North Recruiting Notebook

Kevin Newsome

This was the last weekend for official visitors until after the Christmas holiday and before a lot of high profile D-I prospects depart for the All-Star games that will be held across the nation. recaps the action.

Livonia (Mich.) Clarenceville's Jeremy Gainer became the 18th commitment in the class of 2009 for Michigan State. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Gainer has played a number of positions in high school, from free safety to middle linebacker. The Spartans project him at that linebacker spot, where he spent all of his senior season. Gainer was an Indiana commitment, but re-opened his recruitment a few weeks back, around the same time he received his Michigan State offer. His cousin, Kenny Watkins, a defensive back from Birmingham Brother Rice, also once an Indiana commitment, committed to Minnesota earlier in the week.

Boston College came out to Illinois and picked up a commitment from linebacker Jake Sinkovec. The Carmel Catholic product played mainly at safety in high school, but with his 6-foot-4 frame, he projects to outside linebacker in college. Sinkovec was Pioneer Press Lake Shore's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior after making 92 tackles (61 solo, five for loss) and four interceptions.

Another sleeper who made his choice recently is Toledo (Ohio) St. John's Jesuit defensive lineman Tim Kynard. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Kynard was offered by Illinois on Tuesday and accepted the offer with a verbal commitment on Friday.

One player who was also under the radar, but appears to be shedding that "sleeper" tag is Indianapolis Pike cornerback Troy Smith. Smith had eight interceptions as a senior and recently picked up his first offer from Ball State. He took an official visit to Iowa this weekend and could soon receive an offer from the Hawkeyes. Smith is also hearing from Cincinnati, Louisville and Toledo among others.

Smith's junior teammate, wide receiver Dyjuan Lewis, recently picked up offers from Kentucky, Iowa, Louisville and Minnesota, bringing his total to eight. At 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Lewis is a big, physical wide receiver and is one of the top prospects in Indiana for the class of 2010.

After a great junior season finished with a state championship Austin Collinsworth of Highlands High School (Ky.) picked up his first two official offers from Louisville and Cincinnati. The son of former NFL wide receiver Cris Collinsworth is considered one of Kentucky's top prospects for the Class of 2010 as a safety or wide receiver. Next season we'll see Collinsworth playing running back his natural position.

Another Northern Kentucky prospect picked up his first offer a week ago and followed that with a second one. Miles Simpson of Simon Kenton High School (KY) picked up an offer from Louisville and then had Cincinnati jump on board as well.

Boone Country High School has already seen one top running back come out of the school in Shaun Alexander. Now it looks like the Rebels have another in junior running back Charles Quainoo who rushed for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season. Right now, Quainoo is hearing from Kentucky, Louisville, Miami Ohio and Cincinnati to name a few.

Mike Federspiel of Henry Clay High School (Lexington, KY) made his verbal commitment to Western Kentucky. Federspiel is the son of former Kentucky and NFL player Joe Federspiel.

The top kicker in Kentucky also made the choice to attend Western Kentucky as Bell County High School's Monte Merrick stayed to his word and stayed in state. Merrick was hearing from Kentucky but the Wildcats were only offering a walk-on spot.

Sophomore quarterback DeMarcus Smith of Seneca High School (Louisville, KY) is already considered one of the top prospects in the Class of 2011. With several colleges already in pursuit, Smith received an unofficial offer from Illinois. Don't be surprised if Smith is one of the top prospects in the country and picks up even more early interest.

On the college front Louisville is looking to rebuild after two consecutive rough seasons. This week the Cardinals signed junior college players Adam Froman and Malcolm Tatum while also receiving verbal commitments from high school players Shamarko Thomas and Brandon Sharpe out of Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia. The signing of Froman might have played a role in Emmanuel Yeager making a change of plans as he's now headed to New Mexico to play for new head coach Mike Locksley.

Several sources have told that Pat Muldoon has given his verbal commitment to Wisconsin on Sunday night. Muldoon who was down to Cincinnati, Boston College, Duke, Virginia and Wisconsin had a great visit during the season when the Badgers played Ohio State.

Coalinga (Cal.) West Hills Community College four-star cornerback Daryl Robinson has decided to back out of his verbal pledge to Minnesota. Robinson wants to weigh all his options before making a final decision. Robinson started at tailback as a true freshman at Temple, before enrolling at West Hills.

Former four-star quarterback Pat Devlin has decided to leave Penn State. The former Downingtown East (Pa.) star is looking at several D-I AA programs including Delaware and Villanova. Nittany Lion fans had little time to mourn the loss of Devlin as Norfolk (Va.) Churchland four-star Kevin Newsome committed to Penn state only days after Devlin announced his transfer. Newsom now becomes the heir apparent to Daryl Clark after next season. Recommended Stories

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