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Recruiting News - 01/27/05


Administrator Emeritus
<font color="#b90000">Thursday, January 27, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 01/27/05

Connecticut defensive lineman commits to PSU (Walker Ashley) - PennLive (Patriot News)

Connecticut defensive lineman commits to PSU

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Of The Patriot-News

... Baker is PSU's first defensive line recruit in the class, and that number may grow depending on how coach Joe Paterno's visit goes with Minnesota's Walker Ashley.

Paterno is expected to visit Ashley, the son of former PSU great Walker Lee Ashley, this week.

Ashley, a 6-4, 285-pounder, visited PSU this month. He also is considering Ohio State, Minnesota and USC.

After meeting with Ashley, Paterno is expected to continue westward and visit with Washington running back J.R. Hasty, the son of former NFL defensive back James Hasty ...

St. Ed's Spooner headed to Cornell (Brian Robiskie) - Cleveland Plain Dealer

St. Ed's Spooner headed to Cornell

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Eddie Dwyer
Plain Dealer Reporter

... Bound for the Buckeyes?:

Plain Dealer All-Cuyahoga County All-Star wideout Brian Robiskie of Chagrin Falls has been offered a football scholarship from Ohio State. The son of Browns coach Terry Robiskie, the 6-4, 195-pound Robiskie is scheduled to visit the Ohio State campus this weekend. A Division IV first-team all-district and All-Ohio selection, Robiskie caught 47 passes last season for 754 yards and 14 touchdowns ...

TITLE - NY Newsday

Things heating up for Gwaltney
Coaches from USC, Ohio State and West Virginia visit star halfback to make final pitches before signing day on Feb. 2


January 28, 2005
They put serious pressure on Jason Gwaltney this week. With the official national signing day, Feb. 2, almost here, the hottest Long Island football prospect in decades was being wooed one final time by the last three schools in the hunt for his services.

The record-breaking halfback from North Babylon spent most of his time listening to pitches by the head coaches from USC, Ohio State and West Virginia.

The final recruiting stage for the running back got underway Tuesday afternoon when USC coach Pete Carroll arrived on a private jet with a large coaching staff in tow.

Carroll and his entourage drove to North Babylon and made their final attempt at luring Gwaltney westward to play for the Trojans, the defending national champions. The show of support wowed Gwaltney and had him leaning toward USC.

Then it was Jim Tressel's turn to make a late run at Gwaltney for Ohio State. The head coach arrived late Wednesday with three assistants by his side to convince Gwaltney that the Buckeyes were the right fit.

Three hours later, Tressel was headed back to Ohio.

"We set up a final schedule for everyone to get the opportunity to talk to him one more time," North Babylon coach Terry Manning said. "And then we're shutting it down to make a decision over the weekend.

"His head is just spinning."

Herb Hand, the recruiting coordinator at West .Virginia, was the first .serious suitor for Gwaltney, and Hand spent most of yesterday afternoon at Gwaltney's home.

After Hand's departure, Gwaltney went on a date to see "Assault on Precinct 13."

"I'm going back and forth on a few things," he said. "I'm still not sure. But maybe I am."

Trojans still in hunt for many big-name prospects (Jason Gwaltney) - CNN/SI

Recruiting Watch
Trojans still in hunt for many big-name prospects
Posted: Thursday January 27, 2005 5:46PM; Updated: Thursday January 27, 2005 6:26PM

By Jamie Newberg, Scout.com

With National Signing Day less than a week away, USC is poised to make a big run at a number of big-name prospects. Currently, the Trojans are sitting in the top 10 of the Scout.com National Team Recruiting Rankings while still awaiting word from at least 11 prospects.

If head coach Pete Carroll and his staff stopped today, this would be a good class of players. They have commitments from the nation's top quarterback in Mark Sanchez (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and wide receiver in Patrick Turner (Goodpasture, Tenn.) Sanchez is the nation's most polished quarterback and is well-schooled in all areas of the position. There's no telling his potential under Norm Chow. While the Trojans won a tight recruiting battle with Tennessee for Turner, the 6-5 receiver may visit the Vols this weekend. If that happens, he could change his mind. Turner was arguably the most impressive wide receiver during the week of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in mid-January.

