Boston High School: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Recruiting notes: Baker gets first B1G offer

February, 21, 2013
Shortly after the 2013 recruiting class was signed, the Rutgers coaching staff met to discuss their needs for 2014. They determined that one of those needs was Jon Baker, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound offensive lineman from Millis High School.

Rutgers offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski extended an offer to Baker during a trip to Massachusetts earlier this month.

"I'm not sure how they heard about Jon, but he (Wroblewski) told me that after reviewing his film and looking at his transcript, based on their needs he would be a good candidate for their program," Millis coach Dale Olmstead said. "Then, when Holy Cross saw the update, they offered as well."

Before he received offers from Rutgers and Holy Cross, Baker had offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Harvard and Yale.

Baker plays right guard for Millis, but because of his height is projected to be a center in college. He played center for Millis as a freshman.

"Not only his height, but he has the football IQ to handle the position," Olmstead said. "He plays guard for us, but he makes all the line calls from that position."

Olmstead said Baker is interested in the medical field, and that he will likely visit Stanford this summer.

"He's getting letters from a lot of major programs, but Boston College has kept his interest the most," Olmstead said. "BC has him rated as the top lineman in New England, and they're constantly calling. They've lost some top talent from Massachusetts to other programs in recent years, and the new staff wants to keep those kids here.

"BC is his top choice right now, but that could change."

February has been kind to Dexter School offensive lineman James Hendren.

Hendren, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound tackle, entered the month with no scholarship offers, but has since landed four: Holy Cross, Rutgers, Massachusetts and Old Dominion.

"Things are picking up," Dexter school coach Casey Day said. "He's really close with a couple other schools. I think he's going to visit Wake Forest and Duke during spring break, so hopefully he get offers then. We're still waiting to see what BC is going to do."

Old Dominion has also made an offer to Dexter School junior Dan DiNicola, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle.

Two Massachusetts players in the Class of 2014 are included on the ESPN Watch List: St. Sebastian's linebacker Connor Strachan and St. John's Prep running back Jon Thomas.

Strachan, who lives in Wellesley, has offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and Wake Forest.

"The schools I think are close that we might visit soon are Penn State, Iowa and Rutgers," Strachan said.

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.

Thomas, a Peabody resident who helped St. John's Prep win the Division I Super Bowl last season, has offers from Boston College, Connecticut, Holy Cross, Maryland and Massachusetts. The Maryland offer came earlier this month.

"I got offered on the spot when I visited [Maryland] two weeks ago," Thomas said. "Maryland was very nice. Great facilities."

Thomas finished his junior season with 1,794 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on 220 carries. He also caught nine passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school football players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at

Dexter OL Hendren pulls in two offers

February, 14, 2013
Dexter School Class of 2014 offensive lineman James Hendren has received offers from both Rutgers and Holy Cross, his coach Casey Day told today.

When we last checked in with the 6-foot-7, 310-pound Hendren, a Brookline resident, he had not yet received any Division 1 offers. He had taken unofficial visits to Boston College and Northwestern during the fall, and attended camps at Virginia, BC and Penn State last summer.

Duke, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Harvard and Yale are among the other schools that have shown interested alongside the schools mentioned above.

Rutgers offers Millis OL/DL Jon Baker

February, 13, 2013
Millis/Hopedale Class of 2014 two-way lineman Jon Baker received an offer tonight from Rutgers University, his head coach Dale Olmstead told

Rutgers becomes the fourth Division 1 FBS school to extend an offer to Baker, joining Boston College, UConn and UMass -- all three of whom offered him last spring as a sophomore. Harvard and Yale have also offered from the FCS ranks, while Stanford, Michigan and Vanderbilt have all expressed varying amounts of interest.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Baker is considered one of the top prospects in New England, and generally projects as a center in college. In 2012, his junior season, he registered 78 tackles with four sacks at defensive tackle to earn a spot on's annual All-State Team. He also earned Tri-Valley League Lineman of the Year honors for the second straight year, as the Mohawks made their second straight MIAA Division 4 playoff appearance.

"I'm very, very excited for the young man," Olmstead said. "It speaks volumes about kids not only Massachusetts but from any division. We're a Division 6 team, and to have a player like Jon Baker represent our team is one of a kind. We're very proud of his accomplishments on and off the field. Having Rutgers as the first team outside New England to offer speaks volumes about how he's looked upon not only in New England, but the country."

