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Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 11:34 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 @ 3:02 PM
— Ra’veion Hargrove, one of the most prolific running backs in area high school history, signed with Bowling Green State University on Wednesday afternoon. He chose the Falcons over Ohio and Eastern Kentucky.
Also signing at Trotwood were linebacker James Parker (Coffeyville, Kansas, CC), receiver Dallas “Swag” Daniels (Arizona Western CC), receiver William “Big Picture” McDaniel (Ashland), quarterback Markell “Bruno” Stephens-Peppers (Malone) and defensive back Ke’wuan Garrett (Urbana).
»National Signing Day: Local football stars making final decisions
»National Signing Day: Where are area players going to college?
Winter snow that blanketed much of the area early Wednesday morning and shut down most schools also disrupted plans for national signing day ceremonies, including Trotwood-Madison, Dunbar and Springfield.
Dunbar’s signing ceremony has been postponed to 3:15 p.m. Thursday at the school. Five Wolverine seniors will sign, althought running back Tavion Thomas also announced on Wednesday that he’ll sign with Cincinnati. A planned visit to Ohio State last weekend was canceled. His final four were Cincinnati, Tennessee, OSU and Oklahoma, which he de-committed from after this past season.
Dunbar receiver Joseph Scates announced he’ll sign with Iowa State.
Springfield’s ceremony also has been postponed until 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the school. The Wildcats’ prized recruit is Leonard Taylor, who signed with UC on Wednesday. His final four also included Louisville, Kentucky and Texas A&M. A quarterback and defensive end, he de-committed from Michigan.
A new early signing period for football made its debut from December 20-22. Many area seniors opted to take advantage, including Wayne receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith (OSU), defensive end Alex Reigelsperger (Minnesota) and linebacker Antwuan Johnson (Bowling Green).
Among others to sign early were Marion Local defensive lineman John Dirksen (Notre Dame), Belmont defensive back Jadon Rucker-Furlow (Miami), Xenia receiver Meechi Harris (UC), Franklin running back Ryan Franklin (UC) and Sidney running back Isaiah Bowser (Northwestern) and defensive lineman Devan Rogers (Toledo).
But just as many more such as Hargrove, Thomas and Taylor opted to keep their recruitment going.
Hargrove capped an incredible career by being a go-to reason for Trotwood (15-0) winning its second state championship, defeating Dresden Tri-Valley 27-19 in the Division III title game last December at Canton. The Rams also went 15-0 and won a D-II title in 2011.
Hargrove, just 5 feet 7 and 165 pounds, finished runner-up in Ohio’s Mr. Football voting. According to Ohio High School Athletic Association records, his 7,364 career rushing yards ranks No. 7 all-time. He’s tied for ninth all-time with 100 career touchdowns.
As a senior, he rushed for 2,264 yards and scored 34 touchdowns. His breakout season was as a sophomore when he rushed for an all-time area best 3,039 yards and scored 41 touchdowns.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:11 AM
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was mostly smiles on Sunday after grinding out a win on the road over No. 11 Clemson and not even a question about Pete Thamel’s Yahoo! report on the FBI investigation into college basketball could dampen his spirits.
Thamel claims that up to 50 programs could eventually become involved in the scandal surrounding shoe companies funnelling money to recruits to get them to attend schools they sponsor and insisted half of last week’s Top 16 announced by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee could be compromised.
He also insisted that more Hall of Fame coaches would fall in addition to former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who was fired before the season last year but has maintained his innocence. That likely prompted the question to Krzyzewski, himself a Hall of Fame coach.
“I haven’t followed it at all. I don’t follow Yahoo,” Krzyzewski said according to Matt Connolly of The State. “Actually, when I grew up if you were called a Yahoo that wasn’t nice.
“But no, I don’t know. I haven’t followed it… I’ve been so in a tunnel, in a cave with my own team. So I’m not up to date on it.”
Duke has become the premier destination for top talent in recent years, nabbing the top class in the nation in each of the last two years according to the 247Sports composite rankings. They also have the top three players in the Class of 2018 committed.
That doesn’t necessarily mean anything given that Duke is one of the most prestigious programs in country, but given all the Duke hate out there plenty of people will be anxiously awaiting their inclusion in this mess that seems bound to uproot the sport as a whole before it is all said and done. However, Krzyzewski doesn’t appear to be worried about it.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:15 AM
The severity of the injury to Keenan Evans’s toe is arguably the biggest factor in the entire Big 12 title race.
