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December 15, 2003

The Weekend Rewind

With more than 130 updates on Sunday, Rivals100.com was your home for breaking recruiting news and proved once again that its team of experts is the recruiting authority. However, with so much news breaking it was easy to maybe miss some of the bigger events over the weekend. With that in mind, Rivals100.com presents its weekly Weekend Rewind.

MOVING ON UP
In case you've forgotten, from now until signing day in February the Rivals.com national team rankings are updated every day. The latest top five have a familiar look to it with LSU at No. 1, followed by USC at No. 2, Texas at No. 3 and Oklahoma at No. 4. Miami did move up to the No. 5 spot, thanks to getting a soft commitment from Georgia linebacker Josh Johnson.

Another team that made a good move this week was Missouri, which landed a commitment from Rivals100 quarterback Chase Patton (right) of Columbia, Mo.

His pledge, coupled with news of three-star linebacker Arthur Miller committing pushed the Tigers into the No. 12 spot in the national rankings.

Whether they can stay at that spot all might depend on what standout running back Tony Temple does.

Temple, the top player in the state of Missouri, is expected to pick between Kansas State and Missouri after visiting Manhattan this upcoming weekend.

THE LAST TRIP FOR PETERSON?
Palestine, Texas, running back Adrian Peterson (right) took his fourth official visit to leader Oklahoma this past weekend, and from the sounds of it, the nation's No. 1 player might not end up taking his fifth and final visit - a scheduled trip to Miami next weekend.

The main reason the trip might not take place is that Peterson hinted on Sunday that he already knows his college destination.

"I think I know what I'm going to do, but I may visit Miami next weekend," he said. "Right now I'm not really sure. I guess it depends on how I feel. Right now, I'm not feeling it because I believe that I know where I'm going to go."

All signs point toward that being Oklahoma, unless Peterson is giving coaches and fans the biggest smoke screen that has ever been seen. Peterson was in Norman this past weekend on his fourth official visit. He's already visited USC, UCLA, Arkansas, but he had been telling everybody that he was an Oklahoma lean for some time now.

"No doubt, it was a great visit and I enjoyed everything about it," he said. "Oklahoma just solidified why they're my top team."

Peterson is such a priority to the Oklahoma coaching staff he not only had one host, he had two.

"On Friday night I hung out with Bobo (Lynn McGruder) and he kind of showed me around," he said. "On Saturday I hung out with Mark Clayton and had a great time. He's a Texas guy like me and we just get along real well."

RIVERS OR WILLIAMS?
A strong case can be made on who the top linebacker in the nation could be. Rivals.com gives the slight nod to Keith Rivers, a soon to be USC Trojan commitment, out of Lake Mary, Fla. But five-star stud Willie Williams (right) did a great job of stating his case this weekend in the Florida Class 6A state championship game against Orlando Edgewater.

According to Warchant.com, on Edgewater's second offensive possession quarterback Mike Dunn rolled right on a big fourth-and-two play but was caught from behind by Williams.

The five-star linebacker hammered the Eagle quarterback to the ground causing a fumble, and injuring him on the play. From there the Chiefs got rolling and never allowed their opponents to get on track.

"I came out here and played the best game of my life," Williams told Warchant. "Big players, make big plays in big games. I knew I had to do it so I did what I had to do."

AGGIES PLAY HOST TO FIVE-STAR RECEIVER
Looking to beef up their passing game, Texas A&M played host to five-star receiver Lance Leggett (right) this past weekend. The 6-foot-4, 178-pound Leggett hadn't mentioned A&M for almost two months in the recruiting process and at one point had narrowed his list to Florida, Miami and Oklahoma. But coach Dennis Franchione worked some magic and got the nation's No. 4 receiver on campus for a visit.

According to Leggett's father, it was a visit that was well received and compared well to his other visits.

"He told us he had a great time," his father said. "He's come back from every trip and been pretty excited about that school. He'll need a little time to let the new wear off."

Leggett has now taken all five of his visits.

"He is going to take a little time and look things over and think about each place," Mr. Leggett said. "He won't have a decision until some time in January. He's not going to rush it."

Leggett was just one of an impressive group of visitors this weekend for Texas A&M.

There haven't been confirmed reports yet, but it appears that A&M might have snagged commitments from Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial three-star cornerback Danny Gorrer and four-star junior college linebacker Aaron Brown of Compton (Calif.) Community College.

