National Outlook

Muskogee (Okla.) High School teammates Stacey McGee and Jameel Owens held a joint press conference this week where they both announced that they would be attending the University of Oklahoma in the fall.

McGee is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle that Scout.com gives a four-star rating and ranks as this year's No. 11 defensive tackle. He is one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the state of Oklahoma and he puts those skills to use on the gridiron, as well. This season, he had 97 tackles, eight sacks, and two interceptions, earning him a spot on the All-State team. He picked the Sooners over Texas Tech, Florida, and Tennessee.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Owens is a big receiver with plenty of speed, which is why Scout.com has him listed as the No. 15 wide receiver prospect in the class of 2008. But it was his 40 catches for more than 900 yards and 10 touchdowns that earned him a spot in the Army All American Bowl in San Antonio. Owens was also a top flight safety at Muskogee, though he will be a wide receiver from day one at Oklahoma. Owens's finalists were the same as McGee's, so it was no surprise when they selected the same school.

Up the road in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers have had trouble holding onto commitments since the termination of head coach Bill Callahan. A total of 15 players that had committed to Nebraska have switched their commitments to other schools. This week, new head coach Bo Pelini finally received some good news when a recruit re-affirmed his commitment. Four-star defensive end Josh Williams of Denton, Texas committed to Nebraska in July. But with the uncertainly surrounding the program after the departure of Callahan, he decided to look around. After visiting the campus again recently and meeting the new staff, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder knew that Nebraska was the right choice all along. Colorado and Missouri piqued his interest before he re-upped with the 'Huskers.

Many Notre Dame fans were convinced that there was just one reason for Urban Meyer's interest in Buford, Ga. linebacker to T.J. Pridemore: to get Pridemore's teammate, five-star defensive tackle Omar Hunter, to switch his commitment from Notre Dame to Florida. But at this time, while Hunter did de-commit from Notre Dame, he has not committed to Florida. On the other hand, Pridemore has. The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Pridemore had originally committed to Georgia Tech, but re-opened his commitment when head coach Chan Gailey was fired. The Gators are unsure whether Pridemore will play linebacker in college. It is possible that he could slide over to the offensive side and play either fullback or H-back.

Florida picked up three other commitments this week. Three-star offensive guard Ricky Barnum from Lake Gibson Senior High School in Lakeland, Fla. played in the recent Under Armor All-Star game and bonded with several Florida recruits. He then decided to commit to the Gators before taking his official visit to Gainesville. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder had originally planned to visit Florida on January 18th, South Florida on the 25th, and West Virginia on February 2nd, before making a decsiion on Signing Day. When Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia for Michigan, Barnum changed his February 2nd visit to Michigan. Now that is off altogether, as is the visit to USF.

Jeff Demps of Groveland, Fla. also announced for the Gators this week. At 5-foot-10, 180-pounds and blessed with incredible speed, Demps is cut from the same mold as current Gators Chris Rainey and Percy Harvin. Demps is currently ranked third in the nation in the 100 meters after posting a time of 10.25 at a track meet last year. But he is not just a track guy that plays football. In his three year career at South Lake High School, Demps amassed a total of 4,727 yards rushing to go along with 58 scores. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 36 running back in the country. It was an SEC East battle to get Demps, with Florida beating out Tennessee.

The Gators also landed 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker Lerentee McCray. The four-star prospect from Dunnellon, Fla. performed very well at the Scout.com combine last March and was selected to play in this year's Army All American Bowl. He was an early commit to Miami, but said at that time that he would visit other schools. Some of those other schools included Florida, Florida State, LSU, and Tennessee.

Pittsburgh added to its already impressive recruiting class by landing four prospects this week including four-star athlete A.J. Alexander, who had been a Florida State commit. Alexander is very similar physically to Demps. The Altoona native stands 5-foot-10, weighs 180-pounds, and runs a 4.35 forty. Though he played quarterback in high school, rushing for over 1,000 yards in both his junior and senior seasons, Alexander will be a wide receiver at the next level. After committing to the Seminoles in May, he began visiting other schools in July. He selected Pitt over FSU, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Pittsburgh also received commitments from Easton, Pa. cornerback Jarred Holley; Boca Raton, Fla. middle linebacker Joe Trebitz; and Jermyn, Pa. tight end Justin Virbitsky. Holley picked the Panthers over Iowa and Virginia, Trebitz also looked at Air Force and Florida Atlantic, while Virbitsky held offers from Duke and Buffalo.

Aggie Websider stated this week that Notre Dame target Cyrus Gray has committed to Texas A&M. But a Dallas news station says that it did not happen and the four-star running back will have a press conference in the next week or so to announce where he is going. The Aggies did receive a commitment from former Nebraska pledge Eric Harper this week. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Harper is a three-star strong side linebacker from Marrero, La.

The Washington Huskies closed their season with a loss at Hawaii. During that time, some members of the Washington staff paid a visit to Kamehameha Secondary School in Honolulu to see three-star offensive lineman Mykenna Ikehara. Little did they know that the 6-foot-3, 282-pound guard prospect was hoping for a Washington offer. During his visit to Seattle this week


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