trey Brown (Lancaster, Texas) is reporting offers from Oklahoma, Tulsa, Memphis, Houston, Tennessee, UTEP and North Texas. The 6-foot, 205-pound speedy linebacker is planning to attend some July camps, but hasn't set his schedule at this time.

Defensive tackle/offensive guard Mike Mustafa (Katy, Texas/Cinco Ranch) is receiving serious interest from Texas Tech, UTEP and Texas A&M among others from the region. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound transfer from Katy Morton Ranch camped at UTEP and will camp at Texas A&M later this summer.

Hard-hitting safety LeShundrick Morrison (Dallas/Bryan Adams) has offers from Baylor, Houston, Missouri, Texas Tech, Minnesota, memphis, UTEP and New Mexico State along with interest from Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas and others. The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Morrison is looking at making an unofficial visit (hopefully camp) to Missouri, who is one of his favorites along with Houston and Baylor. He has already attended camp at UTEP (satellite camp).

DE/OLB Michael Moore (Dallas/Skyline) has offers from Kansas State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Iowa State, Memphis, Louisiana Tech and UTEP with Texas A&M continuing to show interest. Iowa State, Kentucky and Minnesota have emerged as the teams to beat early on for the 6-foot-1, 215-pound versatile prospect.

Underrated DE Marquel Bryant (Dallas/Skyline) has offers from Texas Tech, Kansas State, SMU, Colorado State and UTEP according to an assistant coach at Skyline.. The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Bryant features a quick first step, the balance and agility to quickly turn the corner and a quickly developing frame with long arms.

Under the radar receiver Lovett Gibson (Cedar Hill, Texas) has offers from Minnesota, Colorado, UTEP, North Texas and Western Kentucky. The 6-foot-2, 181-pound soft handed receiver feels like Baylor and Boise State are also close to offering. He lists Minnesota as his current leader, but offers from Baylor and/or Boise State would shake his list up quite a bit. He has attended camps at Baylor and UTEP (satellite camp)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Texas still on top in 2011

The first wave of June camps has come and gone with many programs taking big steps in building their 2011 classes. One thing that hasn’t changed since the June 2 national rankings is the team on top. The Texas Longhorns added another big time prospect on Saturday continue to build their lead in the race for the nations top class.

1.Texas (21 commitments)

The Longhorns hit another recruiting home run with their most recent commitment. For the second year in a row, Mack Brown and staff reeled in the top prospect from the state of Oklahoma. Cornerback Josh Turner (Oklahoma City/Millwood) made the call on Saturday. In Turner, Texas is getting a top national cornerback prospect. At 6-feet, 175-pounds with very quick feet, 4.45-straight line speed, hip flexibility, the ability to play the ball in the air and elite level closing speed, Turner has emerged as one of the top defensive back prospects in the country with offers from many of the top programs in the country.

The 2011 class is headlined by an outstanding group of offensive linemen. Guard Sedrick Flowers (Houston, Texas/North Shore), 6-foot-3, 285-pounds, may be the top interior line prospect in the country, while tackles Christian Westerman (Chandler, Az./Hamilton) and Garrett Greenlea (Houston, Texas/Klein Collins) are two of the nations best with Westerman a probable five-star prospect. Tackle Josh Cochran (Hallsville, Texas) has a lot of upside at 6-foot-6, 270-pounds featuring quick, reactive feet and guard Marcus Hutchins comes from talent rich program DeSoto located south of Dallas.

Athlete Quandre Diggs (Angleton, Texas) and defensive tackle Desmond Jackson (Spring, Texas/Westfield) are top 50 type prospects nationally. Jackson, 6-foot-1, 273-pounds, will play his high school position at the next level, but the future position of the 5-foot-9, 194-pound Diggs is up in the air. The brother of San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer could line up at running back, slot receiver, nickel back or safety at the next level. Both will play in the Under Armour All-American game in January 2011.

Turner is just one of several impressive defensive back recruits in the class. Safety Sheroid Evans (Sugar Land, Texas/Dulles), 6-foot, 180-pounds, could be the fastest player in the country with a season best 10.39 100-meter time and 20.76 200-meters. Evans will get looks at safety and corner. Joining Evans in the secondary is likely nickel back Leroy Scott (Houston, Texas/South Houston) and safety Mykkele Thompson (San Antonio, Texas/Stevens).

