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Tag:Sony Michel
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: November 4, 2011 5:49 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 5:52 pm
 

Impressive visitor list in Tuscaloosa for LSU-ALA



Posted by Bryan Fischer

Just a few weeks ago, recruitniks were impressed with the quality and quantity of high level recruits that were in South Bend for the USC-Notre Dame game. Several people termed it Brian Kelly's 'Super Bowl.'

This Saturday is college football's actual Recruiting Super Bowl (well, not actual Super Bowl but as close as one gets in the regular season). On the sidelines, a truly star-studded cast, topping the century mark in terms of number of official and unofficial visitors. Though Nick Saban and his staff will no doubt be occupied with the team in purple and gold, they'll be spending some time hosting the biggest recruiting weekend Tuscaloosa has seen in years.

The biggest visitor coming in is five-star safety Landon Collins. Both LSU and Alabama are battling for his services but it will be tough to lure him out-of-state. A big win over the Tigers and an impressive visit however, might be enough to leave a lasting impression that will pay off on Signing Day. Collins isn't the only five-star or big name headed in for the game though, as illustrated by the partial list below.

Official visitors

DT/OT Arik Armstead
WR Amari Cooper, Alabama commit
DB Landon Collins
LB Noor Davis, Stanford commit
DB Travell Dixon, JUCO
DT Eddie Godlman
DE Jordan Jenkins
OT Avery Young

Unofficial visitors

LB Kwon Alexander
DE Torshiro Davis, LSU commit
DE Denzel Devall
DB Trae Elston
DT Quay Evans
TE Kurt Freitag
DT Issac Gross, Ole Miss commit
OT Brandon Hill
QB Jeremy Liggins
RB Barry Sanders Jr.
DT Justin Shanks, Florida State commit
DB Dwayne Thomas, LSU commit
DT Dalvin Tomlinson
DL Channing Ward
DE Jamichael Winston, Arkansas commit
DB P.J. Williams, Florida State commit
QB Jameis Winston, Florida State commit
RB T.J. Yeldon, Auburn commit

Alabama commitments

DE Ryan Anderson
DT Dakota Ball
WR Chris Black
RB Kenyan Drake
WR Casey Gladney
OL Brandon Greene
K Adam Griffith
OL Caleb Gulledge
LB Tyler Hayes
DT Darren Lake
LB Dillon Lee
QB Alec Morris
DT Darius Philon
LB Reggie Ragland
DB Geno Smith
ATH Justin Thomas
DB Eddie Williams

2013 Recruits:

OL Bradley Bozeman, Alabama commit
DB Cameron Burrows
LB Reginald Carter
DB Antonio Conner
LB Rueben Foster, Alabama commit
RB Derrick Henry, Georgia commit
TE O.J. Howard, Alabama commit
DL Dee Liner, Auburn commit
QB Johnathon McCrary
DE Robert Nkemdiche
OL Lovell Peterson
WR Earnest Robinson
RB Kelvin Taylor (Alabama-Florida battle)
DB Tramel Terry
RB Altee Tenpenny

2014 Recruits:

RB Sony Michel
WR Bo Scarborough
LB Tre Williams
DE Gerald Willis



Posted on: March 15, 2011 11:21 am
 

USF Badger Sports 7-on-7 Top Players

Posted by Bryan Fischer
Another week, another Badger Sports Elite 7-on-7 in the books. As always, the Florida event brings some of the top talent from the state and surrounding areas and is one of the better 7-on-7 events in the country. Here are some of the players who stood out at the USF Badger Sports 7-on-7

Alton 'Pig' Howard - 5-foot-9, 180 pound running back, Orlando, Fla.

Howard not only had one of the best nicknames at the event (second only to team Child Please), but he was one of the top running backs as well. Very solidly built, he was extremely dangerous once he reached the open field. Comfortable lining up in the slot or in the backfield, Howard had very soft hands and was very focused on the ball when it was thrown his way. His acceleration was off the charts and he is a great multi-purpose back in that he can run down hill and swing out of the backfield to catch passes.

Sean Price - 6-foot-4, 210 pound tight end, Citra, Fla.

Price was probably the top overall playmaker at the event, catching everything thrown his way. He is a bit on the skinny side but has an excellent frame and should be able to add weight with ease. A great leaper, he made a spectacular one-handed catch near the goal line and really attacks the ball and snatches it out of the air. He looks like one of the top tight ends in the state if not the top tight end. With his frame and quickness, he would also make for a pretty good linebacker as well.

Kent Taylor - 6-foot-5, 225 pound tight end, Land O' Lakes, Fla.

Taylor was easy to pick out from a crowd and despite his size, displayed good speed running around the field. He has solid hands made several great plays on jump balls near the end zone. With a good initial burst, Taylor did a good job getting off the line and performed well all tournament as a big, go-to receiver.

Jordan Diggs - 6-foot-2, 200 pound safety, Fort Meyers, Fla.

One of the most impressive looking safeties on the field, Diggs has great size and looks like he could be playing college football already. He was like a hawk roaming around the secondary and didn't let much get through in the passing game. Diggs is probably quicker than he is fast but he does have goot speed and has no problem swatting balls away from receivers. The best part about his game was him talking to younger players in the secondary about what to look for and adjusting the defense to what the offense was doing.

Nelson Agholor - 6-foot-1, 180 pound wide receiver/safety, Tampa, Fla.

Easily one of the top players at the camp, Agholor impressed on both sides of the ball. He played a bit more wide receiver than he did at defensive back and at this point, he's a top level recruit at both positions. Agholor played mostly corner but with his size and speed he could be a very good safety at the next level, especially after a nice diving interception on Sunday. He was also a very good wide out, with plus hands and the ability to blow past corners on defense. Already holding offers from most of the top programs in the country, expect his recruitment to reach a fever pitch as we move closer to the season.

Issac McDonald - 6-foot-6, 200 pound wide receiver, Hialeah, Fla., class of 2013.

McDonald is young but he has a bright future ahead of him if this weekend was any indication. Though he didn't have high end speed, he was catching everything throw his way and was a bit of a bully to defensive backs the way he would make things look effortless. He's still raw but you can't over look his great hands. He made a nice catch in the end zone by reaching back and stealing the ball out of the air on a fade route in one of the biggest plays in round-robin play.

Sony Michel - 5-foot-10, 205 pound running back, Plantation, Fla., class of 2014.

It's easy to see why Michel is one of, if not the, top players in the class of 2014 because he looks like he belongs in the class of 2011. On top of his size, he displayed good quickness and found open spots in the defense like an older player. It's hard to say he's the complete package at such a young age but he is easily the most advanced running back prospect in either the class of 2013 or 2014.

Jamie Wilson - 5-foot-11, 190 pound wide receiver, Belle Glade, Fla.

Every time you'd look up, it seemed like Wilson was making a play or, at the very least, held his hand up because he was open. Though he wasn't the fastest of the quickest on the field, Wilson may have been the savviest. He seemed like he carried his team at times, making play after play. Though Wilson only has one offer, he should expect several more to come his way after a terrific performance this weekend.

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