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January 6, 6:07 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Billy Tucker

Billy Tucker
  (2:30 PM)

Thanks for joining today. Lots to talk about with our new ESPNU 150 rankings and recent Under Armour All-America game.

Tom (San Diego)

You guys are right on with Barkley but linebacker Frankie Telfort jumping into the top 30???

Billy Tucker
  (2:31 PM)

People thought we were crazy placing an undersized Sean Spence there last year and he seems to be doing just fine at Miami (ACC Def. Rookie of the Year).

Billy Tucker
  (2:32 PM)

Telfort reminded us and the former NFL coaches of Spence from the very first practice. He'll make up for his lack of size with great instincts and rare closing burst.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Will DJ Fluker replace Andre Smith at LT @ Alabama?

Billy Tucker
  (2:33 PM)

While strong and massive we think he would struggle on the edge versus faster SEC pass rushers right away.

Joey (Tampa)

Where you still have Willie Downs ranked makes no sense to me. What are you guys seeing?

Billy Tucker
  (2:33 PM)

We thought Downs performed well enough during the Army game to prove he can play safety at the next level

Billy Tucker
  (2:34 PM)

He displayed good range and instincts -- we still question his overall speed, particularly to play WR at FSU. He did jump into our 150.

Mike (Atlanta)

Why did Marcus Hall drop over 70 spots and out of your top 150? I expected him to climb your rankings, because everything written about him the past week talked about how strong and dominant he was at the AA practices.

Billy Tucker
  (2:36 PM)

Our overall consensus with Hall is that he is big, from a prominent school but plays high, has limited athleticism and is very inconsistent. Will need some time to develop at the next level.

David, Montgomery, AL

The new ESPN 150 ranking have me laughing. Kinda strange that only the players that played in the Under Armor game got moved up. Did ya'll even scout the Army All Star game?

Billy Tucker
  (2:37 PM)

Every player that was in the Army game was evaluated on film, just as every player in the Under Armour game was.

Billy Tucker
  (2:37 PM)

Players do not move up based upon what game they played in, if that were true, every player in our top 25 would be from the UA game.

Billy Tucker
  (2:39 PM)

Don't forget about the players who moved down from our game and the many who moved up like Downs and Richardson in the Army game.

Billy Tucker
  (2:39 PM)

ESPN, for the second year in a row, was denied access to the Army game and practices by the people who run the game

Bret B (Madison, WI)

Why can't my Badgers recruit a top QB? Yes, we have a run-first mentality, but we also churn out quite a few NFL caliber WRs (Chambers, Evans) and TEs (Daniels, now Beckum). Why wouldn't a QB want to be surrounded with such weapons?

Billy Tucker
  (2:40 PM)

What about Josh Budmayr our No. 16 rated QB?

Billy Tucker
  (2:41 PM)

He reminds us a bit of Chase Daniel at Miss. He will develop into a good one for you.

Bryan, (Hollywood, CA)

USC's offense has been potent at times, but it seems like they are missing a game breaker. I know they have Mcknight, but are there any recruits, committed or considering the Trojans that can be that type of player for them?

Billy Tucker
  (2:42 PM)

After watching WR Alshon Jeffrey last week in Orlando I can tell you that he is NOT a game-breaker but will carry the trend of big, downfield WRs at SC.

Billy Tucker
  (2:42 PM)

Randall Carroll on the other hand does have great burst, acceleration and is very dynamic like McKnight.

Scott (Shreveport, LA)

Billy, please answer this question for me. Is Notre Dame done? Is there anyone left? Do we lose Pollard? I know people are having a hope and prayer for Manti Te?o, but I don't see it.

Billy Tucker
  (2:44 PM)

Neuheisel got Presley to switch from USC so I am sure he can persuade Pollard and it sounds like he is putting on the press. That would be a big blow to ND.

Billy Tucker
  (2:44 PM)

I think Te'o is a long shot (as is Jenkins) and ND will sign pretty much the same class they have at the moment -- a top-15 but not a top-10.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Has Manti Te'o narrowed his options yet?

Billy Tucker
  (2:45 PM)

I actually just talked to his father prior to the chat. Manti is at BYU this weekend.

Billy Tucker
  (2:46 PM)

I think it will come down to BYU and USC. We are scheduling him to announce on ESPN.

Sean (Dallas)

Billy after what you saw from Russell Shepard at the Under Armour Game is he the answer right away at QB for the Tigers?

Billy Tucker
  (2:47 PM)

I think he can make an immediate impact with his great athleticism and rare initial burst as a skill player-- but think he may be a year or two away from doing it fulltime behind center.

Luis, Elk Grove Village, IL

Hey Billy, How solid is Bryce Brown's and Olivier Vernon's commitment to Miami?

Billy Tucker
  (2:48 PM)

Vernon has more of a chance of signing elsewhere (FSU/Ala.) but Miami has enough young talent on defense and upfront to survive if he does.

Casto (Washington, D.C.)

Billy, it looks like WVU is putting together a ridiculous recruiting class, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Agree or disagree?

Billy Tucker
  (2:50 PM)

Its a good class, not great. I think they have a good shot to crack the top-25 and rebound from last year's disappointing signing day.

Luis, Elk Grove Village, IL

How much of a boost will the national championship be to Florida's recruiting?

Billy Tucker
  (2:50 PM)

Yes but more for 2010. Look what it did for LSU. They should sign one of the top classes come Feb.

Billy Tucker
  (2:51 PM)

Losing underrated RB Gillislee and Greg Reid does hurt the Gators

Johnny Jones (Naples, FL)

Hey Billy, How much instant impact does Lane & Monty Kiffin make at Tennessee (along with the new oc from Rams as well) in recruiting? Will UT get back to national dominance?

