November 6, 2007

National Blitz: Minnesota DE likes the Buckeyes





Eden Prairie (Minn.) strongside defensive end Willie Mobley is one of the few top uncommitted players left in the Midwest.


However, he may not remain uncommitted for long.


"I went to Ohio State this weekend," Mobley said. "It was real good. I hung out with some of the players and went out to eat like three times. We did a lot of things. We checked out the academic center. We did everything. We toured the whole campus. It was great. It was just crazy to see 105,000 people screaming. I had never seen something like that before."



Mobley said he has toyed with possibly going ahead and committing after he talks things over with his family this week. There was even talk on Monday that he might be ready to join the Buckeyes' commitment list, but Mobley said he's not quite ready yet.



"I plan on taking a few more trips still, but I'm talking things over with my family and it's possible I could still commit," he said. "I'd like to go to Wisconsin for a visit. After that I don't really know, maybe Tennessee or Oklahoma.



"I wouldn't say I considered committing on my visit. It's kind of confusing. I just need to go talk things over again with my family."


Mobley said he's still pretty focused on his senior season, too.



"If we beat the team we play this Saturday, then we'll play at the Metrodome for the state championship," he said. "I've done good this year. I've gotten a lot of attention; getting double and triple teamed. I think I've got like 13 sacks on the season."



EAST


The No. 1 prospect in the country, Jeannette, Pa. quarterback Terrelle Pryor, took his first official visit of the year to Ohio State over the weekend.


"The visit was good," he said. "I got to spend a lot of time with the coaching staff and a lot of time with Coach (Jim) Tressel. I've been to Ohio State before, but I got to see a whole lot more this time."


The visit was good, but Pryor is still looking.


"I'm not really sure, I'm still exploring my options," he said. "I don't get too excited about much other than touchdowns, so I try to keep myself open-minded. It was a really good visit, the crowd was great chanting my name and I felt really welcome."


Pryor is looking at visits to West Virginia, Florida, Tennessee and Penn State in the near future. He currently has no other visits scheduled.


Collier visits to Boston College


Four-star athlete Averin Collier took his first official visit this weekend to Boston College.


"Over the couple days, I really just hung out with the players to see what they are going to be like, checked out the atmosphere on campus and I watched the football game," he said. "All the coaches are very nice people, very genuine. They were real straight-forward and told me the situation at running back and how they need one."


Where do the Eagles stand now for Collier?


"They are right in the thick of things," he said. "I like the campus, academics and the feel of what it's like there. I could see myself playing at Boston College. They have all the tools I need as a player, but I've got to make sure it feels right."


No other visits are planned for the Rivals250 prospect, but he is looking at possible trips in the coming weeks to Clemson, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech.



HEARTLAND


Blinn (Texas) Community College had a disappointing end to its season, a loss this past Saturday to Navarro College in the first round of the playoffs. Despite the early exit from the postseason, Blinn looks to have several Division I prospects on its roster - led by defensive end Emannuel Stephens.


Stephens (6 feet 3, 225 pounds) has several offers from around the Midwest. He currently claims official offers from Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Kansas State and Washington State. But one school has emerged as the clear favorite for Stephens.


"Arkansas is the one that's been talking to me the most," Stephens said. "I'm liking it pretty good because my wife likes it. As soon as we take the visit and go look at it and take a look at the apartments and all that, I may be ready to commit."


With his season now over, Stephens will have the flexibility to look into some official visits. While Arkansas will be one school that he definitely plans on visiting, Oklahoma State and North Texas will also be considered for visits.


During the season, Stephens claimed 10 sacks and found the end zone three times: once on a 50-yard interception return, once on a 76-yard fumble recovery and a third on a fumble recovery that was called back.


Jayhawks attracting interest


Kansas' thrilling 9-0 start has begun to pay dividends on the recruiting front, most recently with the commitment of three-star cornerback Corrigan Powell.


That wasn't the only commitment of the weekend for Kansas following its crushing win over Nebraska. Round Rock (Texas) Westwood offensive tackle Trevor Marrongelli also committed to the Jayhawks immediately following the game. Marrongelli chose Kansas over offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Baylor, Colorado State, SMU, UTEP, North Texas, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico.


Shugarts visits Buckeyes


Four-star offensive tackle J.B. Shugarts out of Klein, Texas got to take in his first gameday experience at his future school in Ohio State. The trip lived up to all of the expectations for the 6-foot-7 300-pounder. In fact, after the visit, Shugarts discussed a possible early graduation date that would allow him to enroll in Columbus, Ohio in January rather than March.



MID-ATLANTIC


Four-star offensive tackle R.J. Mattes will be taking his first official visit this weekend. The Concord (N.C.) Robinson lineman will be heading to North Carolina State.


"It's my first one, so I really haven't experienced what an official visit is," he said. "I'm just going to check out the players, meet the offensive linemen and hang out with the coaches to get a good feel of how you would run a normal day at the school."


