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October 25, 2012

Around the Mid-Atlantic: Number-crunching


MORE: Around the Midwest | Around the Southwest

Each Thursday throughout the fall, Rivals.com is breaking down the Mid-Atlantic Region recruiting scene with news, notes and analysis. Here is the latest from Rivals.com national and Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Mike Farrell.

News and Notes

This is usually the time of the year that some recruits get caught up in the scholarship number crunch. Three-star wide receiver Ishmael Hyman of Holmdel (N.J.) St. John Vianney may be facing this situation.

It seems as though Rutgers has informed Hyman that it is moving on, which has resulted in him scheduling an official visit to Old Dominion for this coming weekend.

He also has a visit scheduled to Kansas at this time, but don't be surprised if he ends up at Old Dominion when all is said and done. This will likely hurt Rutgers with Manalapan, N.J., wide receiver Saeed Blacknall because he and Hyman are very tight.

That doesn't mean Blacknall will end up at ODU because he will have a ton of very big offers before all is said and done, but things would be a lot easier for the Scarlet Knights if Hyman was on board recruiting him.

After going into hiding for a while, DaeSean Hamilton is speaking again and though months have passed it still looks like Virginia and Virginia Tech are the front-runners. Both of those trips are likely to come after the season.

As of today, absolutely nobody close to Hamilton or either school has been able to get a good read on where he might be leaning. The big question is how open he is to schools other than those two.

While he once sounded like he would take all five officials, now that looks like less of a sure thing.

Several Midwest schools appear to be poised to make a push for 2014 offensive lineman Sam Mustipher out of Good Counsel.

He's likely to visit Notre Dame and Ohio State in the weeks and months ahead, and he's already got an offer from the Buckeyes who appear to be his leader. He doesn't seem to be in a rush, but a good visit to Columbus could strengthen their hold.

Four-star running back David Williams was scheduled to take his second official visit to Tennessee for the Alabama game, but that suddenly was moved to Thanksgiving weekend.

With his first visit to Arizona State already in the books, that leaves three spots still open. South Carolina and Nebraska are the most likely to receive a visit, while Ohio State is also a possibility if it doesn't fill a spot at the position by then.

Look for Nebraska to put more of a full court press on Williams, now that another one of its running back targets, Corey Clement, seems ready to commit to Wisconsin.

2014 athlete Montae Nicholson of Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway is up to 10 early offers and will be one of the top prospects to come out of Western Pennsylvania in his class.

He has also taken an aggressive approach to his recruiting process by taking several visits. During the summer, Nicholson made his way to schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Rutgers, and that busy schedule has continued this fall.

Nicholson returned to Michigan for its big victory over Michigan State, and he will also return to Penn State this coming weekend for their game against Ohio State. While Nicholson plans to take his time, the Wolverines have definitely made a favorable impression on him during his two visits and should be considered a major player for the talented junior.

However, Ohio State has had more recent success at Gateway and they were once considered his dream offer so this could end up being a rivalry battle.

Underclassmen Watch

OL Quenton Nelson, Red Bank (N.J.) Red Bank Catholic (2014): With his sophomore highlights, Nelson already showed that he had the potential to become one of the top offensive line prospects in the region. That potential led to several early offers.

However, Nelson has turned it up a few notches with his early season junior highlights and the reaction has been very favorable from college coaches. Nelson shows extremely agile feet, impressive fundamentals and a mean streak that a lot of offensive linemen do not seem to have.

With this newest tape, Nelson has now positioned himself as a national prospect at the position, and the offers are and will continue to show that. Early offers have already come in from schools such as Ohio State, Penn State, Miami, West Virginia, Rutgers, Virginia, Michigan State and others.

WR Demetrius Johnson, Annapolis (Md.) Annapolis Christian (2014): At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Johnson has the size and athleticism that college coaches crave to find. He is an explosive prospect who has excellent body control and big, strong hands.

His combination of size, speed and athleticism make him a matchup nightmare for most defensive backs. Johnson has also dabbled as a defensive back, so it is not out of the question to see him playing on that side of the ball at the next level.

Either way, he has all the tools to become a top level prospect. At this point Johnson has early offers from Maryland, N.C. State and Hawaii.

QB William Crest, Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar (2014): Crest has worked to improve his game over the last two years, and it is paying off. He has especially worked on his mechanics and accuracy, and while both still need refining, the improvement is already substantial.

Crest does possess a live arm and can definitely zip the ball when necessary. He has also shown good athleticism and creativity when pressured, which has caught the attention of college coaches. Early offers have already come in from Ohio State, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and UTEP.

What I'm Thinking

Not surprisingly with the poor season that Virginia has had, other schools will look to take advantage. Look for Maryland to be one of these schools, especially with a good amount of in-state talent committed to Virginia. Linebacker Micah Kiser of Baltimore (Md.) Gilman School may be the one that attracts the most attention from the Terrapins coaching staff, especially with the continuing question mark surrounding former linebacker commit Yannick Ngakoue. And current rumors are swirling that Kiser may be listening.

There aren't many quality offensive linemen remaining on the East Coast but several schools seem willing to add a big man or two.

It once looked like Wake Forest was done recruiting offensive linemen but they may take another. North Carolina is after another, as is Virginia and even Virginia Tech. There's increasing competition for a relatively small pool of players, and a couple of guys that might not otherwise get a BCS opportunity could luck up. But that might not bode well for the teams reaching on them.

Da'Shawn Hand, the nation's No. 1 player for 2014, is headed to UNC this weekend for a visit with teammates and the Tar Heels could be one of the biggest threats to Virginia Tech. North Carolina has a good tradition of sending defensive linemen to the NFL but more importantly for Hand, the academic reputation of UNC as a public school is important. Insert all the academic scandal jokes you'd like here, but he has always wanted to see North Carolina and a big win and good atmosphere this weekend could keep them high in the mix.

The recruiting saga of running back Corey Clement of Glassboro, N.J., is coming to a end. After becoming the all-time leading rusher in South Jersey high school football history on Friday night, Clement took his official visit to Wisconsin and quickly, and finally, officially de-committed from Pittsburgh. This was a long time coming and it is probably better for the Pittsburgh coaching staff to finally be able to move on and find another running back before it is too late in the process.

Clement has yet to officially commit to the Badgers, but he will make his decision a week from this Friday between the Badgers, Panthers, Nebraska and Notre Dame. For a running back who wants touches and loves putting up big numbers, the Badgers make a lot of sense here.



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