Across the offensive line, USC has landed one of the top junior college offensive linemen in Kevin Myers (Compton, Calif.) Myers was originally committed to LSU but changed his mind with coach Nick Saban left for the Dolphins. Offensive tackle Nick Howell (Fresno, Calif.) has also committed to USC.

USC is looking strong on defense with commitments from several of the nation's elite prospects. Up front, Averell Spicer (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), the No. 2-rated defensive end, is extremely athletic and really gets after the quarterback. Gabe Long (Fullerton, Calif.) is a five-star JuCo defensive tackle and widely considered the top recruit at that position. Long was the Mission Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

The linebacking corps is led by Rey Maualuga (Eureka, Calif.), the Scout.com's No. 2 linebacker. Maualuga was very impressive during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl week. He's massive, strong, physical and nasty. Maualuga is the middle linebacker that all college coaches covet and is a sideline-to-sideline guy. Kaluka Maiava (Wailuku, Hawaii) is another strong-looking linebacker, with a game similar to Mauluga's.

The secondary is led by two standouts -- cornerback Kevin Thomas (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and safety Will Harris (Covina, Calif.) Thomas is a true cover guy with good size while Harris is considered one of the top safeties in the nation.

Michael Coleman (San Bernardino, Calif.) could play a number of positions for USC, as he is one of the top athletes from the California with the ability to be a running back, safety or linebacker.

The Trojans have also landed one of the nation's top place kickers in Troy Van Blarcom (Orange, Calif.) Each of these athletes are members of Scout.com's National Top 100, and between now and signing day USC will add more. Lets take a closer look at their remaining recruiting board.

A top the list is wide receiver DeSean Jackson (Long Beach, Calif.) Jackson is a sensational playmaker who has narrowed his choices to Cal and USC and claims no leader at this point. Jackson is scheduled to make a signing day decision on Fox Sports West.

Running back Jason Gwaltney (North Babylon, N.Y.) is a powerful inside runner that emerged as one of the nation's most sought-after backs. He made an early decision and committed to West Virginia, but since that commitment he has visited USC, Ohio State and Central Florida. Word from San Antonio during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was that Gwaltney is heading to the West Coast to play for USC, but his announcement will come Tuesday.

Erik Lorig (Rolling Hills, Calif.) is a tight end prospect that has narrowed his choices to USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal, although he is scheduled to visit Notre Dame this weekend.

Charles Brown (Pomona, Calif.) is a tight end/offensive tackle prospect that made a soft commitment to USC. He has visited UCLA and will make his firm decision on Sunday between the two Pac-10 rivals.

Cary Harris (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) is another elite defensive back but USC might not be able to turn him. He currently he favors Oregon slightly the Trojans and Cal, but will also announce Wednesday on Fox Sports West.

If USC was closer to home to linebacker Brian Cushing (Oradell, N.J.) he may have already made his decision. He loves the Trojans but distance could play a huge factor in his decision. USC is battling Miami, Florida and Louisville. He could announce Tuesday or Wednesday.

Kyle Moore (Warner Robins, Ga.) is one of the top defensive line prospects from the Southeast. Moore will pick between USC and Miami and will make his decision on Fox Sports Net South's Countdown to Signing Day on Wednesday. Again, distance could play a factor here and the Hurricanes could have the edge.

Walker Ashley (Eden Prairie, Minn.) is another high-rated defensive tackle who's high on USC. The Trojans are battling Penn State for Ashley and his announcement will come on signing day.

Luther Brown (Lakewood, Calif.) is a highly regarded linebacker from California that still has at least four teams in the running -- USC, Arizona, Oklahoma and Miami. He has not said when he plans on making his decision.

Big defensive tackle Ekom Udofia (Scottsdale, Ariz.) has a brother at Stanford and he also like USC and Miami. He was scheduled to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl but said he wasn't quite ready. Right now he plans on announcing Tuesday.

