College Weekly Report
by Brent Beaird
January 30, 2011
Here's a look at two prospects likely to be near the top of each team's recruiting big board with a few days to go.
1. OL Cyrus Kouandjio from Hyattsville, Md. He's the nation's No. 1 offensive tackle, according to Rivals.com. It will be an upset if he doesn't join his brother, Arie, in Tuscaloosa.
2. DE Jeoffrey Pagan from Asheville, N.C. He's committed to Clemson, but he also gave his pledge to Florida at one point. He visited Alabama last weekend and the Crimson Tide looks to be in contention.
1. LB Cedrick Cooper from Lithonia, Ga. Arkansas has remained in good shape since he visited in December. Can the Razorbacks hold off South Carolina and a potential visit to Ole Miss?
2. DT Mickey Johnson from Covington, La. Arkansas seems like an underdog against LSU and Tennessee. Still, the Razorbacks would happily take him.
1. DT Gabe Wright from Columbus, Ga. He's been considered a lock to sign with Auburn. Will the Tigers hold off Tennessee?
2. DB Erique Florence from Valley, Ala. Auburn would love to land this hard hitter, especially because that would keep him from choosing rival Alabama.
1. DT Timmy Jernigan from Lake City, Fla. Will Muschamp and his staff have made a good impression. Can Florida pull him away from Florida State and hold off LSU and Tennessee from making a push?
2. LB Curt Maggitt from West Palm Beach, Fla. - The Gators look to be in great shape with Maggitt, who's also strongly considering Wisconsin and Tennessee.
1. RB Isaiah Crowell from Columbus, Ga. He's the top target on Georgia's board, and the Bulldogs plan to use him right away. Alabama is the top competition for Crowell.
2. DE Ray Drew from Thomasville, Ga. He could wrap up the "Dream Team" from inside the state. Georgia is recruiting several talented defensive players. Drew is their main target.
1. LB Lamar Dawson from Danville, Ky. He has been a top priority for Kentucky throughout the recruiting process. The Wildcats hope to make it through his upcoming visit to Tennessee.
2. WR Daryl Collins from Gadsden, Ala. He's committed to Alabama but clearly looking around. Will Kentucky sway his decision when he visits Lexington this weekend?
1. DE Jermauria Rasco from Shreveport, La. Can Florida steal him away? Coach Les Miles has done a nice job landing in-state prospects, but many schools are trying to make a late push for Rasco.
2. Timmy Jernigan. See his listing under Florida. LSU is considered a darkhorse, but the Tigers won't give up until he gives a team his signature.
1. WR Nickolas Brassell from Batesville, Miss. The U.S. Army All-American says he's close to a decision. Will it be the in-state school or could Alabama steal him away?
2. RB Tre Mason from Lake Worth, Fla. His most recent visit was to Ole Miss. The Rebels will battle Auburn for Mason's services.
1. DL Leon Mackey from Raymond, Miss. The junior college prospect is hoping to finally land somewhere. Mississippi State looks to be the favorite with Tennessee and South Carolina still in contention.
2. DT Kevin McReynolds from Washington, D.C. He visited Starkville last weekend. He'll visit Kansas State and still has Syracuse and UCLA on his list.
1. DE Jadeveon Clowney from Rock Hill, S.C. He's widely considered the nation's top prospect and certainly the top player in South Carolina. The Gamecocks will try to hold off Alabama and perhaps Florida State for Clowney, who could wait past signing day to officially decide.
2. Cedrick Cooper. As noted above, Arkansas is hoping to land the Lithonia linebacker. Will his recent visit to Columbia sway him to the side of South Carolina?
1. OL Antonio Richardson from Nashville, Tenn. He's the top prospect in the state and the top priority for the Vols. UT will hope his mind doesn't turn to Georgia or Southern California.
2. Lamar Dawson. He's a top priority for Kentucky, but UT has a chance to steal him away. The Vols will get his final visit and try to make up the difference this weekend.
