North Recruiting Notebook
Kevin Newsome
Kevin Newsome
Regional Recruiting Manager
Posted Dec 15, 2008
Bob Lichtenfels


There is a lot news going on as the first big official visit weekend of the season has come and gone. Almost every school in the North Region hosted a plethora of official visitors and Scout.com recaps the action.

FightOnState.com is reporting that Norfolk (Va.) Churchland quarterback Kevin Newsome will be holding a press conference on Tuesday to announce his college decision.

Newsome, who played this Fall at Hargrave Military Academy will choose between Penn State, Virginia Tech and Boston College. With the departure of Pat Devlin you have to like the Nittany Lions chances with Newsome.

Syracuse fans are ready to turn the corner and return their program to where it belongs to be and Gambrills, Md., product Alec Lemon hopes to be a big part of that resurgence. The 6-foot-1.5, 175-pound wide receiver had an excellent senior season, shattering Maryland state records and is now ready to toss on the orange for his college career.

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As a senior, Lemon tied state records for most receptions in a season with 103 and most touchdown receptions with 23. He set the state record for most receiving yards in a season with 1616 as well and averaged 203 all-purpose yards a game.

Defensively Lemon picked off six passes, including four in the playoffs and returned one for a touchdown. He forced two fumbles, returning one for a score and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He also rushed for four more scores ending his senior season with 30 total touchdowns. He was named the Capital Gazette 2008 Player of the Year and was first-team All-County and All-Met by the Baltimore Sun.

Princeton, N.J., product Brian Leffler was supposed to be on an official visit to Miami (OH) over the weekend, but Scout.com learned on Sunday evening that the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker decided not to make that trip. Since we last spoke with him Leffler has continued to pick up offers and on Thursday, he scored what could be considered his biggest yet.

“I didn’t want to go up to Miami because the head coach resigned and at this point I just don’t see them as a fit for me,” Leffler said. “At that point I let the staff know I wouldn’t be coming because I obviously don’t want to waste their valuable time when they can be working on other recruits.”

“Right now I have offers from Miami(OH), West Virginia, Stanford, Tulane, Temple, Army, Syracuse, Navy, Delaware, Yale, Columbia and William & Mary,” Leffler stated. “To be honest with you there are really four schools sticking out to me the most in WVU, Stanford, Yale and William & Mary and I’m also interested in Syracuse as well.”

Stanford was the latest school to offer Leffler and could prove to be a big offer for him when he makes his decision given his focus on academic excellence.

“Stanford offered me on Thursday,” Leffler explained. “Coach David Shaw and the offensive line coach were in my school two weeks ago and then Coach Andy Buh came out this week to see me. I haven’t had too much time to build a relationship with the coaching staff, but the initial vibe is definitely a good one. I’m looking for great academics, so Stanford is huge to me. They play in a great conference and go up against quality teams as well. I definitely want to go out and visit the school officially.”

Leffler has set aside the weekends of January 9th and January 16th to officially visit both Yale and Stanford.

Hudson Catholic Regional High School defensive back Jason Hendricks made the trip to Philadelphia this weekend to officially visit Temple and the 5-foot-10, 180-pound prospect came away feeling like he has a pretty good idea of where he wants to spend the next four to five years of his life.

“I got in on Friday and we went out to dinner at a restaurant near campus that had really good food,” Hendricks explained. “After that we just went back to the dorms and then hooked up with some players to go out in the city for the night which was really fun. I felt really comfortable with everyone I was hanging out with and just felt like I fit in.”

“On Saturday I had to run home and take the ACT, but then I went back down and caught the second half of the basketball game,” Hendricks added. “They beat Tennessee in a really good game and the atmosphere was just awesome. The fans were just really loud and crazy. After the game we went to the technical center and I was really impressed with how state of the art it was. There were a lot of students in there working. Finally we ended up bowling which was cool.”

“I just liked the environment and it was really diverse down there. Everything is right on campus, so it’s really convenient and I felt very, very comfortable at Temple. I have to talk it over with my family and coach, but right now I’m leaning very heavily toward committing to Temple.”

De’Antwan Williams, a 5-foot-7, 207-pound running back from Woodbridge High School rushed for over 1900 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior and has plenty of offers to choose from, however it looks like his official visit to Rutgers this weekend left a big impression on him. Whether or not it was big enough to lock him down as a commitment is left to be seen.

“I got up there on Friday around 1:30pm and took a tour of everything including the campus and facilities,” Williams offered. “After that I just went out and hung out with the players for a while and then on Saturday they took us up to New York City to hang out at the ESPN Zone. It was really cool up there because we just chilled and played some basketball with each other after eating. The players at Rutgers were real cool and I just fit in.”

“I also feel like I fit in with the coaches at Rutgers,” Williams explained. “Coach Emmanuel is a cool guy who is really down to earth and I like the rest of the staff too. I was able to sit down with Head Coach Greg Schiano on Saturday night and he just told me why he liked me and why he wanted me to come to Rutgers. He’s a straight forward person and is able to relate with people well which I liked.”

Hackensack High School tight end Malcolm Bush took his official visit to Pittsburgh this weekend and the 6-foot-5, 220-pound athlete came away very impressed with what he saw. More importantly than that however, he came away comfortable with the players and coaches, something that may go a long way when decision day comes.

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“I just got home from the airport five minutes ago,” Bush said. “I had a lot of fun on the visit, it was cool. When I first got up there on Friday we all went out to eat at Dave and Busters and I just got a chance to play games and hang out with the commits, players and coaching staff.”

