COLLEGE NEWS AND NOTES
by Brent Beaird
January 20, 2012
SEC TV FUTURE: Television networks want more attractive SEC football games to start and finish seasons in the future, SEC consultant Larry Templeton said.
That will be among the topics discussed when SEC athletics directors meet in February to create 14-team schedules for 2013 and beyond. The major issues remain whether to keep permanent cross-divisional opponents and how to rotate the other cross-divisional game.
Templeton, a former Mississippi State athletics director who heads the SEC's transition team since the league expanded, said the ADs will also discuss whether to schedule more conference games in the first two weeks and last two weeks of seasons.
"TV wants them," Templeton said. "For instance, right now the next-to-last weekend of the season is a real weak weekend for us as it relates to games that we want to put on television as part of our conference package. Now that we have more games, we need to space some of them more."
The wishes of ESPN and CBS come as the SEC soon begins discussions to increase the value of its media-rights deals since adding Texas A&M and Missouri. CBS' game on the next-to-last weekend in 2011, Arkansas-Mississippi State, drew the network's second-lowest SEC rating of the season. The only remaining TV choices were Kentucky-Georgia, LSU-Ole Miss and Tennessee-Vanderbilt. The other four SEC teams played Southern Conference opponents that day. Next season on that weekend the TV options for SEC games will be Arkansas-Mississippi State, Ole Miss-LSU and Tennessee-Vanderbilt.
Next season's Week 1 Vanderbilt-South Carolina game on a Thursday night will mark the first season opener between SEC teams since LSU-Mississippi State in 2007. Also for 2012, the SEC moved the traditional Georgia-South Carolina game in Week 2 and instead added Florida-Texas A&M and Georgia-Missouri to go with Auburn-Mississippi State that day. (al.com)
13 TOP UNCOMMITTED RECRUITS FROM 247 SPORTS
Leonard Williams, DE, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland PREDICTION: Auburn. Williams was one of the big risers after Under Armour All-American game week and his recruitment is going to come right down to the wire. Most believe the 6-foot-6, 260-pounder will end up at Auburn or Florida. After checking into, the consensus is that he's the Tigers' to lose with two weeks to go
Thomas Johnson, WR, Dallas (Texas) Skyline PREDICTION: Oregon. Shortly after the New Year, Johnson backed out of a longstanding commitment to Texas and at this point, his recruitment is shaping up to be a three-team battle with TCU, Oregon and Cal all major players. We feel that the chances are better than average that Johnson ends up on the West Coast.
Tracy Howard, CB, Miramar (Fla.) PREDICTION: Florida. The momentum in Howard's recruitment has swung back-and-forth between Florida and Florida State throughout this recruiting cycle. At this point, the momentum has gone decisively back to the Gators, who were the original pick here.
Devin Fuller, ATH, Old Tappan (N.J.) PREDICTION: Rutgers. Nebraska, UCLA, Notre Dame and a host of other programs have recruited Fuller and with the exception of the Cornhuskers, who want Fuller as a quarterback, there have been no serious challengers to in-state Rutgers for the majority of the process. We maintain it would be a surprise to see Fuller leave the Garden State in the end.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Springfield (Mo.) Hillcrest PREDICTION: Arkansas by a hair. The recruitment of the nation's No. 2 overall prospect essentially is a four-team race with Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas all in the mix. The Razorbacks have been strong throughout the process. The Longhorns have been charging hard, though, and the Sooners and Tigers have been in it as well. He is scheduled to visit Fayetteville this weekend.
Arik Armstead, ATH, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove PREDICTION: Notre Dame. Armstead was committed to USC for a chunk of the process and then looked Cal-bound for the longest time before ace Golden Bears recruiter Tosh Lupoi left for Washington. A decision for the five-star jumbo athlete, whose highest ceiling is at offensive tackle, could come as early as Wednesday. Notre Dame football and basketball feel good about it. Amstead and his older brother, who is expected to transfer in.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel PREDICTION: Auburn (for now). The five-star Diggs has come full circle. During the summer, it looked like it would be an Auburn-Florida battle with Maryland a darkhorse. For a short time, it looked like Virginia, maybe even Ohio State would end up with him. Now that visits are taking place, the safe money is on the Tigers and Gators, with the Terps a darkhorse. Auburn feels good after his official visit and could very well end up there, but UF gets the next shot at him and his summer visit to Gainesville vaulted them to the top for a stretch.
