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Around the Nation with Allen Wallace

Three-star running back Derrick Washington, from Raymore-Peculiar High School in Peculiar, Mo., has helped lead his team to a 2-1 record with 77 carries for 624 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 190 pounder also had four catches for 85 yards and an additional two scores.

Washington favors Missouri slightly over Kansas, Michigan State, Colorado State and Nebraska. All of his favorites have offered except Nebraska. "They told me that they are only offering one running back this year, so we'll see what happens," he said. "I like Nebraska and think they have a good team. I didn't get to see the USC game, but I heard they played well. It was a tough test and I think they have a lot to be positive about.

"Also, I just sent my first two game tapes to Michigan State," Washington said. "My coach told me that they have an offer for me and I should be getting it in the mail soon."

Washington attended the Missouri/Ole Miss game on September 9 and said he'll try to attend a few more, but he doesn't have any official visits scheduled yet. "It was a nice game," Washington said. "They came out extremely hard and it just became a route. It was still good and the crowd was very pumped up. Right now, Missouri is probably recruiting me the hardest. I talk with the head coach (Gary Pinkel) a lot and he says that their offense is perfect for me and that I could come in and make a lot of plays.

"I need to take my visits and see how I fit in on the campus and how I get along with the players," Washington said. "I want to see what the student life is like and get a chance to experience everything."

*****

Scout.com's No. 9 safety, Christian Scott, from Skyline High School in Dallas, has only seen limited playing time due to a right ankle sprain. Dallas Skyline is 2-0 and Scott does have one touchdown at quarterback.

Scott, who lists at 6-0, 195 pounds and runs a 4.5 forty yard dash, favors LSU and Oklahoma slightly over Florida State, Texas A&M, Texas and Oklahoma State. All of his favorites have offered.

"I really like the coaching staff at LSU a lot," Scott said. "I like that they are laid back and very easy to talk to. Also, they have a great history and they do well every year."

Scott says the Tigers are recruiting him the hardest. "I need to get a feel for all the coaches and players and see how it would be to go there," Scott said. "Right now I'm really liking LSU and Oklahoma and LSU has been coming on strong. They have been showing a lot more interest recently."

Although he doesn't have any official visits scheduled, Scott will be attending the Oklahoma/Texas game on October 7. "That'll be a good game," Scott said. "I think they are pretty evenly matched. I think it'll be a close game. I wasn't really surprised that Texas lost to Ohio State last week, but I was shocked that Oregon beat Oklahoma on Saturday. I think they got cheated on the onsides kick, but they still had a chance to win it with a field goal and got blocked. It just wasn't their day.

"It's funny because almost all of my favorites lost yesterday," Scott said. "It's surprising, but they are all good teams. Florida State losing was a big surprise too, but I still expect them to have a pretty good year. They didn't play well, but they have good coaches that know how to rebound and win."

*****

Four-star wide receiver Anthony Boyles from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena (Calif.) still has Washington and Oregon as his top two schools, with the Huskirs having a slight edge over the Ducks.

"I'll probably only visit Washington and Oregon," said the lanky 6-3, 185 pounder who is Scout.com's No. 16 wideout. "I don't want to take other trips because these are the two schools that I'm mainly looking at.

"I really like the coaches at Washington. They are doing well and are improving a lot," Boyles said. "They are 2-1 right now and I think they'll get even better with every game. Plus, I really feel the most comfortable around them. I like that they don't BS you and are very honest.

"Oregon has a great program and they do well every year," Boyles said. "They have a great passing offense and are always a winning team. They played a tough one against Oklahoma and won.

"I want to see who recruits me the most and who sticks with me through the year," Boyles said. "I'll also pay attention to how well they all do as well."

Boyles attended the USC/Nebraska game on Satuday, September 16. "It was really exciting. I got to be down on the field and I just felt like I was playing. I felt part of the action," Boyles said. "It was really hyped and the energy was amazing. USC looked great. They are definitely a school that I like, but they haven't offered me so I'm not worrying about it."

