New York High School: Recruiting

New Heights' Young joins FIU staff

June, 12, 2012
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As he guided the highly successful New Heights AAU program the last couple of years, Athletic Director Kimani Young couldn't stop thinking about the college game.

He had previously served as the video coordinator/team manager for St. John's for one season before leaving following the death of his wife.

"I always had an eye on getting back to college for the last couple of years," Young said.

Young will make his return this upcoming season as he has accepted a job as an assistant at Florida International, joining new coach Richard Pitino. Young said he will no longer be the athletic director for New Heights, and a successor has not been named yet.

"It was tough to leave my family and friends and colleagues in New York City," Young said. "The natural progression for me and my coaching career was this move."

Young had joined St. John's for the 2008-09 season, but left the college ranks after his wife, Sharette Dixon, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 38 on March 23, 2009.

With three kids to raise -- two boys and a girl -- Young focused all his attention on his children. He returned as the athletic director of New Heights, helping guide the city's premier talent. Over the past few years, there had been talk of joining some local college staffs, but no official offers were ever made.

In 2009, he met Pitino at a team camp in Gainesville, and the two developed a relationship. When Pitino was hired to replace Isaiah Thomas at Florida International, he reached out to Young. He accepted the offer more than a week ago, but the official announcement was not made until Monday.

"I was excited and appreciative of the opportunity to join him and his staff at FIU," Young said. "I really admire his enthusiasm and drive to rebuild that program. That made this opportunity even more attractive."

Young, who had a stellar career playing at UTEP, will be heading to Florida in the next couple of weeks and will hit the road recruiting in July. In August, he will move his family to the area. He said it was a tough decision to uproot his family.

"I think it's the next big step for us," Young said. "Moving to South Beach isn't so bad. Once we get situated down there, I found the right school and the right situation for the kids, I think everything is going to be alright."

While his previous job with St. John's involved more administrative duties, Young will be tasked with trying to attract premier talent to help turn around Florida International. He wants to rely on the relationships he developed coaching AAU to help him on the recruiting trail.

"That's going to be a strength," Young said. "In terms of recruiting, just having those relationships and the facts that I have watched those guys since a young age. It's a great point of reference for their talent and for their abilities."

Baseball poll: June 11

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
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The baseball season is over. Grand Street Campus claimed the PSAL title, while Iona Prep won the CHSAA championship. Here's the final poll of the season.

Here's the poll:

1. Grand Street Campus (21-1/Last week: 1): Grand Street Campus vanquished George Washington to take home the Public Schools Athletic League title.

2. Poly Prep (20-4/Last week: 2): Poly Prep finishes the year ranked second, another fine season for the school.

3. Iona Prep (18-6/Last week: 4): Iona Prep defeated Fordham Prep to win the CHSAA title.

4. George Washington (19-3/Last week: 3): George Washington could not repeat as champions as it fell to Grand Street Campus in the final.

5. Fordham Prep (16-9/Last week: 5): Fordham Prep beat St. Joseph, but then lost to Iona Prep in the final.

6. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (17-6/Last week: 6): St. Joseph by-the-Sea lost to Fordham Prep, falling one game short of the CHSAA final.

7. Xaverian (19-3/Last week: 7): Xaverian was the favorite of the CHSAA tournament but instead had to watch as Iona Prep was crowned champions.

8. Tottenville (17-4/Last week: 8): Tottenville had a great year, but surely has to think it should have gone further in the PSAL tournament.

9. Cardozo (18-1/Last week: 9): Cardozo also had a fantastic season, but needed to make it further than the semifinals of the PSAL tournament.

10. St. Raymond (14-7/Last week: 10): St. Raymond had a strong season, although it couldn't keep up its hot play once the CHSAA tournament began.

MLB Draft preview

June, 5, 2012
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The Big Apple won't be leaving its mark on this year's MLB baseball draft.

When the three-day event starts Monday, there won't be many New York City players getting their names called, according to a scout familiar with the area. That has been the trend for New York City over the past couple of years.

"It's always one or two guys that have a chance and I think the tough part is they are a little bit unknown as to what they can do against good competition," the scout said. "I think it's still a great baseball area, it's just also an area with a lot of unknowns."