Last but not least is the Scout.com No. 2-rated safety prospect, Reggie Smith (Edmond, Okla.) Smith has enormous pressure to stay home and sign with the Sooners, and he may do that. There is strong sentiment that he could favor Nebraska or perhaps even USC. He has not set an announcement date.

Jackson, Gwaltney, Cushing, Brown and Udofia are all members of the Scout.com National Top 100. The others are very highly rated as well. Tennessee stands atop the team rankings but if USC can land half these uncommitted players, who knows just how far the Trojans can climb by national signing day. It should make for a wild finish.

Miami makes its pitch to Cushing - Rivals PREMIUM

January 27, 2005
Miami makes its pitch to Cushing

Mike Farrell
Rivals100.com Recruiting Analyst *
A day after Pete Carroll and most of his staff spent four hours with Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic linebacker Brian Cushing to talk to him about how he can fit in at USC, Miami head coach Larry Coker and a few assistants were with the standout on Wednesday to discuss a commitment to Miami. How did it go and what's next?

Mike Hartline Is Gearing Toward Senior Season - Scout PREMIUM

Mike Hartline Is Gearing Toward Senior Season
By Gary Housteau
Date: Jan 27, 2005

His older brother Brian decided on Ohio State and looked nowhere else but Mike Hartline wants to consider the Buckeyes and a couple of other schools as well as he finds himself at the start of his recruiting season. The U.S. Army National Combine was just the beginning of many special things that Hartline hopes to be a part of before he makes his college selection as a member of someone's recruiting class of 2006.

Another In-home With Wilson - Scout PREMIUM

Another In-home With Wilson
By Mike Frank
Date: Jan 27, 2005

Akron, Ohio defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson entertained some Irish coaches on Wednesday night for what was likely their last in-home visit and chance to lure the Scout.com four-star prospect. Wilson had planned to make his decision this weekend. We spoke with Wilson on Wednesday to find out the latest.

End In Sight For Wilson - Rivals PREMIUM

January 27, 2005
End In Sight For Wilson

Steve Hare
BlueandGold.com *
Lawrence Wilson's life is about to change. For the past two months, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound defensive end from Akron, Ohio has been in a vicious recruiting battle that has garnered national attention. With Signing Day less than a week away, Wilson is close to making a decision that will allow him to return to being the average high school senior.

Top-ranked Akron SVSM, Lima Senior clash Saturday in Lima (Lawrence Wilson) - Lima News

Top-ranked Akron SVSM, Lima Senior clash Saturday in Lima
[email protected]

***They’re everybody’s big game even without the big man.
***And Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary boys basketball coach Dru Joyce wouldn’t want it any other way ...

... St. Vincent-St. Mary will be the first No. 1 team to play at Lima Senior since Lakota in 1991 when the Spartans won the famous “Firecracker Game.” Toledo Macomber was also No. 1 when it played at Lima Senior in 1989 in Jim Jackson’s senior year.

***St. Vincent-St. Mary’s leaders this season are 6-foot-3 junior Marcus Johnson (21 points a game) and 6-6, 235-pound senior Lawrence Wilson (15.3 points, 7.7 rebounds). Patrick Nygaard, a 6-1 junior, is scoring 9.2 points a game and point guard Brian Glasper, a 6-1 junior, averages 7.8 points a game.
***Wilson is a major college football recruit who has said he will choose from among Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Florida ...

Three for the See-Saw - Scout

Three for the See-Saw
By Allen Wallace National Recruiting Editor
Date: Jan 27, 2005

New York isn't known for producing great football talent. This year, running back Jason Gwaltney leads a strong NY contingent and he's got three big-time programs on the hook.

North Babylon (N.Y.) tailback Jason Gwaltney (5-11, 235, 4.5, Scout.com's #8 RB, 4 stars) now says USC (12/10 official trip) and Ohio State (10/29) lead solidly over West Virginia (1/7, committed at one time)--this is the order in which he named his faves.

"Both USC and Ohio State lead solidly over West Virginia," says Gwaltney.

"There's about a 46% chance that I'm going out west to SC at this point.

"With USC, I'd have the chance to compete as a freshman and I wouldn't just be sitting on the bench. In the last two years they've played 32 freshman, and they've never had a redshirt recruit that's been from out of state.

