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Recruiting News - 01/15/05 - Army All American Game - WEST STORIES

Discussion in '2005/January' started by 3yardsandacloud, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    <font color="#b90000">Saturday, January 15, 2005</font> Army All American Game - WEST STORIES



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    David Nelson Took Notice of Iowa Haul - Scout PREMIUM

    David Nelson Took Notice of Iowa Haul
    By Jon Miller**Publisher
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    By his best guess, HawkeyeNation.comm's Jon Miller has interviewed more than 500 athletes and coaches of the course of the last five years, and Texas Wide Receiver David Nelson ranks near the top when it comes to solid people. He was a member of the US Army All American team and everytime you turned around in San Antonio, it seemed as though an Iowa Hawkeye commit was by his side. We spoke with Nelson after Saturday's game and have the latest on Nelson's recruitment.

    David Nelson

    The ‘Iowa kids’ have been hounding you all week. How was it for you to see them all committing to Iowa on Saturday?

    It was great, because I got to see the guys do that. I got to see them all play live, and it was a good experience for me and that will go into my thought process.

    Let’s be honest here; I saw them working you hard all week long. Was that flattering or annoying?

    It was great. It was very flattering. It makes you feel wanted, and you should always go to a school where you are wanted. It was great to sit back and hear different things from different people.

    You visited Iowa on the weekend of December 17th, yet many of the guys who were here this weekend took their visit on December 17th. Was this a good time to bond, and was it like another recruiting weekend for the Hawkeyes?

    Definitely. That is what this whole game is, a recruiting trip. It seems like everyone is trying to put in a plug for their school. But it’s fun and I really enjoyed it. I have met a lot of good people, like the Christensen’s. It’s just great.

    Florida is another school that you are considering, with Iowa and Notre Dame. Did any of the All American prospects who are considering Florida try to work on you, as well?

    There are not a whole lot of Florida kids here. Nyan Boateng has been recruiting me the hardest. I think he might be the only kid going to Florida from this game. I talked with Florida’s coaches just about every day this week.

    What is the timetable for your decision?

    I will take my Florida visit on the 21st. I will probably know about two days after that visit. I will sit down for a day, and then I will know.

    Jon Miller's Thoughts from his week in San Antonio

    Nelson is a legitimate All American prospect. He is angular, he is fast and most importantly, he is a student of the game. One aspect that is impossible to figure out unless you get to talk to him is that he is an All American person.

    I have seldom interviewed many athletes who come across as respectful, engaging and nice as Nelson. The time that he spent with the ‘Iowa Contingent’ this week was invaluable, as far as Iowa is concerned. That time made an impact on Nelson, to be sure. Factor in that Nelson’s father and the father of Iowa commit Corey Robertson are very good friends, and you know that the Hawkeyes are in the front of Nelson’s mind.

    He visits Florida this coming weekend, but not before Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has an in home visit with Nelson on Monday.

    Like Jake Christensen said in an interview we published on Saturday night, Iowa is hoping to land David Nelson and then sprint to the finish line for the class of 2005.



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    U.S. Army Bowl Photos - Scout

    U.S. Army Bowl Photos
    By Glenn Nelson Scout.com Editor-in-Chief
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Images from the West's 35-3 victory in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.


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    ScoutTV: Phillip Dillard (Video) - Scout

    ScoutTV: Phillip Dillard
    By Miller Safrit East Coast Recruiting Analyst
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Phillip Dillard's last high school game was a success, and he played very well in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Now it is on to bulking up for Nebraska.


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    Sanchez Shines - Scout PREMIUM

    Sanchez Shines
    By Andrew Friedman
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Mark Sanchez completed five of nine passes for 88 yards and a touchdown in today's Army game. He also had another touchdown to DeSean Jackson, a 68-yarder, that was called back for an ineligible man down field. After the game, Scout.com caught up with Mark and the rest of the Sanchez family in the press conference room to speak with them about the Army game, his goals for ‘SC, and what it means to have Matt Leinart coming back for his senior year.

    “The game and the whole week have just been unbelievable,” said Mark Sanchez. “I just want to thank Army for this opportunity. This was an amazing venue. Both teams were great, the coaches were great, and the biggest thing for me was to meet all of the Army heroes. It was also great to hang out with my fellow teammates.”

    USC got another one of the nation’s finest players during the game when arguably the country’s top linebacker prospect, Rey Maualuga, committed to Troy. “Getting Rey is just awesome for the USC program. He is a great player and I really look forward to having him as a teammate for the next few years. Hopefully now we can also get DeSean to commit. DeSean is just a playmaker. When he gets the ball, defenses just cringe. He can catch a three yard pass and take it 75 yards. The main thing you have to do in this game is get your playmakers the ball and let them do their thing. DeSean definitely did his thing today.”

