Saturday, January 20, 2007

Class of 2008: Some Elite Defensive Backs

Will Hill DB/QB 6'2 195 4.40 Jersey City St. Peter's Prep New Jersey

Hill ranks with the very best overall prospects in the Class of 2008 and could emerge as the top DB in the nation…………A First Team AP All-State selection as a sophomore, his junior year he earnd many honors, including being named the Newark Star Ledger’s State Offensive Player of the Year…….Does it all for St. Peter’s Prep, playing QB, WR, S and returning kicks and punts…………As a junior, he completed 39 of 67 passes for 758 yards and 11 TDs and rushed for 682 yards on 58 carries and 15 TDs. He also averaged 36.4 yards per kick return and 20.8 yards per punt return. On defense, he posted 61 tackles, 2 sacks, and 3 INTs. He topped things off with 427 return yards………As a sophomore, Hill led his team to a perfect record and a state title, passing for almost 800 yards and 9 TDs, and rushing for 533 more and 2 TDs. On defense, he recorded 56 tackles and 3 INTs………..An athletic, versatile and exciting athlete who I already had rated as the top overall prospect in the state as a junior……..I project him as a college safety, due to his outstanding size (perfect for a safety), speed, leaping ability (great vertical), nose for the ball and, in particular, his hitting ability. He just loves to hit and is a tremendous tackler.……At quarterback, he’s a versatile run-pass combo athlete in the mold of Vince Young or Troy Smith. He has improved his passing dramatically and has put in a great deal of time studying film and improving his mechanics. His coach feels that he would be just a dynamite D-1 QB….."The Thrill" definitely has the game to back up the nickname. A very special player……By the end of 2006 he had already received offers from such powers as Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Ohio State

Boubacar Cissoko DB/WR 5'9 175 4.40 Detroit Cass Tech Michigan

Cissiko is the top prospect in Michigan’s Class of 2008 and arguably the top pure cover corner in the nation………….First exploded onto the national scene with an outstanding performance at the 2006 Columbus Nike, outshining highly touted rising senior DBs……..Followed that up by being named the overall combine MVP at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio, showing off his tremendous coverage ability and sticking like glue to every one of the combine’s top receivers………..Exceptionally quick, very aggressive and second to none in the prep ranks when it comes to press coverage. Is really outstanding in the bump-and-run. Has outstanding recovery speed. Is also a real hard hitter. He has that confidence and swagger needed to excel out there on that island known as cornerback. The only trait he lacks is ideal height…….Returned 2 kicks for TDs and had 52 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 3 INTs as a junior in earning Detroit Free Press First Team All-Detroit honors…..As a sophomore, he registered 29 tackles…..Plays for a program that is among the Detroit PSL’s best, having produced the likes of Class of 2007 star Joseph Barksdale……..2.9 GPA….As of the end of 2006 he had offers from schools such as Michigan, Tennessee, Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa.

Darius Barksdale DB/RB 6'1 190 Batesville South Panola Mississippi

Barksdale ranks right up there with the very best DBs in the nation.....A two-way prep star at RB and FS for the most powerful program in Mississippi, he projects as a free safety in college…..A consensus First Team All-Stater as a junior after tallying 35 tackles and 4 INTs on defense and rushing for 1,042 yards and 9 TDs………..Nicknamed “Tig”………On film as a safety, he displays tremendous speed in getting up to the line and closing gaps and is very, very physical. He shows a lot of emotion but always plays under control…….Some scouts felt he was already the top overall prospect in the state as a mere sophomore……..2.8 core GPA and a 20 on the ACT…..Very impressive at the 2006 Mississippi summer camp…………The top player in Mississippi.

Patrick Johnson DB 6'0 191 4.47 Pompano Beach Ely Florida

Johnson came on like gangbusters as a junior and is now considered to be one of the top overall DBs in the nation……….An outstanding CB/S prospect who really wowed onlookers at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine, walking away with Defensive MVP honors. He has the size to play safety but the quickness and open hips to play CB………As a first year starter his junior season he earned consensus First Team All-Broward County honors after recording 54 tackles and 7 INTs and scoring 10 TDs (3 on kick returns)……One scout who saw him early in his junior season said: “He has really come out of nowhere to become he top underclassman in Broward. I guarantee you, he’s good enough to be playing for a school like Miami or Florida State right now.”…..As of early January he had received offers from Florida and Florida State.

