Time is not running out on 2011's Terrell Chestnut

Disappointment would be an understatement, but he handles that game extremely well. Terrell Chestnut of Pottsgrove, Penn., and a batch full of young stars led a Falcons team into the Pennsylvania state championships only to be stopped short by Archbishop Wood.


“We just ended up just running out of time, that’s what I always say. Both teams played a great game, so it would’ve been tough for either team to lose.” Sadly, the falcons ended up just a field goal shy of winning states. While painful to see such an opportunity slip away from them, Chestnut keeps things in perspective. After fielding a team made up of almost all juniors and sophomore’s as well as going undefeated until that fated game, Pottsgrove is sure to have another great season under coach Rick Pennypacker.


With honor roll grades his junior year, Chestnut has not closed any doors on himself, nor does he plan to. In a relatively unseen combination of quarterback and defensive back, Terrell Chestnut is considered an athlete by recruiting terms.


Even though Chestnut was the signal caller for the falcons, he spent more time keeping the ball on the ground by running than he did with airborne passes. With 1,253 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns to boot, it is safe to say that the offense of Pottsgrove revolves around the 5’11” athlete.


The biggest question for almost every college coach out there is how they can implement Chestnut into either their offense or defense. When I asked Terrell about where he would prefer to play once he reaches colleges, he told me, “Wherever they like me, where ever they need me in order to make a difference on the team.”


With no favorite at the moment, Chestnut has his options open. He listed Penn State, Rutgers, Pitt, Villanova, and Temple as apart of his top five at this early stage in the recruitment game. Being somewhat close to University Park has greatly helped Penn State in the acquiring of Chestnut’s services. Pittsburgh is also in the running for Terrell and he recently visited their junior day. Afterwards, it seemed like Coach Wannstedt put on a very impressive show for a recruit that has so much to offer a program.


Terrell knows that he must improve many facets of his game in order to be the type of player he wants to be at the next level, but many of those talents already lay inside him. “My leadership and my motivation not to let my teammates down inspire me and make me a better player. I just like playing the game of football in general.”


The concern of weight always is with a 175 pound football player, but Terrell Chestnut continues to impress in the weight room. Chestnut is able to max out on the bench at 235 lbs and squat 400 lbs as well. Considering his small stature, this is extremely impressive and will not be taken lightly by coaches.


As the Pottsgrove Falcons look toward their 2010 campaign, many people that were apart of the team want to forget what happened in the championship game against Archbishop Wood. Instead, Terrell wants to remember that game and make sure that next year is a totally different story. “I personally would like to get to where we were and go beyond so we can achieve something special.” With his mind set in place for next fall, and offers flowing in from almost every major school in the northeast, Terrell knows what’s expected of him from his senior year and beyond. Chestnut has no timetable set for his decision and hopes to find a school with the same winning attitude he possesses.

Massachusetts Revival: 2011's Albert Louis-Jean

Any college football recruiter will tell you right off the bat that there is no tougher position to recognize talent at than cornerback. Let’s be honest, when will a cornerback’s performance be highlighted on a film? College coaches may even spend days contemplating which player on their team would fit best at cornerback.


The skill of a cornerback has become so specific in the ever-changing world of college football. Albert Louis-Jean of Brockton, Mass. is an exceptional athlete who may very well posses the skills necessary to become a premier corner at the collegiate level.


The Brockton Boxers are consistently a team favored to win the Big Three Conference title in Massachusetts nearly every year. Last year was no different, as Louis-Jean and other stars spearheaded an attempt at recapturing championship glory. After beginning the 2009 season extremely well (5-0), the Boxers hit a rut at the end of the season and lost three of their last four games.


Despite missing the playoffs, Louis-Jean still received a great amount of interest from D-1 colleges around the nation. “Obviously I did well enough to get some attention, but I could’ve done better both individually and with my team,” he said.


On the first day where it is permissible for college programs to offer 2011 recruits, Albert received a call from Boston College. Trying desperately not to let home grown talent abscond from the bay state, coach Frank Spaziani offered a scholarship to Albert.


Albert made it clear to me that it is still early in the process; therefore he does not have a favorite school quite yet. The decision has not paid off yet for coach Spaziani, but it seems that the Eagles are in the lead for Louis-Jean’s services.


A few weeks later, Miami follow suit and made an offer the corner back as well. When a national powerhouse like Miami offers a recruit, lesser programs tend to imitate their actions. Soon enough, Louis-Jean was receiving offers from schools like Connecticut and Alabama.


