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December 8, 2003

The Weekend Rewind

Had to chance to catch your breath yet?

This past weekend mark the first major recruiting weekend all over the nation and with more than 120 recruiting updates on Sunday alone, Rivals100.com was there to guide you along the way and give you the ultimate recruiting scoop.

But in case you missed some of the highlights, here's look back at some of the major news in the Rivals100 Weekend Rewind.

LEE NOT A LOCK?
Five-star dual-threat quarterback Xavier Lee took his second official visit of the recruiting season to Ohio State this past weekend. He came away impressed, but the big question is whether or not Lee is a lock to Florida State like so many people have predicted since day one.

So, is there a leader?

"Probably Ohio State or Auburn right now because those are the two visits I've been on," Lee said. "But Florida State is still up there high. I wouldn't make my decision before visiting them."

His visit with the Seminoles is set for Jan. 9. They are widely regarded as the leader by Sunshine State recruiting observers. His half-brother, Anthony Kelly, signed with FSU last year.

A team to watch out for with Lee might be the Texas Longhorns. After striking out every where inside the Lone Star State in what was the year of the quarterback, Texas is about to put a full-court press on the No. 14 player on the Rivals100.

"We'll have to see what happens," Lee said. "They called me for the first time on Friday."

As a senior, he passed for 3,133 yards and 37 touchdowns while rushing for 567 yards and 10 scores.

HERRING PICKS LAST VISIT
Five-star athlete Thomas Herring (6-6, 292, 4.8) from Los Angeles (Calif.) Fremont is one of the nation's top prospects and most sought after. The standout plays defensive end and tight end, but Rivals100 projects him as a future first-round pick as an offensive tackle, and with that type of attention it's no surprise teams from all over the nation are battling for him.

Herring has already visited Michigan back on October 17. He was set up to visit Miami next weekend, along with already having trips set to Oklahoma on December 19, Washington on January 9 and then Miami on January 23. The big news is that it looks like the LSU Tigers have secured the last official visit from the five-star prospect.

"I was going to visit either USC or UCLA for my last visit," Herring said. "But I talked it over with my Mom and I will trip LSU for my last visit."

Don't worry Trojan fans, USC is still believed to be the quiet leader for his signature. He was in attendance for the USC-Oregon State game this past weekend and even if he doesn't visit campus officially, there is little doubt that the Men of Troy are in the running still.

NATION'S TOP DT TAKES FIRST VISIT
Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley five-star defensive tackle DeMario Pressley took his first of five official visits this past weekend to N.C. State. Even though, UNC and Florida State are believed to be the quiet leaders, Dudley did come away from the N.C. State trip impressed, and so did his parents.

"My parents really enjoyed going to the football banquet," Pressley, who is 6-foot-4 and 285 pounds, said. "It really emotional to hear Phillip Rivers speak at the banquet. He was almost in tears because he loves that school and that team so much. That's the kind of quarterback that I'd like to have on my team when I pick a college."

But the wait for Pressley's pick might be quite some time from now. He's going to visit UNC on January 9, and is still working on visit dates with Florida State, Tennessee and likely Oklahoma State.

"I'll set up more dates here this week," he said.

"I just need to get them scheduled."

BIG WEEKEND FOR THE BUCKS
Sure many schools had huge list of visitors throughout the nation, but it would be hard to compare to the amount of talent that Ohio State had on its campus over the weekend. The Buckeyes played host to more than 15 highly ranked prospects, including five-star recruits Ted Ginn Jr., Fred Davis and also Xavier Lee.

Davis said it was great to be able to hang out with so much blue-chip talent like that.

"I hung out with Ted Ginn, Marcus Freeman, and Xavier Lee," he said. "Lee's a great quarterback. I'd like to play with him. He's real good. I think Ohio State is one of his top choices."

Most of the recruits that were there at Ohio State talked about how tight the team was and how that would be a big selling point for ending up in Columbus.

"The team unity was amazing," said offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah. "That's probably the biggest thing that I came away from when I was up there. They were all a very tight-knit group. Some schools you'll see the teams break up into little clicks, but that wasn't the case at all at Ohio State."

HAPPIER IN HAPPY VALLEY
After missing out on several other quarterback recruits, landing a signal-caller of the future was absolutely a must for the Penn State Nittany Lions. And they landed their guy over the weekend when Fort Dorchester, S.C., quarterback Paul Cianciolo (6-5, 220) became Penn State's 20th verbal commitment for its Class of 2008

After flying low under the recruiting radar screen as a junior, Cianciolo saw his stock shoot through the roof after throwing for 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior. What's most impressive about Cianciolo is that he has the build and knowledge to run a Penn State style of offense.

