Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara junior linebacker Brandon Chatmon is already catching the attention of elite BCS programs across the country, and his performance Saturday showed why.
With O'Hara trailing Archbishop Ryan with three minutes to go, Chatmon made his 13th and final tackle of the game to prevent a third-down conversion. The offense would score the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing possession.
"They tried to run it right at me," says Chatmon, who had four tackles for loss. "They kept running straight at me all game, so I had to do what I had to do."
Chatmon followed that come-from-behind win by witnessing another one Monday night when he traveled to Byrd Stadium to watch Maryland defeat Miami. It was the second time Chatmon's been on the Terps' campus.
"[Maryland's] defense is amazing, they just don't stop," Chatmon said. "That offense, that fast-paced offense, I like the way coach [Randy] Edsall runs things.
"It was a great atmosphere and the fans go nuts."
Chatmon has also visited Pittsburgh twice. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh natives usually don't have much love for the other city, but Chatmon enjoys Pittsburgh nearly as much as he does his hometown.
"I love it, and it's a great school," Chatmon says. "They treat me like family."
Chatmon has met with a number of the Panthers' coaching staff, including coach Todd Graham and linebackers coach Keith Patterson. He also really enjoyed what the academic support staff had to say, as academics will be a major factor in his recruitment.
"That's the No. 1 thing," Chatmon says. "If the education isn't right, I'm not going there. That's one of the biggest keys."
At 6-foot and 215 pounds, Chatmon plays inside linebacker in O'Hara's 4-4 scheme but most programs are looking at him as an outside linebacker.
Schools that have already contacted or talked with Chatmon include Alabama, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Rutgers, Temple, Boston College, Oregon, Stanford, NC State, Penn State, Maryland, Connecticut, West Virginina, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Alabama asked Chatmon to see a highlight tape recently, which really surprised and left an impression on Chatmon.
"That's a big step," Chatmon says. "Alabama, that's a hard school for anybody to go to football-wise. Just for them to say, 'Hey, we want to see a highlight tape,' that's crazy."
Chatmon plans to go out to Pitt again and could make trips to Florida State, South Carolina, Boston College and Oregon. Don't mistake those for his favorites, though. He is adamant that no school leads for him right now.
"I'm interested in all of them; I can't tell you one that I'm not," Chatmon says. "I feel the same about all of them."
Barkdale visits Ohio while waiting on BCS offers
Tres Barkdale is still waiting to hear if Wisconsin will pull the trigger and offer, but in the meantime the Solon (Ohio) receiver took a trip to Ohio's campus.
"I loved it," Barksdale said of the trip. "It was real positive. There were some great discussions with the staff."
One of those discussions was where Barksdale would fit in the Bobcats' offense. Bobcats coach Frank Solich was famous for using a triple-option offense at Nebraska, but he has opened things up since going to Athens, Ohio. The Bobcats still use some option principles, albeit out of the shotgun. In the Bobcats' season-opening win, they threw the ball 30 times.
"They still left some of the option in, but they told me they're doing more downfield stuff, too," the 6-1, 185-pound Barksdale said.
Barkdale has also been in talks with Penn State, and will visit the campus on Sept. 24 for the Nittany Lions' game against Eastern Michigan. He has also visited Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Many of Penn State's final targets attending Bama game
With 17 commitments already on board, Penn State could have room for as few as four or five more commitments before wrapping up its 2012 class. With that in mind, nearly all of the Lions' top remaining targets will be on the sideline Saturday when Penn State hosts Alabama, a game which expects to have a raucous atmosphere.
ESPNU 150 members athlete Devin Fuller (Old Tappen, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) and tight end Kent Taylor (Land O Lakes, Fla./Land O Lakes) will be attending, as are four-star running back William Mahone (Youngstown, Ohio/Austintown-Fitch), four-star athlete Demetrious Cox (Jeannette, Pa./Jeannette) and three-star safety Bam Bradley (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison).
Fuller wants to play quarterback in college, and Penn State has told him it will give him the chance to play the position in Happy Valley.
Taylor is down to Florida and Penn State as he recovers from a broken hand.
Mahone's visit bodes well for Penn State as he has said he plans on coming back for an official visit later in the year.
Cox is unofficially visiting as well, but that's because he still has 10 schools remaining on his board and felt he would be wasting a visit on nearby Penn State.
The one notable absentee is Harrisburg, Pa., defensive end Noah Spence, ranked No. 4 in the ESPNU 150. Bishop McDevitt plays Saturday morning.
Philadelphia receiver has eyes on ex-Colt Harrison's record
Philadelphia Roman Catholic Class of 2013 receiver Will Fuller didn't hesitate when asked what his individual goal is this season.
"Break Marvin Harrison's record," Fuller said. "I want to break his single-game record."
Harrison, a 1991 graduate who went on to star at Syracuse and for the Indianapolis Colts, set the school record with 199 receiving yards.
Like Harrison, who will garner Pro Football Hall of Fame attention in 2014, Fuller says his biggest strength is his route running and deep speed.
Fuller plays both ways, starting at receiver and coming in as a reserve at cornerback, but likes offense much better.
"DBs are scared of me," he says. "I like being feared by the DBs."
Over the summer, Fuller crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey for a camp at Rutgers, where he fine-tuned his route running even more with Scarlet Knights assistants P.J. Fleck and Brian Angelichio, who coach the receivers and tight ends, respectively.
"They helped me out with a lot of stuff," Fuller says. "Not using my head too much when I break, getting out of my break quicker, staying low in my cuts."
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano wants to meet with Fuller a few more times and see his junior tape before sending an offer his way.
Fuller also camped at Philadelphia schools Temple and Lafayette and is talking with staffs at Temple, Connecticut and Maryland.
Fuller plans on staying along the East Coast to remain close to his family. The farthest he says he is willing to go is Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Jared Shanker covers Midwest recruiting. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.