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Tag:USF
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 14, 2012 9:23 am
 

Valentine's Day Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Michigan opts for the personal approach on Junior Days.

 2014 running back Wadzaire Blanc has snagged a South Carolina offer.

Maryland needs their top recruit to help stop the transfers.

 A Q&A with Houston coach Tony Levine where he talks about recruiting some.

 Urban Meyer says Ohio State's 2012 class lacks speed.

 Offensive tackle Will Allen was invited to Alabama's Junior Day.

 Duke Johnson has been the perfect ambassador for Miami football.

 Linebacker/safety Su'a Cravens was at USC's Junior Day and recently picked up a Clemson offer.

 Running back JoJo Kemp has USF as his early leader.

 Derek Dooley rips the SEC's new oversigning rules.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 11:47 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 11:50 am
 

USF picks up first two commits for 2013

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Thanks to a successful Junior Day, South Florida is on the board with the class of 2012. The program picked up two commitments over the weekend from Immokalee (Fla.) athlete Tshumbi Johnson and wide receiver Xavier Richardson.

"It was my first choice -- so close to home, so all my people can come up and watch me play," Johnson told the Tampa Bay Times.

USF was the first offer for the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Johnson, who plays quarterback in high school and taken home all-state honors at the position but will likely end up at wide out for the Bulls. Richardson held a South Carolina offer but the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder enjoyed his time on a campus that isn't too far from home enough to commit.

"It is a good school for me, education-wise, socially, and it's close to home," said Richardson.

The pair is a good start to the class of 2013 for the Bulls, who are coming off signing one of the better classes in the program's history in 2012. Johnson racked up 45 touchdowns last season as a junior while Richardson hauled in seven scores and over 600 yards receiving.

Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:16 am
 

2/12 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Several players are headed to USF's Junior Day.

 Pitt and Penn State had so-so recruiting classes in 2012 but here's how the Panthers can wind up in the top 20.

 Texas' first recruit Jake Raulerson is going from recruited to recruiter. One target should be tight end Durham Smythe.

 Q&A with Al Golden, who discusses recruiting at Miami among other things.

 Several of UCLA's Georgia recruits remembered when Jim Mora won a playoff game with the Atlanta Falcons.

 Recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt described Louisville’s recruiting strategy.


Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:02 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 12:08 pm
 

So. Florida Express tryout brings out top talent

Posted by Bryan Fischer

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- The ink on the class of 2012 letters of commitment was barely dry before the next crop of top recruits took to the field at Saturday's South Florida Express tryout as the recruiting cycle begins anew. One of the most popular 7-on-7 travel teams, the tryout brought nearly 200 players from all over the Miami-area to see if they could make the cut, led by a familiar face.

"It was exciting, there was a lot of competition and a lot of stuff that I saw last year cover-wise," Miami (Fla.) quarterback Akeem Jones, a member of last year's squad, said. "It's the same plays and same scheme so I felt comfortable."

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound signal-caller was a backup last year as the team traveled across the south to 7-on-7 tournaments. This year however, his heart is set on taking over and leading the team - and himself - to new heights.

"E.J. (Hilliard) was who I studied last year," said Jones. "I watched him as a youngster and studied under him. Now I can take over and become the nation's best. I want to prove a lot and prove a lot of people wrong. Most of all I want to do it for myself.

"I'm putting the work in."

Jones has bulked up slightly during the football season and brought his trademark canon of an arm. He's already drawing noticeable interest from colleges with two verbal scholarship offers already on the table.

"Right now I have two offers, Rutgers and Middle Tennessee," Jones said. "Florida State is close, South Florida is close, (Miami) is close."

With a smile always on his face when not laser-focused between the lines, Jones wasn't as sharp throwing the ball on a cloudy South Florida Saturday but was still the most advanced quarterback of those that showed up for the tryout. Though his talent will earn him a college scholarship, his mental makeup are what will drive him to making the best decision among what likely will be a double-digit offer list and Jones is already considering a few factors that he is looking for.

"Education and character," he said. "I want to surround myself with great coaches and get a good education. I also want to feel comfortable. Character is the biggest part, that will take you a long ways."

Though he projects at several different positions, the athletic Jones is looking to play the only one he's known the past few years: quarterback.

"That's what I want to play," he said. "I'm like (West Virginia quarterback) Geno (Smith)."

The comparison to Smith, who hails from nearby Miramar (Fla.) and is of similar build, is one reason why Jones has West Virginia at the top of his list.

"If they offer, I'm coming," he said. "I've already visited, it was very nice. If they offered, I'm signing.

"I think I can bring more excitement (to the offense) and ability with my legs. I would just carry on what Geno's doing basically and bring the program up. There's still a lot I can learn but it's a good fit."

Grace ready for what's next

One of the most impressive defenders at the event was Miramar (Fla.) linebacker Jermaine Grace. A fluid athlete with a great build, he was all over the field on Saturday and went out of his way to show coaches that was good enough to be an integral part of the team this year.