With interest coming from so many prestigious college football programs, it would be easy for Albert to get lost in the hype and possibly see a downturn in school grades. Staying true to form though, Albert has maintained a B average all year, good enough for a spot on the honor roll as well.


With the stresses of high school and the recruitment for his football services becoming a constant every day, Albert went on a much deserved vacation (of sorts). He was able to travel down to San Antonio, where he participated in the Army All-American junior combine.


This combine pitted the best juniors across the nation against each other in rigorous drills. While this may not be a vacation to some, Albert loved the competition. “It was great going down to San Antonio because it gave me a chance to play with and against the cream of the crop from coast to coast,” he said.


Getting back to his college recruitment, even Louis-Jean admitted that it would be extremely tough to narrow down his college choices. “It’s going to be hard because all the schools I’m looking at during this point in time are all great schools," he said. "It’s just going to come down to what school I like the most.”


I later asked Albert about what exactly he is looking for in a school. He is savvy enough to know that the appearance of the school during a visit is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his criteria for selecting one lucky program. He said, “every school has good academics, so I don’t even have to worry about that. I am trying to look for a good relationship with my position coach and also looking to see how many players have gone to the NFL from the school.”


While these points are still very important to him, Albert stressed that program stability is a monumental point in his selection procedure. “I am looking for a school with a coach that’s going to be there my whole career or at least for my first two years so I can get settled in," he said.


With such great success during his first three years in high school, winning has become second nature to Albert. Heading into his senior year, Louis-Jean would like to keep a winning tradition sustained. “It’s plain and simple," he stated. "If the team isn’t good, I don’t really want to play there.”


A cornerback with height like Albert’s comes around once every blue moon. A skill set to match his stature makes this Boxer even more intriguing, as well as arguably the best recruit to come out of Massachusetts this season.


That sort of hype and addicting intrigue has defensive coaches salivating with pure delight. With a player who models the likes of Darrelle Revis and Champ Bailey, the sky is the limit for Albert Louis-Jean.


Anthony Sarao: 2011's Valedictorian

Over the last couple years, it has been easy to take great linebacker for granted. Just in the last five years, we’ve seen some of the best line backing every Saturday. Looking as far back as of Shawne Merriman and Demarcus Ware, and as close as Aaron Curry, supreme linebacker talent introduced every season in college football.


As coaches prepare for the 2010 football season, they can’t help but look ahead to future prospects in the class of 2011. To defensive coaches that love a combination of blinding speed and unrivaled intellect, the future is in sight: Anthony Sarao is a perfect example what the future has in store for one lucky program.


Sarao set high expectations for himself and Holy Spirit High School last season. As the team went 8-3, and Sarao led the Spartans in tackles, those lofty expectations were met with the hard work of the team and player alike. While Anthony did like how he did last fall, he knows there is always room for improvement. The thirst for greatness only comes around every once and a while, and Sarao’s thirst is unquestionable. He hopes his senior leadership next season will motivate his teammates' productivity on the field as well as his own.


Every year, many potential recruits have their dreams dashed when they find out they are academically ineligible to move to the next level. It can be noted that there will be at least one player in the 2011 class that doesn’t have to worry about the NCAA clearinghouse.


Sarao sports a 4.0 GPA and is rightfully proud of it. To Anthony, decisions come quickly and easy in the classroom, but his recruitment might have to put in some more study time.


Anthony told me he has received offers from Boston College, Rutgers, Maryland, Stanford, Temple, and Nebraska. To pile more on this junior, an even greater number of schools have shown heavy interest in Sarao, but have yet to offer a scholarship to him. In order to narrow down his favorite schools out of such a large pool, Anthony said he wants to go to a school that excels in academics and has the premier ability to vie for a National Championship.


In order to truly get a feel for a college, it is always recommended to visit the institution so it is easier to make an educated decision. Sarao understands this is a necessary part of the recruitment process and has scheduled trips to colleges across the nation.


“I went to Georgia’s junior day not too long ago. Next weekend I’m going to Stanford and staying there for a couple days. I have already been to Connecticut and Rutgers for junior days. Also, during the football season I was up at Boston College,” said Sarao.


All those schools with the exception of Connecticut have officially offered Anthony. When asked how specific visits went, Anthony said, “Every time I went to one visit, everything was great. Georgia was a great time and I’m especially looking forward to the Stanford visit, I’ve heard some great things about it.”


Back on the field, Sarao used his self-described “speed and knowledge of the game” to tackle his opponents a total of 82 times in the 2009 season. While these statistics and those great attributes, Sarao understands he must work on his linebacker technique before calling himself a perfect player: “I know I have to work on my technique all the time.” 