According to a report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Chris Beard has listed Evans as “day-to-day” with a toe injury.
Texas Tech's Keenan Evans (toe) is being listed as day-to-day, per Chris Beard. Suffered the injury in Saturday's game against Baylor.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 19, 2018
Needless to say, if Evans isn’t healthy enough to perform at the level he has been this season, the Red Raiders could be in some trouble. He leads Texas Tech with 18.2 points per game. Zhaire Smith and Jarrett Culver are tied for second in points per game with 10.8, a long shot from Evans’s average. Evans is easily Texas Tech’s most prolific scorer, their offense won’t grind to a halt without him in the lineup, but it will be greatly diminished.
College Gameday will be in town for Texas Tech’s matchup against Kansas, which will essentially be a winner-take-all game in terms of the Big 12 regular season championship, provided both teams win out. IF Evans can’t get healthy by then, the Red Raiders could be in a little trouble.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:04 AM
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Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
As an assistant coach at one of the top lacrosse programs in the country, Lelan Rogers knows how recruiting spiels go. But when Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos and other administrators took the floor for various presentations during his son Casey’s official visit last month, the elder Rogers was taken aback for a moment.
“Being a coach, I know it affected me,” Rogers, who coaches at Syracuse, told Land of 10. “I know what I was looking for and I know what Casey [a 3-star defensive end] was looking for.”
Every school has various life-skills programs for athletes that assist in searching for internships, going abroad during the summer or just about anything else. Given the ubiquity of such tools, selling them can be difficult. But the way Nebraska presented everything set it apart.
“You could just feel the excitement,” Rogers said. “They were happy to be in front of you. Everyone was enthusiastic. The presentations had a lot, a lot of energy.”
Another aspect of the visit that Rogers complimented was access to the university’s top officials, and not just Moos. For example, the Rogers family ate breakfast the final morning of the visit with Chancellor Ronnie Green. It all struck an original chord for someone who is extremely familiar with the recruiting process.
“I don’t know it was the same for every recruit that was there,” he said.
Well, not every recruit, but other Nebraska signees have definitely mentioned meetings with Moos that triggered similar emotions during their official visits.
Let’s make one thing clear. Athletic directors don’t just waltz into recruiting trips. It’s uncommon, to say the least. Rogers said he shook Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith’s hand in passing, but did not have any conversation. Other than that, he never had met another athletic director on any of the Rogers’ various recruiting trips, which included Alabama, Boston College and West Virginia, among others. The fact that Moos dedicates time from his weekend to help sell Nebraska, a place he’s only been for about four months, illuminates his “lead by example” philosophy.
And whatever he’s telling these recruits, it’s working. Andre Hunt, a 3-star wide receiver from Paraclete, Calif., knew he wanted to sign with Nebraska after speaking with Moos.
“He really fired me up,” Hunt told Land of 10. “I told my dad right after I talked to him. I was like ‘I want to come here.’ Because if the AD is in [line] with the coaches and the whole football staff, we’re going to have success. That’s what I want. I want to win the championship wherever I go.”
Hunt’s point about success is interesting. Moos’ willingness to get his hands dirty in the recruiting process also signals he’s going to do what it takes to help revitalize the program, his department’s crown jewel. It’s also becoming especially clear that football coach Scott Frost and his team will have a fighting chance at any resource they want, including Moos’ time.
Cam Taylor is another Nebraska signee who said he felt a connection with Moos. But more important, Moos reassured Taylor’s mother about sending her son to school far from their native Montgomery, Ala. Taylor said the conversation among the three of them was what stood out to him the most about his official visit from Jan. 26-28.
“The way he explained everything, as far as he’s going to take care of us and stuff like that, that really stood out, because he looked my mom in her eyes and said he would take care of me and I’ll get my degree from Nebraska if I come,” Taylor said.
Hunt said he’d never interacted with an athletic director on any of his other visits. It was the first time Taylor and his family had spoken with an athletic director.
“We really had a casual conversation,” Taylor said. “We were talking about anything. It wasn’t just about athletics or academics, even just how our day was going, what we were going to do when we got back [home].”
Rogers, Hunt and Taylor all visited on different weekends, meaning it was a busy few weeks or so for everyone in the program, including Moos, but they will all reap the results: the No. 22 recruiting class in 2018, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
At the end of the day with most prospects, it comes down to who wants you the most. And when a school’s athletic director is on the front lines of recruiting, there’s a good chance you’ll feel desirable.
“It’s nice to be wanted,” Rogers said.