Recruiting Notebook: Georgia rolling; Michigan lands top LB
Georgia, Penn State, UCLA and Boise State landed standout '13 recruits in March
Michigan and Stanford gained verbal pledges from coveted linebacker prospects
ATH Anthony Averett, QB Cooper Bateman continue to attract Division-I interest
After another week of recruiting happenings, Rivals has assembled a notebook breaking down the latest developments. Here are several players, programs and trends to watch in the 2013 cycle.
ATH Anthony Averett, Woodbury, N.J.
Despite picking up offers from USF, Syracuse, West Virginia, East Carolina and Temple early in the recruiting process, Averett managed to stay out of the national limelight. No longer. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder picked up an offer from Alabama last week, a likely harbinger of major BCS attention to come. As a junior, Averett amassed 21 touchdowns and 68 defensive tackles.
QB Cooper Bateman, Salt Lake City
A four-star prospect out of Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood, Bateman has quickly become one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country. He threw for 2,484 yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior and holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Washington, among many others. One of Utah's most highly touted players in recent memory, Bateman has said that it's still too early to name definitve leaders. Quarterbacks traditionally commit early, however, and he could well follow that trend.
LB Reggie Chevis, Houston
Always known as an imposing presence in the middle at 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Chevis is quickly gaining a reputation as a premier athlete. He's starred on Houston Sharpstown's track team and the offers are starting to pile up: His double-digit list includes Baylor, LSU, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, among others. If schools are convinced that he can keep his weight down and avoid having to switch to defensive end, Chevis could be in even greater demand because of the scarcity of inside linebackers.
WR Isaiah Jones, Milton, Fla.
Jones has transformed from an under-the-radar talent to an unmistakably prized commodity within a span of just a few weeks. He's gone from no offers to five, with Auburn, Florida International, Georgia and Tennesee following behind Louisville's initial invitation. With a great combination of size, speed and athleticism, Jones is likely to draw plenty of additional top-tier attention throughout the spring and summer. Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and USF are among those keeping tabs on the 6-foot-4, 210-pound wideout.
S Darius Mosely, O'Fallon, Ill.
O'Fallon High is gaining traction as one of the more consistent talent producers in downstate Illinois, and the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Mosely is the gem of its 2013 class. He collected 50 tackles and four interceptions for last year's 10-2 squad, and is rapidly establishing himself as one of the Midwest's top prospects. Blessed with the speed and athleticism desired at cornerback, Mosely also boasts the size necessary to be effective in run support. His growing offer list includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, Northwestern, Purdue and Vanderbilt.
Northeast: Penn State
After picking up two four-star recruits at the end of February, the Nittany Lions continued their roll by adding coveted Camp Hill (Pa.) Cedar Cliff tight end Adam Breneman and Little Silver (N.J.) Red Bank Regional defensive end Garrett Sickels. That brings Penn State's early 2013 total to five (all four-star prospects), constituting an impressive, and somewhat surprising, start for a new coach in a program beset by uncertainty. Give major credit to Bill O'Brien and staff.
February was a big month for Georgia, with the Bulldogs picking up Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek cornerback Shaquille Wiggins, Wiggins (Miss.) Gulf Coast defensive tackle Chris Mayes and Visalia (Calif.) College of the Sequoias cornerback Steven Nelson. March looks equally promising. Mark Richt and Co. recently landed four-star Goose Creek (S.C.) wideout Tramel Terry, bringing the team's early verbal count to eight -- including seven players who plan to enroll early. Considering the talent of Yulee (Fla.) athlete Derrick Henry and Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County quarterback Brice Ramsey, Athens could be well-stocked for years to come.
West: UCLA and Boise State
It was a relatively quiet week out West in terms of commitments, but two teams that made a mark were UCLA and Boise State. The Bruins locked up Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita offensive lineman Erik Bunte on March 14, providing Jim Mora with his likely stalwart of the future. The 6-foot-7, 310-pounder helped pave the way for an offense that rushed for 3,608 yards and 60 touchdowns in 2011. Boise State landed unheralded quarterback Ryan Finley out of Phoenix (Ariz.) Paradise Valley. Though just a three-star talent, Finley has the makings of a potent pro-style passer, and threw for 2,908 yards and 25 touchdowns during his standout junior season.
LB Mike McCray to Michigan: The Wolverines' 14th commitment in the 2013 class was one of their biggest to date, which is saying something considering they've already secured 12 of the top 200 national prospects. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder has great size and instincts, doubling as one of the most high-motor linebackers in the 2013 class. As a junior, McCray anchored a Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) defense that allowed 17.5 points per game en route to a 15-0 record and a Division II championship.
LB Isaac Savaiinaea to Stanford: Savaiinaea recorded the best combined score out of more than 450 participants at the Nike SPARQ Combine in Honolulu, posting a 4.66 40-yard dash, a 4.14 shuttle, a 31-inch vertical leap and a 38-foot power ball throw. He'll bring that skill set to Palo Alto, as the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder committed to the Cardinal on March 14. One of the top two or three players in Hawaii this season, Savaiinaea is a huge pickup for David Shaw and Co. They continue to roll after landing last year's No. 5 class: In addition to Savaiinaea, four-stars Ryan Burns and Doug Randolph have given their verbals.
Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon's Scott Quessenberry may not have been the best offensive lineman on his team last season -- that honor went to Michigan signee Erik Magnuson -- but the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder definitely received attention. Now, Quessenberry is poised to break out as one of the top offensive guard prospects in the 2013 cycle. Nebraska and Wisconsin have emerged as favorites, but don't count out San Diego State or Michigan. He's hinted that he'd like to hear from Brady Hoke and Co. but has had limited engagement with the Wolverines to date.
Boston College became the first BCS school to offer for to Eden Prairie (Minn.) linebacker Jack Cottrell last week, but it certainly won't be last. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Cottrell appears to be just tapping into his reservoir of potential. He moves well for a big linebacker, knows how to finish tackles and plays for one of Minnesota's top prep teams and a consistent producer of Division-I talent. Look for his stock to rise when the spring evaluation period hits in mid-April and college coaches start filtering through Eden Prairie.
Delaware is not known as a recruiting hotbed, but this is shaping up to be a banner year in the Blue Hen State. While most of the early interest has gone to the prospects out of Red Lion Christian Academy -- five-star defensive end Kenny Bigelow and four-star offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers -- Wilmington (Del.) St. Elizabeth wide receiver Andre Patton has also reeled in offers from Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Boston College. At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Patton has the size and natural ability that D-I recruiters are looking for. Expect interest to accumulate as his senior season unfolds.
Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer cornerback Trevellous Cheek has been somewhat overshadowed by teammate Antonio Riles early in the 2013 recruiting process, but as Cheek demonstrated at the recent New Level Athletics 7 v. 7 near Atlanta, he has the quickness, hips and ball skills to be a dangerous D-I level defensive back. California and Kentucky recently became the first two schools to make offers, but others, including Louisville, seem ready to follow suit.
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