Gridiron Kings Day One

National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Jul 28, 2012


Here are some news and notes from Saturday's first practice session of the Gridiron Kings. Pool play starts tonight among the four teams and 64 prospects.

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Tomorrow, during the Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 championship game five-star cornerback prospect Kendall Fuller (Onley, Md./Good Counsel) will make his commitment. He’s down to two ACC programs in Clemson and Virginia Tech.

“I can’t wait to get it out,” Fuller said. “One more day for me.”

That is if he sticks with whatever team he has in mind right now.

“True,” Fuller said. “I could wake up tomorrow and it be someone else. Right now I think I have it. I think I know what team. I kind of have my mind made up.”

For Fuller, there’s so much to like with the Tigers and Hokies.

“Clemson just has a great family environment,” Fuller said. “Their defense plays fast and I love their new coordinator, Brent Venables. Coach [Dabo] Swinney and his staff are all just great. That is a guy with a lot of energy and that’s a big thing for me.

“It’s the same thing with Virginia Tech. I love that place and it’s great because it’s in the middle of nowhere. Coach [Frank] Beamer has been so consistent over the years. He’s a legend and such a great coach.”

“It’s just going to be a gut feeling for me.”

Fuller is the nation’s No. 2 ranked cornerback prospect playing for the Midwest squad.

Hagreaves talks decision
The Gators landed a big commitment on Thursday with the addition of five-star defensive back prospect Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa Wharton). The nation’s top rated cornerback prospect picked Florida over Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, Vandy and others.

“It’s just relieving, feels like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders,” Hargreaves said. “I always knew it from the beginning that that’s where I wanted to go. I just decided to end it early.”

For Hargreaves it was simple, he just followed his gut.

“I don’t know. As a recruit, something just clicks,” Hargreaves said. “If you pick a reason why you go there and then that reason doesn’t turn out to be what you wanted it to be, then you’re messed up. So you can’t really have a reason why you go somewhere, it just has to be where you feel is right.”

Kamara near decision?
Four-star running back prospect Alvin Kamara is getting closer and closer to his decision. At least, that’s what he’s saying now.

“I want to do this in September some time,” Kamara said. “I know I also want to make some official visits but that’s going to be kind of tough with the season and school starting.”

Kamara, the No. 16 ranked running back, is down to six programs – Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Tennessee and Florida State.

“I have seen them all but Ok-State and Oregon,” Kamara said. “Those are the two schools I really need to see. They are all still recruiting me the same and with a lot of intensity. They all still want me.”

ND pledge attends FNL
Notre Dame commit Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, Pa.) was headed to the Sunshine State for Gridiron Kings so he decided to stop at the Swamp and participate in the Gators Friday Night Lights camp.

“I just wanted to compete,” Anzalone said. “I had a ride there and I'm down here for free, so I might as well just get some competition in. It was more than just 7on7 like here.”

Anzalone, in the nation’s No. 3 outside linebacker prospect and a four-star prospect.

Almost a Wolverine
Wideout Laquon Treadwell (Crete,Ill./Crete-Monee) said he nearly committed to Michigan at The Opening but just wasn’t ready. He’ll visit Oklahoma State and Oklahoma in August and is also looking at Auburn and Notre Dame.

“I really don’t know right now if I’ll commit early or take visits,” Treadwell said. “I don’t know where my mind is right now on this decision thing. It will probably just happen whenever. When I think it’s right, I’ll do it.”

Michigan still sounds like the team to beat as Treadwell added his only holdup with the Wolverines is wanting to see what their offense looks like this fall.

“I want to see the pro-style run under Coach [Brady] Hoke,” Treadwell said. “I want to make sure the school I choose is a school where I can showcase my ability. Once I see the offense and with Shane (Morris) coming in, Michigan will be right at the top.”

LB finally sees UCLA Linebacker Deon Hollins (Missouri City, Texas/ Marshall) was an early commitment to UCLA but had yet to visit the Westwood campus until last week.

“I loved it there, I was surprised it was so nice,” Hollins said. “I mean I knew it would be nice but I didn’t know the people would be so welcoming. I had this idea of the players and people being all Hollywood but they treated me like family and were great. The campus was beautiful and a lot easier to get around as well. You can get anywhere in 15 minutes and I really liked it.”

Hollins said he may still take a few official visits and mentioned Washington, Boise State and Notre Dame as possible destinations.

Wiggins visiting
Georgia cornerback commitment Shaquille Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) has been looking around. This four-star prospect recently visited Tennessee and has a few more teams that he will check out.

“Yeah, I just visited the Vols,” Wiggins said. “I am going to Auburn next weekend. I was supposed to visit Florida yesterday but I couldn’t get down there. I am committed to Georgia but I am also looking at those schools and Vanderbilt.”

Should Dawg fans be concerned? The nation’s No. 13 rated cornerback prospect has been committed for some time.