T.J. Bryant DB 6'1 175 4.40 Tallahassee Lincoln Florida

Bryant is one of the nation’s elite DBs………As a junior, he was named First Team All-Big Bend by the Tallahassee Democrat after recording 27 tackles, 3 INTs and 2 PBUs………As a sophomore, he tallied a team-high 7 INTs……..Plays for a program that regularly produces just about as much talent as any school in the nation……Considered by some analysts to be the top overall prospect on the team as a junior, which says something as there are at least 7 or 8 BCS caliber seniors on the tam, including a couple of All-Americans. In fact, his coaches feel that he could be the best player ever to emerge from Lincoln (which says something, as super DBs Antonio Cromartie, Greg Threat and Pat Watkins all played at Lincoln)...…..A young junior, he has pretty good size, outstanding athleticism, a real nose for the ball and excellent speed. As a sophomore, he had the fastest time in the state in the 300-meter hurdles (38.02 seconds) and finished third in the state meet……By the end of 2006 he had early offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Illinois.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Class of 2008: Some Elite Linebackers

Nigel Bradham LB 6'2 220 4.60 Crawfordville Wakulla Florida

Considered by many to be perhaps the top LB in the nation and top overall prospect in Florida…………….As a junior he was a First Team Class 3AAll-State selection and 3A Player of the Year and also earned First Team All-Big Bend honors from the Tallahassee Democrat after recording 128 tackles (66 solo, 62 assists); 2 INTs (one returned for a TD) and 4 fumble recoveries (one returned for a TD);…….Registered 139 tackles (98 solo), 8 sacks and 2 INTs as a sophomore………..On tape, he shows an innate ability to get to the ball and exceptional strength, speed and athleticism. Has the ability to just dominate a game from the defensive side of the ball. Has the speed to go from sideline-to-sideline and drop back and be very effective in pass coverage. Has the power to fill in running lanes and break through the line of scrimmage to regularly nail ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage. Has a real nasty demeanor on the field………Projects as a MLB in college……Avid weightlifter……..By early 2006 he already had offers from such programs as Florida and Florida State…….A special, special talent.

Shayne Hale LB 6'4 217 4.81 Monroeville Gateway Pennsylvania

Hale is one of the elite linebackers in the nation and top overall prospects in Pennsylvania.......A First Team Class AAAA All-Stater and Pittsburgh Poiste-Gazette All-Area selection as a junior…….Recorded 105 tackles, 13 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and 4 forced fumbles as a junior………..As a sophomore, he had 80 tackles, 1 INT, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries…….Tested well at 2006 combines (4.81 forty and has run a 10.9 100-meters, 4.51 shuttle, 34-inch vertical and an impressive 25 bench reps at 185), but his game speed is even more impressive. Once he straps it he‘s all over the field, showing the speed to go from sideline-to-sideline to chase down ball carriers………Great frame with room to fill out and very aggressive. He is also very strong. Already benches over 350 pounds even though he still appear skinny…..Already made a name for himself on the combine circuit as a freshman……..One of the top prospects to emerge out of the WPIAL in recent history, ranking up there with former teammate Justin King (Penn State)…….His school has produced quite a bit of talent recently…..Has a very, very high ceiling……….As of mid-January, 207 he had early offers from over a dozen schools, including the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Penn State.

