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Tag:Elite 11
Posted on: February 23, 2012 5:37 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 12:35 pm
 

Dates for Recruiting Camps and Combines

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Recruiting is a year-round cycle and in some respects, the offseason is busier for top recruits than the season is. There's unofficial visits, 7-on-7, combines, camps and more from late February through the middle of July. CBSSports.com and MaxPreps will be at many of these events as top players from across the country compete against each other. Be sure to bookmark the page, which will be updated with more camps and recaps from them as the year goes on.

Recruiting Camps and Combines
Event Date Location
Atlanta New Level 7-on-7 March 3-4 Centennial High, Roswell, Ga.
Atlanta VTO Combine March 3 Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
Florida NUC Five-Star Showcase March 3 Jones High, Orlando, Fla.
Houston Nike Combine March 3 Woodforest Bank Stadium, Shenandoah, Texas
Mobile Nike Combine March 4 Lipscomb Park Stadium, Mobile, Ala.
Charlotte Nike Combine March 10 Panthers Practice Facility
Phoenix Junior Rank Camp March 10-11 Hamilton High, Chandler, Ariz.
Atlanta Nike Combine March 11 Lakewood Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
Ohio Nike Combine March 17 Massillon Indoor Facility, Massillon, Ohio
Southeast NUC Five-Star Showcase March 17 Zachary High, Baton Rouge, La.
Michigan Preps Football Combine March 18 Total Sports Complex, Wixom, Mich.
Louisiana VTO Junior Day Camp March 18 Shreveport, La.
Dallas Nike Combine March 25 Cowboys Practce Facility
Dallas Elite 11 March 24 Cowboys Stadium
Las Vegas New Level 7-on-7 March 24-25 UNLV
IMG Southwest Regional 7-on-7 March 24-25 IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
San Diego Junior Rank Camp March 24-25 Southwestern Junior College
Alabama VTO Junior Day Camp March 24 Leeds High, Leeds, Ala.
Georgia VTO Junior Day Camp March 25 Marietta High, Marietta, Ga.
Dallas Nike Football Training Camp March 25 Cowboys Practice Facility
South Carolina VTO Junior Day Camp March 31 York High, York, S.C.
Los Angeles Nike Combine March 31 Veteran's Stadium, Long Beach, Calif.
Los Angeles Junior Rank Camp March 31-April 1 Junipero Serra High, Gardena, Calif.
Event Date Location
Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp April 1 Cerritos College
North Carolina VTO Junior Day Camp April 1 Mallard Creek High, Charlotte, N.C.
East NUC Five-Star Showcase April 1 Robbinsville Field House, Robbinsville, N.J.
Chicago Nike Combine April 7 Lake Barrington Fieldhouse
Virginia VTO Junior Day Camp April 7 Highland Springs High, Highland Springs, Va.
Ohio VTO Junior Day Camp April 14 Dayton, Ohio
South NUC Five-Star Showcase April 14 Tri-Cities High, Atlanta, Ga.
IMG West Regional 7-on-7 April 14-15 TBA, Los Angeles, Calif.
South Florida Junior Rank Camp April 14-15 St. John Neumann High, Naples, Fla.
Atlanta Junior Rank Camp April 14-15 Campbell High, Smyrna, Ga.
Pennslyvania VTO Junior Day Camp April 15 Gateway High, Monroeville, Pa.
Miami Nike Football Training Camp April 15 Barry University
Atlanta Elite 11 April 20 Buford High, Buford, Ga.
Atlanta Nike Football Training Camp April 21 Buford High, Buford, Ga.
Midwest NUC Five-Star Showcase April 21 Colerain High, Cincinnati, Ohio
Charlotte Junior Rank Camp April 21-22 Charlotte Christian High, Charlotte, N.C.
Central NUC Five-Star Showcase April 22 Sacred Heart Griffin High, Springfield, Ill.
Orlando Nike Football Training Camp April 22 ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
New Jersey VTO Junior Day Camp April 22 Wayne Hills High, Wayne, N.J.
Pittsburgh New Level 7-on-7 April 21-22 TBA, Pittsburgh, Pa.
New York City Elite 11 April 28 Randall's Island Park, NY, NY
Texas NUC Five-Star Showcase April 28 Duncanville High, Dallas, Texas
Florida VTO Junior Day Camp April 28 TBA
PA Swag 7-on-7 April 28 Plymouth Whitemarsh High, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
IMG Texas Regional 7-on-7 April 28-29 TBA, Dallas, Texas
Mobile Junior Rank Camp April 28-29 Vigor High, Prichard, Ala.
Event Date Location
Ohio Elite 11 May 4 Ohio Dominican University
Ohio Nike Football Training Camp May 5 Ohio Dominican University
Oxnard Junior Rank Camp May 5-6 Hueneme High, Oxnard, Calif.
Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp May 6 TBA, Charlotte, N.C.
Midwest Elite Football Camp May 6 Total Sports Complex, Wixom, Mich.
Baltimore Nike Football Training Camp May 12 McDaniel College
Canada New Level 7-on-7 May 12-13 TBA, Ottawa, Canada
Virginia Junior Rank Camp May 12-13 TBA, Virginia Beach, Va.
Bay Area Elite 11 May 18 Contra Costa College
Bay Area Nike Combine May 19 Laney College
IMG NorCal 7-on-7 Finals May 19 Vanden High, Fairfield, Calif.
Best of the 757 Combine May 19 Christopher Newport University
IMG/BMOC 7-on-7 Tournament May 19-20 TBA, Seattle, Wash.
Houston Junior Rank Camp May 19-20 Thorne Stadium, Houston, Texas
Bay Area Nike Football Training Camp May 20 Contra Costa College
PIAA Hawaii H.S. Combine May 26 St Louis School
Event Date Location
Memphis Nike Football Training Camp June 1 University of Memphis
IMG/BMOC Under the Lights 7-on-7 June 2-3 TBA, Atlanta, Ga.
Hawaii Junior Rank Camp June 2-3 USMC Base, Honolulu, Hawaii
Illinois Nike Football Training Camp June 3 University of Illinois
Heath Evans 7-on-7 Tournament June 9 King's Academy, West Palm Beach, Fla.
IMG/BMOC Under the Lights 7-on-7 June 9-10 IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Akron Junior Rank Camp June 9-10 1055 East Avenue, Akron, Ohio
Tennessee Junior Rank Camp June 9-10 Cleveland High, Cleveland, Tenn.
Oregon Nike Football Training Camp June 10 University of Oregon
Las Vegas Elite 11 June 15 UNLV
Philadelphia Junior Rank Camp June 16-17 Plymouth Whitemarsh High, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Central Texas Junior Rank Camp June 23-24 Stephenville High, Stephenville, Texas
Chicago Junior Rank Camp June 29-30 Wheaton Academy High, West Chicago, Ill.
IMG/Madden National 7-on-7 Championship June 29-July 1 IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Nike's The Opening July 5-8 Nike Headquarters, Beaverton, Ore.
Utah Junior Rank Camp July 6-7 Jordan High, Sandy, Utah
Dayton Junior Rank Camp July 7-8 Trotwood-Madison High, Trotwood, Ohio
New Jersey Junior Rank Camp July 14-15 Bridgewater High, Bridgewater Township, N.J.
Minnesota Junior Rank Camp July 21-22 Maple Grove High, Maple Grove, Minn.
IMG All-Madden Mini-Camp July 27-29 IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Oklahoma Junior Rank Camp July 28-29 Hilldale High, Muskogee, Okla.


Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:01 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 1:14 pm
 

Class of 2013 Storylines to Watch



Posted by Bryan Fischer

The class of 2012 is, with one notable exception, signed and done with. That means it is time to turn everybody's attention to the class of 2013 and keep it there. Here are a few storylines to follow on the road to the first Wednesday in February next year - in no particular order.

1. Will Nick Saban be able to close on the country's top prospect?

Nick Saban has certainly earned the title of the country's top recruiter after pulling in the top overall class (or close to it) since arriving in Tuscaloosa. The one thing he hasn't done, however, is land the nation's top recruit. In the class of 2012, he went after Dorial Green-Beckham but couldn't make the final cut. A year before Saban narrowly lost out on Jadeveon Clowney to South Carolina. Is the third time the charm in Grayson (Ga.) defensive end Robert Nkemdiche?

One of the top athletes to play the position coming out of high school, Nkemdiche can play multiple positions in college and has something that you rarely see in some recruits - the drive to be great. At this point, most expect him to sign with the Crimson Tide but in recruiting, as in life, things sometimes have a way of making an unexpected turn. His high school head coach played on an Alabama national championship squad and Nkemdiche has gotten the full court press from the staff for a while. Still, he's listed other schools, taken visits to some like Georgia and has his brother at Ole Miss. It looks good for Saban but we won't find out for sure until next February.

