'Golden Al' Has Uphill Recruiting Battle Ahead With Hurricanes
Golden, who breathed competitive life into a moribund Temple program, has hit the ground running in Coral Gables in an effort to restock what was a shockingly bare cupboard at "The U."
The man known as "Golden Al" due to his recruiting prowess as an assistant at Boston College, Penn State and Virginia already has made strong inroads toward one potentially program-changing recruit: pro-style QB Gary Nova (6-2, 210, Ramsey, N.J., Don Bosco Prep).
Nova was originally committed to Pitt, but the departure of Dave Wannstedt as the Panthers' boss put the QB back on the market. Golden already had an eye on Nova while at Temple, and while Rutgers and Virginia currently have stronger position with Nova, Golden and his assistants are selling the fact that the Hurricanes do not have another quarterback in the 2011 class.
Nova is set to take an official visit to Rutgers on Jan. 21, and isn't expected to announce his college destination until NSD on Feb. 2.
Even if Golden and Miami do land Nova, the Hurricanes still have a lot of work to do to salvage a respectable signing class. The U currently has only six commitments -- DE Anthony Chickillo (6-3, 226, Tampa, Fla., Alonso HS), WR Phillip Dorsett (5-10, 170, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., St. Thomas Aquinas HS), DB Jeremy Davis (6-4, 189, New Berlin, N.Y., Milford Academy), TE Chase Harper (6-4, 260, Corsicana, Texas, Navarro CC), LB Nick Menocal (6-3, 235, Miami, Fla., Belin Jesuit Prep) and DE Olsen Pierre (6-6, 280, Fork Union, Va., Fork Union Military Academy).
All-Star Calendar Hitting Homestretch
As high school football season wraps up across the country, all-star season ramps up for potential college football players. Here is a glance at some of the nation's top all-star events being held over the next month.
GACA North/South All-Star Classic
When: Dec. 29
Where: Columbus, Ga.
Who: North Georgia vs. South Georgia
The 411: The North will be led by future SEC players A.J. Johnson (Tennessee), Brian Randolph (Tennessee), Chris Sanders (Georgia) and C.J. Uzomah (Auburn). The South is led by stars Jay Rome, Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley (Georgia) and Shannon Brown (Alabama).
When: Dec. 30
Where: Towson, Md.
Who: Top prospects from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware vs. top prospects from Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and West Virginia
The 411: Standouts Damiere Byrd (South Carolina), Dondi Kirby, Sheldon Royster, Bill Belton (Pittsburgh), Kyshoen Jarrett (Pitt), Deion Barnes, Brandon Clemons, Trip Thurman (Florida) and Marquise Wright (Pitt) highlight the North roster, while stars Dominique Terrell, Darius Jennings, Kevin McReynolds and Darian Cooper lead the South. Five-star Cyrus Kouandjio is also on the South roster and if he participates, it will make this an even stronger group.
NUC All-World Gridiron Classic
When: Dec. 31
Where: Charleston, S.C.
Who: Players from all over the United States, Canada and one each from Australia and Croatia.
The 411: This is the first annual event for the National Underclassmen Combine organization, which is the leader in football camps held nationally for high school players of all ages. This year's inaugural event has Damiere Byrd (South Carolina), Vance Roberts (West Virginia), Amarlo Herrera (Georgia), Jabari Hunt-Days (Georgia Tech), and Kenny Williams (Texas Tech).
When: Dec. 31
Where: Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Who: Top prospects from around the country
The 411: Plenty of talent on display including Georgia-bound quarterback Christian Lemay's first appearance since he was suspended for his senior year, athlete Ladarius Brown, running back Marlin Lane (Clemson), running back Justice Hayes (Michigan), defensive lineman Kenny Hayes (Ohio State) and tight end Eric MacLain (Clemson).
Under Armour All-America Game
When: Jan. 5
Where: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Who: Top prospects from around the nation
The 411: The nation's No. 1 player, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, leads a loaded roster for the annual event held at Tropicana Field. Other five-star prospects in the game include offensive tackles La'El Collins and Cyrus Kouandjio, as well as safety Hasean Clinton-Dix.
U.S. Army All-American Bowl
When: Jan. 8
Where: San Antonio, Texas
Who: Top prospects from around the nation, East vs. West
The 411: Four top-ranked players at their positions -- defensive tackle Michael Bennett, inside linebacker Curtis Grant, strong side defensive end Stephon Tuitt and athlete James Wilder Jr. -- lead the East. The West's offense is especially impressive with running back Malcolm Brown and wide receiver George Farmer, each No. 1 at their position, and a strong offensive line leading the way. This is the premier all-star event in the offseason.
This Week's Commitments
A five-star quarterback and a handful of four-star talents head this week's list of 21 verbal commitments – which are non-binding pledges and are always subject to change before Feb. 2.
Five-star QB Teddy Bridgewater (6-3, 192, Miami, Fla., Northwestern HS) announced that he will attend Louisville. Bridgewater chose the Cardinals after de-committing from Miami, Fla. He also considered Florida, Florida International, LSU, Rutgers, South Florida and Tennessee.
Four-star CB Demetrious Nicholson (5-10, 167, Virginia Beach, Va., Bayside HS) chose Virginia, four-star RB Jameel Poteat (5-11, 200, Harrisburg, Pa., Bishop McDevitt HS) is bound for Cincinnati, four-star CB Kyshoen Jarrett (East Stroudsburg, Pa., SHS) committed to Virginia Tech, four-star CB Tevin Mitchel (6-0, 175, Mansfield, Texas, Mansfield Legacy HS) pledged to Arkansas and four-star CB Nick Waisome (5-10, 170, Groveland, Fla., South Lake HS) chose Florida State.
FB Patrick Skov (6-1, 241, Lawrenceville, N.J., Lawrenceville Prep) is headed to Stanford, RB Josh Clemons (5-10, 205, Fayetteville, Ga., Whitewater HS) chose Kentucky, K Matt Goudis (6-0, 165, West Hills, Calif., Chaminade Prep) committed to Missouri, WR Alonzo Russell (6-4, 185, New Berlin, N.J., Milford Academy) is bound for Toledo, and OLB Keith Lewis (6-2, 215, Tampa, Fla., Freedom HS) will go to Ole Miss.
OT Joe Thuney (6-5, 235, Kettering, Ohio, Archbishop Alter HS) committed to North Carolina State, DE Reggie Coates (6-2, 230, Encino, Calif., Crespi Carmelite HS) decided on Nevada, CB Devin Gaulden (5-10, 177, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., University School of Nova Sout) is headed to Wisconsin, TE Drew Owens (6-5, 230, Charlotte, N.C., Ardrey Kell HS) committed to South Carolina, and RB Adonis Ameen-Moore (5-11, 230, Denver, Colo., Mullen HS) decided on Syracuse.
QB Brock Berglund (6-4, 200, Highlands Ranch, Colo., Valor Christian HS) pledged to Kansas, S Dondi Kirby (6-3, 190, Monroeville, Pa., Gateway SHS) chose Illinois, WR Eli Rogers (5-10, 180, Miami, Fla., Northwestern is joining Bridgewater at Louisville, CB Fred Wilson (5-11, 165, Bakersfield, Calif., West HS) committed to UNLV, and CB Allen Chapman (5-10, 175, San Francisco, Calif., CC of San Francisco) will transfer to Kansas State.