June 2010 Archives

Nation's top defensive backs

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

The class of 2011 includes a strong crop of safeties and cornerbacks. Eleven of them rank among the top 100 players in the nation. The best of all is 6-2, 210-pound Karlos Williams of Davenport, Fla., who is committed to Florida State. He is the No. 9 player in the nation.

But Williams may not be the best defensive back in Florida. Wayne Lyons, a 6-0, 185-pounder from Fort Lauderdale, is the No. 16 player in the nation. Lyons, an A student, was the defensive player of the San Antonio combine in January. No wide receiver in the camp could beat him.

The most exciting player in the nation is 5-9, 175-pound DeAnthony Thomas of Los Angeles, Calif., Crenshaw, who is committed to USC. He has great instincts and has been timed in 10.6 seconds for 100 meters. Very versatile, he played running back, wide receiver, cornerback and kick returner last season. He is the No. 24 player in the nation.

Nation's best linebackers

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

I rate James Wilder, my choice as the No. 1 player in the nation in the class of 2011, as the best outside linebacker in the country. The 6-2, 220-pounder from Tampa, Fla., also could be the best running back in the nation. Wherever a college decides to put him, he will be an impact player. He is the best running back and linebacker in Florida.

The No. 4 player in the nation is 6-3, 220-pound Stephone Anthony of Wadesboro, N.C., who recorded the most production of any linebacker in the nation last year. Anthony was credited with 140 tackles last season and had 18 interceptions in the last three years, an unheard of statistic for a linebacker.

The No. 57 player in the nation is 6-1, 220-pound Trey DePriest of Springfield, Ohio. He is the top-rated linebacker in Ohio and figures to choose Ohio State.

Nation's top defensive linemen

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Led by 6-6, 240-pound Jadaveon Clowney of Rock Hill, S.C., it is an outstanding class of defensive ends throughout the nation for the 2010 season. Clowney is ranked No. 2 on my national list but No. 1 by Rivals and Scout. And it is a good year for defensive tackles--but not as good as it is for defensive ends.

Clowney is a great talent. He reminds me of Mario Williams. He has long arms. The only thing that can hold him back is his work ethic. He should be an impact player from the first time he steps on the field as a college player.

Florida has a commitment from 6-4, 250-pound Jeofffey Pagan of Ashville, N.C. He is the No. 11 player in the nation. He is relentless, has great feet and explodes to the ball. He is one of the centerpieces in what shapes up as another great recruiting class at Florida.

Nation's best guards, centers

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Many of the top prospects at the guard and center positions are high school tackles who will be converted in college. Players such as Glenbard West's 6-3, 280-pound Jordan Walsh, the No. 2 offensive lineman in Illinois, who might be better than former Glenbard West star Chris Watt, now a starter at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame has commitments from 6-5, 300-pound Conor Hanratty, the son of former Notre Dame quarterback Terry Hanratty and the No. 1 player in Connecticut, and 6-5, 265-pound Matt Hegerty of Aztec, New Mexico, the No. 55 player in the nation who was the best offensive lineman at the San Antonio combine in January.

Nebraska has commitments from 6-4, 290-pound Ryan Klachko of Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, the No. 1 offensive lineman in Illinois, and 6-4, 280-pound Ryne Reeves of Crete, Neb., the No. 1 player in Nebraska and the best center west of the Mississippi River.

Nation's best tackles

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Nationally, it is a very good year for offensive tackles. Three are ranked among the top 10 players in the nation, a rarity. The No. 1 player in the nation a year ago, USC-bound Seantrel Henderson of St. Paul, Minn., was an offensive tackle. And there is even more depth at the position for the 2010 season.

The top three are 6-7, 290-pound Cyrus Kouandijo of DeMatha in Hyattsville, Md., 6-7, 290-pound Brandon Shell of Goose Creek, S.C., and 6-5, 285-pound La'El Collins of Baton Rouge, La. They rank 3-6-7 on my top 100 list.

Kouandijo likely will follow his brother to Alabama. Shell is a cousin of NFL Hall of Famer Art Shell. I watched him play basketball in February and he is a great athlete for a big guy. Collins, who looks like an NFL player, is committed to LSU.

The controversy over USC

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

It isn't very often that an elite program is penalized so harshly by the NCAA as USC has been. So how will the sanctions, including the loss of 30 football scholarships over three years and a two-year ban from postseason play, affect the Trojans? Will they cease to be a national power in the next few years?

Remember what happened to Alabama? Ten years ago, the Crimson Tide was penalized by the NCAA for recruiting violations and fell from the ranks of the national powers for a period of five years. The same thing could happen to USC.

But there is one big difference. USC has some great recruiters on its campus, particularly head coach Lane Kiffin and chief assistant Ed Orgeron. At the time of Alabama's infractions, there were no great recruiters on the staff to pick up the pieces.

Nation's top 100

| 2 Comments | No TrackBacks

My preseason list of the top 100 players in the nation has been published. Historically, it is the first list of its kind to be released, before Rivals or Scout or ESPN or anyone else.

My top 100 list is based on three things: (1) production; (2) the size at your position and your projection to be a No. 1 choice in the NFL draft; and (3) my sitdown, eyeball-to-eyeball meeting with each kid. Does he have heart? What does he have to say about the game football? What are his intanglibles?

As the season goes along, I will track how well each player progresses or digresses and will change my list accordingly. Historically, it changes drastically. Some kids don't have great years. A lot of Chicago players could break into the top 100. At this time, the only Illinois product is running back/linebacker Rodney Coe of Edwardsville.

Pac-10 wins, Big 10 loses

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks

All of this wheeling and dealing over conference realignment confirms that college football has become a super big business. It's all about money and power. Administrators can talk about academics but it's all bluster, not substance. The rich will get richer and the weak will get weaker.

The super teams will get the best players, as they always have. Schools that aren't part of super conferences--Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor?--will suffer in the recruiting process. Kids want to play in super conferences, nowhere else.

The big winner is the Pac-10. It used to be ranked as the No. 5 conference in the nation. No longer. With the anticipated additions of Texas and Oklahoma, it has skyrocketed to No. 1.

Nation's best tight ends

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

The list of the leading tight ends in the nation is headed by two who have committed to Oklahoma, two who have committed to Notre Dame and Jay Rome of Valdosta, Ga., a 6-6, 230-pounder with 4.5 speed who is the No. 1 player in the nation at the position.

Rome is a superior athlete. He caught 39 passes last year. Where will he go? His father played at Clemson.

Oklahoma has commitments from 6-6, 255-pound Chris Barnett of Dallas, Texas, and 6-5, 220-pound Max Stevenson of Klein, Texas. Barnett is a very physical blocker who could be a defensive end in college. Stevenson is very athletic. He played wide receiver last year but was recruited as a tight end.

Nation's best wide receivers

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that Alabama, USC, LSU and Oklahoma are stocking up with some of the nation's leading wide receivers.

Alabama already has commitments from 6-3, 175-pound Marvin Shinn of Prichard, Ala., and 6-3, 190-pound Danny Woodson of Mobile, Ala. Shinn averaged 19 yards per reception last season and scored 17 touchdowns. Woodson, whose father once quarterbacked at Alabama, averaged 20 yards per catch last year.

USC has a commitment from 6-2, 190-pound Victor Blackwell of Santa Ana, Calif., and is likely to land 6-2, 205-pound George Farmer of Gardena, Calif. Blackwell has 4.4 speed and was Matt Barkley's favorite target. Now he catches passes from Max Wittek, who also has comitted to USC. Farmer, whose father played at UCLA and in the NFL, has 4.4 speed. He said USC is one of his favorites.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2010 is the previous archive.

July 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.