2. Who wins the battle of the Midwest behemoths?

The past year has seen Midwest recruiting go from some yawns and a few eyebrow raises to must-read headlines on a daily basis thanks to Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer recruiting like mad. Hoke had the country's top recruiting class before ever coaching a game and Meyer was able to land an impressive class doing the same. It's been an interesting transformation in the Big Ten over the past few months and turned the conference into two programs and a cloud of dust.

Both are off to a very solid start with the class of 2013 with plenty of momentum from signing top five classes earlier this month. The Buckeyes have landed elite guys like Trotwood (Ohio) linebacker Cam Burrows and are certainly in the mix for plenty of top 100 players. The Wolverines had a monster recruiting weekend to power them to a total of 11 commits, and have a headliner (and one of the top quarterbacks in the country) in Shane Morris. Should be a fun few months as each program jockey's to out do the other on the recruiting trail.

3. Is this the class where being in the SEC really comes into play for Missouri and Texas A&M?

There's no doubt the move to the SEC played a role in the Aggies landing a top 15 class and the Tigers getting a commitment from the number one player in the country but the class of 2013 can really be a selling point for both staffs. More than anything, it gives recruits a chance to watch A&M play Alabama and Florida, see how their fans travel, what the coverage of the team is like and if Mizzou's James Franklin can top Vanderbilt's James Franklin.

Already Kevin Sumlin has jumped out to a big start and has more commitments than anybody in the country right now. He's gotten quality as well as quantity to boot. What remains to be seen is what happens if things take a turn for the worse this season on the field. Will doubts creep into recruits' minds if either school has issues and struggles to get wins? It's something to keep an eye on but, for the moment, things are looking good as each joins the best conference in the country.

4. How will realignment help/hurt West Virginia?

Realignment has made the Mountaineers very interesting on the recruiting trail. There was a lot to like about Dana Holgorsen's first year, capped off with a blowout win in the Orange Bowl and Geno Smith likely entering 2012 as a legitimate Heisman candidate. The staff had a solid effort in recruiting and really got some speedsters out of Florida and from close by (such as Deontay McManus to the right) to sign up for the ride to the Big 12. Yet it's clear that there will be a emphasis on recruiting Texas and the South more with the change in conferences.

As my colleague Bruce Feldman pointed out to me yesterday, all but one of the assistants on staff has ties to the Big 12 footprint and several know the back roads in Oklahoma and Arkansas very well too. Holgorsen's wide open offense will no doubt be a good selling points for kids running the spread across the South and maybe, by hiring defensive staff members with area ties the recruits on the other side of the ball will take a look at the Mountaineers in this cycle as well. Should be an interesting look at how the program handles playing in the Big 12 this year and going forward and whether that translates in terms of recruiting as well.

5. How many does USC sign in year two of scholarship cuts?

If you doubted Lane Kiffin's ability to recruit, well, you must not pay a ton of attention. Despite getting slapped with deep scholarship cuts, the oft-bashed head coach enters 2012 with a preseason top two team and just signed a top 10 class with some elite talent. A pair of All-Americans at wide out were no deterrent to Nelson Agholor, who was lured to USC from Florida. There were a few offensive line targets that the Trojans missed out on late - they still signed a great class at the position - but that might turn out to be a blessing in disguise because they can take a few early enrollees to boost numbers.

Bottom line, who and how many Kiffin's staff sign will be a storyline worth following on the West Coast.

6. Who emerges during the spring and summer camp circuit?

One of the reasons why recruiting evaluation have tended to improve over recent years is the rise in getting a look at top players competing against other top players on the offseason camp circuit. It's also allowed those in the industry to discover more guys who don't back down from a challenge and have the speed and skills to be FBS-caliber talent. Because recruits are not in pads, we don't get a complete picture of a player but we can find out even more about how they play and how their recruitment is going. In many ways, the camps and combines that happen across the country from late February through early July will allow everybody to see who's an elite recruit and who we need to keep an eye on when the pads come on during the fall.

7. What impact will social media have on the class of 2013?

Ask any of the class of 2012 about Twitter and Facebook and they'll say it's changed recruiting. Players from across the country are getting to know each other more and more, going beyond just texting back and forth to DMing and Wall posting as early commitments explain to others why their school is the place to be. Recruiting is becoming more and more interconnected and there is no doubt that the 2013 group will be at the forfront of the new wave of change.

Forget hat dances, keep an eye on how many top 100 guys commit via Twitter. Should be a lot more than last year.