Mattes also has official visits planned to North Carolina on Nov. 31 and South Carolina Dec 7. He's working on trips to Clemson and Virginia later this month or in January.


Davis down to two


Athlete Marcus Davis from Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes has two favorites.


"Florida and Penn State are very high on my list," he said. 'I do know I am considering visits to both of them. Penn State has offered and they are keeping up to date with me, while Florida hasn't. They continue to send a lot of mail and are asking me to come down for an official visit."


Davis confirmed that if Florida offers, the Gators are his leader.



SOUTHEAST


Memphis (Tenn.) Harding Academy's Marlon Brown claims that basketball is his favorite sport. He describes himself as a 'slasher' who averaged 17 points per game as a sophomore playing in Tennessee's private school division. He is projected as a potential major college basketball prospect, but with the football offers he has received during his junior season he may want to rethink his sport of choice.


Brown, a 6-foot-5, 205-pound wide receiver, has been dominating Tennessee's Division II-A. Some major college programs have taken notice. He is gaining interest from such big-name programs as Boston College, Notre Dame, Illinois, Clemson, Florida State and Nebraska. Four programs have already extended the athlete an offer.


"Tennessee, Oklahoma, Auburn and Ole Miss have already offered me," Brown said. "I went to the Tennessee-South Carolina game … and it was real fun. I met all the coaches, watched the game and had a good time. The coaches are real nice and real energetic."


His football ability and his love for basketball have Brown targeting both sports in college. Though it will be a difficult balance, Brown said he is ready for the challenge.


"It will be tough like my first year," he said. "After that, I think once I learn to deal with everything, it will be ok."


Brown's early list of favorites consists of Tennessee, Notre Dame, Auburn and Alabama.


Dawkins makes some changes


Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes defensive end Everett Dawkins has had a shakeup to his top five. He lists his favorites as Florida State, Tennessee, NC State and Virginia Tech with a new school sneaking into the top five. Following a scholarship offer last week from South Carolina, he has included the home-state program in his top five.


The four-star prospect currently has Florida State at the top of his list, but the Gamecocks will have an opportunity to make an impression on the 6-2, 242-pounder when he visits campus for their rivalry game against Clemson.


Five-star looking around?


Five-star cornerback Patrick Johnson remains a hot name on the recruiting circuit. The Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely prospect remains committed to Miami, but he has taken official visits to LSU and Florida. He also has a visit scheduled for Southern California on Dec. 1.


Johnson indicated he also is considering an official visit to Georgia this weekend for its game against Auburn. Despite the visits, Johnson maintains that he is firm in his commitment to the Hurricanes.


Georgia lands a pair


The Georgia Bulldogs grabbed two big commitments this past week in Rivals100 running back Dontavius Jackson and three-star athlete Sanders Commings.


Commings chose Georgia over South Carolina, and also plans to play baseball for the Dawgs. Jackson narrowed his schools to Clemson, Georgia and LSU before deciding to commit to UGA. Jackson plans to graduate from high school early and enroll in classes in January.


The two commitments were the 22nd and 23rd for the 2008 Georgia recruiting class.



West


Long Beach (Calif.) Poly four-star defensive lineman Jurrell Casey took his first official visit to Ole Miss a month ago. This past weekend, the talented tackle was in Eugene, Ore., to check out the high flying Oregon Ducks.



On the recruiting front, Casey has had Oregon near the top of his list for some time.



"I had a real good time, it was a good visit for sure," Casey said. "The thing that really stood out to me was just the game and the atmosphere at the game. I love how much the fans love the team. It was so loud and crazy in there, and I really liked seeing that.



"I was up there with Vaughn Telemaque and Kenny Rowe hosted both of us. It was great to see Kenny again, and he really likes it up there a lot. It was good to hang out with the players on the team and talk to the coaches as well."



Casey said he's not sure when he'll make a decision.



"Right now, I don't really have a timetable for when my next visit will be or when I'll be ready to make a commitment," Casey said. "The Ole Miss visit was cool, too. I really can't say which one I liked better. Of course, USC is still high on my list, too. But I don't have a visit set right now.



"Vaughn and I want to commit at the same time, but that doesn't mean we're a package deal or anything. We just want to make our announcements together. Right now, we're both still trying to figure out what we want to do."



Polk in good position


USC commit Chris Polk (5-11, 190, 4.5) from Redlands (Calif.) East Valley is more than living up to his reputation as one of the best players in Southern California. He has been getting the job done on the gridiron and in the classroom. He is set to graduate in December.



"Chris can breathe easier now," Redlands East Valley coach Kurt Bruich said. "He just scored a 1370 on his SAT and he's all set to graduate in December. He's already getting his enrollment requirements ready for USC."



Though the Trojans look good for Polk, he is taking visits.



"Chris has already been to Washington," Bruich said. "He has set up visits to Oregon and Cal. Chris just wants to make sure that USC is the place for him."


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