Archive for December, 2009
UNDER ARMOUR GAME COMMITMENTS ….
-John Fulton CB Manning H.S. (South Carolina) chooses Alabama over LSU, Florida and Georgia. -Domique Easley (NY) chooses Florida over Miami
– Kenny Shaw WR Dr. Phillips H.S. (Fla) chooses Florida St. over Michigan, Florida and Tennessee
– Chris Dunkley WR Pahokee H.S. (Florida) chooses Florida over Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia
– Tony Hurd Jr. CB – Marshall H.S (Texas) chooses Texas A&M over Auburn, California, Oregon
– Darius White – WR – Dunbar H.S. (Texas) chooses Texas over Oklahoma, Florida and LSU
Cardinal Gibbons High School (Florida) wide receiver Shawn Corker, a Texas Tech commit, is unfazed by the situation with coach Mike Leach. Corker says he’s going to bleed Red and Black.
Florida 6-A Champs Miramar High School quarterback Ryan Williams has committed to Eastern Michigan.
It was previously reported that Glenville H.S. (Ohio) quarterback Cardale Jones had an offer from Ohio St. but that turned out to be incorrect. Jones currently holds offers from Iowa, Bowling Green and West Virginia.
Bill Cowher back in coaching and specifically Tampa could spell bad news for the Miami Hurricanes. Cowher is on record as saying that one of his first hires when he gets back into coaching is Mark Whipple. Cowher back in the NFL could mean the same for Whipple who has turned around the Hurricanes offense in just one year on the job.
There are rumors out there that Miami, Fla will hire Florida High School 6A champs Miramar H.S. head coach Damon Cogdell for a position in the football program. Such a move could mean that Ivan McCartney to Miami is a certainty. However, McCartney reportedly has some grade issues to work out before he can become a Hurricane.
Highly recruited Dr. Phillips High School (Florida) wide receiver Kenny Shaw has decided to make his college announcement at the ESPN Under Armour All Star game. It was previously believed that Shaw would make his commitment on his birthday which is January 15th but he has switched plans and will make his announcement at UA Game which will be played on January 2nd. Shaw is the 25th ranked player at his position by Rivals. The 6’0″ 170 lb Shaw caught 64 balls as junior for 914 yards and 10 TD’s to make a name for himself. He followed that up with strong outings in the summer camp circuit and closed it out with a strong senior campaign. It is believed by many that Florida St. is the leader for Shaw’s services. The recent rash of high profile commitments by the Noles certainly didn’t do anything to hurt the Seminoles in the eyes of this recruit. Schools also believed to be in the running for Shaw are Michigan, Tennessee and South Carolina.
Today’s video of the day comes from the fertile ground of South Florida, specifically Broward County. If you were starting a wide receiver corps, you would start it with a guy like Marken Michel. Michel is as polished a wide receiver as they come. Of course, when you are in high school, there’s always room for improvement but Michel’s roomer is smaller than most others. Michel runs precise routes, has dazzling cuts and has the speed to take it to the house. In an offense that is not exactly wide open, Michel made his mark in 2009 by amassing over 500 yards in receptions and bringing home 9 touchdowns. Watch him make defensive backs look silly in this video. Click here to view Marken Michel’s highlight video.
West Virginia has become the latest school to offer standout 2011 Glenville H.S. (Ohio) quarterback Cardale Jones. Jones also has offers from Ohio St., Illinois, Bowling Green and Toledo. Jones is teammates with current Gridironstuds.com member Latwan Anderson.
The University of Miami 2010 recruiting class is getting near full capacity but they just got a commitment from a much coveted prospect. Highly recruited St. Thomas Aquinas offensive lineman Brandon Linder made his pledge to Miami on Saturday to bolster the Canes’ recruiting class.
Linder has been as impressive an offensive lineman as there has been in his class. The 6’6″ 290 lbs. behemoth has been a starter on one of the nation’s most regarded programs for three years. As a sophomore, Linder was the starting center on a St. Thomas team that won the Florida St. 5A championship. As a junior, Linder moved to the all important position of left tackle and was in charge of protecting the backside of former Aquinas quarterback Ryan Becker as St. Thomas opened up their offense. This season, Linder anchored the men in the trenches and led Aquinas to the state semi-finals.
