By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
October 6, 2003 The pace of football commitments to ACC schools slowed to a trickle in the month of September. Of course, there was no reason to panic. September is a slow month on the football recruiting trail every year, in every part of the country, and with every conference in America. Most high school football prospects who are accomplished enough to receive Division I-A scholarship offers prior to their senior year fall into one of three categories. Group one: These kids want to get their decisions over with early, so they can enjoy their final prep season without the additional pressures and never-ending phone calls of the recruiting process. They often target a handful of schools, including their childhood favorites, and take unofficial visits to their campuses and/or attend their camps during the summer after their junior year. The goal is to make a final decision before classes resume, and almost all of these players make their announcements before the end of August. Group two: These kids generally have a difficult-to-crack short list going into their senior year but feel they need more time to make an educated decision. They study depth charts. They watch games on TV. They talk with coaches. They line up and take official and unofficial visits during the season. These players usually announce their decisions in October or November. Group three: Most of these kids know all along that their decisions will go down to the wire. Some aren't certain of their unconditional scholarship offers until after the fall semester, or even later, because of academic concerns. Some hope to improve their list of offers by having a break-out senior season. Some identify their favorites early but don't want to interrupt their final prep campaign with official visits, so they schedule them for December, January and/or February instead. Others simply enjoy the recruiting process and the drama of making their decisions on or close to signing day. These players usually announce their decisions in December, January or February. See how the football recruiting calendar works? There's a lull in the action in every sport, and in this case it usually comes in September. Prospects Select ACC Programs The following prospects announced previously unreported pledges to ACC schools in recent weeks: Wilmington (NC) Laney LB Mike Causey, rated one of the top 50 seniors in North Carolina, committed to Wake Forest (only I-A offer) over interest from Duke and East Carolina. A starter at inside linebacker, he also punts, kicks and occasionally plays receiver or running back on offense. Regional power Laney has numerous former players on ACC rosters this fall, including sophomore safety Willie Davis (Virginia), walk-on freshman linebacker Christopher Lee (Wake Forest), junior tight end R.D. Montgomery (Wake Forest), sophomore nose tackle Cori Stukes (Wake Forest) and freshman safety Rashaad Tindall (UNC). A three-sport star, Causey won the 189-pound state championship in wrestling last year and is considered a professional baseball prospect as an outfielder and first baseman. If he doesn't sign a pro baseball contract next summer, he plans to play baseball and football for the Demon Deacons. Chamblee (GA) Charter LB Travis Chambers, rated one of the top 75 seniors in Georgia, picked Georgia Tech over LSU. He also had offers from BYU, Duke and Wake Forest. Chambers, who grew up in Atlanta, said he found everything he needed at the Division I-A school closest to his home, where he wanted to play in part because his father doesn't like to travel by plane. As a junior, he had 117 tackles and five sacks, earning honorable mention Class 4A all-state honors. As a sophomore, he was an honorable mention Class 3A all-state selection. He benches 350 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He has a 3.4 GPA and an 1,100 SAT score. His main recruiter with the Yellow Jackets was tight ends coach Tommie Robinson. Detroit (MI) St. Martin DePorres WR Carl Grimes, rated one of the top 25 wide receivers in the nation, announced a commitment to Florida State but later said he'll still visit other schools. (He's not listed as an FSU commitment in the accompanying chart because, in his own words, he's still considering other options.) He now lists his favorites as the Seminoles (Dec. 5 official visit), Michigan State (he previously committed to the Spartans as well) and Virginia Tech. Grimes, a
5-8, 175-pound playmaker with 4.4 speed, also has offers from Georgia Tech and Iowa. In his first four games this fall, he had 497 rushing yards, 422 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. As a junior, alternating between tailback and receiver, he had 921 rushing yards, 839 receiving yards and 15 scores. He has a 3.5 GPA and a 16 ACT score. His main recruiter with the Seminoles is running backs coach Billy Sexton. Miami (FL) Killian TE Dane Guthrie, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Florida, opted for Miami over Auburn, Boston College, Iowa and Rutgers. An honorable mention all-county selection as a junior, while playing at Miami (FL) Columbus, he had 18 receptions for 205 yards and five touchdowns. He benches 310 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds. Two of his childhood friends (from the Richmond Heights neighborhood) and Killian teammates, DB J.R. Bryant and RB Bobby Washington, committed to the Hurricanes over the summer. Guthrie's brother Sean played defensive end at Boston College and for the New York Giants. Dane has a 2.6 GPA and a 1,220 SAT score. Jonesboro (GA) High DE Darrell Robertson, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Georgia, picked Florida State over Georgia Tech and Virginia. An FSU summer camper, he also had offers from Duke, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, UNC and Stanford. He had 102 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior and 75 tackles and eight sacks as a sophomore. As the starting center on Jonesboro's Class 5A runner-up basketball team last season, he averaged eight points, 10 rebounds and two blocks per game, but he is a football-only college prospect. He benches 300 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. He has a 3.9 GPA and a 1,130 SAT score. Buford (GA) High LB/SS Zach Smith, rated one of the top 100 seniors in Georgia, opted for Duke over Furman and several other Division