In addition to an already outstanding resume, Sarao let me know that he just recently was one of three linebackers to become first team All-American combine.


With Rivals.com Showcase coming up as well as many other visits, the end of the recruiting process is no where in sight for this linebacker out of New Jersey. Schools will gladly stand in line to be granted the services of this young talent.


Put above any of these off-field recruiting distractions, Anthony Sarao still has a team to lead on the field next fall. With the potential of this player, it won’t be the last time he’s given the opportunity to lead his team onto the gridiron. Who knows? Anthony Sarao may become a household name every Saturday a few years down the road.

Orangemen Recruiting Wrap-Up

On November 17, 2008, Syracuse University football coach Greg Robinson was fired two games before the season ended. The decision to fire coach Robinson left the Syracuse football program in utter turmoil.


A month later, SU decided to hire first time head coach Doug Marrone to try and rebuild this program from the ground up. With a decent recruiting class that was bolstered by the signing of former Duke University point guard Greg Paulus, Syracuse looked like a team on the way up in the always unpredictable Big East.

In 2009, the Orangemen posted a 4-8 record which is actually quite good by the standard that had been set the past few years under Williams.


As the Paulus experiment became officially over, it was very apparent to the orange faithful that the 2010 recruiting class would need a signal caller. Syracuse ended up receiving a commitment from Jonny Miller of Denver.

Miller is ranked near the top of almost every scout’s board as a quarterback recruit from J. K. Mullen HS and is known for his great pocket presence as well as his leg ability. With much more work on his throwing technique, Miller has a great opportunity to compete for the Syracuse starting job heading into team practices.

Miller’s height is also an issue that scared many teams away from offering him during the recruiting season, but he has a chance to silence any and all critics once he starts performing at Syracuse this spring.


When a coach is trying to restructure a program, it is always essential to start on defense. At the end of the 2009 season, Syracuse was ranked at the bottom of the Big East in almost every defensive category.

To add insult to injury, the Orangemen defense gave up an average of 24 points per game. Heading into the final stretch before National Signing Day, Coach Marrone and his staff knew they had to meet their most pressing issue: the defense.


To bolster a very leaky defense, Syracuse received pledges from cornerback Jeremi Wilkes and defensive end Max Beaulieu. Both prospects are from Florida and bring hope up to New York. Wilkes used his remarkable footwork along with great instincts to become one of the best cornerback recruits in the nation.

Beaulieu also received a great amount of high profile offers but opted to go to Syracuse to help rebuild the defense. Beaulieu has great potential as a defensive end at the next level. With better conditioning, he could make great plays for the Orange at a consistent rate.


In Syracuse, it is evident that the Robinson regime may still affect the football program for a few more years. While that sadly may be true, Doug Marrone and the brass of the football program are making a concerted effort to move this football team out of the cellar in the Big East Standings.

2010 Rutgers Recruiting Wrap-Up


At the forefront of a somewhat fairy tale story of how the little football team that could came to be is Rutgers head coach, Greg Schiano. Schiano, who signed on to be the coach of the Scarlet Knights in 2000, knew he had a huge task in front of him. For the first four seasons of Schiano’s tenure, RU went 3-24 against in-conference teams. The recruiting during this time had actually been decent compared to how Rutgers fared in the recruiting game before he came to Piscataway.


After the 2004 season though, many RU fans were harboring some malevolent feelings towards Schiano and even he knew that it would take a miracle in 2005 to keep his career moving in the right direction. That miracle came true and the Knights capped the season off with an upset over Pittsburgh. Since 2005, the rebuilding effort has become a strengthening effort by Mr. Schiano and his staff. After a bowl qualifying season in 2009, recruiting looked great heading into National Signing day. In the aftermath of National Signing Day, it looks like Coach Schiano has brought in one of the best RU recruiting classes to date.


Leading the 2010 class for the Knights on defense is safety Rashad Knight. Many believe Knight has the potential to play both cornerback and safety for RU during his tenure in New Jersey. As the highest rated pure defensive player, Rashad didn’t receive as many offers as he wanted, (i.e. FLA, ALA) but there’s no doubt that he has the ability to thrive wherever he plays in the Big East. Another notable defensive recruit that headed up to NJ is Kenneth Kirksey. Kenneth is somewhat undersized, but he has great speed for a 270-pound defensive linemen.


In the 2009 class, RU received commitments from both quarterback Tom Savage and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. Throughout the whole season, these playmakers were lethal to any defense. To add to Savage’s arsenal of wide outs, Schiano was able to sign Brandon Coleman. The 6’6” Maryland product has the potential to be Tom Savage’s deep threat for the next three years.