The pick up is huge for the Hurricanes who are looking to bolster their offensive line play and become even more explosive under the direction of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. Linder becomes the sixth offensive line recruit to commit to Miami in an area of focus. Linder now becomes the highest rated offensive line recruit to commit to Miami thus far at 4 stars (Scout.com).
The Hurricanes still have their eyes on #1 ranked overall recruit offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson out of Minnesota and word is that Henderson has boiled it down the Miami and USC. Landing both Linder and Henderson would shoot Miami near the top in the 2010 class rankings for those of you who care about those things.
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Linder will be joined at Miami by his St. Thomas Aquinas teammate Jermaine Barton. Barton is a three star rated recruit by Scout.com.
Miami Hurricanes have landed 3 star offensive line recruit Jermaine Barton from St. Thomas Aquinas H.S. (Florida). Barton will join Aquinas teammate Brandon Linder who also committed to the University of Miami on Sunday…more here.
Miami Northwestern H.S. (Florida) running back Corvin Lamb has committed to Louisville. Lamb was also considering offers from Nebraska, Rutgers, North Carolina, Ole Miss and UCF.
Pahokee H.S. defensive tackle Richard Ash has decommitted from West Virginia and has now pledged to Michigan.
Rumors are swirling that Glenville H.S. defensive back Latwan Anderson has committed to the University of Miami. Still working on confirming this.
Syracuse continues to land Florida talent. Tampa Catholic H.S. defensive back Jeremi Wilkes has committed to the Orangemen despite interest from Florida St., Rutgers, Louisville and Iowa.
DeLand High School running back Shontrelle Johnson has decommitted from Northwestern and has reopened his recruiting. Johnson has rushed for nearly 2,000 yards this season and is now courting offers from Florida St., USF, UCF, Mississippi, Kentucky and Georgia Tech. Check out Shontrelle’s video.
The University of South Florida scores a trio of Miami area recruits. QB Jeff Godfrey (Central H.S.), OL Jose Jose (Booker T. Washington) and Todd Chandler (Northwestern) formerly committed to Miami all pledge to the Bulls.
Birmingham H.S. (California) Trajuan Briggs has switched from USC to California. Briggs was previously committed to the Trojans but switched his commitment. Briggs is also still being pursued by Washington, Washington St., Oregon and Pittsburgh.
Grandview H.S. (Colorado) DE Chris Martin has committed to Cal. Martin was previously committed to Notre Dame but decommitted when the coaching situation became muddy. Martin had been entertain offers from Florida, Miami, USC and Oklahoma. Charlie Strong leaving Florida hurt the Gators’ chances of landing Martin.
When he took the job at Tennessee, Lane Kiffin promised a couple of things. One of which was that he would put the Tennessee Volunteers football program back into the consciousness of the college football landscape and have the Volunteer name on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Dude has delivered on that promise!
Like double D breasts, Kiffin and Tennessee have been hard to ignore. Through an array of brash statements and minor recruiting violations, Kiffin has done his best Dennis Rodman/Madonna impression and has kept the Vols in the news. He has, on some scale, made Tennessee relevant again. History has shown that the end of such plans can be tragic when they are hatched in the palace of the NCAA but if parlayed correctly it could be a net positive for Tennessee.
I am not advocating for or condoning the willful breaking of recruiting rules but I will venture to say that Kiffin is not alone in circumventing the myriad of rules pertaining to college football recruitment. Yes, I know the everyone’s doing it statement did not work for people like sprinter Ben Johnson or golfer (cough!) Tiger Woods but for Kiffin it’s the only way to compete in the highly competitive World of college football recruiting. You have to figure at some point, the NCAA will get fed up and decide that they don’t want other coaches to see this plan as being an effective one. Some kind of hammer will drop but Kiffin has skillfully averted the major infractions and has behaved like a mosquito picking and running at the minor rules.
