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November 10, 2010

Look ahead: Playoff push

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 - prospects listed alphabetically - will be focused.


Analyst: Adam Gorney | Follow Adam on Twitter: @adamgorney

Game: Fontana (Calif.) Summit vs. Riverside (Calif.) Norte Vista, Thursday

Top prospects:
Devon Blackmon, Summit, 6-0/175, ATH
Blackmon highlights
Blackmon is listed as an athlete in the Rivals.com rankings and even though he mainly plays quarterback in high school, every college is recruiting him as a wide receiver. Blackmon was very good but not spectacular when we saw him in the season opener so we want to revisit Summit and see Blackmon in the regular season finale. What is he doing better? What is the same? It will be interesting to see what his senior season has done for him.
Montigo Alford, Summit, 5-10/175, RB
Alford rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries in the season opener against Etiwanda and he was impressive enough to be considered a Division I prospect. He is quick and shifty and even though he's not the biggest back, Alford runs with toughness and can handle a lot of the workload.

Quick Kicks:
Blackmon took an official visit to Oregon last weekend and the Ducks have moved to No. 1 on his list. There are rumors that Blackmon has already committed to the Ducks but he says they are untrue. UCLA, USC and others are still involved in his recruitment but Blackmon was apparently blown away by his experience at Oregon and it's going to be tough to beat. … Alford was receiving interest from Arizona State, Idaho State, New Mexico, Oregon State and UCLA when we talked earlier in the season. It will be interesting to see where his recruitment stands at the end of his senior season.


Analyst: Brian Perroni | Follow Brian on Twitter: @bperroni

Game: Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite vs. Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson, Thursday at Waco ISD Stadium

Top prospects:
Trevone Boykin West Mesquite, 6-1/205, DQB
Does the TCU commit project to quarterback or another position in college?
Victor Irokansi Hendrickson, 6-4/222, WDE, 2012 prospect
Irokansi highlights
Does the camp and combine warrior dominate in pads as well?
Gary Owens West Mesquite, 5-9/162, WR
Can the Tulsa commit be an effective slot receiver at only 5-9?
Kenny Williams Hendrickson, 5-10/206, RB
Williams highlights
Does the four-star Texas Tech commit deserve a bump in the next set of rankings?

Quick Kicks:
This first round Class 4A-Division playoff game features a 9-1 West Mesquite team against a 5-5 Hendrickson squad. Williams has bounced back from an injury-plagued junior season to put up big numbers this year. Boykin is one of the top passers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.


Analyst: Chris Nee | Follow Chris on Twitter: @RivalsCNee

Game: Sarasota (Fla.) Booker at Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee, Friday

Top prospects:
Mike Blakely, Manatee, 5-9/194, RB
Blakely highlights
Blakely is an electric running back who is used by Manatee in both the running and passing game. Recently, the Florida commit has been playing limited snaps while resting injured ankles as Manatee prepares for the playoffs.
Quenton Bundrage, Manatee, 6-1/176, WR
Bundrage highlights
Bundrage is a big wide receiver target on the outside who has very good hands. He has racked up over a dozen offers including Cincinnati, Marshall, Iowa State, Louisville, and UCF. He has had a strong senior season for the Hurricanes.
Clinton Heaven, Manatee, 6-0/176, S (Class of 2012)
Heaven is a talented defensive back who will likely play safety at the collegiate level. He has an early offer from South Carolina with other schools showing him interest. He missed some time earlier this season with a minor injury.
Quinton Pompey, Manatee, 6-3/275, DT
Pompey highlights
Pompey has emerged on the national radar with a strong senior season. The big defensive tackle who is a disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line holds offers from Louisville, Miami, Missouri, Penn State, and others.
Cord Sandberg, Manatee, 6-2/175, QB (Class of 2013)
Sandberg is just a sophomore but has already shown flashes under center for the Hurricanes. He has good size and a solid arm but can also do damage with his feet. In recent games where Manatee has been limited with Blakely, Sandberg has led their offensive charge through the air.
Darius White, Manatee, 6-1/191, OLB (Class of 2012)
White is an athletic linebacker with a nice frame. He is a fan of delivering the big hits and is regularly around the football. Just how good can he be as part of the 2012 class?
Drakkar Wilson, Manatee, 5-11/285, DT
Wilson is an anchor in the middle of the Manatee defensive line. He is a short, wide body tackle that clogs up the middle and helps to free up his teammates, such as Quinton Pompey.

