While college coaches are working to pin down recruits in the 2010 class, most have already been at work for months trying to secure pledges from top juniors in the class of 2011.
One junior high on the recruiting boards for a number of teams is Madison (San Antonio, Texas) running back Aaron Green.
Green looks like he may be the top running back prospect in the country next season. While there are a number of talented rushers in the Lone Star State, it’s safe to say that Texas, Oklahoma, and other nearby teams will make a serious run at Green. Two other players could be Nebraska and USC. The Cornhuskers may be the early favorite, because Green’s older brother, Andrew, is a freshman at Nebraska and plays defensive back.
USC, which has only one player from Texas on its roster, does not often venture down to Texas to pick up players, though they are currently in the mix for 2010 defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat.
The Trojans may try to lure Green, particularly if they lose out on Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.) star running back De’Anthony Thomas, who many people think is USC’s to lose. Thomas is also a track star who will probably run at the collegiate level; that may influence his decision.
One of the top running backs in the East, Savon Huggins from St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.), likes Rutgers, Miami, and Oklahoma, but is pretty open early on. Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) workhorse Harvey Langi appears to favor BYU.
Wide receivers weigh options
The Oklahoman reported on Sunday that Kameel Jackson from Sam Houston (Arlington, Texas) verbally committed to the Sooners, meaning one of the top receivers in the class is already off the board.
Vigor (Ala.) receiver Marvin Shinn, another top player at his position, is firmly pledged to the Crimson Tide.
George Farmer from Serra (Gardena, Calif.) and Kasen Williams from Skyline (Sammamish, Wash.) are both likely to stay close to home. Farmer will probably be a battle between USC and UCLA, while Washington may be out in front for Williams.
After a somewhat quiet sophomore season, Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.) is once again throwing the ball to top target Charone Peake. Peake is being courted hard by Clemson, but may be lured south to Georgia, having seen how the Bulldogs have utilized former Palmetto State star A.J. Green.
The Tigers have been recruiting Peake since his freshman season, according to Dorman head coach Dave Gutshall.
Vernon Hills (Ill.) receiver DaVaris Daniels is also an A.J. Green fan, and may be leaning towards the Bulldogs, though Ron Zook will try his best to keep him home.
Kelvin Benjamin, a 6-foot-6 wide out from Glades Central (Belle Glade, Fla.), is probably destined for one of the Florida schools, with the Hurricanes and the Gators at the front of the line.
Valdosta (Ga.) star tight end Jay Rome is a legacy at Clemson — his father played there in the 1970s. The Tigers are hoping to reel him in, but Georgia and Florida have both offered, according to his coach, Rick Tomberlin. Basketball may be a factor in that decision, though his future is probably brightest in football.
Butler star looking out of state
Butler (Matthews, N.C.) star quarterback Christian LeMay will likely have his pick of schools. He has a great connection to Florida, as his father used to be the team chaplain for the Gators. Florida has already offered, and many think LeMay will end up in Gainesville.
However, LeMay, a drop-back passer with good speed, is also intrigued with Georgia and head coach Mark Richt's offense. He does not appear close to a decision, and other schools could enter the fray the signal-caller of one of the country’s top teams.
"He gets a new offer about every day," Butler head coach Mike Newsome said. "A lot of dual-threat schools are looking at him, but he wants to be a drop back passer that can run."
UNC may miss out on LeMay, but there are plenty of QBs in the Carolinas for the taking in 2011 including Myrtle Beach’s (S.C.) Everett Golson and Mallard Creek’s (Charlotte, N.C.) Marquise Williams.
Chester’s (S.C.) Tony McNeal, Northwestern’s (Rock Hill, S.C.) Justin Worley, and Providence Day’s (Charlotte, N.C.) Price Litton are all attracting Division I interest. It will be a disappointing recruiting season for any major Carolina program that comes away without a standout passer.
Despite all the talent at quarterback in the Carolinas, the region’s best player might be South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.) defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a 6-6 athletic specimen who has a great chance to play on Sundays.
Ohio State poised for nice class
The Ohio State Buckeyes are off to a great start for 2011 and have the potential for an outstanding class.
Jim Tressel has already secured a pledge from Whitmer (Toldo, Ohio) defensive end Kenny Hayes, one of the top in-state players in the class.
The Buckeyes are also prohibitive favorites for quarterback Braxton Miller and defensive end Steve Miller, two more Ohioans who rank near the top of their respective positions.
Add Glenville (Cleveland, Ohio) standouts Aundrey Walker (defensive tackle), Andre Sturdivant (linebacker), and Shane Wynn (athlete) into the mix, as the Tarblooders are usually very friendly to Ohio State.
Jeremy Cash, a defensive back from Plantation (Fla.) and Ben Koyack, a tight end from Oil City (Pa.) are out-of-state players considering heading to Columbus. If the Buckeyes land all or most of those targets, they should have a top class in 2011.
- Rutgers appears to be in the lead for Pottsgove (Pa.) defensive back Terrell Chestnut, who is originally from New Jersey.
- Landon Turner, an offensive lineman from Harrisonburg (Va.), is being courted by Virginia Tech, but with his father, West, having played for West Virginia, the Mountaineers could be the frontrunners.
-The Hokies are also after Hermitage (Richmond, Va.) linebacker Curtis Grant, who appears to have not narrowed down his choices as of yet.
"He's just concerned with having a good junior season," coach Patrick Kane said.