Take his most recent alleged in fraction. Reports are that Kiffin made a recruiting trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to visit previous national #1 ranked high school St. Thomas Aquinas. Accompanying Kiffin on this visit was Steve Rubio. Rubio just happens to be a former Vols assistant coach and St. Thomas Aquinas grad. Coincidentally, Rubio is a “personal assistant” on “some” off campus recruiting trips. I love how these things just happen to happen. Anyway, Rubio may have, somehow, gotten out of Kiffin’s watchful eye and might have “somehow” talked to a few players about how great Tennessee was. Who knew he would do something like that? Nevertheless, the NCAA has deemed this a violation and they are investigating. The problem for Kiffin soon will be that he will tie up so many NCAA investigators with his infractions that they will lose manpower to investigate all the other programs running around taking a dump on the rules and wiping their rear ends with NCAA letterheaded paper.
This infraction comes less than one month after it had been learned that a pair of Tennessee Volunteer Bunnies, er I mean hostesses, took a random trip out to Byrnes, South Carolina to visit Byrnes high school players Corey Miller and Brandon Willis. Both players are committed to Tennessee. Byrnes is 200 miles from Knoxville and by all accounts is not a happening town so let’s rule out coincidence here. The ladies in question, pictured with the recruits in this article, stated that they promised both players that they would come see a game during the season and gosh darnit, they delivered on that promise.
Who knew that this was a rule infraction either? If you are on the inside of college football recruiting like I am, you are aware that there’s much more going on than silliness like this. You also know that if you are not an elite program then, sorry to say, you almost have to run afoul of the recruiting rules to actually have a chance. It’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs in college football recruiting but it’s the reality right now. Kiffin is not taking a knife with him to this battle. He has opted for using a gun. Now, this gun may be unregistered but he’s not trying to go out on Saturdays in the Fall and get shot. With all that said, I see the NCAA sharp shooters getting into position high atop the stadium waiting for an opportunity for a head shot. Kiffin needs to get a little better at his craft and not rub the NCAA noses in his recruiting violations. Pretty soon they will grow tired of the “I didn’t know that was wrong” act.
The near capacity crowd withstood the annoying drizzle and multiple stoppages to be treated to a thriller that saw history made.
Amongst the thousands who attended were University of Miami coaching staff members offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, wide receiver’s coach Aubrey Hill and running backs coach Tommie Robinson who is recruiting Miramar wide out Ivan McCartney. Also in attendance were current University of Miami players Jacory Harris, Brandon Harris, Tommy Streeter and others. In attendance with them were Cane commits QB Stephen Morris from Pace, RB Eduardo Clements from Booker T. Washington and Washington D.C. linebacker Javarie Johnson.
All were on hand to watch an entertaining game that began with Miramar taking a 14-0 lead. Central scored at the end of the first half due in large part to plays made by Central QB Jeffrey Godfrey running the football. Miramar’s defense led by linebacker Jamal Bass was as adveritsed. The Patriots did not allow Central running back Brandon Gainer to get the big plays nor did they allow the Central passing game to be really explosive.
For Miramar, it was interesting to see Ivan McCartney diplay his athleticism and versatility by playing safety and producing a couple of solid punt returns. Offensively, McCartney was held in check due mostly in part to Miramar quarterback Ryan Williams not being able to get ball to McCartney. Williams served up two interceptions in the contest. However, Williams came up big in the end. With time winding down in the contest, Williams rolled to his left and heaved one deep for Malcom Lewis. Lewis hauled in the pass, broke a tackle and gave Miramar the lead they ended the game with. Sophomore cornerback Tracey Howard gave up Central’s 2nd TD but he looks to be a player. Howard picked off Central QB Jeffrey Godfrey in the red zone during the first half and raced the ball into Miramar territory setting up the Patriots’ 2nd score. Dante Chambers showed his worth with several solid catches.