Kyle Murphy, OT, San Clemente (Calif.) PREDICTION: Stanford. The five-star Murphy has been considered a Stanford lean for most of the process, but USC has charged hard late and the Trojans are scheduled to get him on campus this coming weekend for an official visit. USC will give it a shot and you can't rule them out, but the Cardinal has been constant here
Eddie Goldman, DT, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate PREDICTION: Auburn. Goldman was an Alabama-Florida State battle for the majority of the process and both the Tide and Noles are still strongly in the mix. With that, Auburn has made a huge push and the Tigers' staff, along with FSU's both are confident, so this makes this one too close to call.
Ronald Darby, CB, Oxon Hill (Md.) Potomac PREDICTION: Florida State. Darby, who is now the nation's top cornerback prospect, recently backed out of a longstanding commitment to Notre Dame and is considering Florida State, Auburn, Clemson, Maryland and others in addition to the Irish. As is the case with Goldman, both the Noles and Tigers feel confident about their chances with the speedy 6-foot-1 Under Armour All-American
Darius Hamilton, SDE, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep PREDICTION: Rutgers. Hamilton has been a lean to Rutgers for some time with Florida and Cal (with Lupoi) in the mix at various stages. The Gators are legitimate threat to land Hamilton, but it's going to take a lot to overcome the home team here, just as it always has.
Nelson Agholor, ATH, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep PREDICTION: Florida (another close one) From the start, we've said Agholor will either stay in-state or head to Los Angeles and play for USC and that's exactly how it's shaping up. Florida is the heavy in-state favorite and will have to hold off the Trojans, who get the final official visit. Make no mistake- it would not be a surprise to see Lane Kiffin and company land the dynamic playmaker when all is said and done. At the same time, we think the Gators' proximity gives them a slight edge
Josh Harvey-Clemons, OLB, Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes PREDICTION: Georgia. The race for the nation's No. 1 outside linebacker prospect is going to come down to border rivals Florida and Georgia. For most of the process, the safe bet was on Harvey-Clemons crossing the border and heading to Gainesville, Fla., to play for the Gators, but the Bulldogs have momentum late just as they did a year ago. Yet another tight battle.
WHO COULD FLIP BY SIGNING DAY? 247SPORTS
Mario Edwards (Florida State commit) defensive tackle from Texas Edwards, the nation's top overall prospect and a Florida State legacy, has been committed to the Noles since the spring, but Texas and LSU both are possibilities now. We think until he says otherwise, though, it's FSU. FLIPPER? No
Landon Collins (Alabama commit) safety from Baton Rouge, Louisiana The entire country saw Collins' mother demonstrate her displeasure about her son picking Alabama during the Under Armour All-American Game. For that reason, we can't say it's over, but we don't think the door is open wide. FLIPPER? No
Shaq Thompson (Cal commit) defensive back from Sacramento, Cal Thompson has been penciled in for Cal for nearly the entire process, but with recruiter Tosh Lupoi's departure for Washington, the Huskies are now squarely in the mix (he likes UW anyway). We think this one is interesting. FLIPPER? Yes, Washington
Dante Fowler (Florida State commit) defensive end from St. Petersburg, Fla. Fowler, a five-star prospect, has been committed to FSU for more than a year and despite two visits to Florida and USC coming up, it's hard to see him back out of that and head elsewhere. If he does, we think Gators. FLIPPER? No
Jameis Winston (Florida State commit) quarterback from Hueytown, Ala. Since the day Winston committed to Florida State, there has been speculation that he would flip given his proximity to Tuscaloosa. The door is still not closed- he met with Bama coaches this week and LSU is possible. FLIPPER? No
Mike Davis (South Carolina commit) running back from Stone Mountain, Georgia Davis, a four-star running back, backed out of a Florida commitment in December and committed to South Carolina last week. His older brother, James Davis, starred at Clemson and he may visit there, but Mike has been firm that he' solid. FLIPPER? No
STATE OF FLORIDA RECRUITS STAYING PUT? (RIVALS.COM): Last year marked the first time since the formation of the current Rivals.com in 2002 that more than half of the top 10 recruits from Florida signed with out-of-state colleges. Here's a look at where the top 10 prospects from Florida have signed each year. We've also included a look at the potential destinations of Florida's top 10 prospects in the 2012 class.
