National Recruiting Outlook

The Fourth of July celebrations started early for Pittsburgh Panther fans as their team received five verbal commitments late last week. Earlier this recruiting season, the Panthers got a commitment from five-star quarterback Pat Bostick.

The most recent commitments show that Dave Wannstedt is concerned about keeping Bostick upright during his time at Pitt. Three of last week's pledges are offensive linemen and they are all rated as three-star prospects by Scout.com.

6-foot-7, 310-pound tackle prospect Dan Matha is the most highly touted of the commitments. Matha, from Erie, PA, picked Pitt over West Virginia. He was also had offers from Maryland and Connecticut and had generated interest from several other major programs. This past season, Matha was named first team Class AAAA All-State by both the Associated Press and PA Football News.

Pennsburg, PA prospect John Fieger recently visited the Pittsburgh campus and became sold on the program. The Pittsburgh coaches believe that Fieger will easily be able to add at least 30 pounds to his 6-foot-5, 285-pound frame. This size, coupled with his long arms and quick feet, makes him ideal offensive tackle candidate. Fieger had camped at UConn and Rutgers and also had offers from Akron and Temple.

Greg Gaskins attended Pitt's camp two weeks ago and received a scholarship offer after his impressive performance. Last Friday, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound York, PA native accepted the offer, becoming Pittsburgh's ninth commitment this year. Gaskins has played all of the offensive line positions at William Penn Senior High School but he is slotted as an interior lineman by the Panther staff. He selected Pitt over Maryland, which was only other offer.

Pitt's other two commitments came from Lantana, FL tight end Nick Krupa and three-star defensive end Myles Caragein of Pittsburgh. Caragein is a classmate of four-star offensive lineman Chris Jacobson at Keystone Oaks High School. Jacobson committed to Pittsburgh back in February.

Last season, Greg Schiano took Rutgers to its first bowl game since 1978 and just its second in school history. He now looks to turn that on-field success into recruiting success and this week he tapped into the contacts that he developed as an assistant coach at Miami to snag three recruits from the state of Florida.

Coming into this spring, the name Edwin Alvarez was not well-known. That all changed after the 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive tackle shined at the MSL combine in Miami. That spurred offers from several top schools, including Florida, Florida State, and Oklahoma. But this week, Alvarez picked Rutgers. He camped in New Brunswick in June and developed a strong relationship with the coaches and players, two of which (wide receivers Willie Foster and Marcus Daniels) went to the same Miami Senior High School that Alvarez currently attends.

Tight ends Fabian Ruiz of Miami and Justin Francis of Miramar were the other two Rutgers commitments. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Ruiz had offers from Akron, Ohio and Western Michigan. Francis is 6-foot-4, 245-pounds and could play defensive end as well as tight end. His top offers were from Alabama, Auburn and Pitt.

Arizona State picked a couple of highly regarded wide receivers this week in four-star prospect Kerry Taylor and three-star prospect T.J. Simpson. Taylor is a precise route runner with good speed and can catch the ball in traffic. He had been receiving heavy interest recently from USC and had offers from Oregon State, Washington State and California. The Chandler, AZ resident is the son of former NFL player Keith Taylor and nephew of former 49er receiver John Taylor. Simpson had offers from Oregon and Oregon State but in the end he decided that he wanted to remain close to his Peoria, AZ home.

Another recruit that chose his home-state school this past week was Portland, OR defensive tackle Myles Wade as he selected the Oregon Ducks. Wade is a four-star prospect and is rated as the No. 9 defensive tackle by Scout.com. The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Wade had attended several camps on the West Coast and when he chose not to attend USC's camp, it was apparent that his decision process was nearing its end. Wade also had offers from Oregon State, Houston and Colorado.

When four-star defensive tackle Nick Jenkins visited the University of Virginia in April, he knew that he wanted to be a Cavalier. But he held off on his commitment in order to give some other major programs a chance to change his mind. They did not and last Friday the 6-foot-3, 310-pounder from Wheaton, MD gave his commitment to Al Groh and his staff. Jenkins told HooNation.com that he felt very comfortable at UVA and saw an opportunity for early playing time. Some of the other schools that tried to pull Jenkins away from Virginia were Tennessee, Florida, Michigan and Maryland.

Last Tuesday, Hoover, AL three-star offensive lineman Patrick Crump committed to Alabama. Two days later, four-star line mate Ryan Pugh went with the enemy when he selected the Auburn Tigers. Both of Pugh's parents graduated from Auburn, so Alabama was never a consideration. But choosing Auburn was not the foregone conclusion that many had believed. He visited LSU, Clemson and Tennessee before choosing Auburn. Pugh has played all the offensive line positions at Hoover High School and his versatility may give him an opportunity for early playing time.

A few other players that made their decisions this week include Adrian, MI three-star wide receiver Steven Threet to Georgia Tech; Redlands, CA quarterback Ronnie Fouch to Washington; Freehold, N.J. offensive lineman Joe Faiella to Maryland; and Wadesboro, N.C. wide receiver Michael Bowman to South Carolina.

Lastly, USC commit Broderick Green seems to have re-opened his recruitment. The five-star running back visited Oklahoma State last weekend and now states that he intends to take all five of his allotted official visits. Arkansas, Penn State, Georgia Tech and Tennessee are some of the other schools that he is interested in along with USC and Oklahoma State.


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