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September 23, 2012

Roundtable: Best battles over prospects

ROUNDTABLES: Sept. 16 | Sept. 9 | Sept. 1 | Aug. 25

The Rivals.com analysts tackle current topics in the recruiting world in a roundtable format.

Who is the fastest player you've seen this fall?

Mike Farrell, National: I know he's not known for his speed as much as he is for his instincts and smarts, but Kendall Fuller is more than fast enough. I saw him pull out a tough win when he took an intermediate route and ran away from everyone for a 94-yard touchdown. He's a legit 4.5 guy and that's fast enough.

Rob Cassidy, West: For me, it's Devon Allen. The Phoenix Brophy Prep wide receiver has track scholarship offers from schools all over the country. Recently, Florida State offered the speedster for track, but Allen wants to play football as well as run the 200-meter dash in college. The Seminoles' coaching staff is still deciding whether or not to make a football offer, but the internal debate certainly has nothing to do with his speed. Allen runs five different events in high school, but his 200 time of 20.75 will force him to concentrate on that event in college.

Kynon Codrington, Southeast: The fastest player I've seen this fall has to be Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay defensive back Deion Hallmon. Hallmon clocked a 4.46-second 40 at the Al Golden Summer Camp. The 2014 defender reports a Purdue offer and is hearing from several BCS schools. He calls Miami his dream school. Of course it's easy for him to root for the hometown 'Canes as his dad Jack Hallmon played defense for Miami back in the 80s. . .

Adam Gorney, West: There are probably faster prospects but there aren't many players like Steven Mitchell, who get in and out of their breaks so fast and know exactly how to set up cornerbacks with their speed. Mitchell, a commit to USC from Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany, has great speed once he gets to the corner and he's going to be a nice asset in the Trojans' offense for seasons to come. He was especially impressive this summer going against top-notch cornerbacks and once he gets going to the outside - or on reverses - he can hit the edge and keep going.

Josh Helmholdt, Midwest: I'm going to say Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle three-star cornerback Jaleel Hytchye. The opposition did not test his side of the field much in the passing game, but when it was time to track down a play, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder showed he can really get up and go.

Jason Howell, Southwest: Fort Worth Southwest receiver Robbie Rhodes has the fastest track times. Lancaster's Demarcus Ayers definitely showed speed and some wiggle. Laquvionte Gonzalez of Cedar Hill is the slipperiest. But the fastest goes to Tre'Davious White of Shreveport (La.) Green Oaks. White was on a different level from everyone on the field when it came to speed, quickness and suddenness. He could turn it on as quick as he turned it off, and he knew just when to do it.

Woody Wommack, Southeast: Watching games in the Southeast, it seems like I see a burner every Friday night. Last week I watched 2014 Thomas County Central (Ga.) running back Adam Choice and came away pretty impressed with his speed once he turned the corner. Immokalee (Fla.) 2014 WR/DB J.C. Jackson is another guy I saw this year who is lightning fast, both on offense and as a kick returner. .

What recruit baffles you the most for not committing yet?

Mike Farrell, National: I'll say Ebenezer Ogundeko. He's had at least a couple of announcement dates and has been linked with potential commitments to Florida, Notre Dame and Syracuse. I think the longer it goes the better off Syracuse is and his recruitment reminds me of Wayne Morgan, also from Brooklyn, last year.

Rob Cassidy, West: Look, I'm not saying the decision between Notre Dame and Rutgers is easy. I'm just saying the two schools are awfully easy to compare and contrast. This is why I'm struggling to put my finger on what's taking Al-Quadin Muhammad so long to choose. The Irish and Scarlet Knights lead for the four-star defensive end, and Muhammad intends to wait. Many other programs will not. The Rivals250 member lists an offer from Alabama, but the Tide won't likely sit tight and wait for him to make a decision.

