Tag:UConn
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:43 pm
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3/8 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- MaxPreps breaks down the top offensive linemen in the class of 2014 and the state of North Carolina in 2013.

Arkansas added a late signee to their 2012 class in wide receiver Mekale McKay.

Mike McCray's commitment might be the first of many for Michigan.

 Offensive lineman Richy Klepal picked up an offer from UConn.

 More on Notre Dame's pick up of offensive lineman Jacob Matuska.

 Tight end Adam Breneman would fit into the Penn State offense well.

 Should Georgia try a package deal to land top recruit Robert Nkemdiche.


Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:39 am
 

3/7 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Vanderbilt's James Franklin talked a little about 'helicopter recruiting.'

 UConn and ECU have offered athlete Janarion Grant.

Georgia is the frontrunner for Maryland offensive line transfer Max Garcia.

 ECU dipped into their recruiting base for a commitment from Jamieon Moss.

 Good early look at Virginia's 2013 recruiting.

 Braylon Edwards wonders why Michigan isn't recruiting his brother Berkley.

 Running back Derrick Green likes what he saw at Clemson.
Posted on: March 4, 2012 6:56 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Pro Impact takes Atlanta NLA 7-on-7 title



Posted by Bryan Fischer

Click here for day one updates

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Despite windy, chilly conditions on the outskirts of Atlanta, 7-on-7 team Pro Impact lived up to their number one seed and won the first New Level Athletics Elite tournament of the year. The national competition drew teams from Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia to feature some of the top recruits in the country making a run at the large NLA trophy at the end.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based Pro Impact had nearly half the team made up of underclassmen but the group was composed throughout their run to the title game and acted like seasoned veterans.   

"It was a lot of fun," wide receiver Isaiah Ford said. "I looked forward to going against some of the top prospects, top performers in the country and seeing how I matched up.

"It's just amazing. It's even better to win."

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound rising junior was one of the top players on the team and had several impressive catches over the middle. Wearing a pair of white-and-black striped socks, Ford and Pro Impact were remarkably consistent on offense, moving the ball down the field before taking shots at the end zone when needed. The team ran into a similarly talented Team Georgia in the final but was able to pull out a win and good seed for NLA 7-on-7 Nationals  in a tough double overtime victory.

"I had fun," Marietta (Ga.) running back and Alabama commitment Tyren Jones said. "I met some new people, it was a good thing and a great experience. Everybody was great, we just have to get the chemistry right and we'll win nationals.

"I think we represented (Georgia) well."

Both teams will have a chance to take home a national 7-on-7 title in the middle of June after earning automatic qualification on Sunday.

Langley enjoys trip to Athens

There was one new face at Centennial High School for the tournament phase of the NLA event on Sunday that only added to the star power at the stadium. Marietta (Ga.) defensive back Brendan Langley was on an unofficial visit to Georgia and missed Saturday's action but his return immediately boosted the secondary for a Goon Squad team that was knocked out in overtime.

"It was pretty fun. I wish I would have been able to come out yesterday," Langley said. "Just from this one game it was a fun experience. Hopefully I'll be able to travel with the team to Pittsburgh and Vegas."

The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder played mostly at safety during the event, using his long reach to break up passes when quarterbacks dared to throw to his area. It doesn't take long to see why Langley is one of the top players in the state and a natural defensive back based on how fluid he is in coverage. His skill set is one reason he has a double-digit number of offers and headed up to Athens for what was nicknamed Very Important Dawg (VID) Day.

"It was nice. I tell you, it's different going up there just as a prospect and going up there with an offer is two totally different things," he said. "I went up there for the first Junior Day on the 28th of January and they didn't show me nearly as much love as they did yesterday.

"I brought a friend up there, Josh Fuller, he plays corner. Shaquille Wiggins, Tray Matthews - I was in a DB meeting with them. Tremel Terry was also a friend of mine there. It was fun."

The short drive from home to see the campus and get to know the coaching staff better certainly left an impact on Langley, who had notable excitement in his voice when talking about the trip. Although he did not commit to the program on the way back, it's clear the Bulldogs are certainly a favorite to land one from him at the moment.

"I can't say they are the leader but I can say it's between them and Alabama for the top spot," Langley said. "I think they might be recruiting me just as hard as the other. Yesterday, (Will) Friend the offensive line coach, he had offensive linemen blowing up his phone but he was with me the whole time. It's things like that that I notice."

