Rebuilding "The U" (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday May 8, 2007 6:16PM; Updated: Wednesday May 9, 2007 11:06AM
Irish heating up: Last week I wrote that the Notre Dame coaches needed to get a couple of speedy wide receivers this year because of a lack of explosiveness at the position on the current roster. While Weis & Co. are still trying to land those wideouts, they continue to load up at other positions. Last week, the Irish secured a much-needed defensive tackle in Hafis Williams from Elizabeth, N.J. ND followed that up with a commitment from Owing Mills (Md.) McDonough School standout Lane Clelland. The offensive lineman only weighs 265 pounds, but Clelland has the athletic ability to play any position along the line -- even when he adds weight.
UCLA starting strong: Karl Dorrell and his staff received 10 commitments in a six-day period in March. That group was led by Rivals100 recruits Rahim Moore, E.J. Woods and Datone Jones. After a run of four pledges in two weeks, the Bruins are up to 14 commitments. Quarterback Nick Crissman from Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison highlights the latest group. This could be the class that pushes UCLA closer to USC in the Pac-10, especially if the Bruins can land standout running back Darrell Scott.
The next JaMarcus Russell?: Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside quarterback E.J. Manuel is being compared by some to JaMarcus Russell. Manuel is 6-foot-6 with plenty of room to add weight to his 202-pound frame. He has a very strong arm, is surprisingly athletic for a bigger quarterback and could end up at LSU. Manuel, who has more than 30 offers, loved his visit to LSU last month and hopes to make a decision by the end of the summer. Florida State also has an excellent shot at Manuel because the man who coached Russell, former LSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, is now at FSU.
However, there's a quarterback out there who more closely resembles -- at least physically -- the 2007 No. 1 pick. Keep an eye on Winter Haven, Fla., signal-caller D.C. Jefferson, who also stands 6-6 and weighs 246 pounds. Not surprisingly, LSU has also offered Jefferson.