Florida's top overall prospect has left the state four of the last six years: Spiller from Lake Butler Union County to Clemson in 2006, Peterson (then known as Patrick Johnson) from Pompano Beach Ely to LSU in 2008, Richardson from Pensacola Escambia to Alabama in 2009 and Orlando Dr. Phillips defensive back Hasean Clinton-Dix to Alabama in 2011.
1. CB Tracy Howard: Undecided
2. WR Nelson Agholor: Undecided
3. OT John Theus: Georgia
4. ATH Eddie Williams: Alabama
5. DE Dante Fowler Jr.: Florida State
6. RB Randy "Duke" Johnson: Miami
7. RB Mario Pender: Florida State
8. WR Amari Cooper: Alabama
9. DE Leonard Williams: Undecided
10. TE Kent Taylor: Florida
1. DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: Alabama
2. DB Karlos Williams: Florida State
3. RB James Wilder Jr.: Florida State
4. LB Tony Steward: Clemson
5. WR Sammy Watkins: Clemson
6. RB Dee Hart: Alabama
7. RB Mike Bellamy: Clemson
8. DE Aaron Lynch: Notre Dame
9. DT Timmy Jernigan: Florida State
10. QB Jeff Driskel: Florida
1. DB Lamarcus Joyner: Florida State
2. LB Christian Jones: Florida State
3. DB Matt Elam: Florida
4. DE Corey Lemonier: Auburn
5. WR Ivan McCartney: West Virginia
6. LB Jeff Luc: Florida State
7. OL Chaz Green: Florida
8. DB Jaylen Watkins: Florida
9. ATH Christian Green: Florida State
10. OL Ian Silberman: Florida
1. RB Trent Richardson: Alabama
2. ATH Ray Ray Armstrong: Miami
3. DT Jacobbi McDaniel: Florida State
4. WR Andre Debose: Florida
5. DT Gary Brown: Florida
6. ATH Willie Downs: Florida State
7. QB Aaron Murray: Georgia
8. LB Zeke Motta: Notre Dame
9. RB Jamaal Berry: Ohio State
10. DE Ryne Giddins: USF
Yet even as so many elite prospects head out of state, Florida's three major powers are on the verge of delivering top-10 classes. Part of their success, oddly enough, has come with out-of-state recruits. Florida and Florida State have succeeded by looking outside their state's borders. Three of Florida State's four highest-rated prospects are Denton (Texas) defensive end Mario Edwards (the nation's No. 3 overall prospect), Hueytown (Ala.) quarterback Jameis Winston (No. 10) and Mobile (Ala.) defensive end Chris Casher (No. 36). Florida's top two recruits are Charlotte (N.C.) offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (No. 2) and Shelby (N.C.) defensive end Jonathan Bullard (No. 6).
Only six of the Seminoles' 15 commitments are from Florida, whereas in-state residents made up over three-quarters of the 2011 Florida State recruiting class that ranked second nationally. Nine of the Gators' 18 commitments have come from out-of-state players.
"I think it's just how things have worked out," Nee said. "Florida State and Florida had some major positions of need where it made more sense for them to go out of state."
For example, the state of Florida lacks an elite quarterback prospect this year, so Florida State pursued Winston. Stanford-bound Noor Davis of The Villages is the only Florida linebacker in the Rivals100, so Florida State landed Ukeme Eligwe of Stone Mountain (Ga.) and Florida added Antonio Morrison of Bolingbrook (Ill.).
