By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
September 22, 2003 Most of the top prospects in the ACC region are giving serious consideration to playing in the conference. (See chart on left.) Here are some prep All-Americans from other parts of the country who listed at least one league school in their most recent top five: Reading (PA) High LB James Bryant, rated one of the top 25 linebackers in the nation, said Pittsburgh leads Maryland, Miami (no offer), Michigan and Virginia. As a junior, he had 132 tackles and eight sacks on defense and rushed for 984 yards on offense. His brother Sam is a defensive back for the Panthers, and the Pitt campus is about four hours from his home. James has a 2.6 GPA and an 1,100 SAT score. Concord (CA) De La Salle WR Cameron Colvin, rated one of the top 10 receivers in the nation, said his top five consists of Florida State, Miami, Michigan (Sept. 12-14 official visit), Southern Cal and Oregon. The Seminoles have four prominent California products on their 2003 roster: redshirt freshman tailback Lorenzo Booker, junior nose guard Travis Johnson, junior quarterback Chris Rix and junior wideout Dominic Robinson. The Hurricanes also have four: sophomore offensive lineman Robert Bergman, junior tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., true freshman quarterback Kyle Wright and senior linebacker D.J. Williams, who also attended De La Salle. Colvin must improve his academic credentials to qualify. Toledo (OH) Rogers WR Fred Davis, rated one of the top 10 receivers in the nation, said his top four consists of Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Southern Cal. He also has offers from Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Syracuse, Tennessee and Texas. As a junior, playing mostly tailback, he rushed for 1,090 yards and 26 touchdowns and had 35 receptions for 610 yards. He must improve his academic credentials to qualify. Martinville (LA) High WR Early Doucet, rated the No. 1 skill athlete in the nation by SuperPrep, said his top five consists of FSU, LSU, Miami, Michigan (Sept. 12-14) and Oklahoma. A multi-threat quarterback in high school, he's projected as a receiver by most colleges. The Seminoles have just one Louisiana product on their current roster, junior tight end Paul Irons, but they historically have recruited the state well. (See Warrick Dunn and Travis Minor, etc.) The Hurricanes have three: junior quarterback Brock Berlin, true freshman athlete Vegas Franklin and sophomore wideout Akieem Jolla. Doucet has a 3.3 GPA and an 18 ACT score. Elizabeth (NJ) High OL/DT Carlos Feliciano, rated one of the top 25 offensive linemen in the nation, said Maryland and Virginia lead Boston College, Iowa, Ohio State and Pittsburgh. He also has offers from Clemson, Connecticut, Indiana, UNC, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The Terps are recruiting him as a defensive tackle, while the Cavaliers are recruiting him for the offensive line. He has a 2.5 GPA and an 890 SAT score.
Kansas City (MO) Park Hill South OL Brett Gallimore, rated one of the top 25 offensive linemen in the nation, said his top six consists of FSU, Iowa, Michigan (Sept. 12-14), Nebraska, Ohio State (Sept. 5-7) and Purdue. The Seminoles have signed only one prospect from Missouri in the last 20 years, and that player (Alvin Morrow) never played a down in Tallahassee. Gallimore has a 2.8 GPA and a 17 ACT score. Millville (NJ) High DT/DE Dwayne Hendricks, rated one of the top 25 defensive linemen in the nation, said Iowa (Dec. 12-14), Miami and Michigan (Oct. 24-26) lead Florida, Georgia Tech, UNC, NCSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and Virginia. He recently took an unofficial visit to Miami and plans an official trip to the Hurricanes in January. He has a 3.2 GPA and a 900 SAT score. Los Angeles (CA) Fremont OL/DT Thomas Herring, rated one of the top 10 offensive and/or defensive linemen in the nation, said Miami and Southern Cal lead FSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. He said he hopes to make a decision after taking official visits to his five out-of-town favorites. Although he checks in at 6-7 and 295 pounds, some schools think he's quick enough (4.8 40) to play defensive end or even tight end in college and beyond. He has a 3.5 GPA and an 820 SAT score. Long Beach (CA) Poly WR Derrick Jones, rated one of the top 10 wideouts in the nation, said his top five consists of FSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Oregon and Southern Cal. Several of his former high school teammates play for the Trojans. As a junior, Jones had 37 receptions for 1,476 yards and 20 touchdowns. He runs the 100 meters in 10.53 seconds. He must improve his academic credentials to qualify. Norwich (CT) Free DB J.J. Justice, rated one of the top 25 defensive backs in the nation, said Boston College (Sept. 19-21), Maryland and Penn State (Sept. 26-28) lead Notre Dame, Purdue, Syracuse and Virginia. Also a quarterback in high school, he's projected as a defensive back by most colleges. He said he particularly likes the criminal justice program and the possibility of earning early playing time (at safety) in College Park. He has a 2.5 GPA and a 990 SAT score. Arlington (TX) Grace WR Lance Leggett, rated one of the top 10 receivers in the nation, said Florida (Sept. 12-14) and Miami (Sept. 5-7) lead FSU (possibly Oct. 10-12), Oklahoma (Aug. 29-31) and Texas. The Seminoles have five scholarship players from Texas: senior cornerback Rufus Brown, senior defensive end Kevin Emanuel, junior guard Bobby Meeks, junior safety B.J. Ward and junior tackle Ray Willis. The Hurricanes have six: junior tight end Kevin Everett, sophomore safety Marcus Maxey, junior defensive end John Square, sophomore guard Tony Tella, sophomore tackle Eric Winston and junior defensive end Alton Wright. Erie (PA) McDowell OL Kyle Mitchum, rated one of the top 25 offensive linemen in the nation, said Iowa, Miami and Ohio State lead Michigan, UNC, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. He took unofficial visits to see the Tar Heels and Cavaliers, among others, during the summer. He benches 325 pounds, squats 425 and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He has a 2.7 GPA and is awaiting his latest ACT score. Beaver (PA) High TE Rory Nicol, rated one of the top 10 tight ends in the nation, said Penn State and Pittsburgh lead Boston College, FSU, Georgia Tech, UNC, Ohio State, Tennessee and Virginia. He didn't have big statistics as a junior, serving mainly as a blocker for a run-oriented team, but he runs the high hurdles in track in 15.8 seconds and bench presses 300 pounds. His sister is a freshman at Pitt this fall. Rory has a 3.4 GPA and a 1,020 SAT score. Palestine (TX) High RB Adrian Peterson, rated the No. 1 running back in the nation by several recruiting services, said Texas leads Miami, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA. He has more than 50 scholarship offers and has taken one or more unofficial visits to each of his five favorites. As a junior, he rushed for 2,058 yards and 23 touchdowns. He runs the 100 meters in 10.4 seconds and bench presses 300 pounds. He must improve his academic credentials to qualify. Little Rock (AR) Pulaski LB Matt Stoltz, rated one of the top 25 linebackers in the nation, said his top four consists of LSU, Nebraska, Tennessee and Virginia. He also has offers from Iowa, UNC, Oklahoma State, Tulane and Vanderbilt. His brother Luke attends Arkansas, which is Matt's childhood favorite, but the Razorbacks have not shown as much interest as the others to this point. Matt said Virginia is recruiting him the hardest, sending about eight letters a day and calling him as often as allowed under NCAA rules. He has a 3.7 GPA and a 23 ACT score. Ramsey (NJ) Bosco LB Brian Toal, rated one of the top 25 linebackers in the nation, said his top five consists of Boston College, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State and Virginia Tech. He also has offers from Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. His brother Greg Jr., a senior, is the starting fullback at Boston College. His father and coach, Greg Sr., played fullback at Virginia Tech. As a junior, Brian rushed for 1,275 yards and 22 touchdowns on offense and compiled 112 tackles and 13 sacks on defense. He has a 2.9 GPA and a 960 SAT score. Prospects Select ACC Programs McDonough (GA) Henry County QB Michael Rozier, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Georgia, committed to North Carolina over interest from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State. He also had numerous scholarship offers for baseball, including one from Clemson. A four-year starter on the gridiron, he completed 117 of 181 passing attempts for 1,184 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, earning all-region honors for an 0-10 team. A left-handed pitcher (with a 90 miles per hour fastball) on the diamond, he's projected as a high-round selection in next spring's amateur draft. He said he'll attend college and play both sports unless he's a first-round pick. He benches 235 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.1 seconds. He has a 3.3 GPA and a qualifying SAT score. There were a lot of schools that were going to offer (in football) if he was willing to give up baseball, said Mike Rozier, Michael's father and the head coach at Henry County. North Carolina was willing to let him play both, and we're very excited about it. He took an unofficial visit up there, and he was very impressed with (baseball coach) Mike Fox and (football coach) John Bunting. He'll be permitted to miss spring (football) practice on the days he's pitching. When we looked at both programs, along with the facilities and the academics, it was the perfect fit. The ACC picked up its first Class of 2005 commitment when Ashburn (VA) Stone Bridge TE/DE Ed Wang pledged to Virginia Tech over interest from Virginia. A 6-4, 260-pound high school junior and long-time fan of the Hokies, he became the earliest known commitment in Tech history by announcing about 17 months before he can sign a binding letter of intent. Playing on a 10-2 team last fall, he had eight receptions for 112 yards as a tight end. Wang, 16, is the son of Chinese Olympians. He benches 330 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds. He has a 3.3 GPA. Talented Targets Head Elsewhere Clifton (VA) Centreville RB Daniel Bailey, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Virginia, committed to Syracuse over Clemson, Marshall and Penn State. He also had offers from Akron, Connecticut, East Carolina, Kansas State, Ohio and Wake Forest. He said he wanted to commit early just in case he suffered an injury this fall, then he tore his ACL during a game in early September. Morristown (NJ) Delbarton LB Abdel Banda, rated one of the top 25 seniors in New Jersey, selected Notre Dame over Georgia Tech, Purdue and Wake Forest. He also had offers from Indiana and Iowa. Grossmont (CA) Community College DB Maurice London, originally from Fairburn (GA) Creekside, selected Arizona State over an offer from Temple and interest from Kansas State, Marshall and UNC. Fort Payne (AL) High WR/DB Aaron McDaniel, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Alabama, opted for Alabama over Clemson. Auburn, Louisville and Southern Miss also showed interest. Fairburn (GA) Landmark Christian QB Alex Mortensen, rated one of the top 50 seniors in Georgia, picked Arkansas over Auburn, LSU, UNC and NCSU. Arizona State, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisville, Maryland and Virginia also showed interest. Alex is the son of ESPN pro football analyst Chris Mortensen.