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Monday, January 19, 2004
Trojans' haul continues with Herring commit

By Bill Hodge

The USC Trojans have gained one of the nation's top prospects in defensive/offensive lineman Thomas Herring of Los Angeles-Fremont, Cal., over LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Miami-Florida, UCLA and Washington, among many others. The Trojans also signed offensive lineman Alatini Malu of Long Beach CC, Cal., who decommitted from California.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a commitment from linebacker/defensive back Maurice Crum Jr of Tampa-Tampa Bay Tech, Fla., over Michigan State, Tennessee and South Florida. He is the son of former Miami Hurricane and Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Maurice Crum Sr.

Top 150 running back Jerald Watson of Morgan City-Central Catholic, La., decommitted from LSU to Auburn. The Tigers also pledged receiver/defensive back Corey Spells of Atlanta-Mays, Ga., over Duke, Mississippi State, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.

Running back JaKouri Williams, a Top 150 prospect from Plaquemine, La., chose Tennessee over Michigan, Auburn, Nebraska, Florida State, LSU and Mississipi. The Vols also gained running back James Turner of Augusta, Ark., over Iowa and Arkansas State.

Memphis has collected six commitments, including Top 150 defensive back Greg Hinds of Southaven, Miss., over Auburn and Mississippi State; quarterback Will Hudgens of Memphis-Ridgeway, Tenn; running back Joseph Doss of Memphis-Melrose, Tenn; tight end Brett Russell of Memphis-Christian Brothers, Tenn; offensive lineman Brandon Douglas of Brownsville-Haywood, Tenn; and linebacker Heath Grant of Starkville, Miss.

More Football News

*UPDATED 1/15/04: USC and LSU are tied for the lead, followed by Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Miami-Florida, Penn State, Georgia, Maryland and Alabama in the Early 2004 Top Classes.

*Search the early list of over 3400 Prospects, Commitments and Signings for your favorite Schools and Conferences. Football Signing Periods: Midyear JC/Prep Transfers (Dec. 17-Jan. 15) and Regular (Feb. 4-Apr. 1).

*Check out the Top 150 Prospects and Super Prospects. Where are the top Class 2004 running backs headed? List.

*Check out the Class 2004 Junior College Prospects. Search the NJCAA Football All-Americans (Does not include California).

Independents Verbal List

Big Ten Verbal List

Defensive lineman Justin Kershaw of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, is headed to Michigan State over Minnesota, Indiana, Kentucky and Cincinnati. The Spartans recently gained defensive lineman Domata Peko of College of the Canyons, Cal.

The Iowa Hawkeyes pledged defensive lineman/tight end Lucas Cox of Springdale, Pa.

Illinois added receiver Andre Young of North Augusta, SC.

Big 12 Verbal List

Texas pledged tight end Kenton Thornton of Dallas-St. Marks, Tex.

Texas A&M has commitments from quarterback Jordan Chambless of Corpus Christi-Calallen, Tex., over Rice; and tight end Amos Gbunblee of Cypress-Cypress-Springs, Tex., over Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Iowa and TCU. The Aggies recently gained offensive lineman Travis Schneider of Bellville, Tex.

Texas Tech added quarterback/athlete Shae Reagan of Idalou, Tex; receiver Eric Morris of Shallowater, Tex; offensive lineman Jared Williams of LaMarque, Tex; and running back Shannon Woods of McKinney-North, Tex.

Oklahoma State added linebacker Mark Johnson of Fort Bend-Hightower, Tex.

Kansas State has a pledge from linebacker Isaiah Cook of Claremont, Cal., over Colorado State, Oregon, Oregon State and San Diego State.

Big East Verbal List

Virginia Tech has running back Damian Sims of Boca Raton-Leonard, Fla., over Kansas State. The Hokies recently gained linebacker Andrew Bowman of Richmond-Hermitage, Va., over Virginia, Tennessee and Purdue.

ACC Verbal List

Kicker Gary Cismesia of Bradenton-Lakewood Ranch, Fla., has decommitted from Georgia Tech to Florida State. The Seminoles recently gained offensive lineman Jacky Claude of Miami-Edison, Fla., over Miami-Florida, Ohio State, North Carolina State, Auburn, Rutgers and South Florida, among many others.

Duke has defensive backs Jabari Marshall of Atlanta-Mays, Ga; and Chris Davis of Atlanta-Marist, Ga.

Virginia has defensive back Thierrien Davis of Greenbelt-Roosevelt, Md; and linebacker/running back Kevin Bradley of Fayetteville/Seventy-First, NC.

Defensive lineman Brandon Setzer of Thomasville, NC/Hargrave MA, Va., committed to North Carolina State over North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

Linebacker/defensive lineman Alex Pearson of Greenville, SC., is headed to Clemson. The Tigers recently gained defensive lineman Anthony Davis of Columbia-Spring Valley, SC.

SEC Verbal List

Georgia pledged defensive back/athlete Michael Grant of Stone Mountain-Stephenson, Ga., over Florida, Miami-Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas; defensive back Kelin Johnson of Daytona Beach-Mainland, Fla; and receiver Jamar Bryant of Rockingham-Richmond, NC.

Linebacker Anthony Littlejohn of Jacksonville-Englewood, Fla., who decommitted from South Florida; and tight end Robert Walker of Southwest Mississippi CC, Miss., picked Mississippi State. The Bulldogs recently gained offensive lineman Dio Herrera of Hollywood-Christian, Fla.

Arkansas gained defensive lineman Michael Tate of Tulsa-Washington, Okla., over Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Tulsa. The Razorbacks recently added defensive backs Darius Vinnett of Destrehan, La/West Hills CC, Cal; and Dallas Washington of Atlanta, Tex.

South Carolina has quarterback Joe Joe Brown of Cordele-Crisp County, Ga., over North Carolina State; defensive lineman Kevin Mainord of Coalmont-Grundy County, Tenn., over Alabama, Auburn, Colorado and Florida; and linebacker Alonzo Middleton of Orangeburg-Wilkinson, SC.

Conf-USA Verbal List

Receiver Mario Urrutia of Louisville-Fern Creek, Kty., picked Louisville. He had recently decommitted from Kentucky.

South Florida has pledged running back/defensive back Ricky Ponton of Tampa-Hillsborough, Fla; offensive lineman Shadie Jones of Pensacola-Pace, Fla; and running back Terrence Jones of Sarasota-Booker, Fla. The Bulls recently gained running back Andre Copeland of Lake City-Columbia, Fla.

Cincinnati has quarterback Dustin Grutza of Maysville-Mason County, Kty, who passed for 3266 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior. New coach Mark Dantonio says he was only trying to be honest when he decided to re-evaluate commitments made by recruits to former coach Rick Minter. Dantonio has told prospects that their verbals are being re-evaluated and urged them to consider if they still want to attend UC and play for the new coaching staff. He said decisions would be made soon on whether to offer scholarships to those players.

Receiver/defensive back Ted Riley of Delray Beach/American Heritage-Boca/Delray, Fla., is a commitment for East Carolina. The Pirates recently gained quarterback Davon Drew of New Bern, NC.

MAC Verbal List

Akron has pledged linebacker Jemall Benjamin of Cleveland-Glenville, Ohio.

WAC Verbal List

SMU added offensive lineman Sean Lobo of Arlington-Sam Houston, Tex.

Boise State pledged linebacker Casey Herron of Limon, Colo; defensive lineman Joe Bozikovich of Portland-Wilson, Ore; and linebacker Kyle Gingg of Phoenix-Phoenix Christian, Ariz.

Tulsa added defensive back Jonathan Penelton of Dallas-Skyline, Tex. The Golden Hurricane recently gained receiver Ashlan Davis of Tyler CC, Tex.

Sun Belt Verbal List

North Texas gained running back Jamario Thomas of Longview-Spring Hill, Tex., over Arizona State, Texas Tech and Colorado.

Pac-10 Verbal List

The UCLA Bruins have pledged offensive lineman Aaron Meyer of River Ridge-John Curtis, La; defensive/offensive lineman Tony Lee of Gardena-Serra, Cal; and receiver/defensive back Marcus Everett of West Hills-Chaminade, Cal.

Arizona has offensive lineman Eddie Rollmann of Burnet, Tex; offensive lineman Sheldon Watts of Fort Bend-Hightower, Tex; and linebacker Aaron Darks of Lufkin, Tex.

Oregon State has pledged offensive lineman Adam Speer of West Hills-Chaminade, Cal; offensive lineman Jon Ioane of Tustin, Cal; and linebacker Alan Darlin of Elk Grove-Laguna Creek, Cal.

Oregon has pledged tight end Devlin Bayne of Carlin, Nev., over Nevada and Fresno State. The Ducks recently gained defensive lineman Cole Linehan of Banks, Ore; and defensive back Jerome Boyd of Los Angeles-Dorsey, Cal.

Stanford has pledged defensive back Carlos McFall of San Antonio-Roosevelt, Tex., over Colorado, Purdue, Iowa State and Houston. The Cardinal recently gained tight end Austin Gunder of Red Lion-Area, Pa.

Mountain West Verbal List

Defensive lineman Randy Faletoi of Honolulu-McKinley, Hawaii, has committed to Utah. The Utes also gained Baytown-Lee, Tex., quarterback Brian Johnson; running back Quinton Ganther of Citrus CC, Cal; and running back Jordan Johnson of Mesquite-Poteet, Tex.

Linebacker Bobby Kelly of Grossmont CC, Cal., is one of nine mid-year signees for UNLV.

BYU gained defensive back Billy Skinner of Arlington-Lamar, Tex., who decommitted from Tulane; offensive lineman Ray Feinga of West Valley City-Hunter, Utah; and defensive lineman Alex Toailoa of Fountain Valley-Los Amigos, Cal.

Class 2004 Football Database
* Seach the early list of over 3400 Prospects.
* Search the database to find Commitments and Signings for your favorite Schools and Conferences.
*Football Signing Periods: Midyear JC Transfers (Dec. 17-Jan. 15) and Regular (Feb. 4-Apr. 1).
* Check out the database for prospects in your Home State
* Lists of Top 150 Prospects/Super Prospects:
Top 150: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB.
Super Prospects: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB.

Football Commitments/Signings:
OCSN: Main Recruiting Page.
Class 2005: Database
Class 2004: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Early Top Classes.

Class 2003: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.
Class 2001: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.
Class 2000: Database/Top Prospects/Top Classes.
Class 1999: Database/Top Prospects/Top Classes.
Class 1998: Database.
Class 1997: Database.

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.