Miami is taking a different approach. Rather than expanding their reach, the Hurricanes have concentrated on protecting their borders. Twenty-four of the 31 prospects in Miami's recruiting class played high school football in Florida.
ALABAMA: Alabama updated Nick Saban's statue Thursday to reflect the Crimson Tide's 14th national championship in football. A fresh etched "2011" appeared next to the "2009," both years signifying the two national championship teams Saban has coached at Alabama.
The latest came via a 21-0 victory over LSU on Jan. 9 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The update comes just in time for Saturday's national championship celebration set to take place at 2 p.m. inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Saban has three national championship teams. His first was in 2003 at LSU. (al.com)
NEW ENROLLEES: Eight newcomers to the University of Alabama football team have enrolled at UA and will participate in spring drills, the school announced Thursday. Wide receivers Chris Black and Amari Cooper, running back T.J. Yeldon, linebackers Dillion Lee and Ryan Anderson, defensive backs Deion Belue and Travell Dixon and defensive lineman Alphonse Taylor make up the Crimson Tide's mid-term enrollers. (tidesports.com)
TOUGH PLAYER: During Alabama's run to a second BCS title in three years, Josh Chapman was an unsung stalwart in the middle of the Tide's stifling defense. The senior played in 12 of 13 games - the only one he missed was a Nov. 19 win over Georgia Southern - and, amazingly, played two-thirds of the season with an injury that would've knocked mere mortals out for six months or so.
On Tuesday, Chapman underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee. Chapman suffered the injury in an Oct. 1 win over Florida, but decided to delay the surgery for more than three months after an MRI revealed the severity of the issue. (al.com)
AUBURN: Auburn wide receiver Emory Blake is returning for his senior season. Blake is enrolled in classes for the spring semester and is not listed among the record 65 underclassmen who are eligible for the NFL Draft. Tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen and running back Onterio McCalebb -- Auburn's other two underclassmen who expressed interest in entering the draft early -- also opted to return to the Tigers for their senior seasons. (al.com)
FLORIDA: The Gator spring game will be played on April 7. The Orange & Blue Debut kicks off at 1 p.m. and will be aired live in Sun Sports. The game will also be re-aired on April 8 at 9:30 a.m.
ORR ARRESTED: Florida DT Leon Orr faces a marijuana-related charge after receiving a notice to appear from the University Police Department last week. The redshirt freshman is charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. According to the Independent Florida Alligator, UPD searched Orr's room in the Keys Complex on Jan. 10 and found a "baggy of a green leafy substance, a glass pipe and rolling papers."
Orr's is Florida's ninth known arrest, and the eighth player to be arrested, since coach Will Muschamp took over in Jan. 2011. Six of those arrests included the same charge for marijuana possession, including two separate cases for CB Janoris Jenkins. Three of the players who have been arrested in the past year - Jenkins, LB Chris Martin and LB Dee Finley - are no longer with the team. It is Orr's first drug-related charge in Alachua County. He has a court date set for Feb. 8. (orlandosentinel.com)
VISIT WEEKEND: The Gators only have 18 commitments in the 2012 class and need to add at least seven more before prospects put pen to paper on Feb. 1. Signing 25 would give Muschamp a full class and provide some much-needed depth to his depleted roster of just 57 scholarship players.
With 10 official visitors heading to Gainesville on Friday, this weekend has the potential to be UF's most important of the recruiting season. Four of those visitors - RB Matt Jones (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), TE Colin Thompson (Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood Catholic), DT Jafar Mann (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) and CB Brian Poole (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast) - are Florida commitments and will have their recruiting caps on for the coaching staff
Receiving the warm welcome will be wideouts Stefon Diggs (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) and Avery Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla./Blanche Ely); defensive ends Dante Fowler Jr. (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood), Alex McCalister (Clemmons, N.C./West Forsyth) and Bryan Cox Jr. (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas); and five-star cornerback Tracy Howard (Miramar, Fla./Miramar).