VIRGINIA NOT FOR PRESSLEY?
They say that Virginia is the land for lovers, but Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley defensive tackle DeMario Pressley (right) took his second official visit to UVA this weekend and he honestly said he didn't get a good vibe on the trip.

"I was really impressed with N.C. State last weekend, and then I took the visit to Virginia this weekend," Pressley said. "They have some of the best academics that I've ever seen. But I didn't get to do a lot of fun things because it was kind of an unplanned visit."

Pressley said he couldn't compare the UVA trip against N.C. State because they were so different.

"They were both different in a good way," he said. "I had more fun at N.C. State because I had time to go out to parties and see people around campus."

Pressley has now lined up the rest of his official visits - North Carolina was already set for January 9, but he's now set to visit Oklahoma State on January 16 and then Florida State on January 23.

NO COACH, NO PROBLEM
Even without a permanent head coach, Nebraska entertained seven official visitors this past weekend, its largest group this season. Five prospects from Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School were in town, along with running back Delbert Ferguson of Warren, Ohio, and athlete Chris Owens of Thousand Oaks, Calif.

The Tallahassee contingent - defensive back Joe Manning, offensive guard Calvin Darity, center Danny Muy, linebacker Rodney Gallon and linebacker Matt Owens - all came in together, which is another rarity that so many players from one team would visit the same school like that.

The bold move to bring in players without a head coach in place is a rarity in the recruiting wars and doesn't happen often.

Most players usually will want to take their official visits when they know who the coach is going to be.

That could all be alleviated, though, if Bo Pelini, the Huskers' defensive coordinator, is hired as NU's head coach. And in the end, it's a bold move that could pay off big time for Nebraska.

RANDOM COMMITMENT NEWS
-Illinois had a good recruiting weekend, picking up commitments from four-star linebacker Sam Carson, Missouri sleeper Jeff Sobol and Concord (Calif.) De La Salle receiver Alex Stroud. Carson is a huge get for the Illini. His stock has soared more than any other prospect in the state of Illinois this season.

-The Trojans look like they're about to land five-star linebacker Keith Rivers, but they did also get good news this past weekend when Rivals100 receiver Michael Bumpus picked the Men of Troy. His commitment gives the Trojans commits from eight players that are ranked four stars or higher. Adding Rivers would give them four five star players. USC also got good news when three star safety Josh Pinkard re-affirmed his commitment to USC on Sunday.

-In case you missed it on Friday, Rivals100 fullback Peyton Hillis committed to Arkansas over Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida and Alabama. Hillis, a four-star player, is ranked at the nation's No. 2 fullback. He is the top recruit in the Hawgs' class to this point.

-Kansas picked up three commitments over the weekend - the Jayhawks added two-star linebacker Mozell Axson, two-star defensive back Aqib Talib and two-star receiver Dexton Fields. Fields is an especially pleasing commitment for KU. He was over-shadowed by four-star teammate Lendy Holmes, who is heading to Oklahoma, but Fields has a chance to be special in KU's passing attack.

-Miami landed a soft commitment from Rivals100 linebacker Josh Johnson of Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson. Johnson plans to still take other visits, despite picking Miami.

-Read them and weep Conference USA: The Tulane Green Wave have recently racked up a series of major commitments that should keep things hopping for quite some time in New Orleans. The biggest coup of the entire conference could be Tulane landing a commitment from three-star defensive end Ryan Johnson of Dallas Carter.

Johnson didn't have a great junior season, but turned things on as a senior and showed that he has the physical tools and the mental tools to be special in college. Tulane also picked up commitments from fullback Matt Forte, defensive end Julian Sams and Houston running back Ade Tuyo. Tuyo was highly recruited but ended up picking Tulane.

"I committed to Tulane," Tuyo, who rushed for more than 3,000 yards the last two seasons, said. "I was really leaning toward Tulane before I went to the visit, but once I got there I saw everything that I needed to see. It was a great town, a great school for academics and the football program is on the rise."

-Florida dipped into the junior college ranks to get a commitment from Markell Thompson. The Gators are looking for Thompson to come in and play tight end and attempt to replace Ben Troupe. Thompson picked the Gators over Wisconsin.

-Things were busy in the Pacific Northwest as Washington landed commitments from Dan Howell of Newhall (Calif.) Hart and Luke Kravitz of Olympia, Wash.

Washington State did also made big news by landing four-star junior college running back Jerome Harrison and three-star junior college defensive end Jason Roberts.


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