With the draft just days away, four players to keep an eye on from Monday to Wednesday are George Washington teammates Nelson Rodriguez and Fernelys Sanchez, and Grand Street Campus' pair of Jose Cuas and Kevin Martir.

Here's a breakdown from the scout about these top prospects and an overview of how they could fare when the draft begins.

Catcher Nelson Rodriguez, George Washington (Central Arizona CC)

"He's a solid player and it will be interesting to see what happens with him. He's a power-hitting catcher/first baseman who's got really good size and strength. He won the home run hitting competition prior to the Aflac All-American Classic. He'll probably be the guy you want to highlight in the NYC group. He's got an above-average arm. People want to find out how to optimize his bat in the lineup. Is it first base? Is it working on development behind the plate? That's the question with Nelson? You're getting bat over defense right now."

Outfielder Fernelys Sanchez, George Washington (Central Arizona CC)


"He's been hurt for a significant stretch (broken leg) so that's hindered where he'll go in the draft. You like the speed and the body and the athleticism. It may be the most physical athlete when you take a look at it all and he can really run. Not necessarily out of the box but on a 60-yard dash he can run, an elite level runner. He needed to prove this year he could hit and when you have the injury and he doesn't get a ton of at-bats in the spring, that kind of hurts seeing what level you're getting. The knock on him is the bat."

DRAFT STATUS OF THE PAIR:
"It all depends on their signability. I think they are gearing toward junior college and they still have an option, it's just not LSU or Florida State or something like that. I think it comes down to the signability and what they are willing to turn down to go and pursue other options."

Shortstop Jose Cuas, Grand Street Campus (Maryland)

"It's his defense. He's a smooth fielder, projectable body. His arm is just enough, it's not average-plus, just average. He might end up as more of a second baseman unless he gets more strength. Fluid actions. All the ingredients. The bat is a little bit light and a little bit below average. It's not a guy that you're interested in because of hitting ability at this point."

Catcher Kevin Martir, Grand Street Campus (Maryland)

"You have a physical catcher with a strong, durable body and an average arm. Some power in his bat. Not enough tools to really jump pout and make you ready to sign out of high school but just overall solid and I think the big thing about him is he looks the part of a catcher and he's strong."

DRAFT STATUS OF THE PAIR:
"Both of those guys probably have a better chance of going to school than being selected high and signing out of high school."

Hickman to walk on at Delaware State

May, 25, 2012
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St. Raymond senior guard Myron Hickman will try to walk on at Delaware State in pursuit of his Division 1 dream. He made his decision two weeks ago after being accepted for admission to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school.

"Basically, I felt like it was the right move," Hickman said. "I feel like I have a good chance to compete for a spot on the team."

Hickman had been hoping to secure a Division I scholarship, even playing on the AAU circuit this spring, but that offer never came. He had interest from Clarion and some other Division II schools, but ultimately decided to try and fight his way onto a Division I roster. He said he's not concerned that walking on means he's not guaranteed a spot.

"I'm an NYC baller. I have confidence through the roof," Hickman said. "I'm going to go and take care of business and play the way I'm capable. Everything will fall into place."

Hickman was a key role player for St. Raymond's CHSAA Class AA Intersectional title team. He missed a month of the season with a bacterial infection, which be believes hurt him in terms of recruiting. He hit a buzzer-beat in a win over Boys & Girls in February.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Hickman said. "This is what you strive for, to play against the best competition and I fee like why not continue to go for it and make a good situation."

Baseball poll: May 21

May, 21, 2012
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As the playoffs beckon, we have the same two teams in the top two spots. Grand Street Campus is still No. 1, while Xaverian is holding down No. 2.

Here's the poll:

1. Grand Street Campus (15-1/Last week: 1): Grand Street Campus enters the Public Schools Athletic League Class A tournament as the team to beat.

2. Xaverian (14-1/Last week: 2): Xaverian rebounded from its loss against St. Francis Prep with two league wins and a non-conference victory over Tottenville.

3. Tottenville (15-3/Last week: 4): Had it not been for the forfeited victories, Tottenville would have finished this year undefeated in league play.

4. Poly Prep (19-4/Last week: 5): Poly Prep is in the ACIS final and recovered nicely from losing to Tottenville last weekend.

5. Cardozo (16-0/Last week: 6): Cardozo finished the year undefeated in league play and will try to keep it going into the playoffs.

