Happy Birthday to ME!!! lol now for the good stuff
- “Our goal is to go 12-0…We’re going to let the world know who the Buckeyes are.” -Carlos Hyde
- Roby said Miller might be the best scrambler in college football since Michael Vick
- Roby said the team is hungry and ambitious. “We’ll try to win every single game, simple as that."
- When asked about possible punishment for Dunn, Hyde said, "I think he'll be fine."
- Florida State offers Derrell Scott
- Kc McDermott unofficially visits Florida
- Dennis Finley looks to visit Michigan State on Saturday
One of the top players in Pennsylvania has dropped Penn State and added one of the Nittany Lions' rivals to his top group.
ESPN 150 running back David Williams (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter) is no longer considering Penn State after the NCAA levied sanctions against Penn State on July 23.
"I'm not considering them no more," Williams said of Penn State in a text message.
ORLANDO -- Levonte Whitfield came up short against Sammy Watkins in the 200-meter dash at the high school state meet last spring.
That was when Whitfield was a sophomore and Watkins a senior.
Now, Jones is a rising senior at Orlando Jones High and talks of Watkins -- who he calls a close friend -- with a sense of knowing.
Whitfield watched as Watkins, a wide receiver from South Fort Myers High, went to Clemson last fall and torched the league for ACC freshman records in receptions (82), receiving yards (1,219) and touchdowns (12).
"I can do what he did ... only 10 times better," Whitfield said with a straight face Saturday.
Whitfield was at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista last weekend to take part in the Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 passing tournament.
He is ranked as the 75th-best player in Florida by recruiting website Rivals.com. But Whitfield said teams have given him high praise when talking about how he may be used at the next level.
"They have me at slot, punt return and kick return," the 5-foot-9, 176-pound Whitfield said. "Most of them say they want to use me the way (the University of Florida) used Percy Harvin."
And Chris Nee, who covers the state of Florida for Rivals.com, offered a Harvin-like assessment of Whitfield.
"Whitfield's greatest strength is his speed," Nee said. "He has an excellent burst and quickly accelerates to his top gear, allowing him to separate from defenders. His future in college is as a slotback, but he can be used on reverses and at times in the backfield to take advantage of his great quickness."
It appeared that Whitfield's skill set was destined for Coral Gables when he committed to the University of Miami in May 2011. But in March, Whitfield re-opened his recruiting. He said the Hurricanes are still on his list, along with Florida State, Florida, West Virginia, Clemson and Ohio State.
The deciding factor, he said, will likely be playing time.
"I want to go in and play right away," he said. "And it has to be a track school. I've got to run track."
Whitfield reportedly ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at a Nike-sponsored camp last month.
While 40 times can change, sometimes drastically depending on surface or method of timing, there is no denying Whitfield's speed.
Earlier this year, he ran away from the field in the 200 at the Class 2A state championships, and in April he was presented with a "Golden Ticket" invitation by Tyson Gay that allowed him to compete in the Prep Dream 100 at the adidas Grand Prix in June.
There, he turned in a 10.43 in the 100 to take the top spot in the elite field.
The numbers suggest he is getting faster -- he ran a 20.96 to win the 200 this year after a 21.35 in finishing second to Watkins in 2011 -- and Whitfield said he thinks he can get to 4.3 in the 40 before college.
Mention to Whitfield that he might someday creep into the neighborhood of the mythical 40 time posted by Deion Sanders -- he reportedly ran a 4.21 hand-timed 40 at the NFL Combine after leaving Florida State -- and Whitfield has a message for the man known as "Prime Time."
"We are two different people," he said. "That was his time. This is my time. I can do it if I keep working hard."
Prestonwood Christian Academy senior linebacker Mike Mitchell has seen his recruiting profile spike over the past year.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound four-star linebacker is ranked as one of the top 50 recruits in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com and for good reason as he was a first team all-district selection last season for Plano West after recording 151 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 11 sacks for the Wolves.
After 3,000 letters and 51 scholarship offers, Mitchell has cut his list down to Florida State, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
A choice may still be a couple months away though.
"I know Mike is anxious to get the process over with and make a commitment because all he really wants to do is play football," said Ken Mitchell, Mike's father. "But he has been busy this summer with all the camps and hasn't had the chance to really visit anywhere, so he is going to make these visits in the fall and make a tough choice because these are some really good schools with really good coaching staffs."
Oak Park River Forest standout Nile Sykes is one of the top defensive players in the state of Illinois in the 2014 recruiting class. He was generous enough to answer a few questions about the site, including one about his terrific performance at Ohio State on the 27th. The premier pass rusher recorded 12 sacks last season, and Sykes has offers from Illinois, Northern Illinois, Toledo, and Purdue.
The talented DE/OLB impressed Urban Meyer and the staff and was the best defensive linemen out there. His performance there further supports the notion that Nile Sykes is one of the best pass rushers in the region.
Nile Sykes Interview
FanSided 150: 1. At Ohio State’s prestigious Friday Night Lights Camp, you performed at an extremely high level. What do you think of your time at Ohio State during the camp and how much interest has the school shown in you?
