NCF On The Trail: James Madison Dukes

The Opening presented by Nike Football will take place July 5-10 at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, with 162 of the nation's top high school football prospects set to compete. With four days of dynamic training, competition and recruits targeting uncommitted players to come to their chosen school, there's bound to be some players who see their stock improve and some wild recruiting news that comes out of left field.

Here are five bold predictions of what will happen at the prestigious event:

Jerome Dews talks Tennessee verbal

June, 27, 2013
Sleeper outside linebacker Jerome Dews (Oxon Hill, Md./Potomac), a 6-foot-3, 197-pound prospect, committed this week to sign with Tennessee, according to multiple reports.

Prior to receiving the Volunteers' offer, Dews was only holding scholarships from lesser-known programs such as Delaware, Hampton, James Madison, Robert Morris, St. Francis and Temple.

"For them to be an SEC school and take that chance on me with me having no other big offers shows they're nothing but real people," he told the Washington Post. "They don't care about publicity and all that stuff, the politics. They like me, and they don't care about none of that other stuff."

Dews continued, "Man, I love everything about Tennessee. I just love the coaches. … You don't usually fall in love that quick. It's crazy. I can't even explain how happy I am."

Last season, he recorded 14 sacks and caught 15 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns.

This spring, Dews registered an electronically-timed 5.47 40-yard dash, 4.22 20-yard shuttle, 25.7-inch vertical and 31-foot power throw at a Nike event.

He is commitment No. 17 for the Volunteers.

N.C. State lands second tight end

May, 2, 2013
Micah Till (Upper Marlboro, Md./Wise) committed Thursday to sign with the Wolfpack, multiple sources report. Another tight end, Garrett Bradbury (Charlotte, N.C./Christian), picked N.C. State last month.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Till also held scholarship offers from Buffalo, UConn, James Madison, Temple and Towson and received interest from Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

N.C. State now has three players on board for 2014. Wide receiver Bo Hines (Charlotte, N.C./Christian), Bradbury's teammate, was the Wolfpack's first pledge back in early April.

Terps do about-face with 3-star DT 

January, 16, 2013
Maryland has pulled its scholarship offer to three-star defensive tackle Demetri McGill (Virginia Beach, Fla./Ocean Lakes), according to the Baltimore Sun. The 6-foot, 290-pound senior, who committed in November, was informed of the news Sunday.

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UMass wins battle for Peter Angeh 

January, 2, 2013
Highly-offered senior defensive end Peter Angeh (Potomac, Md./Bullis School) has committed to sign with the UMass Minutemen, according to multiple sources. He chose Massachusetts over Ohio.

Angeh also announced his decision on Twitter, "A long time coming! Taking my talents to Amherst! #UMass #D1Bound #Willows"

According to, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Colgate, Fordham, Holy Cross, James Madison, Lehigh, Richmond, Temple and Western Michigan also offered the 6-foot-2, 238-pound prospect.

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Fresno State adds three for '13 class 

December, 19, 2012
The Bulldogs have added an in-state high school linebacker and two recruits from Riverside (Calif.) Community College to their Class of 2013, according to multiple sources. All three were on campus over the weekend for official visits.

Prep linebacker Leon Jacobs (Merced, Calif./Golden Valley), a 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect, selected Fresno State over scholarship offers from Air Force, James Madison, Navy, Nevada and Wake Forest, while he also had interest from San Diego State.

Jacobs previously focused on basketball, only playing football during his freshman and senior seasons. This fall, being used primarily as a running back, he carried 133 times for 847 yards and five touchdowns while also registering 19 tackles and three sacks, earning all-league recognition.

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Jayhawks nab Jersey receiver 

December, 14, 2012
High three-star wide receiver Ishmael Hyman (Holmdel, N.J./St. John Vianney) committed Friday to play in the Big 12 for head coach Charlie Weis and Kansas, multiple sources report.

Hyman, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior, made an official visit to campus last weekend. He was recruited by Kansas assistant Rob Ianello.

Boston College, UMass, Rutgers, Syracuse, Bowling Green, Temple, Villanova, James Madison, Old Dominion, Buffalo, Monmouth and Purdue were his other scholarship offers. Programs such as Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Penn State showed interest.

