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Around the Nation with Allen Wallace

Detron Lewis, a three-star wide receiver from A&M Consolidated in College Station, Texas, finished his senior season with 39 catches for 760 yards and seven touchdowns.

Unlike most recruits, Lewis maintains that he has never had a favorite. The 5-foot-11, 185 pounder, doesn't plan to narrow things down until after he takes his final trips to Nebraska on Jan. 12 and Texas Tech on Jan. 19.

"Nebraska is still a team on the rise," said Lewis, ranked as the No. 58 receiver by Scout.com. "They had a good season, but they are going to be getting even better. They are really establishing the passing game and that's what I'm looking for in a program. I also really like their recruiting coordinator (Shawn Wilson). He's a good guy and says there's a good chance I could play early."

Lewis already took an official visit to UTEP on Sept. 30 and lists the Miners as one of his top six, along with Texas Tech, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, UTEP and Kansas. He says all have offered.

"I need to see were I fit in the best," Lewis said. "All these schools throw the ball, but I want to play, so I'll have to check out their depth charts. I may still try to set up a visit for the final weekend in January if I can't decide by then."

Arkansas is a team that has really impressed Lewis this season, although he's beginning to question their offense. "They had a good season, but they really started to run the ball a lot more toward the end. I really plan on going to a program with a passing offense. I need to talk to their coaches and see what they plan to do."

His desire to perform in a passing offense is one of the main reasons that Texas Tech is on his list. "I just love how they are always airing it out," Lewis said. "For a wide receiver that's a great place to play. You know you're going to get the ball and you're gonna get a chance to make plays."

*****

Matt Masifilo, a four-star defensive tackle from Campbell High in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, continues to favor Washington, Stanford and California.

"It's gonna be where I'm the most comfortable," Masifilo said of his impending decision. "All these schools have great programs and academics. You can argue forever about who's best, but in the end none of that matters."

Masifilo, ranked No. 22 by Scout.com as a defensive tackle, has taken four official visits and doesn't plan on taking a fifth. "I'd just be wasting some schools time," he said.

The 6-2, 260-pounder visited Washington on Nov. 11 and was very impressed with the Huskies. "I really like the area a lot and I think the coaches have them moving in the right direction. Coach Tyrone Willingham has one recruiting class under his belt and he's got a good record with recruiting top players and turning teams around.

"Washington also has great academic support," Masifilo said. "The athletes are treated like real students and I got to tour the engineering department and was really impressed."

In fact, the lack of an engineering program is ultimately what caused Masifilo to take Oregon off his list. He visited the Ducks on Nov. 4 and for awhile they were his favorite team. "I was seriously considering choosing Oregon because I had liked them for a long time," Masifilo said. "My grandparents live up there and I thought it was the perfect situation, but they don't have an engineering program. They are a liberal arts school and I didn't want to compromise my education. I've wanted to be an engineering major forever."

With Masifilo being so serious about an engineering degree, it's no surprise that Cal is one of his favorites. "They are the number one public university in the country," Masifilo said.

The Bears have been recruiting him the hardest all season and Masifilo has an in-home visit scheduled with defensive line coach Ken Delgado on Jan. 15. "I've probably developed the closest relationship with coach Delgado," Masifilo said.

"Cal has amazing athletes," Masifilo said. "Coach (Jeff) Tedford is known for recruiting speed and they teach their players well. They execute really well and don't make a lot of mistakes. The team also seems to have a special bond."

The last official visit Masifilo took was to Stanford and he says that the new Cardinal head coach, Jim Hartbaugh, is also coming to his house on Jan. 15. "I've talked with him over the phone a few times and he seems very energetic and he's got charisma," Masifilo said. "He seems very involved and I'm looking forward to meeting him in person.

"I think after I meet with all these coaches one more time, I'll be able to decide," Masifilo said.

"I'm going to write down all the good things about each school and rank the importance of each one on a scale of 1-10 and hopefully that will help me make my decision.

"I know Signing Day is coming up," Masifilo said. "Washington is pretty close to filling all their spots, while Cal said they are taking four defensive lineman this year and have none committed yet.

"I'll make the best out of wherever I go. I could see myself playing at any of these schools," Masifilo said. The superior student has a 4.0 core GPA and an 1810 SAT.

*****

Chad Jones, a five-star safety from Southern University Lab School in Baton Rouge, La., continues to name USC (Dec. 15 official visit) and LSU (Jan. 26) as his big leaders. Florida State, Florida and Miami are also slightly in the running. All have offered.

"I like USC's football program," said Jones, Scout.com's No. 4 safety. "I like the school and the coaches. I have good relationships with the coaches. Ken Norton Jr. (linebackers) is real energetic. I get along with him well. I can talk to him about anything. I visited the stadium and dorm rooms. It's a big school. My host, 'T-Will', took me around town. It's a nice city.

