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Tag:Virginia
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: March 1, 2012 10:44 am
 

3/1 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Stringent standards have helped Stanford elevate itself in recruiting

  Jimbo Fisher thinks Florida State is one of the few schools who can play and recruit against SEC schools.

 It's a big recruiting weekend coming up for Virginia.

 Toledo picked up a commitment.

 Florida has another 2013 player who is a legacy they're recruiting.

 Alabama has offered defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes.

 Safety Malik Greaves liked what he heard and committed to Vanderbilt.

 Michigan is turning its attention to recruiting defensive players.

 Texas and Baylor lead the state in stockpiling local recruits.
Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:01 pm
 

2/25 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Alabama is off to a quick start in the class of 2013.

 Mark Richt says they are always recruiting at Georgia. The Bulldogs picked up a Juco cornerback commit.

 An early look at Washington's recruiting in the class of '13.

 Derek Dooley defended his decision to sign troubled cornerback Deion Bonner.

 Stanford, Michigan could be trying to flip offensive tackle Steve Elmer.

 Stefon Diggs says he is ready to play at Maryland.

 Running back Ryan Green picked up an offer from USC.

 Arizona, Arizona State are out to change the perception of their program among in-state recruits.

 Michigan State is set to host several prospects on their next Junior Day.

 Greg Schiano is happy Rutgers was able to keep the 2012 recruiting class intact.

 Texas commit Ricky Seals-Jones is a top athlete in the state.

 It's a big recruiting weekend for Virginia and Mike London.

Posted on: February 19, 2012 12:14 pm
 

Virginia Tech grabs first two commitments

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Virginia Tech is on the board for 2013. The Hokies picked up their first two commitments in the class on Saturday with pledges from Midlothian (Va.) defensive back Holland Fisher and Richmond (Va.) athlete Cequan Jefferson.

"I was just sitting here thinking to myself, out of all the places I've visited, everywhere I've been, nowhere made me feel as good as Virginia Tech did," Fisher told HokieHaven.com. "I feel like I fit in perfectly."

The 6-foot-2, 198-pound safety also held offers from Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia among others but will follow his senior teammate Joel Caleb to Blacksburg. Shortly after Fisher committed, Jefferson did the same after a great experience on his unofficial visit during Junior Day.

"One was their foundation there, it's awesome and then another one is the fact they have a great football team," Jefferson said. "Also, their academic program is out of this world and they will provide all the help you can get. You can't leave there without getting a diploma and I don't want to be just a football player, I want to graduate too. That is a huge part of why I chose Virginia Tech."

Hokies assistant Shane Beamer was responsible for landing both players to kick off Virginia Tech's recruiting in the class of 2013.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 9:39 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 9:55 am
 

2/7 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Louisville intends to spread a wider net for recruits going forward.

 A look at some of Georgia's top 2013 targets.

 Ohio State and Michigan are back to being major players in recruiting thanks to their head coaches.

 Quarterback Kenny Hill could be the top 2013 player in the Dallas area and already has Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas Tech offers.

 Comparing Virginia Tech and Virginia's recruiting classes.

 Florida State's big time defensive line class could lead to fearsome play out of the unit.

 Chuck Martin gave some insight into the Notre Dame recruiting process.

 The recruitment of James Gray was a lot different than his son Johnathan's to Texas.

 Alabama comes out on top in a re-ranking of 2009 classes.

 Bo Pelini's first recruiting class is striving to go out with a bang.

 An Australian weightlifter is looking at playing football, possibly at Michigan State.

Posted on: February 3, 2012 5:11 pm
 

ACC Signing Day Grades



Posted by Bryan Fischer


CBS Sports Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100
6. Florida State 23 6
7. Miami 33 1
12. Clemson 21 2
16. Virginia Tech 28 1
20. Virginia 25 2

ACC school-by-school
Atlantic Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 LB Steven Daniels C- Small and without a big time athlete, this class is lacking quite a bit. If you're looking for an impact player, look at others.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 DB Travis Blanks B+ It was a relatively quiet day for the Tigers but they still reeled in a very good class. There are a few guys who will redshirt and wait their turn but also a few like Blanks who will play right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 DE Mario Edwards Jr. A+ As much as people talk about Stanford's OL class, they should also be discussing the FSU DL class with both ends and tackles forming an imposing bunch. Jameis Winston, if he doesn't go to the MLB Draft, is a quarterback who could be special if he utilizes all his talent.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 RB Wes Brown B- Mike Locksley was supposed to grab some high profile talent but outside of Brown, there's not a ton of guys. Solid? Yes. But not impact guys and only a handful who should play early.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 DE Kenderius Whitehead B- It's actually kind of impressive that the Wolfpack didn't land one top in-state guy. They still put together a decent class but missing on talent close to home with your rival in a state of flux isn't a good thing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 QB Tyler Cameron C+ Because so many will redshirt, it will be awhile before we really know how this class will turn out but adding Cameron is a big pick up because after that it's a lot of under the radar guys that may grow into the system there.
Coastal Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 RB Shaquille Powell B This looks like one of Duke's better classes in recent year with a few recruits who went a bit under the radar but are just plain old good football players.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 QB Justin Thomas C+ There were several players who the Yellow Jackets whiffed on and they simply didn't go a great job of capitalizing on the deep talent base in the state this year.
- Team page
- Commitment list
33 RB Randy 'Duke' Johnson A- The 2012 group will be remembered for picking the Hurricanes despite the NCAA cloud hanging over the program. There are some guys that aren't truly Miami-level guys but also plenty of impact players who should see lots of playing time as freshmen.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 OL J.J. Patterson B All things considered - a staff change and looming NCAA report - this was a good class. It's not deep but you can tell there are some nice players like Patterson. Losing a quarterback late hurts though.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DE Eli Harold A- Relative to what Virginia recruiting has been, this is a terrific class. Mike London really made in-roads in the Tidewater and has several guys on defense that have a nice blend of speed and size to develop into big time players.
- Team page
- Commitment list
28 ATH Joel Caleb B+ Landing a talented athlete like Caleb on Signing Day is a big boost. There a lot of speed in this class and a healthy handful of guys who will take some time to develop in addition to guys like Caleb and Drew Harris, who will play early.

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

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