6. Moore Catholic (12-2/Last week: 8): Moore Catholic moves up two spots after a pair of impressive wins over St. Joseph by-the-Sea.

7. George Washington (14-2/Last week: 7): George Washington lost its season finale to Norman Thomas, sending the Trojans into the playoffs on a sour note.

8. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (13-3/Last week: 3): St. Joseph by-the-Sea takes a slide after losing twice to Moore Catholic over the past week.

9. Norman Thomas (14-2/Last week: Unranked): Norman Thomas is back in the poll after beating George Washington to force a tie atop the division.

10. St. Raymond (12-4/Last week: 9): St. Raymond lost a tough one to Xavier, but is able to stay in the poll for at least another week.

Seniors turn to AAU for one last shot

May, 16, 2012
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Mairega Clarke is puzzled.

A talented forward for Holy Cross, he helped guide the Knights to the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association Class AA title game this winter. He thought he had played well enough to earn a Division I scholarship.

Yet, the Division I offers he thought would roll in never came. Some schools were interested, but none pulled the trigger. Thus, with a rapidly closing window of opportunity to remedy the situation, Clarke turned to AAU.

"I want to play to show coaches that I deserve that offer from then," said Clarke, who plays for Raising Champions.

While most seniors skip AAU because they have scholarships, for unsigned seniors like Clarke, playing in the spring and the summer is a final chance to impress college coaches and potentially earn that coveted scholarship.

"I think it's a great opportunity for them," New Heights Athletic Director Kimani Young said. "It's a last look. Maybe a school missed out on these guys. These guys can improve over their senior years. I think it helps."

Young said there's an advantage in playing as an unsigned senior as college coaches will be seeing players just months before they would head to campus. Instead of guessing how a player will develop during his senior year in high school, coaches basically see the player in April that will arrive on campus in August.

Young also added that seniors play with a chip on their shoulder.

"I just know that a kid playing in April in his senior year, he's hungry for that scholarship," Young said. "Kids that are playing now feel like this is their last opportunity to have access to that college scholarship."

For Clarke, he still has not received that offer he wanted, although Florida Atlantic is interested in bringing him in after a year of prep school. Other New York City players have had a little more success, although they're still waiting for their dream offers.

St. Raymond senior Myron Hickman played at the Providence Jam Fest in April with the Jersey Jayhawks to see if he could get a Division I offer, as he only had Division II schools extending. A few schools were interested after seeing him, but wanted him for 2013. He has a visit set up with a Division II school and may try to walk on at Delaware State.

Cardinal Hayes and New Heights teammates Jalen Jenkins and Naasir Williams both saw a rise in interest, but they still don't have that slam-dunk offer. Williams also had schools interested in him for 2013, but schools want to see how he plays this summer.

Jenkins has mid-major offers but wants to grab a Big East scholarship. He has interest from Providence and Cincinnati, as the Bearcats were interested after seeing him in Las Vegas.

Jenkins and Williams had both been planning to attend prep school but have backed off on those plans because of the interest they garnered from AAU. Williams said it's still up in the air, while Jenkins is more committed to the idea of walking on at a school.

"I figure playing shows that I'm able to play at the point where schools that high-major schools will look at me," Jenkins said. "Instead of just playing for the low Division I and the mid-major schools to look at you."

Team SCAN Program Director Terrence "Munch" Williams likes the opportunity seniors have through AAU, but worries that some will get too caught up in trying to get that dream offer instead of focusing on more realistic options.

"It sometimes strings kids along. A kid might be more of a Division II or Division III player and they don't want to jump into that situation," Williams said. "They keep hoping they’ll get that dream team. Everyone thinks they are Division I until the last minute. Sometimes you wait too long and it doesn't come."

Baseball poll: May 14

May, 14, 2012
5/14/12
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An odd week with Xaverian and St. Joseph by-the-Sea each losing their first league games of the year. Grand Street Campus still is on top. Here's the poll:

1. Grand Street Campus (13-1/Last week: 1): Grand Street Campus went 3-0 this week has two big games upcoming against James Madison.

2. Xaverian (14-1/Last week: 2): Xaverian fell to St. Francis Prep but its overall body of work has been impressive enough to stay second.

3. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (10-1/Last week: 3): Same thing with St. Joseph by-the-Sea, which fell to Monsignor Farrell this week.

