football

Look Ahead: Playoff drama continues

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FROM THE ROAD: 2011 Offense | 2011 Defense | Underclassmen
Rivals.com analysts are canvassing the country again this week to check out the top talent in person. Here's where they'll be and where their attention will be focused.
Analyst: Chris Nee | Follow Chris on Twitter: @RivalsCNee
Game: Miami (Fla.) Northwestern vs. Miami (Fla.) Columbus, Thursday
Top prospects:
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Allen highlightsClick Demetrius Allen, Northwestern, 6-0/200, LBHere to view this Link.
Allen is committed to Florida International. He is an aggressive linebacker who is most effective on the outside in space. Has his athleticism from sideline-to-sideline improved during his senior year?
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Bridgewater highlightsClick Teddy Bridgewater, Northwestern, 6-3/185, QBHere to view this Link.
Bridgewater is a very athletic quarterback who is capable of playing wide receiver as well. He will be a quarterback at Miami, where he has been committed for months.
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Bush highlightsClick Deon Bush, Columbus, 6-1/165, DB, Class of 2012Here to view this Link.
Bush is a talented junior who possesses a good amount of versatility because of his size or athleticism. He is capable of being a cornerback, safety, or even a linebacker in the right scheme.
Amari Cooper, Northwestern, 6-1/175, WR, Class of 2012
The junior wide receiver is a big target for his quarterback. Will he continue the trend established by past Northwestern wideouts such as Aldarius Johnson?
Lyndon Edwards, Northwestern, 6-1/195, LB
Edwards is a talented defensive prospect for Northwestern who is capable of playing among the linebackers or moving down to the defensive line. What position is Edwards going to eventually settle into at Florida International?
Eric Kinsey, Northwestern, 6-3/215, DE, Class of 2012
While Kinsey projects at defensive end as he fills out, he will likely work among the linebackers for Northwestern. Does he possess the frame to become a big defensive end?
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Rabasa highlightsClick Anthony Rabasa, Columbus, 6-3/200, DEHere to view this Link.
The Notre Dame commitment has been having a very strong senior campaign racking up good numbers off the edge. At Notre Dame, he is expected to move to the outside linebacker position.
Brandon Radcliff, Columbus, 5-10/195, RB, Class of 2012
Radcliff is capable of dropping his shoulder to run through the hole or can turn it up while bursting through a hole. He has battled some injury issues this season.
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Reve highlightsClick Jermaine Reve, Northwestern, 6-0/175, DBHere to view this Link.
Reve is a talented safety that has committed to UCF. He doesn't possess incredible measurements or athleticism, but is a very good playmaker in the secondary.
Dominique Rhymes, Northwestern, 6-4/205, WR
Rhymes is relatively new to the football field. He has been a regular playmaker throughout the season for Northwestern. How high is his ceiling?
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Rogers highlightsClick Eli Rogers, Northwestern, 5-10/180, WRHere to view this Link.
Rogers is a former Miami commitment who is evaluating his options. He is a slot wide receiver and explosive in space and off the line. It will be interesting to see how he does against a talented Columbus defense.
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Sumler highlightsClick Tacoi Sumler, Columbus, 5-8/151, WRHere to view this Link.
The Oregon commitment is incredibly small but his speed makes him a huge threat in space. He has home-run capability every time he touches the ball.
Clinton Taylor, Northwestern, 5-8/160, WR
Taylor is another Florida International commitment on Northwestern. He is an undersized slot wide receiver for the Bulls.
Lorenzo Woodley, Columbus, 6-0/200, RB, Class of 2013
Woodley is a big back who can drop the shoulder and punish defenders but also has the ability to burst into the open field and run away from them. With a crowded backfield, it will be interesting to see how many touches he gets.