For Central, Jeffrey Godfrey has a cannon for an arm. There was no downfield pass that is too far and he has nice zip on his intermediate routes. With that said, Godfrey sruggles to read the defenses. Several passes should have been picked off by Miramar but they were dropped. Godfrey made many big plays with his legs and showed good speed in doing so. Brandon Gainer was held in check. Joshua Reece was quiet due mostly to Miramar’s scheme. However, he made some big catches including a nice deep one from Godfrey to put Central on the scoreboard for the first time in the game.
Miramar advanced to the state final for the first time in the school’s history.
Becomes the Latest Aquinas Raider to Commit to a Division I School
In back to back nights, St. Thomas Aquinas has had a pair of Top 100 rated recruits make their commitments. Thursday Night it was Cody Riggs turn. The Gridironstuds.com member pledged his services to the defending champion Florida Gators.
Riggs burst onto the scene in 2008 when he nabbed eight interceptions and locked down receiver after receiver. This year the interception numbers are not as high as teams have wisely chosen to throw less against Aquinas’ All Star defensive backfield. Nevertheless Riggs has handled his business and has played a strong part on a defense that has only allowed 7.5 points per game. Riggs is leading the team with four interceptions and 10 passes defensed this season. He has 12 career thefts for the Raiders. Aquinas takes on Bradenton Manatee in the semi-final round of Florida 5-A Playoffs on Friday.
Riggs entered St. Thomas Aquinas as a running back and will depart as one of the top cornerbacks in the country with a full-ride to one of the most prestigious programs in college football. He took official visits to Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Notre Dame. In the end, Riggs chose to stay in state and help the Gators remain on the top of the college football World.
The 5’9″ Riggs is a two time state champ in the hurdles and opened eyes this past Spring by clocking sub 4.4 forty yard dashes and performing well in 1-on-1’s versus some of the top wide outs in the country. Riggs combines with teammates Lamarcus Joyner and Keion Payne to put at least one Aquinas Raider from a graduating class at each of the top three schools in Florida for the first time in St. Thomas history.
Gridironstuds.com congratulates Cody Riggs on his great career and decision to join the Florida Gators.
December 11, 2009
Westlake H.S. cornerback Darius Robinson, a Clemson commit, is also considering Auburn.
December 10, 2009
Ohio St. is the first to offer talented St. Thomas Aquinas’ (Florida) wide receiver Phillip Dorsett.
December 9, 2009
Columbus H.S. (Miami, FL) running back Jakhari Gore has committed to LSU. Gore is also being recruited by Alabama, Auburn, Rutgers, California and Tennessee.
December 8, 2009
Latwan Anderson and teammate Christian Bryant of Glenville H.S. (Cleveland) will make their way to Ohio St. for an official visit this weekend. Expect a serious squeeze on both prospects for a commitment while they are there. An announcement by one or both of these recruits would not be a total shock. Anderson is past his proposed date for a decision and with the season finally over, there may be the thought of getting recruiting out of the way.
Gulliver Prep H.S. (Miami, Fl) quarterback Michael Strauss has changed his commitment from Tulane to the University of Virginia and new coach Mike London.
Rumor has it that West Virginia is making a play for current Miami Hurricane commit Darion Hall out of Naples H.S. (Florida).
Los Alamitos H.S. (California) defensive back Shaquile Richardson has committed to UCLA. Richardson had offers from virtually ever Pac-10 school.
Raines H.S. (Jacksonville) Sean Tarpley has arranged official visits with South and North Carolina. Tarpley also has offers from Miami, Illinois, West Virginia and Ole Miss.
Tennessee commit Delvin Jones of Palmetto H.S. (Florida) continues looking at schools. He is being recruited by the likes of LSU, Bama, Georgia, Florida, USC and has set up a December 11th visit to Ole Miss.
December 7, 2009
North Broward Prep (Florida) speedster Ethan Grant has decommitted from Oregon and has committed now to the TCU Horned Frogs. Grant is still being recruited by Purdue, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Louisville.
Byrnes H.S. (South Carolina) running back Marcus Lattimore has paired his list down to five. Lattimore is now considering Penn St., Oregon, Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia.