Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Who's going where?
By Jamie Newberg
Here's a look at the uncommitted players in the final ESPNU 150 and where their recruitment currently stands.
Jadeveon Clowney (Rock Hill, S.C./South Pointe)
|Figuring out where Jadeveon Clowney is going to end up has become a real head scratcher.|
ESPNU 150 rank: 1
This is going to be one of the most interesting recruiting battles in recent memory. Clowney has taken only two official visits: South Carolina in November and Alabama this past weekend. Those close to Clowney say he's torn between the two. He's scheduled to visit FSU this weekend and Clemson on Jan. 28. There has been talk inside the Clowney camp that he could push back the decision until his birthday, which is Valentine's Day. If that happens, he could make another visit after national signing day, perhaps to LSU. Right now everyone is trying to catch the Gamecocks and Tide.
Cyrus Kouandjio (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha)
ESPNU 150 rank: 3
The nation's top offensive tackle prospect has already visited both Alabama and New Mexico, but has not taken any visits this month. This week, Kouandjio will likely take the SAT and then could take a visit Jan. 28, with Auburn, USC, Iowa and others all fighting for the chance to host him before he makes a decision. It appears that the Crimson Tide are in great position to land this five-star prospect on national signing day, Feb. 2.
Isaiah Crowell (Columbus, Ga./Carver)
ESPNU 150 rank: 4
Crowell, the top-rated running back prospect, took his first official visit to Alabama last weekend. He will visit Georgia (Friday) and Auburn (Jan. 28) and is scheduled to make a signing-day decision. It's been back and forth for months between the home-state Bulldogs and neighboring Crimson Tide. If Crowell indeed makes his visit to see the Tigers at the end of the month, then things could get very interesting. But the Dawgs should have the inside track, and he's arguably the most important recruit for UGA in the Mark Richt era.
Tony Steward (St. Augustine, Fla./Menendez)
ESPNU 150 rank: 9
Steward, the nation's top-rated linebacker, had two really good official visits, one to UCLA and the other to Clemson. He will visit Florida State this weekend and possibly Florida for a midweek trip some time next week. This is clearly a battle between the Tigers and Seminoles. Many feel FSU is the team to beat here, but don't underestimate Dabo Swinney and Clemson. Steward will announce his decision on national signing day.
Ray Drew (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County Central)
ESPNU 150 rank: 13
Drew, the nation's No. 2 defensive end prospect, has four visits in the books: Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Miami. He was in Coral Gables this past weekend and came home very impressed with new Canes coach Al Golden. His last visit is this week to Clemson, and then it's a waiting game. Drew has said a decision is likely to come Jan. 28.
Tim Jernigan (Lake City, Fla./Columbia)
ESPNU 150 rank: 17
Jernigan, who climbed to the No. 2 DT spot, said at the Army All-American Bowl that he was 90 percent sure he would sign with Alabama, LSU or Florida State. The Gators and new coach Will Muschamp are making a huge push. Right now it appears to be a Seminoles/Tigers battle, with the Gators being the dark horse. Jernigan has already visited Michigan, USC and LSU, and his last two visits over the next two weekends loom large. The Wolverines and Trojans are now out of it.
Jay Rome (Valdosta, Ga./Valdosta)
ESPNU 150 rank: 18
Rome, the nation's top tight end, will announce his decision on ESPNU on Thursday evening. He is deciding between Alabama and Georgia.
Nick O'Leary (West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer)
|While the Seminoles look like the leader for Nick O'Leary, don't count out Miami or even Wisconsin.|
ESPNU 150 rank: 20
O'Leary is very intrigued by Wisconsin, but it appears the Seminoles are closing in on his commitment. He made an unofficial visit to FSU this past weekend. He has also been to see the Badgers, Crimson Tide and LSU. Miami and Golden have been in hot pursuit, but they have a lot of catching up to do, while Georgia and Florida are also working him hard for an official visit. Make no mistake about it, O'Leary is looking good for the garnet and gold.
Gabe Wright (Columbus, Ga./Carver)
ESPNU 150 rank: 26
Wright, the nation's No. 3 DT, is vastly underpublicized. He has already visited Alabama and Tennessee and has Clemson (Friday) and Auburn (Jan. 28) remaining. You can make a strong case for all four schools and at this point, it's anyone's guess where Wright ends up.
Savon Huggins (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's Prep)
ESPNU 150 rank: No. 28
Huggins has one official visit left, to home-state Rutgers (Friday), then he will make his decision Jan. 28. He's deciding between Rutgers, Auburn, Michigan State, Notre Dame and North Carolina.
Stephone Anthony (Wadesboro, N.C./Anson)
ESPNU 150 rank: 32
Anthony, the nation's top-ranked OLB, has visited Clemson and Florida on back-to-back weekends. He will visit Virginia Tech (Friday) and NC State (Jan. 28) over the last two visit weekends. How those visits go will determine who lands Anthony.
