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Around the Nation with Allen Wallace
Curtis Shaw, a three-star running back (ranked No. 38 by Scout.com) from Stockton, Calif., has rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns. His team is 4-3 and has two games left in the regular season.
Shaw, a 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, 4.5 forty yard dash sprinter, denies a leader, but said he likes Michigan, Washington, Oregon, Fresno State and California. All of his favorites have offered scholarships.
"I really like the tradition at Michigan," Shaw said. "They always have great running backs and are a powerhouse program. They have great coaches and I really like the offensive coordinator (Mike DeBord). He sets up the plays to confuse the defensive and they always seem to call the right play at the right time."
Shaw says that the school that is recruiting him the hardest is Oregon. "They seem to be in contact the most," Shaw said. "They call and talk to my dad a lot and they send me the most letters.
"I really like the Oregon offense and the coaches seem to really understand the game. They are very smart and have been there for a long time. The also really seem to care about the players as people and not just athletes."
Although Shaw hasn't scheduled any official visits yet, he says he'll do so soon Â¿ early December. Shaw says that the coach he has the best relationship with is Tyrone Willingham from Washington. "He's really inspiring," Shaw said. "He speaks very honestly and is a great motivator. I just love listening to him. He's done a great job at Washington. I watched the California game and even though they lost I liked how they never gave up. They play hard and are an up-and-coming program."
Three-star tailback/fullback William Anderson, ranked as the No. 7 fullback by Scout.com, from St. Louis, Mo., favors Missouri slightly over Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota and Kansas. He says he has offers from Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois.
"Missouri is the only school that is regularly recruiting me," said the 5-11, 220 pounder. "I hear from coach Cornell Ford (cornerbacks coach) a lot. He says that I'd fit in well as a tailback because I'm the type of guy they need. They really like my speed. I like that they are rebuilding their facilities and improving everything. I also really like head coach Gary Pinkel because he's all about business and seems very real."
Anderson hasn't scheduled any official visits yet and says he'll wait until after the season to do so.
"Nebraska has amazing facilities too and they are still enhancing them and making improvements," Anderson said. "I like how intense they practice and their tradition. I'm being recruited by their defensive coordinator (Kevin Cosgrove) and he's a really funny guy. He seems cool, but all the coaches seem cool when they are recruiting you. I'm sure things change once you actually play for them."
Anderson has helped lead his team to an 8-1 record with over 700 yards rushing for 13 touchdowns. He says he averages over seven yards per carry.
Scout.com two-star wide receiver Chris Rucker from Detroit, Mich., has helped lead his team to an 8-2 record and the second round of the playoffs. Rucker has 950 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. The speedy, diminutive 5-8, 165 pounder also rushed for around 200 yards and four more scores. Country Day next plays Madison Heights high school.
Rucker favors Iowa slightly over Georgia Tech and Bowling Green and all, but the Yellow Jackets, have offered. Purdue was a school that Rucker said had previously offered him, but now says the Boilermakers are no longer recruiting him. "I don't hear from the coaches anymore," Rucker said. "I guess they lost interest."
Although he doesn't have an official visits scheduled yet, he says he'll take them in December. "I want to decide by the end of December," Rucker said. "I'll probably only take two or three visits before deciding."
One of those visits will surely be to Iowa. "I have a few friends who go there and they really like it," Rucker said. "I like the offense they run and they are always a pretty good team. They initially recruited me as a cornerback, but I told them I wanted to play receiver and now they want me for offense. I talk to the wide receiver coach and he likes how versatile I am.
"Bowling Green has a really good offense too," Rucker said. "It's basically all pass plays and they use everybody on the field. I also really like the environment over there because it's a small school and everyone seems really close. It's more like a family there."
Anthony Boyles, a Four-star wide receiver (ranked No. 10 by Scout.com) from Gardenia, Calif., has helped lead his team to a 6-2 record with 35 catches for 540 yards and eight touchdowns.
Boyles favors Washington, Oregon and Fresno State slightly over UNLV, Nebraska and Oregon State. All of his favorites have offered scholarships.
The rangy 6-3, 185 pounder says he will be visiting both Washington and Oregon in December. "I want to take my trips and see everything for myself. I want to see who really wants me and who recruits me the most," he said.
Although Boyles says that there isn't much separating his top three, he does have a different reason for liking each. "Washington has been playing really well," Boyles said. "They are rebuilding and coach Ty Willingham has done very well there. I think that they probably have one of the best coaching staffs.
"Oregon probably has the best team and they have a great program. They sell out every week and they really care about the football team up there. Coach Don Pellum says I could have a big impact for them. He says I could probably start my freshman year.
"But I think my best chance to play early is at Fresno State," Boyles said. "They have a great team and I could probably see lots of playing time there. I also really like their academics."
Boyles admits that even though Washington, Oregon and Fresno State are his top three right now, that doesn't mean that things won't change. Nebraska is another school in his top five that he is very interested in. "They are a powerhouse team," Boyles said. "I love how the city is all about Nebraska football. They had their ups and downs and they need receivers, so I feel like I'd be able to come in and help out."