Coleman has obvious height and he is surprisingly fast for such a tall player. He also has very good balance which he uses to snag almost every jump-ball sent his way. One serious issue with Brandon is his hands. He has all the other skills almost down to a tee, but still cannot catch many balls being thrown to him at distances of 20 yards or less. Without the short threat implemented to his game, Coleman could become a one-dimensional risk to opposing defenses.


Usually Greg Schiano is able to lock up much of New Jersey during the recruiting season, but in this case, the 2010 class only has seven New Jersey natives. This would be a grave concern for the RU coaching staff if they hadn’t received such diverse talent from other fruitful states. With the majority of their high-end talent coming from Florida and Maryland, the next few years are sure to be exciting for Scarlet Knight fans.


PSU 2010 Recruiting Wrap-Up

Penn State-  Penn State defense has constantly been a staple at Penn State ever since Joe Paterno took the reigns over at University Park, PA. That was 40 years ago yet the old adage “Offense sells tickets, Defense win championships” has been reinforced by Penn State’s remarkable track record.


Heading into the 2010 season, Joe Pa and the Nittany faithful knew they had some key spots to fill on their depth chart.


By the end of National Signing Day, Penn State held arguably the best class in the Big Ten. Signing the likes of Khairi Fortt and Evan Hailes became just the top of the iceberg in terms of the Lions recruiting class. Some other big names on the defensive front that are headed to University Park are as follows: Kyle Baublitz , Dakota Royer, C.J. Olaniyan, and Mike Hull.


Out of those six names mentioned, all six are ranked on tharinger.com top 500 2010 recruits. And of those six, two players participated in the Under Armour All-American Game.


Leading the pack in many respects is Khairi Fortt. Fortt, a Connecticut native and inside linebacker, is considered by many to be the best inside linebacker in the whole country. Although the signing of these great defensive players is sure to be a great help down the road for Penn State University, those types of signings are known to be status quo by now for the Nittany Lions.


The more surprising commits came on the offensive side of the ball in the 2010 class. After losing their dynamic senior leader in Daryll Clark, the coaching staff made quarterback a necessity for this class.


As usual, the staff delivered, and delivered in a huge way. Robert Bolden is ranked extremely high in the quarterback category throughout the whole country and has signed his letter of intent to Penn State. Having much of the same traits Clark had during his tenure at PSU, it is obvious that they are expecting great things from the incoming freshman.


Joining him in the backfield is The King & Low Heywood Thomas School product, Silas Redd. With enough toughness to compliment his quick burst into the open field, Silas is sure to fit into the very conservative style of offense Penn State is known for.


The Nittany Lions are sure to have great playmaking ability on defense and offense for years to come because of this near perfect recruiting class. The players on tap to join an already vast core of talent at PSU are sure to add even more depth and ability to this storied program.

 Headliner: Khairi Fortt, LB

Sleeper: Brad Bars, LB

Grade: A 

Boston College 2010 wrap up

After a roller coaster 2009 season, Boston College coach Frank Spaziani has his first full recruiting class under his belt. Unlike last year, there were not too many gaping holes to fill this year.


Last year, Luke Keuchly (Freshman All-American) was pressed into action because of injuries to all three starting linebackers, although this seemed to work out extremely well as Keuchly went on to have the second most tackles in all of college football.


Spaziani knew that this type of luck couldn’t last forever, and the coaching staff started establishing their 2010 class. Their first commitment of this class ultimately became their highest-ranked player.


Kevin Pierre-Louis is from The King & Low Heywood Thomas School in Connecticut and first committed to BC under the Jeff Jagodzinski regime, but withdrew that commitment after Jagodzinski was fired last January. He soon recommitted to Boston College after building a great relationship with the new coaching staff. Along with Pierre-Louis, the Eagles received pledges from other great defensive players like Steele Divitto, Dominic Appiah, and C.J. Jones.


Pierre-Louis and Divitto received a great amount of fanfare coming to the Heights, but we must not forget about some great talent on offense. Having two different starters in the 2009 season, the quarterback situation looked bleak for the Eagles.


In July of 2009, Chase Rettig of San Clemente, California committed to Boston College. Rettig is known to have exceptional velocity when he releases the ball, but still has to try and hone his accuracy in order to vie for the starting slot come September.


Another great offensive playmaker the Eagles were able to sign was Shakim Phillips of New Jersey.


After receiving nearly 20 offers from college programs, it was apparent that Shakim had some sorting out to do. It actually came as a surprise to many BC fans that Shakim displayed his loyalty to the Eagles.


Shakim played special teams and wide receiver at DePaul Catholic HS and was a playmaking threat every time he touched the ball. For Eagle fans hoping to see the likes of Matt Ryan and a new breed of wideouts at Alumni Stadium, they may very well get their wish as soon as next year.


Without any National Signing Day publicity, like many other top tier programs had, Boston College quietly put away Spaziani’s first class as a head coach. The Eagles did receive some great talent to fill necessary holes for next year, but they did fail to sign some great players they had atop their board.


That being said, only losing three starters on both sides of the ball this past year will be a great way to slowly get these new recruits in the process. This 2010 class doesn’t feel the same type of urgency that the 2009 class felt a year earlier, and I am confident that fans of Boston College hope that will translate to success immediately, as well as a few years down the road.


Headliner: Chase Rettig, QB

Sleeper: Josh Bordner, QB/LB

Grade: B+

Shakim Phillips Article

Coming into the 2009 season, the Boston College Eagles were undergoing coaching changes while trying to deal with internal team losses.


Sophomore quarterback Dominique Davis had transferred out of Boston College due to grades and star linebackers were not projected to have a chance playing in 2009. The coaching staff scrambled to find another quarterback to add to the 2009 recruiting class.


They found that quarterback in 25 year old, ex minor league baseball player, Dave Shinskie. While many believed that he was far too displaced from the game, others thought he had all the tools to be successful for his whole career at the heights. Would Shinskie be a prominent ACC quarterback for years to come for the Eagles? Only time could tell.


Arguably the best thing Shinskie had going for him was BC’s experienced and talented wide receiving corps. With four seniors, including the much hyped Rich Gunnell, it was believed that Shinskie would receive as much help as he needed coming into the season.


The 2009 season came and went, and the Eagles went 8-5, including an Emerald Bowl loss to the USC Trojans. While many observers viewed their record as a success, the team as a whole was not satisfied with the final result.


Dave Shinskie had a mediocre season to most. He was known to use Gunnell as a crutch during many games while many other receivers seemed invisible on the field.


Coming into the offseason this was an immediate concern for Coach Spaziani because Rich Gunnell was graduating. While Colin Larmond Jr. had a breakout sophomore year and is projected to be a great deep threat this season, the depth and incoming talent on the roster was still an issue.

Enter Shakim Phillips. Once considered a long shot for the Eagles because of so many other offers from prominent programs (20 to count), he committed to the program in early September because of what he put as “a great balance of football tradition and education."


For Shakim, the stress had finally been lifted from trying to make a final decision of where to play football. He was an Eagle. After finishing his high school career at DePaul Catholic School in New Jersey where they went 7-3 which included a playoff run, he knew he needed to get ready for ACC football. He believed that his speed was the biggest void he needed to fill before coming to Chestnut Hill.


All off season he worked specifically on agility and speed drills in order to become a major threat on the team next year. While trying to stay away from directly recruiting players to join him up at BC, Shakim has become familiar with many incoming recruits as well as players currently on the roster.


Shakim said that when he met Colin Larmond Jr. on his official visit, the two hit it off immediately. They have spoken since then and Shakim said they have built a good friendship.


As for incoming freshmen, Shakim has become most familiar with C.J. Jones from Delaware who will vie for a spot on the Eagles secondary this year. Phillips said that he continues to remind C.J. which of the two was selected to play in the Army All-American game in San Antonio. While he joked about it often, Shakim said that it was “a privilege and an honor to be selected to play in this prestigious game.”


In San Antonio, he was able to work with great coaches as well as quarterback talent he was not usually accustomed to. He very well may be able to retain that sensation when he hits the field as an Eagle next year because prominent California product Chase Rettig is in the 2010 class as well.


As expected by any wide receiver, Shakim is extremely happy to have a quarterback with as much potential as Chase Rettig come to BC as well. As Shakim put it, “It’s great to have that type of player to put your faith into as a receiver. It just makes everything on the field easier for us [receivers]” With Chase already beginning his career at Boston College, Shakim has to wait until graduation before he can officially practice for the Eagles.

He’s counting down the days to National Signing day so he can finally put on his BC hat and end all stress accumulated his senior year. While he is still debatable whether or not BC’s 2010 class will reach its full potential, one thing definitely is for certain; Shakim Phillips is one player who won’t allow his talent and his promising future at Boston College to go to waste.


As Phillips stated “The doubters can speculate all they want, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be my work and passion for the game that will get me to where I want to be.” A determined player for a determined program.

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