Posted: 12:14 am Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
There are a few players to keep an eye on as national signing day nears, some of them are likely to make early verbals.
For starters, a pair of Dwyer stars are caught in the middle of recruiting wars.
Bradley Wallace, an outside linebacker and safety, is being recruited most strongly by FAU and Troy. He appeared close to a commitment to the Owls, but snubbed them to visit Troy when he double-booked his weekend. FAU still appears to be leading the race, but look for Wallace to hold out all the way until signing day (Feb. 4) in case Miami, Clemson or Florida State loses a prospect and comes calling.
“I’m waiting on all of them — some bigger schools — and that’s why I’m still undecided,” Wallace said.
His teammate Donald Russell, one of the area’s top running backs this past season, looked like he was ready to pledge himself to Southern Mississippi but recently changed his mind. He had a great recruiting visit to Southern Miss but an even better one at Kentucky afterward. That, in addition to the opportunity to play in the SEC, makes it likely Russell will become a Wildcat. That commitment could come as early as Tuesday.
One of the titans of Dwyer’s defense was 6-foot-0, 295-pound defensive tackle Irvin Titre, who is also a prospect on the offensive line. Titre is deemed too short by most colleges — Central Florida even told him it would not sign any offensive lineman shorter than 6-foot-3 — and has just one offer (Central Connecticut). FAU, Arkansas State, Colorado State and Wagner are among those with some potential of making a run at him.
This has gone underreported — I apologize — but King’s Academy fullback Lee Bussey has verbally committed to Air Force. Bussey (6-1, 205) rushed for 630 yards and seven touchdowns this season and caught two touchdown passes.
Atlantic cornerback Jayron Hosley is near a commitment to South Florida, picking the Bulls over Virginia Tech. Hosley spurned interest from several BCS powers including Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Miami. Hosley is an intelligent kid and has done thorough research during this process.
Olympic Heights defensive lineman Judes Amilcar committed to Eastern Illinois over the weekend. He will be the second Heights player headed to the Land of Lincoln after running back Antione Kirkland (Northern Illinois).
“He canceled his other trips,” Heights coach Mitch Hengold wrote in an e-mail. “I guess he likes 9 degree weather.”
There was a lot of hype surrounding King’s Academy linebacker Toney Moore at the beginning of the season, but frankly, it was virtually impossible to verify any of the talk because Moore blew out his MCL early in the season. Prior to that, Syracuse and FAU made bids. Northern Illinois is in the mix, too.
Moore said his knee is healing and does not believe it has hindered his college search. He also said Virginia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina State and Notre Dame still are keeping in touch.
“A lot of people have asked me about (the knee), but they know it’s something you can come back from,” Moore said. “Of course it set me back a little bit, but … not too much. It’s starting to feel normal again.”
Coming into the season, Seminole Ridge’s Tyler Wilhelm looked like one of the area’s premier quarterback prospects. He got looks from Air Force, Tulsa, Central Florida and others. None of those materialized into offers, and now Wilhelm is looking at much smaller programs. South Dakota and Mercy Herst (Penn.) are looking at him for full scholarships, but he could wind up at Lehigh on a partial.
Wilhelm is 6-foot-3, 180 pounds and has a strong arm. Physically, he is fully recovered from the broken collarbone he suffered as a junior, but he might never bounce back from that in terms of recruiting. Most major programs identify their priority quarterback prospects when those players are high school juniors. Wilhelm basically had no junior season, so he missed that shot.
“He’s been No. 2 or No. 3 on everybody’s list,” Seminole Ridge coach Matt Dickmann said. “Some of the schools that had him No. 1 took transfers.”
Antonio McCloude managed to compensate for his size (5-foot-7, 165 pounds) while he was burning up the field as a running back for Glades Central, but colleges are wary despite his 4.54 time in the 40-yard dash. Schools like West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Colorado and Rutgers have maintained contact with him but none have put forth an offer. McCloude is likely choosing between Ball State, Florida International and Alabama State at this point.
“All of them are still in play, but they’re trying to wait to see what’s going to happen with other recruits,” he said. “They tell me they’re waiting on one specific guy and if he doesn’t commit they’ll go ahead and offer me, so I’m still keeping that in mind.”
Don’t expect McCloude to publicize his decision before Feb. 4.
Royal Palm Beach had a verbal commitment this week with cornerback Jordan Dangerfield declaring his intent to play for Hofstra, and now all eyes are on Perry McIntyre. McIntyre (6-2, 211) played linebacker and defensive end in one of the area’s top defenses, and he has offers from FAU and Georgia State. He had 78 tackles, 15 sacks and five defensive touchdowns as a senior. He has a meeting scheduled with Syracuse on Thursday.
Farther west, whiz kid De-Andres Jackson could end up in the Ivy League after he graduates Glades Day. Jackson, a wide receiver, has offers or interest from Brown, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Arkansas State and Air Force.
The offers continue to poor in for the class of 2010. Palm Beach Central offensive lineman Shane McDermott has written offers from West Virginia and Cincinnati. He was a second-team all-area selection as a junior.