National Outlook

It didn't take long for USC to chart a new course after losing their two top quarterback targets for 2007 when Jimmy Clausen chose Notre Dame and Mike Paulus chose North Carolina. This past week USC received commitments from not one, but two highly-touted quarterback recruits.

Aaron Corp, of Lutheran High School in Orange, Cailf., received an offer from USC immediately after Paulus decided on the Tar Heels. After taking a couple of days to ponder the decision, Corp informed Southern Cal head coach Pete Carroll of his commitment. Corp is a threat both throwing and running, as he threw for almost 1,800 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for more than 600 yards and eight touchdowns in 2005. He chose USC over California and Arizona State.

Not long after Corp chose USC, Carroll offered quarterback Samson Szakacsy a scholarship and the lifelong Trojan fan immediately accepted the offer. Szakacsy played one game for St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, Calif. before he moved with his family to Camarillo to be closer to an ailing family member. As a result, Szakacsy wound up transferring to Camarillo High, where he completed 72.4 percent of his passes to break the county record that was set 18 years earlier. Szakacsy also had received offers from Mississippi, Stanford, Purdue, and Illinois.

Another school that played in a BCS game this year picked up a quarterback commitment this week. Bradley Starks of Orange, Va. selected West Virginia earlier this week over Temple and Iowa State. Starks is an athletic player who has been running the spread offense at Orange County High School, which should make learning Rich Rodriguez's system that much easier. With Mountaineer star signal caller Pat White having three more years of eligibility, Starks will have an opportunity to learn from one of the best spread quarterbacks in America. Starks is the second quarterback in WVU's 2007 recruiting class. Local Morgantown star Charlie Russell committed in late March.

The Iowa Hawkeyes secured commitments this week from three in-state recruits. Two of them, Cody Hundertmark and Tyler Nielsen, are teammates at Humboldt high school. Hundertmark is a 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle prospect who chose Iowa over Iowa State and Indiana. Nielsen is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker who ran a 4.5 forty-yard-dash at the recent Scout.com combine in Iowa City. Iowa State and Kansas had offered scholarships, though after his impressive showing at the combine, Kansas State, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were showing heavy interest.

The third Iowa pledge, Colin Sandeman, also had a strong showing at the same Scout.com combine. Considered the top prospect in the state of Iowa, the 6-foot-1, 188-pound wide receiver had offers from Iowa State, Kansas, and Wyoming before deciding on the Hawkeyes. Sandeman caught balls for 810 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior.

Michigan State already had commitments from two talented skill position players in running back Quincy Landingham and four-star quarterback Keith Nichol. This week they picked up a lineman to help keep defenses from getting to Landingham and Nichol. Paul Simkovich is a 6-foot-5, 285-pounder that can play either guard or tackle. Simkovich chose the Spartans over Akron and Temple.

Alabama got their first commitment of the 2007 recruiting season. Jermaine McKenzie is a wide receiver from Bradenton, Fla. that chose the Crimson Tide because of their tradition and the rapport he has with the coaching staff. This one may not be over, though. He says he is firmly committed, but he still plans to visit Auburn and Clemson. Florida State is another school that offered McKenzie a free ride.

While Clemson will look to get a visit from McKenzie, they got one this weekend defensive end Rennie Moore and it led to his commitment. The 6-foot-4, 258-pound Moore missed his junior season due to a broken tibia and fibula. That did not stop many college coaches from showing interest in him. Though Clemson plans to play the Kingsland, Ga. native on defense, several schools were pursuing him as a tight end prospect. Moore only had one other offer, but it was from Florida State.

Clemson may have gone into Georgia this to week to nab Moore, but the Georgia Bulldogs returned the favor by going into South Carolina and taking out Blythewood linebacker Charles White. Though he currently resides in the Palmetto State, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound White has lived much of his life in the state of Georgia, and when the Bulldogs offered him a scholarship, he happily accepted. White also was offered by Maryland.

The Pittsburgh Panthers were expecting to receive a commitment from Pittsburgh athlete Jared Williams this coming weekend. However, Williams could not wait that long as he committed to the Panther coaching staff on Wednesday. Georgia Tech and Iowa were two of the other schools interested in Williams.

Pitt hopes this is the start of a big recruiting week. On Friday, five-star quarterback Pat Bostick of Lancaster, Pa. is expected to announce his decision. Pittsburgh is considered a heavy favorite, with Georgia, North Carolina State, and Louisville also under consideration.


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