"I'm visiting LSU on Jan. 26,"said the big 6-3, 232 pounder with the 4.5 forty-yard dash speed. "I like Coach (Les) Miles. He's cool. And I would like to play with my brother, Rahim Alem (defensive end).

"I was camp MVP when I attended their camp. It's a big school and only 15 minutes away from home. I know a lot of people there. I have friends that go there. I also know my brother's friends. They want me as a free safety. The coaches also said that I can play wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner.

"LSU and USC are equal," Jones said. "They both have a 50% chance of getting me.

"But I also have official visits with Florida, Florida State and Miami. I just want to see all three schools before deciding. Maybe they might change my mind. My visit with Florida State will be Jan. 12. Florida will be Jan. 19. Miami, I'm not sure. I can see myself playing at any of the schools. You never know what can happen until you see it.

"On Signing Day (Feb. 6), I will have a press conference at my high school," Jones said. "When everyone watches me on television, everyone will know then. I am not going to announce my commitment until Signing Day."

Jones says he can play both defense and offense. "I prefer defense. When I'm playing defense, I know how to get the ball," Jones said. "I know how to dodge blockers and be in the area where the ball is thrown. I have vision. I can see what part of the field that will be open. I am a big playmaker. A big play will happen when I get the ball."

Southern University finished 11-3, losing in the semifinals. Jones had 120 tackles, 12 interceptions (6 for scores), 3 forced fumbles and 11 offensive touchdowns.

The South with Andrew Bone, Steve Robertson and Miller Safrit

Chris Donald, a Scout.com five-star linebacker from Huntingdon, Tenn., gave his verbal commitment to Tennessee during the U.S. Army All-American game. Donald chose the Volunteers over an intense battle with Notre Dame. Scout.com four-star offensive lineman Chris Little, from Jeffersonville-Twiggs County, Ga. committed to Florida State during U.S. Army All-American game as well.

*****

Sidell Corley, an U.S. Army All-American from Mobile-McGill-Toolen, Ala., plans to officially visit Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee in January. He has already visited Oklahoma. He will decide his final visit between Auburn and Illinois.

*****

Michael McNeil, a Scout.com four-star safety from Mobile-Davidson, Ala., had eliminated Alabama from his list of favorites, but with the hiring of Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa the Crimson Tide is back in the thick of things for his signature. He will officially visit Auburn, Florida State and Alabama in January. He has already taken an official visit to Tennessee.

*****

Allen Bailey, a Scout.com five-star defensive end from Darien-McIntosh Academy, Ga., stated following the U.S. Army All-American game he will officially visit Alabama, Miami and Georgia. He has already visited Florida and does not claim an overall favorite.

*****

John Brown, a Scout.com five-star defensive tackle from Lakeland, Fla., will visit Alabama January 12. He will visit Florida State and Florida (last visit) before making his college decision. He took an official visit to LSU and all have a shot at his signature in February.

*****

Ben Martin, a Scout.com four-star defensive end from Cincinnati-La Salle, Ohio, gave his commitment to the University of Tennessee. Martin committed to the Volunteers at the U.S. Army All-American gave over Ohio State.

*****

Cameron Heyward, a Scout.com four-star defensive end from Atlanta-Whitefield Academy, Ga., has three official visit scheduled in January. He will visit LSU (Jan. 12), Florida (Jan. 19) and Ohio State (Jan. 26).

*****

Earl Patin, a Scout.com three-star linebacker from Baton Rouge-Southern University Lab, Louis., has scheduled official visits to Miami and West Virginia.

*****

Ole Miss landed a the commitment of Darnell Williams, a Scout.com three-star receiver from Winter Park, Fla. Williams chose the Rebels over Kentucky, Nebraska and N.C. State.

*****

Ricky Holloway, a junior linebacker from Somerville-Fayette Ware, Tenn., has received three early SEC scholarship offers. Holloway has been offered by Arkansas, Mississippi State and Tennessee.

*****

Rodney Brisbon, a Scout.com four-star offensive lineman from Northwest Community College in Mississippi, gave his commitment to Houston.

*****

Lorenzo Edwards, a Scout.com four-star linebacker from Orlando-Edgewater announced his verbal commitment Saturday in San Antonio, Texas during the U.S. Army All-American game.

"I kind of made a promise to my mom that I would go to school for four years and get my degree before I enter the draft," said Lorenzo Edwards before he picked his school. "Florida is just its own place and the atmosphere is like no other. I really like their academics and they have a terrific architecture program."

*****

Florida State University landed a big one Saturday when Chris Little, a Scout.com four-star offensive lineman from Twiggs County High School, announced his commitment at the U.S. Army All-American game. The All-American from Georgia talks about his decision.

