Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:NCAA
Posted on: June 24, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:42 pm
 

Cope-Fitzpatrick jumps on USC offer, commits

Posted by Bryan Fischer

USC's Rising Stars Camp has been one of the premier camps on the West Coast for years, dating back to the early days of the Pete Carroll era. The Trojan coaching staff loves to evaluate players in person and the camp is typically where several new offers go out and, more often than not, a few commitments happen.

Though the camp is now closed to the media due to NCAA restrictions placed on the school, the offers going out and commitments haven't stopped. Rocklin (Calif.) tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick had a good day Thursday, picked up an offer and committed on the spot.

"It seemed like they were going to offer me yesterday after the camp," Cope-Fitzpatrick told USCFootball.com. "I called my mom and we talked about it. If they offered, what would I do?

"I pretty much came down here for an offer. When the camp was over today, the coaches let me know that it was a done deal - that they were offering me. I committed right away."

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound receiving threat was not expected to get an offer from the Trojans due to their scholarship situation and the presence of three young players at the position already on the roster. After battling several other players and putting on a show during the week however, Cope-Fitzpatrick was able to pick up the offer of his dreams.

"This just seemed like the perfect fit and the perfect time to commit, so I did it," he told the site. "I got to play against a lot of top guys here and meet with them. Maybe some future teammates."

Cope-Fitzpatrick becomes the 10th commitment for USC, which is limited to 15 due to NCAA sanctions. That number is expected to change due to early enrollees and early departures after the season. His season highlights can be found here.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:33 pm
 

On the hot seat: How some coaches are recruiting

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CBSSports.com Senior Writer Dennis Dodd rolled out his annual Hot Seat Ratings, giving every FBS head coach a grade from 0 (can't be touched) to 5 (it's time to win now). Only one head coach is burning up on the seat with the maximum rating of 5 but there are plenty of others who begin the season feeling some heat. Being on the list puts a lot of the coaches in a tough position on the recruiting trail as they look to turn things around while battling the perception that they won't be there when the recruit steps on campus. Taking a look at several of the coaches on the list, here's how they're doing on the recruiting trail:

Dennis Erickson, Arizona State
Hot Seat Rating: 3.5
2012 Commitments:12
Top Recruit: Wide receiver Kenny Lawler

Erickson is in an interesting position. With a team featuring plenty of upperclassmen and what is expected to be a very good defense, the Sun Devils are likely the favorites for the first Pac-12 South title. Erickson has only had one really good season in Tempe and never has been able to break through and grab elite talent on the recruiting trail. He put together a class last year that mostly addressed needs and was solid but not spectacular. The 2012 class could be one of the better ones Arizona State has pulled in recently, getting off to a good start and leading the Pac-12 with 12 commitments. This is an offense-heavy class with plenty of skill players and he recently added quarterback T.J. Millweard, who was committed to Virginia Tech.

Mark Richt, Georgia
Hot Seat Rating: 3.5
2012 Commitments:10
Top Recruit: Defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor

Richt responded to critics and managed to put together what might have been his best recruiting class ever last year. It was a strong year for talent in Georgia and the Bulldogs took advantage, grabbing a "Dream Team" of recruits. The prize was running back Isaiah Crowell, who many think can come in and make an instant impact on offense after the in-state team fought off powers like Alabama and Florida State for his services. The 2012 class hasn't seemed to build off the momentum however, as Georgia has already lost out on some in-state commitments and are behind in others. There's plenty of time for the tide to turn, however, and as Richt proved last year, he can close down the stretch.

Ron Zook, Illinois
Hot Seat Rating: 4.0
2012 Commitments: 4
Top Recruit: Defensive back TaJarvis Fuller

Zook is known as a good recruiter and he put together a diverse class last year. It's not a great year for talent in the Midwest and Zook is using the southern ties he had while at Florida to make Illinois active in the South, especially in Georgia. He made a nice pickup with Fuller and with a bit of instability in the Big Ten, could nab a prospect or two that might have gone elsewhere. Zook will ultimately have to win to keep Illinois in the minds of the rising seniors but he's on pace to pull in another solid class this year.

