Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Recruiting notes from Nike combine
By Greg Biggins ESPN Recruiting
MIAMI -- Nearly 900 athletes tested this past weekend at the Nike SPARQ combine, including some outstanding prospects that have already emerged on BCS schools' radars. Here's a recruiting rundown of some of the top athletes in attendance and where they're looking early in their recruitment:
Faton Bauta could start drawing interest from schools in the Northeast and South.
Faton Bauta, ATH (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer)
He had his second straight strong combine showing after doing well at the Nike event in Philadelphia a week ago. Bauta transferred from Poly Prep (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and it's a good bet he'll be looked at by schools in the South as well as the Northeast. Florida, Miami, Ohio State and Rutgers are his early leaders.
Pedro Sibiea, DL (Homestead, Fla./Homestead)
The defensive lineman picked up his first offer from Florida just a few weeks ago and one from Miami could be coming soon as well. He said Hurricanes coaches Michael Barrow and Jethro Franklin are recruiting him the hardest right now. If his schedule permits, Sibiea said he would like to attend summer camps at USC and North Carolina. The Hurricanes and Gators are his top two at the moment.
Akeem Jones, QB (Miami, Fla./Carol City)
Just a sophomore, Jones has early interest from Florida, Florida State, Oregon, Rutgers and Miami, despite missing his entire season because of a broken ankle suffered in Carol City's spring game. The Seminoles are his childhood favorites and Oregon is standing out to him right now as well. Jones is playing quarterback but is being recruited as an athlete.
Justin Horton LB, (Clermont, Fla./East Ridge)
Horton came into the combine as an unknown prospect, but his 115.95 SPARQ Rating was the top mark in the combine and the best through four events thus far. He camped with Miami last summer and the Canes are his dream school. Louisville, Middle Tennessee State and USF are also showing interest.
Herb Waters ATH, (Homestead, Fla./Homestead Senior)
He is hearing from Florida, Florida State, LSU and Miami, which is his childhood favorite. Waters attended Miami's junior day a few weeks ago and the Hurricanes have signed three players out of Homestead over the past four years, including incoming freshman defensive end Ricardo Williams. Waters' 4.51 time in the 40 was second-best at the combine.
Keith Brown may be committed to the "U," but he's still visiting Clemson for its game with FSU.
Keith Brown LB, (Miami, Fla./Norland)
The Miami commit stopped by but wasn't able to work out because of a sore hamstring. Brown, an ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, said his commitment to Miami is very solid but did add he plans to take his official visits and said LSU will get first crack and Louisville will be his second visit in the fall. He'll also attend the Tigers' summer camp.
Adrian Burton CB, (Pompano Beach, Fla./Ely)
The talented all-around athlete is getting looks at safety and linebacker. Burton attended Miami's junior day and the Hurricanes are currently on top. Florida and Florida State are showing strong interest as well, but the feeling here is if Miami puts out a scholarship offer, Burton could commit early. Burton put up a 98.46 SPARQ Rating, good enough for No. 5 in the combine.
John Green, WR (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela)
Green was the fastest man at the combine with his 4.46 time in the 40. The receiver will camp with Duke in the summer and will visit North Carolina while on Tobacco Road. The in-state schools have yet to show any interest in Green, but the receiver was hopeful his impressive showing would enhance his reputation a bit.
Cameron Smith LB, (Coral Springs, Fla./JP Taravella)
Duke, Iowa State, USF and Vanderbilt are showing early interest in Smith but Miami is his dream school. Former Hurricanes linebacker Dan Morgan played for JP Taravella and Smith mentioned he would like to stay close to home to play his college ball.
Greg Biggins is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's West recruiting blog and handles player personnel for the Nike Football Training Camps for ESPNRISE.com.