September 10, 2008

Does five-star DT Campbell have a leader?

Five-star defensive tackle William Campbell of Detroit Cass Tech has de-committed from Michigan, leading to questions about the most likely school to get Campbell away from the Wolverines.

Campbell has set up an official visit to Miami for December, and comparisons to Vince Wilfork make sense. However, sources say LSU could have the best shot at landing Campbell. Former Cass Tech star Joseph Barksdale starts at offensive tackle for LSU, and he'll be working hard on getting Campbell to head south. But Miami is in the mix, as is USC.

While Barksdale insisted on getting his first look at defensive tackle with the Tigers, then was moved to the offensive line, Campbell has said he'll play whatever position a team wants him to play. Miami has been recruiting Campbell the hardest aside from Michigan, but sources say that if he's going to leave home, he's going to do so for an immediate national title contender - something in LSU's and USC's favor.

Still, Michigan fans might not have too much to worry about here. Sources close to Campbell say that while he's going to enjoy the process, take his official visits and see some other programs, he is inclined to re-commit to Michigan in the end unless he's absolutely blown away by someone else. Michigan already has a commitment from Cass Tech running back Teric Jones and expects to add Cass Tech athlete Thomas Gordon soon, and you can bet both will be working on Campbell to stay home.

One wild-card team is Ohio State; it is believed Campbell would listen if the Buckeyes came calling. But the Buckeyes don't have much room left and are working hard on Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro defensive tackle Corey Adams. Could Ohio State drop Adams to pursue Campbell? Stay tuned.


USC is poised to have a big running back class in 2010, arguably its best since 2003, when Reggie Bush, Lendale White and Chauncey Washington came aboard.

USC already has a 2010 commitment from two-time all-state standout Dillon Baxter and is in good shape for all-purpose back and track star D.J. Morgan. If the Trojans can somehow pull Texas superstar Lache Seastrunk away from Texas, Oklahoma, LSU and others, this will be an amazing tailback class. Seastrunk should have an offer from Pete Carroll by the end of this month.

One more note on USC: It seems as if the Trojans have picked their Arizona defensive line targets. USC obviously is hot and heavy after Phoenix five-star end Devon Kennard, who will be an unofficial visitor for this weekend's game against Ohio State. It looks as if they have dropped the aforementioned Adams at tackle while moving Scottsdale end Craig Roh up the recruiting board. With 2008 signee Nick Perry likely headed to prep school, end has become much more of a need for the Trojans. South Carolina standout Sam Montgomery also is a top priority at end.

That USC is backing off Adams is good news for Arizona State and Ohio State, who likely will be the teams battling for him down the stretch.


Florida might have overbooked the Miami game with recruits. Sources say that nearly 150 recruits were on hand for the Gators' 26-3 win at The Swamp last Saturday night, and it was obviously difficult for the staff to meet and greet each player and show him and his family enough attention.

Will it hurt them this year and next when it comes to recruiting? Doubtful. As long as the Gators keep winning and continue to recruit so well nationally, they should have little trouble landing the top players in the nation.

Last week, the Gators hosted numerous committed recruits (although five-star running back Trent Richardson didn't make the trip), and it appears the player they have the best chance to sway is LSU commitment Rantavious Wooten, a wide receiver from Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central.

Florida has not offered FSU commitment Ed Stinson, a defensive end, and his recruitment likely will come down to the Seminoles and LSU. Running back Rodney Scott won't get a Florida offer and hasn't heard from Gators coaches since the Sept. 1 contact period began. Stanford commitment Jamal Patterson reportedly is solid to the Cardinal, so as of right now, it's either Wooten or running back Jaamal Berry at the top of the switch list. Sources out of Ohio insist Berry is solid to the Buckeyes, but less-biased sources say Berry is considering Florida.

As for Wooten, his Florida offer came just days before he selected LSU. If the Tigers land Rueben Randle and continue to push hard for Andre Debose, then Wooten could bolt.