Running back/full back Joe Bergeron (Mesquite, Texas/North Mesquite) may be the most underrated player in the class. The 6-foot, 228-pounder has terrific hands, power and quick feet for a big back. If not Bergeron, outside linebacker Kendall Thompson (Carthage, Texas) will take that honor. The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Thompson can play in space, takes instinctive angles and has terrific hands.

With prospects such as running back Malcolm Brown (Cibolo, Texas/Steele), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Gig Harbour, WA), running back Aaron Green (San Antonio, Texas/Madison) and others still considering the defending Big 12 champs, expect the Longhorns to finish with another top three class.

2.LSU (11 commitments)

The Tigers are cleaning up in state and it’s a great year to dominate in Louisiana. The 2011 class in state is a special one drawing comparisons to a couple of past classes that produced several NFL players. Defensive tackle Anthony Johnson (New Orleans, La./O. Perry Walker) could be the top interior lineman in the country with a blend of power, quickness, speed and hand strength. Left tackle La’El Collins (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist) is among the top three offensive tackles in the class, while receiver Jarvis Landry (Lutcher, La.) and running back Kenny Hilliard (Patterson, La.) are among the best in the country at their position. Hilliard is on pace to shatter the state rushing record entering his senior season.

The immense talent in the Tigers class doesn’t stop with the headliners. Running back Jeremy Hill (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist), WR/CB Alonzo Lewis (St. James, La.) and offensive guards Trai Turner (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine) and Corey White (Baton Rouge, La./Capitol) are four more members of the special class in state.

As is usually the case, Les Miles and staff dipped into the Lone Start state for a top prospect. Linebacker Trevon Randle (League City, Texas/Clear Springs), 6-foot-1, 205-pounds with 4.6-speed, is one of the most athletic, hardest hitting defenders in Texas.

3.Alabama (14 commitments)

Alabama continues to build on the momentum of the national title with June bringing two more commitments. Offensive guard/center Isaac Luatua (La Mirada, Ca.) is a perfect fit for the power running game of the Crimson Tide. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder picked Alabama over offers from UCLA, Tennessee and Arkansas among others. Joining Luatua as an early summer commitment is inside linebacker Vinnie Sunseri (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge), the son of assistant coach Sal Sunseri.

Receiver is the strength of the class so far with commits from speedy playmaker Bradley Sylve (Port Sulphur, La./South Plaquemines), 6-foot-3 Marvin Shinn (Prichard, Ala./Vigor), physical and very athletic Danny Woodson (Mobile, Ala./LeFlore) and Daryl Collins (Gadsden, Ala.). Sylve, Shinn and Woodson will be three of the top ranked pass catchers in the country.

Sylve and Shinn will play in the 2011 Under Armour All-American game.

Throw in the vastly underrated tight end Malcolm Faciane (Picayune, Ms.), 6-foot-6, 260-pounds, and the Crimson Tide have an abundance of weapons to incorporate in the future.

Safety Hasean Clinton-Dix (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips), an Under Armour All-American, and outside linebacker Brent Calloway (Russelville, Ala.) are among the best at their positions in the country, while defensive tackle LaMichael Fanning (Auburn, Ala.), 6-foot-6, 275-pounds, oozes high-ceiling potential. Defensive end D.J. Pettway (Pensacola, Fla./Catholic) is one of the top defensive linemen in Florida featuring elite level foot quickness for his size, 6-foot-3, 255-pounds.

Alabama has a very good chance to finish with the nations top ranked class when the ink dries in February. The Crimson Tide remains major players for a number of the top prospects from coast-to-coast.

4.Oklahoma (16 commitments)

The Sooners have enjoyed a June run of commitments led by three very talented line prospects. Oklahoma stayed in state gobbling up tackle Dylan Dismuke (Duncan, OK), 6-foot-6, 290-pounds, and headed north gaining a commitment from massive tackle Derek Farniok (Sioux Falls, SD/Washington). The 6-foot-9, 320-pound Farniok had offers from Wisconsin and UCLA among others. Rounding out the line prospects is 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive tackle Jordan Phillips. Phillips is fluid, quick and chases the ball very well for his size.

Cornerback Brandon Carter (Euless, Texas/Trinity) rounds out the foursome of June commitments. The 5-foot-10, 163-pounder picked the Sooners over offers from Duke, Wake Forest and Minnesota.