Cyrus Hobbi (Scottsdale, Ariz./Sagauro)
ESPNU 150 rank: 34
It's a three-team race for this four-star offensive guard: USC, UCLA and Arizona State. He has already tripped to USC and ASU and he has a visit set with UCLA this weekend.
Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta, Ga./Valdosta)
ESPNU 150 rank: 45
Mitchell is one of the more intriguing prospects still on the board because he is stout on both sides of the ball. He will announce his decision between Alabama and Georgia on Thursday.
Curtis Grant (Richmond, Va./Hermitage)
ESPNU 150 rank: 46
Thought to be headed to Florida before Urban Meyer's resignation, this one is now wide open between the Gators, Buckeyes, Tar Heels and Cavs. He's already made trips to Florida and Ohio State. Grant will visit Virginia (Friday) and North Carolina (Jan. 28) before making his decision.
Erique Florence (Valley, Ala./Valley)
ESPNU 150 rank: 53
Auburn looks like the front-runner for the four-star safety, but Alabama and USC are still in the mix. Florence visited USC last weekend and will trip to Alabama this weekend. He visited the Tigers last month.
Curt Maggitt (West Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer)
ESPNU 150 rank: 63
Maggitt, one of the most athletic OLBs in the country, was a heavy Florida lean before Meyer left the program. It looked like it was shaping up to be a Florida/Wisconsin battle, but his visit to Tennessee last weekend was eye-opening for him, and the Vols are very much in the hunt. He will make his last official visit to Florida on Jan. 28.
Brandon Fulse (Ft. Meade, Fla./Ft. Meade)
ESPNU 150 rank: 94
Fulse, one of the nation's top tight ends, didn't make his scheduled visit to Alabama this past weekend. He has Tennessee slated for this weekend and could reschedule the Crimson Tide for the weekend after. Fulse has visited Auburn, Texas Tech and North Carolina, and the national champion Tigers appear to be the team to beat.
Marqise Lee (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra)
ESPNU 150 rank: 96
It looks like Oregon, USC and Miami are fighting it out for Lee, one of the top athletes on the West Coast. He has already visited Oregon and USC and will take a trip across the country to Miami this weekend.
Darius Jennings (Baltimore/Gilman School)
ESPNU 150 rank: 98
It's a three-team race for Jennings between Ohio State, Virginia and Wake Forest. He has already visited all three. The Buckeyes like him on defense, the Cavs on offense, and he could get a shot at QB at Wake Forest.
Antonio Richardson (Nashville, Tenn./Pearl Cohn)
|It looks like Antonio Richardson will be wearing Tennessee's orange and white very soon.|
ESPNU 150 rank: 105
Tennessee could be the team to beat here. Richardson, a four-star OT, recently visited the Vols and is scheduled to see Miami this weekend. LSU, Auburn, Arkansas and USC could be factors.
Christian Heyward (San Diego/Point Loma)
ESPNU 150 rank: 111
Heyward, one of the most coveted defensive tackles from the West Coast, looks like he's down to USC and Oregon. Heyward has already seen Southern Cal and he visited UCLA last weekend. The Oregon visit this weekend will be huge. Heyward is also slated to see San Diego State on the last visit weekend of the month.
Mickey Johnson (Covington, La./ Saint Paul's School)
ESPNU 150 rank: 121
Johnson, a four-star DT, has narrowed things down to LSU, Arkansas and Tennessee. He visited LSU in December, Arkansas last weekend, and he will make his final visit to Tennessee this weekend. Johnson plans on making his decision Jan. 28.
Dominique Terrell (Manassas, Va./Osbourn)
ESPNU 150 rank: 122
Terrell is scheduled to visit Virginia this weekend and Miami on Jan. 28. He visited West Virginia in November, and while the Mountaineers are still in it, they had a better shot with Terrell before the coaching move. The Cavs could prove tough to beat, especially with the way they are recruiting in-state.
Zachary Witchett (Atlanta/Booker T. Washington)
ESPNU 150 rank: 129
Once a Georgia commit, the Dawgs recently decided to part ways with Witchett, and now he's looking around. South Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia and Toledo have also made offers to the 6-foot, 185-pound, four-star athlete.
Buck Allen (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln)
ESPNU 150 rank: 147
Allen, a four-star running back, just came off an official visit to Southern Cal and will likely visit Tennessee this weekend. Alabama, Auburn, USF and others are all fighting to get a visit on Jan. 28.
Spencer Region (Cullman, Ala./Cullman)
ESPNU 150 rank: 149
Region, a 6-6, 339-pound offensive guard, had a good trip to Louisville last weekend. This weekend he's scheduled to visit LSU. Auburn, Wisconsin and Georgia are all still in the picture.
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.