1. Athlete Josh Grady from Seffner, Fla. Vanderbilt is trying to catch South Florida and Wake Forest. He will visit Nashville this weekend. Can the Commodores convince him to play in the SEC?
2. DB Larry Franklin from Vero Beach, Fla. His final visit will be to Vanderbilt this weekend. Is Michigan State in there? If not, Vanderbilt might be the favorite. (mrsec.com)
RIVALS 100 UNCOMMITTED PLAYERS
JADEVEON CLOWNEY: School: Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe
Buzz: Okay, so maybe this isn't very suspenseful to many people who think the nation's No. 1 player is a lock for South Carolina, but Clowney is the best prospect to come along in a decade according to most and he does have some attractive out-of-state options like Alabama, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina and others. Is it that far-fetched to think the Crimson Tide could steal him away from the Gamecocks? Not really which is why he makes this list, but he's only at No. 10 because this looks to be similar to the Marcus Lattimore situation last year where others will get a long look but the comfort of home is likely to win out. Clowney won't decide until Feb. 14 so that adds to the mystery a bit
DT DELVON SIMMONS: School: McKeesport (Pa.) High
Buzz: Simmons was all set to announce his choice at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl a couple of weeks ago and many thought it would be Oregon at the time. However, he had a change of heart and decided to delay his decision. Now it's anyone's guess where he's headed. He still has one official visit left to take and it could be to either Florida or USC and Pitt has now re-entered the picture. Texas Tech is also a very viable option so a lot will depend on what happens in the next week or so with Simmons. Will he take that last visit and if he does, where will he go? Can Oregon hold onto the lead it had a couple of weeks ago or will Texas Tech or Pitt emerge as the winner?
ISAIAH CROWELL RB: School: Columbus (Ga.) Carver
Buzz: Crowell has been back and forth between Georgia and Alabama for months and now Auburn has moved into the picture. While most consider the Tigers to be a longshot in this battle despite the fact that they are a strong favorite for his teammate and friend Gabe Wright, Auburn does get the last official visit. But if it does come down to the Dawgs and the Tide, right now most feel Georgia has the edge over Alabama as Mark Richt is closing strongly in state. But with a third team in the mix and the way Crowell has flipped leaders a few times, this one will be interesting down the stretch.
CURTIS GRANT LB: School: Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Buzz: Grant would be higher on this list if he didn't narrow down his favorites to just a few schools and decided to take more visits. He is taking only four of his five official visits and has publically admitted that Virginia, where he is this weekend, is a longshot for his services. That leaves Ohio State, Florida and North Carolina (official next weekend) as the three main choices. It's still unclear whether the Buckeyes or the Gators have the edge following those visits and North Carolina could pull ahead of either after next weekend. And there's always the chance that Grant gets that feeling that he has to stay home following this weekend and pulls a stunner and chooses the Cavs. He's a tough one to predict.
STEPHONE ANTHONY LB: School: Wadesboro (N.C.) Anson
Buzz: The five-star linebacker from North Carolina used to name his favorites in order. However, that was a few months ago and now he just has a top six and doesn't give any hints as to who leads and where he is leaning. However, we do know a few things. Anthony likely won't stray far from home which doesn't bode that well for Florida the team that was once his leader. Most people feel that Virginia Tech and Clemson have the edge over NC State with North Carolina a very long shot along with the Gators, but time will tell. The Wolfpack and Tar Heels still have official visits left with Anthony so anything could happen.
TIMMY JERNIGAN DT: School: Lake City (Fla.) Columbia
Buzz: Jernigan has already taken an official visit to LSU and is at Florida State this weekend and those two schools appear to be the favorites for the nation's No. 2 defensive tackle, but everyone seems to be wary of Florida because he grew up a huge Gators fan and has always been linked to the program in one way or another. Alabama is also in the mix and Tennessee gets the last official visit next weekend, but right now it's anyone's guess where Jernigan will end up.
ANTONIO RICHARDSON OT: School: Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn
Buzz: Richardson has six schools on his mind, doesn't like to pick up the phone very often to talk about recruiting and really hasn't been linked to a leader so many are guessing he stays home and plays at Tennessee. However, LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Miami and others have also been mentioned so no one really knows where he'll end up or who he'll visit before he makes his final decision.
