By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
January 10, 2006
Mid-year enrollment is a growing trend in college football, and Florida State and Virginia Tech are among the many ACC schools that are hoping to give some of their Class of 2006 signees a head start on the possibility of earning immediate playing time this fall.
Tyler (TX) Junior College OL Shannon Boatman, a 2005 first-team All-America selection by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), signed with Florida State in December over Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian and Texas Tech. He also had offers from Houston, Kansas, South Carolina and Texas-El Paso. A 2003 graduate of Beaumont (TX) Westbrook, Boatman will have two years to complete two seasons of eligibility at FSU. A projected tackle, he benches 330 pounds, squats 475 and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. His main recruiter with the Seminoles is linebackers coach Kevin Steele.
Butler (KS) Community College LB Todd Verdell, a second-team NJCAA All-American, signed with FSU over Kentucky. Auburn, Nebraska and Tennessee also showed interest. A 2004 graduate of Hartwell (GA) Hart County, Verdell was hosted on his Dec. 16-18 official visit to Tallahassee by linebacker Jae Thaxton, one of his former teammates at Hart County. A strong safety at Butler, Verdell is projected to play outside linebacker at FSU. In 2005, he had 75 tackles and three interceptions for a 9-2 team. He redshirted in 2004, so he has three seasons of eligibility available at FSU. Verdell runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. His main recruiter with the Seminoles is defensive ends coach Jody Allen.
FSU expected to have several other pros-pects join Boatman and Verdell as mid-January enrollees, including Butler (KS) Community College DT Paul Griffin, Colleyville (TX) Heritage QB Christian Ponder and Princeton (NJ) Hun DB Myron Rolle.
There is a separate signing period (Dec. 21-Jan. 15 this time) each year for junior college prospects who plan to enroll for the spring semester. Most jucos who plan the more common summer or fall enrollments will sign on Feb. 1, along with the other members of the Class of 2006. High school prospects who enroll in January make their decisions official in the eyes of the NCAA upon the act of enrollment. Prep seniors who are planning the more traditional summer or fall enrollments cannot make their decisions official until the national signing period (Feb. 1-April 1 this time), when they fax or mail signed letters of intent to their schools of choice.
Cincinnati (OH) Princeton OL Aaron Brown, rated one of the top 25 offensive linemen in the nation, committed to Virginia Tech in November and planned to enroll in mid-January. He visited all four of his other finalists (Auburn, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue), and he also had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida, Indiana, LSU, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Tennessee and West Virginia. As a sophomore and junior, he played at Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods. Brown, whose father (George) is a personal trainer, benches 330 pounds, squats 510 and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He has a 3.4 GPA and a 950 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Hokies is offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.
Among the previously reported ACC commitments who announced plans to enroll at their schools of choice in January are Fork Union (VA) Military DB Dwight Fluker-Berry (North Carolina), Princeton (NJ) Hun TE/DE Richard Gordon (Miami), Coral Springs (FL) High WR Kendrick Johnson (Clemson), Northport (AL) American Christian WR Jeff Ogren (Clemson) and Coffeyville (KS) Community College DB Chris Russell (Clemson). Fluker-Berry and Gordon were members of the Class of 2005 who failed to qualify academically in time for enrollment last August.
OTHERS SELECT ACC PROGRAMS
Below are information capsules on other previously unreported ACC commitments who announced their decisions in December or early January.
Memphis (TN) Melrose RB Graig Cooper, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Tennessee, committed to Miami over Mississippi, Oklahoma State and Tennessee. He also had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, Memphis, Nebraska, UNC and Vanderbilt, among others. Former Melrose star Carlos Armour is a redshirt freshman defensive back for the Hurricanes. As a senior, Cooper rushed for 2,084 yards and 28 touchdowns for a 13-2 state runner-up team, earning Class 4A Mr. Football honors. As a junior, he rushed 229 times for 1,981 yards and 20 touchdowns for a 14-1 team, earning first-team all-state honors and finishing second in the Mr. Football voting. As a sophomore, he played at Midwest City (OK) Carl Albert, but his family chose to return to Tennessee in the summer of 2004 in part because his high school coach in Oklahoma wanted him to play cornerback (rather than tailback) as a junior. Cooper, who attended the Nike Camp at Miami last summer, benches 280 pounds, squats 405 and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He has a 2.8 GPA and a 16 ACT score. His main recruiter with the Hurricanes is defensive backs coach Tim Walton.
Miami (FL) South Miami OL Brandon Davis, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Florida, picked FSU over Kentucky. Auburn, N.C. State and Rutgers also showed interest. A two-year starter with experience at tackle, guard and center, Davis didn't allow a sack over the past two seasons. He recently improved his stock at the Dec. 31 CaliFlorida Bowl, an all-star game that matches seniors from California and Florida. Projected as a center, Davis runs the 40 in 5.2 seconds. He has a 2.7 GPA but still needs a qualifying ACT or SAT score. His main recruiter with the Seminoles is linebackers coach Kevin Steele.
