Boston High School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

ESPN's Scouts Inc. division has completed its evaluations and rankings for the top high school players in the 2015 class for Massachusetts. While there are no four-star recruits in this year's class, there are certainly some intriguing picks.

Milton Academy kicker Justin Yoon is ranked as the top overall player in Massachusetts, with grades of 78 and three stars. This is the first time a kicker has ever top ESPN's player rankings in Massachusetts. With range up to 60 yards and a hang-time as much as 4.4 seconds, Yoon is considered by most scouting services as one of the nation's top kickers. Scouts Inc. regards Yoon, a Notre Dame commit, as the best at his position in the nation.

Once again, Boston College has cleaned up locally. Of the top 10 recruits in Massachusetts, seven are currently committed to the Eagles. Syracuse, UConn, UMass and Northwestern also have commitments represented in the rankings.

To see the complete rankings, CLICK HERE.

Here is the current Top 10 for Massachusetts:

1. Justin Yoon | Milton Academy | K | 78 | Notre Dame
2. Aaron Monteiro | Brockton | OG | 75 | Boston College
3. Davon Jones | St. John's | S | 74 | Boston College
4. Lukas Denis | Everett | CB | 74 | Boston College
5. Joe Gaziano | Xaverian | DE | 74 | Northwestern
6. Shyheim Cullen | Lowell | OLB | 73 | Syracuse
7. Chris Garrison | Lawrence Academy | TE | 73 | Boston College
8. Chris Lindstrom | Shepherd Hill | OG | 72 | Boston College
9. Jake Burt | St. John's Prep | TE | 71 | Boston College
10. Taj-Amir Torres | Amherst | ATH | 70 | Boston College

St. Andrew's Colson commits to Notre Dame

October, 7, 2013
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St. Andrew's (R.I.) senior power forward Bonzie Colson Jr. verbally committed to Notre Dame this morning at an all-school meeting, per ESPN recruiting analyst Adam Finkelstein.

The 6-foot-5 Colson, a New Bedford resident, is a four-star recruit and the No. 25 overall power forward in the 2014 class according to ESPNU. He chose the Fighting Irish over a slew of offers, including Pitt, Miami, UConn, Florida State, Georgetown, Minnesota, Temple and Rhode Island (where his father, Bonzie Sr., starred in the late 1980's).

“It was just the right fit for me on and off the court,” Colson told Finkelstein. “They have a history of having had great undersized four-men and they know how to use them throughout the game.”

Finkelstein has more on Colson's commitment, and how he fits at Notre Dame, on the RecruitingNation blog HERE (Insider only).

B-R's Jack Connolly commits to Notre Dame

June, 29, 2013
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Bridgewater-Raynham Class of 2015 righthanded pitcher Jack Connolly has verbally committed to Notre Dame University, he confirmed in a tweet this morning.

"Verbally committed to Notre Dame!" Connolly wrote in a tweet.

Connolly turned in a terrific sophomore campaign for the Trojans, who captured the MIAA Division 1 State Championship two weeks ago, their first state title in program history. Often taking the ball in big games, he went 5-2 with a save, striking out 68 batters in 49 innings with a 2.43 ERA, holding batters to a .219 average.

Connolly is also the latest product in a terrific family lineage. His brother Mike, a former University of Maine star, was drafted by the San Francisco Giants earlier this month. Their father, Mike Sr., was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1982 out of East Bridgewater High School.

This past Wednesday, Connolly took an unofficial visit to South Bend, where Fighting Irish head coach Mik Aoki offered him a scholarship worth 50 percent for four years. After a few days, Connolly gave his pledge this morning while down at a tournament in North Carolina with his cousin, catcher Joe Freiday. Maine was the only other Division 1 school offering him at this time; Connolly was also scheduled to take a visit to Boston College this upcoming week, which he has since cancelled.

"I went to Notre Dame and absolutely fell in love with it," Connolly told ESPNBoston.com. "It's amazing. Their baseball team ranked 15th in the nation at one point. The coach, I trust him, and he offered me a pretty good deal. It's a no-brainer, really."

Aoki, a Milton native, initially reached out to B-R head coach John Kearney about several of his prospects. He saw Connolly pitch in the Trojans' D1 South first round matchup with Attleboro, then watched him again at Area Code Games tryouts on June 8 at Bentley University.