Kynon Codrington, Southeast: Great question. I'm surprised Marcell Harris has yet to commit. Harris has visited Texas and is planning a trip to Oklahoma. However, I don't see him leaving the state and most feel he is a strong lean to the Gators. His father, Mike, played at Florida and was on the 1996 national championship team. I feel it's only a matter of time before he announces his plans to play in Gainesville in college. He has the chance to be an All-SEC/All-American caliber player and could thrive in Will Muschamp's defense. Muschamp played safety at Georgia and I'm sure he would be eager to build his back seven around a talented player such as Harris. .

Adam Gorney, West: The two names that come to mind in the West are Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) safety Tahaan Goodman and Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis. All indications are that USC is the leader for Goodman and that has been confirmed through a few sources. It could be a situation in which there still isn't room for the four-star or he's just waiting until after some visits, but we fully expect him to end up at USC. Willis said from early in his recruitment that he was going to be patient with things but he's really taking it slowly. Visits to Nebraska and LSU are scheduled but don't count out the Arizona schools, UCLA or some others.

Josh Helmholdt, Midwest: I'm not sure what Detroit Country Day offensive tackle Poet Thomas is waiting on. He's had a small handful of really nice offers, but those opportunities will start to go away if he does not show progress toward a decision in the near future.

Jason Howell, Southwest: Livingston (Texas) athlete Chevoski Collins is the one who stands out to me the most. He has had a top five of Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma State. There have been times it seemed like he was ready to go ahead and narrow things down, but he continues to play everything out. At first it looked like Collins would be a shoe-in for Texas, but that is no longer the case. He has set some visits and we'll see where it goes from here.

Woody Wommack, Southeast: It seems like Leon McQuay and USC have a mutual love affair, but McQuay isn't quite ready to go to the alter. I think McQuay knows what he wants to do and it's just a matter of time before he does it. .

What is shaping up to be the best two-team battle over a player in your region?

Mike Farrell, National: Right now it appears to be Auburn and Michigan for Derrick Green but Tennessee jumped way into the mix this weekend. However there are a lot of rumors about Derek Dooley not being around by the end of the season so this could continue to be a battle between the Tigers and Wolverines.

Kynon Codrington, Southeast: The best two-team battle could center around Derrick Henry. Henry rushed for a Florida state record 502 yards on Friday night. On Saturday morning, the four-star athlete took a trip to Tuscaloosa to visit Alabama. I've heard from a good source that the 'Tide have a slight edge over Tennessee. He visited Knoxville last weekend and enjoyed his visit. Alabama has two four-star running backs already committed in this class and early playing time may be tough to earn for the defending BCS national champs. The Vols could use a feature downhill back with elite speed like Henry. The workout warrior plans to make his decision this Thursday. .

Adam Gorney, West: The recruitment that's getting really interesting - and really it's a three-team battle - is that of Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep wide receiver Devon Allen. He visited UCLA last weekend and now claims the Bruins are the leader. But he still has visits set up for Texas and Stanford and both were considered ahead of UCLA before he took that trip. This one could definitely get interesting because now UCLA might be tough to beat. But can he turn down Texas if he has a good visit there? And Stanford was one of the main contenders throughout his recruitment. Definitely a good one to watch.

Josh Helmholdt, Midwest: I do think the recruitment of Rivals100 wide receiver Shelton Gibson will get more interesting before it becomes more clear where he is headed, and the two teams at the front of that race are Ohio State and Auburn. Most assume Gibson is a done deal for the Buckeyes, but he's had plenty of opportunities to take that plunge and continues to hold off the decision.

Jason Howell, Southwest: Four-star Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch is shaping up to be another Texas/Oklahoma battle. He has a current top five of Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M and UCLA. Texas and Oklahoma jumped out to a quick lead this summer, but everyone is coming back to the pack as Benenoch makes his visits. After he takes his visits I think we will see this one come back to Oklahoma and Texas. However, do not count out Baylor in this one. Benenoch's brother is a walk-on defensive back for the Bears.

Woody Wommack, Southeast: It seems that Alabama and Georgia have quite a battle on their hands for the services of Alvin Kamara. Last week Georgia commit Brice Ramsey told me he was lobbying hard to get Kamara to join him in Athens, but the four-star back has yet to tip his hand. It might come down to the wire to see which SEC school nabs the versatile back.



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