Quick Kicks:
This is an opening-round game in the state playoffs. The two teams met earlier this season with Columbus defeating Northwestern 29-7. Columbus is 10-0 on the season while Northwestern is 8-2.
Analyst: Adam Gorney | Follow Adam on Twitter: @adamgorney
Game: Corona (Calif.) vs. Chino Hills (Calif.), Friday
Top prospects:
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Wilson highlightsClick DeVante Wilson, Corona, 6-4/230, SDEHere to view this Link.
USC, Nebraska and Arizona are the three finalists for Wilson, who will take an official visit to Southern Cal on Dec. 10 and then make his commitment five days later on his birthday. Wilson has lots of speed off the edge but his toughness and intensity have been questioned at times.
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Ekpre-Olomu highlightsClick Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Chino Hills, 5-10/180, CBHere to view this Link.
Ekpre-Olomu is a jack-of-all-trades on offense, defense and special teams for Chino Hills but we're most interested to see how he performs on defense. Is he quick and instinctive enough to stay at cornerback or will he grow into a safety in college?


Quick Kicks:
Ekpre-Olomu has Oregon and California as his two favorites and the Ducks have made a big impression on him. … Wilson has already visited Arizona and Nebraska on official visits and has been to USC for unofficial trips. His official to USC could seal the deal.
Analyst: Mike Farrell | Follow Mike on Twitter: @rivalsmike
Game:Midlothian (Va.) Clover Hill at Dinwiddie (Va.), Friday
Top prospects:
Wes Austin, Clover Hill, 6-2/190, WR, Class of 2012
Austin gets overshadowed by Joel Caleb but with his size, does he have D-I ability and the speed needed to play at the next level?
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Caleb highlightsClick Joel Caleb, Clover Hill, 6-2/185, ATH, Class of 2012Here to view this Link.
Is Caleb the top prospect in the state of Virginia for 2012? With early offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech, and interest from many others, how does the high school quarterback project as a safety or wide receiver?
Holland Fisher, Clover Hill, 6-2/180, LB, Class of 2013
Fisher is only a sophomore but he has good size and looks older than he is. Will he be an elite linebacker by the time he's recruitable?
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Gardner highlightsClick Trey Gardner, Dinwiddie, 6-5/202, WRHere to view this Link.
Gardner has good size and is a terrific looking prospect on the hoof but he only has one D-I offer. Is it speed or lack of ball skills holding him back?
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Hall highlightsClick Chris Hall, Dinwiddie, 6-4/231, ATHHere to view this Link.
Hall plays quarterback in high school but projects as a tight end or defensive end at Virginia Tech. How athletic is he?
Drakar Harvell, Dinwiddie, 5-10/191, WR, Class of 2012
Harvell is a very thick kid but was built more like a running back than a wide receiver the last time we saw him. Has he added a few inches to his frame?
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Marshall highlightsClick Corey Marshall, Dinwiddie, 6-2/239, DEHere to view this Link.
Marshall's lack of height was the main reason he wasn't more highly ranked in the Rivals250 from the start. Has he added some length to his frame?
Diante Monroe, Dinwiddie, 6-1/230, DE
Monroe is a tweener between defensive tackle and defensive end. What position does he project at and can he get big enough to play inside if needed?
Tim Thaniel, Clover Hill, 6-2/190, DB, Class of 2012
Thaniel plays both defensive back and wide receiver and has good size for both. On which side of the ball is he better?


Quick Kicks:
Clover Hill produced four-star offensive tackle Blake DeChristopher in 2007 when he signed with Virginia Tech but hasn't had a D-I prospect since. For Dinwiddie, linebacker Bradley Johnson is the only recent D-I prospect prior to this year. Johnson signed with Maryland in 2009.
Analyst: Barry Every | Follow Barry on Twitter: @barryevery
Game:Sherman (Texas) vs. Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite, Friday, Cowboys Stadium
Top prospects:
Trevone Boykin, West Mesquite, 6-1/205, DQB
TCU commit has rushed for 1,522 yards and 25 touchdowns, while throwing for 2,545 yards and 24 touchdowns this season.
Gary Owens, West Mesquite, 5-9/162, WR
Tulsa commit has caught 58 passes for 715 yards and eight scores so far this season.


