The Scout Team: Interesting Storylines

The national recruiting analysts talk about some of the more interesting storylines from their regions...

The five national recruiting analysts answered questions about the 2011 season in a feature called "The Scout Team". Each day this week, we'll  look at the topics on hand. The national analysts include Chad Simmons (South), Allen Trieu (Midwest), Greg Powers (Midlands), Bob Lichtenfels (East) and Brandon Huffman (West).

  1. The season is always ripe with bizarre stories, transfers and much more.  What has been the most intriguing storyline so far in your region?

Chad Simmons
Chad Simmons (South): Derrick Raymond is playing again after sitting out two years due to transfer years. Not many knew just how good he was because he had not been on the field since his freshman season. LSU knows what they are doing because they found him in the spring, offered him, and got him on their commitment list late in May. After seeing his senior film for the first time, I had to move him up to the Scout300 in the rankings.

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Bob Lichtenfels
Bob Lichtenfels (East): Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny junior quarterback Mack Leftwich is at his third high school since his freshman year. He has been at Denton (Texas), Tulsa Union (Oklahoma), before settling in this season with the Tigers. His father Spencer Leftwich is an offensive line coach and he has been employed by North Texas, Tulsa and now Pittsburgh. Mack was a back-up quarterback and this year he earned the starting job at North Allegheny and he has been valuable in helping lead the Tigers to a (5-0) record and the No. 1 ranking in the state in Class AAAA. Leftwich has completed 53 of 89 passes for 899 yards and 7 touchdowns in a run-oriented offense.

Washington (D.C.) Dunbar offensive tackle Derwin Gray is widely considered one of the best line prospects to come out of D.C. in quite some time. After playing in the season opener it was learned that he and a few other players were academically ineligible. He could miss the rest of the season or the majority of it. His head coach was let go for having pior knowledge of the ineligibility and playing those players anyway.

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Greg Powers
Greg Powers (Midlands): Justin Thomas, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound three-star cornerback showed he was one of the best corners in the state at the Texas State 7v7 in College Station, where numerous national level scouts looked on. But just before he took the field as a senior the UIL ruled that he was too old to play against high school competition (turned 19 before Sept. 1). This is something that happens to a player in the region every year, but the shocking part of this story is that Thomas claims he never knew he was that old and school officials verified his shock when they had to tell him. "I believe he really did think he was (18)," said WO-S head coach Cornel Thompson to the Beaumont Enterprise when the story was released. His mother could not or would not supply the school with any original birth documents to prove that Thomas was born in 1992 and not 1991.

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Allen Trieu
Allen Trieu (Midwest): There have been several high profile commitments rumored to be looking elsewhere. Se'Von Pittman, a Michigan State commitment, visited Ohio State. Ohio State commitment Brionte Dunn visited Penn State and has also considered Michigan. Both did reaffirm their original commitments, but we hear rumors almost daily about others, and we would not be surprised in the least bit to see a couple of big named Midwest kids already committed to BCS schools to switch commitments later in the year.

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Brandon Huffman
Brandon Huffman (West): Much was expected from five-star cornerback Tee Shepard, after he had an excellent spring and summer, namely at the Stanford NFTC, The Opening and Gridiron Kings.  He was all set to anchor a stout Fresno (Calif.) Central secondary, that featured three other prospects with FBS offers, including two members of the 2013 Scout 100.  But Shepard was clearly the standout.  The Notre Dame commit, though, transferred from Central to Fresno (Calif.) Washington Union, so he could graduate early and enroll at Notre Dame.  It also would have allowed him to play with his cousin, and fellow Notre Dame commitment Deontay Greenberry. But the CIF-Central Section wouldn't allow him to play so he's been sidelined for the entire season, and likely won't suit up again in a game until the Semper Fidelis All-American Game in Phoenix in January. 

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