Tag:Norm Chow
Posted on: July 1, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 5:47 pm

Utah, Colorado seeing effects of Pac-12 move

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Utah and Colorado officially make the move to the Pac-12 today but you wouldn't know that if you took a looked at their commitment lists or talk to the players they're recruiting in 2012. Ever since it was announced that they were transitioning West last summer, both programs have been selling recruits on the chance to play for a conference that has plenty of momentum behind it.

With the Pac-12 known for producing quarterbacks, both schools have already snagged verbal commitments from two very good California signal callers in their upcoming classes. San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Travis Wilson has great size at 6-foot-6 and a big arm that should fit in well in offensive coordinator Norm Chow's pro-style attack. Wilson was recently selected to the Elite 11 quarterback competition and held offers from most of the Pac-12, so it's clear the Utes move to the new conference already has them competing for comparable talent.

For Colorado, they've built a smaller recruiting class so far but also managed to get a good quarterback to verbally commit in Shane Dillon out of El Cajon (Calif.). He was offered early in the process by Ohio State and is trained by noted quarterback guru George Whitfield. While Dillon needs to continue to add weight to his frame, he's a good option for a Buffs team that has not had consistent play from the most important position on the field.

Both schools are also keenly aware of their current recruiting pipelines and are not shying away from them. Colorado has always recruited the state of California well and since they also mined Texas for players in the Big 12, it appears they will continue to focus on both states going forward. Looking at their current class, they have two players each from Colorado and Texas to go along with one from California and it wouldn't be all that surprising if their class on Signing Day doesn't have a similar ratio.

Despite having to battle rival BYU for in-state prospects, Utah has the added benefit of selling recruits on playing in a conference, which, obviously, BYU cannot do as an independent. Winning a conference championship is a draw for some kids and one other thing they can sell for a program that has won multiple BCS bowls. Add in the fact that the Pac-12 Network will likely face fewer distribution issues and more access than BYUtv and it could be Utah that ends up with more exposure over the next couple of years.

The one thing that both programs have to do to gain traction and start to get top-tier recruits is win on the football field. If Colorado posts a similar record to what they did under Dan Hawkins (19–39), the benefit of being on television more often will be negated. If Utah can sneak into the Pac-12 title game (given injuries to Arizona State and issues at USC, not out of the realm of possibilities this season), they could see a lot more players considering the school in Salt Lake City. If they can't withstand the week-to-week challenge, the recruits will go elsewhere.

Utimately, it remains to be seen exactly how the two will do in their new conference. The situation is unique at both schools and they each have disadvantages as the "new guys" to the club. Based on the way things are going so far however, both Colorado and Utah are enjoying the benefits of calling themselves Pac-12 schools.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Utes get their man in California quarterback

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Utah isn't officially a member of the Pac-12 yet - that will happen later this summer - but they are certainly starting to recruit like one. The Utes managed to pick up their second commitment for the class of 2012 Wednesday in San Clemente (Calif.) quarterback Tyler Wilson, beating out several other BCS programs for his services.

"It's definitely a strong verbal commitment," Wilson told UteZone.com. "I feel like this is the school I want to go to. I just got to stay calm, take it day by day. I know it's going to be pretty completive in the Pac-12, but I know Utah will do some great things and I hope I can make the team better."

Wilson has already unofficially visited Utah when the team went through spring practices. He had a chance to not only see what the school had to offer but was able to see how the offense fit him under offensive coordinator Norm Chow and receivers coach Aaron Roderick.

"Utah just stuck in my mind," he said. "I felt good that once I left there I knew I would have a lot of fun there and be comfortable, so I knew it was a good fit."

The 6-foot-6, 210 pound Wilson will head to Berkeley on Friday to compete in the regional Elite 11 camp held at Cal. He threw for 2,031 yards and 12 touchdowns last year as a junior and held offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Washington among others.

Utah did not sign a quarterback last year and the attractive depth chart was a factor in Wilson's decision.

Posted on: April 10, 2011 12:58 am
Edited on: April 10, 2011 1:01 am

Dewey shines at TCU Elite 11

Posted by Bryan Fischer

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Some of the top quarterbacks from Texas and the Midwest descended upon TCU's campus for the second stop in the 2011 edition of the Elite 11 Regional Quarterback Camp Saturday afternoon.

Although several quarterbacks impressed on a slightly windy but otherwise picturesque spring day, Austin (Texas) quarterback Preston Dewey threw a tight spiral and displayed a strong and accurate arm to take home the Golden Gun Award as the top signal caller at the camp.

"It felt really good, all the hard work I've been doing paid off today," Dewey said. "I just came out here to do what I can do and show everybody that I can play at the next level."

Dewey might have been the best quarterback at either Elite 11 camp this year in terms of being a complete player. He had good footwork and never got off balance too much when throwing. He held the ball tight and has a good release that gets the ball to where he wants it quickly. Dewey has a very good arm that can make all the throws.