Quick Kicks:
Manatee is looking to complete a 10-0 regular season with a victory. The Hurricanes are currently ranked No. 29 in the RivalsHigh 100. With having already clinched the district title, Mike Blakely has seen limited play in order to rest his ankles and prepare for the playoffs.


Analyst: Barry Every | Follow Barry on Twitter: @barryevery

Game: Savannah (Ga.) Savannah Christian vs. Camilla (Ga.) Mitchell County, Friday

Top prospect:
Justin Scott-Wesley, Mitchell County, 6-0/200, WR
Scott-Wesley highlights
Scott-Wesley is one of the elite track stars in the country. How do his superior track accolades translate onto the football field?

Quick Kicks:
This first round playoff game pits two 9-1 teams that have lofty goals. Coach Donald Chumley, NFL Draft Mr. Irrelevant from 1985, hopes to match last year's success which saw his team make it to the state championship game. Former South Carolina Gamecock Dondrial Pinkins has the Eagles flying high with one of their most successful regular seasons in years.


Analyst: Mike Farrell | Follow Mike on Twitter: @rivalsmike

Game: Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic at Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco, Friday

Top prospects:
Leonte Carroo, Don Bosco, 6-2/195, WR, Class of 2012
Caroo came into the season as a physical specimen who hadn't played much football. Now he's one of Jersey's most dangerous weapons. Will he blow it up in playoff action?
Darius Hamilton, Don Bosco, 6-4/245, DE, Class of 2012
Hamilton is the son of former NFL defensive lineman Keith Hamilton and has had a good year. Is he a future Rivals100 guy or even a five-star down the line?
Leo Krizanovic, Paramus Catholic, 6-2/235, LB, Class of 2012
Krizanovic is a huge linebacker but will he end up growing into a defensive end or even a tackle?
Al-Quadine Muhammad, Don Bosco, 6-4/210, DE, Class of 2013
Muhammad looks like a million bucks for a sophomore, but can he prove to be physical enough to be the next top defensive lineman at Bosco to go along with Justin Trattou, Bryan Murphy and now Hamilton?
Gary Nova, Don Bosco, 6-2/210, QB
Nova highlights
Nova has been a high three-star forever because he's a great game manager and doesn't make mistakes, but he hasn't shown enough consistency. Can he have a breakout game in the playoffs?
Jabrill Peppers, Don Bosco, 5-9/150, DB, Class of 2014
Peppers is one of the top prospects in the class of 2014 and will have verbal offers by the end of his freshman season. Can he make more big plays as the games count more and the pressure rises?
Elijah Shumate, Don Bosco, 6-1/186, DB, Class of 2012
Shumate highlights
Shumate is one of three great 2012 prospects on Bosco who could end up as four-star prospects or higher. But with Hamilton and Caroo having such monster years, has he dipped to third on the list?
Marquise Wright , Paramus Catholic, 6-3/265, DT
Wright highlights
Wright is a Rivals100 prospect but many are saying he's overrated and too high nationally and in the state. How will he fare against New Jersey's best after a so-so performance against Bosco a few weeks ago?
Yuri Wright, Don Bosco, 6-2/180, DB Class of 2012
Wright is overshadowed by Shumate and even Peppers, but is his upside higher than anyone's with his ability to play cornerback at his size?

Quick Kicks:
Back on Oct. 30, Bosco destroyed Paramus Catholic 49-0 so will this game be any closer? This is the one and only chance to evaluate Wright, a Pitt commitment, in person as he hasn't been selected to any major all-star games…..Two players in this game, Wright and Nova, are committed to Pitt while the underclassmen trio from Bosco also have early offers from the Panthers….After a long drought with no D-I prospects, Paramus Catholic has sent players in consecutive years to Florida State and Pitt and Krizanovic is expected to be a BCS prospect as well….Bosco has won its last four games by outscoring its opponents 218-19.