USC used to be in Boyles' top five, but it appears the Trojans are no longer recruiting him.
The Southeast with Andrew Bone, Steve Robertson and Miller Safrit
Rocker, a Scout.com three-star linebacker from Harvest-Sparkman, Ala.,
received numerous scholarship offers, including Vanderbilt,
Louisville and Purdue before giving
his verbal pledge to Georgia Tech. Rocker is a big pickup for the Yellow Jackets
and is solid with his commitment.
Rufus Williams, a Scout.com three-star defensive end from Titusville-Astronaut, Fla., gave his second verbal commitment to an SEC school this year. Williams verbally committed to Tennessee after taking an unofficial visit to Knoxville the weekend of the Alabama game. Williams was once a verbal pledge to Ole Miss before de-committing in the summer.
Linebacker Dominic Douglas, from Hinds Community College in Miss., verbally committed to the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Defensive end LaGrone Shields, from Memphis-Ridgeway, Tenn., gave his verbal pledge to Colorado. Ole Miss and Texas Tech had extended scholarship offers as well.
Safety Jerry Franklin, from Marion, Ark., gave his verbal pledge to the University of Arkansas. Franklin also had a scholarship offer from Ole Miss. He plans to take his official visit to Arkansas December 3.
Scout.com five-star quarterback Kodi
Burns, from Fort Smith-Northside, Ark., has narrowed his college choices to
Arkansas and Auburn. He has scheduled an
official visit to Auburn November 11. He plans to the visit with Scout.com
five-star offensive lineman Lee
Ziemba from Rogers, Ark. Ziemba has narrowed his college choices to Arkansas
and Auburn as well.
Junior linebacker Jerrell Harris, from Gadsden, Ala., received his first college scholarship offer. Alabama head coach Mike Shula phoned Harris and offered him a full ride to play for the Crimson Tide. Harris is beginning to receive early interest from Auburn, Clemson and Mississippi State as well. Harris will have a strong list of schools to choose from long before signing day in 2008.
D'Angelo McCray of Andrew Jackson High in Jacksonville, Fla., did not take any trips over the weekend but he is starting to get closer on building a timeline for making a commitment. McCray, one of the nation's top defensive linemen and a five-star prospect, said if he makes the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, "I'll probably announce during the Bowl" and he has two schools in mind for that selection. It will probably end up being Florida or Illinois.
"Florida is winning right now, but I wanted to see what other schools are like," McCray said. "That's why I decommitted from them at first, because I wanted to see what the other schools are about."
Morgan Burnett is taking his time with recruiting, and the four-star safety prospect from North Clayton High in College Park, Ga., is trying to keep his options open. "Right now I'm wide open and I'm probably going to wait until after the season to start taking my official visits," said the 6-2, 190-pounder.
"I went to the Georgia/Tennessee game a few weeks ago and I like the environment and like how the two were both playing. Then I went to the Georgia Tech/Virginia game and Georgia Tech defense was playing great. I want to make sure its my commitment is to somewhere that I can like the environment for four or five years and somewhere I can go in and play early. I've been looking into the place that has the early playing time, but I haven't looked deep into it."
Three-star wide receiver Matt Clements from Naples, Fla., visited South Carolina officially this past weekend, and after talking things over with his parents, he decided to end the recruiting process and commit to the Gamecocks on Monday evening. Clements chose the Gamecocks over offers from Auburn, Ohio State, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Iowa State. Clements called his recruiter, Coach Robert Gillespie, and told him the good news that he had decided to commit to South Carolina.
"I called Coach (Robert) Gillespie, because he told me to call him when I got back to make sure everything went well and everything was ok. He said he was going to give me some time to think about it, but I sat down and talked with my parents and thought about it. I told them how I felt about being up there this past weekend, and I told them that I feel like it's a great fit for me. I told them I wanted to go ahead and commit and be a Gamecock."
Jameil Farrington is excited about how his season is shaping up, and the defensive end from Homestead Senior High in Homestead, Fla., has a big game coming up. A big game seems to be just what the doctor ordered for Farrington, who is already having a great week. "I just got my ACT score back and I'm all set; I got the score I needed with my GPA," he said. "We celebrated at the school and here at the house. I am going to tell the coaches about that, like Auburn is going to call me either Friday or Saturday because I'm supposed to be visiting them. I'm going to visit Auburn and NC State in December."
Xavier Dye had to wait until the next-to-last game of the regular season before being allowed to play this year due to transferring to Byrnes High in Duncan, S.C., but Dye looked impressive in the game. The Clemson wide receiver commitment finished the game with two touchdown catches and nearly three hundred yards of total offense.
Mississippi State picked up a new commitment last week when the leading tackler in the Mississippi junior college ranks, Dominic Douglas of Hinds Community College, made his college intentions known. Douglas is expected to challenge for a starting position at the weakside linebacker position in 2007.