Quick Kicks:
Sherman coach Gary Joe Kinne has the Bearcats rolling at 10-1 after back-to-back 8-3 seasons. The Wranglers are led by coach Mike Overton, who has his team at 9-2.
Analyst: Barry Every | Follow Barry on Twitter: @barryevery
Game: Rowlett (Texas) vs. Mesquite (Texas) Horn, Friday, Cowboys Stadium
Top prospects:
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Boyd highlightsClick Kyle Boyd, Horn, 6-2/225, ILBHere to view this Link.
Iowa State is one of the team captains that must figure out how to slow down the Rowlett offense.
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Grant highlightsClick Jakeem Grant, Horn, 5-7/157, WRHere to view this Link.
Tulsa commit has caught 59 passes for 992 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
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Oyenuga highlightsClick Samuel Oyenuga Rowlett, 6-0/162, CBHere to view this Link.
Minnesota commit will have his hands full trying to stop Grant and Stephon Shepherd.
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Sanders highlightsClick Stephon Sanders Horn, 6-3/225, WDEHere to view this Link.
SMU commit is one of the other defensive captains in charge of shutting down the Eagles offense.
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Shepherd highlightsClick JaCorey Shepherd Horn, 5-11/170, WRHere to view this Link.
Kansas commit has caught 54 passes for 756 yards and eight scores this season.
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Wood highlightsClick Zach Wood, Rowlett, 6-3/256, SDEHere to view this Link.
Can he get enough pressure on the quarterback to disrupt the Jaguars prolific passing attack?


Quick Kicks:
Rowlett coach Kiff Hardin brings the Eagles in at 9-2, his best record since the 2005 season when they finished 9-3. The Jaguars are led by coach Rodney Webb at 7-4, but that record is deceiving since they have played one of the toughest schedules in the state of Texas.
Analyst: Chris Nee | Follow Chris on Twitter: @RivalsCNee
Game: Tampa (Fla.) Plant vs. Plant City (Fla.), Friday
Top prospects:
Austin Aikens, Plant, 5-11/165, WR, Class of 2012
On the season, the junior wide receiver has around 600 receiving yards on 25 receptions. Aikens transferred into Plant from Tampa Catholic after his sophomore year.
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Ely highlightsClick Phillip Ely, Plant, 6-1/186, QBHere to view this Link.
The Alabama commitment has had an up-and-down season for Plant, having battled injuries and playing behind a mediocre offensive line. Has his arm strength elevated him to another level?
Eric Patterson, Plant, 5-10/185, DB
Patterson is a defensive back capable of playing Division I football, but must prove it on the field every week. He has shown flashes in his career that he can contain, and even shut down, Division I wide receiver targets.
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Posada highlightsClick Tony Posada, Plant, 6-6/315, OLHere to view this Link.
The Michigan commitment is an aggressive blocker who likes to attack the defender and play with a chip on his shoulder. During the summer, he carried some bad weight on his frame. It will be interesting to see what kind of shape he is in now.
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Preston highlightsClick Jordan Prestwood, Plant City, 6-6/280, OLHere to view this Link.
Prestwood will take his skills to Florida State. He is an athletic offensive lineman who has transitioned from tight end to offensive tackle.
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Wiggins highlightsClick LaMarlin Wiggins, Plant City, 6-3/195, ATH, Class of 2012 Here to view this Link.
Wiggins is a talented athlete who will likely end up being a wide receiver at the next level. How will he do working with the backup QB against a talented Plant defense?
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Wilder highlightsClick James Wilder Jr., Plant, 6-2/219, ATHHere to view this Link.
Wilder Jr. is a versatile athlete capable of being a linebacker or running back in college. He is heading to Florida State to play running back, which has been his regular position throughout his senior season.


