Ask The Scouts

There are plenty of questions that fans want answered, and this weekly segment is your chance. This week questions involve looking ahead.

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Football season is right around the corner and recruiting will once again pick up with official visits and unofficial visits. With so many teams already logging double-digit commitments, who are the teams in your region to watch for once all the dust has settled to stand at the top?

Jamie Newberg: I think the usual suspects will be there in the end - Southern Cal, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, FSU, Georgia, and Miami etc. The teams that could be interesting to watch are Notre Dame, Florida, South Carolina, Illinois or the teams that made coaching changes. Can Nebraska and Arizona continue to build off what they did recruiting last season? I think so. And to me, the big surprise in ALL of recruiting this year will be Pittsburgh.

Bob Lichtenfels:You have to be impressed with what Dave Wannstedt and company have done at Pittsburgh. Two-five star commits already, and Jason Pinkston who is one of the top DT's in the nation. Wannstedt has basically slammed the door shut on Western PA this year. My darkhorse is Penn State with the number of high profile kids they are in on right now, with a come-back season they could land a potential Top ten class if things fall right.


Matt Stafford is pulling players to Georgia
Scott Kennedy: I think in the SEC you have to watch the usual suspects. Florida is in a great position to haul in the what could be the top class in the nation. Georgia is off to a fast start as well, and Matthew Stafford should help to pull in some big names down the stretch. Tennessee always closes well. LSU is a team that has recruited very strong in the West the past four years under Saban, so they will be a team to watch with a new staff. The darkhorse in the SEC should be Auburn. They look to capitalize on a 13-0 season on the recruiting trail, and it should be Tommy Tuberville's best class at Auburn.

Miller Safrit: Clemson is on a tear right now and really looks poised to pick up some of the top talent. Picking up yet another four-star player this morning in DeAndre McDaniel, the Tigers have really started strong this year. However, Miami appears ready to take the torch in recruiting this year landing on the favorites list of half the players in the Scout.com top tenty.


Aldridge Headlines Notre Dame's Class
Chris Pool: That's an easy question to answer in Big Ten Country. It's always Michigan and Ohio State. Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines always finish strong. Notre Dame took a few years off when it came to recruiting but Charlie Weis is already assembling an impressive list of recruits led by Merrillville, Ind., running back James Aldridge.

Two schools to keep a close eye on this year in the Big Ten are Illinois and Indiana. Ron Zook has done a good job at recruiting the top talent in the Land of Lincoln. Terry Hoeppner has breathed new life into a Hoosier football program that was dormant for some time. Hoeppner has verbal commitment from some very talented prospects.




September 1 is the first day colleges can officially offer players in the class of 2007. Who is the one player you would offer?


Jimmy Clausen tops in 2007?
Chris Fetters: My answer would be QB Jimmy Clausen from Oaks Christian HS in Westlake Village, California? Why? Well, he's the younger brother of two SEC QB's and the early scuttlebutt on Jimmy is that the youngest just might be the best one of them all. He's already helped Oaks Christian to two CIF-Southern Section Division XI championships, so he has the leadership skills to go with his size (6-3, 200) and athleticism. Clausen could very well be the top prep QB in 2007 when it's all said and done.


Arrelious Benn
Bob Lichtenfels: There are two that I'd be torn between New Kensington (Pa.) Valley high school wide receiver Toney Clemons (6-3, 185, 4.45) and Washington (D.C.) Dunbar wide receiver Arrelious Benn (6-2, 190, 4.50). Both are unbelievably explosive and polished for being so young. These two kids have athletic ability that is rare. Clemons will run a 4.4, broad jump over 10'-5" and vertical 40". These two are as good now as a lot of kids in the 2006 class, they are both potential franchise type prospects. Now if its a lineman you fancy look no further then Catawissa (Pa.) Southern Columbia two-way lineman Josh Marks (6-4, 285, 5.0) when I saw this kid play as a sophomore I thought he was the best high school lineman I had seen. imagine the amazement when I learned that he was only a sophomore at the time. This kid has it all size, power, grit, and explosiveness. he has all the qualities I love in a lineman he is quick off the ball and will drive you into the dirt.


Clemson commit Willy Korn
Miller Safrit: I am torn between two as well, though if I were a college coach one made it a little easier on me. Byrnes (S.C.) quarterback Willy Korn is a top talent, but his commitment to Clemson would lead me lean towards Benn as the first offer.

Chris Pool: Jeremy Finch, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound, safety from Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central, is the young man that I would offer right away. Finch is a freak of nature. He has the size of a linebacker and hits like one as well but he has the speed and instincts of a defensive back. Finch is versatile and he could develop into a linebacker at the next level. Warren Central head coach Kevin Wright says Jeremy Finch is a "Oh and Ah" type of guy that just brings people to their feet.




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