Like you said I had an amazing time out at Ohio state. Going out there my mind was set to go out there and show the coaching staff what I was made of, and I think I did just that. I think that their interest level has definitely gone up after my performance at the camp.
FS150: 2. In my opinion, you are one of the best defensive players in the state of Illinois in the 2014 class with 12 sacks last season as one of the stars for Oak Park River Forest. As a DE/OLB what do you think is the most overlooked aspect of being a good pass rusher?
Nile Sykes: I can’t really pick out one thing that gets overlooked. At all of the college camps I attended this summer, they all were looking at footwork, speed, technique, explosiveness, and just the ability to pass rush. So I can’t say that any aspect of pass rushing gets overlooked.
150: 3. Have you received an offer from Miami (OH)? Of the teams that have not offered you yet, which one of them has shown the most interest?
NS: I don’t believe they have offered me, but I know that it says they did on one of the recruiting databases (Rivals, 247Sports). I can’t remember which one, so it’s confusing. But the university of Wisconsin-Madison and Ohio State are the two that haven’t offered, but I would say have shown the most interest in me so far.
150: 4. Things are going very well for you early on in your recruitment, and your upcoming junior season will be especially key. Do you have any statistical or weight room goals heading into next season?
My goal this year is to get 80 tackles 20 sacks. I plan on growing an inch to become 6’3″ and weighing around 235 lbs.
Notre Dame offered ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) several months ago, and while initially high on the Fighting Irish, contact between the parties tapered off. Boyd did not have the Irish among his favorites a month ago.
Over the last few weeks, though, communication has picked up as Boyd and Irish assistant Harry Hiestand have exchanged messages on Facebook recently.
“They’re really excited about me,” said Boyd, who is being recruited mostly as a receiver. “I’m one of the top guys on their list, and they want me to come and see everything they've got to offer. I’m probably ... definitely going to take a trip out there and see how it is.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was an early-morning wakeup call for Ohio State players Thursday, as the Buckeyes hit the practice field for the first time this fall.
Head coach Urban Meyer had his group out there by 5:45 a.m., and there will be a freshmen-only practice later in the day.
A handful of players spoke to the media after this morning’s practice. That group included quarterback Braxton Miller, tailback Carlos Hyde, defensive tackle Garrett Goebel and cornerback Bradley Roby.
First Day Excitement
* Bradley Roby said he only slept 3 hours last night because he was so excited for camp. Said he never felt that way about camp before.
* Roby said he finally fell asleep around 1am, had to be up at 4:30. Camp started at 5:45am, sharp, this morning.
* Braxton Miller said his alarm was set for 4:30 this morning. Coaches called to make sure he was up at 4:40...he was brushing his teeth.
* Carlos Hyde said the offense looked "really crisp" during this morning's practice. So much different than first practice of spring ball.
* Roby said it was the most intense first day of camp he's ever been to. Guys flying around, high energy, coaches yelling & getting fired up.
* Garrett Goebel said Nathan Williams was at practice today, but he did not take part in the action.
* Roby was asked how good Ohio State could be this year, and said they could go undefeated, and that's the goal of everyone on the team.
* Hyde echoed that sentiment, saying everyone on the team is thinking 12-0 right now.
*Roby said the Buckeyes are looking for "redemption" after last season. Said they need to redeem the OSU brand back to what it should be.
Braxton Turning the Corner
* Roby said Braxton Miller is just a natural athlete. Called him the "best scrambler since Michael Vick."
* Roby couldn't give an update on Miller's passing because "he never throws to my side of the field."
* Hyde said Miller is working hard on becoming a leader, but the most vocal leader in the huddle is...Corey Linsley.
* Miller said the coaches have talked to him about being a "pass first" quarterback. Not always relying on athleticism.
* Miller said he is more comfortable in the huddle now that he "knows what he's doing."
* Miller said he thinks the offense has come a long way, could beat the defense right now.
Playmakers Starting to Emerge
* Braxton Miller said the two guys who really improved the most this summer were WR's Devin Smith and Corey "Philly" Brown.
* Miller said Smith was a little bit lazy as a freshman last year, but not anymore. Working hard every day to be the No. 1 guy.
* Roby said he has been one of the No. 1 kick return guys this offseason and has petitioned to play some offense.
* Roby was clocked at 4.31 in the 40 twice this summer. Down from a previous best of 4.4 last summer despite being 5lbs heavier.
* Roby confirmed he will switch to No. 1 this season. Meyer called Roby to tell him he had earned the right to wear No. 1 by doing everything he said he would do.
* Roby hasn't spoken to Meyer about playing both ways yet, but he has mentioned it to coach Kerry Coombs and coach Zach Smith.
* Roby said that while he came to OSU as a WR, he feels like he was born to play corner. Former OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes told him that.
Hyde’s Time Now
* Hyde feels like pressure is on his shoulders with Jordan Hall out, but feels they would be better with both of them.