Despite him not being a highly ranked kid, this might be a match made in heaven for PSU.

"You can't beat Joe Paterno and the opportunity at Penn State," Cianciolo said. "The academics, atmosphere and everything were great. I know that I can be a good fit for the Penn State system. They need a guy that can be solid and steady and make consistent plays. I think I'm the guy that can come in and do that.

"I'm excited about the opportunity."

BRUINS ADD BEEF
With UCLA needing depth at the offensive line, it was key for the Bruins to go out in December and snag some key o-line commitments. UCLA started the month out the right way by picking up a commitment from Scott Glicksberg, a sleeper offensive lineman from San Jose (Calif.) Leland.

In Glicksberg, the Bruins land a player that the Bruin brass feels has the versatility to play all three interior line spots.

"UCLA wants to take six offensive linemen and the Bruins already have four committed," Glicksberg said. "So I didn't want to lose my spot by waiting."

"I really felt team unity particularly with the other offensive linemen and I like (offensive line) coach (Mark) Weber a lot," Glicksberg said.

According to Rivals100 analyst Greg Biggins, the Bruins landed a quick footed lineman who clocked a 4.59 in the shuttle at the Nike Camp in Washington but does need to do some work in the weight room to increase his size and strength. Glicksberg is an intelligent football player who rarely makes mistakes. He had a strong senior year on both sides of the ball but UCLA has him slotted on the offensive side of the ball.

TWO BIG-TIME GETS FOR BIG 12 TEAMS
Iowa State and Missouri set the bar high for other Big 12 teams to match by going out and snagging significant commitments this past weekend.

The big news for the Tigers broke early on Sunday when Ewing (Mo.) Highland four-star receiver Jerrill Humphrey committed to Mizzou over offers from Arkansas, Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado, Iowa and Purdue. Humphrey visited Columbia this past weekend and told the Tigers he was committing early on Sunday even before he had his official sit down visit with coach Gary Pinkel.

"Missouri started recruiting Jerrill two years ago," said Humphrey's uncle Richie, who was on the official visit. "They started before anybody else. The visit went well and Jerrill did commit to Missouri."

This is the first recruit to give Missouri a commitment that rates high in the national rankings since Van Alexander and Kyle Riggs. This could also be a signal that some of the top in-state recruits who have yet to make a decision could follow Humphrey's lead.

Iowa State then went out and got what is believed to be their stud running back of the future in Spring (Texas) Westfield star Webster Patrick.

Patrick is ranked as the nation's No. 1 all-purpose back and is a member of the Rivals100 team.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Patrick, who has 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, broke onto the national scene this fall by rushing for more than 1,800 yards and 25 touchdowns in only ten games.

"It was real nice, I really like ISU and I made a verbal commitment to go there," Patrick told CycloneReport.com.

"I felt like I was home. The players really treated me like one of their teammates already and I have some friends there from my high school. It's where I have wanted to go all along. I pretty much made up my mind a long time ago. I just had to wait to take my visit and make sure."

However, there is a catch to both of these big commitments for Mizzou and Iowa State. Both players need to get to work in the classroom because at this point it looks likely that neither will qualify to play right away in college.

But now that both have made their commitments, they can hit the books even harder and hopefully reach the qualifying standard.

NOBODY CAN DO IT BETTER
With all of the positive news for teams all over the recruiting map over the weekend, it would be tough to top the two commitments that the Maryland Terrapins landed on Sunday. The Terps landed two of the best defensive backs in the Atlantic East Region, pushing their commitment total to 19 prospects.

"I committed to Maryland," said 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety Kent Hicks from Culpeper (Va.) Culpeper County. "I just felt comfortable there. It is not too close to home and it's not too far away. My Dad loved it there and my Mom was impressed as well."

Hicks, ranked as the No. 11 safety in the country by Rivals.com, committed to the Terps over offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Boston College and others. His roommate on his official visit also committed.

"My roommate was Chase Bullock and he committed the night before to Maryland. I woke up this morning and just knew that this was the place for me."

Bullock, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder ranked as the No. 20 outside linebacker in the country, chose Maryland over Virginia and others.

"I just felt it was the best place for me," said Bullock.

"The coaches at Maryland are great and the program is awesome. They will give me a chance to play early and show what I can do."


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