"He liked my command," Connolly recalled. "He liked that I was already 84-87 [fastball velocity] as a sophomore, and he loves my curveball. He said, 'That curveball is unreal'.

"Honestly, [to hear that] is one of the greatest feelings ever. It's almost indescribable. I never thought I'd go to a school like Notre Name, then I went there and fell in love with it. It's just a no-brainer."

NDA's Dalton named ESPN Boston Miss Lacrosse

June, 28, 2013
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ESPNBoston.com and its high school sports staff are pleased to announce Alex Dalton, senior midfielder of the Notre Dame Academy of Hingham Cougars, as the recipient of this year's ESPN Boston "Miss Lacrosse" Award, given annually to the top overall player in the state of Massachusetts.

The Miss Lacrosse Award was selected by a panel of ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents. Dalton will be presented the award at a later date.

[+] EnlargeAlex Dalton
Brendan Hall/ESPNBoston.com Notre Dame Academy's Alex Dalton was named this year's ESPN Boston Miss Lacrosse after leading the Cougars to their first state title in program history.
"Alex is a very special player," NDA head coach Meredith Frank said. "Her natural athleticism combined with her fierce competitive spirit and her understanding of the game makes her a threat all over the lacrosse field. While she can certainly score goals and cause turnovers, Alex's dominance on the field comes from her ability to elevate the level of play of those around her. She is a leader by example and an absolute joy to coach."

It was a banner year this season for the Cougars, who knocked off Longmeadow to win their first MIAA Division 1 state championship in school history. Dalton, a Needham resident, was among the most prolific of a multi-pronged attack, registering 76 goals this season as well as 15 assists, 79 ground balls, 69 draw controls and 61 forced turnovers. Dalton was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American this season, as well as an Under Armour All-American and Eastern Mass. Girls Lacrosse Association (EMGCLA) First Team All-Star.

In three short years under Frank, the Cougars have become a juggernaut. In three seasons under her watch, NDA has gone 64-6, including a 24-2 mark and state title this season. At the forefront of the explosion has been Dalton, who for her career registered 303 goals and 44 assists.

Dalton will continue her career next season at the University of Notre Dame.

This marks the third straight year the Miss Lacrosse Award has been awarded to a player under the Frank coaching tree. Meredith Frank's mother, Leslie, coached the previous two winners at Westwood High -- Sarah Biron (2011) and Laura McHoul (2012).

Recruiting Notes: Interest for Newsome building

December, 30, 2012
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Ansonia (Conn.) High School running back Arkeel Newsome is used to being pursued. If opposing defensive players aren't after him, then it's college football coaches who are trying to chase him down.

Newsome, who completed his junior season by leading Ansonia to the Class S state championship Dec. 8, may be the most sought-after recruit in New England next season. He received scholarship offers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Massachusetts last summer, and that list of offers will certainly grow.

“In the last week Rutgers, Penn State and Syracuse have been in,” Ansonia coach Tom Brockett said the week before Christmas. “He's even getting some interest in the state of Florida -– Florida and Florida State. I would guess between now and May he'll have another 15-20 [offers].

“Almost everyone wants him to carry the ball as a tailback. He has the whole skill-set that great backs have: speed, vision and hands. He'd be a great receiver if he wasn't a tailback. Some college is going to be very fortunate to have him in uniform.”

Newsome made plenty of headlines as a sophomore, when he set Connecticut's single-season rushing record by gaining 3,763 yards. Some media outlets listed him as the nation's leading rusher. Others had him at No. 2.

He gained 2,245 yards and and 34 touchdowns on 227 carries as a junior, when Ansonia stretched the program's winning streak to 28 games by beating North Branford 59-26 in the Class S championship game. He set the state record for career rushing touchdowns in the Class S semifinals, and will enter his senior season with 119 rushing TDs.

Newsome said Boston College, Connecticut, Florida, Miami, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Florida and Syracuse are the schools he hears from the most.

“I like making people miss,” he said. “It's a little early to say anything about recruiting. I'm happy with the two offers I have right now. UConn was the first school to offer. I can definitely see myself there.

“I don't know too much about UMass. I haven't seen them play.”

If there's a knock against Newsome it may be his size (5-foot-8, 180 pounds). Brockett insists colleges aren't concerned.

“Not one college who has seen him in person has expressed concern with his size,” Brockett said. “He carries his weight very well.

