Boston High School: Maryland

Recruiting Notes: Exeter's Laurent more than just a leg

November, 13, 2012
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There are football players who are kickers, and then there are football players who can kick. Logan Laurent falls into the second category.

Recruiting Notebook“Sometimes people see kickers and they see someone who's maybe not the best athlete. He's extremely athletic. His upside down the road could be huge. We've sent his tapes all over the place. [Recruiting] will really start to pick up after next week.”

The University of New Hampshire is the only school that has offered Laurent a scholarship, but Dartmouth, North Carolina, Elon and East Carolina are among the other schools that have shown significant interest. He finished first in a kicking camp at East Carolina.

Laurent, who is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, said he's also considering a postgraduate year. UNH's offer came after Laurent attended a clinic there last summer.

“[UNH coach] Sean McDonnell had me do some athletic stuff – run some routes and play some defensive back, which I love doing,” Laurent said. “After that he had me kick some balls on the field and I went 11 for 11.”

Laurent made two field goals (35 and 40 yards) to help Exeter defeat Pinkerton Academy in last year's Division I championship game. The same programs will meet Saturday to decide this year's Division I championship.

Laurent grew up playing soccer, but Ball persuaded him to play football as a freshman. He played varsity soccer and kicked for the football team as a sophomore.

“I really, really like UNH,” Laurent said. “They're a phenomenal team and have a great 1-AA program, but I'm also talking to other schools and I'm not going to make any decisions until after the season's over. Gotta win a state championship.”

DRY TALENT POOL: Longtime recruiting analyst Tom Lemming wrote a story for last Thursday's South Bend Tribune that said a lack of talent at the high school level in New England is largely responsible for Boston College's recent struggles on the football field.

Here's an excerpt from that story:

“Their problem is that New England has been drastically bad talent-wise the last few years. The talent has never been great there, but it’s been pretty good. There hasn’t been much talent at all in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont don’t produce a lot.”

THIS FORD IS RUNNING FINE: Recruiting interest has picked up for Souhegan (Amherst, N.H.) senior Tyler Ford, who moved from wide receiver to quarterback this season. He's also a kicker, and starts in the defensive backfield.

“He's high on the [recruiting board] of three 1-AA schools: Marist, Holy Cross and UNH,” Souhegan coach Mike Beliveau said. “He's getting great interest from three Division II schools: Bentley, Stonehill and Assumption; and there are a bunch of Division III schools interested, led by Trinity.

“He's 6-feet, 185 pounds. Very solid. He could play receiver or defensive back. He'll definitely punt.”

Ford has passed for 1,920 yards and rushed for 991 yards this season. Souhegan has one game remaining on its schedule.

MASS. APPEAL: Milton Academy linebacker Matt Morin is hearing from some big-name schools, but has yet to receive his first offer. Morin played for Bridgewater-Raynham before transferring to Milton Academy, where he repeated his sophomore year. He recently completed his junior season.

“I'd say Penn State and Maryland are the leading two in terms of interest,” Morin said. “I get mailings from Missouri two or three times a week. Nebraska invited me to their camp. Villanova and UNH have expressed a lot of interest.

Morin, who wrestles for Milton Academy, said he's also heard from Boston College.

“Right now it's medium interest, but no offers,” he said.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting Notes: La Salle's Morris Yale-bound?

October, 23, 2012
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La Salle Academy (R.I.) running back Josh Morris has been nursing a sprained ankle for much of the season, but it hasn't hampered his recruiting situation.

MaineYale head coach Tony Reno recently told Morris he'd like him to join the Yale program next season.

“I started to build a good relationship with Yale last spring,” Morris said. “I visited and camped there last summer. The Yale head coach kept calling me every week during the season to make sure I was still interested and letting me know he was still interested in me.

“Last Thursday he told me: You have an offer from Yale.”

[+] EnlargeJosh Morris
Courtesy Josh MorrisYale is the latest school to offer La Salle Academy (R.I.) running back Josh Morris, who was the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior.
Morris, who was the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, has offers from four other FCS schools: Brown, Bryant, Monmouth and Valparaiso.

Morris is being recruited primarily as a running back, but he could also play slot receiver or defensive back for Yale. Morris said he'd prefer to play offense in college.

“I like the ball in my hands,” he said. “Yale offered me as an athlete – that's what [Reno] said. They would probably put me at a position based on whatever else they get in their class.