"I was out here last year but they told me I was too young to play so I came back this year and said I'm going to make it this time. The coaches basically told me I'm already on the team but I still have to go tryout," Grace said. "My coach had me playing different positions, like DB and receiver, just positions I don't normally play. I was able to experience new things and was able to do just as well."

The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has a good frame to add weight and the athleticism of a safety. Grace is already one of the most highly recruited athletes in South Florida and is a top 2013 prospect to watch.

"I've got (offers from) Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia," he said. "I think Alabama is close. I've talked to the coaches a lot so that's a school I've talked with that hasn't offered."

Grace has been part of a successful Miramar High program so he knows a lot of the ins and outs of the recruiting process and as such, is already beginning to figure out what he's looking for in a college football program and university.

"I want a good business program, good coaching staff, good teammates," he said. "I want to be able to learn and make it to the next level. I don't really mind (leaving home) but I don't want to get too far away from my family. If I have to I'll do it if it's best for me. But for right now, I'm not looking to go too far."

It's that time of year where Junior Days are quickly popping up on the calendar and Grace is receiving invites from several schools across the South. He won't venture outside of the state for one but did recently check out Miami's and enjoyed his time there.

"Yeah I went and it was a new experience for me," he said. "I talked with Al Golden one-on-one and with my family. It was cool. I was able to talk to players and different coaches. It was very exciting."

Grace could play at a variety of positions but appears set at playing linebacker for the South Florida Express and in college.

Shelton's experience shines

There are not too many players committed in the class of 2013 but Plantation (Fla.) cornerback Sojourn Shelton is certainly one of them and he is already building bonds with several of his classmates to make sure they know all the virtues of Florida State.

"There's so many kids, every time I get around a good one I ask if Florida State is recruiting them and tell them to let me know," Shelton said. "It's good to build bonds with player, there are a lot of players that have a chance."

One of the top corners at the event on Saturday, Shelton was a marked man as others were looking to prove something against the big time commit. Though he is "solid" to the Seminoles, he's still keeping his options open with over a year before actually signing.

"I'm definitely going to take an official to LSU," he said. "I know that's a place I want to go to because they are producing DB's. Down the road I'll have my five (official visits) listed out.

"I just want to make sure it's the best fit for me. You only get one shot."

Shelton recently picked up an offer from Wisconsin and should have plenty more despite his verbal to Florida State. With Signing Day earlier in the week, having a chance to see what kind of talent Jimbo Fisher and staff were able to bring in made the 5-foot-9, 160-pound corner quite excited for the future of the program.

"With Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards Jr., they picked up a great defensive line class," he said. "I think that gives the corners a lot more comfort because it starts with the pressure from those guys. As far as bringing in (Ronald) Darby, P.J. Williams and (Collin Blake), we did a great job as far as recruiting. I think all Noles fans should be pretty excited about the year coming up."

Michel rehab going well

The best player on the field at the tryout didn't even participate. That's because Plantation (Fla.) running back Sony Michel, one of the top 2014 prospects in the country, was still recovering from an ACL tear suffered early in the season last year. Though he wasn't able to be a part of the activities, he came to support several of his teammates at the event as he took a break from rehab.

"It's going good for me right now," Michel said. "I'm probably about 80%. I know I'll be 100% by the season, probably before it. I'm just getting prepared until then."

Michel expects to be released in March but will not take part in Plantation's spring practice. Although doctors have given him a solid timetable, the state's top running back appears well ahead of schedule.

"I'm doing some running right now," he said. "I've been lifting weights since day one. I didn't get out of the weight room even when I was hurt. I'm always lifting."

Because he still has two years before he ultimately has to decide where to go to school, Michel is taking the recruiting process slow while still doing his homework.

"I get a lot of interest from the Florida schools," he said. "I'm looking for a great program. I want a good head coach and coaching staff, especially the running backs coach since I'm going to spend a lot of time with him. Also the atmosphere."

With a bit of free time during the summer, Michel might take a few unofficial visits but is undecided as to where. He's leaning on a few of the upperclassmen who have committed to major programs to help guide him over the next few years.

"I ask for some people's opinions," he said. "I also ask for people that go to school there what their opinion is. I ask how they like it and stuff like that."

Michel mentioned that he grew up a Miami fan and has already visited the hometown program a few times and seen several games.

A few other standouts

Miami (Fla.) linebacker Wendell Dunn, Pompano Beach (Fla.) wide receiver Devante Peete, Winter Garden (Fla.) defensive back Roman Tatum, Opa Locka (Fla.) defensive back Anthony Walker Jr.


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: February 2, 2012 6:01 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 6:07 pm
 

Class of 2012 Recruiters of the year

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The letters have been faxed and the recruiting classes set so it's time to assess how each and every team did. While the program and head coach played huge roles in recruits committing to a school, the assistants who developed a bond with them are just as big - if not bigger - of a reason as to why they're headed to the college campus of their choice by the fall. Here are the top assistants who hauled in their fair share of top prospects in the class of 2012, sorted by each conference.

