NCF On The Trail: Harvard Crimson

Austin King saw the pile and immediately knew something was different about today’s mail. As one of the Georgia’s most heavily recruited quarterbacks, he’s used to getting letters from schools all over the country. But the stack of 100 envelopes addressed to him from South Florida caught his attention.

USF letters
TwitterClass of 2015 signal-caller Austin King received 100 letters at once from South Florida.
As King ripped through envelope after envelope, he discovered this just wasn’t some mass mailing of form letters with a few handwritten notes sprinkled in from a school -- a recruiting tactic used by a number of programs in the past. He knew that this was something different.

“As I opened each letter, I discovered they were 100 hand-written notes with exactly 100 reasons why I should commit to South Florida,” King said. “They’re all handwritten. There’s so many. I haven’t even gotten through all of them yet. It definitely feels great being wanted at a school like this. I'm still in a little bit of a shock."

King isn’t leaning toward a school, but he does have scholarship offers from South Florida, West Virginia, Southern Miss and UCF, among others, with schools such as North Carolina, Mississippi State and Notre Dame showing interest. It’s safe to say he has plenty of reasons now to consider South Florida even more than before.

Stanford scores LB Joey Alfieri

August, 11, 2013
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High three-star outside linebacker Joey Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) is set to play for the Stanford Cardinal. Confirmed by multiple reports, Alfieri announced his decision on Twitter:

 


Stanford topped offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, California, Harvard, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin and Yale for Alfieri's pledge.

"They are all great schools but Stanford just has that edge," he told OregonLive.com. "They're just a prestigious school that provides the academic stability and support. They make you into a well-rounded person overall and a whole bunch of different other factors."

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior's 131.28 SPARQ score was the highest among 2014 outside linebackers. The total was built on an electronically timed 4.68 40-yard dash, 4.06 20-yard shuttle, 35.1-inch vertical and 42-foot power throw.

Stanford has 15 commitments.

Illinois secures LB Austin Roberts

June, 14, 2013
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Class of 2014 inside linebacker Austin Roberts (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) committed Thursday to sign with the Illini, multiple sources report.

Roberts was heavily recruited by non-BCS, FCS and Ivy League schools. Air Force, Army, Central Michigan, Columbia, Harvard, Illinois State, North Dakota State, Pennsylvania, South Dakota State, Wyoming and Yale extended offers to the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect.

He registered 152 total tackles, seven sacks and an interception during his junior campaign.

Illinois now has six pledges.

Jon Baker commits to Boston College 

April, 21, 2013
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Class of 2014 two-way lineman Jon Baker (Millis, Mass./Millis) verbally committed Saturday afternoon to Boston College during an unofficial visit to the Chestnut Hill campus, ESPNBoston.com reports.

The Eagles first offered the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Baker last spring. He also had offers from Michigan State, Rutgers, Temple, UConn, UMass, Harvard, Yale, Old Dominion and Holy Cross.

Baker is considered one of the top prospects in New England, and projects as a center for BC. In his junior season he registered 78 tackles with four sacks at defensive tackle to earn a spot on ESPNBoston.com's annual All-State Team. He also earned Tri-Valley League Lineman of the Year honors for the second straight year, as the Mohawks made their second straight MIAA Division 4 playoff appearance.

Rutgers offers Massachusetts OL/DL 

February, 14, 2013
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Millis (Mass.) Hopedale two-way lineman Jon Baker received an offer Wednesday night from Rutgers University, his coach, Dale Olmstead, told ESPNBoston.com.

Rutgers becomes the fourth FBS school to extend an offer to the 2014 prospect, joining Boston College, UConn and UMass -- all three of which offered him last spring when he was a sophomore. Harvard and Yale have also offered from the FCS ranks, while Stanford, Michigan and Vanderbilt have expressed interest.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Baker is considered one of the top prospects in New England, and generally projects as a center in college. This past fall he registered 78 tackles with four sacks at defensive tackle to earn a spot on ESPNBoston.com's annual All-State team. He also earned Tri-Valley League Lineman of the Year honors for the second straight year, as the Mohawks made their second straight MIAA Division 4 playoff appearance.

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Colorado adds third RB for 2013 

February, 2, 2013
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Senior ball-carrier Michael Adkins (La Mesa, Calif./Helix) committed Friday to play in the Pac-12 for Colorado, according to multiple sources.


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Three-star QB chooses Ivy League 

January, 30, 2013
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Kelly Hilinski (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame), a senior pocket-passer, committed Wednesday to play for Columbia, according to multiple sources.

Arkansas, Colorado (Dec. 7th official visit), Harvard and Yale also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-7, 215-pound three-star. Boston College, Duke, Oklahoma, Stanford and UCLA showered interest during the process.

ESPN writes in his evaluation, "Hilinski is a very efficient passer, demonstrating the ability to operate under the center and from the shotgun/spread set; flashes good deep arm strength and touch however we see the need to put more zip on short/medium throws."