“He's a physical back. He's a tough, durable back who doesn't come off the field. “

Newsome, who also plays defensive back, isn't lacking speed. He said his best time in the 40-yard dash is 4.49 seconds.

Still, Brockett said Newsome's vision and ability to change direction is what separates him from most backs.

“You have a lot of kids with speed, but those players who can cut on a dime are hard to find,” he said. “Arkeel is humble, he's a hard-worker and he's a great weight room kid. Just by talking to him you'd never know he's the best player in Connecticut.”

MORRIS LIKES THE LOOK OF BROWN
LaSalle Academy (Bristol, R.I.) running back Josh Morris ended his recruitment last week, when he decided to play Ivy League football at Brown. Morris also had offers from Yale, Bryant, Monmouth and Valparaiso. In addition, he had a preferred walk-on option at Northwestern.

Morris said remaining close to home was among the factors that weighed in Brown's favor.

“At Brown I'm going to be able to get in the weight room right away, get in the meetings right away and meet all the players right away,” he said. “By the time camp comes in the summer I'll be tuning my craft rather that learning it.

“By me going to Brown it carried many great perks. The coaching staff is the best staff I've met. They're ready to make me the best player I could possibly be. Not all of us can go to the NFL. If I'm fortunate enough to then that's great, but if I don't I'll have a Brown University degree. And to me that's priceless.

Morris was Rhode Island's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, when he rushed for 1,278 yards and 16 touchdowns on 134 carries. He also caught nine passes for 175 yards, and averaged 39.8 yards per kickoff return.

He was bothered by an ankle injury for much of last season, but still rushed for 1,442 yards (8.1 yards per carry). Morris injured his ankle during a victory over South Kingstown on Oct. 5, but scored three touchdowns in a 41-24 triumph over Bridgewater-Raynam the following week.

QUARTERBACK OPTIONS
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien turned to New England to fill his quarterback shortage. Salisbury (Conn.) School QB Austin Whipple and Worcester Academy quarterback D.J. Crook were each offered – and accepted – preferred walk-on positions in mid-December.

Crook threw for 8,126 yards and 77 touchdowns at Barnstable High School before he enrolled at Worcester Academy last fall.

“He's a hard-worker and he wanted to play at the highest level he could,” Worcester Academy coach Tony Johnson said. “He ran the ball in my system more than he's used to, but he really improved his release. I think they have only four quarterbacks, so he'll get evaluated.”

Whipple's father Mark was the head coach at the University of Massachusetts when the Minutemen won the Division I-AA national championship in 1998. O'Brien was the inside linebackers coach at Brown in 1994, Mark Whipple's first year as the head coach there. He is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns.

Whipple led Salisbury to a 29-26 victory over a Jonathan DiBiaso-led Phillips Exeter team in the Jack Etter Bowl last November. DiBiaso, who played at Everett High School, will suit up for Dartmouth next season.

Crook ran for two TDs in a 27-21 loss to Salisbury last season.

BOWL SEASON
Everett offensive tackle John Montelus, the top-ranked recruit from Massachusetts in the Class of 2013, will begin practice for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Monday. The game will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio and can be seen on NBC.

Montelus has committed to Notre Dame.

Xaverian defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. can be seen in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl one day earlier. The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl will be played Friday at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and will be televised by the NFL Network.

Hurst, the No. 2 recruit in Massachusetts, has committed to Michigan.

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

Recruiting Notes: Dexter's Hendren a big commodity

November, 7, 2012
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Dexter School junior James Hendren is too big to overlook. Especially if you happen to be a college football coach.

Recruiting NotebookAt 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, Hendren has what some consider to be ideal size for an offensive tackle at the college level. That explains why so many big-name college programs have Hendren on their radar.

“He's got interest from all over the country –- significant interest,” Dexter School coach Casey Day said. “Virginia, BC, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, and to a lesser degree, Florida, UCLA and Nebraska.

“He's a solid, dominant run-blocker and an exceptional pass blocker. He's a top kid academically as well. He's in the top two or three in his class.”

Outside of the Ivy League, Hendren has yet to receive a Division 1 offer. He said although academics are his No. 1 priority, he's looking to play college football at a higher level than the Ivy League. Most schools are projecting him as a right tackle.

“The Ivy League is not what I'm hoping for,” Hendren said. “Just like every other [FBS] recruit, I do have a dream of playing in the NFL someday. Not saying it's likely, but it's a goal.”

