Posts Tagged ‘Omar Hunter’

ND NSD Liveblog

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I can’t say I’ll be at my computer all day long (it is Ash Wednesday, after all), but at least through these early morning hours I’ll be posting NSD-related news as it breaks. Stay tuned …

10:20am PST: … and so the liveblog endeth. Congrats to Weis & Co. on an amazing class, and to all the recruits for signing up with an amazing program. Let’s get this train back on the rails!

Check back in this afternoon for Milton Knox’s decision - last I heard, he wants to go to ND but his dad won’t let him …

9:17am PST: In an interview on Rivals Radio this morning, Dayne Crist apparently said that he’s going to enroll at ND in mid-June. I guess that means he’ll be around for summer practice, which is GREAT … [EDIT: Err, not quite. See Grant's helpful comment.]

9:14am PST: Via GoshenGipper:

During his presser CW just mentioned that there are still a few guys out there that are uncommitted so there might be a few surprises, but that he wasn’t counting on it and he wanted to focus his presser on the 23 that have already signed.

Sheesh. A FEW?! Hold on to your hats, folks …

8:54am PST: Word is there is still some uncertainty about what the heck Omar Hunter is going to do with himself. I hope Urbie is having as miserable a time as we all were a month or so ago. Stay tuned …

8:39am PST: Via the Scout liveblog once again, this is the kind of thing that just has to make you smile:

11:28 am EST: Joe Adams just pulled a stunner, spurning USC, where he was a longtime commit, to sign with homestate Arkansas. — Brandon Huffman

There has been a simply unbelievable number of recruits today who’ve sent their LOIs to schools other than the ones they committed to. The fact that ND has managed to avoid this really speaks to the character of their recruits, and to the terrific job the coaches have done of making them feel a part of the team from Day One.

7:53am PST: Steve Filer is in as well. So that’s all for now in the LOI department, pending Milton Knox’s announcement this evening. My kid is up, though, so I’m off to make some breakfast. Get back to work, folks - I’ll be back soon.

7:52am PST: NDNation is reporting that Dayne Crist has faxed in his letter.

7:47am PST: This is worth passing along, for anyone who hasn’t seen it or didn’t notice this particular story. It’s Charlie Weis talking about what recruiting was like this year:

“The biggest highlight for me, personally, is the great player from a distant place that decided to go to another school. Obviously, I can’t say his name. As much as it hurt, I called him and wished him the very best. It turns out the Mom was in our corner, and the next night he called back and asked, ‘You still got that scholarship?’ When I said ‘Yes I do,’ he responded, ‘Well, I came to my senses. I am coming to Notre Dame.’ That was a great feeling that we had handled things the right way.”

It certainly seems like he’s referring to Kapron Lewis-Moore, though at the time he couldn’t mention him by name. Great story …

7:45am PST: Hello out there. Not yet eight in the morning, and already over 1,100 pageloads today. Sheesh.

7:39am PST: From Scout’s Bob Lichtenfels, commenting on the commitment of Kapron Lewis-Moore:

… the race for No. 1 in the Scout.com recruiting rankings narrows.

Ahh yes, the famed MRNC. Standings here and here, btw.

7:35am PST: Damn:

10:27 am EST: Apparently there was a lot of truth to DT Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.) wavering on his Florida commitment. Hunter heard some rumors late yesterday that DL Coach Greg Mattison might be leaving for the Ravens and wavered. Whether Mattison leaves or not is not known at this time (or it could be a bad rumor that got to Hunter) but it did cause a moment of pause for Omar. Hunter just signed with the Gators. — Jamie Newberg

7:33am PST: LOIs are in from Anthony McDonald and Joseph Fauria. Crist and Filer are the only ones left, by my accounting.

7:17am PST: Hafis Williams and Ethan Johnson, done and done.

7:05am PST: Take this FWIW (from the Scout.com live blog):

9:53 am EST: I am hearing some rumblings that five-star D-tackle Omar Hunter (Buford, Ga.) may not sign with Florida. Could it be Georgia? Don’t know just yet and I’m trying to track this one down. This could be devastating to the Gators. — Jamie Newberg

One can only dream.

6:50am PST: Expect letters from Steve Filer and Hafis Williams in the next ten minutes or so … that will take care of the non-PSTers.

