February 18, 2009

Whispers: End in sight for the unsigned?

Some of the top undecided prospects from the class of 2009 are getting closer to a decision. But the nation's No. 1 prospect, running back Bryce Brown from Wichita (Kan.) East, could be wearing out his welcome.

Brown took an official visit to Tennessee this past weekend, and word is the Vols feel they have a good shot. Meanwhile, there are reports that Miami will pull its offer to Brown unless he signs his letter of intent today. Brown committed to the Hurricanes in February 2008.

A source at a major SEC program told me his school didn't want to be involved in the "circus" that has become Brown's recruitment. Another source says USC hasn't been actively recruiting Brown for weeks now � but that same source says USC likely will reach out to Brown because of the latest news about Miami.

So where does all this leave Brown? It looks more and more as if this could come down to Oregon and Tennessee, with LSU a possibility depending on how his visit goes. That is, of course, if it's true that Miami will pull its offer.

The drama surrounding the nation's No. 1 all-purpose back, David Oku from Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert, is equally compelling. Oku, a one-time Tennessee commitment, apparently is upset that the Vols brought in Brown for a visit; thus, rumors have surfaced that Auburn has jumped into the lead followed by Syracuse, with Clemson and Ole Miss being mentioned as well.

Offensive/defensive tackle Kwame Geathers, a three-star prospect from Hemingway (S.C.) Carvers Bay, now has a written offer from Georgia. The Bulldogs decided to send him a written tender after his visit this past weekend to see Tennessee. Geathers will decide among Georgia, Tennessee and UCF on Friday, and confidence is high in Knoxville, but with Georgia now offering in writing the Bulldogs could be the team to beat due to family connections, etc. Word has it that Geathers has a ways to go academically, so whoever wins out could end up placing him in prep school.

Finally, Tampa (Fla.) Plant wide receiver/tight end Orson Charles will take his final official visit, to USC, this weekend and likely will make a decision following the trip. Sources continue to say that Georgia has the lead, followed by Tennessee, with USC having a puncher's chance. The only school among his finalists not mentioned often is Florida.

WOOD DECISION LOOMING

Houston Second Baptist quarterback Connor Wood is expected to choose between Texas and Oklahoma despite numerous other offers and a recent visit to Texas A&M.

With Texas already receiving a commitment from 2010 quarterback Case McCoy, the younger brother of current starter Colt McCoy, and with the Longhorns signing five-star Garrett Gilbert in their 2009 class, some feel Oklahoma has the edge here. But Texas is hinting to Wood that Gilbert will play as a true freshman, so Wood would compete with Case McCoy down the line for the starting job. Texas also is able to sell a level playing field when it comes to competition for the job because Colt McCoy came out of nowhere a few years ago to win the job.

On the Oklahoma side of things, confidence isn't quite as high. But Wood had a great visit to OU for "Junior Day," and sources close to his family seem to think Oklahoma can win this one. Sam Bradford is likely to leave after this season and the Sooners will have redshirt freshman Landry Jones and true freshman Drew Allen as backups this fall, so there would seem to be less competition for Wood if he picks OU.

GAMECOCKS LOOKING GOOD

2010 could be a huge recruiting year for South Carolina. Steve Spurrier and his staff already have a commitment from defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, who some consider to be the best player in the state, as well as wide receiver Sean Tapley. And offensive lineman Elliot Williams, who signed in 2008, is expected to be a part of the 2010 class, as well, after he completes his work at Milledgeville (Ga.) Georgia Military Academy.

In addition to the three commitments, South Carolina might have the inside track for stud in-state offensive lineman Eric Mack of St. Matthews Calhoun County. Mack has offers from the Gamecocks, Clemson, Alabama, Florida, LSU and many others, but because South Carolina signed his high school teammate, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, they have the early edge. Speaking of Jeffery, his brother, Shamir Jeffery, is one of the top prospects in state for 2011, and the Gamecocks hold the edge there, too.

Finally, the Gamecocks lead for Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt center A.J. Cann, whose stock is rising. Cann has offers from Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson, Oklahoma and others, but is leaning toward South Carolina. Watch out for Clemson, as Bamberg-Ehrhardt has been a pipeline for the Tigers of late, sending five-star prospects Ricky Sapp and Da'Quan Bowers in the past few years.

ETC.

• I mentioned last week that Penn State could be getting some more early commitments for the class of 2010. Well, Harrison City (Pa.) Penn Trafford offensive lineman Luke Graham could be one. Graham, a guard/tackle prospect, has early offers from Maryland, Illinois, Duke and others, but his offer from Penn State stands out and he wants to get the process over with.

• In case Oklahoma fans missed it in my recruiting notebook from the Five Star Academy held in New Jersey this past Sunday, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep 2011 stud running back Savon Huggins idolizes former Sooners running back Adrian Peterson. That could give OU a great shot when the recruiting heats up on Huggins, who wears No. 28 in high school because of Peterson, has an upright running style like Peterson and has a similar build to Peterson at the same stage.

• Pitt was the first school to offer Annandale (N.J.) North Hunterdon Regional tight end Kevin Haplea. But other schools, including Boston College, Connecticut, Syracuse, Maryland, Rutgers and Virginia, could follow soon. Haplea has been to numerous junior days already; he plans to be at Syracuse and UConn soon and also wants to visit Penn State.

• Penn State has some new competition for Manheim (Pa.) Central defensive end Dakota Royer after a good visit to Pitt and a recent offer from Notre Dame. The Nittany Lions still are considered his leaders.

• Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon wide receiver Kenny Stills received recent offers from Penn State and San Diego State, but Stanford appears to be his clear leader. He doesn't plan on committing to the Cardinal until he clears admissions.

• Gainesville (Ga.) High wide receiver Tai-ler Jones received an offer from Oklahoma and now has more than 20, including ones from programs such as Alabama, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Tennessee. Oklahoma along with Ohio State and Alabama have been met with the most excitement by Jones according to a good source although there is no leader this early.

• I said last week that Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake linebacker Tony Jefferson could be leaning out of state, but USC offered Tuesday and the Trojans now are in his top three along with Florida and Notre Dame. Jefferson was committed to Stanford early, but the Cardinal seem to be fading.




 

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