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Recruiting News - 02/10/05


Administrator Emeritus
<font color="#b90000">Thursday, February 10, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 02/10/05

USC Jumps On Hot Quarterback - Spartanburg Herald Journal

USC Jumps On Hot Quarterback
By Phil Kornblut

QB Tim Tebow (6-3 225) of St. Augustine, FL had an amazing junior season breaking the state of Florida total offense record, single season passing record and total touchdown record. The lefthander passed for 4800 yards and 46 touchdowns and rushed for 1500 yards and 26 touchdowns. "He has the ability to scramble and is a good drop back passer," said his coach Craig Howard. "He makes big plays off the scramble. He scrambles to throw the ball, not to run it." Tebow started to show his skills as a sophomore when he passed for 30 touchdowns and rushed for 19. He is also a basketball and baseball player. And he is home schooled. Howard said Tebow has over 40 offers at this point. USC is among them. Gamecock recruiter Rick Stockstill was by the school last week to pick up film on Tebo. Clemson has shown interest but has not offered which his coach says is surprising because they run an offense similar to what Clemson has done in the past, particularly when Rich Rodriguez was the offensive coordinator. Louisville was the first school to offer. Among the others are Michigan, Florida, Florida State and Georgia. Howard said Tebow has not started to narrow his list and does not have favorites. This summer Tebow will spend a month with his father on a Baptist mission in the Philippines. And his coach feels he'll get an invitation to the Elite 11 quarterback camp.

USC and Clemson are also showing interest in WR Ryan Ellis (6-3 190) of St. Augustine. He caught 70 passes for 1488 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He's also a hurdler in track. Other schools showing early interest include Miami, Ohio State and Alabama. He has not been offered.

Top 20 recruiting classes - Seattle Times (AP)

Top 20 recruiting classes

The Associated Press

1. Florida State. No one closes like the Seminoles, who landed three impact players -- WR Fred Rouse, RB Antone Smith and LB Eugene Hayes -- on signing day.

2. Southern California. Filled its only need on defense with a trio of blue-chip linebackers: Rey Maualuga, Luthur Brown and Brian Cushing.

3. Tennessee. Phil Fulmer's best class in years, with two key signees -- Demetrice Morley and Adam Myers-White -- who will turn around a shaky secondary.

4. Oklahoma. Made a big move to shore up interior lines hit hard by graduation; run-stuffing DTs DeMarcus Granger and Brian Simmons will be stars.

5. Nebraska. A deep and varied class could pay off big, especially if RB Marlon Lucky and QB Harrison Beck pan out.

6. Georgia. Cleaned up in state and landed a key North Carolina duo -- QB Joe Cox and WR Mohamed Massaquoi.

7. California. When was the last time California was this high in recruiting rankings? (Hint: never.)

8. Michigan. Landed stud RB Kevin Grady despite being jam-packed with talent at the position.

9. Miami (Fla.). Lost four players to Tennessee and failed to get a quarterback -- and still finished in the top 10. That's Florida talent.

10. Iowa. A scary thought for the Big Ten: The league's best-coached team is starting to accumulate serious talent.

11. Florida. Urban Meyer got a late start but still landed an impressive class, with impact DBs Reggie Nelson and Avery Atkins.

12. Virginia Tech. Missed a couple recruits late, but WR Victor Harris and QB Ike Whitaker will be an exciting combo.

13. Ohio State. Was desperate for a game-breaking tailback, but can 5-9 speedster Maurice Wells handle the load?

14. Texas A&M. Followed up last year's huge class and is closing ground fast in the Big 12 South.

15. Auburn. Go undefeated, clean up in your state, make your rival sweat. Nice body of work for Aubie.

16. Maryland. Ralph Freidgen says the Terps weren't tough last year; DE Melvin Alaeze and RB Morgan Green are upgrades.

17. Virginia. Another year, another top 20 recruiting finish. Isn't it time these classes began to pay off?

18. South Carolina. Some things never change: Steve Spurrier struggles early, then closes fast with TE Jonathan Hannah and WR O.J. Murdock.

19. Alabama. Jimmy Barnes or Jimmy Johns will be the quarterback of the future -- or Mike Shula may get jimmied out of Tuscaloosa.