Hendren, who will also play basketball for Dexter this season, attended camps at Virginia, Penn State and Boston College last summer. He said he plans to attend the Boston College-Notre Dame game on Saturday, and also plans to visit Northwestern later this month.

“I'd be shocked if he didn't have any offers going into next spring,” Day said. “There's gonna big some big-time programs chasing him.”

BC is high on Hendren's list, in part because it's close to home. BC coach Frank Spaziani was the first college coach to notice Hendren, but it wasn't on the football field –- it was on the basketball court.

“In my freshman year he saw me play in an AAU tournament where his son was playing on the court next to me,” Hendren said. “He came over to me and told me to send him my film. I play basketball a little like I play football. I think he liked that.

“BC is close to my heart. I do know that they're not having a great season and they've had a change in administration in the AD position, but I respect all the people there.”

Hendren said he wouldn't cross BC off his list even if the school made a coaching change after this season.

“For most people I think the institution would be enough no matter who is coaching you,” he said. “It would be a great place to be, but I'm not gonna limit myself to that.”

Delayed trip: Everett High School's John Montelus, a four-star offensive lineman, said he will take his official visit to Notre Dame on Nov. 16. Notre Dame is scheduled to play Wake Forest the following day.

Montelus, New England's top prospect from the Class of 2013, committed to Notre Dame in April. He originally planned to take his official visit on Oct 20, but postponed the trip after Everett's game against BC High that weekend was moved from Friday night to Saturday because of heavy rain.

Montelus is the only New England player ranked in the ESPN 300 (No. 292).

Super sophomore: Christian Wilkins, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound tight end/defensive end from Suffield (Conn.) Academy, is a player to keep an eye on from the Class of 2015. One media outlet has Wilkins ranked among the top 100 sophomores in the country.

Suffield is 7-0 entering Saturday's game against Westminster. Wilkins is second on the team in tackles (38), solo tackles (26), sacks (3.5) and first in forced fumbles (three). Offensively, he's second in receptions (11), receiving yardage (167) and touchdown catches (two).

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

Recruiting Notes: Strachan taking it slow

October, 2, 2012
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St. Sebastian's Connor Strachan has a message for those eager to learn where he will be playing college football: Be prepared to wait.

“Yeah, right now recruiting isn't really the focus,” Strachan said. “We have a chance for an undefeated season, so I think it's best to play the season out and then narrow it down.”

Strachan, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound junior, has scholarship offers from four schools: Boston College, Connecticut, Virginia and Wake Forest. He received his offers after attending each school's camp last summer. Although he's being recruited primarily as an inside linebacker, he said Connecticut and Virginia have shown interest in his skills as a running back as well.

[+] EnlargeSt. Sebastian's football
Ryan Kilian for ESPNBoston.com St. Sebastian's junior linebacker/running back Connor Strachan already claims offers from Boston College, Virginia, UConn and Wake Forest.
“I've been playing linebacker longer,” Strachan said. “I feel I'm geared more toward defense.”

Strachan, who lives in Wellesley, is the only New England player from the Class of 2014 in the ESPN 300 Watch List, which was released last week.

“Strachan may play at a small school, but he's a big-time talent on a national level,” ESPN recruiting coordinator Billy Tucker said. “He was recently named to the 2014 ESPN 300 Watch List as we saw prototypical size and speed measurables for the inside linebacker position, as well as deceptive athleticism and run-stopping instincts to be very productive at the BCS level.”

Strachan's uncle Steve played at Boston College and in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders, and his brother Brian is a sophomore wide receiver at Brown.

Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Penn State are among the other schools showing significant interest in Strachan.

“I really want to play at the highest level possible, but I'm definitely looking for a place with good academics,” Strachan said. “After the season I'll try to do some visits and narrow it down to two or three schools. I'd like to have it done before next summer.”

Back in action: Former Everett High School quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso isn't the only Division I recruit in the Phillips Exeter Academy backfield this season.

Running backs Andreas Robinson (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) and Devon Carrillo (Middletown, Conn.) will both have plenty of Division I options to choose from.

“They're like clones of each other,” Phillips Exeter coach Bill Glennon said. “Carillo is a free safety, but we're real tough when he's in the [offensive backfield]. Carillo is tougher inside, Andreas is a kid who can get to the outside.”

