National Outlook

Perhaps the only thing hotter than the eastern weather this summer has been the recruiting efforts of Virginia Tech. The Hokies entered last month with just two commitments, but they now have 23 players in the fold for the class of 2007. Eleven of these commitments came during a very busy final week of July.

One of the headliners is Davon Morgan of Richmond, Va. The 6-foot-0, 186-pound Morgan played both quarterback and safety last season for Varina high school. He threw for over 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns while also intercepting nine passes on the other side of the ball. Morgan is a four-star prospect rated as the nation's No. 15 safety by and that is the position that he will play for Tech . His other finalists were Tennessee and Michigan.

Barquell Rivers became the third player from Anson High School in Wadesboro, N.C. to commit to a Division 1A program this year when he selected Virginia Tech last week. Earlier in the year, star offensive lineman Trinton Sturdivant committed to Georgia and athlete Michael Bowman chose South Carolina. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound linebacker made 130 tackles last season in winning his conference's defensive most valuable player. Fifteen schools had offered the three star prospect, including Clemson, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Midlothian, Va. native Khalil Latif grew up a Virginia Tech fan and when it was time to make his college decision, he went with his heart and picked the Hokies despite offers from many top programs. Though he has played offensive tackle for Manchester High School, the 6-foot-2, 276-pounder will be an offensive guard in Blacksburg. Latif chose Virginia Tech over Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Ohio State.

Another offensive lineman that will be a Hokie next season is Jaymes Brooks of Newport News, Va. Like Latif, Brooks projects as a guard at the next level. The 6-foot-3, 296-pound Brooks was named second team all-district last fall and was also the Virginia state indoor shot put champ in 2005. Florida was the runner-up for his services and he also had offers from Maryland, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

A few players with varying degrees of interest in Notre Dame selected other schools over the past two weeks. The most notable was, of course, four-star offensive lineman James Wilson.'s No. 12 offensive lineman selected USC instead of the Irish on August 1st. The St. Augustine, Fla. product had received offers from just about all of the major programs in America and in the end whittled his list down to two before choosing the Trojans.

Derek Sherrod, of Caledonia, Miss., was another offensive lineman that received an offer from Notre Dame. But the 6-foot-6, 303-pound Sherrod decided to stay at home and play with his brother Dezmond at Mississippi State. Sherrod also considered Miami, Florida, and Ole Miss.

Linebacker Casey Matthews of Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif. came to the Blue-Gold Game in April along with teammate Jimmy Clausen. At that time, Irish coaches were in the process of evaluating whether to offer Matthews a scholarship. When the offer never came, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker looked elsewhere and last week he committed to Oregon. Matthews is the son of former Cleveland Browns All-Pro Clay Matthews. Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Arizona State were some of the other schools that Matthews considered.

A similar story is that of Massillon, Ohio's Andrew Dailey, who two weeks ago committed to Penn State. Despite being's No. 17 linebacker, and possessing offers from Florida and Nebraska as well as Penn State, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Dailey attended Notre Dame's one-day camp on June 3 in the hopes of earning a scholarship offer. But the offer did not come, so Dailey will be a Nittany Lion in the fall of 2007. Dailey has played safety in high school and will have to develop the strength necessary to play linebacker in college.

Dave Molk is a teammate of Notre Dame commit Aaron Nagel at Lemont Township high school in Lemont, Ill. Like Dailey, Molk went to Notre Dame's one-day camp. Also like Dailey, he did not receive an offer. A couple of weeks later he received an offer from Michigan after attending their camp and last week he accepted. At 6-foot-1, 270-pounds, Molk is earmarked for the center position at Michigan. He picked the Wolverines over Iowa, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Cornerback always seems to be a position of need for Notre Dame and this year Dionte Allen from Orchard Lake, Mich. was one of their earliest offers. Allen had always been a Florida State fan and after recently visiting the Tallahassee campus he knew that he wanted to be a Seminole. Allen is rated as the No. 13 cornerback prospect by and was named first team all-state in 2005 after making 51 tackles and picking off five passes. He also looked at Miami, Ohio State, and Michigan.

Allen's teammate at St. Mary Preparatory School, wide receiver Taurian Washington, committed to Ohio State this week according to his coach, George Porritt. Washington's father, however, told tat he would not comment on any commitment until Taurian makes his choice known publicly, which will occur sometime before his season starts on August 26. Washington also has offers from Michigan and Wisconsin.

Finally, one five-star player made his college choice known last week.'s No. 5 wide receiver prospect, Lansford Watson, committed to Maryland on August 1. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Watson used his great size and leaping ability to grab 53 passes, 11 of which went for touchdowns, last fall. The Brooklyn native was a national recruit and chose the Terrapins over North Carolina and Southern California. Top Stories