20. Texas. Didn't have many needs; still landed stars in DE Henry Melton and DT Roy Miller.

Laurinaitis and four others sign letters of intent. - Long Lake Sun Sailor

Laurinaitis and four others sign letters of intent.
By Nick Clark
Sun Newspapers
(Created 2/10/2005 9:17:54 AM)

It had been known for quite some time, but on Feb. 2, James Laurinaitis made it official.

He's off to Columbus in the summer.

The all-everything linebacker from Wayzata high school dotted the three i's and crossed the t, inking his name onto a letter of intent for Ohio State University, committing himself to the Buckeyes for the next four-plus years.

Laurinaitis, who's also captain of the Wayzata boys hockey team, led the Trojans to the cusp of a state title in the fall, falling just short in a Prep Bowl loss to Minnetonka.

In the process though, the 6-foot-3, 230 lbs. rock who doubled as a tight end when Wayzata had the ball, put himself in position to attend one of college football's most storied programs.

He'll be the first player from the state to play for Ohio State since Sid Gillman did in the 1930's, and the first to ever receive a scholarship from the longtime Big Ten power.

"He's just such an incredible kid," said Wayzata athletic director Jamie Sherwood. "His maturity goes so far beyond the football field, and that's something you don't see too often in a young man his age. The successes he has in life will be ten times what he does in football because he's just got that attitude about him."

Laurinaitis wasn't the only Wayzata athlete to sign the dotted line that day, as four other Trojans made commitments that day.

Two of Laurinaitus' teammates from that runner-up football team will be moving on next year as well.

Wide receiver Ty Ruffin and defensive tackle Tyler Grapp are both headed to Concordia in St. Paul.

There's also a pair of girls from Wayzata's third place soccer team that will be teammates again next season.

Marti Klinsing and Kaitlyn Wagner are both headed for the U of M to play soccer for the Gophers.

"It's really a reflection of the parent and coaches of these kids," said Sherwood. "We're just the recipients of what they've done. We had five section champions in eight sports, getting their starts well before high school. This group of seniors is real special to us."

Local football crop down in quantity, not quality - This Week

Local football crop down in quantity, not quality

Thursday, February 10, 2005

ThisWeek Staff Writer Moving on

As it has for the last few years, the University of Minnesota football program made its mark Feb. 2 on national letter of intent signing day throughout central Ohio. Wisconsin also got involved along with Air Force, Kentucky and a slew of Mid-American Conference and Division I-AA schools.

Compared with the last decade, however, it would have to be considered a slightly down year for recruiting among central Ohio football players in the ThisWeek coverage area.

Brookhaven made the biggest splash among area teams as Alex Daniels, Dominic Jones and Keith Massey all signed with Minnesota, and Eastmoor Academy's Prince Moody will play at Wisconsin. Westland struggled to a 4-6 finish, but Minnesota found a recruit in Jason Sekinger. Beechcroft's John Buckner and Hilliard Davidson's Chris Miller both committed to Air Force.

But for the second time in three years, Ohio State did not sign players from the immediate central Ohio area. Lancaster center Jim Cordle was the only player from the Central District to go with the Buckeyes.

And the 22 players in the ThisWeek coverage area committing to play at either Division I or I-AA schools was the lowest since 22 signed in 1998. There also were 22 signed in 1995.

According to Brookhaven coach Tom Blake, talent runs in cycles.

"I wouldn't say it was better than average," said Blake, who led the Bearcats to the Division II state championship last fall. "No one signed to go to Ohio State, so in that sense it was maybe down. I think you might have more next year, just speculating on who were nominated for the Big 33 (all-star football game). I know with a lot of the OCC coaches, their best quarterbacks and linemen were predominantly juniors. So maybe not the quality, but the quantity (was slightly down)."

Over the last decade, the top year for central Ohio recruiting came in 1999 when 32 signed with Division I or I-AA schools. That season, Eastmoor's Curtis Crosby, Upper Arlington's Jesse Kline and Dublin Coffman's Fred Pagac all signed with the Buckeyes and DeSales' Grant Bowman signed with Michigan. Ohio State also got former Granville star quarterback Scott McMullen.