ACC: Brennan Carroll
  Tight Ends coach & Recruiting Coordinator
School: Miami
Class: #7 overall
Background: 2nd year at the school
Comment: Landing 33 commitments is notable but the quality of guys Carroll was able to help land - with the NCAA hovering over the program - is pretty remarkable. The fact that the Hurricanes landed just about every target is also impressive. Though he was mainly involved with the out-of-state guys personally, he helped Al Golden plan and execute a strategy for the class of 2012.
Notable recruits
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) defensive end Jelani Hamilton
Miramar (Fla.) defensive back Tracy Howard
Miami (Fla.) running back Duke Johnson
Runner ups
Florida State's Dameyune Craig, Virginia's Chip West
Big East: Jeff Hafley
  Secondary coach
School: Rutgers
Class: #23 overall
Background: 2nd year at the school
Comment: The fact that Rutgers was able to not only keep an impressive class together but add to it following the departure of Greg Schiano is very impressive. Hafley was the man at Don Bosco and he cleaned up most of the top targets there and in the area with new head coach Kyle Flood.
Photo courtesy of Rutgers



Notable recruits
Ramsey (N.J.) wide receiver Leonte Carroo
Ramsey (N.J.) defensive end Darius Hamilton
Saddle Brook (N.J.) linebacker Steven Longa
Runner ups
Louisville's Clint Hurtt, USF's Phil McGeoghan
Big Ten: Mike Vrabel
  Defensive line coach
School: Ohio State
Class: #3 overall
Background: 2nd year at the school
Comment: One of the holdovers from the previous staff, Vrabel is a big name among recruits from his playing days. He was instrumental in landing the #3 overall player in the country and teamed with Urban Meyer to land one of the top defensive classes in the country.






Notable recruits
Harrisburg (Pa.) defensive end Noah Spence
West Roxbury (Mass.) linebacker Camren Williams
 
Runner up
Michigan's Fred Jackson
Big 12: Jay Norvell
  Wide receivers coach
School: Oklahoma
Class: #8 overall
Background: 5th year at the school
Comment: If there was one area of need for the Sooners with the class of 2012 it was at wide receiver. Norvell not only kept highly ranked recruit Trey Metoyer from last year in the fold, but added four others that are good fits for the system and all highly regarded. Norvell has landed players from all over the country and did so once again this year.



Notable recruits
St. Louis (Mo.) wide receiver Durron Neal
Oklahoma City (Okla.) wide receiver Sterling Shepard
Inglewood (Calif.) wide receiver Derrick Woods
Runner ups
Texas' Major Applewhite, Baylor's Jim Gush
SEC: D.J. Durkin
  Linebackers coach & Special Teams Coordinator
School: Florida
Class: #5 overall
Background: 3rd year at the school
Comment: When a school like Florida (and a coach like Durkin) owns a state - in this case North Carolina - better than any of the BCS programs there, that's notable. The fact that the talented recruiter had a haul that fueled the Gators top five finish and added significant depth is the reason why he's in this spot.




Notable recruits
Shelby (N.C.) defensive end Jonathan Bullard
Bowling Springs (N.C.) safety Rhaheim Ledbetter
Venice (Fla.) defensive tackle Dante Phillips
Runner ups
Alabama's Jeremy Pruitt, UGA's Bryan McClendon
Pac-12: Tosh Lupoi
  Defensive line coach
School: Washington
Class: #24 overall
Background: 1st year at the school
Comment: Lupoi is easily the top choice in the Pac-12 where his departure from Cal affected the recruiting trail out West just as much as he did Washington's class. Arik Armstead going to Oregon and several decommits from the Bears are a few of the big waves his move caused and shows how good and well connected a recruiter Lupoi is.




Notable recruits
Sacramento (Calif.) safety Shaq Thompson
 
 
Runner ups
UCLA's Adrian Klemm, Stanford's Lance Anderson

Posted on: January 29, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Florida grabs junior DT Caleb Brantley

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With coaches quickly turning their attention to hosting 2013 recruits at Junior Days over the next couple of weeks, it's clear that things are in full swing for next year's class just as things are wrapping up for 2012's group. With several SEC programs already grabbing commitments this week, Florida joined the party and grabbed a pledge from Cresent City (Fla.) defensive tackle Caleb Brantley on Saturday.

"I talked to Coach (Will) Muschamp about it while on the visit but I told him I wasn't sure at that time and that I wanted to talk to my family about it," Brantley told Rivals. "After we got home. We talked about it. Coach Muschamp had to catch a plane to Atlanta, so I talked with Coach (Dan) Quinn tonight and told him I was committed. Coach Quinn told me to call Coach Muschamp this weekend. He said they were excited to have me in the Gator family."

The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder also held offers from Florida State and USF but figured to pick up several more as college coaches start to evaluate more prospects over the coming weeks and months. Brantley, however, has had his heart set on playing for the Gators and realized his dream over the weekend.

"I grew up a Gator fan and my whole family are Gator fans," he said. "It is really close to home so my whole family can come to see me play."

Brantley becomes the second commitment for Florida's class of 2013, which will follow on the heels of a possible top five class this year. He racked up over 94 tackles and five sacks last season as a junior.
 
 
 
 
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