* Hyde said last season was a roller coaster ride for him. Lot of ups and downs, but he never though about leaving. Teammates kept telling him his time would come, and now he really feels like this is his time to shine.
* Braxton Miller said Hyde lost his "jelly fat" from last year. Hyde said he's down from 240 to 235, but stronger.
* Hyde said he was always fast, even at 240, so he never worked hard on conditioning...until now.
Many families go on summer vacation.
The Mitchell family is no different in that respect, except of course for the number of places they have been this summer.
"We have been everywhere," said Ken Mitchell, family patriarch. "We went to California, Oregon, Minnesota, Georgia, Nevada, Arkansas, South Carolina ... I think we might have even gone to Antarctica."
Mitchell is kidding about that last destination, but other seemingly tall tales are true.
"The other day I was walking through the house and [Prestonwood Christian Academy senior linebacker Mike] was Skyping with (Ohio State football head coach) Urban Meyer," Mr. Mitchell said.
That is what happens when you have nine children, all of whom have names that start with M, that have combined for nine varsity state championships, 51 youth, state or national AAU titles and 1,200 trophies.
One might think the kids are striving to live up to the accomplishments of their father, a former Atlanta Falcons linebacker. Instead, they are trying to outdo him.
"Not that long ago the boys were being interviewed and they said they were trying to make up for the fact that I wasn't any good in the NFL," Mr. Mitchell said with a chuckle. "I think they are right."
Leading the Mitchell's current athletic charge are Mike and Mickey.
The former is a 6-foot-4, 216-pound four-star linebacker that is ranked as one of the top 50 recruits in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com and the latter is a 6-foot-8, 205-pound sophomore guard at Prestonwood that is a consensus top five recruit for the Class of 2015.
Mike's profile has spiked over the past year.
Though the linebacker is now at Prestonwood, he was a first team all-district selection last season for Plano West after recording 151 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. That massively increased the college possibilities for Mike, who has now received 3,000 letters and 51 scholarship offers during his high school career.
He has cut those candidates down to Florida State, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
A choice may still be a couple months away though.
"I know Mike is anxious to get the process over with and make a commitment because all he really wants to do is play football," Mr. Mitchell said. "But he has been so busy he hasn't had the chance to really visit anywhere, so he is going to make these visits in the fall and make a tough choice because these are some really good schools with really good coaching staffs."
When Mr. Mitchell says Mike has been busy, he isn't kidding.
Mike made waves in July at The Opening, a gathering of the nation's top 150 football recruits at NIKE headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. Not only did Mike make an impact on the field, he also won the SPARQ rating national title, which determines overall athletic ability, with a record-setting score of 154.47.
Mike threw the 6.6-pound power ball 45 feet, posted a 40.6-inch vertical jump, ran a 4.00 shuttle and a 4.39 40-yard dash.
"Mike only trained for that specific event for a day," Mr. Mitchell said. "He got out well with the power ball and just rolled from there. A couple guys were saying that was a record that would be hard to ever break."
Mike's all-star tour wasn't over there.
Next it was off to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the Champion Gridiron Kings, a 7-on-7 competition among 64 of the top players in the country. Mike impressed once more as he started at his natural spot in the middle before injuries forced him into deep cornerback mode.
Mike, however, isn't the only Mitchell from Prestonwood making noise this summer.
Mickey fits the bill as well after he and his AAU basketball team, the Texas Titans (which include Prestonwood's Julius Randle, Marquan Botley and John Paul II's Jackson Forbes) continued their dominance through national tournaments in Arkansas and South Carolina.
Though he is two years behind Mike, Mickey has a plethora of college offers as well.
"I believe Mickey is at 22 offers right now and half of those are double offers to play basketball and football," Mr. Mitchell said. "I know it would be difficult to play both basketball and football in college, but right now, though he still has plenty of time to change his mind, Mickey absolutely wants to do both."
Mickey, who played football sparingly at West as a freshman, is primed to earn his first varsity quarterback starting job this fall at Prestonwood.
Last season, Wolves head coach Mike Hughes said he envisioned Mickey becoming one of the, if not the, best starting quarterbacks in the country. That kind of hype has followed Mickey on the gridiron for some time as he supposedly threw a 50-yard pass when he was in fourth grade.
"It wasn't 50 yards," Mr. Mitchell said. "We have it on video; it was only 43 yards."
Mickey (quarterback) and Mike (linebacker) might not be the only Mitchells to take to the gridiron for the Lions next month though as younger brother McKinley, who also plays football and basketball, will be a freshman at Prestonwood.
"It would be really cool to see three Mitchell boys on the field or on the court at the same time," Mr. Mitchell said.
Before that, the Mitchells have a little time to enjoy the rest of what has been a busy summer.
"I think the summer has gone great," Mr. Mitchell said. "And not because of all the accolades; the real measure is if the boys are having a great time, because if you aren't having fun then this isn't going to last long. I understand all the hype, but what I love is that the boys have taken all that in stride. I think they know that they've been blessed with these abilities and they are just happy they get to play a kid's game."