|Guide to the symbols|
|= Interest is high or has increased||= interest is low or has decreased|
|= interest is unchanged||= no interest|
|THE SKINNY/SLANT: Husker Recruiting Tracker|
THE SKINNY: One of the better linebackers in the southeastern region this year will be Deveon Simmons. The offers he's gotten, long ago hitting double-digits, May was a time he knew that the attention would come. "Yeah, I knew there was going to be a lot of attention." Simmons stated. "It's all right, but it's just May" May it is, but it hasn't stopped Virginia, Virginia Tech and Nebraska from calling the Virginia Beach standout. As Deveon stated though, it's early and he's not in a rush. "Got a lot of time between now and even just the season." he said. "I'm just taking things as they go. Simmons said some of the teams he is looking at aside from those listed above are: Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, West Virginia and Syracuse.
THE SLANT: While
Simmons isn't saying as much, he sounds like he's wanting to stay in the south. His conversations
with DB coach, Elmassian have been pretty good, but there seems to be
a definite lingering to the mind-set of staying close to home.
THE SKINNY: Out of the Sunshine state could be a sunshine sleeper in wide receiver, Rocky Ross. At 6'3" and 190 lbs and running a recent 4.6 on the grass at his home-field, Ross has what we like to call "up-side" and a lot of it. Competing in Florida is a toughie though when it comes to finding your way into the sun, but the letters for Ross just keep on coming. As this is May, letters have now started turning into calls. Such teams showing the most interest in Ross right now are: Louisville, Central Florida, Nebraska, Clemson and Kentucky. For Ross, even being a sunshine state resident hasn't spoiled him to the world outside of the southern region. "I'll go anywhere." Ross stated. "If they have a good tradition, loyal fans that sell-out and I know I will at least have an opportunity to play early, that's all I can ask for." Of the camps that Ross said he might attend this year are ones at Maryland, Louisville and Nebraska. Ross lists no clear leader at this time.
THE SLANT: The mail is
coming steady for Ross (Nebraska arriving yesterday), but it seems the
biggest push right now
is being made from Louisville. There's a definite sense here that
Ross wouldn't mind leaving the state as he's not overly fond of
the bandwagon personality that follows fans of the Florida powerhouses. "I want to
go to a place where they sell out." he said. "At
Florida, if they are doing good, they might sell out, but if they aren't, fans
don't bother to show up. I want to go where fans are loyal to
the team no matter what happens." Ross competes in the 100 meter and was most recently
clocked at an 11.0 electronic.
|THE SKINNY: As a 6'1", 290 lbs. defensive tackle, Ekom has gotten used to
high expectations. Double-digit sacks, tackles by the bushel, Udofia's
stats illustrate why that is. If you think those are high expectations
though, they are nothing compared to those he has in trying to better his
brother and his sister.
Udofia recently scored an 1160 on his SAT. Not bad, eh? Any other player I have ever talked to would take that and run. Not Udofia. You see, he can't, because he has to at least threaten his brother's mark of 1360, but probably doesn't expect to hit his sister's mark, a 1580. That's just 20 points shy of perfect.
Both of his siblings are in college, attending the University of Stanford. So, does that mean they are "in" as they say? "No." Udofia stated. "They are up there, yeah, but I'm not ruling anyone out. I want to study every team out there, because Stanford isn't the only good school that's looking at me." He's right there as you can add the biggest names in the country to that list, including Miami, Florida State, Florida, Nebraska, Georgia, USC and so on as those that are taking a long hard look at this Arizona warrior. And, Udofia is returning the favor. "I'm going to look at every team out there." he said. "I don't really want to go where it's too hot, but if a place fits me, weather won't make a difference." Currently, Udofia lists no favorites.THE SLANT: Yeah, you guessed it. Stanford is the team to beat. Honestly, I don't see how Ekom doesn't go there, but he's a longshot for Nebraska at best in my estimation, even though he's stating that he's wide-open right now.
|THE SKINNY: On the interior of the defensive line, you are likely to only
find a handful (if that) of players that can match the sheer physicality
of this Mississippi mauler. Add to his size a 370lbs. bench and a 550lbs.
squat, Jerrell is brute force personified. That's not what he thinks makes
him good. "I'm really good with my hands." he said. "I can push guys
around, but it's about getting up-field and you just can't get tied up
with your guy too long or you are out of the play." Out of the play was
something he wasn't much of last year, tallying 14 sacks and over 50 solo
The offers are rolling in for him, Powe looking at around double-digits right now. And while it would seem that LSU is amongst his early favorites, Jerrell said that he does indeed have a leader, actually co-leaders right now. "I think right now, Auburn and Nebraska are like right there at the same level." he said.
