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Category: College football recruiting

National signing day 2012: Receiver Darreus Rogers chooses USC

USC-logoDarreus Rogers, a receiver from Carson High who is regarded as one of the top prospects nationally at his position, announced that he had signed a letter of intent with USC.

Rogers, 6-foot-2 and 194 pounds, had made a verbal commitment to USC, but reportedly took a recruiting trip to Arizona State and was considering signing with the Sun Devils.

Rogers was the second receiver to sign with the Trojans on Wednesday, joining Nelson Agholor of Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep.

Rogers and Agholor join a USC receiving corps that includes All-American Robert Woods, freshman All-American Marqise Lee and George Farmer, all of whom played at Gardena Serra High. Junior De'Von Flournoy and redshirt freshman Victor Blackwell also will be competing for playing time when the Trojans begin spring practice next month.

More later at latimes.com/sports.

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Carl Hulick signs with Bruins

--Gary Klein

 

National signing day 2012: A great day for Texas, bad day for Cal

Foot3
Scout.com national analyst Brandon Huffman said in a phone interview he thinks Texas will hold off Alabama and emerge as the big winner from national signing day 2012.

"Texas ekes it out," Huffman said.

ESPN has Alabama No. 1, with Florida State edging out Texas for No. 2. Rivals has it Alabama and Texas, followed by Florida.

The shocker of the day was receiver Deontay Greenberry ditching Notre Dame for ... Houston?

"When has Notre Dame ever lost a recruit to Houston?" Huffman said.

Flip-flopper award goes to Oaks Christian receiver Jordan Payton, who chose UCLA after previously giving verbal commitments to USC, Cal and Washington.

"If there is a theme to the 2012 class, it's that a commitment doesn't mean anything anymore," Huffman said.

USC and UCLA both had strong classes despite being in various states of distress. The Trojans lose 10 scholarships a year for the next three years as a result of NCAA probation, yet Coach Lane Kiffin made the most of his scholarships in landing an abbreviated, but elite, class.

Continue reading »

National signing day 2012: Kyle Murphy chooses Stanford

FabforumKyle Murphy, an offensive lineman from San Clemente High, announced Wednesday that he would sign a letter of intent with Stanford, according to reports.

Murphy, 6 feet 7 inches and 275 pounds, had reportedly narrowed his finalists to Stanford and USC.

USC signed offensive linemen Max Tuerk of Santa Margarita, Jordan Simmons of Encino Crespi and Zach Banner of Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes High.

The Trojans also had pursued Arizona offensive lineman Andrus Peat, who announced Wednesday that he would attend Stanford. 

USC is now awaiting word from Carson receiver Darreus Rogers, who committed to USC but is now said to be choosing between the Trojans and Arizona State.

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Carl Hulick signs with Bruins

-- Gary Klein

National signing day 2012: UCLA fills holes on the defense

UCLA-logoUCLA Coach Jim Mora always has defense on his mind. It’s his background.

Mora took care of some needs on that side of the ball with his first recruiting class.

The Bruins’ lack of depth cornerback has been addressed with Sacramento Elk Grove High’s Marcus Rios and Westlake Village Oaks Christian’s Ishmael Adams.

Mora wants to be tougher up front. Monrovia defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy and La Habra linebacker Aaron Porter fit the bill.

Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta’s Jeremy Castro and Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter’s Kenny Orjioke give the Bruins flexibility. Castro will play either defensive end or linebacker. Orjioke can play linebacker or safety.

Other defensive players who have signed include Arcadia safety Taylor Lagace and Elk Grove Sheldon High defensive lineman Nate Iese. An intriguing signing is defensive lineman Eli Ankou, who is from Ottawa and played at Red Lion Christian in Bear, Del.

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Carl Hulick signs with Bruins

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: UCLA adds receiver Javon Williams

UCLAUCLA has picked up unexpected help at wide receiver, as Chandler (Ariz.) High’s Javon Williams and Westlake Village Oaks Christian’s Jordan Payton both signed with the Bruins on Wednesday.