Baker has taken unofficial visits to Harvard, BC, UMass and UConn thus far. He plans on taking an unofficial visit to Rutgers at the end of April, when he is set to participate in a Nike Sparq combine in New York City.

Recruiting Notes: Interest for Newsome building

December, 30, 2012
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.”

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.

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.

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

Checking in with Boyle, Langston

October, 17, 2011
Wrapping up on his weekend notes this morning, ESPN's Roger Brown checks in with two New England prospects on the Division 1 radar, Xavier (Conn.) junior quarterback Tim Boyle and Everett senior running back/linebacker Vondell Langston.

Boyle, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior, told Brown he expects to return from a shoulder injury in time to play in Xavier's game against Hillhouse on Oct. 28.

“I don't want this to happen again, so I want to make sure it's 100 percent before I come back,” Boyle told Brown.

Boyle has offers from Boston College and Syracuse. He said UConn, Temple and Rutgers are showing strong interest, and that he receives mail regularly from Duke, Florida, Miami, Stanford and Wisconsin. He has missed four games since being injured in Xavier's opener against Notre-Dame West Haven.

Langston, meanwhile, enjoyed a career day for the No. 1 Crimson Tide in their 42-21 win over Xaverian, running for a career-high 203 yards and two scores on 15 carries. He's drawn mild interest from UConn and Syracuse, but said UMass -- which is moving to the MAC in 2012 -- is the only school pursuing him at this point.

Report: Brewster's Burton commits to Marquette

September, 3, 2011
The Marquette Tribune reported on Friday night that Brewster Academy (N.H.) small forward and Milwaukee nativeDeonte Burton verbally committed to his hometown Marquette for the 2013-14 season.

Burton chose the Golden Eagles over Illinois, Wisconsin, Rutgers and Memphis. He is the first recruit for Williams and his staff in the 2013 class.

Although he saw limited time for the Bobcats last season, the 6-foot-4, 228-pound Burton is ranked the No. 36 overall player in the Class of 2013, and the No. 11 small forward.

The four-star recruit, who transferred into Brewster in August 2010 from Milwaukee's Vincent High, currently has the following evaluation from Scouts Inc.:

Deonta is a strong and athletic wing. The lefty is explosive and tends to hunt dunks on the offensive end. He is a slasher that is devastating in transition. He is a streaky shooter with range to about 17 feet. Most of his points come inside 10 feet as he is too strong and athletic to keep out of the paint. Burton plays above the rim and is an excellent rebounder for his position.

Deonta is a streaky shooter that needs to improve his accuracy and range. The main part of his game is the dunk and that needs to change over time. Burton is very left handed and needs to improve his game using his off hand. He needs to improve defensively but is strong and athletic and should improve as his game matures. Basically, he needs more versatility to his game.

Bottom Line:
Burton is one of the most powerful and explosive players in the 2013 class. He's a very good prospect that simply needs to improve his skill base in order to realize his enormous potential.

New Hampton's Terrell sees stock rise

August, 2, 2011
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein checks in today on his recruiting blog with incoming New Hampton (N.H.) sophomore guard Jared Terrell, who figures to be one of the Class of 2014's most sought-after prospects in New England following a strong summer on the AAU circuit.

Terrell, who is transferring from Weymouth High to the New Hampton, N.H. prep school and repeating his sophomore year, came into the summer with a chip on his shoulder. Finkelstein writes:

"I thought I had a lot to prove coming into the week," Terrell said. "I didn't think I played great here last year and I wanted to show I should be ranked nationally."

"He's been working hard," said Expressions Elite coach Tyron Boswell, "and I think he proved that he belonged within the top kids in the country in his age group."

Terrell had a steady dose of high-major coaches on his tail as he was followed throughout the week by Cincinnati, Boston College and Syracuse with UConn, Rutgers, and several others making it a point to see him along the way.

"I think I did really well," Terrell said. "My team got a lot of wins and that's the most important thing."

Not one to ever be content, Terrell said he's anxious to get back in the gym and add to his game.

A powerful 6-foot-3 guard, his most natural talents come in the open floor when he's able to attack the rim. But he's spent long hours in the gym developing his complementary skill set, and the results have been evident this summer as he has shot the ball very well off the dribble and made his fair share of open 3s.