6:47am PST: In more karma-related news, Florida has lost yet another verbal commitment, as Ramon Buchanon has sent an LOI into Miami (where he had “committed” before he “committed” to Florida). Methinks this is what happens when you keep telling kids who are committed to other programs that verbal commitments aren’t binding … word gets around, you know?

6:38am PST: According to Scout, the idea of being Omar Hunter’s back-up plan was part of what turned Mike Martin off to ND. Never mind that Michigan recruited Hunter as well, of course, and may not have given Martin as much attention if Hunter had committed (or “committed”, as the case may be) to them. Goes to show you the consequences of insincere - or at least less-than-solid - verbal commitments, though … this wouldn’t have been a problem if Omar had just told ND he wasn’t sure in the first place.

6:33am PST: Lewis-Moore’s letter is in, per Rivals.

6:32am PST: In other news, Josh Jenkins snubbed Florida State and Ohio State to stay local and play for West Virginia, and Florida commit Ricky Barnum jumped ship to go play for Michigan. Poetic justice, much? Suck it, Urbie.

6:30am PST: Jonas Gray, check.

6:17am PST: Apparently bad weather in the Midwest might delay the Chicago- and Detroit-area guys …

6:14am PST: Fleming is in …

6:12am PST: We’re still waiting on: Hafis Williams, Jonas Gray, Ethan Johnson, Dayne Crist, Anthony McDonald, Darius Fleming, Steve Filer, and Joseph Fauria. With the exception of Williams, all those guys are in the Central or Pacific time zones, though …

6:09am PST: I’ll well aware that I’m one of those “dorks”, thank you very much.

6:06am PST: Per GoshenGipper, Kapron Lewis-Moore apparently kept himself entertained over the weekend by reading message boards and watching everyone try to figure out who the “secret commit” was. LOL … what a bunch of dorks.

6:01am PST: … and Braxston Cave makes fourteen.

5:57am PST: Lane Clelland, too …

5:55am PST: Kyle Rudolph, David Posluszny, and Dan McCarthy are safely in the fold now … that’s twelve so far, not counting Lewis-Moore.

5:51am PST: Michael Floyd’s letter is in …

5:41am PST: More here on the supposed “mystery” recruit, for all you insatiable rumor-sharks out there.

5:30am PST: Apparently BGI is reporting that Kapron Lewis-Moore will be sending his LOI in shortly. They’re also indicating that he’s the “mystery” recruit whom all the whispers had been about … we’ll see, I guess. If it is him, though, then thanks for ruining Christmas, Tom Lemming!

5:15am PST: Rivals is also reporting that Omar Hunter has faxed his LOI in to the world’s biggest douche Urban Meyer the world’s biggest douche.

5:14am PST: According to Rivals, the following LOIs have all been sent in:

  • Robert Blanton
  • Sean Cwynar
  • Mike Golic Jr.
  • Brandon Newman
  • Trevor Robinson
  • Jamoris Slaughter
  • Deion Walker

4:57am PST: Apparently it has been confirmed that Deion Walker will honor his verbal commitment and enroll at ND in 2008. Whew. He will be on Rivals Radio in about a half an hour.

4:54am PST: A quick update of the morning’s big stories:

  • Apparently Deion Walker is going to be on Rivals Radio in a few minutes “announcing” whether he’s decided to stay at ND or switch his verbal to ND or PSU. Ugh.
  • Mike Golic Jr. signed his LOI on the Mike and Mike Show about a half-hour ago.
  • Milton Knox will announce his decision at 7pm EST; I’m not sure when the official word will be in on Kapron Lewis-Moore.
  • No word yet on the mystery recruit who supposedly offered a super-secret commitment to ND in the last few days … stay tuned.

Hand, out.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

As if Omar Hunter’s defection and the loss of Pat Kuntz for the spring semester due to academic issues weren’t enough, BlueandGold.com is now reporting something that has been rumored for weeks, namely that defensive lineman Derrell Hand’s playing career is apparently over, due to a spinal cord disease:

Senior to be defensive lineman Derrell Hand’s football career is likely over because of a hereditary disease in his spinal cord, Hand’s former high school coach, Brian Fulk, explained to BlueandGold.com this afternoon.

Fulk said the pain in Hand’s lower back started to become a problem toward the end of last season, especially during periods of inactivity, and the diagnosis was more serious than anyone would have expected.