“On Saturday we ate breakfast and then they had us tour the entire campus and some of the city,” Bush added. “I like the campus because it has a little bit of an inner-city feel to it. After that we went to the basketball game and all of the fans were showing a lot of love for the team. I just really liked the atmosphere there.”

“I think the relationships I built there will go a long way,” Bush explained. “I got along really well with some of the commitments, players that were already there and coaches. Coach Dave Wannstedt is also a great guy who is just really, really easy to talk to.”

We inquired which schools Bush will be visiting next.

“Pittsburgh and North Carolina are my final two right now unless I pick up new offers from schools I just sent film to,” Bush mentioned. “I’m going to UNC on January 16th for my official visit and that’s it at this point. The only way I’m going to take anymore officials is if Maryland, Notre Dame, North Carolina State or Penn State offer as they have all been talking to me about it.”

Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead's Jordan Barnes has re-opened his recruitment as the 6'0, 225-lb linebacker de-committed from Michigan over the weekend. Barnes is now looking at Oklahoma State, Purdue and Alabama and says he is also open to any new schools that may swoop in now that he is no longer a Wolverine.

Lose one; gain a couple for the Wolverines though. The maize and blue picked up two commitments over the last week, the first was Inkster (Mich.) wide receiver Cameron Gordon. Gordon picked the Wolverines over offers from Iowa, Minnesota and others. The 6'3, 210-lber was a standout at both wideout and safety this season for the Vikings and could project to linebacker as well. A few days later, the Wolverines picked up a verbal from Scottsdale (Arizona.) Chapparal offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, pushing their total back to 21 commitments.

Another Big Ten team picked up a couple commitments this weekend. Minnesota was busy as they hosted several recruits on officiail visits. One of them was Lackawanna C.C. offensive tackle Jeffery Willis, who committed to the Gophers on his visit. The 6'7, 350-lb Willis had interest from Alabama, Oklahoma and others, but Minnesota was his lone offer. One player not on a visit this weekend was Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice defensive back Kenny Watkins. However, that did not stop him from announcing his commitment to Minnesota at a team banquet. The 6'1, 190-lb Watkins de-committed from Indiana a few weeks back and subsequently took a visit to Minnesota, a visit which helped sway him to the Golden Gophers.

One hot prospect these days is Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School safety Donald Coleman. Coleman was one of the leading rushers on offense as a running back this year, but really made his mark on defense, where he was one of the team's leading tacklers (and biggest hitters). The 6'0, 207-lb Coleman now has offers from Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina State and has visited both the Wolfpack and the Hawkeyes. Other programs like North Carolina, South Florida and more have shown interest as word has spread on this one time sleeper.

While official visits were a big thing for many across the country there was still some action on the field in the Commonwealth of Kentucky as they held their state championship games in Louisville, Kentucky.

Top prospects to take home hardware included Kentucky commitments Ridge Wilson and Mister Cobble of Central High School (Louisville, KY) as they won their second consecutive state title. Don’t think Central will be down next season as they’ll return defensive end Timothy Patterson and wide receiver Stephan Robinson.

Despite his team losing in the finals junior safety prospect Miles Simpson of Simon Kenton High School (Independence, KY) picked up his first offer from Louisville. Simpson enjoyed a great season and played a major role in his team getting to the championship game with his play on both sides of the ball.

Another member of the Class of 2010 taking home a state title was Austin Collinsworth of Highlands High School (Fort Thomas, KY). The safety has the famous last name of his father Cris Collinsworth and the football skills to go with it. The victory by Highlands gave them their 18-th state title in programs history.

Other players who played big roles in the Highlands victory included running back Josh Conner and quarterback Tony Guidugli. Both players continue to win games and could be some of the bigger sleeper prospects in the country. Guidugli is the younger brother of former University of Cincinnati quarterback Gino Guidugli.

Central Michigan commitment Dominic Mainello also helped his team to a state title victory. The offensive/defensive lineman helped Beechwood High School (Ft Mitchell, KY) to their second straight title and 11th overall.

Ohio State commitment Jordan Whiting teamed with Central Michigan commitment Tim Phillips to help Trinity High School (Louisville, KY) to their second straight title. The win gave the Louisville program their 19th football title overall.

On the recruiting front there is much talk about Dunbar High School (Lexington, KY) running back Jerrell Greene and his future. Some off the field issues came up in the summer and there is some talk Greene may not end up at Kentucky because of it.

Ohio tight end Ted Bolser (Indian Hill HS) returned from his official visit with Indiana giving the Big Ten program a passing grade. “I’m 100% totally satisfied about my choice of Indiana. There are a lot of great young players there looking to take the program to another level.”

Bolser wasn’t alone in his excitement about Indiana as Lawrence Barnett of Bishop Luers High School (Fort Wayne, IN) shared in stating the Hoosiers have things headed in the right direction.

Pat Muldoon has finished all five of his official visits and will look to make his college choice in the next couple of weeks. “I want to take all the information I’ve gathered the past few months and let it sink in. I’ll then sit down with my family and make my decision.” Muldoon is down to the following schools, Boston College, Virginia, Wisconsin, Cincinnati and Duke.



Related Stories
Decision Time For Newsome
 -by FightOnState.com  Dec 15, 2008
Who Will Land Newsome
 -by FOXSportsRecruiting.com  Dec 15, 2008
Bush Waiting To Hear Back From ND
 -by IrishEyes.com  Dec 15, 2008

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