Steven Filer LB 6'4 225 4.65 Chicago Mount Carmel Illinois

One of the nation’s elite linebacker prospects and considered by some to be the top prospect in Illinois...........A Second Team All-State selection by the Chicago Tribune as a junior……….Plays for one of the most powerful programs in the Chicago area……As a junior, he registered almost 90 tackles and 8 sacks in leading his team to a 12-2 record and another appearance in the state championship game……..As a rare sophomore starter at Mount Carmel, he recorded102 tackles and 3 sacks as the leading tackler for a defense that shut out three opponents and held six more to single digits……..Has a great frame and can go from sideline-to-sideline……Very, very tough, this young man will hit you hard, even in practice……An old school backer with new school skills………Quality young man and an excellent student….Related to former Notre Dame RB Jerome Heavens…..His coach, Frank Lenti, told the Chicago Sun-Times that as of December 2006 Filer had received more Division I scholarship offers than any other player he has coached in 23 years……As of mid-January, 2006 he already had early offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Nebraska, Stanford and Michigan…..Steven, you need to put on your sunglasses; the future looks bright!

Maurice Simmons LB/DB 6'1 190 4.66 Compton Dominguez California

One of the nation’s top linebackers and possibly the top ‘backer in California…..A First Team Underclass All-State selection as a junior after earning Sophomore All-State honors in 2005………Helped lead his team to a second consecutive CIF Division II-A title, ands along the way he earned CIF MVP and CIF Defensive Player of the Year honors while posting about 150 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries…….As a sophomore, he recorded 109 tackles and 9 sacks……On film, he shows outstanding speed, quickness and athleticism and an innate ability to make plays. Great football instincts and he will really hit you. He can really run. Very effective going sideline-to-sideline......Plays for a program that is one of the better talent—producers in Southern California……His coach calls him probably the best linebacker Dominguez has ever had….. Tested well on the 2006 combine circuit, recording a 4.66 forty, 4.35 shuttle, 33-inch vertical and 16 reps on the bench……Looked good at the 2006 USC Skills Camp……Great bloodlines, as older brothers Melvin played at USC, Marvin at Kansas State, Marlin at California and younger brother Marquis is one of the top linebackers in the Class of 2009. I guess you could call them the “Five Mighty Ms”…..Will need to get bigger to play big-time college ball, but that shouldn’t be a problem. I like him best at OLB, but he could also possibly project at safety….3.0 GPA…..Nebraska and Mississippi already offered in 2006.

Bruce Taylor LB/DL 6'3 230 4.65 Myrtle Beach South Carolina Virginia Tech

South Carolina’s Class of 2008 is absolutely loaded and Taylor is one of the very best in addition to ranking among the best ‘backers in the nation……One of the top players to emerge out of the Grand Strand area in recent history...........A Second Team All-State selection as a sophomore after registering over 200 tackles, a remarkable 42 TFL, 8 sacks and 4 INTs. Also earned one of the nation’s best-named awards, The Sun News' Toast of the Coast Defensive Player of the Year……..Broke his arm early in his junior season but returned to excel……He is both quick and strong. He can get to the ball extremely quickly. He has excellent size and is capable of playing any of the linebacker positions at the next level………His coach calls him the best player he has ever coached…….He committed to Virginia Tech in September 2006 over offers from such programs as Florida State, Georgia, Virginia, Clemson, Colorado, South Carolina, North Carolina and Maryland

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Class of 2008: Some Elite Defensive Linemen

Marcus Forston DL 6'3 290 5.00 Miami Northwestern Florida

Forston ranks among the very best defensive linemen in the nation…………As a junior, he was named First Team All-Dade County by the Miami Herald after earning Second Team honors as a sophomore…………..Registered 92 tackles and 20 sacks as a junior……As a sophomore, he posted 60 tackles and also started at TE………Projects at DT in college…..Part of perhaps the nation’s most talented junior class and helped lead Northwestern to the state Class 6A title and a very high national ranking……….Possesses exceptional feet and outstanding strength (at the 2006 Miami Nike he benched a camp-high 33 reps of 185 pounds) ……..Overall camp MVP at the University of Miami’s 2006 summer camp (an award typically given to a rising senior!) and also very, very impressive at the 2006 Rutgers summer camp……Especially effective at bull rushing. Outstanding pass rushing technique for a youngster…..Extremely high ceiling