    Heisman trophy winner Matt Leinart just recently announced his decision to stay at ‘SC for his senior year and that has made a huge impact on Sanchez. “I am going to soak everything up like a sponge around him. I am going to be in his hip pocket, do everything he does, act how he acts, and say what he says. He has the opportunity to win two Heismans and three national championships. I think that is something he is really excited about and obviously was a major reason for him making the decision to stay. I am happy he did because now I can learn so much from him.”

    Sanchez has not sat down to figure out his goals for his time at ‘SC, but plans to do so soon. “I am going to take some time here in the near future and figure out exactly what I want to accomplish there. Obviously I want to go in there and get acquainted to college life first and foremost. As far as football goes, I am just going to be shadowing Leinart and getting as much out of that situation as I can.”

    With Leinart staying, does the possibility of a red-shirt year become more likely for Sanchez? “I am really not sure. We’ll just see what happens when I get there. They have some great quarterbacks.”

    Sanchez’s older brother, Nick, echoes many of his statements regarding the Army experience and Leinart returning for his senior season. When asked what he thinks about little brother, Nick responded with laughter, “I think he needs a haircut.”

    Mark scoffed at this notion and responded that he will cut it before he steps onto the USC campus.

    Nick went on, “He really did a good job this week. The game wasn’t about his performance, it was about having fun and enjoying his time here. Mark had three missions for this week; having fun, staying healthy, and recruiting the heck out of other ‘SC prospects.”

    Older brother also realizes how important it is for Mark to have Leinart coming back. “He is truly lucky to be able to learn from a guy like Matt. Marks’ situation heading into USC really couldn’t be any better.”

    Mark’s father, Nick Sr., couldn’t be more proud of his son. “I am just so pleased with him. I am proud of all my sons. We are so lucky to have Mark get this opportunity to showcase what he can do in such a special event. This event was has been far superior to any other we have been able to attend. The way it was conducted was fantastic. All of these young men here are just amazing people and they were all just loving life this week. Mark said to me the other day that he is the luckiest kid in the whole world, and I agree. I think something that really impacted him, maybe more than anything this week, was seeing that he can have fun and play football while these soldiers in the Army are going to war. It is something that really affected him and now he realizes more than ever just how blessed he is.

    “For him to be able to come out here and compete with the best players in the country and just re-affirm his skills physically and mentally was something special. The experience that he, and all of the other young men had this week will be life-long experiences they will never forget. A lot of these players were able to develop relationships and others were able to renew previous relationships they established at other events, camps, or games. They will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

    Nick Sr. pointed out the few things that will be most important to Mark and his time at ‘SC. “I just want him to have fun and make good decisions. I want him to compete against the best and take his game and his life to the next level.”



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    Don't look now, future bright for NU - Scout

    Don't look now, future bright for NU
    By Steve Ryan**Publisher
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Don’t look now, but you’ve got yourself some players coming to Nebraska. In a game where the elite face the elite, it was a group of future Huskers that added themselves to that list and answered any questions as to just what they could do.
    You don’t ask much of kickers, but to make the ball every single time. Yeah, no pressure there and Jordan Congdon would hate it if you didn’t pressure him. He’s a kicker. That’s what he wants. “I guess if there’s no pressure, it doesn’t mean anything,” Congdon said. “Kickers are kind of strange I guess, but pressure if what you want. It makes you concentrate.” Condgon finished his part of the All-American bowl, perfect, hitting 5 extra points and he even scored a tackle on special teams.
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    One player that didn’t need help concentrating was Craig Roark as he didn’t have to focus to see who was in front of him, the players ranging anywhere from 270 pound Joseph Paxon or 6 foot, 6 inch 330 pound Marques Slocum. Current and future teammate Rodney Picou didn’t have it any easier facing either 260 pound Ryan Bain or Melvin or equally stout Early Hyman.
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    The west offensive line allowed zero sacks.
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    “What can you say about that,” starting quarterback Mark Sanchez said. “Once we settled down, we were able to do almost what we wanted. The passing game really started to open up in the second half.”
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    The running game opened up as well, both teams limited early, but the west got on a roll in the second half, Marlon Lucky of the west team scoring the only rushing touchdown of the game. “The hole was just there,” Lucky said of the opening that let him shoot up the hole and then maneuver his way back left for the TD. “I saw it, cut over and back over to the right and just hit the jets to the house.”
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    “The passing game opened it up for us in the second half, so we had our shots and just had to take advantage of them.” *
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    One player that will be highly anticipated to make his arrival in June will be running back Leon Jackson. Only, for this game and most of the week leading up to the 5th annual All-American Bowl, he’s been playing the other side.
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    Jackson has been projected by most to be a safety and they got a chance to see him in action at that spot today. In somewhat limited action, Jackson put on a monster block on a punt return and exhibited much of what people expect to see after Leon has moved over to that position at Nebraska.
    *
    Speaking of exhibitions, Phillip Dillard has been putting on one all week, wowing every one of us present with his ability to take people down the field. Unbelievably deceptive speed and quickness is what Dillard could say was his ‘bread ‘n butter’ for the week. “Most people don’t look at me and think I can run like that or that I can cover anyone that far down the field,” he said. “That’s good, though, because I can get an interception like I did today, because I’m not where they expect me to be.”
    *
    This whole class isn’t where people would expect. Heck, this isn’t the class that Nebraskans would expect, so used to this time of year being the moment where the big boys fall off and the rest of the class shapes out, people asking ‘who’ much more than uttering ‘wow’.
    *
    That’s over, at least for this year as Nebraska sent into the biggest prep football game of the year the biggest number of commits going in. And, to a man, they all gave everyone reason to hope for the very near future.