“I really do like the Ivy League. It's hard to pass up an Ivy League education, but I'm keeping my options open to see what else might be out there.”

Morris injured his ankle during a victory over South Kingstown on Oct. 5. He scored three touchdowns in a 41-24 triumph over Bridgewater-Raynham the following week, but said he's been playing at less than 100 percent since the injury.

“I haven't missed any games, but it's been lingering,” Morris said.

Morris rushed for 1,278 yards and 16 touchdowns on 134 carries last season. He also caught nine passes for 175 yards, and averaged 39.8 yards per kickoff return.

He's run for 613 yards and 11 touchdowns in six games this year.

New Hampshire may be the next school to offer Morris, who has generated interest from several Patriot League and Colonial Athletic Association schools.

“A lot of schools are on the cusp [of making a scholarship offer] right now,” Morris said. “My senior film could determine whether schools pull the trigger [on an offer] or not.”

Decision time: Tabor Academy's Tevin Montgomery, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman, said he will announce his college choice on Dec. 1 at his school. He has narrowed his choices to Boston College, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

“But I don't know if I'm going to make a big scene,” Montgomery said. “I might just call the school and let them know.”

Montgomery, a three-star recruit, is the top-ranked uncommitted player from Massachusetts in the Class of 2013. He also has offers from Temple, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rutgers, Maryland and Missouri.

Catching a Crook: Worcester Academy quarterback D.J. Crook is generating plenty of interest, but is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, according to Worcester Academy coach Tony Johnson.

“He's got interest from Holy Cross, Princeton, Dartmouth and a few others from the Patriot League – Lafayette and Colgate,” Johnson said. “And there are a few schools interested from the MAC, like Akron and Massachusetts.

“You know how it works. He's gotta get that one offer, and then a few more come in quickly. I think he's done enough.”

Crook played a Barnstable High School before choosing to spend a postgraduate year at Worcester Academy. He missed four games because of a fractured thumb during his senior season.

Big man not on campus: Four-star offensive lineman John Montelus was scheduled to take his official visit to Notre Dame last Saturday, but had to postpone the trip when Everett High School's game against BC High was postponed from Friday night to Saturday because of heavy rain.

Montelus, the No. 1 prospect from Massachusetts in the Class of 2013, said he will reschedule the trip. Montelus committed to Notre Dame following the team's spring game in April. He is the only New England player ranked in the ESPN 300 (No. 292).

Back in motion: Ansonia (Conn) High School running back Arkeel Newsome has gained 884 yards through six games this season.

Newsome, a junior who has scholarship offers from Connecticut and Massachusetts, led the nation in rushing last year, when he set a Connecticut record by gaining 3,763 yards.

Newsome's playing time has been limited this year because Ansonia is 6-0 and has won all six games by at least 28 points. Ansonia has scored at least 35 points in each of its six games.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Hingham's Brodie commits to Maryland

February, 13, 2012
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Hingham's Caleb Brodie has committed to Maryland, the Laxachusetts Lacrosse club confirmed on Monday.

Brodie, a 2014 midfielder, is a two-sport athlete for the Harbormen, playing linebacker and running back in the fall for the football team.

Torrington's Jordan Williams on draft radar

May, 19, 2011
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ESPN's Chad Ford unveiled his second mock draft yesterday, and for Connecticut high school hoops fans, the name going to the Celtics should ring pretty familiar.

Ford has the Celtics taking Torrington native and Maryland sophomore Jordan Williams at the No. 25 spot, writing, "The Celtics miss Kendrick Perkins, who was drafted (by Memphis) late in the first round of the 2003 draft. Williams could be another potential sleeper. He is big and physical and was one of the best rebounders in college basketball this past season. If he can stay in the sort of shape he displayed in Las Vegas, he could be a steal at this juncture in the draft."

The 6-foot-10 Williams is most remembered locally for a decorated career at Torrington High, where he finished as the state's seventh all-time leading scorer with 2,228 points. The nephew of former UConn standout Murray Williams, he was a three-time all-state who was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, and the New Haven Register's Player of the Year as a senior.

He was a freshman on the Torrington squad that won a state title in 2006, and led the Raiders to the Class L state final in 2009 -- and at that, he put up 36 points (15 of 20 FG), 13 rebounds and nine blocks in the losing effort. Just as impressive, he averaged 35.7 points per game to finish as the school's all-time leading scorer.