FLORIDA: EIGHT TOP TARGETS FOR UF
Stephone Anthony: RANKING: The No. 3 Outside linebacker in the nation, the No. 24 rated player overall in the Rivals100 Clemson, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. losing five linebackers who saw significant action, signing several top notch linebackers is a top priority.
Even before Urban Meyer resigned his position, the Gators were already falling slightly while Clemson was rising. As it stands today, you have to like the Tigers chances and former Gator commitment Jeoffrey Pagan only increases their standing. UF visited Anthony earlier this week.
JACOBY BRISSET: RANKING: The No. 3 Dual-threat quarterback in the nation, the No. 75 rated player overall in the Rivals100. Florida State, LSU, Miami, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin. Trey Burton is now a safety and as of last week, it was still unclear as to whether Jordan Reed would lineup at quarterback or tight end. In high school, Tyler Murphy looked to be more of an athlete than a pure quarterback. That means that after John Brantley, UF could be down to just Jeff Driskel at the position. Charlie Weis went to see Brissett the first day after the dead period last Friday, had him on campus on Saturday and then went back down to see him again at the beginning of this week. Though UF is in the picture, though it happens, signing two Rivals100 quarterbacks in the same class is difficult.
ANTHONY CHICKILLO: RANKING: The No. 3 Weakside defensive end in the nation, the No. 44 rated player overall in the Rivals100. RE-Committed to Miami. Alabama, Florida State, North Carolina, South Florida and Tennessee. The Gators simply did not have anyone on the roster - not those who are leaving, not those who are returning - who have shown that they have the ability to get in the offensive backfield and harass a quarterback.
CURTIS GRANT: RANKING: The No. 1 Inside linebacker in the nation, the No. 2 rated player overall in the Rivals100. Ohio State, North Carolina and Virginia. The easy answer is, he's the No. 2 rated prospect in the nation. As he took a couple of trips, including two to Florida, over the next several months, distance was no longer a concern.
JONATHAN JENKINS: RANKING: The No. 3 Defensive tackle (340 lbs) in the JUCO rankings, the No. 6 rated player overall in the Rivals JUCO50. Auburn, Georgia and Miami. The Gators need an anchor in the middle who demands at least a double team on each and every snap. Though he was committed to Oklahoma State, speaking with him, once the SEC schools got in the mix, it seemed like only a matter of time before he reconsidered that decision. He is now uncommitted and likely leaning to Georgia at the moment.
TIMMY JERNIGAN: RANKING: The No. 2 Defensive tackle in the nation, the No. 29 rated player overall in the Rivals100. Alabama, Florida State and LSU. Though he is listed as a defensive tackle, his body type screams strong side defensive end - especially in a 3-4 defensive alignment. Though he doesn't have ideal height for a defensive lineman, UF doesn't have anyone with his burst off the ball who could carry 275-280 pounds. He is an admitted Florida fan, who has had the Gators all over his list - both on the top, and completely off altogether.
CURTIS MAGGITT: RANKING: The No. 12 Outside linebacker in the nation, the No. 198 rated player overall in the Rivals250. Tennessee and Wisconsin. He'll need a good 25-30 pounds added to his frame to hold up as an outside linebacker in the SEC. The good news is he has the frame to do that and keep his quickness.
THE SKINNY: Like Jernigan above, he is another admitted Florida Gator fan. Unlike Jernigan, he hasn't had the Gators fall off his list.