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    ScoutTV: Raymond Henderson (Video) - Scout

    ScoutTV: Raymond Henderson
    By Miller Safrit East Coast Recruiting Analyst
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Raymond Henderson's announcement finished off his plans to become a Volunteer today during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but he has been a Vol since December.


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    Jackson Named MVP - Scout

    Jackson Named MVP
    By Chris Pool Scout.com
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    In the first quarter of the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, it looked like DeSean Jackson would be the goat instead of the hero. Jackson took in a 68-yard pass from Mark Sanchez but misjudged his leap into the end zone and instead of a touchdown, the West had the ball on the 1-yard line first and goal to go. Jackson then was penalized 15-yards for un-sportsman like conduct.

    “That was bad judgment on my part,” said Jackson. “I shouldn’t have done that and I think I made up for my mistake throughout the game.”

    DeSean Jackson more than made up for his first quarter error and he was named U.S. Army All-American Bowl Most Valuable Player. DeShaun had 7 receptions for 141 yards and threw a 45 yard touchdown pass for the West as well.

    “This is an incredible experience,” Jackson said. “I had a good week of practice and I knew I could do something special today. I’m the type of guy who has a lot of confidence in his abilities.

    “We had a good game plan today. I lined up mostly in the slot with safety and linebacker coverage on me. I was able to get open and the quarterbacks did the rest of the work.”

    Jackson now turns his attention to recruiting and hopes to make a decision by the end of the week.

    “USC, LSU, Florida, Cal and Oklahoma are my favorites.” Jackson said. “I’d say USC and Cal are my leaders right now.

    “I’m not going to rush into any commitment. I know that I’m going to have to take my time and make the right decision. A big factor for me will be playing time. I’d like to get on the field early.”

    In 2004, “D-Jack” had 60 receptions for 1,075 yards and 15 touchdowns. Jackson is Scout.com’s #7 rated wide receiver and the #64 player-overall



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    ScoutTV: Rey Maualuga (Video) - Scout

    ScoutTV: Rey Maualuga
    By Miller Safrit East Coast Recruiting Analyst
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Five-star linebacker Rey Maualuga announced his college intentions during today's U.S. Army All-American Bowl. However, in this ScoutTV interview, his mind was changed yesterday.


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    Hord Talks About Commitment - Scout PREMIUM

    Hord Talks About Commitment
    By Mike Frank**
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Kansas City, Mo. wide receiver D.J. Hord chose the Irish today at the Army All-American game. Irish Eyes was able to catch up with Hord after the game to get some quick comments on his commitment.

    Wide receiver D.J. Hord made a lot of Irish fans happy today with the announcement that he'd be going to Notre Dame next fall.

    “I always felt comfortable with those guys, and I saw that Notre Dame degree and I knew I could do something with that after football," said Hord on why he chose the Irish. "That was probably the main thing that made me go there.”

    The Irish appeared to be leading throughout so we asked D.J. if Notre Dame did lead the entire way.

    “Yeah, it was," Hord said.

    A big factor in Hord's decision was his parents. The 6-1, 190-pound speedster says his family is happy with his decision.

    “They saw the academic side more than the football side, and they were happy with the decision," he said.

    Also important in his decision was his official visit last weekend, and the chance to meet new Irish head coach Charlie Weis.

