By Dave Glenn, ACC Sports Journal
June 2, 2003 They can't sign binding letters of intent until February 2004, but five more rising high school seniors committed to ACC football programs in recent weeks. Jamestown (NC) Ragsdale DE Brandon Drumgoole (6-5, 225), rated one of the top 50 seniors in North Carolina, chose Wake Forest over interest from Duke, ECU, UNC, NCSU and Virginia. In his first year on the varsity, he had 72 tackles and three sacks for an 11-1 team last fall as a junior. He runs the 40 in 4.9 seconds. Elkhorn (NE) High OL Jacob Lonowski (6-4, 275), rated one of the top 25 seniors in Nebraska, selected Georgia Tech over interest from Iowa State and Nebraska. He benches 300 pounds, squats 350 and runs the 40-yard dash in 5.4 seconds. Naruna (VA) Campbell RB Cedric Peerman (5-10, 195), rated one of the top 10 seniors in Virginia, opted for Virginia over interest from Clemson, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and West Virginia. A first-team Group A selection as a junior, he rushed for 2,028 yards and scored 45 TDs for a 14-0 team that won the Group A Division I state championship. He's also a four-year starter as a linebacker on defense. Jamestown (NC) Ragsdale OL Jonathan Terry (6-4, 315), rated one of the top 50 seniors in North Carolina, picked Duke over Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. He benches 420 pounds, squats 450 and runs the 40 in 5.2 seconds. Charlotte (NC) Christian DE Jeremy Thompson (6-5, 215), rated one of the top 50 seniors in North Carolina, selected Wake Forest over offers from Duke and Vanderbilt and interest from Auburn, UNC, NCSU and Virginia. He said he still may attend summer camp with the Tar Heels and/or Cavaliers.
Previously, ACC schools received very early Class of 2004 commitments from Southwest Mississippi (MS) Community College DT Cory Groover (Clemson), Northwest Mississippi (MS) Community College WR John Harris (FSU), Albemarle (NC) High PK Tyler Lewis (N.C. State), Charlottesville (VA) St. Anne's-Belfield DE Chris Long (Virginia) and Northwest Mississippi (MS) Community College DT Chris Turner (FSU). Groover, Harris and Turner originally selected their respective schools out of high school in 2002 but failed to qualify academically.
Others Announce Early Decisions
Here's a summary of the other ACC area prospects from the Class of 2004 who announced very early commitments over the last several months:
Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian DB Brett Bowers, rated one of the top 100 rising seniors in Florida, picked Oklahoma over Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech after taking unofficial visits to 12 schools. He had 85 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, seven forced fumbles and five interceptions in 2002. His mother has relatives in Oklahoma. Fort Valley (GA) Peach County QB Alonzo Bryant Jr., rated one of the top 25 prospects in Georgia, committed to Georgia over interest from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech and others. As a junior, he threw for 1,605 yards and 11 TDs. Loris (SC) High OL Jeremy Burgess, rated one of the top 25 prospects in South Carolina, chose USC over Clemson. Beaufort (SC) Battery Creek DT Dorian Capers, rated one of the top 10 prospects in South Carolina, selected USC over Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. He had 77 tackles and four sacks in 2002. Orlando (FL) Lake Highland OL Matt Clark, rated one of the top 200 seniors in Florida, selected Northwestern.
Hawkinsville (GA) High DE Charles Johnson, rated one of the top 50 prospects in Georgia, chose Georgia over an offer from Georgia Tech and interest from Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and others. He had 85 tackles, eight sacks and four interceptions last fall. Spartanburg (SC) Dorman RB/DB Kendrick Lynch, rated one of the top 10 seniors in South Carolina, opted for USC over Clemson. An all-state selection as a junior, he rushed 184 times for 1,530 yards and 16 TDs and had 21 receptions for 365 yards and five scores. Bamberg (SC) Ehrhardt DT Matt Raysor, rated one of the top 25 seniors in South Carolina, committed to USC over interest from Clemson, Georgia, Maryland and others. Gaffney (SC) High WR Sidney Rice, rated one of the top 10 prospects in South Carolina, picked USC over Tennessee. He had 38 receptions for 735 yards and 11 TDs last season.
Finally, here are some national prospects who seriously considered ACC schools before announcing early commitments elsewhere:
Aliquippa (PA) Hopewell DT Craig Bokor chose Pittsburgh over Virginia and West Virginia. Mechanicsburg (PA) Cumberland Valley OL Wyatt Bowman selected Penn State over interest from Boston College, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland and others. South Huntington (NY) St. Anthony's OL Alex Fletcher picked Stanford over Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Southern Cal and Syracuse. Maryland, Notre Dame and Penn State also showed interest. Vandergrift (PA) Kiski DB Adam Gunn opted for Pittsburgh over interest from Maryland and West Virginia. South Huntington (NY) St. Anthony's RB Matt Hahn chose Penn State over Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers.
Shenandoah ((PA) Valley OL Greg Harrison selected Penn State over Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, NCSU and Virginia. Dandridge (TN) Jefferson County RB Jeff Jennings opted for Vanderbilt over interest from Duke, UNC, Notre Dame, South Carolina and others. Thomasville (AL) High RB/DB Aaron Johns picked Alabama over interest from Georgia Tech, Louisville and Southern Miss. Vandergrift (PA) Kiski LB Scott McKillop picked Pittsburgh over interest from Maryland, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and West Virginia. White Plains (NY) High RB/DB Spencer Ridenhour selected Penn State over an offer from Maryland and interest from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Syracuse and others.
Aurora (CO) Grandview QB/DB Ryan Walters chose Colorado over interest from Arizona State, Missouri, Oregon and Virginia. Columbus (OH) Beechcroft DB Sirjo Welch committed to Ohio State over Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Mansfield (MA) High DE Jerry Willette opted for Boston College over interest from Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Syracuse.
Dave Glenn, the editor and football recruiting analyst for the ACC Area Sports Journal, has been covering football recruiting and the ACC since 1987. Be Sure To Check Out Our Galaxy of PrepStars!