Tag:Auburn
Posted on: September 16, 2011 12:54 pm
 

Vanderbilt reaches into Alabama for DL

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Vanderbilt has been on quite the roll recently, not only posting a 2-0 record but grabbing a commitment from a top 25 wide receiver recently. James Franklin's staff kept things rolling this week, going into Opelika (Ala.) to grab a commitment from defensive end Torey Agee on Wednesday.

"I called up the coaches yesterday and told them Vandy was the school I want to be at," Agee told Rivals Thursday night.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder held offers from Arkansas State, Duke, Memphis, Southern Miss and Stanford but went with Vandy due to their academics and the fact that the program was on the rise under their new head coach.

Agee's father, Tommie Agee, played running back at Auburn next to Heisman winner Bo Jackson and in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.

The younger Agee racked up 29 tackles and two sacks in an injury shortened junior year. He is the 17th commitment for the Commodores' in the class of 2012.

"His coach calls him a monster who is hard to block and I concur," Maxpreps analyst Tom Lemming said. "His film shows him disrupting the opposition's backfield more times than not. Plays with good pad level, his motor is always going, and he's been blessed with a explosive first step."
Posted on: September 13, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Jordan Watkins picks Stanford over Georgia

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ever since former head coach Jim Harbaugh turned around the Stanford program, the Cardinal has started to make waves nationally with their recruiting. The school made a big splash Tuesday morning, as David Shaw added another playmaker from the southeast with College Park (Ga.) lineman Jordan Watkins verbally committing over in-state school Georgia.

“I was thinking Sunday night that I know who my top school is, I know where I am going, so why wait any longer to commit," Watkins told Scout. "I decided the then that I was going to go ahead and commit to Stanford."

A monster presence in the middle at 6-foot-4, 270-pounds, Watkins also held offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and plenty of other top programs around the country. The four-star prospect is ranked 80th overall in the class of 2012 but found the combination of academics and athletics in Palo Alto to be the best choice for him.

“I am very happy to be finished with the recruiting process," he said. "I visited out there back in July and I loved it. They have great academics, but they have more than that. I like where the football program is going and when I was out there, it just felt right. It was an automatic fit for me."

Watkins finished up his junior season with 61 tackles and five sacks while playing on both sides of the ball. Listed as the sixth-best interior lineman in the country by Maxpreps, the Cardinal is getting a good one from the South.

"He gets off the ball quickly, shows good pass rush moves, and a relentless style of play," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He has proven to be an exceptional short area run defender at the point of attack, he consistently beats blockers, and shows decent strength and a low base, which allows him to hold his ground."

Stanford now has 13 commitments for the class of 2012 from nine different states.


Posted on: September 12, 2011 1:27 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:47 pm
 

Surveying the Field: Michigan's big night

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Get kids on campus.

Visits, whether they be of the unofficial or the official variety, are the single biggest recruiting tool coaching staffs have and their best opportunity to leave a lasting impression on recruits. A big win at a full stadium while players are lined up on the sideline? Nothing goes further in terms of moving one school up to the top of the list or gathering a commit.

Brady Hoke had turned around Michigan's fortunes on the recruiting trail before even coaching a game in Ann Arbor, pulling in the top recruiting class in the nation before the season started. Following the team's last second win against Notre Dame Saturday in the first ever night game at home, Hoke made an even louder statement to the nation and, most importantly for his future, to recruits.

When Rich Rodriguez took over the program, one of the first things he tried to do was get a night game scheduled against a big name opponent. Why? It was all about recruiting and bringing in some big names for recruiting purposes. Though RichRod is no longer the head coach, his mission was certainly accomplished and Hoke will be the one to taste the fruits of his labor.

The list of visitors at the Big House this weekend was impressive and will be hard to top by any school this year. Five star offensive tackle Zach Banner, 2013 tackle Steven Elmer, 2013 running back Berkley Edwards (younger brother of Braylon Edwards), former USC commit Jordan Payton and 2013 receiver Laquon Treadwell were among the notable names in town for the game. Current UM commits Pharaoh Brown, Jeremy Clark, Allen Gant, Matt Godin, Royce Jenkins-Stone, Erik Magnuson, Mario Ojemudia, Terry Richardson and others were in attendance as well.

With the school's current recruiting class sitting at 23, Michigan is nearly finished with the class of 2012. As a result, the big win under the lights wasn't so much about this year but next. Following the game, 2013 safety Dymonte Thomas pulled the trigger and committed and he probably won't be the last to commit in the near future either.

Given that fellow Big Ten recruiting powerhouse Ohio State is dealing with an interim head coach and faces possible NCAA sanctions, Michigan is not only the class of the conference for the next couple of years but they appear to be back as a national power. The Midwest hasn't had the depth of previous years in terms of talent but Hoke has grabbed the best of the best and is looking to cherry-pick some of the best players in the West. His staff has several ties out there having coached at San Diego State and with the program rolling so far in 2011, don't be surprised to see more and more kids nationally taking visits to Michigan in the near future. Given the success of the game this past weekend, look for Michigan to continue to host a night game at least once a year going forward.
 
Following the game, 2013 quarterback Shane Morris tweeted Ann Arbor was the place to be. Based on the visitor list, it certainly was.
 
Don Bosco routs California's Mission Viejo

MaxPreps Recap
The game of the week as far as high schools go was probably the cross-country showdown between top ranked Don Bosco Prep and California powerhouse and 23rd-ranked Mission Viejo. One would expect a team as well coached as the Diablos to be pretty competitive despite going up against superior competition but they were blown off the field by Don Bosco. Quarterback Alex Bridgeford, a top Southern California quarterback, was sacked six times and threw four interceptions. Boston College commit Michael Strizak had two sacks by himself as the team applied pressure all night that Mission Viejo just couldn't handle.

It wasn't just Bridgeford that had trouble getting going against a nasty defense either. USC-bound running back Jahleel Pinner, a good-sized back who has no trouble running down hill, was limited to 47 yards on 18 carries. Considering the team has at least three FBS-caliber offensive linemen on the team, it was a bit surprising there were so many problems up front.

The Mission defense didn't help out at all during the game either, allowing Don Bosco running back John Wilkins to rush for 114 yards and two scores. Featuring two Big East commits, an ACC-bound linebacker and stud defensive end Darius Hamilton, this is a talented team that earned their ranking. Several players have mentioned competing for a mythical national championship this year and, based on the start of their season, might be well on their way to accomplishing the goal.

Gray runs into the record books

Ever since taking over as the primary rusher for Aledo (Texas), Johnathan Gray has been scoring touchdowns and racking up the yards at a record pace. The Texas commit set an impressive record on Friday and passed some pretty good players while doing so. Gray scored four times as his team fell to 4A powerhouse Lake Travis but that was still good enough to become the state's all-time leader in touchdowns scored with 148 over his career.

It's an impressive list of names he climbed over to take the record. Traylon Shead of Cayuga (Texas) was the previous record holder with 146. Former Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers had 136 touchdowns in high school. Cedric Benson and legend Kenneth Hall of Sugar Land (Texas) both had 127. Considering that Gray still has most of his season and a playoff run ahead of him, he should extend the record to where it won't be broken in a long time.

Allen tops Longview

Staying in the Lone Star State, huge win for Allen over one of the state's best teams in Longview. The Eagles are led on offense by Alabama-bound quarterback Alec Morris and Missouri commit Jonathan Williams, who both helped the team roll 42-23 on Friday. Morris threw for five touchdowns and the big signal caller is looking at making a big jump in the national rankings based on how he's performed during the summer camp circuit and into his senior year.

Big game Brian

Auburn commit Jovon Robinson and Vanderbilt-bound Brian Kimbrow are good friends and some of the top players in the state of Tennessee. The two played each other on Friday and Kimbrow put on a show, rushing for 367 yards and five (count 'em, five) touchdowns. Amazingly, he has over 1,100 yards through four games.

Video(s) of the week

There were so many good plays this week in high school games across the country that I had to select two videos. The first comes from Chatham (N.J.) as a broken play turns into fumble, pass and eventual 73 yard touchdown.


Florida running back commitment Mike Davis rushed for over 200 yards against Tifton County but this was the best run he had bar none.



Recruiting Roundup

- Several top prospects hold the key to winning the SEC recruiting battle.

Oklahoma State is making recruiting inroads into the Tulsa area.

Across the state, Oklahoma is developing a pipeline from Euless (Texas) Trinity High.

The Alabama game made for an epic recruiting weekend for Penn State even though the Nittany Lions fell short.

2013 receiver Ahmad Fulwood loved his visit to Florida last week.

TCU commit Tyler Matthews pulled out a win and threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns over the weekend.

Florida State and Miami coaches were out at the Miramar-Blanche Ely high school game to watch several top recruits.

Great profile of quarterback Luke Falk, who has Stanford, Arizona State and Utah at the top of his list.


Posted on: September 9, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Combs drawing attention, set for Lemming Report

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Look up and down the top 100 lists for the class of 2012 and a few people out there might spot a famous last name or two among the bunch.

Top quarterback and Indiana pledge Gunner Kiel's a recognizable name to Notre Dame fans who saw his uncle, Blair, play for the Irish. Auburn commit Zeke Pike's dad Mark played several years in the NFL. Mario Edwards Jr. is headed to Florida State because his father starred there under Bobby Bowden.

As much as those players have made a name for themselves on the football field, there's another 2012 recruit who is hoping more and more coaches are noticing him only for his play. If you're wondering where you might have heard of New Rochelle (N.Y.) cornerback Justin Combs, chances are you were likely thinking of his father, Sean "Diddy" Combs. Slowly but surely however, several FBS programs are coming around to see him as a legitimate defensive back prospect at the next level.

UCLA is the most recent scholarship offer for the younger Combs after he took a trip West to unofficially visit the Bruins during a pre-season scrimmage. Virginia, Illinois, Wyoming, Iowa and West Virginia are other programs to extend an offer with several other schools showing legitimate interest depending on how he plays his senior year.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder performed well for the 7-on-7 travel team "Goon Squad" over the summer and was a top performer at the Badger Sports national tournament. Combs was also recently invited to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in January and joins his friend and top 100 linebacker Deaysean Rippy in the game. He'll be in-studio with his rap mogul father on the Lemming Report on CBS Sports Network Friday at 7 PM ET to discuss the latest with his recruitment and where he can see himself playing.

Click here for an excerpt from the interview. Combs' highlights from last season are below. 



Posted on: September 5, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Surveying the Field on September 5

Posted by Bryan Fischer

What a great weekend of football. The college game is back and not only that, we've had five glorious days of it.

In what will be a regular feature called Surveying the Field, I'll be taking a look at the week that was in college football and in high school football to get everybody caught up on the star players, big plays and great wins that happened over the weekend.

The curious case of Gehrig Dieter

If I gave you three guesses as to who was the nation's best wide receiver through the first couple of weeks of the high school season, chances are you would never guess South Bend (Ind.) wide-out Gehrig Dieter.

You likely heard his name this week however, after he racked up 447 yards receiving to set an Indiana and national high school record. Yes, you read that right, 447 yards.

"I just broke the national record for yards in a game. DOUBLE AND TRIPLE TEAMED the entire game. 447 yards and 4 TDs #humbled," he tweeted after the game.

The amazing accomplishment gives Dieter an impressive 1,158 receiving yards on the year through three games. How many players would be thrilled to get that in an entire season?

Curiously, Dieter's recruitment has tracked with his eye-popping stats. Prior to this weekend he held offers from Akron, Ball State, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, SMU, Toledo and Western Michigan. Yep, not a single BCS offer.

That should change shortly I'm guessing.

"A very good athlete, he can track the deep ball over his head and if it's within reach he'll catch it. He also shows very good moves after the catch," CBS/MaxPreps analyst Tom Lemming wrote of Dieter.

Having seen Dieter in action during a 7-on-7 tournament over the summer, I was shocked that schools were not showing much interest. As Lemming wrote, he certainly is a great athlete and has the size and speed to be a big contributor for a good program in the future. My guess is he'll wind up in the Big Ten and be a better version of Dane Sanzenbacher at Ohio State.

Diggs helps Good Counsel top Manatee

It was an impressive showing by Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel to beat Manatee (Fla.) on Saturday. The game was a little sloppy but the Falcons still managed to beat a solid team with playmakers on defense like Clinton Heaven and Darius White.

No surprise to see athlete Stefon Diggs power Good Counsel to victory with two touchdowns, including the game winning score in double overtime. Diggs finished the day with six catches for 132 yards and showed why he excels in getting behind the defense. He's one of the fastest players in the country and is ranked 14th overall in the class of 2012.

“There was a lot of speed on both sides of the ball," Diggs told the Maryland Gazette. “Their defense was fast; faster than what we’re used to."

Diggs is being recruited as a wide receiver and defensive back. Having seen him in action, he'd be a great fit either way but he's such a dynamic playmaker it will be hard to put him at corner. He's narrowed his list down to about 10 schools and plans to commit at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He hasn't selected where he'll take all five of his official visits to but Alabama, Cal, Florida State, Maryland and Virginia Tech are all serious players.

Execution powers Bellvue and De La Salle

California was host to some great high school games this weekend between several top 25 teams this weekend.

Just as Boise State used execution and sound defense to beat a Georgia team with superior athletes on Saturday, Bellvue (Wash.) managed to simply out work a talented Oaks Christian (Calif.) team. According to MaxPreps' Mitch Stephens, don't be surprised if Bellvue's talented sophomore running back Bishard Baker starts drawing attention from Pac-12 schools. Defensive back Tyler Hasty also starred with two interceptions and should see several schools show more interest as a result.

On the Oaks Christian side, their two best players have been receiving plenty of attention from schools on the West Coast. Cornerback Ishmael Adams is close to making a decision and it's pretty clear he's not going too far from home. UCLA seems to be the leader in the club house at this point (he visited there unofficially two weeks ago), but Cal, Colorado and Arizona State are pushing hard for his services. Notre Dame is also in the mix.

His teammate, wide receiver Jordan Payton, seems to be intent on leaving the area however. He had a solid game against Bellvue with nine catches for 103 yards and played well on defense. The USC de-commit will be one of several top 100 players headed to Michigan to see their night game against Notre Dame and both teams are in the running for his verbal commitment. At this point it seems like Michigan and Cal are in the lead but don't be surprised if Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Nebraska stay in the race for Payton's signature.

In a big match up between two top California teams, Wisconsin commit Bart Houston managed to give De La Salle a thrilling victory to edge Bellarmine on Saturday. Amazingly, both teams missed extra points late but the third-ranked Spartans still managed to come out on top after Houston sneaked across the goal line for a touchdown.

While Houston is solidly committed to the Badgers, the recruiting attention on the team centers on junior linebacker Michael Hutchings. Playing alongside Cal commit Michael Barton, De La Salle has a fantastic linebacking corps and Hutchings is the player that has scouts most excited for what he can do at the next level. Long thought to a USC lean, he recently came out and said that UCLA and Cal were really recruiting him heavily.

"I think all three in-state schools are about equal," Hutchings told Rivals. "Those are the three teams to beat right now."

With a good number of Spartans already committed to major FBS schools, keeping track of who the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder has at the top of the list should be fun over the next year or more.

Video of the day

Check out this crazy punt return by Duluth (Ga.) athlete Myles Campbell and note the big hit that springs him free.


Recruiting Roundup

- Top recruit Dorial Green-Beckham won't reveal his list of schools but he is cutting it down to five.

- The Onion details new NCAA rules that have reduced recruiting to winks and eyebrow raises.

- Great story on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez' ties to his high school and Mission Viejo head coach Bob Johnson.

Texas high school football is big time and now it's a part of Oregon.

Defensive end Jordan Jenkins has Alabama as his leader, Florida in second and Auburn in third. Tigers head coach Gene Chizik made a visit to see Jenkins this week.

USC commit Darreus Rogers had a big game as Carson High beat Mater Dei.

Running back Keith Marshall, one of the top players in the country, defended Georgia coach Mark Richt after their loss to Boise State.

Receiver Corey Jones made a commitment to Pitt over the weekend.

Keep an eye on

Denton Guyer (Texas) vs. Cedar Hill (Texas), 9 ET on September 5

These two teams play in the annual Herbstriet Classic at Cowboys Stadium and it should be a rematch after Cedar Hill edged Guyer 42-41 last year in the event before Guyer got revenge in the state playoffs later that season. Cedar Hill already has a loss on their record after falling to the top team in the state, Allen, last week 28-13. They'll need to get the offense going and tighten their pass defense if they want to compete with Denton. Sophomore Jerrod Heard is the quarterback for Guyer and he showed some good things in the team's win against Garland last week. Should be a great game between two of Texas' top high school teams.

Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Former Auburn commit now rolls with Alabama

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The Iron Bowl rivalry is as heated as they come and it is 24/7/365 in the state of Alabama even if the teams only play one Saturday a year in football. One reason? Both Auburn and Alabama battle over several of the same recruits and one of those Prichard (Ala.) defensive tackle Darius Philon.

The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder had been committed to the Tigers since late May but re-opened his recruitment in early August. Enter Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, who pushed hard to land his verbal pledge and did so Thursday morning.

"Basically it's just where I really wanted to play at," Philon told TideSports.com. "I always watched 'Bama. I went up (there a lot). Basically, that's where I'm familiar with. I'm familiar with the campus, familiar with the coaches. I just love to put on the crimson."

In addition to both in-state powers, Kentucky, Mississippi State and others extended Philon a scholarship offer. At the end of the day however, he felt Alabama was the place for him given the opportunity to play all along the defensive line.

"I just want to play football," he said. "Basically I'll be playing all across the front line from nose to end. It really don't matter as long as I get playing time. I like end, but I'll play nose if I have to. I like using my speed."

Philon is the 18th commitment for Alabama's class of 2012. He had an impressive junior year with 93 tackles and nine sacks.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Top 25 recruiting classes & the recruiting title

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Senior Writer Dennis Dodd tackled the difficult task of putting together the CBSSports.com preseason top 25. One of the common themes is that the national champ usually has to come from behind in the polls. Taking a look at the recruiting rankings, it's usually the opposite. Sure there are the Signing Day closers, such at USC or Florida, but the Alabama's, Texas' and Florida State's of the world put together a good class early and head to February with a good idea of who they're signing while holding out hope a top guy will put on their hat late in the process.

Here's a breakdown of the current MaxPreps Top 25 recruiting rankings and a little bit of insight as to who will eventually be declared recruiting national champion.

The favorites

1. Michigan (top recruit: #33 Terry Richardson)

2. Texas (#3 Cayleb Jones)

3. Florida (#12 D.J. Humphries)

4. Florida State (#5 Mario Edwards)

6. Alabama (#19 Geno Smith)

One Big Ten team, one Big 12 team, two SEC teams and the ACC banner-carrier are the favorites to take home the mythical February title. It's no surprise to see some of the names on this list but newcomer Michigan is one considering Brady Hoke has yet to coach a game. It's not a deep year for Midwest talent but the Wolverines have certainly grabbed the creme of the crop and as a result sit in the pole position past the halfway point.