Serra High is currently 1-1. Boyles has 10 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns.

The Southeast with Andrew Bone

Five-star defensive tackle Kerry Murphy, from Hoover, Ala., took a mid-week unofficial visit to Alabama with his Buccaneer assistant coach Chris Davis. Murphy may wait until national day before making a decision. His current favorites include Alabama, Miami and Auburn.

*****

Four-star wide receiver Brandon Gibson, from Mobile-UMS-Wright, Ala., has scheduled his first official visit. Gibson will visit Alabama the weekend of the Iron Bowl (November 18-20). Four-star defensive end Sidell Corley, from Mobile-McGill-Toolen, Ala., scheduled an official visit the same weekend. Corley is a soft verbal commitment to the Florida Gators.

*****

Mountain Brook, Ala. lineman Tyler Love (6-7, 290-pounds) took an unofficial visit to Alabama for the Vanderbilt game. Love projects as one of the top offensive lineman in the nation in the class of 2008. He received his first SEC offer from Vanderbilt.

*****

Three-star linebacker Albert Rocker, from New Market-Sparkman, Ala., has been explosive for his senior season. Rocker recorded 24 tackles and nine sacks in his first two games. He holds several scholarship offers, but the in-state schools have yet to pull the trigger. He took an unofficial visit to Alabama for the Vanderbilt game.

*****

The Auburn Tigers hosted several top in-state players for their big SEC-West game against LSU. Four-star receiver Brandon Gibson, from Mobile-UMS-Wright; three-star offensive lineman Nick Fairley from Mobile-Williamson; Huntsville's receivers Qunidarius Carr and A.J. Walker; Hoover's receiver Brandon Clear and brother defensive end Byron and class of 2008 Foley wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones holds several scholarship offers including Alabama, Auburn and LSU.

The top out-of-state prospects in Auburn for the weekend included four-star running back Enrique Davis, from Lynn Haven, Fla., and three-star Ian Williams, from Longwood-Lyman, Fla.

*****

Wide receiver Kyrus Lanxter of Alcoa, Tenn., announced his verbal commitment to West Virginia. Lanxter received numerous scholarship offers including Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

*****

Four-star defensive end Ben Martin, from Cincinatti-La Salle, Ohio, took an unofficial visit to the University of Tennessee for the Florida game. Martin has the Volunteers as one of his favorites. He plans to take official visits to Tennessee, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida.

The Volunteers could not pull out the win over the Florida Gators, but they did receive a verbal commitment for the class of 2008. Cornerback J.T. Floyd, from Greeneville-J.L. Mann, S.C. committed to Tennessee following the game.

The West with Chris Fetters and Brandon Huffman

Despite five D1 offers, Steven Ayers of Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., is being patient. The 6-4 280-pound lineman is going to wait until the season is over to visit colleges, but is still going to games when he can. He went to the Baylor/WSU game on Saturday. "It was cool," Ayers told Scout.com. "It was also track recruiting weekend, so I got to actually go on the field. That was pretty cool. It just kind of happened that way."

The schools that have track and football are recruiting him for both - which means one team - Washington State. "Oregon State doesn't have track," Ayers said. "UNLV doesn't have track, and I'm not sure about Boise State and Idaho."

Ayers has those five D1 offers, and Western Washington and Eastern Washington also have offered. "I'm getting some interest from Utah and hopefully U-Dub (Washington) will pick up too," he said. And any dates for official visits? "I took an unofficial visit to UNLV over the summer and set up an official visit back there in December, but I can't remember the date," he added.

With prospects committing left and right with that many offers, why is Ayers choosing to wait? "That way I can focus on it then and just play football now and have fun," he said, matter-of-factly.

The emphasis on "fun" needs to come fast, as Sehome is 1-2. They lost to defending 3A champs Ferndale and then they 'beat themselves' against Mount Baker with three turnovers in the first possessions of the game.

