A look around the world of college football recruiting...
Could Muller sneak his way into the top 100?
Boise’s stock is rising
During travels to the West Coast in recent weeks, it’s been noticeable how many prospects mention Boise State when discussing programs they want to take a look at. For any school in or west of the Rockies, California is an extremely important state to recruit and many top prospects with Pac-12 scholarship offers mentioned the Broncos as a school that they “definitely” wanted to visit/check out. One look at the Boise State roster and it’s not as California-heavy as you may think, though. There are a lot of in-state players and players from across the country.
The Boise staff does as good of a job as anyone in evaluating players to fit what they do (Chris Petersen mentioned himself that “if you can’t run, we don’t want you” during an interview this past season), so it may not be all that relevant to what the Broncos do. That being said, it’s always a sign that the perception of your program is trending in a positive manner when top recruits mention you.
College football is perhaps the one sport where perception matters a lot. Perception helps fill rosters with talent because it's obviously huge in recruiting and also ultimately is the way the national champion is decided- poll voters vote on teams based on their perception of them.
Offensive tackle Chris Muller (Boyertown, Pa.) recently named Penn State his leader. During a visit to his school this past October, Muller indicated that his preference is to stay in the Northeast to go to college and play football, so given that and his recent comments, you have to think the Nittany Lions are in good shape. Word is just now getting out about Muller (Florida and Michigan recently offered), but he’s one of the top offensive tackle prospects on the East Coast for the Class of 2012. Expect him to be ranked highly when 247Sports releases his initial prospect rankings for this recruiting cycle.
Clemson dominates at Daniel
Clemson recently received a verbal commitment from defensive end Shaq Lawson (Central, S.C./Daniel). Many observers around the Palmetto State feel that Lawson is the best defensive lineman in South Carolina for the It came as no surprise as the Tigers routinely sign whoever they offer out of Daniel, which is a stone’s throw from its campus in Upstate South Carolina. In fact, the only prospect in recent memory out of Daniel the Tigers didn’t sign was offensive lineman Kevin Breedlove in the Class of 1999. That recruiting cycle fell in between the Tommy West and Tommy Bowden era. Breedlove signed with Georgia and had an excellent career. But other than that, Clemson has protected its home turf quite well.
Camren Williams visited Michigan last weekend.
Michigan a player for Massachusetts duo
This is one of the best years during the modern era of recruiting on record in the state of Massachusetts. Teammates Armani Reeves and Camren Williams (West Roxbury, Mass./Catholic Memorial) are as good as any in the Northeast at cornerback and inside linebacker, respectively.
The pair made a visit to Michigan last weekend and Reeves informed us that he enjoyed the trip. The Wolverines should be players here as their overall program and the academics of the university will appeal to the pair. Also, Williams’ father, former New England Patriots standout Brent Williams is a native of Flint, Mich., so there are some family ties. Reeves and Williams have been best friends since the fourth grade and have stated multiple times that they want to play together in college. Williams' older brother Brennan plays at North Carolina and the pair has made a couple of visits to Chapel Hill, so watch out for the Tar Heels as well.
Both will visit Penn State this weekend.
Keep an eye on WVU assistant
Looking for a recruiter that will make some noise in the coming years? Look no further than West Virginia passing game coordinator Robert Gillespie. The former Florida running back, who enjoyed successful stints as an assistant at Oklahoma State and South Carolina, prior to coming to Morgantown with head coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen. Sunday night, safety/linebacker Joseph Jackson (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) committed to West Virginia over a host of additional offers primarily because of his relationship with Gillespie. “I like the way he talks to me and the bond we’ve built,” he said.
Williams is bottled lightning
247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Gerry Hamilton is high on running back Trey Williams (Houston, Texas/Dekaney) and after a review of his film, there’s no disagreement on this end. The 5-foot-8, 175-pounder can make a defender miss in a phone booth (admittedly, that’s not an original cliche) and has been timed as fast as 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His brother plays at Texas Tech, so the Red Raiders are going to be a factor. Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M and Oregon are other programs that are involved.
Drew Harris is up to 17 offers, but does not claim a leader.
In other news from Hamilton, offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) plans to visit Tennessee this weekend unofficially. The word through the grapevine is that Humphries is currently an SEC lean (LSU, Florida and others have been mentioned.
Hamilton also reports that running back Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas) will visit TCU this weekend. The Horned Frogs have positioned themselves as a major factor with the talented running back.
Our friends at Bucknuts.com provided us with four sleepers from the state of Ohio to watch for in the 2012 class. Below is the list and some quick takes on each.
-DE Pharoah Brown (6-7, 220) from Lyndhurst Brush up in Cleveland, he’s a name that is making some waves.
-WR Cameron Wilson (6-2, 190) from Dublin Jerome has a chance to be a solid college receiver.
-QB Tyler O’Connor (6-3, 208) from Lima Central Catholic has some nice offers.
-OL Anthony Stanko (6-5, 300) from Warren Howland had some good offers before committing to Penn State this past weekend. He chose the Nittany Lions over Northwestern, Stanford, West Virginia and others.
Nuts and Bolts
-Illinois is the latest offer for wide receiver Kwinton Smith (Dillon, S.C.). Notre Dame and Auburn also have verbally offered the 6-foot-3, 182-pounder.
-Badger247’s Evan Flood reports that cornerback Yuri Wright (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) recently picked up his “dream offer” from USC.
-There is no leader or top group of schools for running back Drew Harris (Exton, Pa./Downingtown East). He has 17 offers and counting and will visit Penn State unofficially this Saturday.
-Running back Keith Marshall (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook), the top prospect in the Tar Heel State for the Class of 2012- has visits to Auburn and Georgia, followed by Florida and Florida State in the coming weeks.
-Byran Matthews of AuburnUndercover.com reports that the Tigers made a “big impression” on athlete Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep). We are extremely high on Agholor after seeing him in person a couple of weeks ago. He’s the real deal despite the low competition level he plays against.
-Justin Wells of Swamp247 reports that defensive end Mike Moore (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) had an excellent visit to Florida. He's scheduled to visit Penn State this weekend and plans to check out Florida State as well. Moore is the son of former Virginia quarterback and current Cavaliers assistant Shawn Moore.
-Speaking of Florida, offensive tackle Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, Fla.) was a big time commit for the Gators, who are putting together a terrific class early. The Under Armour All-American has as much upside as any offensive tackle on the East Coast this cycle.