Robinson was the NEPSAC's leading rusher in 2010, but missed most of last season with an injury. He has taken visits to N.C. State, North Carolina and Stanford. Glennon said both Robinson and Carrillo are drawing heavy interest from FCS schools as well.

“Maine has already offered both, and UNH is gonna offer,” Glennon said. “I think the [FBS] schools are more interested in Andreas as a defensive back, and then everyone else on the I-AA level is interested in him as a running back.”

Conn. man: Boston College landed one of the top athletes in Connecticut when Manchester High School quarterback/linebacker Marquis Little committed to the Eagles late last month. Little is expected to play outside linebacker in college.

Andrew Isaacs, Little's high school teammate, decommitted from BC to accept a scholarship offer from Maryland earlier this year.

Footnotes: Brookfield (Conn.) High School's Boeing Brown, the No. 11 recruit from Connecticut in the Class of 2013, has been moved from quarterback to wide receiver this season. ESPN has Brown rated s two-star quarterback...Roxbury Latin quarterback Mackay Lowery completed 24 of 37 passes for 291 yards and five touchdowns in last weekend's 34-33 victory over Thayer Academy. Lowery has committed to Boston College.

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

ND's Kelly: Mass. has changed 'dramatically'

May, 10, 2012
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DANVERS, Mass. -- Notre Dame football coach and St. John’s Prep graduate Brian Kelly was the guest speaker at a St. John’s Prep Alumni Foundation event, tonight at the Danversport Yacht Club. Kelly is deeply rooted in the Bay State, growing up in Chelsea, attending St. John's Prep, and graduating from Worcester's Assumption College in 1983.

Kelly discussed a wide range of topics with reporters before the event.

On how the SJP campus has changed since he was a student there: “It looks like a totally different campus from when I went there. It was just in transition from a boarding school my first year there. You didn’t have the arts building, the football facilities, you didn’t have all the other sports facilities that are there today. But people say that when they ask me about Notre Dame as well. I just think it’s the development of great high schools and college campuses have changed dramatically over the past 15 to 20 years.”

On his playing career at St. John’s Prep: “I think for me, I was undersized, but I loved to play. I think it’s always been with me, every team that I’ve coached, that I want to recruit guys that love to play the game, and I love to play the game. Coach (Fred Glatz, his coach at the Prep) gave guys like myself an opportunity to be a part of the program. Even if we weren’t frontline guys, he was always going to have guys that really loved to play the game. I’ve always tried to mirror that in the teams that I’ve put together. Certainly you need great players as well, but I think you can round off a good team with guys that love to play.”

On what he took with him from playing for Coach Glatz: “Discipline. Attention to detail, which I carry with me today. I’ve credited him, many times, for that. I take all that with me. I carried it with me throughout my entire career that I’m going to reward those guys that put in the time. I’ve taken a lot of great things with me, and that’s why I’m back here.”

On what type of kid he gets when he recruits a player from Massachusetts: “First of all, the game in the state has changed dramatically since when I played. There were very few that came out of the state of Massachusetts and played bigtime college football. That’s changed. I think that’s probably changed across the country. You’re in a large metropolitan area, so when I look at Massachusetts, you don’t poo-poo it and go, ‘Oh they don’t have players.’ There’s going to be BCS players in the state of Massachusetts, so it’s part of our recruiting grid now. It wasn’t when I was at Central Michigan, but we certainly didn’t recruit nationally like Notre Dame. We never felt like Massachusetts was on the grid, and I think that’s just a testament to the development of players here and the game of football.”

On more public school players now being recruited to play Division 1 football: “Well when I was growing up, it was Brockton High School. Brockton was the program, and now Everett High School has taken over that moniker. So there’s still the public school influence in Massachusetts, and obviously you have the private schools that have always been there and have always churned out good players. I think, more than anything else, is that you have some public schools now that play at a high level, coupled with the private schools that have done well for a number of years.”

On what convinces him that a public school player can make the jump to play at a high Division 1 level, like at Notre Dame: “There are so many opportunities for kids now to be measured nationally with exposure camps, that it makes it very easy to see how they stack up nationally with other kids. They all go to these high-exposure camps now so you get an opportunity to see how they measure, so if their competition isn’t quite up to maybe some of the other levels, you can still come up with good information as to how they’re going to make that transition.”

On the pressure of coaching at Notre Dame: “I needed all of my 17 years of experience to sit in that seat. I learn every day. I’ve learned a lot in my first two years. I think, for me, I just focus on why I’m there, and that’s to coach the kids.”