R.J. Washington DL/LB 6'4 225 4.62 Keller Fossil Ridge Texas Oklahoma

Washington has emerged as the top DL in Texas and as one of the nation’s elite DL prospects…………Projects as a DE in college…….First Team All-District 6-4A selection as a junior after earning District 5-5A co-Sophomore of the Year honors in 2005………Registered 11 sacks as a junior after posting 75 tackles and 10 sacks as a sophomore…….Benches 260 and has a 32-inch vertical……Great frame for a DE….Forms a terrific twosome with Class of 2007 prospect Chris Perry......Very athletic and physical. On film, one sees that he gets to the QB very quickly in pass rush situations but also is able to pursue very effectively from sideline-to-sideline against the run. Very effective off the edge with his great speed and quickness…..Very competitive…..Already a varsity basketball starter as a sophomore at center but won’t play as a senior in order to focus on football……Very impressive at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine………..Nice bloodlines as his father, Russell Washington, was an all-conference linebacker for SMU…….Exceptionally high ceiling……Ranks with the very, very best in Texas…..He committed to Oklahoma in November 2006 over early offers from the likes of Nebraska and Texas A&M.

Daquan Bowers DL/TE 6'6 265 4.70 Bamberg-Ehrhardt South Carolina Clemson

Bowers is one of the nation’s elite DL prospects………..It’s a great year for talent in South Carolina’s Class of 2008 and Bowers ranks right up there with the very best…….As a junior, he recorded 85 tackles, 30 TFL and 15 sacks. He also rushed for 840 yards, showing off his versatility, athleticism and quickness…….As a sophomore, he registered 85 tackles, 27 TFL, 8 sacks and 4 forced fumbles……..Considered to have more upside than former teammate and prep-AA Ricky Sapp, now at Clemson………Plays DT in high school but could project at DE in college due to his great frame and wingspan…..On film, he shows outstanding quickness and really knows how to use leverage. He uses his hands extremely well in shedding blocks and is effective both in pass rushing and stopping the run. A real defensive playmaker……A tough kid…..Solid student who has made the honor roll……Had received early offers from the likes of Clemson (at the Clemson summer camp after his freshman year) Florida State, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia BEFORE his junior season……He committed to Clemson in November 2006.

Alameda Ta'amu DL/OL 6'4 330 5.10 Seattle Rainier Beach Washington

Ta'amu could well be the top overall prospect in Washington and he ranks ith the very best linemen in the nation…………As a junior, he was a consensus First Team All-Stater, earning honors on the OL from the Seattle Times and DL from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He registered 8 sacks despite playing through September with an MCL sprain and was overpowering from his OG spot…….As a sophomore, he was a First Team All-Metro League Sound Division selection on both sides of the ball and was named the league’s lineman of the year……Plays varsity basketball……Unusually quick feet for a lineman and has overpowering strength…..Will be very, very highly recruited from coast-to-coast

Micanor Regis DL 6'3 296 5.06 Pahokee Florida

A small school star who is a big-time talent……Among the nation’s premier DL prospects……First Team All-Palm Beach County as a junior after earning Second Team honors his sophomore year…...Shows exceptional quickness for a big kid, using his hands exceptionally well in shedding blocks……Was a dominant force at the 2006 Florida State summer camp, as he was unstoppable in one-on-one drills…..Will be a DT in college……2006 combine numbers include a 5.06 forty, 4.75 shuttle, 23 bench reps and a 23-inch vertical…..Early offers in 2006 from the likes of Miami, Florida State, Tennessee and Clemson attest to his upside

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Class of 2008: Some Elite Offensive Linemen

Vinston Painter OL/DL 6'5 315 5.10 Norfolk Maury Virginia

It’s a great year for offensive linemen and Vinston (correct spelling) ranks with the very best……..Considered by many to be the top offensive lineman at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio………..First Team AAA All-Stater and First Team Orlando Sentinel All-Southern highlight his many junior honors…….Had 22 pancake blocks on offense and 23 tackles on defense as a junior……….. Tremendous combination of strength and quickness… Great build, decent height and effective both as a pass blocker and run blocker…....As a sophomore he had the following combine numbers: 40-yard dash: 5.56 seconds, Shuttle: 4.87, Bench press: 22 reps, Vertical leap: 21.2"……..Reportedly had over 40 offers by January 2007!.......Destined for greatness