8. Who is the top quarterback nationally?

Upside, production, measurables, arm strength... there are plenty of things that go into deciding who the top quarterback in the country is. The candidates are out there and it will likely boil down to one of Max Browne, Tyrone Swoopes, Shane Morris, Ryan Brurns, Kevin Olsen and a handful of others competing to be the top signal-caller in the final rankings. It's important to keep in mind that quarterback is one position that should see plenty of movement as players go through spring ball, camps, 7-on-7, Elite 11 competitions and finally their senior season.

Olsen, Burns and Browne are your typical pro-style quarterbacks with the size coaches look for and big arms to boot. Swoopes is a dual-threat who some have compared to Robert Griffin III or Vince Young because of how electric he is with the ball in his hands. Morris is the rare lefty that is vying for top billing. Several others are hot on their heels in order to be considered part of the elite QB group in 2013 and will be interesting to see how each does as the pressure mounts each passing week.

9. Can Stanford keep things going?

When was the last time you talked about Stanford recruiting? Prior to the class of 2012: rarely if ever (provided you are not the type that tailgates with wine). All the Cardinal did this year was snag a top 10 class and land one of the best group of offensive line recruits in the modern recruiting era. But can the program keep the momentum going with out Andrew Luck leading the charge on the field? That's a question everybody is asking and at first glance, the answer appears to be yes.

Since David Shaw, a former Stanford player himself, returned to Palo Alto as an assistant under Jim Harbaugh, the program has had a remarkably high success rate when recruiting. If an offer goes out and that player qualifies, there's a very good chance that player will end up signing. The hit rate for Stanford the past few years has been nothing short of remarkable considering the restrictions the staff is under but there's no doubt the education, new stadium, major league and BCS-level success that has happened in the Bay Area has turned the program from doormat to door opener. Should be fun to follow over the next few years.

10. Does somebody finish their class before the season?

Michigan, Texas A&M, Florida and Texas are off to hot starts. The Longhorns are taking a very small class this year so they could wind up filling up with only limited room for recruits based on who leaves for the NFL early. The other schools are recruiting at a pace that will have local analysts taking a vacation much earlier than normal. So, we're left to wonder, could somebody actually get 90% or more of their commitments before the season starts?

Posted on: January 24, 2012 11:32 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 10:05 am
 

Big 12 Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. The Big 12 is once again led by traditional powers Texas and Oklahoma but after that, it's not the drop off that other conferences have with a solid effort by just about every other school. Drawing on the talent-rich state of Texas makes recruiting easier than most but it's interesting to note how schools are developing other pipelines (such as the Sooners and California). The make up and look of the league is different and that makes this Signing Day particularly interesting down in the Big 12.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big 12
College Commits Top 100 Moving
2. Texas 24 5
7. Oklahoma 16 4
24. TCU 20 0

Top storylines

1. Does Texas finish number one?

Mack Brown doesn't have the nickname of Mr. February for nothing, as the long-time head coach can certainly recruit. 2012 might be one of the most talented classes he' brought in during his time on the 40 acres, reeling in the state's top running back for the second year in a row, the top wide receiver, some talented front seven athletes and several offensive lineman who might be playing sooner rather than later. The Longhorns are in the running for a handful of national prospects as Signing Day rolls around so it's possible the current group of 24 picks up another top 100 player to give them an impressive six. If so they have a chance to take the top spot from Alabama and/or hold off Michigan, Florida or Ohio State. It's not a big chance but the Horns have a chance nevertheless.

2. Can Oklahoma move into the top five?

This was supposed to be one of Bob Stoops' smaller classes and for a time it looked like he was taking his time building it up. But things have started to pick up and while it's not as flashy as the school's Red River rival to the South, it brings in several quality pieces along the line and at receiver. In the running for the overall number one recruit and a handful of other top 300 players means the Sooners have nowhere to go but up and might be able to crack the top five depending on who they land. If that happens, it would be a major coup for Stoops considering he lost a talented recruiter in Brent Venables and had to help brother Mike readjust to recruiting players back to Norman.

3. How much better is TCU's class with the Big 12 draw?

From the looks of it, Gary Patterson is bringing in one of his most talented recruiting classes during his tenure in Fort Worth. If the Horned Frogs can't compete in the Big 12, it won't be for lack of resources - brand new facilities should be open by the season - or lack of talent. The team was young last season but still wound up taking the Mountain West conference title and upsetting Boise State and they'll add several players with top-end speed to help fill-out the depth chart. There's more skill position talent for TCU than lineman this year so that will be interesting to note going forward but in landing players like tight end Griffin Gilbert or Elite 11 quarterback Tyler Matthews, Patterson has shown that the conference realignment shuffling has paid off for the school on the recruiting trail.