Whether he fears the future of the game, with concussions and preventing brain injuries being an important issue in the sports world today: ”I don’t. I believe the game, if conducted in the right fashion, is a game that can be played safely. Now, there are going to be the incidents that we’ve seen, but I am very confident, and I’ve been involved in the game now for about 25 years, that you can teach this game safely and you can play it safely.”

On dealing with outside forces (like booster involvement and players using social media) while coaching at a high-profile college like Notre Dame: “My job is to eliminate confusion on a day-to-day basis, and that’s not easy. You’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, all the things that are out there, I have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. It’s made being a head football coach today so much more difficult. If there’s one thing that has changed dramatically in the last five years, it’s not recruiting, it’s social media and what we have to do to educate our players. Listen, it’s not going away. So for me to say we’re going to take it away, and we’re not going to let them use social media, it’s not going away. So you better be figuring out how to educate your players, and that’s what we do on a day-to-day basis. "

His early impressions of Charley Molnar, his former offensive coordinator, in his first year as the head football coach at the University of Massachusetts: “I’m really excited for Charley. He’s high-energy. He knows the game. He knows what the landscape of college football looks like as UMass makes that big move up to the BCS and that’s a huge move. But he understands that, because he came from I-AA and he came from a lower Division 1-A background, so he knows what it looks like, and he knows what’s in front of him. They could not have gotten a better guy for the job. Now, they’re not going to go out and win 10 games next year, but they’ve got the right guy to take UMass to that next step and I think he’s going to do a great job.”

On whether there are any SJP players he might be having his eye on: “Let’s put it this way, when you have a name like St. John’s Prep, and you have a connection with Notre Dame... I’ll let you guys fill in the blanks. You’re always going to have an eye towards how they’re doing. Absolutely.”

Everett OT Montelus commits to Notre Dame

April, 22, 2012
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Everett High offensive tackle John Montelus verbally committed to Notre Dame following its spring game on Saturday.

"Committed to to Notre Dame," Montelus wrote on his Twitter account.

The 6-foot-5, 293-pound 16-year-old chose the Fighting Irish over offers from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Virginia, UConn, West Virginia, North Carolina, Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and UMass.

Montelus, the nation's No. 21 overall offensive tackle prospect, had named Florida his leader after visiting Gainesville on Wednesday. He becomes the fifth offensive line commit and the 11th verbal commit overall for Notre Dame. He is the ninth four-star player to commit to the Irish.

Montelus first burst onto the scene last summer, when he racked up four offers from BCS-level schools before his 16th birthday. He followed up with a monster junior season, racking up ESPN Boston All-State honors as he paved the way to Dartmouth-bound quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso shattering the state's career touchdown pass record. He has started every game at left tackle the last two seasons; over that time, the Crimson Tide have gone 25-0 with two MIAA Eastern Mass Super Bowl titles.

ESPNU's latest evaluation of Montelus reads as follows:



Montelus uses his functional playing strength to dominate as a run and pass blocker. Has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. His frame appears capable of supporting additional body mass over time. Playing out of both a two and three point stance we see the flexibility, agility and balance needed to pick up movement and handle change of direction movement in a tight box. Displays dominant upper body playing strength with explosive, strong hands however we see the need to improve his immediate surge and pop when drive blocking defensive linemen; at times this prospect comes off a little too high but is able to gain and sustain an immediate advantage due to his base, persistent leg drive and superior athletic skills. Demonstrates the ability to pull/trap and locate defenders on the move; can play on his feet in space and is an explosive finisher when blocking linebackers. We see the initial quickness needed to gain leverage on offset defenders while consistently getting a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders; does a great job getting out in front screen passes off the edge. This guy is a tough customer who displays the nasty finishing attitude we look for when evaluating offensive linemen. His long arms, quick hands and nimble feet are assets in pass protection; sets quickly, demonstrating the ability to bend, slide and play with excellent balance to the deep set point; doesn't cross his feet and is able to recover and stay out of trouble in space. Puts his long arms to use with good punch and location; flashes the ability to work his hands back inside the frame after initial contact; demonstrates the ability to pick up movement and late stunts. With added bulk and improved playing strength Montelus could be ready to compete for starting time once his collegiate career begins.