Analyst: Brian Perroni | Follow Brian on Twitter: @bperroni

Game: Athens (Texas) vs. Diboll (Texas), Friday at Tyler Rose Stadium, Friday

Top prospects::
Kendall Sanders Athens, 6-1/175, ATH, 2012 prospect
Is the talented junior a wide receiver or safety?
Terrence Taylor Diboll, 5-11/205, RB, 2012 prospect
Does he belong in the discussion of elite junior backs in the state?
Courtney Whitehead Athens, 6-2/181, WR
How does he stack up to the other Division I receivers in Texas?

Quick Kicks:
Athens comes into the Class 3A-Division II playoff game with an 8-2 record while Diboll is 5-5. Both Sanders and Taylor are starting to see quite a bit of attention from colleges as the East Texas standouts are both having big junior seasons.


Analyst: Mike Farrell | Follow Mike on Twitter: @rivalsmike

Game: Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek at Lanoka Harbor (N.J.) Lacey Township, Saturday

Top prospects:
Quinton Alston, Timber Creek, 6-1/218, LB
Alston highlights
Alston has missed much of his senior season and it's unclear whether he will return for the playoffs. If he does, how effective with the Pitt commitment be?
Damiere Byrd, Timber Creek, 5-9/156, WR
Byrd highlights
Byrd is one of the fastest players in the country but is very slight. Has he added any weight and strength to his frame to prepare for college?
Quanzell Lambert, Timber Creek, 6-2/230, LB, Class of 2012
Lambert is a big kid and a tackling machine, but is he a pure middle linebacker or can he play outside and cover backs and receivers?
Jordan Powell, Lacey Township, 6-3/210, TE, Class of 2012
Powell is an athletic tight end but not a big target in the Lacey offense and makes most of his impact on defense? Can he make some key plays in the playoffs on either side?
Tyrell Smith, Lacey Township, 6-4/280, DT, Class of 2012
Smith is a huge prospect with college size already and is strong at the point of attack, but how does he move and can he work his way down the line of scrimmage to make plays?

Quick Kicks:
Byrd is by far the highest-rated recruit in Timber Creek history and the fastest as well. His 10.42-second 100 meter time was just behind fellow Jersey stud and friend Miles Shuler, who ran a 10.39, this past summer….Byrd is the first commitment from New Jersey for South Carolina since linebacker Dakota Walker from Oakcrest and tight end Shea McKeen in 2005. In 2003 the Gamecocks landed both Cory Boyd and Derrick Harper from Jersey….Byrd is the first top five recruit from Jersey to head to the SEC since Will Hill signed with Florida in 2008.


Analyst: Brian Perroni | Follow Brian on Twitter: @bperroni

Game: Klein (Texas) at Lufkin (Texas), Saturday

Top prospects:
Travoskey Garrett Lufkin, 6-1/186, S
Can the TCU commit show the same skills as he did this summer in 7-on-7 play?
Darrell Kelly-Thomas Lufkin, 6-2/220, WDE
Is the Arkansas pledge a true pass-rushing threat?
Tomme Mark Lufkin, 6-2/255, DT, 2012 prospect
Has the former linebacker made a seamless adjustment to defensive tackle?
Eric Rowe Klein, 6-2/174, S
Rowe highlights
Has Utah found yet another steal in the state of Texas?
Deauntre Smiley Lufkin, 6-2/205, DQB
Can he play quarterback at the next level?
Ross Winship Klein, 6-4/261, DT
Winship highlights
Can the Rice commit add the size necessary to play defensive tackle in college?

Quick Kicks:
These two teams have met often in the first round of the playoffs with Klein winning last year's match-up. Klein went on to win the region before falling to eventual state champion Abilene. Both teams have sent numerous players to major colleges and the NFL.



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