The regular season holds for Powe many of the same goals every other player in the country has and that's to take the team as far as they can go. And, while some players are easy enough to just say that a team title is enough, leaving individual marks for icing on the cake, not Powe as he stated bluntly, "I want it all. The team stuff, the individual stuff, leave it out there for me because I want everything I can get. You have to earn that, but that's just what I plan on doing."THE SLANT: I've done enough interviews with LeKevin Smith to know, Jerrell Powe sounds just like him. Voice is fairly similar, but how they say what they do, it's almost a carbon-copy. Confident, but very funny at the same time. It really doesn't sound to me like he's any sort of lock for LSU right now. A lot of time for that to change, but he likes the chance to play early and he's very aware of the depth chart at NU.
The Skinny: Versatility, meet, Greg Boone. Oh, you've already met. Put this young man on either side of the ball and he'll tell you, that's where he wants to be. Point of fact, there's almost no instance where I talk to a recruit and he doesn't at least hint to a preference to either defense or offense. Not Boone. "I like playing where I will be able to play." he said. Ok, simple enough. Boone will have his choice it seems though as he is indeed being recruited and offered for positions ranging from QB to LB to Safety. You can add a couple of offers to Boone's most recent list as Greg jumps into double-digits with Michigan and just yesterday, the University of Connecticut.
Boone has a good perspective though, despite all the early attention. "I plan on playing this thing out, so if the offers come, they come." he said. Playing things out doesn't mean signing day necessarily, but Greg voiced his interest in taking as many visits as he could.
With this young man's versatility, it did beg the question not on what position he preferred, but which one he felt he was the best at on the field. "It's hard to say." he stated. "When you play so many positions, it's not like you have an entire career to get real good at just one thing. I'd say I do all of them well. Hard to argue with someone that can punt for an average of 40 yards, tally 40 tackles on defense, pass for almost 1,500 yards, rush for over 300 yards, score over 20 touchdowns and even kick a few balls into the end zone after those scores.
So, who's he interested in? "Right now, everyone." he said. "I'm not thinking about anyone any more than the other. I got lots of time for that."
The Slant: While some recruits might usually try to narrow their list as the attention heats up, it seems that Greg is more receptive to the idea of waiting the more offers he sees. It looks to be a long affair for him as he appears to be willing to go the length of the court for the dunk, so it's sit back and take it easy in following his recruiting.
|The Skinny: Touted as possibly one of the best players
in the country, that's any position, Phillips didn't have to wait until
May to see his share of the limelight. It's been coming fast and furious
for quite a while now. A hard-hitting safety that has the size to be
ultra-physical, ironically enough, that's not what Kenneth thinks his
greatest asset is for that position. "I can read the keys." Phillips
stated. "I can see the play and I know what's happening because I have
learned to read everything a step ahead."
That means he's able to get to the ball, but once he's there, that other side of his personality comes out. "It's lights out time." Phillips said of when he gets a real opportunity to unload on someone. "I'm hitting them, but I hope they are looking when it happens."
That aggressive, fiery personality is only a smattering of what it took to garner 50+ tackles and 7 interceptions from a spot on the field the other team's offense was trying desperately to avoid. Phillips isn't just a "ballhawk", he's a vulture as well, circling around his opponents that he leaves lying around on the field. According to Phillips, it sends a message that most will understand the first time they receive it. "You hit them hard enough, they are always looking for you the next time." he said. "Even if they are across the field, you just changed the way they play."
The way Kenneth plays has all of the Florida powerhouses already with offers on the table. So, if the ‘Noles, ‘Canes and Gators have offered him, you can bet the rest of the country isn't far behind. Believe it or not though, the whole recruiting process is something that Kenneth himself would love to leave behind him until he and his team have had a chance to repeat as state champs. "I wish there wasn't any recruiting at all right now." he said. "I wish I could just concentrate on football, play my season and after all that, then I would sit down and really look at everyone."
No such luck there and while it could be only wishful thinking to those outside of the Sunshine state, they are all wondering just what are the chances this young man finds himself going to a college outside of the Florida borders. "To tell you the truth, I grew up watching a lot of teams." he said. "Not just the Florida ones. Nebraska was on TV all the time, so I watched them and Tommie Frazier when they were winning everything. There's a lot of great teams out there, but like I said, I'm trying hard not to look right now."
Kenneth is one of those that can take his time. In fact, all the time he wants. Being one of the best players in the country gives you that luxury. And, it sounds like he'll do just that, but that's not going to stop the rest of the country from continuing to watch this ballhawk like a hawk themselves.
The Slant: When a young man that is from Florida already has offers from Florida State, Florida and Miami, the chances of them ever getting out of the state are slim and that is for ANY team. Right now with Kenneth opting to take his time and not even really evaluate other schools until he's done with his year, it's going to be hard to think otherwise at this point. Again, Kenneth did say that Nebraska appealed to him because for whatever reason, Nebraska was on TV all the time down abouts where he lives. So, that's something.