MARCUS ROBERSON: RANKING: The No. 2 Cornerback in the nation, the No. 37 rated player overall in the Rivals100. Texas Tech commitment. Auburn. He has the size to play safety and the speed and hips to play cornerback. Great speed to make up ground while the ball is in the air. With UF losing Nick Waisome, the Gators could use another cornerback in this class. In the beginning, he was all Florida. It was to the point that it was mostly a matter of when he committed, not if. Then after visiting Auburn (the place his uncle was employed) over the summer, the Tigers shot to the top of his list. (gatorbait.net)
JENKINS ARREST: Two weeks after surprising most observers by returning to Florida for another season, Janoris Jenkins now finds himself with a little bit of a sticky, so to speak, legal situation to deal with. According to the Palm Beach Post, the Gators cornerback was cited very early Saturday morning and charged with possession of cannabis under 20 grams. The charge is a misdemeanor. Jenkins was at a downtown Gainesville nightclub when he was observed by police officers on routine patrol of the establishment rolling a joint in a bathroom. While the police report did not specify, we're hoping he had washed his hands before he commenced the rolling of the weed. After observing Jenkins and finding a clear bag that allegedly contained marijuana, the defensive back was issued a citation and a notice to appear in court. His court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 17.
This is the senior's second arrest since coming to Gainesville; in May of 2009, Jenkins was arrested - after being tased - for resisting arrest without violence. He ultimately received deferred prosecution in that case.
Jenkins has started 36 games during his time at UF but did not play in the Gators' bowl win at the end of the 2010 season, which he missed due to a torn labrum that he'd been dealing with all year.
ALABAMA: Vanderbilt will be Alabama's Homecoming Game this season. October 8th. A-Day is set for April 16th, waiting to see if ESPN will be present.
HART ENROLLES: During the U.S. Army All-American Bowl - on NBC - former Michigan commit Dee Hart "officially" flipped his verbal to Alabama. Unfortunately for those in Ann Arbor, any hope of the running back flipping back to the Wolverines has been dashed. According to the Tuscaloosa News, Hart is one of nine high schoolers who enrolled for the spring term last week. All of the early enrollees will be available for spring practice in a couple of months. Once a "hard" commitment to the Wolverines, the Orlando high school back de-committed from Michigan due to the uncertainty swirling around the football program. Of particular concern was the uncertain fate of head coach Rich Rodriguez. Hart is currently rated as the No. 1 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com, and the No. 17 player at any position
GEORGIA: Possible replacement for OL coach Stacey Searels:
- Robbie Caldwell: The former head coach at Vanderbilt has been linked to Clemson as associate head coach Brad Scott is rumored to being moved into an administrative position with the Tigers.
- Brad Scott: The veteran coach, who worked with Richt at Florida State, currently serves as the associate head coach at Clemson where he coaches the Tigers offensive guards and centers.
- Greg Adkins (Syracuse): No stranger to Georgia, Adkins coached under Jim Donnan with the Bulldogs from 1996 to 2000 where he served as an assistant working with the defensive line, and later the Bulldogs' offensive line and tight ends
- Brent Key (UCF): Considered one of the top young offensive line coaches in the country, Key just wrapped up his third season as the Knights' offensive line coach after serving for two seasons as UCF's tight ends coach/special teams coordinator.
- Matt Luke (Duke): Considered one of the country's up-and-coming young offensive line coaches, Duke coached Rimington Trophy Watch performer Bryan Morgan last season, while redshirt junior offensive tackle Kyle Hill was a preseason All-ACC pick by several national publications. (ugasports.com)
Most recently, the Bulldogs landed a commitment from offensive lineman Xzavier Ward of Moultrie, Ga. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Ward was rated by ESPNU as the No. 17 offensive tackle prospect in the country. Ward is the top-rated offensive line prospect in the state of Georgia. The Bulldogs had offered earlier, but pulled their offer when Ward didn't commit right away. Some roster moves opened up another spot, and when Georgia offered again, Ward jumped on the offer this time. He had Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, South Carolina and Notre Dame all pursuing him. The Bulldogs now have 22 commitments for the 2011 class
SOUTH CAROLINA: West Virginia made Trinity Christian running back Andrew Buie a top priority. South Carolina did the same with Buie's teammate, defensive back Ahmad Christian.
That extra attention paid off for both schools. Buie, listed as the nation's 129th-overall prospect by Rivals.com, committed to West Virginia on Sunday. The 5-foot-9, 188-pound Buie was also recruited by South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn and Ole Miss.