4. Tottenville (13-3/Last week: 7): Tottenville moves up three spots after its impressive win against Poly Prep this weekend.

5. Poly Prep (16-4/Last week: 4): Poly Prep had it's 13-game winning streak snapped by Tottenville this weekend.

6. Cardozo (14-0/Last week: 5): Cardozo is in very good shape to finish the year undefeated in Queens A play.

7. George Washington (14-1/Last week: 6): George Washington is finishing the season strong and will be one of the top teams in the PSAL playoffs.

8. Moore Catholic (10-1/Last week: 10): Moore Catholic is looking like it can be a real threat come playoffs time.

9. St. Raymond (11-3/Last week: Unranked): St. Raymond had a big week, punctuated by its exciting win over Fordham Prep.

10. Fordham Prep (11-4/Last week: 8): Fordham Prep slips as it has lost some games, but it's still one of the most talented teams in New York City.

Francis Lewis' Hamlet signs with Wagner

May, 11, 2012
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As Wagner recruited Francis Lewis guard Jazmine Hamlet this spring, Hamlet noticed right away that there was a strong sense of family surrounding the program.

"Normally coaches during recruiting just talk to you, but they were talking to my mom and making sure everyone was comfortable," Hamlet said. "On my visit, they were great, they looked out for my interests. They just gave me that kind of vibe."

That vibe won over Hamlet as she signed her National Letter of Intent to play with the Seahawks last week. Hamlet averaged 10.3 points and 3.4 assists in league games for the Patriots this past season.

"It's very exciting, it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders," Hamlet said. "I don't have to think about it anymore. I can now just focus on graduating and going to Wagner."

Hamlet had originally thought of attending a junior college as she didn't have any Division I scholarships offers. That changed, though, when she attended the Boo Williams showcase in late April. After the event, Wagner started talking together and everything came together.

The Patriots liked how Hamlet was a team leader and can to split the defense, and appreciated how she saw the floor and was a true point guard at heart. After taking her official visit to Wagner, it sealed the deal for Hamlet and she signed her NLI last Friday. The 5-7 guard likes that she'll be able to play close to home.

"My family is here in Manhattan and it's like I get away from home but I'm still close to home," Hamlet said. "It's not like I'm going to be hours away. If I want to come home, it will only be like an hour and I'll be able to see my mom."

Francis Lewis coach Stephen Tsai described Hamlet as "fearless" and was happy for Hamlet and her family. He said Hamlet, who lead Francis Lewis to the Public Schools Athletic League Class AA semifinals, never gave up on the court and is tenacious at both ends.

Hamlet is the first recruit for new Wagner coach Lisa Cermignano.

"She is certainly a capable scorer with a very quick first step that allows her to get to the rim and she can hit the open shot,” Cermignano said in a press release on Wagner's website. “Jazmine’s specialty, though, is making those around her better. She drops passes on a dime.

She added: “But what she really does is she leaves her heart on the floor. She plays 150 percent all the time and literally has a presence on the floor that makes other players better. She’s a true point guard who has the ability to move over to the two because she can score. She controls the game, she controls the tempo, controls her teammates. She’s a floor general.”

Baseball poll: May 7

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
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Grand Street Campus continues its reign with a 2-0 week. The same 10 teams from last week remain in the poll, with Fordham Prep slipping after a loss to All Hallows. Here's the poll.

1. Grand Street Campus (10-1/Last week: 1): Grand Street Campus went 2-0 this week with wins over FDR and New Utrecht.

2. Xaverian (10-0/Last week: 2): Xaverian picked up nice wins against St. Edmund Prep and Bishop Ford this week.

3. St. Joseph by-the-Sea (7-0/Last week: 3): St. Joseph by-the-Sea defeating Archbishop Stepinac in its lone game this week.

4. Poly Prep (12-3/Last week: 4): Poly Prep has now won nine in a row after it took down Collegiate, Horace Mann and Xavier this week.

5. Cardozo (11-0/Last week: 6): Cardozo moves up one spot after its 2-0 week with wins over Newtown and Franklin K. Lane.

6. George Washington (11-1/Last week: 7): George Washington went 3-0 with wins over Environmental Studies, Graphic Communications and W. 50th St.

7. Tottenville (10-3/Last week: 7): Tottenville defeated New Dorp twice and then took down Curtis to remain at the top of Staten Island A.

