Exciting times for the Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.) Chargers.
Andy Bogert’s squad won a 2A state title last fall, finishing 15-0 and outscoring opponents by an astounding total of 597-94.
The Chargers also feature one of the most impressive freshman in the country, Barry Sanders, Jr.
Oklahoma State fans and recruiting fans in general were buzzing about the electrifying ninth grader for much of the fall. Recently, his highlight tape hit MaxPrepsTV, and his reputation is growing even more rapidly.
Barry Sanders Jr. - Heritage Hall, Okla.
Barry Sanders Jr. highlights
At 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Sanders Jr. already shows an incredible ability to change direction, and has uncanny cutback skills. He is carving out his own identity, showing that his talent—and not his name—will carry him to success, which will almost certainly mean a Division I scholarship.
Fans of Oklahoma State hope that he will follow his father’s footsteps and become a Cowboy, but other schools will likely be in the hunt.
Incredibly, Heritage Hall has another one of the country’s top freshman, linebacker Marc Robinson. At 5-10, 180 pounds, Robinson is currently undersized as far as major linebacker recruits go, but his production rivaled any freshman in 2008. He rallied 180 tackles and 12 sacks, and as an All-State honorable mention selection.
His highlight tape might be equally impressive; he is explosive with great closing speed.
Both Sanders Jr. and Robinson have a great chance to crack the MaxPreps Fresh Faces Top 100, a list of 100 of the top rising-sophomores to watch next season and beyond, which should be released near the beginning of summer.
Imani is the Man
Another 2012 player impressing college coaches is Flowery Branch (Ga.) running back Imani Cross.
Cross rushed for 554 yards and six touchdowns in limited duty. He emerged late in the season, and saw carries throughout the playoffs.
The bloodlines are definitely there for Cross to succeed. His older brother, Izaan, is a 6-4 defensive end for Georgia Tech.
While he doesn’t have top-notch speed just yet, Cross is incredibly powerful, already squatting well over 400 pounds. He has delicate hands for his size and is very hard to bring down
If he continues to grow, Cross may project better on the defensive side of the ball. If he stays around 6-1, he’ll likely stay at running back, where he could be a major recruit if he continues to get faster.
LSU Will Look Local
It’s not hard to recruit beyond state borders if your program has won two national championships in the past six years.
In 2009, LSU will see an infusion of talent in Baton Rouge, including several notable players from outside of Louisiana. Defensive end Sam Montgomery (Greenwood, S.C.), Chris Garrett (Tupelo, Miss.), and Russell Shepard (Houston, Texas) are just a few of the players that Les Miles was able to pluck from enemy territory.
Miles and staff will continue to target top recruits throughout the South in 2010 and 2011, but will also be busy trying to secure commitments from a talented crop of players on the home front.
The early leader as the state’s top 2010 recruit is Trovon Reed from Thibodaux. Reed is a dynamic and versatile athlete with impressive highlights. MaxPreps’ Nick Reasons recently produced a great piece looking at Reed’s triumph over tragedy.
Tharold Simon from Eunice is another versatile athlete, who could play either wide receiver or in the secondary. He’s already committed to the Tigers, along with Dutchtown safety Eric Reid.
The class of rising juniors may be even more attractive to Les Miles. Leesville wide out Levander Liggins had over 500 receiving yards to go along with seven touchdowns as a sophomore. Jarvis Landry, from Lutcher accounted for 10 receiving touchdowns and five rushing scores. Both are playmakers that LSU will likely make a heavy push for.
On defense, Tiger fans would enjoy seeing defensive ends Anthony Johnson (O. Perry Walker) and Jermauria Rasco (Evangel Christian) head to Baton Rouge. Each has the potential to be a national level recruit. South Plaquemines’ Beau Fitte could be another possibility, but he may project better as a linebacker.
The biggest gem in the state—and perhaps the nation—in 2011 could be Patterson running back Kenny Hilliard. Hilliard was the state’s 3A Offensive Player of the Year, rushing for 2,377 yards and 34 touchdowns. He nearly captured the MaxPreps National Sophomore of the Year award.
Interestingly enough, he could be the hardest in-state recruit for Miles to land. Rumors abound that Hilliard may want to leave Louisiana. USC could be a destination for Hilliard, as the Trojans are often in the thick of things when it comes to stealing recruits from other states. Don’t expect Miles to lose Hilliard without a serious fight.
Eagles Have Nigerian Pipeline
The Boston College High School Eagles (Boston, Mass.) beat state power Brockton in the Eastern Mass. Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium this past fall, capping a very impressive 11-1 season.
The team's stable of Nigerian student-athletes was a big factor in the Eagles’ success.
Boston College High School relies heavily on a group of Nigerian players at a number of positions. Senior tackle Nnamdi Obukwelu was a captain on this past season’s squad. His brother, Obum Obukwelu is a 6-2 sophomore tackle to watch. A.J. Okereke is a talented rising senior getting Division I interest at cornerback and wide receiver.
All told, the Eagles have over a dozen players of Nigerian descent. Several of the players were born in Nigeria.
Boston College High School is the home of another major recruit, 6-6 Andrew Tallman, who plays tight end and defensive end. Look for Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani to land Tallman, and perhaps a teammate or two.