"I was a fan of Florida State growing up," stated Chris Little from Jeffersonville, (Ga.). "When I first got my offer from Florida State I knew that was where I wanted to go. I decided to go through the whole recruiting process. I decided that Florida State was the best place for me and the place I wanted to be."

*****

It appears that Darrius Young, a wide receiver from Shannon, Miss., may end up at Mississippi State. The talented wideout holds offers from Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Tennessee, but the Bulldogs appear to be the most interested in signing Darrius at this point. He will visit the Mississippi State campus on January 26th.

The Midwest with Andrew Bone

Kansas had a big official visit weekend highlighted by Sherod Murdock, a Scout.com three-star cornerback from Tampa-Middleton, Fla., and tight end Logan Brock, from Copperas Cove, Texas. Chris Harris, a wide receiver from Bixby, Okla., also took an official visit to Kansas and gave his commitment to the Jayhawks.

*****

Baker Steinkuhler, a Nebraska 2008 commitment from Lincoln-Southwest, Neb., was in San Antonio for the U.S. Army National Combine. Steinkuhler looked very impressive, and he is a solid commitment to the Cornhuskers.

The Southwest with Jason Jewell

New Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson just received his fourth commitment from an in-state junior college player that had previously committed elsewhere. Jarrell Holman, a 6-1 190-pound cornerback from Phoenix College, pledged to the Sun Devils after committing previously to the University of Minnesota. Erickson also was able to talk wide receiver T.J. Simpson into honoring his commitment to ASU. Simpson, from Peoria HS (Peoria, AZ) committed to ASU in September but changed his mind after Dirk Koetter was fired. Yesterday, Simpson decided he will stay close to home and re-committed to ASU.

*****

Many people get caught up in the big schools and their commitments but several players from the Grand Canyon state committed to mid-major programs this week. San Diego State landed two kids in Kellen Farr, a 6-7, 270-pound tight end from Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Ariz., and Alston Umuolo, a linebacker from Centennial High in Peoria, Ariz. Farr projects as an offensive tackle at the next level.

*****

Wide receiver Mike Greco from Notre Dame High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., pledged to play at Army while Torey Huckaby, a Glendale Community College linebacker, signed his letter of intent with UTEP.

The West with Brandon Huffman

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl turned out to be a big weekend for several California prospects. Two players made their decisions during the week of the game and several of the committed prospects stood out.

Michael Williams, the 5-10, 180-pound safety from St. Bonaventure in Ventura, Calif., chose Michigan over Notre Dame when he announced during the game. Matt Summers-Gavin had to sit out the game with an injury, but the big offensive tackle from St. Ignatius Prep in San Francisco committed to California the day before the game.

Po'u Palelei, the mammoth two-way lineman from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, was set to announce during the game but decided to hold off and will instead take his official visits this month. Palelei said that Texas A&M and Arizona State are his leaders.

Donovan Warren, the four-star cornerback from Long Beach Poly, was the lone uncommitted player from California left without a decision having been made. Warren will visit UCLA this weekend, but he is a heavy lean to USC.

USC's commits were the stars during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, with Chris Galippo, the nation's top-ranked linebacker from Servite in Anaheim winning MVP honors, and Everson Griffen, the top-ranked defensive end from Arizona also having a big day.

But that wasn't the only good news the Trojans had during the week. Aside from beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl, USC received commitments from Brandon Carswell, a four-star receiver from Milpitas, Calif., and from Da'John Harris, a five-star defensive tackle from Serra High in Gardena.

*****

Boise State parlayed the biggest win in school history, a thrilling Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma, into a trio of committments.

Hunter White, a safety/linebacker from Edison in Huntington Beach, Calif., called Broncos head coach Chris Peterson just minutes after the Fiesta Bowl to give his pledge to the Broncos. Fellow Orange County native Garrett Pendergast from Servite also committed to the Broncos.

And Billy Winn, the top defensive player in Nevada, also gave the Broncos a pledge.

*****

Fresno Statealready has landed their top offensive target in Devan Cunningham, a mammoth offensive tackle from Grant in Sacramento. Last week, the Bulldogs picked up their top defensive target, Chris Carter, a three-star linebacker from Kaiser in Fontana.

Carter had several Pac-10 offers but his relationship with Bulldogs running back Lonyae Miller (they were prep teammates and best friends) and with the Bulldogs coaches gave Fresno State the edge.

*****

As the 2007 class winds down, a host of 2008 prospects were at the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio. Dominique Blackman, a 6-5 quarterback from Carson was named to the all-Combine team along with Robert Golden, a cornerback from Edison in Fresno, Malik Jackson, a defensive end from Birmingham in Van Nuys, Antwon Moutra, a receiver from Culver City and Austin Holt, a tight end from South Jordan, Utah.

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

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