Ayers is playing tackle on defense and guard on offense. "We play the wing-t, so guard is the place to put me," Ayers said.

*****

Daniel Paul is a 6-1, 235-pound linebacker/guard/fulllback prospect from Barlow High School in Gresham, Ore., and most colleges are looking at Daniel as a bruising linebacker. "I love football," he told Scout.com recently. "Just the physicalness of it, being about to do stuff that you'd get arrested for on the streets."

Paul credits guys such as Bo Thran (Oregon) and Brady Camp (Oregon State), among many others, for molding him into the player he is today. "All the seniors helped me to become a better player and it's the best experience of my life so far. They kept telling me to play every play like it's the last play of my life, because it'll be gone just like that. It's over in a heartbeat and you'll miss it. Do everything like it's your last, so that's how I approached this past off-season."

Paul currently benches 345 pounds, cleans 355 pounds and squats 600 pounds. Lifting is more than just a hobby for him. "I love power clean so much, it's such an explosive lift and it's so good for football," he said.

Already proactive in the recruiting process, Paul said, "I went to camps at Oregon, Oregon State, Boise State and Washington and I also went to a couple of combines too. It was great to see the other competition out there."

Paul earned LB MVP honors while at Boise State. "That was an honor," he said, noting that he really didn't get a chance for honors at the other camps because they were mostly day camps. It's the third year in a row he's attended the Broncos' camp.

"They are usually underdogs, but they come out and just kick everybody's butt," Paul said of BSU. "I love their intensity and how they love the game over there."

But there's no question that Oregon and Oregon State have a little bit of a home-court advantage. "That's my dream, to play at one of those schools," he said. "But Boise State is an awesome school, I love the coaches there too." He will visit BSU this weekend when they play Hawaii. The Broncos offered in the middle of August and are currently Daniel's only offer.

The Ducks and Broncos have been diligent in their recruitment. "I've talked to the Oregon coaches and the Boise State coaches," Paul said. "Not as much with the Oregon State coaches. I love Don Pellum. He's a great linebackers coach.

"Oregon has a great program. They have great coaches and it's very high class. They are great people and they love their program."

On September1st - the first day coaches could re-establish contact with recruits - Paul heard from UO's Neal Zoumboukos and BSU's Justin Wilcox.

*****

Ryan McCants, a 6-2, 225-pound running back from Santiago High in Corona, Calif., served notice that he will be one to watch with a dominant performance against Servite in Week One. McCants rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns with coaches from USC and UCLA in attendance. Though neither school has offered, McCants still has eight under his belt, with a top five of Colorado, Nebraska, Arizona State, Oregon State and Mississippi.

*****

Tight end Austin Holt from Bingham, Utah, could very well end up as the top tight end in the West in the class of 2008. With two offers from Utah and BYU already under his belt, more attention has been coming from around the country. Holt has decided to take in a trip to Oregon for the Ducks home game against UCLA next month. Both the Bruins and the Ducks are on Holt's early short list, while Notre Dame and Colorado have also been showing a lot of early interest.

*****

More prospects in the class of 2008 are picking up offers. Maurice Simmons, a junior linebacker/safety out of Dominguez High in Compton, picked up his first offer last week, from Ole Miss. Simmons is one of the top defensive players in the class of 2008 in California. Another top prospect in that class, D.J. Shoemate out of Servite in Anaheim, Calif., made his decision to attend USC a long time ago. But a big junior year was put on hold when Shoemate suffered a season-ending foot injury. Rahim Moore, a junior cornerback from Dorsey in Los Angeles, has been offered by Washington State and Washington as well as a verbal offer from UCLA. Kemonte Bateman, a junior receiver from Crenshaw, also has a verbal offer from UCLA. Bateman was the MVP of the B2G Elite Football Program this past summer.

For more in-depth coverage of college-football prospects, visit SuperPrep.com

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