"The weather there and the fact that they're back-to-back national champs puts them in good standing right now. Plus the recruiting class they've got this year is one that would be good to be involved with.

"I was just on the other line with Brian Cushing (linebacker) and we get along really well together. We both want to be roommates when we go off to school. He hasn't made a decision yet either, and I wouldn't say that he's going to end up just following me wherever I go (laughs).

"I like how the coaches at USC are straightforward with me and they tell me how it is. Plus, coach (Pete) Carroll wants a big back there.

"The running back situation at Ohio State is a big in for me next year. If I learned their scheme well enough I could be ready to start in their game opener against Texas next year.

"They play some great smash-mouth football and the coaching staff there is laid-back but not too much. They get after it when it's time and they've got some great players there too.

"West Virginia could get me ready for the pros in a way that these two other teams can't. They run their schemes out of the shotgun and I-formation. If I were to get recruited by a pro team then I'd have a good shot at knowing any system that I'd be put into."

Gwaltney has also officially visited Central Florida (12/3) and Michigan State (12/17).

Final SR (10-1) stats: 328 carries/2,882 yds/45 TDs

2.7/860 SAT--March retest

One visit left for Worthington - Rivals PREMIUM

January 27, 2005
One visit left for Worthington

Mike Farrell
Rivals100.com *
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and other members of the Buckeye staff stopped by the home of Athol Springs (N.Y.) St. Francis defensive lineman Doug Worthington Wednesday night, and must have liked what they heard.

Nida Chat Archive: Jan. 25 - Rivals PREMIUM

January 27, 2005
Nida Chat Archive: Jan. 25

BuckeyeSports.com Staff Reports
BuckeyeSports.com premium subscribers met with staff writer Chris Nida inside The Horseshoe Lounge Tuesday afternoon for the latest in a regular series of chats leading up to signing day 2005. The Buckeyes' recruiting prospects looked to have been narrowed down to three targets, but news broke this week that a pair of players -- including Indianapolis' Donald Washington -- have new offers and will be officially visiting the campus this weekend, so that was a major topic of conversation, as were any number of other players. Click here for a transcript of Nida's chat.

Is Robiskie down to OSU and Miami? - Rivals PREMIUM

January 27, 2005
Is Robiskie down to OSU and Miami?

Bill Kurelic
BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
Chagrin Falls, Ohio, wide receiver Brian Robiskie has visited Miami and is about to visit Ohio State. Is his decision down to those two schools? Or is another school trying to get into the picture and host Robiskie on an official visit this weekend?

ScoutTV - Cody Faulkner (OL) - Scout

ScoutTV - Cody Faulkner (OL)
By Chris Pool**Midwest Recruiting Analyst
Date: Jan 27, 2005

Cody Faulkner, a 6-foot-4, 308-pound, offensive lineman from Arcadia (Ind.) Hamilton Heiights is one of several junior prospects from the Midwest who have already sent Scout.com their highlight tapes. If you’re a junior and are going to be recruited by D-1 schools, we want your video. Check out these clips of Cody Faulkner. Several major D-1 schools have already been in contact.

Faulkner is the son of former Florida Gators TE Chris Faulkner. He graded out at 95% in his blocking assignments as a junior and was named all-state. Cody was named honorable mention as a sophomore. He carries a black belt in karate.
Scouting Report - Strong at the point of contact. Good short area-blocker and shows good strength as well. Adequate initial quickness. Excellent pass protector. Hard worker, rarely loses a battle when he gets hand on defender. A leader on the field. Versatile. Plays tackle in high school but I see Cody playing guard at the next level.
Summary – Road grader that’s dominant at the point of attack but struggles a bit in space. Plays tackle in high school but I see him playing guard in college where he’ll benefit from moving inside. Excellent zone blocker but needs to work on his feet, overall a very good prospect that will get plenty of attention from college recruiters.
Midwest juniors, please send your video to the below address and don’t forget to click on the link below to see footage of Cody Faulkner.
Send Junior Video and Picture to:
Chris Pool 2405 Essington Road Ste. 54 Joliet, Ill. 60435
Cody Faulkner Profile
#79 OL Cody Faulkner

Daniels Reaffirms Minnesota Commitment - Scout

Daniels Reaffirms Minnesota Commitment
By Duane Long
Date: Jan 27, 2005

Linebacker Alex Daniels recently stopped in at Ohio State to talk with OSU coaches, but the meeting was just to clear the air. Daniels says that Minnesota will be his college destination.