With almost all of the SEC schools extending an offer and several coaches recruiting him hard, Langley has a difficult decision ahead. He is trying to take in each school and view the positives and negatives with each program before eventually sitting down and making his commitment sometime later this year.

"The number one thing is development," he said. "Where they're going to get me and not just in football, where they're going to get me in the future. It's something I definitely look for."

The only visits Langley has taken is to Tuscaloosa and Athens and figures to return to each for a spring practice or two in addition to a few other stops over the next few months.

"Right now I'm just going day-by-day," he said. "Hopefully I can maybe get down to Gainesville to see Florida, up to South Carolina and up to Knoxville (for Tennessee) and then make a decision after that. I don't want to make any irrational decision right now being that I've only been to Georgia and Alabama."

Mizzell shows off speed to burn

One of the neat parts of events like the NLA Elite 7-on-7 is to see players from different parts of the country play against top-flight competition. Virginia Beach (Va.) running back Taquan Mizzell is one of the top players in the state and came down to Georgia determined to prove he belonged in the conversation as a top recruit.

"This was really a chance for me to better myself and get other people recruited," Mizzell said. "I really wanted to work on my route running and catching abilities, getting up the field faster and things like that."

The speedster did it all for his Team Virginia as they made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Pro Impact. Mizzell was an impact player, using his quickness to pull away from defensive backs and showed soft hands out of the backfield and on routes. Given his performance, it's easy to see why he's grabbing offers just about every week.

"The most recent offer is the University of Cal," he said. "It caught me a little off guard so I was very excited about that one.  Watching college football growing up, their running back Jahvid Best used to be my favorite back. I used to watch his highlight tape all the time. Once they told me they were offering me I was kind of surprised but so happy about it."

While the Bears are a big offer on Mizzell's table with plenty of them on there, a big Midwest power could be the next to pull the trigger.

"I have 13 right now," he said. "The 14th one is basically Notre Dame. They told me they wanted to offer me a scholarship but all I have to do is send my transcript. Once they see that and everything is good, they'll confirm it."

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has been hearing from several schools across the country but the recent one to show him extra attention is Ohio State. The Buckeyes have already developed quite a reputation for their recruiting prowess under new head coach Urban Meyer and it appears that Mizzell is the latest the coaching staff is going after with vigor.

"(Running backs coach Stan Drayton) saw my film and said it was a no-brainer to offer me and that I was a guy for them," he said. "They wanted to get me up to the school. They basically want to build up a relationship and offer me a scholarship. Once we talked and he told me what it was, I talked to the head coach (Meyer) and the receivers coach (Zach Smith).

"It was kind of how they recruited Percy (Harvin) out of Virginia and how they used him at Florida. They would use me similarly. Also how they used Chris Rainey."

The success Harvin had in Meyer's offense is a big selling point for Ohio State and the fact that he is from the same area as Mizzell is an important one for the 2013 back because Harvin is one of his role models.

"I always want to see players from our area and Virginia do well," Mizzell said. "I look up to Percy and how he's in the NFL. My old teammate (Virginia cornerback) Demetrious Nicholson was very successful too. Running back-wise, I used to try and be like Jahvid Best but right now, I'd have to say like (LeSean) McCoy."

Mizzell plans to compete in several stops in the spring and summer camp circuit, including the NLA event in Pittsburgh. Although he's not sure what other school visits he'll take, he knows a few things that he is looking for each program when he does wind up on a campus.

"I just want a good education," he said. "I also want a chance to impact the team early on. Transportation, that's no problem because I know wherever I go my family will support me as long as I get a good education. If I can get on the field, that's good because I can try and make it to the next level."

757's future is promising with underclass talent

Mizzell wasn't the only player from Team Virginia to impress at the event. With seven underclassmen on the squad looking to make a name for themselves, no body stood out physically and with their play than Virginia Beach (Va.) defensive back Quin Blanding.

"I just wanted to show people that the 757 has all the talent," Blanding said. "We came in to play our game. Where we come from is the same as everybody else."

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder roamed the secondary quite well on Saturday and Sunday. It's easy to see why the 2014 prospect is already drawing plenty of interest from schools across the country.