Payton had previously committed to USC, California and Washington. Williams took his decision to the wire, with UCLA and Arkansas the finalists. Payton is ranked 15th among wide receivers by Scout.com and Rivals.com. Williams, who is 6 feet 5, 186 pounds, is ranked 36th by Rivals.com and 53rd by Scout.com.

Hanging out there still is Bellflower St. John Bosco wide receiver Bryce Treggs, who is deciding between California and UCLA. He is ranked fifth by Scout.com and 12th by Rivals.com.

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Carl Hulick signs with Bruins

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA [Updated]

Jordan Payton

Jordan Payton became one of the most discussed high school football players to sign a letter of intent Wednesday when he changed his mind for the third time.

Payton, a wide receiver from Westlake Village Oaks Christian, signed with UCLA. He had previously orally committed to USC, California and Washington, doing so twice on television.

"It's crazy, but the people have to understand this process is crazy," Payton said. "You're giving an 18-year-old kid a decision of a lifetime. I wanted to make sure I made the right decision."

Payton said he gave up his USC commitment after learning more about the NCAA sanctions imposed. He said he loved California but the coaches who were recruiting him left.  He liked Washington, but after discussions with his parents and a phone conversation with UCLA Coach Jim Mora that lasted to 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Payton said, "I thought I'd be most successful at UCLA."

Payton is ranked 15th nationally among wide receivers by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Oaks Christian Coach Bill Redell said that Payton’s situation opens the entire recruiting process to criticism.

“A kid commits, it doesn’t slow anything down,” Redell said. “There is no such thing as your word anymore. I’m so mad at the situation. He shares some of the blame, but it’s not 100% on his shoulders. It’s the whole  recruiting situation. It’s not fair on the players. It’s not fair on the coaches.”

RELATED:

UCLA announces four prominent signees

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

National signing day news flash: Alabama seems to be winning again

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

National signing day news flash: Alabama seems to be winning again

National signing day 2012

Here's the early morning line on college recruiting: Players are signing everywhere, with all different kinds of schools. ESPN with the sound down looks like a cross between the apocalypse, a stock market crash and a swap meet. Minnie Pearl never wore so many hats with the price tag on.

What does it all mean? Everything, and maybe nothing. It's still early, especially in Hawaii. Be warned: ESPN has a paywall up on some exclusive information that's only available on a million other free outlets.

You don't need a paywall to know Alabama is having a really strong day and Penn State is struggling. Alabama appears to be the consensus No.1 at this point. The Crimson Tide is riding momentum from its second national title in three years, signing guys like top defensive back Landon Collins and running back  T.J. Yeldon. Who are these guys? Don't worry, you'll know in two years, or maybe one.

Ohio State just got hit with a one-year bowl ban but that hasn't slowed down first-year Coach Urban Meyer, who has taken advantage of Penn State's woes to secure a solid, top-10 class. Meyer, on ESPN's on-air paywall (basic cable subscription), called this class, "very, very solid. I don't like to use the word great."

Meyer was able to flip previously Penn State-bound stars such as defensive tackle Tommy Schutt and linebacker Camren Williams. Penn State, coming off the Jerry Sandusky scandal and Joe Paterno's death, is understandably struggling, projecting a class ranked from the 40s to forget-about-it.

It doesn't help that new Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien is still coaching with the New England Patriots.

USC doesn't seem to be bothered by NCAA sanctions that will cost the school 30 scholarships over the next three years. The Trojans are capitalizing on a 10-2 season and quarterback Matt Barkley's return to ease the pain and have already scored big in Florida with receiver Nelson Agholor and defensive end Leonard Williams.

UCLA is also doing well under first-year Coach Jim Mora and scored a huge morning get with Oaks Christian receiver Jordan Payton, who had previously pledged verbal allegiance to USC, California and Washington.

As of this writing, Payton has not recalled his fax and made commitments to the eight other Pac-12 schools he missed the first time.