Mike Locksley, New Mexico
Hot Seat Rating: 4.5
2012 Commitments: 0

New Mexico is New Mexico so it will always be tough to get recruits to come, especially in the midst of a 2-22 run under Locksley. But credit to the head coach and his staff, they were able to reach into California, Florida and Maryland among other places to get some talent. Known as a superb recruiter in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area, the fact that Locksley got five-star tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to make a visit to the school and keep the Lobos in his final five was quite the accomplishment. The school doesn't have any commitments in 2012 and it will be interesting to see how many wait to see if the hot seat gets too hot for Locksley to stay on it.

Luke Fickell, Ohio State
Hot Seat Rating: 3.5
2012 Commitments: 8
Top Recruit: Running back Warren Ball

Fickell had his fingerprints all over Ohio State's last recruiting class as co-defensive coordinator and was the lead recruiter for one of the Buckeyes' key linebacker commitments, Ryan Shazier from Florida. He is dropped into a very difficult situation however, first following a beloved and successful head coach in Jim Tressel and second, dealing with the looming threat of NCAA sanctions. While he managed to keep the prize of the 2012 class, top 100 offensive lineman Kyle Kalis, in the the fold for awhile, he ended up decommitting and now the Buckeyes are seeing the state of Ohio raided by other Big Ten programs like Michigan, Nebraska and Michigan State. Fickell is a tried and true Buckeye so he knows how to sell the school, the only question is if he'll be successful at it and that remains to be seen.

Rick Neuheisel, UCLA
Hot Seat Rating: 4.0
2012 Commitments: 3
Top Recruit: Running back Steven Lakalaka

Just about everybody thought UCLA was on the right track when Neuheisel managed to pull in two top 20 classes in 2008 and 2009. Since then however, things have reversed course on the field and off. Last year's class did manage to get two big talents from out-of-state in defenisve tackle Kevin McReynolds and top 100 quarterback Brett Hundley but it was by no means a deep and talented class. While it was going to be small due to scholarship numbers, Neuheisel just didn't seem to be able to close with some players and the Bruins are barely on the map in California this year, taking a back seat to Arizona State, Washington, Oregon and their crosstown rival USC. It's getting close to a make or break year for UCLA and Neuheisel and he can only hope that Hundley is as advertised and can make a difference in the win column this season.

Paul Wulff, Washington State
Hot Seat Rating: 5.0
2012 Commitments:5
Top Recruit: Wide receiver Dalen Jones

It's not easy to recruit to the Palouse though Wulff has added some nice pieces over the years, but just can't seem to find enough of them. Wulff reached into Florida and California very well last year and even managed to grab highly regarded offensive lineman Alex Mitchell out of nearby Portland. That said, Wulff is on the hot seat (a very hot seat) and, because it's the hot seat at Washington State, that generally takes the school out of the running for any big time recruits. They've done well all things considered and have extended early scholarships to several California and Florida athletes in hopes of building up an early relationship. It will always be tough for Wulff to recruit and doing so while worried about job security is extra tough.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 1:34 pm
 

Kalis decommits from Ohio St., others to follow?

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Ohio State recruitniks have been bracing for bad news ever since the resignation of coach Jim Tressel and lingering questions about the school's NCAA infractions case continued to surface. Things might have gone from bad to worse Tuesday night as Kyle Kalis, the only Top 100 member in the Buckeyes' 2012 class, decommitted and re-opened his recruitment.

"I did speak to (interim coach) Luke Fickell minutes ago, and I told him I was de-committing from Ohio State," Kalis told Scout. "I want to keep all my options open, and will consider several programs going forward, including Ohio State. That's really all I want to say about my recruitment at this time."

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman holds scholarship offers form Alabama, Iowa, LSU, Notre Dame and Wisconsin among others. He is planning a visit to Michigan this week and, given that the Wolverines have been cleaning up on the recruiting trail lately, that has to make some of the Buckeye faithful a little uneasy.

Kalis is friends with defensive end and Michigan commit Tom Strobel, and he'll likely be in Kalis' ear about what to do while he's in Ann Arbor (like, say, committing to the Maize and Blue). With the decommitment, Ohio State currently sits at eight verbal commitments.

But Kalis isn't the only Ohio State commitment thinking about decommitting. Canton (Ohio) running back Bri'onte Dunn has been on shaky ground ever since Tressel's resignation was announced, and his comments have not been reassuring for Ohio State coaches.

Although some players in the recruiting class seem to be on solid footing with the program, they will no doubt be receiving plenty of attention from opposing coaches. With even Michigan State jumping in on some good Ohio talent this recruiting class, it could be a long road to Signing Day for the Buckeyes.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 10:18 pm
 

6/22 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Plenty of NCAA related news yesterday, so here's a super roundup full of recruiting nuggets for those looking to avoid talk of monitoring and sanctions.

Top 100 cornerback Geno Smith says Alabama and Auburn are his frontrunners.

Running back Ryan Green picked up an offer from Florida State. Wide out Monty Madaris also picked up an offer from the Seminoles.

Rumors were circulating that Dante Fowler was considering Florida, but he's firm to Florida State.

Michigan recruit Erik Magnuson says it's time for the Wolverines to dominate. The school's camp brought in plenty of top prospects.

Figuring out how many scholarships Washington might be able to offer in 2012.

Ohio beat Pennsylvania in the Big 33 game and plenty of recruits shined.

A detailed USC recruiting roundup.

USF offered local quarterback Darryl Richardson.

SoCal athlete Jherremya Leuta-Douyere picked up a scholarship from BYU.

- Wide receiver Trey Griffey, son of Junior, shined at a recent 7-on-7 event.

Commitments:

Georgia Tech picked up wide receiver Michael Summers Jr. and quarterback Dennis Andrews.

Linebacker Blake Rodgers is headed to Seattle to play for the Huskies.

Quarterback King Davis committed to New Mexico State.

Defensive back Paris Head pledged to Vanderbilt, as did linebacker Josh Dawson.

Wide receiver Austin Sheehan is headed to Kentucky.

Defensive tackle Tyrell Chavis committed to Virginia.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 12:38 am
 

Pittman makes Father's Day pledge to Michigan St.

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things are just a little different in Midwest recruiting for the class of 2012. One Big Ten power, Michigan, has a new head coach who hasn't coached a game in Ann Arbor and another, Ohio State, faces the very real possiblity of NCAA sanctions thanks to a still-developing case.

While it has mostly been the Wolverines who have been able to build up some momentum on the recruiting trail, their in-state rival Michigan State is picking up steam as well and building a very good class. The Spartans added to it with a major verbal pledge Sunday afternoon in Canton (Ohio) defensive end Se'Von Pittman, who made a surprising Father's Day commitment.

"It was great getting the decision out of the way because now I can focus on other things, like my senior season," Pittman told SpartanMag.com. "What made me commit to Michigan State was Coach (Pat) Narduzzi and Coach (Mark) Dantonio. They're great coaches and I wanted to be a part of something like that, and just the fact that I wanted to be different. I wanted to go there and make my own name and be Se'Von Pittman at Michigan State."  

Ranked 63rd overall in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps, Pittman is planning on enrolling early in school and going through spring drills. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is also planning on being a leader from the moment he steps on campus as the Spartans look to build off their best season in decades in 2011.

"I really think the program is a big thing," he said. "I really think with me being there, we can really get a Big Ten Championship, maybe even a BCS. Right now we got the coaches, we just need more players."

Michigan State was the choice for Pittman over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State among others. The four-star player is the first defensive lineman in the program's class of 2012, which currently sits at six commitments.

As a junior last year, Pittman had roughly 100 tackles and six sacks.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:42 pm
 

Joe Paterno, running back Will Mahone and Skype

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is a living legend and seen his fair share of recruiting methods over his 62 years of coaching. After all, when Paterno first took over the reigns in Happy Valley, the cell phone was decades from even being conceived. As technology and NCAA recruiting rules have progressed though, so has JoePa believe it or not.