Dade City (FL) Pasco WR Darrell Davis, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Florida, opted for N.C. State over Central Florida and South Florida. He also had offers from Mississippi and Pittsburgh, plus interest from Florida, FSU, Louisville, Miami, Michigan State, UNC and South Carolina. As a senior, Davis had 45 catches for 945 yards and eight touchdowns as a wideout, plus 54 tackles and six interceptions as a linebacker for a 2-8 team. As a junior, he had 30 receptions for 650 yards and eight TDs, plus 45 tackles and an interception. Also an outstanding basketball player, with an average of about 30 points per game so far as a senior, Davis had an offer from Charleston Southern to play both sports. He benches 230 pounds, squats 465 and runs the 40 in 4.55 seconds. He has a 2.5 GPA and a 19 ACT score. His main recruiter with the Wolfpack is wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon.
Bushnell (FL) South Sumter WR/DB Carlos Everett, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Florida, selected N.C. State over interest from Florida. The younger brother of Florida linebacker Earl Everett, Carlos also received interest from FSU, Iowa State, Miami, Mississippi, South Florida and West Virginia. As a senior, Everett had 66 receptions for 1,280 yards, 33 rushes for 247 yards, and 19 touchdowns. He also played in the North-South and CaliFlorida all-star games. As a junior, he had 583 receiving yards, 427 rushing yards and eight TDs. He runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. He must improve his academic credentials to qualify. His main recruiter with the Wolfpack is wide receivers coach Dwayne Dixon.
Alpharetta (GA) Milton DT Brandon Harper, rated one of the top 150 seniors in Georgia, opted for Duke over Vanderbilt. He also had offers from Air Force, Furman, Richmond and Villanova. Harper, who has played organized football for only two years, once lived in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A two-way lineman, he was an all-region selection as a senior for a 3-7 team at the Class 5A level, Georgia's highest. He had 50 tackles and two sacks last fall. Projected as a defensive tackle in college, he benches 400 pounds, squats 500 and runs the 40 in 5.2 seconds. His main recruiter with the Blue Devils is offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.
Austin (TX) Bowie P Kevin Jones, rated one of the top 250 seniors in Texas, selected Duke over interest from Akron, Baylor and Louisville. A three-time all-district choice, he averaged 39.1 yards per punt as a senior. Jones benches 210 pounds, squats 260 and runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds. He has a 3.5 GPA and a 1,000-plus SAT score. His main recruiter with the Blue Devils is co-defensive coordinator Scott Brown.
Arlington (TX) Grace DE Wesley Oglesby, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Texas, chose Duke over Baylor, Oklahoma State (alma mater of both parents), Texas Christian and Texas Tech. He also had offers from Arkansas, Colorado State, Kansas, Kansas State and Utah, plus interest from Arizona, California and Stanford. Miami wideout Lance Leggett also is a product of Grace Prep Academy. As a senior, Oglesby had 76 tackles (28 for loss) and 11 sacks for a 12-2 team that won the private-school Class 5A state championship. As a junior, he had 88 tackles (20 for loss) and 10 sacks for a 9-4 team. He benches 300 pounds, squats 400 and runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds. He has a 3.5 GPA, a 1,050 SAT score and a 22 ACT score. His main recruiter with the Blue Devils is co-defensive coordinator Scott Brown.
Lake City (FL) Columbia South DT Teddy Tomlin, rated one of the top 250 seniors in Florida, picked Wake Forest over Central Florida. He also had offers from several Division I-AA programs. A three-year starter who has played mostly offensive guard and defensive tackle, Tomlin was the only sophomore in the starting lineup for a 12-2 team in 2003. Columbia South finished 7-3 and 5-5 over the last two seasons. Tomlin's main recruiter with the Demon Deacons is tight ends coach Tom Elrod.
McDonough (GA) Eagle's Landing RB/DB Marcus Williams, rated one of the top 75 seniors in Georgia, chose Wake Forest over South Florida. He also had offers from Alabama-Birmingham, Central Florida, Memphis, Southern Miss and Tulane. As a senior quarterback, Williams rushed 124 times for 1,267 yards and 20 touchdowns, and he passed for 867 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions, earning Class 4A honorable mention all-state honors. He also had 63 tackles and two interceptions as a cornerback and safety for a 6-4 team. In his four seasons at Eagle's Landing, Williams accounted for a school-record 7,168 total yards. Projected as a tailback or cornerback at Wake, he benches 265 pounds, squats 415 and runs the 40 in 4.55 seconds. His main recruiters with the Demon Deacons are defensive coordinator Dean Hood and running backs coach Billy Mitchell.
2005-06 ACC Football Commitments