The 6-foot-3, 210 pound quarterback is as intriguing off the field as he is on it. Previously at Austin-area powerhouse Westlake High, Dewey transferred to local private school St. Andrew's Episcopal. Taking advantage of transfer regulations, he reclassified to the class of 2012, giving him an extra year of high school.

"A couple people have done it and it's not real common," he said. "Brock Mansion did it at Cal and T.J. Millweard did it at (private Fort Worth school) All Saints. I checked out all the NCAA stuff and if I can be eligible and I can. There's no problem with that. I want to be where I am right now and I want to be recruited by who I am right now instead of going to a smaller school or walking-on."

The 18-year-old Dewey is using the extra time at the prep level to his advantage. Not only did the transfer allow him to start right away at quarterback, it also meant that he could have more time learning from St. Andrew's head coach and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Ty Detmer.

"It's awesome," Dewey said. "With his background, he has all the knowledge in the world. He's helped me out a ton. I think I've learned more about football this past year than I have my entire life just because of everything he knows about the game. I couldn't have asked for a better coach."

As a result of a strong "junior" season last year under Detmer, Dewey is seeing his recruiting picking up. He is up to four scholarship offers, including two from the Pac-12.

"UCLA I actually had never talked to (until recently)," he said. "I was in school and my dad texted me that UCLA just offered. I was like, 'Are you serious?' That was my first big offer.

"Utah and Wyoming both sent me an email and said call them. So I did and they both offered me on the same night. It's pretty exciting knowing Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel, guys who have been around the game and know what they're looking for in a quarterback, have offered me a scholarship. It's humbling and gives me a lot of confidence."

Because his offers are from schools located around the country, Dewey realizes he will probably be leaving the state to play college football. He was hoping to play for Texas A&M, where his father played football, but the Aggies already have a quarterback for the class of 2012 in San Antonio (Texas) signal caller Trevor Knight. Texas showed some interest but backed off after picking up a commitment from Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback Connor Brewer.

"I still want to go to a big school that can compete for a national championship," Dewey said. "I've kind of accepted the fact that I'm going to have to go out of the state and pretty far from home. I really don't have a problem with it."

Dewey says he would like to make a commitment at the end of the summer or right before the start of the season. He's already taken unofficial visits to several schools, including Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Clemson and South Carolina.

Tech commit Nicholas looks sharp

Abilene (Texas) quarterback Clayton Nicholas was one of the few campers in attendance who actually had already committed to a school. A Texas Tech pledge, he preformed well throughout the session and displayed a strong arm but wasn't perfect as he readily admitted.

"I did alright, I missed a throw here or there but you've got to learn from it," Nicholas. "You've got to get the ball downfield and do what you have to do."

The 6-foot-3, 200 pound Nicholas had a very quick drop back and delivery but tended to drop his arm angle at times. He needs to work on throwing over the top a bit more which will should translate into improved accuracy for his otherwise strong arm. Nicholas understood that the camp was also an opportunity to work on things mentally in order to improve as a quarterback.

"I really come out here to work on leadership, command, knowing what all the players are doing what the route is, everything," he said. "All the things an Elite 11 quarterback would work on."

While it is almost common place for verbal commitments to continue to look around as part of the recruiting process leading up to Signing Day, Nicholas seems to be sold on the Red Raiders and firmly committed.

"I am solid with them," Nicholas said. "They're the only school really talking with me and they're the only school I'm looking at. It's a good school for me and they like to throw it around which is what I'm made for.

"All of the offensive coaches have been really good to me."

Nicholas was unsure if he was going to show up Sunday for the TCU Nike Camp but if he did, he might do a little recruiting for the Red Raiders.

Other quarterbacks of note

Underclassmen who made an impression at the event were 2013 quarterback Kenny Hill of nearby powerhouse Southlake Carroll High and 2014 quarterback Jerrod Heard. Seniors-to-be Brady Burgin of Highland Park (Texas), Houston (Texas) quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe and Allen (Texas) quarterback Alec Morris also stood out. Grand Prairie (Texas) quarterback Jared Johnson also looked good and was very accurate but will likely be recruited as an athlete due to his height (about 5-foot-10). Virginia Tech commit and local quarterback T.J. Millweard did not show up.

Posted on: January 26, 2011 9:31 am

1/26 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One week until Signing Day. A week and a half before most recruitniks get something resembling sleep.

- Miami-area linebacker Arrington Jenkins is headed to Florida State. Jenkins cousin is current FSU defensive tackle Jacobi McDaniel.

- Looking back and comparing Washington’s recruiting class to past classes.

- Utah, including new offensive coordinator Norm Chow, had an in-home visit with wide out Devin Lucien – who is also a UCLA target.

- Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, one of the top wide receivers in the class of 2011, is trying to qualify for Oklahoma academically.

- Miami is hot on the heels for quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who is likely on the top of their board.

- If Ohio State grabs another commitment, they may have to do some scholarship maneuvering in order to make it work. And they will get at least one other commitment.

- The 10 fastest recruits in the class of 2011? The 10 fastest recruits in the class of 2011.