"I think my jump shot really improved over the course of the spring and the summer," Terrell said. "I want to work on my ballhandling now and convert into more of a point guard."

Whether it be as a point, 2-guard, or combo, you can expect to hear lots more from Terrell in the upcoming years.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school basketball talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog as well as his New England Recruiting Report.

Updated offer lists for local ballers

July, 20, 2011
On his recruiting blog today, ESPN's Adam Finkelstein has updates on the recruitment of some of the northeast's top prospects, including several New Englanders:

Ethan O'Day, PF (Mansfield, Conn./Northfield Mount Hermon)
He has had to battle a sprained ankle but still holds offers from St. Joseph's, Vermont, Boston University, Holy Cross, Hofstra, American and Lafayette according to NMH coach John Carroll. Davidson is expected to follow him early in the second half of the month as well.

Jake Layman, SF (Wrentham, Mass./King Phillip)
He has been somewhat of a hidden gem but that's not going to hold true for much longer. Layman now claims offers from Maryland, Notre Dame and Providence with a variety of other schools apparently ready to follow suit.

Jaylen Brantley, PG (Springfield, Mass./Wilbraham & Monson)
Layman's BABC teammate is one of the Northeast's hardest players to evaluate. In one sense, his lack of size is bound to catch up with him before too long, but you simply can't ignore his production against the highest levels of competition. Brantley has reportedly heard from Boston College, Virginia, Louisville, Florida, DePaul and Northeastern.

Jarred Reuter, PF (Rochester, Mass./St. Mark's)
The 2014 big man has been a poor man's Tyler Hansbrough for the New England Playaz this summer. He claimed his first high-major offer from Indiana at the Hoosiers Elite Camp in June and has added invitations from St. John's and Rutgers so far this month.

For more recruiting updates on New England's top high school basketball talent, be sure to check out Finkelstein's ESPN blog as well as his New England Recruiting Report.

No favorites yet for Worcester Acad.'s Severin

June, 6, 2011
ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today with Worcester Academy's Canaan Severin, who says he is taking the recruiting process slow and isn't quite yet ready to name favorites.

Purdue became the 11th school to offer the Marlborough native, with a verbal offer coming in late May to add to an impressive list that includes Iowa, Penn State, Boston College, UConn, Virginia, NC State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Villanova and Western Michigan. Last week, he took unofficial visits to Virginia and NC State; he made similar visits to BC and UConn earlier in the year.

The latter two, though, are in a special category. Brown writes:

Severin did say that he was putting BC and Connecticut "in a different category" because of each school's location.

"I live 45 minutes from BC and about 50 minutes from UConn," he said. "If I went to either of those schools my dad could come watch me play."

Severin said he will visit Penn State this weekend, and will visit Iowa June 14-15.

Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Stanford and Tennessee are among the other schools recruiting him, Severin said.

"I kind of like the idea of committing before my senior season, but I also want to use my official visits to check things out," he said. "It's a big decision. I don't want to rush it."

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

Conn. sophomore Isaacs already on the radar

June, 1, 2011
ESPN's Roger Brown checks in on his recruiting blog today with Manchester (Conn.) sophomore tight end Andrew Isaacs, the lone sophomore in Connecticut with a scholarship offer from a Division 1 FBS school.

Boston College offered the Class of 2013 prospect last March, and has kept in contact with him regularly. Not surprisingly, the Eagles are high on the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Isaacs' list, along with Rugers and UConn.

Brown writes:

Isaacs, who is a power forward/center on Manchester's varsity basketball team, said he will likely attend the third session of the Boston College football camp later this month.

Connecticut and Rutgers have also shown interest in Isaacs, who was among the standouts at the Nike Football Training Camp held at Rutgers earlier this month.

"He gets tons of letters like a lot of kids, but Rutgers, Connecticut and Boston College are the three big schools who have had a chance to meet him and expressed an interest in having him in their program," Manchester coach Marco Pizzoferrato said. "Maryland wanted to come by the school to see him, but we couldn't get together on a date."

Isaacs attended the Connecticut spring game, and plans to attend a one-day camp there on June 19. He said he would like to study communications, but would prefer to attend college out of Connecticut.

"I've been to UConn many times and I like them a lot," he said. "They have great coaches and great facilities.

"If [UConn] made an offer I wouldn't just say 'no.' I would be interested, I would consider it, but I would rather experience something out of state just because Connecticut is so small."

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