J.B. Shugarts OL/DL 6'6 285 5.60 Klein Texas

Shugarts is one of the nation’s elite offensive linemen…..He was very impressive at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine in San Antonio, where his father was a coach for the OL drills……..An exceptional athlete. He has nice height and really quick feet and agility for a big man, but needs to improve his strength….…Plays basketball……….His team mostly runs the ball so he is still a bit raw when it comes to pass blocking, but he has the frame and athleticism to excel as LT. As a run blocker he has a very strong surge and is an exceptional finisher…… Impressed onlookers during 2006 camping stops at Texas, Texas A&M, Michigan, Ohio State, and Florida…………He was named First Team All-District as a sophomore OT, but only Second Team All-District as a junior TE since he missed all or part of 3 of 6 district games due to a Staph Infection......His school has recently sent offensive linemen to Michigan and Notre Dame, but J.B will be the best of the bunch…..Wants to attend a college with a stable head coaching situation and a chance to win a national title……..As of January 2007 he had over 15 offers.

Tyron Smith OL 6'4 255 5.10 Moreno Valley Rancho Verde California

Many feel that Tyron is the top lineman on the west coast and possibly the nation……Exploded onto the recruiting radar for schools from coast-to-coast after winning Stanford Nike Camp MVP honors as a sophomore (the only sophomore in the nation to do so whiule outplaying such junior studs as Ryan Miller, Martin Coleman and Javario Burks)……Great frame, this lean-looking athlete could easily add another forty pounds without losing his quickness…..Has the long arms needed for pass protection and the quick feet (5.1 combine forty on a soggy surface) that enable him to pull at guard………Put up a decent 21 bench reps and had a 29-inch vertical as a sophomore…..His toughness and physical play on the field are what separate him from the combine Tarzans……Just needs to refine his technique…….Plays both ways in high school (also DE) but most like him as a LT in college………..His coach claims he’s a better prospect than former USC star Thomas Herring, who he coached at Fremont…………..By January 2007 he already had a handful of impressive offers…..Sky’s the limit for this athletic lineman

Mike Adams OL 6'5 294 5.20 Dublin Coffman Ohio

After a down year for OLs in Ohio in the Class of 2007, Adams leads a very strong Class of 2008 crop and is among the best linemen in the nation………..Some feel he ranks right up there with Korey Stringer and just a shade below Orlando Pace when compared to the top OLs to recently emerge from Ohio...........First Team Ohio News Network All-State selection (tend to focus on college potential), but the traditional media only gave him honorable mention all-area recognition as a junior….Very tall, so he has a very high ceiling both literally and figuratively………Has the lean frame to easily add another 30-40 pounds……….Still growing into his body, so his best football is definitely ahead of him………Still relatively raw when compared to other national elite linemen, but his ceiling is as high as any………Impressed at the 2007 U.S. Army Combine and 2006 Ohio State camp.…..Projects as a LT…..2.9 GPA…..His school regularly produces D-1 talent over the years (think Brady Quinn)……Received early offers from Ohio State and Michigan in 2006………..One of the nation’s very best

Alonzo "A.J." Harmon OL/DL 6'4 308 5.87 Louisville Jefferson County Georgia

Alonzo is a two-way lineman who has the potential to excel at either side of the ball at the next level......College coaches really like him on both sides of the ball............Consensus First Team Class AA All-Stater as a junior and also listed by numerous publications as among the nation’s elite junior prospects…… Regitered 47 tackles and caused 12 fumbles as a junior…...Second Team All-Area selection by the Augusta Chronicle as a junior…..Burst onto the recruiting scene as a freshman at the Athens Nike camp, when he ran a 5.69 forty, 5.31 shuttle and had 16 reps in the bench…..Excellent athlete, also plays basketball. Very quick feet for a big man. Also has a fine work ethic…..Looked exceptional at 2006 Georgia summer camp…..Wants to play either OT or DT in college…..Really jumps out on film. Very quick and explosive at DE. Also shows exceptional power. Run blocks with power and authority, showing great finishing ability. Surprisingly agile and adept pass blocker…..By the end of 2006 he already had at least six offers, from such programs as Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Clemson……One of the nation’s elite linemen