But could you imagine getting stuck in line at Burger King behind this guy?

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

National signing day: The battle for No. 1 begins

Signing day means no longer having to speak in code

-- Chris Dufresne

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

twitter.com/DufresneLATimes 

Photo: Alabama signee T.J. Yeldon. Credit: Lloyd Gallman / Associated Press

National signing day 2012: USC lands Jabari Ruffin, Kevon Seymour

USC
USC announced Wednesday that linebacker Jabari Ruffin and defensive back Kevon Seymour had signed letters of intent, joining a recruiting class that will be short on numbers but not talent.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Ruffin, from Downey High, joins a linebacker corps that features three returning starters in Dion Bailey, Hayes Pullard and Lamar Dawson.

Seymour, 6-feet and 170 pounds, is a multiple threat. The Pasadena Muir standout joins a secondary that includes Nickell Robey, who is entrenched at one cornerback spot, and Torin Harris and Anthony Brown, both of whom suffered season-ending injuries in 2011.

RELATED:

Receiver Nelson Agholor chooses USC

USC lands Cope-Fitzpatrick and Pinner

Defensive back Devian Shelton signs with USC

-- Gary Klein

National signing day 2012: UCLA announces four prominent signees

UCLAUCLA has joined in the college football P.R. game, announcing Wednesday that four players had signed with the Bruins: defensive end Jeremy Castro, quarterback Devin Fuller, defensive end Nate Iese and defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy.

While other programs were releasing commitments in a flurry, UCLA held onto its news before finally announcing the four prominent signees.

Castro, from Murrieta Vista Murrieta High, is ranked 17th nationally as a defensive end by #Rivals.com and 23rd as a linebacker by Scout.com. He will be looked at as both an end and a linebacker.

Fuller, from Old Tappan (N.J.) High, is ranked third nationally as a quarterback by Scout.com and third as an athlete by Rivals.com. He will get a shot at quarterback first, but could also play receiver.

Iese, from Sacramento Sheldon High, is ranked 61st nationally by Scout.com.
McCarthy, from Monrovia High, is ranked second nationally by Scout.com and fourth by Rivals.com. He was considered one of the key recruits by UCLA coaches, with the skill and size (6 feet 5, 311 pounds) to play immediately.

McCarthy, Castro And Iese give Coach Jim Mora strength on the defensive side. Mora will be involved heavily with the development of the defense.

RELATED:

UCLA gets aggressive with recruiting

UCLA under news blackout; Hulick signs

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: USC lands Cope-Fitzpatrick and Pinner

USCUSC announced Wednesday that tight end Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick and running back Jahleel Pinner have signed national letters of intent with the Trojans.

Both players had verbally committed to the Trojans.

Cope-Fitzpatrick, 6-feet-5 and 265 pounds, is from Rocklin (Calif.) Whitney High. He joins a tight end corps that includes sophomores Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer and Christian Thomas and redshirt freshman Junior Pomee.

The 5-11, 225-pound Pinner is from Mission Viejo High. He is expected to play fullback.

RELATED:

Leonard Williams picks USC

Receiver Nelson Agholor chooses USC

Defensive back Devian Shelton signs with USC

-- Gary Klein

National signing day 2012: DB Devian Shelton signs with USC

USCDevian Shelton, a defensive back from Inglewood High, signed a national letter intent Wednesday with USC.

But Shelton sure had people guessing what school he'd end up with.

"I think he broke the record for most commitments in a given football season," B2G founder Ron Allen said.

At one point, Shelton had been publicly committed to Arizona and Oregon State. He also liked Washington, Nebraska and SMU.

But when USC offered him on Monday, that put an end to any confusion.

Inglewood receiver Derrick Woods signed with Oklahoma.

RELATED:

Leonard Williams picks USC

Receiver Nelson Agholor chooses USC

USC football loses Pio Vatuvei to Washington

-- Eric Sondheimer and Gary Klein

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