The Gators are also getting an unofficial visit from five-star WR Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla. /Berkeley Prep), who took an official to UF on Dec. 9. Agholor and Diggs are ranked the No. 2 and No. 3 receivers nationally by Rivals.com and are both believed to be favoring Florida.
After taking his first two officials to Cal and Auburn alone, Diggs will be accompanied in Gainesville by his mother, stepfather and mentor, Our Lady of Good Counsel assistant coach Will Flaherty. With his SAT scheduled for next weekend, this will be the final visit for the five-star receiver. It's also the last trip for Johnson, who has been committed to LSU since September 2010 and is the brother of former Tiger cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Howard is the nation's No. 1 cornerback, according to Rivals.com, and his finalists are Florida and LSU. With a visit to Baton Rouge set for next weekend, this will be Howard's last time seeing The Swamp.
"We've been to Florida so much, but the official visits are a little different," said Tracy's mother, Shaiy Howard. "You get to interact with players and staff more and see some behind-the-scenes stuff that can't do on an unofficial visit. So we're very excited."
Fowler is the fourth five-star that will be on hand, and it is Florida's final attempt to sway the longtime FSU commitment.
"I'm just looking forward to having a good time with the coaches, hanging out with some of the players and seeing what else they have to offer," Fowler said.
The Gators recently targeted McCalister and Cox, who are both rated three-star defensive ends. McCalister will announce his college decision Monday between Florida and Georgia Tech, while Cox hopes to pull the trigger for UF this weekend. (gainesvillesun.com)
GEORGIA: RECRUITING NEWS: There is pro-UGA info on Sheldon Dawson today from sources close to the Ridgeway-Memphis athlete. He has yet to decide whether he will visit Memphis, Ole Miss, or even take a visit this weekend at all.
- Something that surprised me a little bit was that Miami Beach wide receiver Ricardo Louis was visited by secondary Scott Lakatos and head coach Mark Richt yesterday. Louis told me that he had a great time with the coaches. I get the feeling that this situation will be interesting, and I don't see him going to Auburn. I think FSU is one to look out for because of the fact that he knows so many kids from there. UGA has a chance.
- Lakatos is a busy man. I was told that he will be visiting Kenneth Crawley this evening and conventional wisdom says that they could be setting up and official visit at that time.
- I reported earlier that offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was down in Valdosta to see Joshua Harvey-Clemons today, but a couple of LHS coaches let me know that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was there as well. Harvey-Clemons has a great relationship with both coaches, and UGA is doing all they can to reel him in.
- According to sources close to Dalvin Tomlinson, there is a chance he won't set up an official visit to UGA, but, as of right now, he is trying to get there either this weekend or next. I am told that he WANTS to visit UGA, but if he doesn't, he has seen plenty of UGA and the lack of a visit won't affect his feelings toward Georgia. I personally feel like Georgia Tech leads here, but the fact that Tech and Alabama were his top two, and now he hasn't just pulled the trigger on Tech since Alabama cooled on him, has me thinking UGA may have a real chance here.
- As you saw this morning from Volquest, it appears that Dalton Santos won't be visiting UGA and, even if he does, he seems very firm to Tennessee. This leads me to believe that Beau Hankins from Jackson-Olin in Birmingham could get an offer soon. Some believe that he and Harding Harper from Montgomery are a package deal and locks to Arkansas, but I think a UGA offer to Hankins could be one of the few things that split them up. I like Hankins and have stated that here a few times. He is a high character guy with a great frame and great academics. I personally believe that if the light comes on with him and he plays with more fire and intensity, he would be a very good ILB prospect at the next level. He just needs to learn to play lower and with more aggression.
- The Kenderius Whitehead situation is one I have been really calling around about today, and I keep hearing that UGA did not drop him at all. When Jordan Jenkins committed, it seemed, to those close to Whitehead, like UGA started recruiting him with less intensity, but they would have still taken him. It appears that the decision to commit to NC State was due to the fact that Georgia's depth really worried him. He had to make the best decision for himself, and he had a great time in Raleigh on his official visit. Despite his commitment to the Wolfpack, I don't believe his recruitment is over and I expect UGA to send a coach or two to his home in the next week or so.
- Josh Dawson is a name that has gotten really popular around here, and as we reported yesterday, Dawson will see assistant Rodney Garner today and Coach Richt next week. Every time I communicate with Dawson, I get the feeling that UGA is gaining ground. Now that Whitehead seems to be off the board a bit, I would expect the UGA staff to be that much more aggressive in going after Dawson. (ugasports.com)
ACC FOOTBALL NOTES
CLEMSON: The rumors connecting Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables to Clemson over the past week finally resulted in confirmation from Venables himself last night that he would be the new DC for the Tigers. Reasons behind the move speculated from one extreme to the other. Some believed Venables was insulted that he would have to share the DC spot again with Mike Stoops; others pointed toward increased financial compensation at Clemson. As it is most of the time, it was probably a combination of factors and really somewhere in the middle. (cft.com)
FLORIDA STATE: Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has finally seen the pay raise that was expected to come his way. On Friday, he officially signed a one-year contract extension worth an additional $135,000 on top of his previous yearly salary. The Orlando Sentinel obtained a copy of the new contract from FSU officials Wednesday morning.
Between now and 2015, Stoops is set to make $575,000. He also is eligible to make any bonuses that were outlined in his previous contract. Last March, he and other FSU assistants renegotiated contract deals after the Seminoles' 10-4 inaugural season under head coach Jimbo Fisher. Stoops' previous deal, which went through 2014, paid him $440,000 total. (orlandosentinel.com)
Here are the official visitors for this weekend (warchant.com):Marvin Bracy
PROSPECT LOOK: Menelik Watson Offensive Tackle Mission Viejo (CA) Saddleback C.C.
Height: 6-foot-6 Weight: 320. Watson has a freakish upside with his size and natural athleticism. The downside is that he has played organized football for less than a year since he originally came over to the United States from England to play college basketball. The mammoth OL had a great visit to FSU this past weekend. While he didn't say much after his visit, we hear it's a coin toss between Auburn and Florida State.
Reggie Northup Linebacker Jacksonville (FL) First Coast Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 220 Ranking: No. 30 outside Linebacker. Northrup had a monster senior season, racking up 180 tackles with 39 tackles for loss. He grew up a Seminole fan but didn't feel like he was a top target from the staff early in the process. As a result, he made a commitment to the Hurricanes last summer. However, with such a pressing need at linebacker, the FSU coaches have really turned up the heat as of late. The four-star linebacker will visit FSU officially this weekend. Schools of interest: Miami (commitment), Florida State, Arkansas, North Carolina.
Ricardo Louis Wide receiver Miami Beach (FL) Miami Beach Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 190 Ranking: No. 28 Wide receiver
Louis is an explosive receiver with good size. While he is still committed to Auburn, the Rivals250 WR had a fantastic visit to FSU this past weekend. The change in the Tigers' offensive coordinator, him being an in-state recruit and his relationship with current Seminoles Xavier Rhodes and Lamarcus Joyner should give the 'Noles a great shot. Schools of interest: Auburn (commitment), Florida State, Georgia.