Hilinski, an all-league selection as a senior, posted an electronically-timed 5.20 40-yard dash, 4.53 20-yard shuttle and 27-inch vertical prior to his junior year on the combine circuit.

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J.D. Hinnant makes the call 

January, 4, 2013
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Cal has received a commitment from three-star offensive guard J.D. Hinnant (Fountain Valley, Calif./Fountain Valley), according to multiple reports.

Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Duke, Harvard, Nebraska (Sept. 28th official visit), Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, San Diego State, Washington and Washington State also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-3, 257-pound senior.

ESPN writes in his evaluation: "Although Hinnant plays the tackle position effectively, his height and athleticism appear better suited for the offensive guard position at the major level of competition."

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Harvard continues to build strong class 

October, 18, 2012
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Senior tight end Anthony Firkser (Englishtown, N.J./Manalapan) has committed to play in the Ivy League for Harvard, multiple sources report.

According to Rivals.com, Buffalo, Colgate, Monmouth and New Hampshire also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-4, 215-pound prospect. BCS programs such as Boston College and UConn showed interest.

Firkser earned a first team all-area selection as a junior after catching 49 passes for 717 yards and 8 touchdowns. Through five games this season, he's caught 20 balls for 484 yards and 4 scores, according to allshoremedia.net. Additionally, Firkser's a standout on the hardwood who averaged 18.7 points and 7.9 assists per game last winter.

Harvard now has five commitments, including two three-stars, for 2013.

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Two Atlantic Coast defenders pick Harvard 

September, 25, 2012
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High two-star inside linebacker Darien Carr (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and all-state defensive back Marcus Spearman (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) are set to play for the Crimson, multiple sources report.

The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Carr selected Harvard over scholarship offers from Bucknell, Cornell, Delaware, Hawaii, Penn, Richmond and William & Mary. He is the sixth 2013 prospect from Good Counsel to make a verbal commitment during this recruiting cycle. At least four additional Good Counsel seniors are expected to join them at some point.

Spearman, a 6-foot, 192-pounder who intercepted six passes and scored four touchdowns last fall, also fielded scholarship offers from Penn, Richmond and William & Mary. He displayed impressive athleticism on the Nike Combine circuit this spring when he posted an electronically-timed 4.8 40-yard dash, 4.58 20-yard shuttle, 33.2-inch vertical and 84.15 SPARQ.

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DB Shaun Rupert to Arkansas State 

August, 24, 2012
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The Red Wolves have won a recruiting battle for senior defensive back Shaun Rupert (Montgomery, Ala./Carver), multiple sources report.

According to Rivals.com, Alabama State, Harvard, Northern Illinois, Penn State, South Alabama, South Florida, UAB, Central Florida, Wake Forest and Wofford also offered. Tennessee showed interest.

Rupert was a combine standout this spring on the Nike circuit measuring in at 6-foot, 179 pounds and posting an electronically timed 4.71 40-yard dash, 4.28 20-yard shuttle, 37.7-inch vertical and 110.13 SPARQ.

Arkansas State now has 16 pledges.

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Harvard lands coveted QB Viviano 

August, 14, 2012
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Senior signal-caller Joe Viviano (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga) has committed to play in the Ivy League for Harvard over scholarship offers from North Carolina State and Syracuse, Rivals.com reports.

Bucknell, Delaware, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, UMass, Villanova, Virginia Military, Yale and Youngstown State also extended offers to the 6-foot-4, 215-pound prospect.

Viviano is the second 2013 verbal for Harvard, and second time during this recruiting cycle that the Crimson have topped BCS offers for a player. Outside linebacker prospect John Van Allen (Avon, Conn./Avon Old Farms) picked Harvard in July over offers from Boston College, Maryland, Duke, UMass, Temple and Yale.

Van Allen is a 6-foot-3, 201-pound senior who has posted combine times including a 4.84 40-yard dash, 4.65 20-yard shuttle and 26.2-inch vertical.

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The Trojans have picked up a commitment from 2013 wide receiver Blake Rowlinson (Alpharetta, Ga.), according to multiple sources.

“They have a great campus,” Rowlinson told the Dothan Eagle. “I brought my mom and grandmom on a visit last week and they were very surprised and very pleased with how new everything was. They’re putting money into the school. It’s Division-I football in the Sun Belt Conference. Troy has done very well and I’m excited to be a part of it."

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Senior outside linebacker Jacob Riley (Minerva, Ohio) has given his pledge to Air Force, according to Scout.com.

Akron, Colgate, Harvard, Kent State, Miami-OH and Yale also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect.

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Soon after receiving a pledge from safety Juwan Gardner (Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual), Western Kentucky picked up his high school teammate in running back Dishan Romine.

According to multiple sources, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back selected the Hilltoppers over scholarship offers from Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Toledo and Wofford.

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