Most notably, Williams did ridiculous stuff like shatter a backboard (skip to the 0:31 mark). Or score 50 points in a game, which he did four times, breaking his uncle's record at Torrington in January 2009.

All of that led him to College Park, where he became the first Terp since Steve Blake to make the ACC's All-Rookie Team in 2010. This season was even more impressive, as he averaged 16.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and a 53.8 field goal percentage in 33 minutes a game. Williams declared for the draft on March 29, but did not hire an agent.

Ford's latest analysis on Williams, from May 12, notes an improved physique from the end of the season:


Maryland's Jordan Williams has transformed his body. Williams was one of the best rebounders in college basketball last season -- but he was a bit on the flabby side. He showed strength and toughness in the paint, but his lack of explosive leaping ability and conditioning were major issues.

Williams heard that feedback loud and clear from NBA scouts when he decided to leave school and he's spent the past six weeks in Vegas working on his body. The results are pretty impressive, as you can see here in this photo I tweeted Tuesday.

He's lost 10 pounds, dropped from 13 percent body fat to 8 percent and really hasn't lost any strength but has gained quickness, explosiveness and agility in the process. He's also improved his jump shot over the course of the past six weeks as well.

Williams might be slightly undersized for a center (he measured 6-8 3/4 in socks, 6-10 in shoes at Impact), but he's got a 6-11 wingspan, is physical and is a proven commodity on the boards.




Williams also excelled with the Springfield, Mass.-based New England Playaz AAU club during the summer. For some perspective, here is how ESPN's recruiting analysts broke down Williams during his high school career:


July, 2008: Williams has good size and strength, which he uses to wreak havoc in the post on both ends of the court. He uses his size to carve out deep position in the post for rebounding and scoring close to the basket. Williams, despite his size, runs the floor reasonably well and will finish in transition, keeping up with the smaller, quicker guards. He rebounds in traffic very well, and extra contact does not seem to bother him most of the time. Once he receives the ball in the post, he relies on his emerging post game to score in the paint, though he needs to continue to improve his footwork and post moves. Williams needs to continue to improve his body, which will lead to even better conditioning and make him effective for longer stretches. Williams does contest shots, though he needs to use his imposing size to affect the game more on the defensive end.

July, 2008: Williams is a late bloomer who is now getting attention from the high-major level. He has thick frame with long arms and very soft hands. He doesn't have great lift but his feet are quite nimble for a man his size. He is best described as blue-collar around the basket and he rebounds well in traffic. He has a strong drop-step move, but overall his post moves are raw.

December, 2007: Jordan is an extremely polished low post player. He has excellent footwork and soft hands that allow him to easily establish position and catch a variety of passes. He has an impressive repertoire of moves with his back to the basket that allows him the versatility to score over either shoulder. He is equally effective from the high post where he shows a consistently soft touch on his elbow jumper. Jordan doesn't have great size for the power forward position, but he plays bigger than he is because of his physical nature. Consequently, he finishes well under the basket, despite his lack of vertical explosion, and also gets himself to the free-throw line where he converts a high percentage. He is also a very effective rebounder because he is quick to block out, holds on to everything that his hands touch, and shows a willingness to rebound out of his area. Although he isn't much of a shot blocking threat on the defensive end of the floor he is capable of guarding bigger players on the most given his physical nature. Overall, he is as skilled of a big man as you will find who has a great understanding of how to play inside. If he were three inches taller he would be unstoppable.



Checking in with Worcester Acad.'s athletes

April, 29, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with two of Worcester Academy's football stars who led the Hilltoppers on the gridiron this past year, athlete Canaan Severin and quarterback Jon Pieterse.

Severin, a Marlborough native, told Brown that he is now up to 10 scholarship offers, having added Western Michigan and Syracuse to the stack. Boston College, Rutgers, Virginia, NC State, Iowa, Penn State, UConn and Villanova are the other schools offering for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Severin, who repeated his sophomore year at Worcester Academy after transferring from Marlborough High. Maryland is also on the radar.

Coaches from Boston College, Connecticut, Penn State and Notre Dame also stopped by Worcester Academy's campus this week. Severin told Brown that Stanford was scheduled to visit today.

“I think I have to do a lot more research on the schools,” Severin told Brown. “One of the coaches gave me some good advice. He said, ‘You have to see a lot of schools before you know which ones you like and don’t like.’”

As for a decision, Severin says there is no rush.

“I probably won’t decide until after my senior season,” he told Brown. “I don’t want to rush anything. This is one of the biggest decisions of my life.”

Meanwhile, Pieterse told Brown that he will be pursuing a post-graduate season at Salisbury (Conn.) next year.

Pieterse -- who missed most of his junior year with a broken collarbone -- took an unofficial visit to Central Michigan earlier this month, and told Brown he plans to visit Purdue and Pitt as well.

“The bigger schools suggested I do a postgraduate year,” Pieterse told Brown.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

Utes are latest to reach out to Tabor's Sylva

April, 27, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today with Tabor Academy junior linebacker Jason Sylva, who will end up staying at the Marion prep school after all.

A month and a half ago, the Plymouth native told Brown he was transferring and considering New Hampton (N.H.), Tilton (N.H.), Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.) and Cheshire Academy (Conn.).

"I do my school work, it's just really tough academically [at Tabor]," Sylva told Brown at the time. "I had a good season here, but I still don't have any offers. Some of those places have produced quite a few [FBS] players."

Now, he seems set on staying.

“I really considered leaving,” he told Brown. “I thought I would be someplace different next fall, but the coaches here helped me out with a few things. I’m commuting to school instead of living on campus, so I get to go home every night. Things are a lot better now. I’m hoping the next step is that first offer.”

The 6-foot-2, 224-pound Sylva plans on attending camps at UConn, Temple and Maryland this spring, and is still holding out hope for a scholarship offer from Boston College. In the meantime, the University of Utah has begun to reach out for his services.

“Utah is beginning to show a lot of interest and I’m going out there for a visit on June 18,” Sylva told Brown. “Their linebackers coach wants to work me out during a one-day and I got the impression they’re interested in offering. They told me coming out for a visit would be worth it. It’s a nice area and it might be something different. It might be something I’m interested in. That would be a huge offer.”

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

New Hampton's Kiley drawing FBS interest

April, 25, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today with New Hampton (N.H.) quarterback Jake Kiley, who is drawing interest locally from Boston College and UConn, primarily as a wide receiver or defensive back.

"I met with [BC assistant coach] Sean Devine briefly and they want me to go to a one-day camp," Kiley told Brown. "If I perform there I think I'll be OK. I think I'll be going to their first session [of summer camp]."

Kiley, who has been clocked as fast as 4.56 seconds in the 40, also told Brown that he thought he was close to getting an offer from UConn last season before head coach Randy Edsall bolted for the same position at Maryland.

"I think I'm still in the running for an offer from UConn," Kiley said. "I think I'll know by the time I attend a one-day camp there. I really feel like if I go to camp and do OK I'll be all set."

Kiley, whose father Ed is the head coach at the New Hampton, N.H. prep school, plans to attend camps at BC, UConn, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Duke and Penn State this summer.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

Billerica's LaSpada leaning towards...Harvard?

April, 22, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today with talented Billerica junior quarterback Nick LaSpada, who has some surprising top choices from what is expected to be a long line of suitors in a few short months.

LaSpada earned a spot on ESPNBoston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team last fall, after a season in which he accounted for more than 3,800 yards of offense and 40 touchdowns for an Indians team that sputtered to a 5-6 campaign after a hot start. And with it, his list of Division 1 interest has grown, from Notre Dame to the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

Currently LaSpada, who wants to major in criminal justice, plans on attending camps at Boston College, Maryland and Harvard this summer. And perhaps to some peoples' surprise, it's the latter of that group where LaSpada says he is leaning towards right now.

"Harvard has been coming on strong lately," LaSpada told Brown. "I’m really interested in them. I’d definitely say Harvard is my top choice right now. They said [admission] shouldn’t be a problem as long as I have good SAT scores. I’m going to take those in May."

LaSpada -- who was the first sophomore in history to be named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, in 2009 -- also told Brown that BC could move to the top of the list if they were to offer, as he prefers to stay close to home.

"They’re looking at me as a quarterback, but also talked about me playing slot or safety,” LaSpada told Brown. "They asked me if I have a preference and I told them I don’t."

BB&N's Connaughton watches UConn spring game

April, 19, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Buckingham, Browne & Nichols offensive lineman Dan Connaughton, who took in UConn's spring game this past Saturday.

Connaughton, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound junior, currently holds an offer from Bryant and has been hearing regularly from the Huskies as well as Boston College, Maryland and BYU. Connaughton, a Lincoln resident who is the cousin of St. John's Prep two-sport star Pat Connaughton, told Brown that BYU is coming on Wednesday to watch him work out.

"Right now I have no idea where I want to go. I'm hoping to play [FBS] football and I'm keeping all my options open," Dan Connaughton told Brown.

He also told Brown he plans on attending one-day camps at BC, UConn and Maryland.

"Coaches have told me they like my technique and the way I use my hands," he said. "I'd definitely like to get my decision done before my senior season, but if it happens after my senior year starts that's really not a big deal."

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

Recruitment for CM's Doyle heating up

April, 1, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with Catholic Memorial quarterback A.J. Doyle, who took unofficial visits to North Carolina and Maryland last weekend and is scheduled to attend practice at Boston College tomorrow.

UMass was the first to issue a verbal offer to the 6-foot-3, 226-pound Lakeville native, who is an ESPNU150 Watch List candidate. Western Michigan was the second to offer, last Thursday, and his first FBS offer. He's also drawing interest from Michigan, Missouri, Penn State, Iowa, Syracuse and UConn.

"The No. 1 thing schools say they like about me is my size and arm strength," Doyle told Brown. "They say I have a good frame. I've also been told I have good composure in the pocket. I'm not flustered when people are flying around me. I think I have good accuracy. I'll make throws some quarterbacks are afraid to make, and at no time am I going to shy away from a hit."

Doyle said he has no favorites at this time, telling Brown, "Any school that asks me, I'll be happy to throw for them."

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

WA's Severin now holds four D1 offers

March, 1, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today with Worcester Academy athlete and ESPN150 Watch Lister Canaan Severin, who picked up his latest offer last weekend from Penn State to bring his Division 1 FBS offer total to four. Boston College, NC State and Virginia have been the other schools offering to date.

There is no general consensus among college coaches whether the Marlborough resident projects as either a wide receiver or defensive back. Severin told Brown he's open to playing wherever needed.

"I like scoring touchdowns," Severin said. "That gives you a great feeling. But laying a big hit on a receiver over the middle is a good feeling too. Schools have been telling me I'm a good enough athlete that if it doesn't work out on offense they can move me to defense. Or if it doesn't work out on defense, move me to offense."

Michigan, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), Maryland, UConn, Iowa and Rutgers are among the other schools showing interest in the 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior, who re-classified to the Class of 2012 following his sophomore year at Marlborough High.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

Checking in with CM's Reeves, Doyle

March, 1, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his recruiting blog with two of Catholic Memorial's highly-touted football stars for the Class of 2012, quarterback A.J. Doyle and athlete Armani Reeves.

Reeves was down on the Rutgers campus last weekend for a 7-on-7 tournament, and while Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano was out of town, Reeves may be getting some news soon.

"They told me they really like me," Reeves told Brown. "I think Coach Schiano was at a Nike convention. They told me they might have some good news for me when he returns."

Reeves, who was an inaugural ESPNBoston All-State selection this past fall, currently holds offers from 11 Division 1 schools, among them Boston College, UConn, North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia, Penn State, Wake Forest, Michigan, Stanford, Northwestern, and Maryland.

Brown writes that Reeves likely won't pick a school until after his senior season ends.

"The schools that have offered all intrigue me," Reeves told Brown. "They're all good schools academically and really good programs."

Meanwhile, Doyle picked up his first offer last week from UMass, and it likely will not be his last Division 1 offer, as BC, UConn and Syracuse have all shown interest in the 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior's services.

For more updates on New England's top football talent, be sure to check out Brown's recruiting blog.

Interest in New Hampton's Kiley picking up

February, 22, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on his blog with New Hampton (N.H.) quarterback/defensive back Jake Kiley, who earlier this month attended a junior day at Boston College and is scheduled to be at UConn's junior day this weekend. Virginia and Maryland have also shown interest in the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder.

"Penn State is still in the mix," Jake's father Ed Kiley, who is also New Hampton's head coach, told Brown. "He'll probably visit Duke at the end of March. We'll take a look at Villanova, JMU, Richmond and UNH too. He's keeping an open mind."

For more recruiting updates on New England's top football talent, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

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