Out of many high-profile college football commitments last week, CBS/MaxPreps recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said he was most surprised by Landon Collins'
choice of Alabama over LSU.
Collins is a defensive back from Dutchtown (Geismar, La.)
who is rated by Lemming as the No. 12 player in the country,
Lemming pointed out, "He lives just one-hour's drive from the (LSU) campus."
Collins' commitment helped Alabama to pass Texas for No. 1 on the CBS Sports Top 25 College Football Team Recruiting Rankings
at this time, Lemming said. Lemming believes that Alabama's national championship victory over LSU won't have much impact this year because it already has a full allotment, but it should be a big boost for next year.The University of California made the biggest move, soaring from No. 23 to No. 9
Lemming credits California defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi for landing some major commitments, including two of the nation's top eight players.
"He may be the best recruiter in the country," Lemming acknowledged.
Another interesting move was the Miami Hurricanes rising from No. 10 to 7, despite the shadow of an NCAA penalty hanging over them.
Still, Lemming never guarantees that every player who has committed so far will sign with his respective team on Feb. 1. He says it's still a wait-and-see situation in many cases.
Lemming got a good look at many of the nation's premier juniors during the Proving Ground combine in Phoenix. He was particularly impressed by Tyrone Swoopes
, a rangy quarterback from Whitewright (Texas)
, and Ty Isaac
, a powerful running back from Joliet Catholic Academy (Ill.)
He said Swoopes (6-5, 220) "is going to be one of the best in the country. He's a high school version of Cam Newton."
The veteran analyst believes that Penn State's hiring of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien as its head football coach "was a smart move - their only move. Next year they are going to do very well in recruiting. Penn State is still a powerhouse school. This year there's not enough time."
O'Brien was given a five-year contract starting at $950,000, according to the Associated Press. He also will receive a radio-TV contract worth $1 million per year as well as a $350,000 Nike contract. He does plan to retain defensive line coach Larry Johnson, though most of the current longtime staff will not return.
Some alumni had hoped the school would hire a coach with Penn State ties, but Lemming feels that would have been the wrong move due to the upcoming trail of ex-assistant Jerry Sandusky.
"The board looked at the overall picture," he explained. "There will be constant chatter while the trial is going on next year. It would impede recruiting. The (former) players should understand that this is not a social issue; it's a criminal issue."
Lemming's weekly TV show will resume Friday (7 p.m., EST) on the CBS Sports Network and will run at least two additional weeks.
This Friday his special guest will be Don Beebe, who operates House of Speed in Aurora, Ill. Beebe, who played in six Super Bowls, was one of the NFL's fastest players during his career. He will demonstrate how athletes can increase their speed.
The following two weeks' speakers will discuss how to improve strength and nutrition.
2012 Alabama - Landon Collins on the Next Step