8. Fordham Prep (8-1/Last week: 5): Fordham Prep takes a hit in the poll as it lost its first game of the season to All Hallows.

9. James Monroe (9-0/Last week: 9): James Monroe is now 11-0 in league play after a pair of wins this past week.

10. Moore Catholic (7-1/Last week: 10): Moore Catholic went 2-0 with wins over St. Peter's and Cardinal Hayes.

Boys' Angus headed to a prep school

April, 28, 2012
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Boys & Girls senior forward Joel Angus has decided to attend prep school next season for a postgraduate year. The senior decided two weeks ago and believes it will help him with recruiting and possibly allow him to play for an Ivy League school in 2013.

"It will help my physically and I can improve my SAT scores," Angus said. "If I can get my scores up it will be help me trying to get into the Ivy League."

Angus, who helped Boys & Girls win the State Federation Class AA tournament in his one and only year with the school, has an offer from Alcorn State and interest from New Hampshire. He averaged 8.6 points and 11.1 rebounds in league games last year.

The forward is attracted to Ivy League schools because he believes it's the best of both worlds, combining the academics and the sports. Yale has asked him for a transcript in the past and he has talked to Dartmouth.

He told ESPNewYork.com earlier this year that he was learning toward prep school but wanted to see if he could secure some scholarship options. While Angus is surprised he did not get more offers, he's not looking at it as a negative.

"Everything happens for a reason," Angus said. "Next year might be good for me."

The senior said it's looking like he will be attending Putnam Science Academy (Conn.) and will visit the school on Monday. He's talked to Fisburne Military Academy (Va.) and also has some interest in Maine Central Institute.

While he hopes that his scores will improve, Angus also wants to work on his lateral quickness and his explosiveness in his prep year.

"I'm feeling good about this," Angus said. "This isn't something where I’m feeling bad about doing another year of high school. I'm going to do something good."
The first player new South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin visited after being hired in March was Thomas Jefferson's Thaddeus Hall. One day after being hired as the Gamecocks' coach, after leaving Kansas State, Martin was down in Brooklyn to see the talented guard.

"He put on the full-court pressure," Hall said. "It felt good to know he visited me first."

The constant attention Martin showed Hall, dating back to his Kansas State days, ultimately paid off as the senior committed to South Carolina on Thursday. The 6-5 shooting guard also had offers from St. John's and Maryland, among other offers.

"It's a nice campus and I have family out there," Hall said. "It wasn't a hard choice."

Hall had always intrigued Martin, but Hall said that things cooled when Martin was nearing the end of his time with Kansas State. Hall started wondering why he wasn't hearing from Martin as much anymore, but once Martin landed his new job, he called Hall and explained it all to him. Hall likes Martin's fiery style of coaching.

"It wasn't very hard to choose him to be my coach," Hall said. "I need somebody who has a style that is going to push me on and off the court and I know that he does that. He's a coach that fits me personally."

The senior established himself this past season as one of the top prospects in New York, after failing to distinguish himself on underachieving Jefferson teams in the past few years. While he missed games early in the season because of academic issues and injuries, once he returned, he was he had arguably as much of an effect on his team as any other player.

Jefferson lost just two games all season with Hall in the lineup, falling to nationally ranked St. Anthony (N.J.) and Boys & Girls. Jefferson won the Brooklyn borough title as well as the Brooklyn borough tournament. Hall averaged 17.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in the regular season, and 25.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in the playoffs.

"He was hands down the best player in the city," Pollard said. "He took an 8-5 team with no experience and no returnees and led them. He took those guys to the city title game and took them within a minute of winning it all."

He added: "People didn't mention his name in the preseason top 10 and I think he took that personally. He went out there and just let his play do the talking."

Hall committed on Thursday because he said he wanted to end his recruitment so he could turn his attention to his academics, which is and has been an issue for Jefferson's star. Hall said he doesn't have that much to do to ensure he's eligible and said he will be fine. He'll be taking the SAT in the next few weeks.

"I'm going to bet on him," Pollard said about Hall and potential eligibility issues. "People said he can't win a championship and he was able to. He can win this one too."

Syracuse standing out to Whitehead

April, 1, 2012
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Lincoln sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead is fond of orange.