In the ThisWeek coverage area, there were 29 signings in both 2000 and 2001, 28 in 2002, 23 in 2003 and 29 last year.

FOOTBALL (22) -- Robin Bailey (Toledo) Westerville South; John Buckner (Air Force) Beechcroft; Jaren Collins (Tennessee-Martin) West; Mike Cross (Kentucky) Marion-Franklin; Alex Daniels (Minnesota) Brookhaven; Josh Febus (Ohio U.) Dublin Coffman; Eric Heller (Toledo) Beechcroft; Dominic Jones (Minnesota) Brookhaven; Chris Kemme (Akron) Upper Arlington; Clark Koury (Columbia) Dublin Coffman; Gus Krimm (Cornell) Upper Arlington; Idris Lawrence (Ohio U.) Brookhaven; Keith Massey (Minnesota) Brookhaven; Chris Miller (Air Force) Hilliard Davidson; Mike Monaghan (Robert Morris) Upper Arlington; Prince Moody (Wisconsin) Eastmoor Academy; Phillip Pollard (Bowling Green) Westerville South; Jason Sekinger (Minnesota) Westland; J. Sharps (Akron) Westerville South); Chance Smith (Illinois State) Beechcroft; Jeff Thompson (Miami) Worthington Kilbourne; Austin Weaver (Robert Morris) Dublin Coffman

Eastmoor's Moody to take athleticism to Wisconsin - This Week

Eastmoor's Moody to take athleticism to Wisconsin

Thursday, February 10, 2005

ThisWeek Staff Writer

The Associated Press Ohio Division III co-Defensive Player of the Year in high-school football signed a letter of intent last Wednesday to play in the Big Ten Conference, but not at Ohio State.

Eastmoor Academy's Prince Moody, who played fullback and middle linebacker chose Wisconsin over Illinois, Indiana, Louisville and West Virginia after the Badgers made a big push for the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder last October when the Warriors were off to a 6-1 start.

"(Wisconsin) is the school that made the biggest push for me," said Moody, whose Warriors made their first playoff appearance since 1993. "And the coach that wanted me, (defensive backs coach Ron Lee), was the one that dealt with me the most."

Moody -- who runs a 40-yard sprint in 4.4 seconds -- had 130 tackles (94 solo), 10 sacks, 17 tackles for loss and two interceptions as Eastmoor finished 9-2 after losing 52-14 to Bellvue in a first-round playoff game. The Warriors also shared the City League-South Division championship with Marion-Franklin at 6-1.

"He has tremendous athletic ability and is a great kid as well as a great leader," said Eastmoor coach Jim Miranda of his captain. "I think (Wisconsin) did their homework and came into Ohio and got a steal (from Ohio State)."

Moody has been recruited for his defensive talents. He played numerous positions with the Warriors, going from defensive end as a sophomore to an outside linebacker during his junior season before settling at middle linebacker as a senior where he was named the Central District Defensive Player of the Year.

Wisconsin has plans for him as a strong safety. "They know what position they want me at," Moody said. "And that was one reason I went with them, too."

Moody also said OSU wasn't sure where they would use him.

Miranda said the player shouldn't have a problem with making the move to a new position.

"He's physical enough to stay close to the line and has the speed and agility to play in the secondary," said Miranda, who's 16-5 with the Warriors and has coached Moody for two seasons. "They're equally impressed with his offensive ability, too, so he may impact them on defense and offense."

As a senior, Moody gained 726 yards on 70 carries (10.4 avg.) and scored 16 touchdowns in nine regular-season games, including a career-high 179 yards and three touchdowns in a 62-33 league win over Independence. He finished with 820 yards overall and scored 100 points.

Wisconsin finished 9-3 after losing 24-21 to Georgia in the Outback Bowl. The Badgers also finished 6-2 in Big Ten play, including a 24-13 win at Ohio State. They will not play the Buckeyes the next two seasons.

Barry Alvarez is 108-70-4 in 14 seasons as coach at Wisconsin, including back-to-back Big Ten and Rose Bowl championships (1998-99).