Reeves courts Michigan, still committed to PSU

December, 16, 2011
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On ESPN's Wolverine Nation blog, Tom VanHaaren checks in with Catholic Memorial athlete Armani Reeves, who remains committed to Penn State but is exploring his other options.

Reeves, a two-time ESPNBoston All-State selection and this year's ESPN Boston Offensive Player of the Year, told VanHaaren that he wants to give Penn State the opportunity to hire a new coach, and then hear what he has to say, before making any moves. In the meantime, Notre Dame and Michigan have begun recruiting him again. The Irish and Wolverines were two of the four finalist schools for Reeves prior to his Penn State commitment, the other one being Boston College.

VanHaaren writes (Insider Only):


"With everything going on, I really liked those schools before I committed. They're all good football and academic schools, and there wasn't much separating them the first time," he said. "What hurt Michigan the first time was that they came in a little late, and I was ready to make a decision. This time they've expressed a lot more that they want me."

It might take a lot for another school to get him to switch, but Reeves says it's not out of the question. There are so many uncertainties that he just doesn't know what will happen going forward.

He does know that once a new coach is hired, Reeves would like to sit down and go over how he fits into the program and how the new coach will use him.

"I'm assuming that will happen before Christmas is when they'll hire someone," he said. "I'm hoping before Christmas, or at least before the dead period, so he can call everybody, and that way we have something to think about."

While he's waiting, both Michigan and Notre Dame have been courting him. In fact, Reeves got a visit from Michigan defensive backs coach Curt Mallory within the past week.

"Coach Mallory did an in-home visit last Sunday, and he was expressing how much they want me," he said. "He was telling me about the depth chart and the academic side of things. It's definitely a positive that they think of me as an elite corner that could shut down in their system."

Reeves was also excited about the fact Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison believes he's good enough to play at the college level. He sees how much football experience Mattison has and is flattered Mattison would recruit Reeves to Michigan.



VanHaaren also notes that his CM teammate and best friend Cam Williams, another ESPN Boston All-Stater who committed to the Nittany Lions, is also exploring his options. Williams took a visit out to Ohio State last weekend. Early last week, Buckeye assistants Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel were at his school to visit him.

CM's Reeves, Williams exploring options?

December, 9, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown reports today on the East Recruiting Blog that two members of Ohio State's coaching staff, interim head coach Luke Fickell and linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, were at Catholic Memorial School on Monday to visit linebacker Camren Williams.

Brown also adds that Michigan has been at the school recently to visit with athlete Armani Reeves, who yesterday was named ESPN Boston's inaugural Offensive Player of the Year.

Williams and Reeves, who on Tuesday were both named to ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team, are both currently committed to Penn State.

"Camren is considering a visit [to Ohio State] next week," Camren's father Brent Williams, also a CM assistant coach, told Brown. "Armani is considering a visit to Michigan. Notre Dame is also trying to get both to visit. They are still committed to PSU, but we feel it is important to do our due diligence on other opportunities."

Hotchkiss' Clyde Smith commits to TCU

October, 18, 2011
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Hotchkiss (Conn.) point guard and Houston native Clyde Smith put an end to his recruitment on Monday when he verbally committed to TCU for the 2012-13 season, mulitiple sources are reporting.

Smith chose the Horned Frogs over Northwestern, Stanford, Boston University and Notre Dame.

His current evaluation from Scouts Inc. reads as follows:



Strengths:
Smith is a skilled attacking guard who plays with great presence and confidence. He is a consistent threat from behind the three-point line with a good understanding of how to come off screens and an ability to make shots in bunches. He has developed a tremendous pull-up game that he utilizes in transition as well as the half-court and is good enough with the ball to make a play for himself or his teammates going to the rim. Physically, he has become much stronger and more explosive within the last year and has the quickness to be a good defender as well.

Weaknesses:
Smith is more scorer than distributor and so still not a pure point guard despite playing more on the ball than off. He needs to prove he can make those around him better and also make more of a commitment to impacting the game on the defensive end. He doesn't have a pure release on his jumper and so rarely gets credit for being as dangerous as he is with his long ball.

Bottom Line:
Smith is a talented combo-guard with a versatile attacking game. While he isn't a pure point guard he plays with an aggressive demeanor and is the type of guy who can fill up a scoring column in a hurry.


New Hampton's Auguste picks Notre Dame

September, 23, 2011
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ESPN.com has confirmed that New Hampton (N.H.) power forward Zach Auguste has given Notre Dame a verbal commitment for the 2012-13 season.

Late last month, the 6-foot-9 Marlborough native gave ESPN's Adam Finkelstein a final four of Florida, Georgia Tech, Marquette and West Virginia, but added, "I'm leaving the fifth spot open just in case I get any new options". He was scheduled to take an official visit to West Virginia next weekend, and Georgia Tech the weekend of October 6.

Auguste will join freshman Pat Connaughton, an ESPNBoston All-Stater and ESPNU 100 guard last season for St. John's Prep, among the Massachusetts residents when he arrives in South Bend next fall.

Brookfield's Brown has Husky aspirations

August, 15, 2011
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today with Brookfield (Conn.) junior quarterback Boeing Brown, who is patiently awaiting that elusive first offer but has already pointed out a favorite.

South Carolina, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Northwestern are the most notable Division 1 programs to inquire about Brown, considered one of the state's top Class of 2013 prospects. But Boeing's dream is to play in-state for UConn.

Roger Brown writes:



"We don't want to focus on just one school, but we'd like him to play at UConn and be a UConn Husky," Boeing's father, Chris, said. "Boeing has a relationship with [Connecticut quarterbacks coach Joe Morehead] I haven't seen with any other coach."

Brown threw for 1,511 yards and 18 touchdowns [five interceptions] last season, when Brookfield lost to New London in the Class M semifinals. He's 6-foot-3 and said he has a 3.47 GPA.

"I feel like I have a strong arm and that I'm accurate with my throws downfield," Brown said. "If I have to run I'll do it."

Brown has taken unofficial visits to Connecticut, Northwestern and Notre Dame. He said Boston College, Central Florida, Duke, Illiniois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin are also in the picture. He's scheduled to visit Boston College this weekend. His father played at Central Florida.

"Our head coach is talking to BC's head coach," Chris said. "They've reached out to Boeing a couple different ways.

"We've been invited to quite a few games this fall. We're gonna try to get to a Duke game, a South Carolina game, a Vanderbilt game and a game at Notre Dame.

"I'd say UConn is No. 1 followed by Notre Dame and Northwestern. We're big fans of UConn."


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

CM's Reeves to announce decision tomorrow

August, 11, 2011
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HS FootballCourtesy of Brent Williams Catholic Memorial's Armani Reeves will announce his college decision Friday.


Catholic Memorial senior cornerback Armani Reeves will announce his decision on where he will play college football tomorrow morning in a press conference on the West Roxbury campus, the school announced this morning in a press release.

The Easton native will be choosing between Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford and Boston College, out of more than a dozen scholarship offers. He will mark the fourth Knight to commit to a Division 1 FCS school since May, joining linebacker Camren Williams (Penn State), quarterback A.J. Doyle (NC State) and running back Donovan Henry (Boston College). A potential fifth, offensive lineman Tyler Loring, is drawing various Division 1 interest.

Last season, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Reeves earned a spot on ESPNBoston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team after amassing 1,279 all-purpose yards and scoring 16 touchdowns in four different ways –- receiving, rushing, and returning both punts and kicks.

Reeves is currently ranked a three-star prospect by ESPNU, and earlier this year was named to the ESPNU 150 Watch List. His current evaluation reads as follows:



Reeves is one of the better skill prospects in Massachusetts for 2012 and a productive player in all three phases of the game. He lacks great height and coveted length at the position but is well-built for his size and scrappy. Quicker than fast and has better short-area recovery burst than long speed. Would like to see him improve his recognition skills but is well versed in coverage. A solid competitor who plays with the feistiness and moxie you look for in a cover corner. Opens, turns and transitions smoothly and shows very good recovery quickness in man coverage. Hips are fluid. Tends to get caught out of position but breaks quick, sharply and with direct angles to the ball. Can press and play physical as well for his shorter frame. However, we have concerns about his ability to match up versus today's taller college receivers. Shows good ball skills but is not a great leaper to help mask his marginal height. Underneath he displays good closing burst and explosion out of his pedal. Will come up and pop receivers out on the perimeter and limit yards after the catch. A solid tackler who drives through but needs to become a bit more consistent as a wrap-up tackler and overall on run support. While his technique and recognition skills can continue to improve, Reeves does find the ball quickly in coverage and is active in run support. Has not been challenged often at the high school level and may take a bit of time to adjust to the increased speed of the college game


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