“He’s not the type of player to complain about injuries and he really never said that his back was hurting him, at least when he played for me,” said Fulk, who coached Hand at West Catholic High School in Philadelphia. “It kind of came out of nowhere for me.”

Hand is expected to get a second opinion but if the initial diagnosis is correct, Fulk said that playing football could severely aggravate the injury and potentially cause long-term problems.

“He’s going to get a second opinion about it,” Fulk said. “But at this point, it doesn’t look real good for him to play football ever again.”

Hand, you probably recall, was arrested for soliciting a prostitute before the 2007 season and was suspended for the first three games. He played sparingly thereafter, as he saw the field for a total of just over 27 minutes in a total of four games and recorded just three assisted tackles. His presence will be sorely missed along 2008’s very inexperienced defensive line, though - please keep his future in your prayers.

Holy. Freaking. Crap.

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Well, maybe it’s just because yesterday was a federal holiday and no one had anything better to than sit at their computers and rumor-monger, but there are TONS of recruiting whispers out there. I repeat: TONS. Including some rather unbelievable news on … well, you’ll just have to read to the bottom to find out. Remember, though, you’d already know all of this stuff and more if you’d been following what was being said on the IrishEnvy boards. But forthwith, a brief rundown of some of the highlights …

Off the Irish radar:

  • California RB/DB Thaddeus Brown, a high school teammate of commits Dayne Crist and Anthony McDonald, was briefly on ND’s radar as a potential recruit for the defensive secondary, but won’t be getting an offer because of academic issues.
  • California DE Datone Jones, currently a UCLA verbal, had a visit to ND scheduled for late January but has since canceled it, apparently because of academic issues once again.
  • No matter what they tell you, believe this: Texas RB Cyrus Gray is going to Texas A&M.
  • Kansas WR/QB Chris Harper has verballed to Oregon.
  • Missouri FB/ILB Will Compton was offered by the Irish, though as a fullback with a chance to play linebacker down the line. Apparently that’s not what he was looking for, and so his scheduled official visit to ND has been canceled. Last I heard he’s announcing today, between Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois.

On the Irish radar:

Well, not quite “finally” …

  • There are … how shall I put it … lots of crazy [EDIT: and probably false. See the article linked here. And remember that I did call them "crazy" - don't hate on the messenger.] rumors flying around on the - yes, you are reading this correctly - Omar Hunter front, as ND’s courtship of him (and his of ND) may not be entirely a thing of the past. I can’t say more now, because much of this seems to be of the If I Told You I’d Have to Shoot You Fast Because My Source Would Be Coming to Shoot Me variety. Let’s just say you should keep your ear to the ground to see if these rumblings turn into a genuine earthquake … and remember, you heard it here first!

What’s the deal with Omar Hunter?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

By some basically all accounts he’s scheduled to take an official visit to Florida, and USC looks to be in the mix as well:

Buford defensive tackle Omar Hunter is having second thoughts about his commitment to Notre Dame, his coach said Wednesday.

Coach Jess Simpson said Hunter has not withdrawn his commitment to the Irish - yet. But he is giving strong consideration to both Florida and Southern California - with Florida being the more likely alternative to Notre Dame, Simpson said.

“I think he wants to take the holidays and reconsider things,” Simpson said, “and possibly take a visit to Florida and [USC].”

There has never been a shortage of interest in Hunter, who is rated the second-best high school defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com. The 6-foot-1, 311-pound senior committed to Notre Dame in June, but has apparently become less certain in recent months.

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis tried to firm up Hunter’s commitment last week with a personal visit to Buford. And later in the week, USC coach Pete Carroll also showed up, urging Hunter to take another trip out west.

Hunter, who could not be reached for comment, did not have any visits planned as of Wednesday. He visited Florida and USC before committing to the Irish, and has enough time to see both schools again if he wants before signing a letter of intent in February.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Simpson said.

A couple of quick thoughts:

  1. Obviously Omar is entitled to think things through and make sure he makes the best decision for himself and his future. If he feels like he was too hasty in giving his pledge to Notre Dame back in June, then by all means he should own up to that fact and take a closer look at his options now. A verbal commitment is not a marriage vow.
  2. He’s not, however, entitled to mislead the Irish coaching staff about where he stands. What’s bothersome to me about this whole situation is that this isn’t the first time that worries like this have surfaced, and Omar has consistently reiterated that he is committed to ND and doesn’t intend to look elsewhere. Obviously it’s possible that he’s been saying different things to the staff than to the recruiting sites, but if that were so then I’d expect to have seen Weis continue to recruit other players at Hunter’s position. In other words, this could turn out to be a situation that is less like that of Justin Trattou - who was very upfront about the fact that he was taking a visit to Florida because of Rick Minter’s firing - than Greg Little - who was silently committed to North Carolina for months as he put up a charade of being an ND recruit. Obviously Omar’s situation doesn’t look to be THAT shady, but if he’s had his doubts all along, then he shouldn’t have kept them from the people who were expecting his signature on February 7.

