How did the Sanford (Fla.) Seminole trio perform in the state championship game and where are they leaning? Can Georgia land any big-time receivers like Marlon Brown, Rueben Randle, Andre DeBose or Randall Carroll? Who will finish with the top class in the ACC?
We break it down in this week's recruiting mailbag.
Seminole's terrific trio
Did you see the Florida Class 6A championship game between Sanford (Fla.) Seminole and Miami Northwestern? How good are Seminole's "big three" and where do you see them going?
-- Ray from Fort Lauderdale
I was at Orlando's Citrus Bowl for the Northwestern-Seminole game, and let's just say the stars shined bright for Seminole with Andre DeBose, Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye.
DeBose, a five-star recruit, lines up everywhere on offense for the Seminoles – quarterback, running back and receiver. He's a jack of all trades, and I really think the coaches did a nice job of finding ways to get him touches and utilizing his talents. DeBose has fantastic speed and quickness, and can be electric with the ball in his hands. He had some nice runs and receptions, and certainly played the part of a five-star recruit. DeBose saved his best play for his last offensive touch, when he made an unbelievable, acrobatic 40-yard touchdown reception with 33 seconds left for the game-winning touchdown in Seminoles' 28-21 victory. He outjumped Northwestern safety Tevin McCaskill for the grab, and that reception has to be one of the best catches this season.
As well as DeBose performed, I thought the player of the game was Ray Ray Armstrong. He has great size and can really run. Armstrong is tough and a playmaker on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he mainly played quarterback. He ran hard and converted on some critical third-down plays. Defensively, he made some big hits playing safety, showing terrific range and excellent closing speed. He reminds me a lot of Jevon Kearse at the same stage. Armstrong, who prefers to play safety, likely will grow into a linebacker, but he could get big enough to play defensive end. He also would make a great tight end.
Defensively, Dye was quiet in the first half, when he basically was neutralized by Northwestern offensive tackle Torian Wilson. But Dye played exceptionally well in the second half. Dye showed good athleticism and speed, and the ability to take over the line of scrimmage when the game was on the line. Offensively he played tight end and caught a few passes. Dye ran hard with the ball in his hands and did a nice job of blocking.
Now the Seminole theme turns to recruiting, where things will really heat up for DeBose, Armstrong and Dye. All indications are that LSU is the team to beat for DeBose. Florida and Miami are right there, and I wouldn't count out Florida State, either. If there's a No. 2 team, I would suspect right now it's Florida. Still, the team to watch for DeBose is Miami because I think, right now, the Hurricanes are the team to beat for Armstrong and Dye.
Will Georgia land any of the following wide receivers – Marlon Brown, Randall Carroll, Andre DeBose or Rueben Randle?
-- Lonnie from Athens, Ga.
Right now, I believe Georgia is in the best position to land Brown, a four-star recruit from Memphis. He has narrowed his list to Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Ohio State. He already has officially visited Georgia and Ohio State, and is scheduled to go to Florida (on Jan. 9), LSU (Jan. 23) and Tennessee (Jan. 31) next month. While Georgia looks to be in the driver's seat now, the team to watch for here has to be the Vols.
Carroll, a five-star prospect from Los Angeles, committed to USC in September 2007. But he has been to California on an official visit and has trips planned to UCLA (Jan. 9) and Tennessee (Jan. 31). He recently said he also could visit Arizona State and possibly Florida. Georgia is on the outside looking in at this point, and I still have to believe USC is the team to beat.
Randle, the nation's No. 1 prospect, is from Bastrop, La. All indications are that this recruitment could come down to LSU and Alabama, although I wouldn't discount Oklahoma – where he visited last month – just yet. He is scheduled to visit Alabama on Jan. 16, and I would think he will visit LSU last. That leaves FSU, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State fighting it out for his final two visits – if he decides to even use them. This one is too close to call between the Tigers and Tide.
DeBose visited Georgia and LSU in October. As I mentioned above, I think LSU is the team to beat here, with the Gators and 'Canes close.
Best in the ACC
Who finishes with the top class in the ACC? Can my Tar Heels do it?
-- Alex from Charlotte
North Carolina currently has the top class in the ACC, with 25 commitments and a No. 6 national ranking. Can the Heels hang on? Perhaps.