Linebacker Alex Daniels of Columbus (Oh.) Brookhaven made a commitment to Minnesota earlier in January, but a recent visit to talk with Ohio State coaches caused a bit of a stir. Alex, however, is firm in his commitment to the Gophers.

"Yeah, I went over and talked to (the OSU staff)," he said. "Everything's cool. I really did just want to go over and clear the air about everything.

"I just wanted them to understand why I made the decision I made, and I wanted to make sure we understood each other. Everything's cool... I had a good relationship with those guys, and I wanted to keep it."

Daniels already has his plans laid out for getting things going at Minnesota.

"I'm going up to Minnesota. I'll be a Will linebacker," he said. "I'm going up early, as soon as school's out. I'm going to come back to play the all-star games and then go back to school."

Daniels also emphasized that his choice was about what he felt was best for him.

"This has nothing to do with Ohio State," he said. "This is just a better fit for me personally. I really like those guys over there."

<font color="#b90000">Wednesday, January 26, 2005</font> Late Recruiting News - 01/26/05

Bowden, Koenning, West meet with McKinney - Rivals PREMIUM

January 26, 2005
Bowden, Koenning, West meet with McKinney

Cris Ard
TigerIllustrated.com *
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning and defensive line coach Ron West met with James McKinney not once but twice on Wednesday, first at his school and finally at his home. The Louisville, KY - Central star is the nation's No. 9 rated defensive tackle. And heading into this weekend, Clemson may now be the team to beat following what McKinney said was a very impressive in-home visit Wednesday night.

Recruit announcements (Jason Gwaltney) - Scout

Recruit announcements
By Garry Paskwietz**
Date: Jan 26, 2005

With signing day less than a week away there are still several prospects remaining on the USC Trojan wish list. Click below for a listing of which players are left uncommitted and find out when they are expected to make an announcement of their college choice.

* Desean Jackon (WR, LB Poly) – will announce on Fox Sports West signing day show which is scheduled to air at 6:00pm on February 2nd. It’s between USC and Cal.

* Cary Harris (CB, Notre Dame) – will also announce on the Fox Sports West show. Cary will choose from between USC, Cal and Oregon.

* Jason Gwaltney (RB, North Babylon) – will announce on ESPN News at 2:20pm (LA time) on Tuesday, February 1st. Will choose from between USC and Ohio State with West Virginia still in consideration as well.

* Brian Cushing (DB/LB, Bergen Catholic) – Brian is saying he will wait until signing day to make an announcement although there have also been rumors that he could appear on the same ESPN News show at Gwaltney the day before. Regardless, the Trojans are still in good shape for Brian with Miami, Florida, Notre Dame and Louisville still receiving a long look.

* Kyle Moore (DL, Houston County) – Will announce on the Countdown to Signing Day show next Wednesday on Fox Sports South. It’s between USC and Miami.

* Walker Ashley (DL, Eden Prairie) – Says he will announce on signing day and it’s down to USC and Penn State.

* Luthur Brown (LB, Lakewood) – Luthur says there is no timetable right now for his decision. He’s looking at USC, Arizona, Oklahoma and Miami.

* Erik Lorig (TE/H-back, Peninsula) – No time set for announcement. Erik is still choosing from between USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal.

* Charles Brown (TE/OL, Diamond Ranch) – His final announcement is expected on Sunday, January 30th with USC and UCLA as his final choices.

* Ekom Udofia (DT, Chaparral) – Will announce on ESPN news at 1:50pm (LA time) on ESPN News on Tuesday, February 1st. The final three options are USC, Stanford and Miami.

* Reggie Smith (DB, Santa Fe) – No time set for an announcement. Reggie has three finalists on his list with USC, Oklahoma and Nebraska.