The 84 year old has cut back from recruiting a little bit - he rarely hits the road and hasn't traveled for an in-home visit in over three years - but using video conferencing technology this year has allowed him to continue to make an apperance in recruits' homes. Services such as Skype, which transmits video and audio over the internet to computers and phones, has exploded onto the scene lately with coaches such as Alabama's Nick Saban making frequent use of the latest and greatest thing in recruiting.

"The only question Joe had about it was, 'How do you spell Skype?'" Jay Paterno, the Penn State quarterbacks coach and Joe's son, told the Altoona Mirror. "I actually knew. Then he said, 'What exactly does it mean?'"

Well, thanks to Austintown (Ohio) running back William Mahone and another social networking service, Twitter, we now have acutal proof that JoePa is Skyping like the best of them.

"Jo pa on skype!" Mahone tweeted Tuesday morning, along with the picture on the right.

Already holding an offer from Penn State, Mahone is primarily being recruited by Jay Paterno. In addition to the Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Northwestern and Boston College are some of the programs who are heavily pursuing the 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back who shined at the recent Ohio State Nike Camp

Mahone has already unofficially visited State College to see the elder Paterno up close and personal and while he still might still be a few months from making a decision, getting a call -excuse me - getting a Skype call from a legend like JoePa probably helps the Nittany Lions' chances.
Posted on: June 2, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Recruits stick with Ohio State despite Tressel

By MaxPreps' Jarrod Ulrey

Among the members of the 2012 recruiting class who already have made verbal commitments to play football for Ohio State, there seemed to be one overriding characteristic to their feelings in the days that have followed Jim Tressel's resignation May 30: Ohio State is still Ohio State.

That was among the comments Upper Arlington (Columbus, Ohio) junior wide receiver Frank Epitropulous made on his Facebook page on Memorial Day afternoon, a little longer than a month after he first committed.

His father, John Epitropoulos, who played for the Buckeyes during the late 1970s, said May 31 that his son had no other comment than his statement on Facebook which read: "Thanks Coach Tressel for giving me the opportunity to play at OSU. You will be missed. Ohio State is still Ohio State and I'm still a Buckeye. Go Bucks!"

Similar sentiments rang from many of the other eight members of Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class.

Just two days after the Columbus Dispatch reported that sources encouraged Tressel to resign amid the mounting pressure, a pending NCAA disciplinary hearing and new revelations about the culture of the program, the Buckeyes nailed down a new recruit.

Tyvis Powell of Bedford told various news outlets June 1 that he had chosen to play for Ohio State over Michigan State, West Virginia and Syracuse. He announced the commitment on the front steps of his high school.

Since early December, the only other recruits Ohio State has added have been Epitropoulos and St. Ignatius (Cleveland) tight end Blake Thomas, who verbally committed May 17. Twelve other Ohio residents, meanwhile, have committed to play for schools in the Big Ten or SEC since that time.

"I knew eight years ago I wanted to play for Ohio State," Powell said. "I'm not going to take my talents out of state. I'm going to play for coach (Luke) Fickell."

Read more of this story on MaxPreps
Posted on: June 2, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: June 2, 2011 11:52 am
 

6/2 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

- Must read column from Penn State coach Jay Paterno on what student-athletes really receive from their school. 

- Good look at the Ohio State recruiting budget. The nearly 10% decrease could be because of a smaller recruiting class the school is expected to take in.

- The Buckeyes recruiting class is at risk from the NCAA mess surrounding the school however don't expect too much of a drop off.

- Tennessee offered quarterback Darryl Richardson despite only seeing him during an evaluation visit at his high school.

- Top quarterback Cyler Miles is down to Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, LSU, Tennessee, Washington and possibly Colorado and will pick one this Friday.

- Clemson's recruits are making the necessary grades and are on track to qualify.

- Offensive tackle Colby Cyburt picked up an offer from Arizona State.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com