Oklahoma got their quarterback from in state in smooth lefty Kendal Thompson (Moore, Okl./Southmoore), who is the son of former Sooner signal caller Charles Thompson. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Under Armour All-American is joined in the class by a number of the top prospects in the Lone Star state headlined by defensive end and Under Armour All-American Nathan Hughes (Spring, Texas/Klein Oak), U.S. Army All-American and receiver Trey Metoyer (Whitehouse, Texas), bursting and darting running back Brandon Williams (Brookshire, Texas/Royal) and a host of others. Williams will also play in the Under Armour All-American game in January.

Defensive tackles Marquis Anderson (Cibolo, Texas/Steele) and Jordan Wade (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) provide the Sooners with a pair of talented interior prospects. Wade, 6-foot-3, 290-pounds, has athleticism in spades. Defensive end Cooper Washington (Muleshoe, Texas) is another athletic small school lineman the Sooners have snagged out of Panhandle.

Athlete Danzel Williams (Arlington, Texas/Martin) could line up at safety, corner or running back for Bob Stoops and staff. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Williams was an all-state pick in the secondary as a junior and will play in the 2011 Under Armour All-American game.

While Oklahoma won’t have the big numbers of some others, another top 10 class is a sound bet.

5.Ohio State (15 commitments)

The Buckeyes already had a very impressive start to the 2011 class with 11 talented commitments headed into the summer, but a pledge from one of the nations top quarterbacks and three others have pushed Ohio State into the top five. Simply put, signal caller Braxton Miller (Huber Heights, OH/Wayne) is one of the top prospects in the entire 2011 class. A true dual threat quarterback, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Miller is a huge get for Jim Tressel and staff.

Miller is joined by receivers Devin Smith (Massillon, OH/Washington) and Evan Spencer (Vernon Hills, IL/Vernon Hills High) as well as defensive tackle Joel Hale (Greenwood, In./Center Grove) as June commitments.

The Buckeyes began their impressive haul by building a class full of big time defensive line prospects. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett (Centerville, Ohio), end Kenny Hayes (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer), end Steve Miller (Canton, Ohio/McKinley) and end Chase Ferris (Elyria, Ohio) make up the best group of defensive line prospects in any class to this point.

Add in three offensive linemen, led by guard Brian Bobek (Palatine, Ill./Fremd), and the Buckeyes are stockpiling talent on both lines and filling needs very well in a program that is built on physical play.

Ohio State has also dipped into the Sunshine State for a pair of prospects as they look to do yearly. Safety Jeremy Cash (Plantation, Fla.) is one of the states top defensive backs as well as one of the states most physical players. Tight end Jeff Heuerman (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) is a blocking specialist.

Ohio State is likely to remain in the top 10 throughout the 2011 recruiting cycle.

6.Florida State (13 commitments)

The Seminoles continue to put together an impressive class. College football’s dominant program of the 1990’s picked up a big commitment last week in receiver Rashad Greene (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). The 6-foot-, 175-pounder is one of the most explosive athletes in the Southeast Region having run low 4.4-forty times on a consistent basis along with ultra quick shuttle times and a 37-inch vertical.

Along with Greene, the Seminoles picked up a quarterback commitment in recent days. Jacob Coker (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s) isn’t on the radar like others in the class, but is a 6-foot-5, 210-pound strong-armed thrower.

Secondary is the strength of the class. Safety/corner Keelin Smith (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast), safety Cortez Davis (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland), safety Lamarcus Brutus (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast) and Tyler Hunter (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) will provide Florida State a boost in the secondary.

Defensive tackle prospects Nile Lawrence-Stample (Davie, Fla./Nova) and Derrick Mitchell (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) are athletic, imposing prospects. Lawrence-Stample was a hit at the Davie Under Armour combine in March with combination of agility, strength and speed. Mitchell’s father played basketball at Florida State.

Trey Pettis is one of the top center prospects in the country, while athlete Karlos Williams (Davenport, Fla./Ridge) brings versatility to the class.

Florida State is positioned nicely to hit a couple of home runs and finish with a class that could remain in the top 10.

7.Florida (8 commitments)

Florida entered the summer with four terrific prospects and has quickly doubled that number, most recently adding uber athletic outside linebacker prospect Ryan Shazier (Plantation, Fla.). The 6-foot-1, 202-pounder with a non-stop motor and very quick first step has legit 4.5-speed and a 38-inch vertical.

Prior to Shazier, Florida picked up even more speed and playmaking ability in receiver Javares McRoy (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland High). The explosive 5-foot-9, 168-pound McRoy had been committed to Texas Tech, where his brother inked in February of 2010. McRoy can score from anywhere on the field whether by catch, run or in the return game featuring 10.6 100-meter speed and quickness is spades.