I-AA scholarship offers. Air Force, Clemson, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest also showed interest. Two of Smith's teammates on the two-time defending Class 2A state champion Buford team, DE Neil Brown and prep All-American RB Darius Walker, also have offers from the Blue Devils as well as many other Division I-A programs. Two former Buford standouts, receivers Lorne Sam (a redshirt freshman) and P.K. Sam (a junior), play at Florida State. Smith's brother Tripp plays football at VMI. A life-long Duke fan, Zach plays fullback and linebacker in high school but could end up at strong safety in college, although the Blue Devils project him as a linebacker. He benches 320 pounds, squats 490 and runs the 40 in 4.45 seconds. He has a 3.7 GPA and a qualifying SAT score. Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha OL Edwin Williams, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Maryland, selected Maryland (only I-A offer) over interest from Clemson, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. He attended camp with the Terps this summer. In recent years, regional power DeMatha has sent numerous players to the Maryland program, including senior quarterback Scott McBrien (via West Virginia), senior linebacker Andrew Henley, freshman quarterback Ryan Mitch, senior safety Dennard Wilson and freshman cornerback Josh Wilson. A tackle in high school, Williams is projected as a center in college. Still only 16 years old, he was a reserve last fall but added about 40 pounds of muscle in the offseason. He benches 280 pounds and runs the 40 in 5.5 seconds. He has a 2.5 GPA and a 970 SAT score. Talented Targets Head Elsewhere Matthews (NC) Butler DB Jamar Adams, rated one of the top 10 seniors in North Carolina, committed to Michigan over UNC and Virginia. He also had offers from Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. FSU, Georgia, NCSU and Miami also showed interest. Adams said the Tar Heels and Cavaliers recruited him harder than any other programs. Pittsburgh (PA) Woodland Hills RB/DB Steffan Brinson, rated one of the top 50 seniors in Pennsylvania, opted for Pittsburgh over Cincinnati, Connecticut and Syracuse. Maryland, UNC, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia also showed interest. Jamesville (NY) High OL Corey Chavers, rated one of the top 25 seniors in New York, picked Syracuse over Duke, Rutgers and Toledo. Brewton (AL) Miller TE Trent Davidson, rated one of the top 25 seniors in Alabama, opted for Alabama over Auburn, Florida and FSU. He also had offers from Clemson, Louisville, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Southern Miss. Huber Heights (OH) Wayne LB Marcus Freeman, rated one of the top 25 linebackers in the nation, picked Ohio State over Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. He also had offers from Boston College, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest. Fort Scott (KS) Community College QB Terrance Highsmith, formerly of North Carolina, committed to Iowa State. Originally from Highland Park (NJ) High, he was a very late Class of 2001 signee for the Tar Heels. He redshirted that fall, didn't play in 2002 and then was dismissed from the team after an undisclosed violation of team rules. As the starting QB for Fort Scott (3-2) this fall, Highsmith completed 28 of 64 attempts for 411 yards and five touchdowns through five games. He also punted five times for a 24.4-yard average. Oakland Park (FL) Northeast RB Dimitri Linton, rated one of the top 200 seniors in Florida, chose Rutgers over Air Force, Army, Duke and Wake Forest. He opened his senior season with a 309-yard, six-touchdown rushing performance. Lepanto (AR) East Poinsett County WR Marcus Monk, a two-sport star rated one of the top 10 seniors in Arkansas on the gridiron, chose Arkansas over Boston College and Oklahoma. He also had offers from Alabama-Birmingham, Georgia Tech, Mississippi, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford and Vanderbilt. He plans to play basketball and football for the Razorbacks. Dade City (FL) Pasco WR John Peyton, rated one of the top 75 seniors in Florida, chose Pittsburgh over Auburn, Georgia Tech, LSU and UNC. He also had offers from Central Florida, Duke, Oregon and South Florida. Canadian OL Gurminder Thind, rated one of the top 10 prospects in Canada, committed to South Carolina over Indiana and Marshall. A 6-5, 280-pounder, he was named the most valuable offensive lineman in the province of Ontario last season, while playing for a club team called the Mississauga Warriors. The Mississauga program previously has sent players to the following NCAA Division I-A programs: Akron, Boston College, Eastern Michigan, Marshall, Michigan State, Stanford and Western Michigan. Thind already has completed his high school work and plans to enroll at USC in January. Bolingbrook (IL) High LB Kyle Williams, rated one of the top 10 linebackers in the nation, committed to Iowa over Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma and UCLA. He also had offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Southern Cal, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Forestville (MD) High LB/DE Donte Woodyard, rated one of the top 10 seniors in Maryland, chose Syracuse over Boston College, Marshall, Maryland and Michigan State. He also had offers from Connecticut, Kent State, Purdue and Temple.
September Slow Time For Commitments
By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal