Semper Fi: East Team Recruiting Notebook

Alec James

FULLERTON, Calif. -- The East team continued its prep work for Friday's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, and the FOXSportsNEXT team continued to cover every aspect of it. In this recruiting notebook, there are updates on visits, which commits are solid and a player would could announce Friday.

The East squad's second practice in preparation for Friday's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and there continues to be plenty of recruiting news from the players involved.

  • A day after saying Syracuse was his leader, Xaverian High (Brooklyn, N.Y.) running back Laray Smith said he could announce his decision during the game.

    "I should know by Thursday," Smith said.

    He is also considering West Virginia and Oregon, which is yet to offer. It could come down to whether the Ducks indicate in the next two days whether an offer is coming or not.

  • Alabama commit Anthony Averett of Woodbury (N.J.) High said he will make his official visit either Jan. 11 or Jan. 18, and no other schools are recruiting him.

    "It seems like everyone is leaving me alone, but I still get all the mail," said Averett, who is solid with his commitment. "It's nice to relax and enjoy it a little bit."

  • Wisconsin commit Corey Clement, a four-star running back from Glassboro (N.J.) High, said he likes the Badgers' hire of Gary Andersen and he is solid with his commitment.

    "I had a good talk with coach Anderson last week," Clement said. "It's kind of a weight off my back with all of the questions. …It was the first question I asked, ‘Are you going to keep the same offense?' The answers was, ‘Yes,' "

    Clement was sporting a Wisconsin hat after Tuesday's practice.

  • The Gilman School (Baltimore) linebacker Micah Kiser is committed to Virginia, and even with some of the changes to the coaching staff, he is not wavering.

    "It's an up-and-coming program," he said. "I really feel like we're close to making it (to the top) of the ACC."

  • American Heritage School (Delray Beach, Fla.) tight end Tyler Provo had familiarity with Syracuse because his brother, Nick Provo, played there but that had no impact in Tyler's decision.

    "I love the coaches and I like their offense a lot," Provo said.

    Provo added he has not spoken to Smith about joining him with the Orange this week, but he may say something in the coming days.

  • Notre Dame commit Devin Butler, who starred at Gonzaga Prep (Washington, D.C.), said there is an easy reason why the Irish's class of committed players is so well connected.

    "This class took a lot of ownership and made sure everybody stayed," Butler said.

  • Hurricane Sandy is impacting when four-star cornerback Nadir Barnwell will enroll at Rutgers, but the Piscataway (N.J.) High standout said it will still be in January.

    "Sandy pushed my midterms back, so we have to figure that out," he said. "I'll still be able to (enroll early), but I haven't gotten a date yet."

  • Four-star defensive end Tashawn Bower, who is committed to Auburn but also looking at Florida, LSU and Rutgers, said players from other programs aren't giving him a hard sales pitch, although there are commits from LSU (Jeremy Cutrer), Auburn (Jimmy Hutchinson) and Rutgers (Barnwell) on his team.

    However, Barnwell, who plays about 15 minutes from Bower's school, does bring Rutgers up to him.

    "I just ask him where he thinks about going," Barnwell said. "I don't really pressure him, and I'll say, ‘Hey, what about Rutgers.' "

  • Xaverian Brothers High (Westwood, Mass.) defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. is playing through illness – he said he may have strep throat – and he continues to dominate. He is also feeling good about being a Michigan commit.

    "I just liked the mix of academics and football, and the tradition the school has," Hurst Jr. said. "It's kind of like the one my high school has. I knew Michigan was a really great school."

  • East High (Brookfield, Wisc.) defensive end Alec James is still committed to Wisconsin but will be taking official visits to Oregon and possibly Michigan State, Florida State or Clemson.

    He said he wants to meet with new Badgers coach Gary Andersen before making his final decision.

  • Another Wisconsin commit, Brookfield (Wisc.) Central High defensive end Chikwe Obasih, said he is very strong with his commitment to Wisconsin despite the coaching change.

    "I didn't open up my commitment or reach out to any other coaches during the changes," he said.

  • Michigan commit Ross Douglas, a cornerback from Avon (Ohio) High, will be enrolling Jan. 6. He said he is very close with his fellow commits, and made a lot of friends during his official visit, and that should aid in his transition to Ann Arbor.

  • Chaminade-Julienne (Ohio) High senior linebacker Darrien Howard says he talks with his fellow West Virginia commits at least once or twice a week, "so that we can become a big family." It is a big reason the Mountaineer class has a strong bond.

  • Miami commit Ray Lewis III, a running back from Lake Mary (Fla.) Prep, says he grew up a Hurricane, and it shouldn't be a surprise since his father, Ray Lewis, is one of its most successful alums in the NFL.

    The younger Lewis said he's looking forward to the competitiveness that everyone has in the program.

    "Everyone has that one ultimate goal to be the greatest."

  • Georgia commit Uriah LeMay of Butler High in Matthews, N.C., said he is not talking to any other schools. The wide receiver chose the Bulldogs because of their family environment, and added "also having my brother there definitely helps."

  • North Carolina commit Ryan Switzer of George Washington High (Charleston, W.V.) said he initially wasn't going to visit the Tar Heels, but his parents convinced him to go and he is thrilled about it.

    He said he is excited to be used "the right way" playing in the slot, running back and as a kick/punt returner.

  • Long snapper Gabriel Miller of Penn High (Mishawaka, Ind.) said when he heads to Nebraska he plans to "go in there, walk in and let everyone know that I'm the man and want to win the job."

  • Oklahoma receiver commit Jordan Smallwood, who plays at Jenks (Okl.) High, said "family and tradition" led to his commitment, which is solid. He said he wants everyone to know he's not taking any other visits and will be a Sooner.

  • Ottawa Hills (Toledo, Ohio) kicker Michael Geiger said being committed to Michigan State is a dream, and one the one-time Boston College pledge couldn't pass up. "They offered me, I made a visit as soon as possible then committed."

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