“I see myself there at Georgia,” Wiggins said. “I know I have to get bigger and bulk up. But I also know I can help that team and program. I love the guys and the coaching staff. I am just looking around because I don’t want to make any mistakes. I talked about things with Jaquay [Williams] and what he went through. It’s just to make sure.”

Tenpenny wants to visit
Alabama commitment Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark.) is planning on checking out some other schools.

“I am 100% committed to Alabama but I do want to see some other places,” Tenpenny said. “I want to make official visits to Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Georgia and possibly Notre Dame.”

Tenpenny, one of the nation’s top backs, is coming off a knee injury. He says he’s ready to go.

“I am 100%,” Tenpenny said. “I really can’t wait. The injury has motivated me and I want to show everyone that I am the best running back in the country.”

Tenpenny currently is ranked the No. 13 running back in the nation.

FSU commit to visit other schools
Four-star commit Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) has shaken things up a little bit, saying he wants to make a few official visits and look around.

“I really want to visit Ohio State, South Carolina and South Florida,” Stevens said. “I am going into my 12th grade year and this only happens once. So I want to see some other schools. I do have a little bit of interest. It’s not like there’s something bad going on with FSU. I just want to see some other places.

“Stevens, a four-star prospect, is the No. 24 ranked receiver in the nation.

Bailey a future Knight or Gator?
Three-star receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) is waiting on the Gators and helping recruit for the Knights. This standout from Tampa could also be nearing a decision.

“I am really waiting on seeing what will happen with the Gators,” Bailey said. “Right now I like UCF, Auburn, Florida State, South Carolina and Notre Dame but I want to see where I stand and where I fit in with Florida. If it’s positive, then that could change a lot of things.”

If things don’t change then don’t be surprised if Bailey heads to Central Florida. After all, several of his good friends and teammates on his Team Tampa 7-on-7 team have committed there of late like Richard Benjamin (Tampa Bay Tech), Pete DiNovo (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) and Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood).

“Man, I started that UCF thing,” Bailey admitted. “I told those coaches about Richard and Pete and to get on them. It would be great to play with all those guys. But I want to see what happens with Florida before I pull the trigger.”

News & notes
• Four-star safety Leon McQuay (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) has eliminated Michigan. The Wolverines were once in his top three. Now he favors Vanderbilt, USC and Florida State over Notre Dame and Oregon.

• Linebacker Jermaine Grace (Miramar, Fla.) most likely will make official visits to both Miami and Tennessee. He recently made an unofficial visit to see the Vols and came home very impressed with what he saw in Knoxville. He wouldn’t come out and say those two teams were his leaders but he sure sounded like it.

• Former FSU commit Sojourn Shelton (Plantation, Fla.) now favors Wisconsin. He’s also looking at Nebraska, Wake Forest and Cincinnati. This cornerback plans to decide after his official visits in late November. He hopes to enroll in college in January.

• Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) defensive back Chris Hawkins has to get the award for toughest player out West this summer. He broke the thumb on his right hand at an earlier camp but still competed at The Opening. He had surgery a week ago but still made the road trip to Orlando and is playing with a soft cast on his hand.

“I can’t play press but I can still man up,” Hawkins said. “I just have to play off and not use my hand to try and bat any balls down. I feel pretty good though and I didn’t want to miss this experience.

• There was some talk that DeSoto (Texas) running back and Oregon commit Donte Wilson could take a few official visits and open up his recruitment. Wilson emphatically denied that.

“I’m 100% committed to Oregon,” Wilson said. “I did some interview a while back and then I heard talk that I was going to Texas. Then someone said I was taking visits but still committed to Oregon. I’m not taking any visits anywhere except to Oregon. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a Duck. It’s a great fit for a running back and they also have the best sports marketing program in the country, which is what I want to go in to. Like I said, I’m not wavering at all and feel great about my decision.”

• Defensive back Priest Willis (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos De Niza) battled a bad back at The Opening but was still able to compete. The corner said it has gotten worse and he’ll likely have to watch this one from the sidelines.

• Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep defensive back Tre Bell was in town for Florida’S Friday Night Lights event. Due to some injuries on the West squad, the Florida commit was asked to fill in and was on the field this morning.

• Fresno (Calif.) Central defensive back Hatari Byrd said during The Opening he was planning to commit in August. The talented safety now says he wants to take his official visits and won’t commit until the late in the season.

• All four GK quarterbacks, Brice Ramsey (Kingsland, Ga./Camden County), Troy Williams (Harbor City, Calif./Narbon), Devante Kincade (Dallas Skyline), and Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle, competed at the Elite 11 QB Camp a week ago. In years past, the two events overlapped so this is actually the first year the teams were able to use an Elite 11 quarterback in the event.

• Looking for an early choice for tournament MVP? Tight ends have dominated this event in the past and the Southeast squad has one of the premier tight ends in the last decade in Alabama commit O.J. Howard (Prattville, Ala./Autuaga Academy), who should have a monster weekend.

Amy Campbell contributed to this report.


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