Christian moved South Carolina to the top spot on his list of favorites last week. Prior to leaving for his official visit to Columbia this weekend, Christian stated that he would likely commit to the Gamecocks.
Christian is considered a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout.com. He's expected to begin his college career at cornerback and will be utilized as a returner on kicks and punts. (timesunion.com)
OLE MISS: C. J. Johnson gave Ole Miss a private commitment "four or five days ago," he said Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday morning, however, after enduring several "awful" weeks of speculation and innuendo after his recruiting, the five-star linebacker from Philadelphia, Miss., decided to make his decision public. Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 238-pounder who dominated at the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, Ala., last month and then had a stellar performance in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio earlier this month, originally committed to Mississippi State.
However, when assistant coach Marc Hudspeth left Starkville to take over as the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette and then subsequently Manny Diaz left the Bulldogs' staff to become defensive coordinator at Texas, Johnson backed out of that commitment and re-opened his recruiting.
SINGLETON UPDATE: Ole Miss commitment Tobias Singleton is still being recruiting by Houston Nutt despite the fact that he has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and felony malicious mischief after allegedly punching his former girlfriend and then joining with other members of his family to damage her mother's car.
According to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Singleton was also charged with simple assault following the December arrest.
The 18-year-old receiver allegedly punched his 16-year-old former girlfriend on December 13th. The police report says that he, his father and his two brothers also kicked a Chevy Impala owned by the girl's mother to the tune of $3,321.18 in damages.
That's a lot of kicking. But at least the kid is benefiting from a tight family unit. When this story makes national news then we'll see if the UM administration is ready to stand behind Nutt once again as he brings in a player with a rap sheet. Two years ago, Nutt brought in Jamar Hornsby only to see him land in further legal trouble before he ever donned a Rebel uniform. Last year, the school got a lot of bad publicity for bringing in Jeremiah Masoli who had previously been dismissed from Oregon's football team.
Singleton - who is also known as Tobias Manning - told police that his former girlfriend had struck his car with her car. (mrsec.com)
FLORIDA STATE: With tight end Nick O'Leary on board, FSU has only a handful of targets left on the board but most of them are huge names. The biggest name is linebacker Tony Steward who is a strong lean to the 'Noles and just had a great visit this past weekend. FSU is also in the top two for Timmy Jernigan, Jermauria Rasco and Arrington Jenkins and are in the mix for Jacoby Brissett, Elkino Watson and even Jadeveon Clowney. However, if they can close with Steward, Jernigan, Rasco and Jenkins, they will not only be thrilled but could end up with the No. 1 class in the country.
Coral Park (Miami, Fla.) LB Arrington Jenkins originally planned to announce his college choice on Friday morning. However, after sleeping on that decision, he decided to push his decision up to Tuesday morning. "I just committed to Florida State. I had a great visit to Illinois, but after the visit, I went home and tried to picture where I could see myself over the next four years. That place was Florida State," explained Jenkins. "I spent a lot of time with my coach just going through all the positives and negatives for each school. In the end, I chose FSU."
After every visit to Tallahassee, it appeared likely that Dwyer standout tight end Nick O'Leary would end up playing football at Florida State. On Saturday, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder made it official and became the Seminoles' 23rd commitment for the 2011 recruiting class. Following his commitment, Warchant.com got a chance to talk with his father, Bill O'Leary. "Yes it was something we talked about a good amount in seeing a school that would certainly get him the ball," he said. "With Florida State, the plan is to use him at a lot of different places in the slot, H-back, and tight end. They said they want to flex him out as a receiver as well, so not just your normal places as just solely a tight end
STEWARD VISIT: As with last weekend's visit to Clemson, Steward started his official visit to FSU on Saturday morning. And as with is previous trip, Steward said he felt really at home in Tallahassee - in particular a high comfort level with the players and coaches on the visit. (warchant.com)
N. C. STATE Chris Jones is headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Raines defensive tackle committed to North Carolina State on Sunday following his official visit to Raleigh. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Jones is considered a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. Jones is planning on majoring in English, as well as early childhood development. He chose the Wolfpack over North Carolina, Illinois and Purdue
MIAMI: Melbourne (FL) Central Catholic WR Rashawn Scott wasn't recruited hard by Hurricane coaches until this week. He committed on Tuesday.