Around Texas with Jeremy Patterson
Sometimes fans get lost in the midst of the four Big 12 schools from the state of Texas and forget about other guys such as TCU, UTEP, Rice, SMU, North Texas and Houston. However, note should be taken of what the UTEP Miners are doing. It's no secret that Texas and some of the big boys finish early, but UTEP already has 23 commitments for this class and are close to closing the deal on the class of 2007. Recently they picked up commitments from De Soto, Texas wide receiver Donovan Kemp, San Jacinto, Ca. defensive end Jason Boyce, Chino (Ca.) Don Lugo wide receiver Russell Carr, Converse (Tx.) Judson linebacker Isaiah Carter and Mount Pleasant, Texas wide receiver Kevin Cheatum all in the last two weeks.
The Baylor Bears may not be completely done just yet. This past weekend the Bears had a special visitor in town - defensive end/linebacker Matt Singletary from San Jose, Calif. If that name sounds familiar, it should because Matt is the son of former Baylor and Chicago Bears great linebacker Mike Singletary. This was his first official visit and did pick up his first offer from the Bears over the weekend.
The LSU Tigers snagged a huge commitment in the last week when Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central offesive lineman Ernest McCoy. He took his official visit the weekend of the Kentucky game and chose the Tigers over offers from Auburn, Miami, Pittsburgh, South Florida and West Virginia.
The Texas Longhorns may still look to sign one more prospect in the class of 2007. For quite a while, it was thought that if the Horns took another commitment it would be from a defensive tackle, but recent developments show a different story. Muskegon, Michigan five star cornerback Ronald Johnson appears that he will now take an official visit to Austin in December at the request of Mack Brown.
The West with Chris Fetters and Brandon Huffman
This weekend is setting up to a big one for California when it hosts not just UCLA in a key Pac-10 contest but several of its top remaining targets on their official visits as well.
The Bears will welcome their top offensive tackle target, Sam DeMartinis from Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, Calif., as well as guard Matt Summers-Gavin from St. Ignatius in San Francisco. Cal already has commitments from Justin Cheadle from Bakersfield, Calif., and Todd Huber from Palos Verdes Estates (Calif.) Peninsula, giving them two stalwarts on the offensive line thus far.
Defensive end Duke Lemmens from Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, Calif., and cornerback Donovan Warren from Long Beach Poly will also be in town officially.
Brandon Carswell is expected to visit Cal in December, but the Bears haven't offered him. However, USC extended the three-star athlete an offer last weekend just days after watching him play during the Trojans bye week. Carswell also has offers from Arizona State, Oregon, Boise State and Fresno State amongst others.
Since Mike Price arrived at UTEP in 2004, the Miners have made California one of their primary stops in recruiting, thanks to Price's ties to the state when he was at Washington State. It paid off again for them as Chino (Calif.) Don Lugo receiver Russell Carr gave the Miners a verbal pledge to sign with them in February. The Miners already received a commitment from Chasen Stangel, the No. 4 ranked quarterback in California and also have commitments from a pair of JC standouts, Jason Boyce from Mt. San Jacinto and Justi Halas from Victor Valley. Rishard Matthews, now at Saddleback High in Santa Ana, committed to the Miners this summer when he was still living in New Mexico.
Devon Wylie, a receiver out of Granite Bay (Calif.), has set up an official visit to Fresno State for December. Ryan Mathews, a running back from Bakersfield (Calif.) West, will also visit Fresno State in December. The Bulldogs could also be receiving trips from Anthony Boyles, the top-receiver in California in 2006.
Washington State continues to win on the football field and also in the recruiting wars, picking up a verbal commitment from Daniel Blackledge, a 6-1, 175-pound receiver from Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. "I talked to my family, and then friends and a lot of people about it, and I just felt really comfortable with them," Blackledge told Barry Bolton of Cougfan.com. "I'm real excited." Blackledge chose the Cougars over an offer from Colorado State and interest from UCLA, Colorado, California and others.
Looking forward to the 2008 class, there are players out in the northwest and beyond that are already getting scholarship offers. Washington earlier offered TE/DE Kavario Middleton of Lakes High School, and didn't go far up the road to offer running back Demetrius Bronson of Kent, Wash. Bronson, the younger brother of former Penn State player John Bronson, wasn't thinking about staying in-state for college, but this offer has put the Huskies squarely in his crosshairs. "At first I told everyone I was going to leave the state to play, but now with the coaching change and how they've played this year, they're going to be a school I really look at," Bronson told Scott Eklund of Dawgman.com. "My mom also wants me to stay close to home because my sister and brother are gone now and she said she wants me to stay close so that will play into things as well."
Another regional 2008 prospect that is racking up offers is Utah standout tight end Austin Holt. After earning early in-state offers after attending camps at both BYU and Utah, the 6-5 1/2, 225-pounder from Bingham High School in South Jordan also picked up an offer from Oregon after taking an unofficial visit to Eugene to see the UCLA-Oregon game. Now one more Pac-10 team has stepped up with an offer - the Stanford Cardinal. After receiving a text message, Holt called up Cardinal Head Coach Walt Harris, and Harris extended an offer. Washington and Cal are two other Pac-10 schools expressing a lot of early interest in Holt, who plans on trying to make his college decision before his senior season. Wisconsin is another school that has jumped into the mix as well.
For more in-depth coverage of college-football prospects, visit Scout.com Recruiting