Quick Kicks:
This is an opening round playoff game. The two teams played in the opening round of the playoffs in 2009, with Plant defeating Plant City, 59-14. Plant went on to win the Class 5A state championship in 2009.
Analyst: Barry Every | Follow Barry on Twitter: @barryevery
Game: Cedar Hill (Texas) vs. Denton (Texas) Guyer, Saturday, Cowboys Stadium
Top prospects:
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Bean highlightsClick Jimmy Bean Guyer, 6-5/218, SDE Here to view this Link.
The Oklahoma State commit is very tall and lean. Will he fill out and become an SDE or is he a WDE?
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Gardener highlightsClick Quentin Gardener, Guyer, 6-0/190, WRHere to view this Link.
He has 23 catches for 365 yards and four scores this season, and five D-I offers.
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Gibson highlightsClick Lovett Gibson, Cedar Hill, 6-1/185, WR Here to view this Link.
UTEP commit has caught 60 passes for 1,103 yards and 11 scores this season.
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Jackson highlightsClick Driphus Jackson, Cedar Hill, 6-0/195, DQB Here to view this Link.
He has completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,701 yards, while throwing 26 touchdowns and five picks. Has nine D-I offers.
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Stewart highlightsClick Josh Stewart, Guyer, 5-10/163, CB Here to view this Link.
On top of being the starting CB, the Texas A&M commit has caught 33 passes for 648 yards and six scores.
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Terry highlightsClick Blake Terry, Guyer, 6-0/235, ILBHere to view this Link.
Is the Kentucky commit an ILB or will he become a defensive end at the next level?
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Walsh highlightsClick J.W. Walsh, Guyer, 6-2/190, DQBHere to view this Link.
Oklahoma State commit has passed for 2,300 yards and 26 touchdowns with only one interception, while rushing for 889 yards and 11 scores.


Quick Kicks:
This has to be one of the most anticipated rematches of the season. Earlier this year the Cedar Hill Longhorns beat the Wildcats 42-41 in overtime. Cedar Hills coach Joey McGuire has built one of the best programs in the state of Texas. Coach John Walsh has helped Denton (Texas) Guyer make the transition from 4A to 5A this year.
Analyst: Barry Every | Follow Barry on Twitter: @barryevery
Game: Euless (Texas) Trinity vs. Allen (Texas), Saturday, Cowboys Stadium
Top prospects:
Brandon Carter, Trinity, 5-11/161, ATH
Oklahoma commit has rushed for 638 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 17 passes and four more scores.
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Kasitati highlightsClick Nila Kasitati, Trinity, 6-4/247, TEHere to view this Link.
Baylor commit is possibly the best run-blocking tight end in the country.
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Lee highlightsClick Jonathon Lee, Allen, 6-2/191, WRHere to view this Link.
Baylor commit has snagged 31 passes for 596 yards and six touchdowns.
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Masumbuko highlightsClick Suleiman Masumbuko, Trinity, 6-3/270, DTHere to view this Link.
Baylor commit is a key anchor in one of the top defensive lines in the country
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McNulty highlightsClick Brad McNulty, Allen, 6-3/309, OGHere to view this Link.
Missouri commit paved the way for the second-leading rusher in the Dallas Metroplex.
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Spears highlightsClick Melvin Spears, Allen, 6-2/230, OLB Here to view this Link.
Iowa commit is one of the best-looking prospects on the hoof in the country.
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Yenga highlightsClick Jonathan Yenga, Trinity, 6-2/197, ILBHere to view this Link.
Yenga has eight D-I offers and a brother who stars at SMU.


Quick Kicks:
This is a rematch of the 2008 5A State championship where Allen (Texas) defeated Euless (Texas) Trinity. Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver has built possibly the best dynasty in the country having won two of the last three state titles in the largest classification in Texas.
Analyst: Barry Every | Follow Barry on Twitter: @barryevery
Game:Duncanville (Texas) vs. Coppell (Texas), Saturday, Cowboys Stadium
Top prospects:
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McDaniel highlightsClick Cam McDaniel, Coppell, 5-11/192, APBHere to view this Link.
McDaniel has rushed for 1,646 yards and 28 touchdowns.
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Okotcha highlightsClick Bennett Okotcha, Coppell, 6-0/175, CBHere to view this Link.
Wisconsin commit might be one of the most underrated corners in the country.
Oni Omoile, Coppell, 6-3/275, OG
Iowa State commit still needs to be evaluated.
Jeffrey Thomas, Duncanville, 6-3/176, WR, Class of 2012
Has scored eight touchdowns on 21 receptions.


Quick Kicks:
Coach Jeff Dicus left perennial power Austin (Texas) Lake Travis to help rebuild a Duncanville team in 2006. He now has the Panthers in the second round of the playoffs with an 8-3 record. The Cowboys are led by second-year coach Joe McBride.
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