KEHOE RETURNS: Just a few days after word first surfaced that he was likely returning to his long-time collegiate home, Art Kehoe is finally, and officially, back where he belongs.
Miami announced via a press release Monday that Kehoe has been hired by Al Golden to serve as the first-year head coach's offensive line coach. With the Kehoe hiring, Golden's first UM staff is complete. Kehoe was a player at the school in the late seventies, and then was a Hurricanes assistant for 25 years - with five different head coaches. He was unceremoniously dismissed following the 2005 season and ultimately sued the university.
The past two years, he served as the line coach for Sacramento's UFL franchise.
RECRUITING: The most important commitment for the Hurricanes actually wasn't a commitment but a re-commitment and came this weekend for Miami as defensive end Anthony Chickillo re-affirmed his love for the 'Canes after his visit. Chickillo is clearly the headliner in this class, ranked as the No. 44 player in the country, and he will help future efforts this year and beyond. Head coach Al Golden has done a good job of adding some quality to this class over the last few days with players like Kevin Grooms, Antonio Kinard, Dallas Crawford and Denzel Perryman as well as getting some huge names on campus for visits.
PERRYMAN COMMITS: Coral Gables High LB Denzel Perryman always knew he wanted to be a Miami Hurricane. He has been watching and cheering for the Canes since he was a little kid.
The recent coaching change inspired him to open his eyes to overtures from Florida and Florida State. But midway through his official visit this weekend, Perryman decided to put an end to his recruitment and committed to Miami
AYLES TRANSFERRING: A little over a week after word first surfaced that he would be transferring from USC, and that Miami was a potential landing spot, Blake Ayles officially has a new collegiate football home. And, of course, said new home is in sunny South Florida.
According to multiple reports, the tight end enrolled at Miami Friday and will be a member of the football program in 2011. Ayles, a senior, will be eligible to play immediately instead of sitting out the normal transfer year due to the sanctions levied on USC by the NCAA. During his time with the Trojans, Ayles had just 14 receptions for 182 yards, including just one catch for 54 yards in 2010.Coming out of high school, Ayles was a four-star recruit in Pete Carroll's 2008 class and was the No. 2 tight end in the nation according to Rivals.com. (canesport.com)
CLEMSON: Clemson is hoping to finish with a couple of five-star linebackers, a four-star defensive tackle and hold onto a four-star defensive lineman. Steward took his official visit to Florida State and had a great time so the 'Noles have an edge over Clemson according to most. Anthony took his official visit to Virginia Tech and many think this will come down to the Hokies and Clemson while defensive tackle Phillip Dukes is a tight battle between the Tigers and South Carolina. The most interesting development this week has been the last second official visit to Alabama of Clemson defensive end Pagan to Alabama. Many feel Pagan could flip from Clemson to 'Bama or Georgia come Signing Day. (espn.com)
GEORGIA TECH: Georgia Tech got some much needed good news over the weekend when three-star linebacker Nick Menoca backed out of his pledge to Miami and chose the Yellow Jackets. Prior to that it had been a difficult week for Georgia Tech fans. Five-star defensive end Stephon Tuitt de-committed from Notre Dame and committed to Tech, only to flip back to the Irish after only a day. Then Atlanta defensive end Darrius Caldwell, one of Georgia Tech's most prized commitments, flipped to Illinois. On a good note quarterback Vad Lee appears to be more solid now than he has been in a long time. The Yellow Jackets are a finalist, along with Iowa and Michigan State, for defensive tackle Darian Cooper. He was at Iowa over the weekend but after a great visit from coach Paul Johnson and defensive coordinator Al Groh recently the Jackets still feel good. (espn.com)
NORTH CAROLINA: Five-star linebacker Curtis Grant and four-star running back Savon Huggins are at the top of the Tar Heels' wish list. Grant has narrowed his options to Ohio State, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia and he will be in Chapel Hill on his official visit this upcoming weekend. It would be a surprise if Grant chose the Tar Heels but as the nation's No. 2 prospect the coaches will make a run at him. Huggins might end up choosing between North Carolina and Rutgers this Friday, though Notre Dame is one to watch. Sources say the Tar Heels feel good about their chances but most feel this is all Rutgers. Beyond that the Tar Heels would love to land defensive end Max Issaka, a soft Pitt commit. The Heels are also in play for Miami linebacker Keeon Virgile, who also likes Nebraska. The Tar Heels could go in on running backs Stephen Houston and Derrick Milton if Huggins falls through and expect UNC to make a late push for Miami commit Ricardo Williams. (espn.com)
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies have just a handful of prospects remaining on the target board for the class of 2011. Five-star linebacker Stephone Anthony is expected to announce on or just prior to Signing Day between Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida and North Carolina. North Carolina gets the final shot this weekend before an imminent decision. While you can never rule out the competition, Anthony seems to be saying all the right things as he felt at home and comfortable with the team on his visit this past weekend to Virginia Tech. Tech also is in the race for a tight end with Ryan Malleck getting the most attention, a Maryland commitment that took a visit this past weekend to Virginia Tech. His finalists are the Hokies, Maryland and Miami. The Terrapins are tough since they've been the longstanding commitment, but the Hokies have moved in fast in recent weeks. Meanwhile, receiver continues to gain attention as Robert Lockhart will be taking a visit and it appears Tech is the team to beat heading into an official this weekend. However, that's not to say the Hokies aren't forced to fend off opponents and keep this class intact as Miami offered James Farrow on Sunday. However he states he is firm with Virginia Tech. (espn.com)
BOWL REVENUE: (OP-ED) For the five or six of you out there who haven't quite figured out why there is no playoff in college football - at the FBS level, anyway - let us give you some help:
- Money the 6 BCS conferences made from bowl games in 2009-10: $145 million
- Money the 5 non-BCS conferences made from bowl games in 2009-10: $25 million
Now, if the NCAA were to sanction a playoff at the FBS level, the revenue from said playoff would be dispersed evenly amongst the FBS schools just as the cash from the NCAA basketball tournament is dispersed evenly. So while overall postseason revenue might grow (via television rights), the Haves of the college football world would no longer hold such a distinct cash advantage over the Have-nots. Any other argument against a playoff - academics, commercialism, etc - is bollocks. It's all about controlling the cash. And right now, little more than half of the FBS schools collectively take home 85% of the postseason money. (mrsec.com)
SOUTHERN CAL: USC officials, including athletic director Pat Haden and university president Max Nikias, spent a little over four hours Saturday appealing their case in front of the five-person Infractions Appeals Committee. The Trojans are hoping that the time spent today will result in a two-year bowl ban and loss of 30 scholarships being cut in half.
Following the appearance, Nikias describe the proceedings to the Los Angeles Time as "a good and fair hearing. We just have to wait for the ruling."
The Trojans want the NCAA to reduce a two-year bowl ban to one year. They're also hoping the NCAA will limit football scholarship reductions to five in each of the next three years instead of the scheduled 10.
The NCAA imposed those penalties June 10 after ruling Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and basketball player O.J. Mayo received improper benefits. The university also was cited for a lack of institutional control. Bush gave back his Heisman Trophy.
After requiring schools to prove "abuse of discretion" after a rules change instituted in 2008, only one appeal has been successful. The other 10 failed.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the rules do not allow school officials to present any new information in the appeals phase.
That ruling is expected to come down in four to eight weeks according to ESPNLosAngeles.com, four to six weeks according to the Times.
BRENT BEAIRD IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR MYCLAYSUN IN ORANGE PARK, FLA. HE ALSO WRITES FOR RIVALS.COM, SAMSPORTSLINE.COM AND GATOR BAIT MAGAZINE. HE CAN BE HEARD ON SPORTS RADIO 1010 XL.
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