"Most recent is North Carolina," he said of his offers. "All the colleges that have offered me, I just look at them the same. I'm not thinking about them as my sophomore year finishes but when my junior year comes around, I'll start going through the process. I've got seven right now: Virginia, Virginia Tech, UConn, UNC, N.C. State, ECU and Vanderbilt.

"Most coaches want me to play safety. I prefer to play that… I like to hit. I had a lot of tackles last year and like seven or eight interceptions. I played receiver too."

Despite the attention almost two years before when he can sign a letter of intent, there are two programs who Blanding wouldn't mind hearing from in the coming months.

"I grew up a Florida State fan with my dad and watching them," he said. "Now I'm an Oregon fan. I just like that fast-paced offense and defense that keeps moving and moving. They haven't show any interest but I look forward to it."

In the meantime, Blanding has plans to go to several camps but hasn't yet figured out his schedule.

Paris impresses once again at NLA Elite

At this point, Mansfield (Texas) defensive back Edward Paris a wiley old veteran of 7-on-7 competitions despite being just a rising junior. Already looking physically like a college player and with 4.4 speed, it's no surprise to hear that colleges are already recruiting him as much as they can in hopes of landing one of Texas' top defenders.

"I just recently got offers from Georgia Tech and Washington State," Parris said. "I think USC is close to offering and Alabama too."

Before this week, LSU and SMU had already extended offers and are two of the schools Paris has been hearing from for some time.

"I'm hearing a little more from LSU and UCLA," he said. "I'm interested in all schools right now. I'm just looking for a school that I can fit in socially and that has a really good education."

The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is adept at playing either safety or corner but could continue to grow and wind up as an outside linebacker at the next level.

"I think a lot of them see me as a very physical guy on and off the line," he said. "I also have make-up speed in case I get beat."

Right after the tournament ended, Parris was taking advantage of the trip home by making his way West for two unofficial visits with programs who have been recruiting at a high level and have shown interest.

"After this tournament, we're going to go to Auburn and Alabama for a visit," he said. "I'll go to the Alabama camp and the LSU camp again and maybe Florida also."

Paris figures to have plenty of other opportunities on the travel team Goon Squad over the coming months and could be well beyond the double-digit offer mark by the end of the summer.


Posted on: February 16, 2012 10:06 am
 

2/16 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

  Georgia and Georgia Tech might sign a few more recruits in 2012. Mark Richt has never been a part of one controversey.

  The full, behind the scenes story of how Shaq Thompson signed with Washington.

  Notre Dame is a finalist for the late recruitment of Davonte Neal.

 Offensive lineman Zach Hannon has Arkansas as his top team.

  BYU is slowing down the offer process after a fast start for the 2013 class.

  Quarterback Asiantii Woulard has USF near the top of his list.

  Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott is visiting Nebraska this weekend.

 UConn is already looking at 2013 recruits.

 Michigan offered sophomore offensive lineman Andy Bauer.

Posted on: February 3, 2012 4:11 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Big East Signing Day Grades



Posted by Bryan Fischer


CBS Sports Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100
Rutgers 20 3

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Player Grade
- Team page
- Commitment list
29 QB Bennie Coney B- The class is very solid and brings in plenty of skill position talent on both sides of the ball but they missed out on speedy scat back Dennis Norfleet at the last minute to Michigan
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 QB Casey Cochran C There's not a whole lot to remark on the Huskies class other than they added a strong-armed but small quarterback in Cochran and a little bit of speed at wide out.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 LB Nick Dawson B+ The trio of top linebackers Charlie Strong grabbed are the headliners but don't sleep on the depth that both lines will have.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 RB Rushel Shell B+ Keeping the big time offensive guys in the fold after the coaching staff change is a huge win for Paul Chryst. Landing a local LB like Deaysean Rippy is an added bonus for a small class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 DE Darius Hamilton A One of the big surprises on Signing Day was the ability of Kyle Flood and his staff to keep the class intact after Greg Schiano left. Not only that, they are bringing in impact players from a talented crop of local athletes.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 TE Sean Price B There were three elite guys in this class that bigger programs coveted but the staff kept in the fold. Chris Bivins and Sean Price could play early and often for the Bulls.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 TE Ron Thompson C- There's really not much to say other than the Orange didn't capitalize on their good season a year ago and turn that into recruiting success.
- Team page
- Commitment list
27 WR Deontay McManus B The coaching staff is really happy with this group and you can see why when you look up and down to see speed among the skill position players and a talented QB. McManus should have an impact early if he can learn the playbook.

Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:10 am
 

Big East 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. Things are in a state of flux in the Big East and it seems that the lack of stability at some programs has hampered some recruiting classes. Things are still going well but it's going to be an interesting Signing Day for the league with several new head coaches and programs shuffling in and out like recruits change commitments.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100 Moving
None - - -

Top storylines

1. Does Greg Schiano leaving destroy Rutgers' class? 

If there's a coaching change to come out of left field, it might be Schiano's, who leaves just days before Signing Day. Rutgers had been in the middle of building their best recruiting class in years and had locked up a lot of in-state talent in a great year for recruits in New Jersey. Now all of that is in jeopardy with the shock recruits are feeling quite evident from many of their comments. Expect the Scarlet Knights to drop out of the running for several of the top uncommitted guys on their board and other school calling everybody in their class to see if they want to take a late official visit and reconsider their pledge.

2. Can Paul Chryst build out a good first effort?

Another swift departure out of town for Todd Graham has led to a very good hire for Pittsburgh in Chryst, who jumps over from Wisconsin where he did an excellent job of developing talent. Graham did a good job of keeping top in-state talent close to home and landed the top big back in the country in Rushel Shell. There are a lot of good pieces, especially on offense, but it's up to Chryst to keep everybody committed and build on it with others in his first effort on the recruiting trail as head coach. More than anything, he can hopefully bring some stability to the program.

3. How are the newcomers doing?

Every report and indication has the Mountaineers playing in the Big 12 in 2012, until the i's are dotted and t's crossed, they're going to be stuck in Big East purgatory for now. Dana Holgorsen knows the league and recruiting in Texas in particular but has hit the state of Florida extremely hard with the incoming class. Regardless of the exact timing, this will be the first group of recruits brought in to play in the Big 12 so it's worth tracking to see if that leads to a boost when the faxes are in or whether the big Orange Bowl victory or coaching turnover has a bigger impact.

4. West Virginia's first Big 12 class... at some point.

While the majority of teams the Big East has added over the past year or so won't join the league for another year, it's still worth tracking how the newcomers fare on the recruiting trail. In the case of a school like Boise State, the past success of the program has led to one of the best classes in recent memory with solid depth and a handful of players that should be in the mix for playing time earlier than is normal on the Blue Turf. Houston and UCF have done a solid job considering coaching turnover and scandal while SMU has still tried to keep things going despite losing the school's top recruiter. The class of 2012 might not play right away in the Big East but you have to keep tabs on them since they will in the not to distant future.

Most impressive class: Pittsburgh

Most underrated class: South Florida

Work left to do: Syracuse

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
11. Rushel Shell RB Pittsburgh
27. Ronald Darby ATH Uncommitted
29. Darius Hamilton DE Uncommitted
35. Devin Fuller ATH Uncommitted
91. Leonte Carroo WR Rutgers
95. Bennie Coney QB Cincinnati
105. Chad Voytik QB Pittsburgh
107. Wayne Morgan DB Uncommitted
108. Adam Bisnowaty OL Pittsburgh
109. Quanzell Lambert LB Rutgers
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Kerry Coombs, Mark Elder and Steve Stripling, Cincinnati
George DeLeone, UConn
Vance Bedford, Clint Hurtt and Brian Jean-Mary, Louisville
Bob Bostad and Joe Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Brian Angelichio and Jeff Hafley, Rutgers
Todd Fitch and Phil McGeoghan, South Florida
Scott Shafer and Tyrone Wheatley, Syracuse
Robert Gillespie and Daron Roberts, West Virginia