Posted on: January 15, 2011 6:41 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 1:28 pm

Star-studded weekend for Los Angeles schools

Posted by Bryan Fischer 

The high in Los Angeles was a toasty 80 degrees Saturday afternoon. With weather like that, it’s easy to see why millions live there and millions more come to visit every year. It’s also easy to see why USC and UCLA are hosting their biggest recruiting weekend of the year. Both schools are bringing in a star-studded list of recruits from all over the country, both committed and uncommitted. 

USC commitments such as wide receiver George Farmer, running back De’Anthony Thomas, defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, defensive ends Greg Townsend Jr. and Steve Dillon, guard Marcus Martin and linebacker Kent Turene are in for their official visits. Although this is not Turene’s (from Sunrise, FL) first visit to campus, it should go a long way in keeping his commitment firm after taking visits to Nebraska and Tennessee. 

Head coach Lane Kiffin and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron are looking to grab some of the uncommitted prospects in for a visit such as tight end Junior Pomee, athlete Marqise Lee, tackles Cyrus Hobbi and Aundrey Walker, linebacker Lamar Dawson, running back Buck Allen and safeties Marcus Roberson and Enrique Florence. Of that group, Pomee, Lee and Hobbi are the best bets to eventually sign with USC but none are sure things. Keep an eye out for Utah cornerback commit Ryan Henderson to possibility put on the Trojans hat as well. Not hurting the Trojans’ cause, the recruits will be staying at the posh J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live a few miles from campus. 

UCLA will have to overcome coaching uncertainty with their high profile list of visitors. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow is working out the details with the school for his departure to Utah and his replacement, former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, hasn’t officially come on board so he can’t recruit this weekend. Head coach Rick Neuheisel still hasn’t hired a defensive coordinator either. 

The remaining coaching staff will look to shore up the commitments of linemen Jake Brendel, Torian White and Ben Wysocki and linebacker Ryan Hofmeister. One of the top defensive ends in the nation, Jermauria Rasco is also coming into visit but it is highly unlikely that he picks the Bruins. Several other recruits who are committed elsewhere or uncommitted are defensive tackle Danny Shelton, tight end Conor McDermott, cornerback Stefan McClure, receiver Devin Lucien, defensive end Puka Lopa and tackle Fou Fonoti. Look for the Bruins to land one or two off this list despite the coaching turnover. 

For all of the athletes on their official visit, especially the ones from out of state, this isn’t a bad weekend to visit either school at all.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 2:20 pm

Thursday coaching changes' effect on recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer 

Thursday afternoon saw several well-known names in the college coaching world head to the post office for a change of address form. Despite it being less than three weeks until Signing Day, most of these moves don’t overtly affect the recruiting for each particular school.

Stanford hires David Shaw as head coach 

This comes as no surprise to those involved in the Stanford program. Shaw is an alumnus and played under Denny Green and Bill Walsh while on the Farm. In addition to years of NFL experience as an assistant coach, Shaw has done well at San Diego and Stanford. With Andrew Luck in the fold already, Shaw will look to hold together a promising Top 20 recruiting class and it all starts this weekend when some 20 recruits will be on campus for a visit. After talking with several former Stanford players, Shaw should be better received while recruiting and in the locker room than Jim Harbaugh. Stanford verbal commitment Wayne Lyons has already tweeted that he likes the move.

Norm Chow moves from UCLA to Utah 

It seems like Chow’s dream of landing a head coaching job is just about over with his latest move. UCLA’s move to the Pistol offense didn’t have the desired effect in the wins department this year but Chow’s reputation will always proceed him after working with Phillip Rivers, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinert. Chow isn’t known to pound the recruiting trail too much but as a former assistant at BYU and a player at Utah, he should be another selling point for the Utes as they join the Pac-12. 

Seahawks’ Jedd Fisch heads to Miami as offensive coordinator

Although Fisch has been in the NFL nine of the past 10 years, he has experience on the college level as a graduate assistant under Steve Spurrier at Florida and a one year stint as offensive coordinator at Minnesota. He should mesh well with Brennan Carroll, the recently hired recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, as both are very energetic coaches. While he’s not the big name like Charlie Weis is as at Florida and he will still be coaching the Seahawks until they’re knocked out of the playoffs, the ties to the state of Florida as an assistant and player should help out on the recruiting trail. 

Gary Crowton leaves LSU for Maryland 

It would be hard to call this move a shock. Although Les Miles is deeply loyal to Crowton, the calls for his head were simply too numerous to ignore for Crowton to not get the hint to look for a job elsewhere. Crowton was far from a big influence on LSU’s recruiting efforts – running backs coach Frank Wilson does a lot of the work on the staff – so this move may be a net gain for the Tigers. It will be interesting to see who Miles will bring in but whoever it is, they should improve upon an offense that had just seven passing touchdowns in the regular season despite a wealth of four- and five-star talent. As for Maryland, we can just mark the Randy Edsall-Crowton combo down as a “we’ll see.”
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