Billy Tucker
  (2:52 PM)

I think you have already seen the buzz Lane is creating, he is young, can relate and judge talent.

Billy Tucker
  (2:53 PM)

I see Monte as more of a closer in a prospects living room with his NFL ties and experience, not a high-energy, grinder on the road.

Billy Tucker
  (2:53 PM)

Landing Ed Orgeron may be the piece to the puzzle that takes them to the top. He is one of the better recruiters out there.

Cosmo (Anytown, USA)

How's the old guy in Happy Valley doing so far? Any PSU updates?

Billy Tucker
  (2:54 PM)

I can tell you JoePa has a good one coming in with CB Darrell Givens.

Billy Tucker
  (2:55 PM)

He was one of the more athletic, well-rounded corners in Orlando last week.

Chris, Dallas

Just curious as to why ESPN has Alex Okafor so low? Have ya'll not fully evaluated him or not seen his film b/c other sites have him as a top 25 player in the country.

Billy Tucker
  (2:56 PM)

We have seen him and overall he is a very solid football player but we don't see a dominant defender or a kid with the upside of some of the ends ahead of him

Billy Tucker
  (2:57 PM)

We see a productive steady player that will be a starter and get things done, but maybe not a guy you maybe have to gameplan around.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think Logan Heastie is going to be a great player for years to come?

Billy Tucker
  (2:58 PM)

We just dropped him out of our 150. A very smooth and fluid receiver down in Orlando but not a gamebreaker and his hands were very inconsistent.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Any guys coming to Oregon St, that we should look out for? Riley always seems to find the diamonds in the rough.

Billy Tucker
  (3:00 PM)

Yes he does and on paper this class looks disappointing considering their success. Ath Kyrell Hudson could develop into a nice little weapon on offense. Very versatile skill player with great leaping ability and athleticism.

Craig (Boston)

It looks like Minnesota will hire Cosgrove. Good move?

Billy Tucker
  (3:01 PM)

Great move. He has good experience in the Big Ten as a recruiter and as a defensive coordinator.

Ken (DC)

Please tell me PSU has a chance with Jenkins!

Billy Tucker
  (3:02 PM)

They have a chance but I like Florida for Jenkins. Another prospect who is scheduled to announce live on ESPN on signing day.

Tom (Chicago, IL)

Billy- Where do you see Marlon Brown, Greg Reid, Orson Charles, and Jarvis Jones going? Is Georgia in the driver's seat for any of these prospects?

Billy Tucker
  (3:04 PM)

They have a shot at all of them but not really in the driver's seat for any. Best chance may be signing in-state Jones.

Billy Tucker
  (3:04 PM)

I still think Reid will still end up at Florida and Brown will stay instate with the Vols. Charles may be tough to lure out of Florida despite his teammate heading to Athens.

Eric (NY)

Enough of questions about the same schools. How is Buffalo recruiting coming along?

Billy Tucker
  (3:05 PM)

Unfortunately their onfield success has not carried over to recruiting...just yet.

Billy Tucker
  (3:07 PM)

They have two solid players upfront in DT Hornbuckle and OT Johnson but that's about it.

Andrew (Nebraska)

Can you tell me anything about Lazzari Middleton? other sites don't have much on him and call him a 1 star player I see he is much higher rated on espn. Is he a diamond that other sites are missing?

Billy Tucker
  (3:08 PM)

To be honest, I am not sure how much the other sites you are referring to watch film, cause if they did this kid would be rated. He is a very good corner with a ton of upside to develop.

Billy Tucker
  (3:10 PM)

He needs some polish on technique but is very strong, explosive and would make a great underneath corner. Pelini watched 5 minutes of his senior highlight film and offered. A real late bloomer.

Andrew (Nebraska)

What do you think of Nebraska QB Commit Cody Green? Will he be a college QB? and could he be ready to take over the reins of a Nebraska team that is searching for a QB?

Billy Tucker
  (3:11 PM)

Better runner/athlete than he is polished as a QB at this point. Like Shepard at LSU he should get on the field early but it might not be at QB to start.

Danny (The D)

What do you see in Isiah Bell other sites are missing?

Billy Tucker
  (3:13 PM)

He proved in Orlando that he should be regarded as an upper-echelon safety in our eyes. He has great size, range and matched up over slots like Andre Debose all week in 4-4 schemes and ran stride-for-stride.

Billy Tucker
  (3:14 PM)

Michigan stole a sleeper out of Ohio and he is a kid who could grow into an OLB and really offer great scheme versatility at the next level.

tom (nyc)

What did you guys think of Lowery at the game/practices? I thought he looked a bit slow but could be a force once he gets into a college weight program

Billy Tucker
  (3:16 PM)

He showed flashes but will need to get in the weight room and transform his body a bit. But is very difficult to move at the point of attack and has strong hands.

Will (Denver, CO)

The Hurricanes need some help at the corner. I think Brandon Harris will turn out to be a good one, but there's not much quality depth behind him. Which recruit do you think can step in as a freshman and help out at the corner? Could McGee be that kind of guy?

Billy Tucker
  (3:18 PM)

McGee is a great athlete and could but I think Prince Kent's size (6-3) and long arms to press today's bigger college receiver will get him on the field earlier, particularly in redzone packages

David (LA, CA)

Stanford's class looks awesome and it looks like there are a bunch of visitors this week. Anyone else you expect to sign after their visit? And if Harbaugh left, how negative an impact would it have on the class?

Billy Tucker
  (3:20 PM)

Stanford does have a solid class that has a good shot to land in the top-25 come Feb. I know LB Telfort is there this weekend but think he is still a long shot.

Billy Tucker
  (3:21 PM)

Thanks for the great questions today. We will be back to our normal chat time next Wednesday at 3:00pm est.