    “Before the visit I didn’t really know who the coaches were," Hord said. "After talking to coach Weis face-to-face, that was a big thing for me on the visit.”

    Hord also said he was excited to play in the new offense Weis will be bringing with him.

    “I think it will do a lot for me because they’re kind of lacking receivers right now," Hord said. "I think I can come in, everybody is starting all over since it’s a new system. I think I can come in and make something happen.”

    Unfortunately for D.J., the West team quarterbacks couldn't find him in the Army game despite being open most of the day.

    “It was very disappointing, but I’m happy I made it," Hord said of not catching a ball on the day. "I can’t complain.”



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    Reynolds Picks Oklahoma - Scout

    Reynolds Picks Oklahoma
    By Joe Wallace**
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Las Vegas five-star linebacker Ryan Reynolds committed to Oklahoma at the Scout U.S. Army All-American game on Saturday.

    Oklahoma got some expected news during Saturday's Scout.com U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio when Las Vegas linebacker Ryan Reynolds officially committed to Oklahoma during the third quarter of NBC's telecast.

    "The college I chose was ..." said Reynolds as he reached into a black Russell Athletic bag to pull out the hat of the school he was choosing. "...The University of Oklahoma."

    Reynolds, a five-star linebacker according to Scout.com who picked the Sooners over UCLA and Wisconsin, was named the receipient of the first-ever “Myoplex Speed & Strength Athlete of the Year" on Friday night during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl banquet.

    The award goes to the "nation’s strongest, fastest and most dedicated prep football player which lives up to all of the ideals set forth by Walter Payton."




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    U-Day Delayed - Scout

    U-Day Delayed
    By Mike Eubanks**Publisher
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    Today is a big day for Stanford Sports. Men's Basketball is traveling across the Bay to hostile Haas Pavilion for a big showdown with Cal. The women welcome #14 Boston College to Maples Pavilion for a nationally hyped matchup. But many Cardinalmaniacs had this day circled for the televised announcement of five-star defensive tackle recruit Ekom Udofia... which has now changed.

    You've waited more than two years to learn where Ekom Udofia will attend school and play college football, and now you have to wait a little while longer.* The five-star defensive tackle called The Bootleg this morning to inform us that his plan of announcing his commitment today on national television at the U.S. Army All-American Game has changed.

    "I've decided to wait it out a couple more weeks," he declares.* "I'm having second thoughts about my decision, which is natural."

    Udofia arrived in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American festivities on Wednesday and reported to Scout.com that his list of five schools where he took official visits was down to three.* The 300-plus pound pass rusher says today all three of those schools - Stanford, USC and Miami - are still on his mind.* He had a leaning of where he might commit this week but as of this morning felt the weight of the decision and could not feel completely sure of it.

    "I want to make sure I'm solid when I make my announcement," the Scottsdale (Ariz.) standout explains.* "Since I'm not, I need to take a little more time.* I want to take time to think about it, pray about it, and talk with my family."

    Ranked the #1 player in the state of Arizona this year by Scout.com, the #7 player in the Southwest and the #49 overall recruit in America, Udofia is a huge catch for whoever lands him.* The explosive athlete is not letting on where he was or is leaning, but there is one clue that might offer optimism to the fans and coaches of one school.* The last in-home visits that Udofia entertained last week were Stanford head coach Walt Harris and Miami head coach Larry Coker.* The Chaparral High School senior says that USC will be the first school to come see him after this weekend.

    Some observers have wondered if Udofia has known where he will attend school and prolonged his announcement for the attention it brings, but the decision to not announce today underscores the true conflict and introspection that the Arizona athlete is still undergoing.* He decided when he was a junior in high school that he would announce at this U.S. Army All-American Game.* That plan has been firm ever since, so Udofia pulling out of today's opportunity to declare his college intentions on national television tells us that he has some legwork still to go in this decision.

    We will continue to keep in touch with Udofia and bring you all his latest as he searches for more answers these next couple weeks before Signing Day.



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    Sitting down with DeSean Jackson - Scout

    Sitting down with DeSean Jackson
    By Jim McGill**Staff Writer
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    SAN ANTONIO - The Bear Insider had a chance to sit down with DeSean Jackson on Friday at the Skills Competition for the U.S. Army All-Star game practice week. The fleet (4.40 40) wide receiver from Long Beach Poly has had Cal and USC as his favorite for the last few weeks as fans from both schools anxiously await word of his choice.