One final Florida note: If you're looking for the most intriguing potential Gators commitment this year, look no further than Irvington (N.J.) High athlete Joshua Evans. He took an unofficial visit to Gainesville just before the start of the season and the staff is high on Evans as a big cornerback (he's 6-2, 185). Last year, the Gators went to New Jersey to sign five-star athlete Will Hill. While Evans isn't as highly rated or as heavily recruited as Hill, sources say the staff is equally excited about his potential.


A quick note on the aforementioned Scott, who is a soft commitment to Auburn: While Florida isn't interested, it seems USF, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Wake Forest continue to press for him. Scott, from Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County, hopes to visit all four schools as well as take an official to Auburn before making a decision.

Arizona State likely is the biggest threat to USC for L.A.-area five-star linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and sources say the Sun Devils' staff is confident they can turn him. Burfict is a soft commitment to USC but is interested in Arizona State.

Rivals250 athlete Josh Robinson was one of the few top Florida prospects who took in the other in-state battle last weekend rather than travel to Gainesville. Robinson, from the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Plantation, was at the UCF-USF game watching his two favorites battle into overtime. Michigan is making a push, and Robinson expects to visit Ann Arbor as well as take official visits to Tennessee and South Carolina, but right now the smart money is on either UCF or USF unless Florida State, Miami or Florida offer.

It looks as if Oregon and Colorado will be the finalists for three players. Parker (Colo.) Chaparral offensive tackle Jack Harris recently took an official visit to Oregon and will visit Colorado officially on the weekend of Sept. 18. Chandler (Ariz.) High athlete Markus Wheaton also has taken an official visit to Oregon and will visit Colorado on Oct. 3. And Walnut Creek (Calif.) Las Lomas wide receiver Diante Jackson visited Oregon the same weekend as Wheaton.

Sources say Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside School linebacker Eric Fields isn't a solid commitment to Clemson. It seems that Fields is interested in becoming a Georgia Bulldog, like teammate and friend Abry Jones. But the Bulldogs don't look to have room for him. Fields might visit Georgia with Jones, but the teams that continue to recruit him include Michigan, Florida and Florida State. Fields might have qualifying problems, but that hasn't stopped Clemson, Michigan and others from continuing the pursuit.

Gaithersburg (Pa.) Quince Orchard defensive end Jason Ankrah finally got an answer from Penn State regarding his attempt to commit, but it wasn't the one he wanted. Sources said Ankrah tried to commit, but Penn State told him it had other players in mind. Now, the Nittany Lions are off his list and Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are on it. Ankrah reportedly will take an official visit to Tennessee on Sept. 19 and to Michigan on Oct. 3 with teammate Travis Hawkins. A trip to Virginia Tech hasn't been set.

Stanford received its first 2010 commitment when Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake linebacker Tony Jefferson committed last week. Jefferson received a written offer from the Cardinal on Sept. 1, the first day juniors could be offered.

West Virginia assistant Chris Beatty is becoming such a thorn in the side of Virginia Tech in the Hampton Roads area that rumors are swirling that Frank Beamer could look into hiring Beatty next season. Beatty, who coached Florida star Percy Harvin at Virginia Beach (Va.) Landstown, quickly is becoming one of the nation's best recruiters. Beatty has landed commitments from Tajh Boyd, Logan Heastie, Dominik Davenport and Shawne Alston from the Hampton Roads area, as well as Deon Long from Washington, D.C. Beatty also is recruiting top uncommitted players such as Morgan Moses, Logan Thomas, Jerod Askew, Lanford Collins, Tim Smith and De'Antwan Williams.

David Oku, the nation's top all-purpose running back, is scheduled to announce his decision next Wednesday. But as multiple sources have confirmed, there will be little suspense. Oku is expected to announce his decision to play at Tennessee, and word is that he already has told the Tennessee coaches. Oku has taken only one official visit, two weeks ago to Louisville, but he did make the trip to Knoxville for the Vols' spring game. The success of fellow Oklahoma product Gerald Jones for the Vols has been a big selling point.

Mike Farrell is a recruiting analyst for He can be reached at is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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