"He's a really honest, straight-forward guy with what he says," Moody said. "About me, he said he wasn't going to lie and that they really wanted me."

As for coach Lee, he's a 1989 Washington State graduate, who's starting his second season as the defensive-backs coach. He's also been the defensive coordinator at Colorado State (1993-2000) as well as an assistant at Miami (Fla.) for two seasons (1989-90).

"I love his ideas," Moody said. "He was the determining factor really. He stuck with me throughout the whole recruiting process."

Moody is the second Eastmoor player under Miranda to go to a Big Ten school. Fullback/linebacker Dionte Johnson, a 2004 graduate and the son of former NFL linebacker Pepper Johnson, went on to play at Ohio State. As a freshman he played in five games, rushing for 10 yards on four carries last season.

"Eastmoor has got some great athletes," said Moody, of a school which also produced two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. "(Johnson and I) are going to keep that going."

Hardy scheduling junior day visits - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
Hardy scheduling junior day visits

Bill Kurelic
Rivals100.com *
New Haven, Mich., wide receiver D.D. Hardy had a big junior season and is drawing interest from a number of Big Ten schools. Hardy is beginning to schedule visits to a number of schools.

Ohio Athlete Eyes the Irish - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
Ohio Athlete Eyes the Irish

Steve Hare
BlueandGold.com *
Derrell Johnson is being heavily recruited by Ohio State, but that hasn't stopped the Youngstown, Ohio athlete from looking for some interest from the Irish. Johson recently transferred to Cardinal Mooney, the same school as recent signee, Kyle McCarthy. Can the Irish go back-to-back on signing athletes from Youngstown?

Rea's Say: Crunching Recruiting Numbers - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
Rea's Say: Crunching Recruiting Numbers

Mark Rea
BuckeyeSports.com Managing Editor *
With Chris Wells and Ross Homan already in the fold, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel's recruiting effort for 2006 is already off to a flying start. How many others will join Wells and Homan in the Buckeyes' class of signees next February? We'll take a look at the numbers and also the positions that are in most need as OSU kicks off its '06 efforts with a bang.

First-Year Coaches Pull Recruiting Coups - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
First-Year Coaches Pull Recruiting Coups

Chris Nida
BuckeyeSports.com Staff Writer *
Between Darrell Hazell, John Peterson and Dick Tressel, the Ohio State football team's coaching staff benefits from more than half a century's worth of coaching ñ and by extension, recruiting ñ experience. The trio of coaches share at least one other common trait: Prior to each accepting a position on Jim Tressel's OSU staff last spring, none had embarked on the recruiting trail as a representative of Ohio State.

Texas junior DE interested in OSU - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
Texas junior DE interested in OSU

Bill Kurelic
BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
This junior defensive end from the Lonestar State says he is getting mail from three or four colleges per day. Ohio State is one of the schools sending mail and he says he is interested in the Buckeyes.

Cordle To Join List Of Early Enrollees - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
Cordle To Join List Of Early Enrollees

Chris Nida
BuckeyeSports.com Staff Writer *
For the first time since his inaugural recruiting class of 2001, Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was not joined at his signing day press conference by any newly enrolled players. Those players have histories of going on to contribute in their first year, guys such as Maurice Clarett, Donte Whitner and Ashton Youboty, to name a few. Lancaster offensive lineman Jim Cordle will add his name to that list in a few weeks.

Bucks interested in Michigan junior WR - Rivals PREMIUM

February 10, 2005
Bucks interested in Michigan junior WR

Bill Kurelic
BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
This Michigan wide receiver had a big junior season and is drawing interest from a number of Big Ten schools including Ohio State. He may attend the Buckeyes football camp this summer.

Legacy recruit plans Junior Day visit - Rivals PREMIUM

February 9, 2005
Legacy recruit plans Junior Day visit

Josh Helmholdt
TheWolverine.com *
When the name Justin Boren of Pickerington (Oh.) North surfaced as one of the top prospects from the Buckeye state in the class of 2006, the name immediately rung a bell with Michigan fans. That's because Boren's father, Mike Boren, is a former Wolverine who wore No. 40 and played linebacker on the great teams of the early-1980s. The question now lingers -- will the son follow in the father's footsteps?