4. Why is everybody Juco crazy?

One sign that this is something to keep an eye on in the conference this year is the mere fact that Brown is bringing a pair of Jucos to Austin for the first time in a decade. Charlie Weis is hoping for a quick talent influx at Kansas by taking on a host of Jucos and at least two transfers at quarterback. Tommy Tuberville has an impressive eight guys from the junior college ranks headed to Lubbock and, of course, Bill Snyder is going to have plenty lining his recruiting class. As things stand right now, all but one school - TCU - will be bringing in two Jucos come Signing Day which is a bit unusual for the Big 12 as a whole and something to keep an eye out for. It will be interesting to hear the coaches give their press conferences to discuss recruits and give the reason why they dipped into the Juco ranks more than usual this year.

Most impressive class: Texas

Most underrated class: TCU

Work left to do: Kansas

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
1. Dorial Green-Beckham WR Uncommitted
9. Johnathan Gray RB Texas
15. Cayleb Jones WR Texas
33. Malcom Brown DT Texas
48. Durron Neal WR Oklahoma
79. Taylor McNamara TE Oklahoma
84. Thomas Johnson WR Uncommitted
86. Kennedy Estelle OL Texas
88. Wes Lunt QB Oklahoma State
114. Connor Brewer QB Texas
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Chris Chuff and Jim Gush , Baylor
Kenneth Pope, Iowa State
Ron Powlus, Rob Ianello and Buddy Wyatt, Kansas
Michael Smith, Kansas State
Josh Heupel, Mike Stoops and Jay Norvell, Oklahoma
Todd Monken and Glenn Spencer, Oklahoma State
Rusty Burns and Jarrett Anderson, TCU
Major Applewhite, Bruce Chambers, Stacy Searles and Duane Akina, Texas
Neal Brown and Robert Prunty, Texas Tech

Head coach under pressure: Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech

Top Big 12 class prediction: Texas

Top Big 12 signee: Johnathan Gray

Big 12 school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
22 WR Kiante Griffin
RB Rashodrick Linwood
DE Javonte Magee
LB Brian Nance
It definitely looks like the Bears experienced a little bounce from their remarkable season and back-to-back years of going to a bowl game. There's some very quick players in this group and Magee and Nance are absolute steals.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 QB Grant Rohach
WR Quan West
OL Duaron Williams
West and Rohach might be hooking up in the passing game a lot down the road as each are very good gets for the Cyclones. After that, there's a lot of 'we'll see.'
- Team page
- Commitment list
13 DB Greg Allen
TE Charles Brooks
Not included but it'd be remiss to not point out is the fact that Weis landed two solid quarterbacks in Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps this year. After that it remains to be see what kind of impact this group can have.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 WR Marquez Clark
LB Will Davis
Clark and Davis might be able to play early but as usual for Kansas State, it might take a few games or years to assess what the 2012 group can do.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 OL John Michael McGee
TE Taylor McNamara
WR Durron Neal
WR Derrick Woods
The offense reloads at receiver quite well and Neal has a chance to be a special playmaker with his talent. The offensive line also gets a nice boost with McGee and Ty Darlington in the interior.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 WR C.J. Curry
QB Wes Lunt
OL Michael Wilson
Curry could see plenty of early playing and looks like he's the latest in a long line of talented Cowboys receivers. The defensive players are all very solid with LB/DE Jeremiah Tshimanda a very intriguing player who can pass rush early on.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Devonte Fields
ATH Daje Johnson
QB Tyler Matthews
Very few teams in the country are bringing in as fast, collectively, a group as the Horned Frogs are. Johnson is a special talent and Matthews can take his time to develop into a nice signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 DT Malcom Brown
RB Johnathan Gray
WR Cayleb Jones
OL Curtis Riser
Just another ho-hum group of stars for the Longhorns. The class is highlighted by Gray, who set just about every record imaginable in high school and should be a factor early on in running the ball.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 QB Clayton Nicholas
OL Michael Starts
WR Dominique Wheeler
Nichols is still a bit raw but is tough and has the tools to be a good quarterback in the Tech offense. Wheeler is a dynamic talent who easily has a chance to start early.

Posted on: October 10, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 8:43 pm
 

TCU big winners in realignment recruiting derby

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's official, TCU has traded in San Diego for Storrs for Stillwater. No more Laramie or Louisville when they've got Lubbock.

Spurning the chance to play in the Big East before they ever became an actual member of the conference, the Horned Frogs officially accepted an invitation to the Big 12 today. With a ceremony held at the school today, the program officially joins their fifth conference since leaving the old SWC but become a part of the one they've been looking to join ever since it was formed.