One of the top sophomore prospects in the country and arguably the best underclassmen boys basketball player in New York City, Whitehead said on Saturday that Syracuse is the school he likes the most in this very early part of his recruitment.

"It's a very good school, both academically and for basketball," Whitehead said.

The guard is also being recruited by programs like Kentucky, Arizona, St. John's and Rutgers, adding that the local Scarlet Knights have him been after him the hardest. Rutgers was actually the first school Whitehead visited.

Whitehead called Syracuse a great team, mentioning how sophomore Dion Waiters came off the bench for the Orange this season as the team advanced to the Elite 8. The Carrier Dome has also left an impression on him.

"(I like) the arena and they have great fan support," Whitehead said.

The sophomore, who had a badly sprained left ankle at the end of the season, played in the Battle for the City Saturday at Baruch College and scored 13 points. He said his ankle is about 90 percent healed, adding that it affected him down the stretch of Lincoln's season as he struggled to make sharp movements.

He said that Lincoln is going to have motivation heading into next season coming off what most would consider a disappointing year for the Coney Island school. The Railsplitters lost in the borough and city semifinals despite having tremendous talent on the roster.

"We didn't understand who were the scorers were and who the passers were," Whitehead said. "Everybody looked to score too much. I think we played selfish at the end of the year, I think at the beginning of the year we played great together."

After not being able to play travel AAU ball since he was taking summer classes last year, Whitehead is going to play with the Juice All-Stars and Long Island Lightning on the AAU circuit this summer.

"It will bring more exposure but it will make me better for next year," Whitehead said. "All these players usually don't get to play against the great players I'm going to play against."
As the Yale football team changed its coaching staff this offseason, former Bulldogs recruit and Stepinac senior fullback Caleb Gilligan-Evans didn't fret much about it.

"It was frustrating at first but things happen for a reason," Gilligan-Evans said. "There's no stability in coaching. I knew it opened up chances for another thing."

That other option would be Holy Cross, the school the bruising fullback is now headed to after being accepted on Friday. The Crusaders beat out Yale and Bryant for Gilligan-Evans' services.

"The atmosphere is great, everyone there is passionate about football," Gilligan-Evans said. "There are opportunities and you work together as a family and the players are great, I really enjoyed visiting them."

When Yale hired Tony Reno as its new coach, the Bulldogs still had their offer out to Gilligan-Evans, but the fullback was told that the team was going in a different direction offensively that wouldn't utilize his services like the previous staff would have. The senior decided to check out other teams who had prior interest.

Holy Cross had been trying to recruit Gilligan-Evans but stopped once he committed to Yale. The Crusaders re-entered the picture and offered Evans a spot and he said he feel in love with it. He told the coaching staff that as long as he was accepted, he would be heading there.

Gilligan-Evans, who rushed for 792 yards and nine touchdowns this season according to MaxPreps.com, will be used as an h-back/fullback at Holy Cross, a similar role to the one he played in Stepinac's offense this season.

"I'm very excited," Gilligan-Evans said. "Everything happens for a reason and the door was open for Holy Cross and it feels amazing. This is a great opportunity and I'm very excited and I can't wait for it to happen."

NAROG TO SACRED HEART: Gilligan-Evans' teammate, wide receiver Vincent Narog, recently committed to Sacred Heart, according to coach Mike O'Donnell. Narog had interest from Lafayette, Southern Connecticut and Trinity, but liked Sacred Heart's football staff and the physical therapy program at the school.

Narog took his time to make his decision, making sure he visited each school and that he felt comfortable at whatever school he ultimately decided to attend. Narog caught 24 passes for 655 yards and seven touchdowns this past season, according to MaxPreps.com.

"It's a good fit for him, a great school with a good football team and they got a good player in Vinnie," O'Donnell said. "He has a lot of potential and Vinnie got a lot better this year and I think he will continue to get better.

"He didn't want to just go somewhere because the school was interested. He really wanted to study physical therapy and that was very important to find the right fit for him."

OGUNDEKO DECOMMITS: Jefferson junior defensive lineman Ebenezer Ogundeko decommitted from UConn over the weekend. He had previously committed to the Huskies despite planning to visit other schools, and wants to keep his options open.

The 6-3 lineman has offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse and Vanderbilt, according to ESPN Recruiting Nation.

