North Recruiting Notebook
Glenn Carson
Glenn Carson
Regional Recruiting Manager
Posted Sep 29, 2008
Bob Lichtenfels

There were a bunch of big games around the region this weekend and that means a lot of recruits were visiting schools. tries to catch you up on the latest around the North Region.

Everyone across the country basically gave the Big Ten title to Ohio State before a game was ever played this season. Someone must have forgotten to tell Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions, because they look like a very real threat to the Buckeyes.

Penn State beat the Illinois Fighting Illini this weekend to remain unbeaten as they hosted a number of big time recruits including four-star New Jersey linebacker Glenn Carson. We have heard from numerous sources that Carson may have committed this weekend. He has not announced anything publicly as of this release.

Other prospects who were seen at Beaver Stadium include:

Waldorf (Md.) Westlake WR Devon Smith

Fredericksburg (Md.) Quince Orchard DE Jason Ankrah

Camden (N.J.) WR Tyree Watkins

Glen Allen (Va.) Deep Run QB Antone Exum

Houston (Texas) St. Pius X K Anthony Fera

Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline LB/RB Darrell Mason

West Mifflin (Pa.) OT Adam Gress

Greenbelt (Md.) Eleanor Roosevelt CB Stephon Morris

Scranton (Pa.) West Scranton OT Eric Shrive

Indian Head (Md.) Lackey S Malcolm Willis

Indian Head (Md.) Lackey CB Darrell Givens

Philadelphia (Pa.) West Catholic S/QB Curtis Drake

Watkins is a three-star prospect who was once committed to Virginia. Fera is a three-star prospect who is committed to Michigan. It was thought that Fera would choose Penn State, but he chose the Wolverines. We will have updates on these prospects and many more on this week.

Brock DeCicco
Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson four-star tight end Brock DeCicco has taken his time with the recruiting process, but he seems determined to end it all very soon.

“I scheduled an official visit to Wisconsin when they play Penn State, I believe it is October 11,” DeCicco said. “I’ll schedule an official to Pittsburgh as well, but they are on the road the next few weeks. I hope to make my decision soon after those trips. I still may visit Iowa also.”

Since DeCicco has a brother who plays for the Panthers he has been to all three of Pittsburgh’s home games. He had the chance to see two of his top team’s clash last weekend when the Panthers held off the Iowa Hawkeyes at Heinz Field.

The coaches from Iowa were at the school on Thursday,” DeCicco said. “They really didn’t say much about the game, but they seemed pretty confident. I was surprised that Bowling Green beat Pitt, so I wanted to see how the coaches and players bounced back. They played well against Iowa and seem to have it turned around.”

Vlad Emilien
Plantation, Florida safety Vlad Emilien is a player who blew up in recruiting circles after a strong spring combine tour. Emilien visited Ohio State unofficially for the spring game, and instantly fell in love with Ohio State. Emilien, 6-foot-1 and 195-pounds, was considered a near lock to be a Buckeye commit, but things changed between the two parties over the summer to where there was little or no interest by either party. Now it appears there has been a rekindling of the flame and there is communication going once again. "Right now I have two visits set and I've narrowed my list down once again," Emilien informed Bill Greene of "I have a visit scheduled to Michigan on October 24th. I'm going to Wisconsin on October 10th. I also have a visit scheduled to Stanford in November, but I'm not sure if I will be making that trip or not." Recently, things have started to heat up between Emilien and Ohio State. A Thursday night phone call from Buckeye assistant Luke Fickell has Emilien thinking about Ohio State once again. "Ohio State called me last night to say they're still interested in me," Emilien reported. "Coach Fickell and I had a long talk on the phone and we agreed to get together again next week to talk a little further about this situation. I was glad to hear from them again, because I've always liked Ohio State, but the fact is that they went about two months without contacting me at all. I had removed them from my list, but now I've got to put them back up there again." Emilien does have a date set to announce his decision. He is not playing football this year because of a knee injury suffered prior to the season. "I will be making my decision on November 23rd," Emilien said. "That's my birthday, and it seems like a great time to announce. Right now my top five schools are Michigan, South Florida, Wisconsin, Wake Forest and Ohio State."

Detroit (Mich.) Renaissance has two Michigan State commitments in linebacker Chris Norman and wide receiver/defensive back Dana Dixon, and if the duo have anything to say about it, soon there will be three. Their teammate Delano Collins scored four touchdowns against Detroit Finney on Friday. The first on a 36-yard touchdown catch, followed by a 62-yard punt return, a 90-yard kickoff return and a 75-yard interception return for a score. Afterwards, Collins said MSU is taking a long look at him in addition to Kansas State, Iowa and Missouri.

It was a good weekend for Michigan State commits and recruits. Oak Park (Mich.) running back Edwin Baker ran for 452 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns as the Knights downed Royal Oak.

Staying in the Big Ten, the Wisconsin Badgers may have lost on Saturday, but they gained a commitment as Hartford Union defensive lineman Tyler Dippel committed to the Badgers Saturday morning. The 6'4, 245-lb Dippel had received the Wisconsin offer earlier in the week and did not wait long, as he had long been waiting for a Badger offer and although he had shown some frustration over the wait, it did not douse his sense of humor. “I said jokingly, ‘What took you so long?’” Dippel said with a laugh. “Coach Bielema and Coach Bostad had a good laugh over that.”

The team the Badgers faced on Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines hosted a number of recruits for the game. The list included five star defensive tackle William Campbell (Detroit Cass Tech) and several top juniors, including Campbell's teammate Dior Mathis. Mathis, who has had Miami-FL in the lead for quite some time, enjoyed the game enough to say that the maize and blue are very much in his mind.

"I'm feeling some pressure now. After this game, I said, man, this is going to be hard. I want to wait for some new schools though, USC has been contacting me. They're sending me letters."

A couple of talented junior defensive ends were also present in Ann Arbor. Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern 6'7, 245-pound William Gholston left with a Wolverine offer in hand. He and Solon (Ohio) product Darryl Baldwin looked like a pair of basketball recruits as they walked into the Big House. The 6'6, 245-lb Baldwin has several offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, West Virginia and Akron. He now has gone on two unofficial visits this year, with more on the way.

"I went to Ohio State when they played Youngstown State," Baldwin said, "I'm probably going to visit them again and maybe Illinois and Notre Dame."

Friday night had in Miamisburg, Ohio watching the hometown Vikings take on Xenia High School. It’s been a few years since both programs produced some highly thought of recruits but that is about to change as both teams have a couple of younger players to keep an eye on.

For Xenia the big name is junior tight-end Dakota Anderson. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Anderson plays tight-end now but projects into a top notch offensive lineman at the college level. With great physical abilities Anderson is a top blocker smashing down from the tight-end position and is capable of going out and pulling down a pass when needed. He also takes a few snaps from the defensive line and handles the kicking duties for Xenia.

Xenia also has three more juniors to keep an eye on. Running back Justin Knowles is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound hard runner who projects to fullback or linebacker at the next level. Knowles is a hard physical player that shows above average burst but uses his strength to get the biggest part of his yards.

Stephen Kellerher is a project player at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds. The defensive end showed the willingness to mix it up and plays very aggressive.

Tight end Michael Vollmer is a player we’d like to see more of in the coming months as he’s got nice size at 6-foot-4, 210-pounds.

Xenia also has a few seniors going under the radar as quarterback Bryce Kuhn is playing out of position to get heavy recruiting interest. A future linebacker, Kuhn has great physical size at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds and plays the quarterback position like he’s playing the backer spot.

Wide receiver Chad Steele has size at 6-foot-3, 170-pounds. The question is what his real speed is. On Friday night he showed his speed during a kick return and talking to coaches he’s a hurdler in track.

Linebacker Reggie Romine is as physical a player I’ve seen this season and at 6-foot-3, 225-pounds don’t be surprised if a program comes along late working to sign him. If not some program is going to get a very tough walk-on that will earn a scholarship in time. His future may be as a defensive end as he doesn’t show the flexibility you’d like to see from the linebacker position.

But the biggest surprise in the game came from Miamisburg freshman offensive lineman Zach Myers. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Myers comes from a football family as his dad played at Kentucky. Holding down the left tackle position as a freshman is a big feat for a player in the Greater Western Ohio Conference and Myers holds his own using great athletic ability. Right now Myers shows the toughness and ability to play at a high level and big things should be expected of him in the future. Midwest Analysts Allen Trieu and Dave Berk contributed to this report.

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