National Outlook

The top quarterbacks in the class of 2007 made their college choices early. The first to commit was Duncan, S.C. product Willy Korn, who picked Clemson in August of 2005. One by one, the others made decisions until just one of Scout.com's Top 10 signal callers remained uncommitted. This week, that player made his college destination known.

Five-star recruit Kodi Burns of Fort Smith, Ark. announced last Friday that he will enroll at Auburn next fall. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Burns is ranked as the No. 5 quarterback prospect this year by Scout.com after throwing for 20 touchdowns and running for 11 more as a junior. So far this year he has thrown 21 touchdown passes and scored 13 times rushing. He had narrowed his choices to Auburn and Arkansas. Though Burns insisted Mitch Mustain's presence at Arkansas did not factor into his decision, it certainly could not have helped.

Another five-star recruit selected a school last week and it certainly did not go the way Notre Dame fans would have liked. After having the Irish as his leader for months, Scout.com's top wide receiver prospect, Arrelious Benn out of the District of Columbia, selected Illinois at a press conference late last week. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Benn already has the size and speed needed to make an immediate impact with the Illini. He will graduate from Dunbar High School in December and enroll at Illinois in January.

Illinois added another receiver last week when it got a commitment from Harvey, Ill. native Anthony Morris. The three-star prospect grabbed 39 passes that resulted in 615 yards and eight touchdowns last season. At 6-foot-3, 200-pounds, he is like Benn in that he has good size for the receiver position. He picked Illinois over Arizona State, Iowa, and West Virginia.

Early indicators pointed to four-star wide receiver Jay Smith of Norfolk, Va. choosing Virginia Tech. The Hokies have owned the Tidewater area over the past few years and five-star quarterback Tyrod Taylor of nearby Hampton had selected Virginia Tech in July. But when the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Smith cancelled his visit to Blacksburg in late September and took multiple trips to North Carolina State instead, the writing was on the wall. This week, despite continued uncertainly over the coaching situation at N.C. State, Smith picked the Wolfpack. Clemson and Miami were also in the running to get Scout.com's No. 23 wide out.

Earlier this week, N.C. State received a commitment from 6-foot-3, 205-pound Jimmaul Simmons. Simmons is a native of Wilmington, N.C. but is currently going to Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. Though he has played safety in high school, it is believed that the Wolfpack staff sees him adding weight and becoming a weak side linebacker. His father played at Wake Forest and his uncle, Clyde, was a star with the Philadelphia Eagles.

It has been a rough few weeks for the Miami football program. First, there was the brawl with Florida International. Then there was the murder of defensive lineman Bryan Pata. Finally, the program received some much needed good news this week when three-star wide receiver Tarus McKinley of Belle Glade, Fla. committed to the Hurricanes. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound McKinley lines up at the receiver spot opposite of super prospect Deonte Thompson at Glades Central High School. McKinley averaged an impressive 27.7 yards per catch as a junior while scoring six touchdowns. Louisvile, LSU, West Virginia, and South Carolina were some of the other programs that McKinley considered and he has not ruled out the possibility of visiting some of those schools.

Back in April, Quincy Landingham of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. committed to Michigan State. But the Spartans meltdown this fall, leading to the dismissal of head coach John L. Smith, caused the 6-foot-0, 205-pound athlete to look elsewhere and this week he pledged to Wisconsin. The four-star prospect is a talented running back at Lasher High School and is also rated as the No. 24 safety in the class of 2007. He intends to enroll at Wisconsin in January.

Florida coach Urban Meyer has had great recruiting success over the past two years by landing players mostly from the southeast region. This week, he got a commitment from a west coast recruit when four-star defensive end Duke Lemmens of Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif. chose the Gators. The 6-foot-5, 238-pound pound Lemmens has started on the defensive line for Oaks Christian ever since he was a freshman and he now plays on the offensive line as well. Lemmens is the eighth member of the Oaks Christian squad to commit to a division 1A program this year. He received many scholarship offers including ones from Miami, Oregon, California, and Washington.

With Zac Taylor in his final year of eligibility, Nebraska will have a quarterback competition this spring. Zach Lee from San Francisco Community College hopes to be in the fight, as he committed to the Huskers this week. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder was a full qualifier out of high school, so he is eligible to enroll at Nebraska in January. He will take part in spring practice and have three years of eligibility remaining. He has completed 204 of 315 passes this season for 3,040 yards and 30 touchdowns. Oklahoma and Cal were two of the many schools showing interest in Lee.

Nebraska also added two other commitments during the past week. 6-foot-3, 200-pound safety Latravis Washington visited Nebraska last weekend, and though it was his first trip, he decided that he wanted to be a Cornhusker. The three-star safety from Bradenton, Fla. also plays quarterback at Bayshore High School, but there is no question that his future is on defense. He also had offers from Auburn and Illinois.

The other Nebraska commitment came from Fort Worth, Texas kicker Adi Kunalic. Kunalic had narrowed his choices to Washington State and Nebraska. When the Cornhuskers informed him that they had two offers out to kickers and they would take whichever one accepted first, Kunalic committed. Last season, Kunalic had field goals of 53 and 57 yards.


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