Colin Blake Cornerback San Antonio (TX) Brandeis Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 185 Ranking: No. 14 Cornerback
With his exceptional size, Blake could line up at either cornerback and safety in college. The longtime Texas A&M commitment visited FSU this past weekend and called it his "best". The 'Noles have put themselves in a position to pull off a late switch for the Rivals250 defensive back. This one could go down to national signing day. Schools of interest: Texas A&M (commitment), Florida State, Oklahoma, TCU
Ronald Darby Cornerback Potomac (MD) Oxon Hill Height: 5-foot-11 Weight: 172 Ranking: No. 6 Cornerback. Darby is a top cornerback prospect that possesses exceptional speed and quickness. The longtime Notre Dame commitment opened up his recruitment earlier this month and visited FSU officially last weekend. Being able to interact with several Seminole commitments at the Under Armour all-star game practices also helped FSU get firmly in the mix. Schools of interest: FSU, Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame
Leonard Williams Defensive End Daytona Beach (FL) MainlandHeight: 6-foot-5 Weight: 254
Ranking: No. 5 Strongside Defensive End. While he may be a bit raw, Williams has the size and natural ability to play on Sundays. He's been a recruit the FSU staff has had their eye on for a while but it's been more of a numbers issue with so few scholarships left. The 'Noles already have three top-notch defensive ends committed in this class. Before his visit to FSU this past weekend, Auburn and Florida were his stated leaders. However, the Rivals100 member now says he has no leaders. Schools of interest: Auburn, FSU, Florida, USC, Miami
Nelson Agholor Wide Receiver Tampa (FL) Berkeley Prep Height: 6-foot-2 Weight: 180
Ranking: No. 3 Wide Receiver. Despite playing for a small school, Agholor is one of the premier athletes in the Southeast. He could play on either side of the ball but prefers offense. He has been pretty quiet about his recruitment but most believe USC is the team to beat. He visited Tallahassee officially last weekend and is being recruited by FSU WR coach Lawrence Dawsey. Schools of interest: USC, FSU, Florida, Notre Dame
Tracy Howard Cornerback Miramar (FL) Miramar Height: 5-foot-11 Weight: 175
Ranking: No. 1 Cornerback. For months the Seminoles were felt to be the team to beat for the nation's No. 1 ranked cornerback but a few weeks ago he stated that Florida and LSU were his top teams. Tough to get a handle on which school or schools truly lead the South Florida product but FSU is definitely in the mix. He visited FSU back in November and will close out his visit schedule with trips to Florida and LSU. Schools of interest: LSU, Florida, Florida State, USC
Josh Harvey-Clemons Athlete/Linebacker Valdosta (GA) Lowndes Height: 6-foot-5Weight: 210
Ranking: No. 1 Athlete. Even though he plays on both sides of the football and is officially listed as an "athlete" it is expected that Harvey-Clemons will play linebacker in college. While he needs to add a little bulk at the next level, he has amazing speed and athleticism and is a perfect fit for an outside linebacker in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Despite FSU's recent pipeline to Lowndes, Georgia and Florida are the clear leaders for his services. Schools of interest: Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Louisville
Andrus Peat Offensive Tackle Tempe (AZ) Corona Del Sol Height: 6-foot-7 Weight: 305
Ranking: No. 3 offensive Tackle. Peat is one of the nation's best and plays at a position of need for the Seminoles. He showed off his potential by successfully fending off several big time defensive ends in the recently completed Under Armour all-star game. Peat has been generally non-committal about his recruitment but will visit FSU with his family this weekend. However, most believe the Huskers hold a slight edge because his brother Todd currently plays for Nebraska. Schools of interest: Nebraska, FSU, USC, Stanford
Eddie Goldman Defensive Tackle Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy Height: 6-foot-4 Weight: 307 Ranking: No. 1 Defensive Tackle. Without question, Goldman is considered the top defensive tackle for the class of 2012. Florida State has been in a tight battle with Alabama for the top spot on Goldman's leader board. The recent departure of Alabama assistant coach Sal Sunseri, who left to become the new defensive coordinator at Tennessee, may have helped the 'Noles' chances. When also helps the Seminoles is that the five-star recruit has an excellent relationship with FSU coach Odell Haggins. Schools of interest: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Cal
MIAMI: VISITORS FOR THIS WEEKEND
ATH - 5.8 6-3/200 January 20 Tennessee
DT - 6-4/290 January 20 Miami
RB 5.8 6-1/200 January 20 Maryland
TE 5.6 6-5/210 January 20 Miami
ATH 5.8 6-0/185 January 20 Miami
WR 5.8 5-10/170 January 20 Miami
OL 5.9 6-6/273 January 20 list
Brent Beaird writes for Lindy's Sports, Gator Bait magazine and Samsportsline.com. He can be heard on 1010XL sports radio in Jacksonville, Florida. Brent, who is a Heisman Trophy voter, can be contacted at email@example.com
E-MAIL BRENT AT firstname.lastname@example.org