    The 5-11, 175 lb. wide receiver consistently dazzled on both sides of the ball last season with 60 receptions for 1,075 yards and 15 touchdowns for Long Beach Poly’s Southern Section Division I Championship team this season. Jackson's dazzling display didn’t end in December. In early January, he almost singlehandedly led California to a come-from-behind victory in the CaliFlorida Bowl with two long gains. This week in San Antonio,* his sure-handed grabs, speed, route-running and athletic ability have been the talk of the U.S. Army All-Star camp. In the pass-catching component of the skills competition today, Jackson outscored his closest competitors by a comfortable margin, making catch after catch in rapid succession with effortless ease and textbook form.

    Jackson is also a talented baseball player who participated and excelled in the prestigious Area Code games this last year. As a junior he hit .380 to go along with 20 stolen bases. He purportedly has a rocket arm to go along with his defensive arsenal. When asked what it would take for him to skip college football and go straight into professional baseball, he said, "It would have to be a situation where it would help me and my family out for a lifetime. It has to be the right situation for me also. If I'm not comfortable with the situation (who drafts him and the type of contract), I know that I can play football and baseball in college." It would probably have to take high-first round money to lure the skilled multi-sport athlete away from college. His passion to play football makes him very reluctant to pass up the opportunity to participate and excel in both sports.

    Jackson visited Cal in November for Cal’s 41-6 Big Game blowout over Stanford and was impressed with what he saw. He also visited Oklahoma in December where they had a lot of hope that they'd managed to attract the talented receiver's interest. It was not to be however, as he felt the slower mid-America lifestyle was not for him. That left Cal and USC to fight it out for the top receiver on the West Coast. Both are waiting anxiously for his decision which was originally expected to come this weekend at the U.S. Army All-Star game, but is now tentatively set to be announced on Fox Sports South in two weeks. In the meantime, hopeful fans of both schools will continue to look for signs that the all-world receiver will join their program.



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    Gators trying to get into mix for Granger - Scout PREMIUM

    Gators trying to get into mix for Granger
    By Bob Redman**GatorCountry.com
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    SAN ANTONIO --- Lately, DeMarcus Granger is making it a habit of keeping people guessing. Just two days ago, the 6-3, 325-pound defensive tackle told OU Insider of the Scout.com network that there is a 50 percent chance he will announce his college choice between Oklahoma, Tennessee or Arizona State at the US Army All American Bowl Game on Saturday. Now, it appears another team is trying to work its way into the final equation.

    DeMarcus Granger, who is rated five stars and the number three defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, was recruited by the old staff to Florida but when Coach Ron Zook was dismissed, recruiting in Oklahoma and Texas slowed to a creep. Once Florida changed staffs, Coach Urban Meyer made recruiting in Texas a priority. Granger is on Florida's priority list once again and the Gators are trying very hard to make up for lost time in the recruiting process. Granger seems to want to take a further look at what Florida has to offer.

    "Yeah, I'm interested in the Gators," Granger said Friday.

    Although the Gators have tweaked his interest, he's not ready to commit to taking a visit to Gainesville. "I'm in debate," he said. "I really don't know yet."

    When Florida changed staffs, there was a lull in the communications with Granger and that led to the big defensive tackle looking more seriously at Oklahoma, Tennessee and Arizona State. The previous staff talked about an in-home visit, but that opportunity was missed in the transition to Meyer. Florida has tried to get back into Granger's good graces, but there just hasn't been enough time.

    "They [Florida staff] called, but I missed their call right before I came here (to San Antonio)," he said.

    Granger and Jerrell Powe have provided a menacing presence to the West offensive linemen all week long, They bring their game and they talk about it before and afterwards. They have ben fun to watch and sometimes even more fun to listen to. Granger would make a great addition to a Gator class this lacking in defensive line recruits and commitments at the moment.

    The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played in San Antonio at the Alamo Dome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. Eastern. Scout.com is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen.


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    Army All-American DB Looking Hard at Noles - Scout

    Army All-American DB Looking Hard at Noles
    By Dave Peters**
    Date: Jan 15, 2005

    One of the most impressive defensive backs from the west squad is seriously considering the Noles. The 5-foot-11 and 185 pound standout from La Marque (TX) will officially visit Florida State on (1/28).

    “I’ll visit Florida State with my cousin Russell Ball,” Korey Mangum said. “I really like their coaches and the tradition. Plus, my cousin is going to school there.”

    The three-star standout will also visit TCU on (1/21) and Kansas.

    “I like Kansas because of their coaches and I can play early there,” he said. “They are moving one of their cornerbacks to wide receiver.”

    Mangum has turned several heads during practices, including five-star tight end Martellus Bennett.

    “He’s a lot better than I expected,” Bennett said. “He definitely deserves to be here.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2005

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