Who knows … maybe he’ll change his mind and decide not to make the visits. Maybe he’ll make them and decide to stay at ND. Or maybe he’s gone. In any case, I’m sure the coaching staff isn’t going to let themselves get burned like they did last year. If he’s looking, they’re looking - and heck, last year the decommitment of Trattou was a big part of what got an offer extended to Brian Smith … and we all know how that turned out.

Omar owns Georgia

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Congratulations to Omar Hunter and the Buford Wolves, who brought home the class AA Georgia state championship today with a 50-0 drubbing of Lovett. It was the seventh shutout of the season for Hunter’s defense, as the Wolves brought home their fourth state title since 2001. More here, from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. I’ll have some more details up as they come available.

[UPDATE: More here and here, from the AJC. Per Access North Georgia, the Buford defense held Lovett to 26 first half yards (and 17 rushing) as they jumped out to a 30-0 halftime lead, and Omar cried when it was over. The starters were pulled by the middle of the third period. More here, from Jeff Cochran of the Gainesville Times, and also here, including this photo of Hunter and the Buford AD after the game:

And here's a bit more on Omar's emotional state after the game, which the Gainesville Times's Bill Murphy called his #1 moment of the 2007 Georgia H.S. football season:

Buford’s mammoth defensive tackle Omar Hunter was totally swept away by winning the state title against Lovett last Saturday night. While the rest of the Wolves team huddled together and started to celebrate, Hunter took a knee away from the chaos and shed a couple of tears with the magnitude of the team’s accomplishment. It marks Buford’s fifth title in school history (1978, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2007). In my opinion, this was the best Wolves team since 2001. That says a lot.

Awesome. I hope you like that feeling, Mr. Hunter. Here's to continuing your winning ways.]

Great stuff. Congratulations, Omar! And fans, in case you missed it, check out this Scout.com video of Omar, from last week’s semi-state victory:

Man in the middle

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

Irish commit Omar Hunter’s Buford (Ga.) Wolves team faces off against Lovett in the class AA state finals on Saturday, and the matchup has been pretty widely discussed in the Georgia media. Here are a couple of the best Hunter-related quotes.

From an AJC article on the Buford defense:

“For every shutout we get, we can come in here the next Monday and brag to the offense,” senior defensive tackle Omar Hunter said. “Like, ‘Yeah, we get our job done on this side of the ball, and y’all can’t even move the ball [from midfield]. We have to give it to you in the red zone.’ ”

From a Gainesville Times column on the Wolves’ winning attitude:

I’m not entirely sure what I expected from a team on its way to the state championship game, but it wasn’t what I saw from the Wolves after the [semifinal] game.

Waiting to do my interviews, I thought the small hallway crammed with teenage football players would be packed wall-to-wall with noise, cheers and the sounds of pads being bumped together in celebration of the statement game to end all statement games.

Instead, a calm, collected group of Buford football players dressed in white jerseys with nary a mark on them walked back to their makeshift locker room and got changed.

Then, the Wolves made their way back out, bags packed, and got ready to watch Lovett and Cook in the day’s second game.

Like a hitman researching a mark.

The Wolves left whatever excitement they felt from their most recent win on the field.

“Our goal is not to beat Dublin in the Dome,” Wolves senior Omar Hunter said. “It is a state championship.”

Good stuff. Get in there and tear it up, Omar!

Quote of the week

Monday, December 10th, 2007

From a Gainesville Times column in praise of the Buford Wolves, who gave up 89 total yards on Saturday against defending state champ Dublin’s vaunted wing-T attack:

I about left the couch when Buford’s 310-pound lineman Omar Hunter chased down Dublin’s 180-pound quarterback and grabbed him by the back of the jersey for another teammate to come in and finish the tackle.

