Louisville has made some recruiting noise in the Big East since Charlie Strong took over and the Cardinals hope to finish with a bang.
We break down the conference in a special edition of the Big East Blitz.
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Last week, the Huskies dipped into Florida's immense talent pool to get a commitment from offensive tackle Mark Hansson. UConn also recently received a commitment from Maryland defensive end Josh Alexander. Keep an eye on three-star Florida wide receiver Kody Williams, who took an official to UConn. Pennsylvania sleeper B.J. McBryde will decide between the Huskies and Boston College.
The Cardinals have made some noise since Charlie Strong took over several weeks ago, and Louisville is hoping to finish with a bang. Defensive tackle Todd Chandler and wide receiver Kadron Boone are arguably the biggest names left on the board for the Cardinals. Louisville is making a strong push for each. A recent commitment from junior college receiver Joshua Bellamy helps shore up a need for a big, physical receiver who can help early. Defensive tackle Jamaine Brooks is expected to be in the fold very shortly, as well. The Miami area standout would be another good get for Strong.
Dave Wannstedt has done another superb job of luring top talent to Pitt. With 24 commitments in the fold, the Panthers are pretty much done with this class. Though they recently watched one of their targets, Shyquawn Pullium, commit to Penn State, most of Pitt's priorities were off the board early. Pitt would have taken Pullium, junior college lineman Brice Schwab, wide receiver Adrian Coxson or defensive end Micah Robinson, but beyond that the staff wasn't going to reach.
The Knights could finish stronger than any other Big East school. Four-star wide receiver Brandon Coleman is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the nation. Rumors are going back and forth on him. Earlier this week, he was a Rutgers lock. By midweek, it was a toss-up between Rutgers and Maryland. Cornerback Dionte Ponder of Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic took an official to Rutgers recently and had a good talk with coach Greg Schiano. Ponder is impressed with the academic and athletic dimensions of the school. Rutgers is also a finalist for four-star Florida cornerback Rashad Knight, who will decide between Michigan and the Scarlet Knights on Signing Day. Wide receiver Jeremy Deering is down to Rutgers and Florida State. However, it looks very likely that running back Casey Turner will de-commit from Rutgers and head to North Carolina.
Skip Holtz is in the unenviable position of introducing himself to recruits just before National Signing Day. Ace Sanders, a four-star wide receiver, ended up committing to South Carolina. But the Bulls did get good news when four-star quarterback Brion Carnes had a good meeting with Holtz and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch. Nebraska is the biggest threat to USF for Carnes, but the Huskers just landed 2011 stud quarterback Jamal Turner out of Texas. That development makes it more likely Carnes will stay closer to home. If USF does lose Carnes, dual-threat Tim Smith could be a replacement option. Tallahassee offensive lineman Drew Gentry had originally committed to Holtz while he was at ECU, but he may follow the coach to South Florida now.
The Orange have generated more buzz on the recruiting trail than in recent years, and they're hoping they can capitalize on it. Syracuse landed sleeper defensive back Keondrick Lyn. Ohio defensive end Micah Robinson is a priority, and he is scheduled to visit this weekend. The Orange are also in the final three for offensive lineman Sean Hickey. Two-star safety Zach McCarrell is giving strong consideration to Syracuse after receiving an offer recently. Darrin Kitchens, a big-time linebacker from Florida, may be one of their biggest remaining targets. Syracuse is also hoping for good news from four-star defensive tackle Todd Chandler, who visited a few weeks ago.
Sleeper wide receiver Dante Chambers from Miramar, Fla., recently received a surprise offer from the Mountaineers and jumped on it. Chambers' commitment is giving more credence to rumors of a silent WVU commitment from his teammate, four-star wide out Ivan McCartney. Four-star offensive guard Quinton Spain of Virginia has been committed to WVU for quite some time, but the Mountaineers will have to withstand a late push from some heavyweights to hold onto him. In fact,Spain could go beyond Signing Day if he still wants to take some trips. West Virginia is a finalist for athlete Qudral Forte, and is still in the mix for former commitment Darius Millines. Four-star quarterback Barry Brunetti has firmed up his commitment recently, and there's a chance that five-star commitment Latwan Anderson might not make his official visit to USC this weekend.