The contenders

5. Miami (#77 Jelani Hamilton)

7. Texas A&M (#51 Trey Williams)

9. Auburn (#30 Zeke Pike)

10. LSU (#58 Avery Johnson)

11. Virginia Tech (Donaldven Manning)

15. Clemson (#16 Travis Blanks)

18. Notre Dame (#13 Jarron Jones)

The next group of teams has an outside shot of moving up into the top five and challenging for the title with a strong close. Miami is in a difficult position in that they have a strong class filled with local talent but given the NCAA investigation swirling around the program, no one knows how long Al Golden can keep things up. With recent news that the Aggies would be moving to the SEC, one figures they could see a bounce and grab one or two top prospects by selling playing time in the nation's best football conference. Auburn has done well again this year and is seeing a championship bounce with their current group and could see other prospects come around to playing on the Plains. LSU and Virginia Tech have put together under the radar classes but they're both strong enough to put them in position to move up with a top 100 recruit committing. Clemson and Notre Dame both have small classes but have shown they can get things done between now and players putting pen to paper.

The pretenders

8. Virginia (#50 Michael Moore)

12. Penn State (#36 J.J. Denman)

13. South Carolina (#20 Shaq Roland)

14. Arizona State (#45 Evan Goodman)

16. Oklahoma (#47 Durron Neal)

This group of teams look like they can make a strong push to finish in the top five but it will be a steep up hill battle. Virginia is ranked highly due to the numbers they have and when others catch up in that department, they'll slide back down to the middle of the pack. Penn State has been solid but not spectacular in a good year for Pennsylvania talent. South Carolina is comfortable with their class but likely won't grab a top 10 player to push them up and Arizona State will likely not finish as the top Pac-12 class at the end of the day. Oklahoma is limited in terms of numbers this year and while they might sneak in the top group, it will be hard to go much further.

No chance

17. Cincinnati (#72 Bennie Coney)

19. Missouri (#91 Jonathan Williams)

20. Michigan State (#63 Sevon Pittman)

21. Wisconsin (#67 Dan Voltz)

22. Indiana (#2 Gunner Kiel)

23. Rutgers (#71 Leonte Caroo)

24. Washington (#70 Cyler Miles)

25. West Virginia (Brandon Napoleon)

It's a nice year for this group of team but it will be tough for any of these schools to move above 15 in the rankings. Likewise, it might be tough for Indiana, Rutgers, Wisconsin and Michigan State to stay in the top 25 as other schools start filling out their class with 20 or more recruits.


Posted on: August 29, 2011 2:16 pm
 

Jevon Kearse's nephew commits to Auburn

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Former NFL Pro Bowler Jevon Kearse was nicknamed "The Freak" thanks to his size and speed coming off the edge at Florida in the mid-90's. While he'll always be a Gator, he might have to start pulling for Auburn when the two schools are not playing each other after his nephew, Fort Myers (Fla.) athlete Jayron Kearse, committed to the Tigers on Sunday.

"I talked to Coach (Gene) Chizik and told him I am going to be a Tiger," Kearse told AuburnSports.com. "I told him I already knew where I wanted to go to college so I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way. I knew I wanted to be an Auburn Tiger and I said, 'Why not just go ahead and do it.'"

The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder is a class of 2013 athlete and will likely head to the Plains as a wide receiver. Kearse held offers from Clemson, West Virginia and UCF among others but selected Auburn with the backing of a supportive uncle.

"He told me it was my decision," said Jayron. "He is really supportive of my decision. He told me he wouldn't have a problem with whatever school I chose to go to."

The younger Kearse rushed for 1,049 yards and 18 total touchdowns last season as a sophomore quarterback. He is Auburn's third commitment for the class of 2013 and first on the offensive side of the ball.



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