See, now THAT’S the kind of kids Notre Dame manages to get: not just physically dominant, but selfless as well. Bring the pain, Omar. Bring the pain.

 

Okay, I’ll bring it.

Friday Night Lights Roundup for the weekend of 12/7

Monday, December 10th, 2007

There were only a few Irish commits in action this weekend, all of them in state semifinal games:

  • Jamoris Slaughter and his Tucker (Ga.) team built a 28-7 lead at halftime but ended up falling to Marques Ivory and undefeated Northside-Warner Robbins, 31-28, in the Class AAAA state semifinals. Tucker finishes the season at 13-1.
  • Joseph Fauria was held to just one catch - and his Crespi (Calif.) offense to 262 total yards - as they lost, 13-3, to Long Beach Poly in the Pac-5 title game. For a nice review of Crespi’s remarkable resurgence this year - they were the only team to defeat perennial state powers Lake Balboa and St. Bonaventure - check out this piece.
  • And finally, Omar Hunter and his Buford (Ga.) Wolves squad did just what they’ve been doing all year: they obliterated defending state champion Dublin, 48-0, in the Class AA state semifinal. Buford will face 12-2 Lovett, whom they beat by a score of 21-0 earlier in the year, in next week’s championship game.

That’s all for this week. Best of luck to Omar and the Wolves next Saturday!

Friday Night Lights Roundup for the weekend of 11/30

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Sorry to be so late getting this up. At this point in the season there are only a few Irish commits still active, but here are their scores from last week’s games:

That’s all for this past week. I’ll try to have the results from this coming weekend’s playoff games up more quickly.

Friday Night Lights roundup for the weekend of 11/23

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Here’s the Roundup’s weekly overview of how the players currently committed to Notre Dame’s 2008 recruiting class fared in their high school games this past weekend:

  • Michael Floyd had three catches for 85 yards but was kept out of the end zone, and his Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) team fell to Eden Prairie, 50-21, in the class 5-A state championship game. Cretin-Derham ends the season at 13-1.
  • Jonas Gray had 34 carries for 144 yards, but was largely contained overall - he had only 36 yards on 20 carries in the first half, and was tackled for a loss seven times - as his Detroit Country Day (Mich.) team fell to Marine City, 21-7, in the Div-IV state championship game. The Yellowjackets finish the season with an 11-3 record.
  • Dan McCarthy was on the sidelines once again with a neck injury suffered a couple of weeks ago, but his Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) team still managed to make it to their fourth straight state championship game, defeating Pleasant by a final score of 28-0. The 14-0 Cardinals will play 13-1 Coldwater for the state title.
  • Omar Hunter (pictured here) and his Buford (Ga.) team moved to 13-0 with a 41-0 blowout of Darlington in the second round of the state playoffs. Next up for the top-ranked Wolves is second-ranked Charlton County (11-0).
  • Jamoris Slaughter’s Tucker (Ga.) team is now 12-0, after a 56-10 shellacking of Northwest Whitfield in their second-round game. The Tigers’ next playoff opponent is 9-3 Bainbridge.
  • Joseph Fauria had touchdown catches of 23 and 40 yards and played great defense to boot as his Crespi (Calif.) team pulled off a shocking, 48-26 rout of Mater Dei in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs. There’s more on the game, and on the play of Fauria and 2009 QB recruit Matt Barkley in particular, here. Next up for the 10-2 Celts is 9-2 Servite.
  • Ethan Johnson watched from the sidelines as his Lincoln (Ore.) team ended their season at 6-6 with a 28-21 loss to West Salem in the state 6A quarterfinals.
  • Despite a disappointing three-loss regular season and an early exit from the state playoffs, Darius Fleming and his St. Rita’s (Ill.) team still have something to cheer about, as they beat Morgan Park, 31-7, to claim their first Prep Bowl title since 1997. The Mustangs end the year at 10-4.
  • Hafis Williams’s Elizabeth (N.J.) team ends their year at 6-4 after a 39-24 victory over Scotch Plains in their regular-season finale. Their loss to Hunterdon Central in the previous week was actually a playoff game, so that ends their season.
  • And finally, Mike Golic Jr.’s Northwest Catholic (Conn.) team earned themselves a a Class S playoff berth, with a 36-12 victory over Plainville that moved them to 8-2 on the year.

Best of luck to Golic, Fauria, Slaughter, and Hunter, and to McCarthy’s Mooney squad, in their remaining games!