Network recruiting news

A look at recent Hot News items you may have missed, covering offensive lineman Nick Schepis, linebacker Jermale Hines, shooting guard Mustapha Farrakhan, shooting guard Laval Lucas-Perry, forward/center Josh Southern, safety C.J. Peake and defensive tackle Joseph Barksdale.

Nick Schepis: Headed to the Northeast

According to sources close to his recruitment, Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) Walsh Jesuit offensive lineman Nick Schepis has ended his recruitment and committed to Boston College over the weekend.

Schepis is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the Midwest and a big pick-up for the Eagles. He also had offers from Wake Forest, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Duke and Cincinnati.

—Bob Lichtenfels,

Jermale Hines: Junior highlights

Cleveland Glenville linebacker Jermale Hines is one of the state's top prospects. As you see film of Hines it is easy to figure out why. He is a long and rangy backer who closes on the play as fast as anybody. He can cover and is solid against the run.

Hines offer sheet includes West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Purdue, among others.

—Bob Lichtenfels,

Mustapha Farrakhan: Mentions two schools

Mustapha Farrakhan, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Ill., said he has been hearing a lot from Indiana State and Wisconsin. Farrakhan recently attended the Nike Camp.

—Drew Cannon,

Laval Lucas-Perry: Guard has many options

Laval Lucas-Perry, a 6-2 shooting guard from Luke M. Powers Catholic in Flint, Mich., said at the adidas camp that he has offers from Penn State, Wisconsin, Dayton, Boston College and Arizona. He had coaches from Marquette, Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana in the stands watching him at camp.

—Drew Cannon,

Josh Southern: Big man down to six

Josh Southern, a 6-9 center/power forward from Saginaw High School in Michigan, said at the adidas camp that his current list includes Tennessee, Boston College, Miami, Michigan State, Wake Forest, and Kentucky.

Southern is ranked by as the No. 77 prospect in the class of 2007.

—Drew Cannon,

C.J. Peake: Feeling the Mountaineers

Trotwood, Ohio safety C.J. Peake (6-2, 208, 4.5), from Madison High School, said he is now focusing on West Virginia (offer), Tennessee (offer) and Michigan State (offer) because Ohio State and Michigan still haven't offered.

"My mind is not all for Ohio State anymore. If they show me interest, I will show them interest. But right now, I'm looking at the schools that want me and trying to figure out which one is best for me," Peake said. "I have about 24 offers now, but none of them lead.

"West Virginia is a cool place. I got to visit, and the coaches were hyped and excited and it seemed like fun. They had a good year last year. I talked to head coach, Rich Rodriguez, one-on-one. He signed a seven-year contract two months ago. I liked him and the rest of the staff, too. I don't know exactly what it was about West Virginia, but there's just something I really liked about it. I got a good feeling," Peake said.

"I visited Tennessee around June 15, and went to their camp for 30 minutes. The rest of the time, I spent getting to know the coaches. They were honest. Something that caught my eye was that there is a river right by Tennessee and you can see it from the stadium. I thought that was cool.

"Michigan State also had a good year last year. I like that the team does well and that I would have a good chance of playing early," he said. "When I narrow down schools, I want to know how quickly I'll play, how well the team does the season before I go in, and what the environment is like. I'd like the college to be in the city.

"Now I just want to take three official visits—I don't know where to yet, but maybe West Virginia, Tennessee and Michigan State—and commit in the middle or after the season," he said.

Peake reports a 2.5 core GPA and retook his 16 ACT. He also has an offer from Wisconsin.

—Allen Wallace,

Joseph Barksdale: Staying power

Four-star defensive tackle/offensive lineman Joseph Barksdale (6-5.5, 315, 4.9) from Cass Tech High School in Detroit said he won't determine his top five until mid-August.

"It's not that I'm not ready to let out my top five, it's that I want the top five schools I let out to stay my top five. I don't like not being definitive, so my favorites have to be cemented when I let them out," Barksdale said.

"Season starts the third week of August, so I have to be sure which schools I've narrowed down by then. I need to be almost decided by mid season—around October, because I will be graduating early around the second week of January and I plan to announce at the Army All-American in San Antonio, Texas (sponsored by

"My high school defensive coordinator, Charleston Fobbs, and my head coach, Thomas Wilcher, are the people I look to for advice on my recruiting. But my timetable is my own decision.

"I have over 90 offers now. Recently, I've been to camps or unofficial visits at Texas, LSU, Illinois, Purdue, Tennessee, Ohio State and Michigan," he said.

"I have family in Texas. I went to the campus unofficially in the third week of June. The facilities were all centered around football. The players liked them, and they were up-to-date and state-of-the-art. The atmosphere at Texas was great too, because everyone was like a family. The football players aren't just treated as dumb jocks. I like the fact that they are treated like special people, and that academics are stressed for them too. They aren't just Saturday night guys.

"At Ohio State, they are doing a lot of construction on the facilities. I get along with the players and coaches really well, partly because I've been there so many times--about nine or ten. It's only three hours from where I live. I went to the Texas game and the Northwestern game last season. I went to Ohio State's camp about three weeks ago, and the rest of the times were just to visit. I've met all the coaches and about five or six of the players. A former teammate plays there, Vernon Gholston (defensive end)," Barksdale said.

"I'm doing a lot of research of all of the top 25 schools in the nation. I look at majors and graduation rates and other things that stand out about the schools. I want to be an electrical engineer because I've always been interested in nano-technology," he said. "I also research NFL defensive linemen to find out which colleges they went to. Kevin Vickerson, Roderick Wright and Sean Rogers are probably my favorite NFL stars."

Final junior season stats: 83 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, eight sacks, 10 fumble recoveries and two deflected passes. Barksdale bench presses 475, squats about 500 and has a 29-inch vertical jump.

Barksdale reports a 3.5 core GPA and a 22 ACT.

—Allen Wallace,

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