Football recruiting: Network news

A look at recent Hot News items you may have missed, covering running back Zacchaeus Brown, defensive back Eain Smith, wide receiver Taurian Washington, athlete Aaron Henry, safety Andrew Gladness and offensive lineman Jaren Tucker.

Zacchaeus Brown: Fla. RB adds big offer

Zacchaeus Brown of Royal Palm Beach (Fla.) High School added another big scholarship offer to his list this past week.

"Wisconsin sent me an offer," Brown said. "I was real happy about that. That's a big one there. I've been in touch with them a lot but didn't think they were gonna offer. All their running backs made it into the pros so they're near the top."

Brown, 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, has not been to any camps this summer and talked about his latest list of favorites.

"Wisconsin, you can add them," he said. "I also like Arkansas, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Kansas State. I don't really like one more than the other. They're all about the same."

—Mike Bakas,

Eain Smith: Florida DB now has 20 offers

Eain Smith is part of a very talented upcoming senior class at Chaminade Madonna in Hollywood, Fla. The talented safety prospect, 6-feet and 180 pounds, now claims 20 scholarship offers, including one from Wisconsin.

"The last time we talked (late May) I had around six I think," Smith said. "They started coming fast after that. I'm at 20 now. Some of the most recent ones are Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, a bunch of them."

The talented safety prospect hasn't been to any camps lately but he and a few of his Chaminade teammates are headed North next week.

"On the 15th, we'll be at Auburn's camp," he said. "It'll be me, Kamar (Aiken), Akeem (Auguste), and Xavier (Stinson). We're gonna try to represent."

As of our last update with Smith, he simply listed schools who had already offered as his group of favorites. Now with 20 offers, who's at the top?

"Honestly, I don't know," he said. "I'm still trying to check into all of my options. I don't even have a top five or anything right now."

—Mike Bakas,

Taurian Washington: Big Ten lean

Wide receiver Taurian Washington (6-0, 180, 4.5) from St. Mary Prep High School in Orchard Lake, Mich., said he has offers from Michigan, Wisconsin and Michigan State. He denies a leader, but named a top five of Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin.

"Michigan's camp was on June 20," Washington said. "I like that the coaches treat their players with respect and that Michigan has a high graduation rate. The campus was beautiful and I like how many people will fill the stadium to support the team.

"Ohio State's field was big and pretty. The coaches also treat their players well. I went to camp on June 23 and they said they were looking at offering me.

"Penn State has been having a winning program. I'm not sure if I'll be able to visit this summer though," he said.

"Georgia Tech just has a great location. I like that it's always hot there.

"Wisconsin has a good coaching staff. Wide receivers coach Henry Mason has come to my track meets a few times, and he offered me. He's the real thing — he doesn't just say what you want to hear," Washington said.

"I play basketball, track and football in high school. In track, my best 200 is 21.3. I think I'll only be playing football in college, though, and I'm not being recruited for other sports.

"I'm not sure when I'll commit. I want to take some official visits before I do. It's important to me how the coaches treat their players, and the program's academics and football team," he said.

"I go get the ball. I want to improve my speed and agility by practicing on my own with cones, and with a speed trainer."

Washington reports a 3.0 core GPA and takes his ACT in December.

—Allen Wallace,

Aaron Henry: Fla. DB likes three

Aaron Henry is one of the top cornerback prospects in the state of Florida this season and the Immokalee standout talked about the latest on the recruiting front.

"I haven't been to any camps lately but I'm trying to get up to Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp on the 21st," Henry said. "They want me to come up and do that."

Henry, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, has over a dozen scholarship offers already and mentioned three schools when asked for a list of favorites.

"I've got about 15 offers now," he said. "I don't even have a top five yet though. I'm still trying to narrow it down. I'm focusing on everyone who's offered but the ones showing me the most love are Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Tennessee. I'll probably visit those three during the season."

Henry plays on both sides of the ball and says Wisconsin and Nebraska are recruiting him as an athlete while Tennessee is recruiting him to play defense.

—Mike Bakas,

Andrew Gladness: Side trip to Blacksburg

Andrew Gladness was returning to Lackawanna Community College (Scranton, Pa.) Monday when he decided to stop by Virginia Tech for an unofficial visit. Gladness talks about his visit in Blacksburg and the quality time with coach Jim Cavanaugh.

"The visit went real good," Gladness said. "I met with Coach Jim Cavanaugh, the recruiting coordinator. I talked to coach Cavanaugh in his office for a little while. He said he was going to review my tape. He was impressed with my combine numbers. All the other coaches were gone on vacation.

"Coach Cavanaugh coached my head coach. He told me about making it to NFL. He said I would be hearing from them very soon."

Gladness will schedule an official visit with the Hokies later in the year.

"It was just an unofficial visit," he said of Monday's trip. "I am going to schedule an official after winter break. Coach Cavanaugh gave me a card with all the games on it. He told (me) I could come to any of them."

Arkansas State, Louisville, Kansas State and Wisconsin have extended scholarship offers with heavy interest from several schools across the country as well. The side trip over the holiday weekend has his attention.

"I love Virginia Tech," he said. "They are one of the schools I am really interested in. They have real good special teams. They set the tone for the rest of the team."

Stay tuned to for the very latest with this JUCO standout.

—Andrew Bone,

Jaren Tucker: Focus '07: Harrisburg OL

Jaren Tucker, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound offensive lineman from Harrisburg High in Harrisburg, Pa. has been a varsity starter for his team since his freshman year. We caught up with him recently to get the latest.

"I went to a combine in May at Penn State," Tucker said. "I camped at Temple and attended a junior day at Akron. I was also invited to junior days at Delaware State and Temple, so I'll be going there."

Tucker played tackle his freshman year and has alternated between center and guard since then. He recently visited Columbia and Maryland and got some input on where he projects at the next level.

"When I was at Maryland I spoke to both Dave Sollazzo and Ralph Friedgen. Coach Sollazzo said I project best at either offensive guard or on the defensive line. Both coaches were easy to talk to and I liked them both a lot."

Tucker's favorite schools include Maryland, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Syracuse, Morgan State and Michigan State, however he is still waiting on his first offer.

"My coach spoke to both Wisconsin and Iowa as he had sent them a tape," Tucker said. "They both asked for more tape on me so they can make a decision. The most consistent interest I'm getting is from Maryland, Kansas State, Iowa and Illinois right now."

Tucker's brother LaRondo attended nearby Bishop McDevitt High and is currently finishing up some credit work at Milford Academy before attending West Virginia on scholarship.

Tucker boasts a 1720 SAT with a 3.5 GPA and has no time frame for a decision.

—Matt Alkire,

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