Boys' Angus planning on postgraduate year

February, 24, 2012
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With no college offers on the table, Boys & Girls senior forward Joel Angus III told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday that he is planning to do a postgraduate year next year.

The senior did say, though, that it likely could change if he were to be offered a scholarship sometime between now and the live recruiting period in April.

"I decided (on a postgraduate year) just because I don't have any offers and prep school gives me another opportunity to do that and just another opportunity to develop more," Angus said.

The forward said he decided last week that he would head to a prep school and his father has been searching around for schools. He said he would like to attend a school in New England. He's receiving interest from Duquesne, Marist, Quinnipiac, Hofstra and Colgate but none of the schools have offered him the coveted scholarship.

"I'm surprised I haven't got an offer," Angus said. "I think I did enough to receive an offer from a Division I school."

Angus, who averaged 8.6 points and 11.1 rebounds in league games according to the Public Schools Athletic League website, said his AAU coach told him that he has to make the best of the situation. Angus is looking at the postgraduate year as a chance to showcase himself all over again.

He is in his first year at Boys & Girls after transferring from Bishop Loughlin and he been a key reason why the Kangaroos are ranked No. 3 in New York City by ESPNNewYork.com.

"It will help me as far as everything is involved," Angus said of the postgraduate year. "I can get a higher SAT score and it can help me on the basketball court and help me mature. Being away from home for the first time, I will experience something different."

With a live recruiting period open beginning on April 5 and lasting through April 18, that is when Angus would hope that he would be able to get some offers, which could sway him from attending a prep school.

"It could likely change in April," he said of a scholarship offer making him change his mind.

Bosco's Rutgers recruits left looking for answers

January, 26, 2012
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Greg Schiano was supposed to be at Don Bosco Preparatory School promptly at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning to recruit some key prospects.

That never happened.

As scheduled, five Rutgers assistant coaches showed up at the Ramsey, N.J. school, which showcases several highly-rated prospects each year. The coaches were focused on securing current commitment Leonte Carroo, a three-star receiver, and Darius Hamilton, a four-star defensive end that is primarily considering the Scarlet Knights and Florida.

“The coaches were kind of shocked,” Don Bosco head coach Greg Toal said when Schiano didn't show up. “They said 'Coach Schiano, he's never late for anything.'”

At first, the coaches thought Schiano might have gotten caught up in another meeting despite the importance of the Don Bosco appointment.

“They didn't think it was any big deal,” Toal said of the initial response. “The didn't know that he was in negotiations or anything like that.”

Then, when reports began to surface that Schiano was close to accepting the head coaching job for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Rutgers' assistants were caught unaware.

“No one knows where this is going right now,” Toal said. “ I'm sure it caught a lot of people off guard.”

With six days before national signing day, Rutgers suddenly finds itself in an incredible time crush to secure its 2012 class.

“I'm very concerned about the situation,” Toal said. “It has a tremendous impact...I don't think there's ever a good time, but this might be, possibly the worst time it could happen to be honest with you.”

Toal said he had spoken to Hamilton, who was scheduled to announce his college decision on Tuesday and Carroo, who committed to Rutgers in August over several other scholarship offers.

“They're concerned,” Toal said. “Both guys are real concerned. They have to be. They believed coach Schiano was going to their coach...You can't blame these kids. They want some stability and they want some answers. They want to know where this thing is going. No question.”

Toal said neither prospect will wait until after Feb. 1, national signing day, to announce their decision, meaning they'll need a quick decision from Rutgers if the Scarlet Knights hope to stay in the hunt.

“They're not going to wait until national signing day,” Toal said. “I'll tell you that right now. They're not going to wait.”

Toal said it didn't take him long to believe that the early reports that Schiano was close to leaving New Jersey were true.

“It's done,” Toal said. “Coach Schiano doesn't let anything out. He's been in negotiations before and no one ever knew. He had the CIA around him. He let it out.”

Schiano led Rutgers to respectability after accepting the head coaching position in 2000 after being the defensive coordinator at Miami. Schiano received several national coach of the year awards and in 2006, led the Scarlet Knights into the top 25 for the first time since 1976. His career record was 68-67.

Rutgers was assembling a strong class this year. Among its 18 commitments, five were rated as four-star prospects.

“He's obviously an excellent recruiter and a very good coach,” Toal said. “There's no question that he's done a good job.

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