December 26, 2007
Stock up: Prospects on the rise
The 2007 season is over but several prospects around the county are taking advantage of opportunities to improve their stock in the eyes of college recruiters as a result of impressive playoff runs and performances in postseason all-star events.
Rivals.com recruiting analyst Barton Simmons has been on the road scouting them and breaks down eight prospects that may have helped themselves the most.
D'Antoine Hood, CB, Phenix City (Ala.) Central-Phenix
Hood separated himself during the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic practice sessions. He looked right at home defending highly touted athletes like Julio Jones and Burton Scott. He is slightly undersized at 5 feet 9, but has great speed and hips and was tremendous in man coverage.
Outlook: Since the All-Star week, Hood has seen interest from Auburn pick up and he has scheduled a visit there for Jan. 18th. He also has visits planned visits for Georgia Southern and Alabama State. The Crimson Tide have made inquiries, but at this point Auburn is the most serious contender for this sleeper.
Dekendrick Moncrief, WR, Prattville Ala.
Moncrief took on the role of go-to receiver for Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic with Julio Jones slowed by turf toe. Moncrief runs crisp routes and shows great hands. He is only 5 feet 11, but is very crafty and has good quickness. He had a great week in Mobile.
Outlook: Moncrief lists offers from UAB, Auburn, Iowa State and Ole Miss among others. He has not focused on recruiting during his season and is just now starting to focus in on his options. His favorites will come into picture in the near future.
Dekendrick Moncrief highlights
Charles Mitchell, DB, Clarksdale, Miss.
Mitchell played strong safety in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and was around the ball all week. He is versatile as a DB in his ability to play both corner and safety. He looks great in his backpedal but is also physical coming downhill in the run game.
Outlook: Mitchell holds in-state offers from Mississippi State and Ole Miss and recently picked up a Nebraska offer as well. Alabama and Memphis have shown some added interest but he currently lists the three schools that have offered along with Southern Miss. as his top choices. He has scheduled official visits to Miss. State, Nebraska and Southern Miss. Schools are recruiting him as both a safety and a cornerback.
Charles Mitchell highlights
Alonzo Lawrence, CB, Lucedale (Miss.) George County
Lawrence impressed a lot of people at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, including the Rivals.com staff in attendance. The four-star's meteoric rise up the rankings list is due to his size, speed, athleticism and his competitive drive. He embraced the challenge of playing against some of the top wide receivers in the country and came up big under the lights with a 94-yard interception for a touchdown.
Outlook: College interest has picked up for Lawrence lately due to a playoff run into the state championship game in Mississippi, his performance in Mobile, Ala. and his progress in the classroom. Lawrence currently is interested in Alabama, Miami, Ole Miss and Tennessee but is enjoying his newfound attention. Currently he is scheduled to visit Alabama Jan. 11.
Alonzo Lawrence highlights
DeAndre Brown, WR, Ocean Springs, Miss.
Brown stole the show for much of the week in Mobile, Ala. for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star classic. He demonstrated and great athleticism for a kid of his size. He was productive after the catch and worked hard all week in practice. He was rewarded for his production with a five-star rating by Rivals.com
Outlook: As Brown continues to try to get his academics in order, college programs are flocking to land his services. Currently he has a visit set up with Ole Miss on Jan. 18 but is trying to set up visits with LSU, Florida, Texas Tech and Miami as well.
DeAndre Brown highlights
Sterling Lucas, LB, Orangeburg (S.C.) Orangeburg-Wilkinson
In the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, Lucas stood out on a loaded South Carolina squad. He is a big physical kid with a great nose for the ball. Heading into the week of practice he was a no-name on the recruiting front but he left practice with several offers in hand.
Outlook: Lucas has picked up four offers since his Shrine Bowl performance. Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina and N.C. State have all thrown themselves into the mix. He has a visit scheduled for N.C. State on Jan. 11 and will take consecutive visits to UNC and Michigan State the following two weekends respectively. If an in-state program were to get involved it would likely be the Gamecocks.
Jonathan Cooper, OG, Wilmington (N.C.) Hoggard
Cooper impressed during Shrine Bowl practice with his versatility to play on either side of the ball. He has a quick burst off of the line of scrimmage and has good quick feet. His stock rose considerably in Spartanburg, S.C. and he will be a very good guard at the next level.
Outlook: Cooper lists North Carolina, South Carolina and Wake Forest as his top three choices and also plans to visit N.C. State and coach Tom O'Brien. He has scheduled a trip to North Carolina the first weekend of January.
R.J. Mattes, OT, Concord (N.C.) Robinson
Mattes showed a complete package in the Shrine Bowl week of practice. He has transformed his body physically and showed a versatile set of tools to be a productive college offensive lineman. His performance during the week elevated him to a Rivals250 member.
Outlook: A Jan. 11 visit to Clemson and a Jan. 18 visit to South Carolina are the final two stops on the Mattes tour this winter. He has visited Virginia, North Carolina and N.C. State thus far and maintains that there is no leader among the five. His decision will come after he has had the opportunity to take a step back from all of his visits and see the bigger picture.
R.J. Mattes highlights
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