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Demetri McGill picks the Terps 

November, 19, 2012
Three-star defensive tackle Demetri McGill (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) is latest senior to jump on board with Maryland, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot, 290-pound prospect also received scholarship offers from Charlotte, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Hampton, James Madison, Marshall, Ohio and Old Dominion. North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech showed some interest.

ESPN states in its evaluation, "McGill is not flashy, but is a tough kid and fairly heady player who can be a solid productive run defender and at worst should be able to offer some quality depth."

Maryland now holds 17 pledges for 2013.

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Senior wide receiver Davon Grayson (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) has given his commitment to East Carolina, multiple sources report.

Grayson, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect, had several offers from Football Championship Subdivision programs including Furman, James Madison, Old Dominion, Richmond and Virginia Military. Some BCS schools such as Maryland, Virginia and Virginia showed interest.

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Wide receiver Zachary Grant (Haddonfield, N.J./Paul VI) is the 10th Class of 2013 verbal for the Owls, multiple sources report.

"Temple is on a come-up," Grant told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "That's big for me. Before, Temple was like a little small school. And it wasn't too big on football. Now, I think they are really trying to come up. And I really want to be a part of that."

According to the Inquirer, Grant made an unofficial visit to campus last Friday and was "blown away" by Temple's practice facility, which recently underwent a $10 million renovation.

Grant collected additional scholarship offers from East Carolina, James Madison, Kent State, Ohio and Syracuse, along with interest from Pittsburgh.

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Javon Harrison (Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen) and Xavier Burke (Lawrenceville, Va./Brunswick) have committed to play for Virginia Tech, according to multiple sources.

Harrison is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect who was also offered by Michigan and Massachusetts. He caught 17 passes for 261 yards as a sophomore, but figures to play defensive back in college.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Burke is a tight end / defensive end. Virginia, James Madison and William & Mary were showing interest.

Virginia Tech now has four players on board for its 2014 class.

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The Yellow Jackets picked up commitments from Damon Mitchell (Egg Harbor, N.J./Cedar Creek), Antonio Messick (Fayetteville, Ga./Fayette County) and Tolando Cleveland (Powder Springs, Ga./Hillgrove) over the weekend, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The headliner of the group is Mitchell, a 6-foot-2, 199-pound dual-threat quarterback who picked Georgia Tech over scholarship offers from Arizona State, Boston College, UConn, Delaware, Iowa, James Madison, Old Dominion, Rutgers, Syracuse, Tulane, Central Florida, Villanova, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Georgia Tech was one of the first to offer at QB, and that really excited him early on,” Cedar Creek coach Tim Watson said. “Georgia Tech was on his shortlist, and when he got down there, he was blown away by the coaches, the campus and the academics. You could tell by his voice he was really feeling the place."

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Four-star athlete Myles Nash (Erial, N.J./Timber Creek) has committed to Rutgers, multiple sources report.

The Scarlet Knights beat out Arizona, Boston College, James Madison, Kentucky, Purdue, Temple, Virginia and West Virginia for Nash's commitment.

The freakishly athletic Nash plays quarterback and defensive end for his high school team and ESPN believes he has the upside to play either position at the next level.

Nash's pledge comes on the heels of three-star tight end Taylor Marini's commitment to the Scarlet Knights earlier today.

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Temple has received a commitment from defensive lineman Nikolaus D'Avanzo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley), according to

The 6-foot-3, 244-pound D'Avanzo also collected scholarship offers from Hampton, James Madison, Massachusetts, Monmouth and Old Dominion. Maryland and Rutgers recruited the rising senior.

D'Avanzo posted an electronically-timed 5.00 40-yard dash, 4.68 20-yard shuttle, 25.3-inch vertical and 68.43 SPARQ on the Nike Combine circuit this spring.

Temple has five verbals.

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Two more for Maryland 

June, 18, 2012
Athlete DeAndre Lane (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville) and defensive lineman Michael Williams (Severn, Md./Archbishop Spalding) have joined the commitment parade to Maryland, multiple sources report.

Maryland extended Lane his first offer and he quickly accepted. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound prospect was also recruited by James Madison, Lafayette, Lehigh, North Carolina State, Temple, Towson, Wake Forest, West Virginia and William and Mary.

Last season, Lane rushed for more than 1,700 yards and scored more than 20 times. Prior to his junior year, Lane posted a 4.61 40-yard dash, 4.4 20-yard shuttle and 28-inch vertical on the combine circuit.

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