As one of the true success stories in college football, TCU has gone from an after thought in the 1990's to a perennial top 25 team and Rose Bowl champion under head coach Gary Patterson. Already selling recruits on his coaching ability and a move to a BCS automatic qualifying conference (with the Big East), the staff can now tell players they can stay closer to home and play traditional powers like Texas and Oklahoma. (And beat them, as the Horned Frogs did in Norman in 2005.)

The 2012 recruiting class Patterson and company have assembled so far has the makings of the best ever in their time in Fort Worth. Defensive end Edward Pope held offers from LSU and Texas A&M among others but was an early commit to the Horned Frogs. McPherson (Kan.) quarterback Tyler Matthews was an Elite 11 and 'The Opening' selection and will be headed south to play college football. Tight end Griffin Gilbert is the younger brother of former Texas signal-caller Garrett Gilbert and one of the top tight ends in the southwest. Running back LaDarius Anthony was drawing SEC interest and held an offer from Tennessee.

With the move to the Big 12, recruiting at TCU should continue to improve and being the only BCS conference school in the talent rich Dallas-Fort-Worth metroplex is a huge advantage no other program in the country can claim. It could also hurt programs that look to Texas for much of their roster, such as future conference foes Missouri or Oklahoma State. Either way you look at it though, Patterson and the Horned Frogs are the big winners in the realignment derby.

Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:28 am
 

Ranking the ACC recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Florida State (Ranked number four overall by Maxpreps)

It's no surprise to see the Seminoles at the top of this list given what Jimbo Fisher has done on the recruiting trail recently. The defensive front seven players alone makes this a special group and that's not even considering grabbing the top dual-threat quarterback in Jameis Winston.

2. Miami (#5)

The Hurricanes have done excellent work with Al Golden's first full recruiting class, especially on the defensive side with players such as Jelani Hamilton and Raphael Kirby. There's a lot of speed in the class as one would expect given their South Florida talent base.

3. Virginia (#8)

How about the job Mike London has done on the recruiting trail? Michaei Moore is a top 100 defensive end he lured from Maryland and linebacker Kwontie Moore is a possible impact player early on given his size and speed.

4. Virginia Tech (#11)

Frank Beamer usually pulls several talented players out of the Tidewater and this class is no exception. Defensive end Jaraontay Jones and linebackers Deon Clarke and Trey Edmunds are a great building block for the Hokie defense.

5. Clemson (#13)

Despite Dabo Swinney being on the hot seat this season, the Clemson staff can still recruit. There's two top 100 players in the group and defensive back Travis Blanks should be able to make an impact early on with his terrific coverage skills.

6. Georgia Tech

It's a good year for talent in Georgia and north Florida and the Yellowjackets are taking advantage. Although they don't have an elite player, defensive end Junior Gnonkonde, linebacker Tyler Stargel and lineman Will Adams are several very good players in the class.

7. North Carolina

One of the more intriguing classes due to the resignation of Butch Davis and possible NCAA sanctions, the Tar Heels have done a solid job under the circumstances. Quarterback Patton Robinette is an Elite 11 quarterback and could be someone to build around in tough times.

8. Maryland

Randy Edsall has taken some heat for not connecting with several local high schools but he's grabbed some good local athletes nevertheless. Quarterback Shawn Petty has impressed during the summer and Mike Madaras is an offensive lineman anybody would love to have.

9. Duke

The Blue Devils have to play by a second set of rules given their admissions standards so evaluation is key in more ways than one. The current class is a good effort when viewed in that light and players like linebacker Deion Williams are a nice pick up.

10. N.C. State

You never hear much about the efforts of Tom O'Brien and staff but they seem to specialize in finding a few diamonds in the rough from year to year. Quarterback A.J. Doyle and defensive tackle K'Hadree Hooker are the anchors on either side of the ball for the Wolfpack.

11. Boston College

The Eagles look to have another solid, but under the radar, class at the halfway point in the recruiting cycle. They have an all-name candidate in Win Homer but also several other players who can develop on offense.

12. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons recently lost quarterback Alec Morris to Alabama but that should give you an indication as to how they evaluate. This is a smaller class that will likely see numbers rise as they see recruits go through their senior seasons.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: August 12, 2011 11:04 am
 

Ranking the Big Ten recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Michigan

Not much to say about the top class in the country other than to say you have to be impressed with what Brady Hoke has done without coaching a game. He's landed the elite Midwest talent and also gone to Utah, Tennessee and California to fill out the rest of the spots. There's plenty of players who should see early playing time as Hoke transforms the program in Ann Arbor.