Head coach under pressure: Skip Holtz, South Florida

Top Big East class prediction: Louisville

Top Big East signee: Rushel Shell

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
32 QB Bennie Coney
RB Dennis Norfleet
OL Caleb Stacey
Butch Jones has done a good job at hitting needs and filling out his class. Coney won't be ready to play right away but has the physical tools to fit right into the offense. Norfleet is an absolute steal at running back.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Casey Cochran
WR Neally Cunningham
WR John Green
Not a lot of remarks about this group other than the fact that Cochran is a very solid pick up at quarterback and is smart and has a strong arm.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Keith Brown
LB James Burgess
LB Nick Dawson
The trio of top linebacker Charlie Strong has managed to grab headline this class but it has several other very good grabs that could have played at bigger programs. OL depth is notable.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 OL Adam Bisnowaty
RB Rushel Shell
QB Chad Voytik
The headliners for the Panthers are on offense and they should fit right into Chryst's system. Voytik has a compact throwing motion and strong arm while Shell is a multipurpose threat who is a load going downhill.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 WR Leonte Carroo
OL J.J. Denman
LB Quanzell Lambert
You can put TBD next to this class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB Chris Bivins
WR D'Vario Montgomery
TE Sean Price
Bivins and Price are SEC-caliber players and terrific adds by the staff. Montgomery is a big time threat who should see early playing time and is part of a very athletic freshman class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Kyle Knapp
TE Ron Thompson
Knapp and Thompson are two solid adds but other than that, the most remarkable thing about the Orangemen is adding all-Namer Pancho Barnwell.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 QB Ford Childress
WR Deontay McManus
ATH Brandon Napoleon
Childress is a guy you can project to put up big time numbers in Holgorsen's system and you can say the same about a dynamic threat in McManus. Good job at addressing needs while adding athleticism.



Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:17 am
 

Ryan Brodie latest for impressive Rutgers class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Rutgers has quietly been assembling one of the top classes in the Big East and added yet another name on Wednesday as Long Branch (N.J.) offensive lineman Ryan Brodie committed to the Scarlet Knights at a ceremony at his school.

“I called coach (Greg) Schiano and he knows every time I call him it’s about business,” Brodie told Scout. “We talked for a while and I told him, ‘Coach, I plan on committing and coming in.’ I asked him to keep it on the low because I didn’t want to put it out publicly."

The 6-foot-6, 290-pound lineman is a three-star prospect according to MaxPreps and ranked as the 22nd offensive lineman in the class of 2012. Brodie held offers from across the country but picked Rutgers over UConn thanks to the comfort factor with the school down the road.

“I loved both schools,” he said. “If I didn’t have the Rutgers offer, I would be at UConn. But I didn’t feel as comfortable as I did at Rutgers. The two times I went up there I didn’t feel that comfortable. Even from my first Rutgers visit, I felt comfortable there. It was natural, and from my sophomore year."

Brodie recently participated in the Semper Fi All-American Game in Phoenix after a solid senior season. He becomes Rutgers' 17th commitment for the class of 2012 and fifth o-line pledge.

"He shows the footwork, the long arms, the quickness, and the explosive moves the college scouts love to see at the LT position," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Shows the balance, body control, and aggressiveness to remain at the LT position at college but can also wind up playing guard. He gets into his pass sets quickly, can extend his arms, and rides rushers past the pocket. He seems to do everything effortlessly and with good strength."
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:12 am
 

1/20 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The big story yesterday was recruit Yuri Wright, recruited by Rutgers, Notre Dame, Michigan and others, getting expelled for tweeting.

 Gunner Kiel is happy and relieved at Notre Dame.

 Tennessee is not recruiting the younger brothers of Eric Berry.

 Andrus Peat will take a late trip to Florida State.

 Alex Balducci and Byron Marshall are among the visitors to Oregon this week.

 This is a big recruiting weekend for UConn.

 Likewise, it's a key weekend for Will Muschamp and Florida.

 Michigan State is seeking a strong finish to the class of 2012.

 A few Texas recruiting updates and analysis less than two weeks away from Signing Day.

 Tosh Lupoi's move to Washington has had a big impact on California's class.

COMMITMENTS:

 UCLA picked up tight end Nate Iese Thursday night.

 Quarterback K.J. Maye committed to Minnesota.

 Running back Robert Lewis flipped from SMU to Washington State.

 Offensive lineman Caleb Peterson will follow Larry Fedora from Southern Miss to North Carolina.

 Syracuse added JUCO defensive tackle Zian Jones.

 Georgia Tech picked up commit #16 in Lynn Griffin and could be adding another from Australia.

 Arkansas flipped Missouri pledge and cornerback Will Hines.

 Meanwhile, Missouri flipped Houston commit Levi Copelin.

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