January 12, 2004

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, here's our weekly Weekend Rewind Column.

After this weekend, it's time to welcome the Mighty Florida Gators to this year's recruiting party.

The Gators always seem to gear up for a big January under coach Ron Zook, but this past weekend the Gators went from outside the top 25 in the Rivals.com team rankings all the way up to No. 12.

Early on Sunday news of a commitment from four-star offensive lineman and Rivals100 selection Drew Miller got out and then the news just kept getting better and better.

Miller was joined on the commitment list by three-star offensive lineman Jim Tartt and then three-star tight end Tate Casey. But the icing on the cake came when four-star cornerback McIntosh Nicolas (right) committed to the Gators over Florida State, LSU, Miami, Michigan State and Pittsburgh.

"I committed to Florida this weekend for a number of reasons," Nicholas, ranked as the nation's No. 7 cornerback by Rivals.com, said.

"I'm pretty pumped about it. I would say the No. 1 reason I committed was that I felt at home. The players and all the coaches were like they were my friends and family from here on my team. I also knew a few of the players, and played against a bunch of them, so that made it even better."

Along with a commitment from five-star receiver Lance Leggett, the additions over the weekend gives the Gators a might punch in the recruiting wars. They also played host to several big-name recruits and look to be in great shape with many of them, including fast-rising linebacker Brandon Siler.

It was just another weekend in which Zook proved again that he's one of the best recruiters in the Southeast.

AS THE RECRUIT TURNS, STARRING RAMARCUS BROWN
Welcome to the latest edition of As the Recruit Turns. This time the show stars Oklahoma, no wait Georgia, no wait Oklahoma commitment Ramarcus Brown. After a day full of calls between Georgia coaches, Oklahoma coaches and a weekend in Athens, Ga., Brown, the four-star athlete isn't exactly sure what's going to happen.

"I just don't know what is going to happen now," Brown said late on Sunday. "I did commit to Georgia this weekend, and I then told the Oklahoma coaches that I needed more time to think things over. Right now, I don't know what to say I am."

One word probably sums it up perfectly - confused.

The more this unfolds the more it looks like Brown is where he said he was earlier this afternoon before he decided to announce that he was going to Georgia instead of Oklahoma.

After talking to coaches from both Georgia and Oklahoma, Brown needs some time to reflect and even possibly have both schools come in and make in-home visits one more time.

"The Georgia coaches never pushed me too hard," Brown said.

"They just kept telling my mom that I should take some more visits before I sign. She kept asking me to make more visits, and so I decided to do just that. The Georgia coaches told me to consider UGA if I had any second thoughts, and I guess that is what happened."

However, Oklahoma's quick response to Brown's commitment news this afternoon has allowed the Sooners to possibly get a shot at an in-home visit tomorrow or later this week.

"Coach Stoops kept reminding me of why I committed to Oklahoma," Brown said. "He kept telling me that I was an Oklahoma commitment until I told him differently."

And apparently Brown hasn't done that yet, despite telling reporters and the Georgia coaches that he is committed to them.

"I told the Georgia coaches that I would be coming to play for them," Brown said. "It has everything I would want and it is close to home."

With the dead period over and in-home visits able to be made, stay tuned for the latest chapter of As the Recruit Turns, because this could get very interesting the next few days.

Will it be Georgia?

Will it be Oklahoma?

Only time will tell at this point.

NOT ALL NEWS CONFUSING FOR UGA
While the news on Brown still seems like it could go either way, the Dawgs did receive good news on Sunday when highly-touted receiver Demiko Goodman committed to UGA, pushing it all the way to No. 7 in the Rivals.com team rankings.

Goodman had been leaning toward Florida State and Georgia, but his time in Athens, Ga., this weekend solid him on UGA.

"I'm a Dawg. I felt really comfortable with the people there and with m y decision. I'm likely done with the recruiting process and won't take that visit to Florida State. I just loved Georgia too much."

Goodman said he feels at peace with his decision - especially after hanging out with the players this weekend on the visit.

"It was amazing," Goodman said. "I hung out with the players and they made me feel at home. I also ate really great on the visit. I had steaks, roast, gravy and everything that you can imagine. It was just about the most perfect visit that I could have had."

HUGE WEEKEND FOR THE DUCKS
Not to be overshadowed by other schools having a huge recruiting weekend, the Oregon Ducks rolled out the red carpet for almost 25 recruits this weekend. And the response from the visitors seemed overwhelming.

This includes Concord (Calif.) De La Salle defensive back Willie Glasper, who came away saying that the Ducks were a solid leader.

"I had a real nice time there," Glasper said.

"It was my first time in Oregon and I really liked everything they had to show me. The weight room, the locker rooms, the stadium, it's just a real nice place and you can tell how important the football program is to the school. It's not just the school that's nice but the city of Eugene itself is nice as well. I was just very comfortable there.

"All the players and coaches get along well there and that's important to me. That's how it is here at De La Salle. There were about 25 recruits visiting and we all got along real well. I knew a few of the players there from the CaliFlorida Bowl and I was very comfortable with everyone else I met. Oregon is a strong program and will be tough to beat. They're definitely my No. 1 right now."

Four-star defensive lineman Phillip Mbakogu also had positive remarks about his time in Eugene.

"Oregon has a great family atmosphere there and there is a special relationship between the players and coaches." he said. "The staff is as good as it gets there and the facilities are probably the best I've seen."

TIDBITS
-The Rivals.com team rankings were shaken up a bit at the top. With Brown's indecision, Oklahoma slipped to No. 4 behind LSU, USC and Michigan. Ohio State also moved up nicely with the addition of Vernon Gholston to its commitment list and is now sitting at No. 6. Washington has also moved up quickly in the team rankings and is now sitting at No. 19. The Huskies landed commitments from Caeser Rayford and Josh Okoebor on Sunday.

-Duke also had huge recruiting weekend, hosting players from all over the nation, including three-star defensive back Chancellor Young. In total, Duke had almost 20 recruits on campus this past weekend.

-Five-star quarterback Xavier Lee took his second official visit to Florida State this past weekend. He called the Noles' visit "perfect." He's set next to visit Texas and Syracuse. Auburn is the other front-runner with him.

-Expect a decision any day now from Keith Rivers the five-star linebacker from Lake Mary, Fla. After visiting Florida this past weekend, Rivers could now pop at any moment for USC.

-Five-star defensive tackle DeMario Pressley took an impressive in-state official visit to UNC this weekend. Up next for the nation's top defensive tackle is Oklahoma State and then Florida State. But the Heels made a great impression with him. "I knew it was going to be a good trip, but it was even better than I thought," he said. "The UNC coaches are real good guys and I spent some time with their players and the other recruits."



 

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