2. Penn State (#20)

This is a meat and potatoes group for Joe Paterno as eight players are offensive or defensive lineman. There's no elite skill position player but quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg is a good pick up and tight end Jesse James was impressive this summer in 7-on-7. There are still some elite prospects the program could add but it's doubtful they can move up to the top spot.

3. Michigan State (#23)

The Spartans are seeing a little bit of a bounce from their big season last year with this class, landing players such as end Se'Von Pittman and Elite 11 quarterback Tyler O'Connor. They've gone out of region more and while they're not doing as well as in-state rival Michigan, there's a lot of solid, building block players.

4. Ohio State

Buckeyes are facing the double barrel of having their head coach gone and the possibility of NCAA sanctions, both of which are, without a doubt, effecting the program's recruiting. There's no true elite prospect, running back Brionte Dunn is as close as the school gets and he's has the weakest commitment in the class.

5. Indiana

Why is Indiana in the top half of the recruiting rankings? Number one quarterback and number two overall prospect Gunner Kiel is the biggest reason why. Head coach Kevin Wilson has done a good job overall of getting Midwest talent beyond the crown jewel too.

6. Wisconsin

A small but talented class, Wisconsin has the best bang for your buck in the Big Ten. Bart Houston is an Elite 11 and top 100 quarterback who is a perfect fit for the Badgers offense and linebacker Vince Biegel should be able to get into the lineup sooner rather than later.

7. Northwestern

An under the radar but solid effort from the Wildcats this year. Running back Malin Jones and guard Adam DePietro are both very good pickups. There's a little bit of a mix of in-state players and because of Northwestern's academic reputation, some national players in there too.

8. Iowa

The Hawkeyes are used to evaluating late and closing their class strong the past couple of months. This year they have a pretty solid start as cornerback Maurice Fleming is a good get from Chicago and offensive lineman Jaleel Johnson is a very good lineman.

9. Minnesota

Who wouldn't want to play for a coach named Kill? This class surprisingly has several players from the state of Florida (5) and the staff has locked up most of the in-state talent this year. Altogether a solid effort this year for the Gophers.

10. Nebraska

What's Nebraska doing down at number ten? Well it's a numbers game and the Cornhuskers just don't have them. They have a good group with linebacker Michael Rose and end Greg McMullen but they'll need to step up the number of commits soon.

11. Purdue

The headliner is quarterback Austin Appleby who has the size of a college signal-caller while still in high school. He impressed at the Elite 11 and has two targets in the pair of tight ends committed. Anytime a third of your class is kickers however, there's a reason why you're near the bottom of the conference.

12. Illinois

Also a smaller class, Ron Zook has recruited all over the country without focusing on one area in particular. There's potential in this group but the Illini still need to build some momentum.

Posted on: August 11, 2011 10:06 am
 

Ranking the Pac-12 recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Arizona State (#17 overall according to MaxPreps)

The Sun Devils have jumped out to grab the biggest class in the conference and done so by pounding away at Southern California. Quarterback T.J. Millweard out of Texas can compete for playing time early and receiver Kenny Lawler - if he sticks with his commitment - is also a player coming in with an eye on playing time.

2. Washington (#21)

Steve Sarkisian has one top 100 quarterback in Cyler Miles and another player at the position who did well at the Elite 11 in quarterback Jeff Lindquist. This class is largest but still has some talented in-state targets they are in the running for so the Huskies could certainly wind up with the top spot on Signing Day.

3. USC

The Trojans are limited numbers-wise, they have a hard cap of 15 thanks to NCAA sanctions but the number is fluid when you consider transfers, early enrollees, etc. Arik Armstead is a unanimous five-star and could be an excellent left tackle if he chooses to play on offense. Linebackers Jabari Ruffin and Scott Starr have the tools physically to play for Monte Kiffin's defense.

4. Utah

The Utes move to the Pac-12 has already resulted in getting a higher quality group of athletes. Quarterback Travis Wilson was sharp at the Elite 11 and Chase Hansen is bigger and stronger than most athletes the school has been able to bring in. Both lines are represented well and Kyle Whittingham has several players he is still pursuing that could keep Utah in the upper echelon of the rankings.

5. Stanford

A diverse class, the Cardinal has targeted athletes several athletes who can come in and develop with a redshirt year. Linebacker Noor Davis is the headliner and he holds offers from numerous elite programs but is heading West to join Stanford.