Joining the impressive duo as June commitments for Urban Meyer and staff are offensive lineman Tommy Jordan (Ridgefield, CT) and fullback Hunter Joyer (Tampa, Fla./Catholic).

The Gators class is led by super quarterback prospect Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, Fla.). The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Driskel has dominated at combines and Elite 11 this spring both athletically and as a thrower of the football. The ball jumps out of his hand with effortless velocity with each impressive throw proceeded by quick, athletic drops and reactions.

Tight end A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, Fla./University Christian) was dominant at Badger 7-on-7 in Tampa. At 6-foot-2 ½, 232-pounds, the long armed prospect made tough catches in traffic for touchdowns seem effortless. Leonard is one of several top tight notch tight end prospects in a loaded Southeast Region.

Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Ashville, NC), 6-foot-3, 260-pounds, brings versatility with the ability to play end or tackle at the next level as one of the top line prospects in the country. Athlete De’Ante Saunders (Deland, Fla.) is one of the regions best.

Expect the Gators to finish with another top 10 class, if not top five.

8.USC (8 commitments)

Many wondered if prospects would immediately jump ship with the crushing NCAA sanctions that were handed down earlier this month. So far, so good for the Trojans, who have picked up a pair of commitments this month. Quarterback Cody Kessler (Bakersfield, Ca./Centennial) is one of the nations best signal callers, while offensive guard Marcus Martin (Los Angeles, Ca./Crenshaw) is a high school teammate of commitment De’Anthony Thomas (Los Angeles, Ca./Crenshaw).

Thomas, 5-foot-9, 160-pounds, is one of the nations best. While he is a solid prospect as an all-purpose running back with big play ability, he has the ability to be a special player on the defensive side of the ball and in the return game. Pound for pound, Thomas may be the most physical player in the country.

Defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (Woodland Hills, Ca./Taft) will require a double team and defensive end Jalen Grimble (Las Vegas, Nevada/Bishop Gorman) is of the best on the West Coast.

QB Max Wittek (Santa Ana, Ca./Mater Dei) will continue to throw to high school teammate Victor Blackwell at the next level. Blackwell, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, has big time ability.

The Trojans ability to build on their class will be interesting to watch. Will the eight current commitments stick long term and just how much will Lane Kiffin and staff be able to build on their impressive start minus the numbers others will enjoy.

9. Stanford (17 commitments)

The Cardinal has dipped into 10 states to build their 2011 class, including most recent commits from inside linebacker James Vaughters (Tucker, Ga.) and running back Remound Wright (Fort Wayne, In./Bishop Dwehger). Vaughters, a 2011 Under Armour All-American, is one of the top linebackers in the country.

Offensive guard Brendon Austin (Parker, Co./Chaparral), defensive end Charlie Hopkins (Spokane, Wa./Gonzaga Prep) and linebacker Anthony Sarao (Absecon, NJ/Holy Spirit) are all among the top prospects in their states.

A pair of running backs from Stanford’s home state are also headliners. Amir Carlisle (Sunnyvale, Ca./Kings Academy) and Kelsey Young (Norco, Ca.) will be speed to the Stanford program.

Left-hander Evan Crower (San Diego, Ca./St. Augustine) is one of the more underrated quarterback prospects in the country.

10. Nebraska (11 commitments)

Nebraska continues to build an impressive class coming off an impressive season. A June 19 commit from athletic quarterback Bubba Starling (Gardner, Ks./Edgerton) and June 17 pledge from defensive back Daniel Davie (Beatrice, NE) keep the Cornhuskers in the top barely holding off a hard charging Clemson program who picked up big time commitments in recent days.

Starling, 6-foot-5, 195-pounds, is not only one of the top signal callers in the Midwest Region, but also one of the top pure athletes with 4.5-speed and quickness.

Offensive line is the strength of the class led by two of the nations best in Tyler Moore (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside) and Ryan Klachko (Springfield, Il./Sacred Heart). The jewel of the class to date, however, is athlete Jamal Tuner (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston). The 6-foot, 175-pound Turner is a big play waiting to happen with the ball in his hands. He has quickness, straight-line speed and the ability to make defenders miss in small spaces. He could play receiver or corner on the next level along with being a factor in the return game.

Fast rising corner Tevin Mitchel (Mansfield, Texas/Legacy) emerged in the spring as one of the Lone Star states best. The 6-foot, 172-pound Mitchel has the ability to develop into a lock down corner.