Monday, January 15, 2007

Class of 2009 Watch

DeVonte Holloman QB/DB 6'3 210 Charlotte Independence North Carolina

Holloman will be the next great superstar to emerge out of the powerful Independence program, which has produced such talented alumni as Chris Leak. As a sophomore, he earned First Team All-Area honors from the Charlotte Observer as a DB after registering 71 tackles, 18 assists and 3 INTs for state champion Patriots. His future, however, will be at QB as he is expected to take over the reigns from departing all-stater Darryl McFadden in 2007. Could challenge Chris Leak's legacy in high school and college.

Cierre Wood RB/DB/P/PK 6'0 180 4.40 Oxnard Santa Clara California

Wood has emerged as one of the nation's elite RB prospects following a breakout sophomore season. A First Team Ventura County Star All-Area selection and California Sophomore of the Year, Wood carried the ball 117 times for 1,407 yards and 17 TDs, averaging 12 yards per carry. He also caught 16 passes for 595 yards and 7 TDs. On defense, he registered 64 tackles from his DB spot. With his great speed (10.8 100 meters as a frosh), exceptional vision and athleticism he should be one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the nation in the Class of 2009.

Bobby James WR 6'3 205 Hobart Indiana

A Second Team Bloomington Herald-Times Junior All-State selection as a sophomore, James caught 41 passes for 738 yards (18.0) and 10 TDs in 12 games. He has a great frame and could eventually grow into a TE. With his soft hands and exceptional ball skills watch for him to emerge as a big-timer.

Andrew Hebert TE 6'2 185 Teurlings Catholic Louisiana

Hebert has a great frame that still needs to fill out, runs well and has excellent hands. Very productive as a sophomore, earning First Team Class 3A All-State honors after hauling in 58 passes for 930 yards and 8 TDs.

Andre Harris OL 6'4 320 Lovejoy Georgia

Lovejoy has produce some outstanding talent the past few years and Harris is already being called potentially the greatest lineman to ever attend the school. High praise indeed for this huge but surprisingly nifty OL who earned First Team All-Clayton/Henry County honors from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a sophomore. One of the nation's very best young linemen.

Tyrel Wilson DL/LB 6'3 220 Hampton Virginia

Tyrel is following in his father, James', footsteps as a star for the always talented Crabbers. James went on to star at Tennessee. Tyrel was a rare freshman starter, as a sophomore he earned First Team Newport News Daily Press All-Area honors from his DE position in lesading the Peninsula District's top defense. A tremendous young talent, his coach told Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times that he “will be the best football player in the country by the time he’s a senior.” And this from the program that produced former USA Today National Player of the Year Ronald Curry. I don't think there is another city in America with two such talented sophomore defensive linemen as Wilson and crosstown rival Dominic Davnport of Hampton Phoebus.

Steve Beauharnais LB 6'3 220 4.74 Saddle Brook New Jersey

A two-time all-area selection by the Herald & News, Beauharnais is a man-child of a 'backer, possessing a great body and excellent speed (4.74 combine forty) and quickness (4.41 shuttle as a frosh!). He puts his skills to great use on the field, registering a state-leading 144 tackles as a freshman and adding another 104 as a sophomore despite missing a couple of games with a hamstring injury. Also plays QB and RB, passing for 581 yards and 7 TDs and rushing for 1,301 yards and another 7 scores as a sophomore. Already being actively recruited by the eastern powers.

Craig Bills DB 6'1 180 Provo Timpview Utah

A First Team Salt Lake Deseret News Class 4A All-State selection as a sophomore after registering 84 tackles, 8 INTs and 10 pass deflections. One older brother, Kevin, was also named First Team All-State this past season and is one of the top juniors in the state (DE, 6-3, 215). Another older brother, K.C., is a DB at BYU. Craig could wind up being the best of the bunch.