6. Arizona

Tight end Taylor McNamara is the top tight end in Southern California and a player who tops the Wildcats' class. Josh Kern is an underrated quarterback out of Texas and local defensive end Dwight Melvin also contributes to a very solid class at the halfway mark to Signing Day.

7. Colorado

It might take some time for him to develop but Shane Dillon is a Pac-12 caliber quarterback and the trio of Texas receivers who are committed are under the radar guys who can be solid contributors at the college level.

8. Oregon

So far, the Ducks haven't seen a championship game appearance bounce on the recruiting trail. Quarterback Jake Rodrigues is the top prospect in the class and fits Oregon's offense well as a guy who has a strong arm but also has the wheels to run when needed. Tight end Evan Baylis is a nice pick up from Colorado.

9. Oregon State

Down the highway, the Beavers are doing what they normally do: scout, recruit and develop. Offensive lineman Isaac Sumalo is the son of a coach on staff and though he looked elsewhere, Oregon State managed to keep one of the top interior lineman from going to a Pac-12 rival. Receiver Malik Gilmore is a recruit who brings good size and an ability to create separation.

10. UCLA

It's hard to figure out quite what the Bruins are doing on the recruiting trail because, in a strong year for California talent, the program has yet to land a top tier athlete. It's especially surprising given the surplus of elite offensive linemen and that's a huge position of need in Westwood. UCLA does have two all-name teamers in Steven Lakalaka and Psalm Wooching.

11. Cal

This class would be MUCH higher if you're going by quality but quantity has to come into play with team rankings given the fact that they have just four commits. Zach Kline is the top quarterback out West and receiver Bryce Treggs has exploded this summer on the camp and 7-on-7 circuit. Michael Barton is a top Bay Area prospect and a very good pick up for the Bears.

12. Washington State

Wazzu is doing a solid job of getting better talent than they have been in past years but the quality of talent still isn't like where the program was several years ago. Athlete Rashad Jackson is a nice grab out of Texas and the Cougars have done ok in California.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:10 am
 

Ranking the SEC recruiting classes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

1. Florida (#3 overall according to MaxPreps)

Three top 100 players and a solid foundation on the offensive line give Florida the top spot at the moment in the SEC. Plenty can change but this class brings a mix of players who fit Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis' style and who are terrific athletes.

2. Alabama (#7)

This class also has three top 100 players and it would be no surprise to see the Crimson Tide end up in the top spot come Signing Day. They lost out on in-state quarterback Jameis Winston but picked up a good replacement signal-caller in Alec Morris and this class features a lot of really good athletes who could play multiple positions.

3. LSU (#9)

The Tigers have two top 100 commits but one of them, Avery Johnson, is on shaky ground and is still pretty open with his recruitment. That said, this class is full of talented athletes that can play on either side of the ball and, though it might take a year or two in the program, could have some impact defensive players.

4. Auburn (#10)

Auburn has certainly seen a championship bounce in their recruiting, grabbing three top 100 recruits for 2012. Tight end Darrion Hutcherson can come in and play right away, as can several others out of this group.

5. South Carolina (#12)

The Old Ball Coach Steve Spurrier has mopped up in-state talent as of late and is doing so again with this class. Shaq Roland is the lone top 100 recruit but this class fills needs and brings in several talented skill position players.

6. Georgia (#20)

Despite Mark Richt being on the hot seat, he certainly can recruit. They have two top 100 players on either side of the line in Jonathan Taylor and John Theus and they've added several other quality players on defense so far.

7. Vanderbilt (#23)

This class is headlined by top 100 recruit Brian Kimbrow but there's also a lot of other talented recruits that Commodores fans have been unaccustomed to landing. James Franklin and company have particularly gone after the defensive line and have hit Georgia and Tennessee hard for recruits.

8. Arkansas

There's no big name for the Razorbacks in this class but it's a solid group of athletes with a lot of potential. The wide receivers in particular could take some time to develop but have the physical tools to be very good in Bobby Petrino's system.

9. Kentucky

Loaded with Blaylocks (three players with the last name) and linemen, this class has done a good job honing in on a few diamonds in the rough. Quarterback Patrick Towles is an Elite 11-level quarterback and could play early in his career.

10. Tennessee

This class has some momentum after being one of the smaller classes at the beginning of July. At the linebacker position in particular they've done a great job of landing talented recruits but have to address other areas to rise up this list.

11. Ole Miss

It's a solid but not spectacular effort so far for Houston Nutt. They are bringing in several good running backs but need to continue their course if they want to move up the pecking order.

12. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs have mined the in-state talent and gotten several above average athletes but there is no big name you would expect after having a big season.
 
 
 
 
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