NCF On The Trail: Yale Bulldogs

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.

TE Koppenhaver headed to Duke

September, 16, 2013
Senior tight end Davis Koppenhaver (Newhall, Calif./Hart) committed Saturday to sign with Duke.

Koppenhaver announced his decision on Twitter and the news was confirmed by multiple sources:

Colgate, Iowa State, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, UNLV and Yale were his other scholarship offers. Delaware, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia also recruited the 6-foot-5, 209-pound, three-star prospect.

Duke has 14 commitments in this recruiting cycle.

Stanford scores LB Joey Alfieri

August, 11, 2013
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 "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.

LB Colton Moskal picks Syracuse

June, 16, 2013
Colton Moskal (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich), who will be included as part of Monday's ESPN RecruitingNation rankings update, has committed to Syracuse, according to media reports.

He also received scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Western Michigan, Wyoming and Yale.

Cornell, Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Penn State and Stanford expressed interest in the 6-foot-1, 215-pound prospect.

Syracuse has four commitments.

Illinois secures LB Austin Roberts

June, 14, 2013
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.

Blue Devils add WR Taylor, RB Moore

May, 14, 2013
Duke's Class of 2014 has grown to nine with commitments from Chris Taylor (Coconut Creek, Fla./North Broward Prep) and Kerrion Moore (Gastonia, N.C./Davie County), multiple sources report.

Taylor, a 6-foot, 168-pound wide receiver, selected the Blue Devils over scholarship offers from Appalachian State, Eastern Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, Western Michigan and Yale. Auburn, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech showed interest.

Moore is a 5-foot-8, 180-pound running back who carried 128 times for 1,004 yards (7.8 average), caught 14 passes for 392 yards (28 average), made 33 tackles, intercepted four passes, and scored 18 total touchdowns as a junior.

Offensive lineman Zach Harmon (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) also recently committed. His decision was reported earlier Tuesday by ESPN's Jared Shanker.

Tales From The Road: Midlands 

April, 24, 2013
OLB Daylon Tarkington
Vital stats: 2014 / Fort Worth (Texas) Trimble Tech / 6-foot-1, 215 pounds
Considering: Interest from Arizona, Michigan, San Diego State, Texas State, Utah, Yale
Where you saw him: Next Level Athlete South DFW Video Showcase
What impressed: For a player recovering from a broken leg, Tarkington’s lateral movement and immediate burst were something to watch. Tarkington showed that he is 100 percent and ready to make some noise.
Why you should keep an eye out for him: Last season was supposed to be a coming-out party for Tarkington, but the injury set him back. This spring and summer should be his time to shine.

Cavaliers add defender J.J. Jackson 

April, 22, 2013
According to multiple sources, defensive end/outside linebacker J.J. Jackson (Purcellville, Va./Woodgrove) has pledged to sign with Virginia.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound talent selected the Cavaliers over scholarship offers from Duke, Hampton, Ohio, Old Dominion and Yale along with interest from Maryland, among others.

Jackson registered 72 tackles and 13 sacks during his junior campaign.

He is Virginia's fourth Class of 2014 verbal.

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Jon Baker commits to Boston College 

April, 21, 2013
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, 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'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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Height no issue for SMU QB pledge 

April, 10, 2013
ALLEN, Texas -- If it's left up to him, Houston Lamar 2014 quarterback Darrell Colbert Jr. isn't going to be defined by his height.

If he has any say, it will be his play that people will talk about. Some have already noticed. SMU noticed enough to offer Colbert a scholarship and he rewarded the Mustangs for being the first to do so by committing when attending the Mustangs' junior day earlier this year.

Over the weekend at the Elite 11 Dallas regionals and the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp, Colbert set out to showcase his skills and why head coach June Jones and his staff felt it appropriate to target the accomplished signal-caller, who led his Redskins to the Texas Class 5A Division I championship game in 2012.

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HOUSTON -- When it comes to his recruitment, Brandon Colon doesn't plan on leaving anything to chance.

He'll do whatever it takes to get himself noticed by colleges -- even if it means hopping on a plane to go to a camp or combine -- which is what he did on Sunday at the Next Level Athlete South Houston Video Showcase.

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Rutgers offers Massachusetts OL/DL 

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

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'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
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
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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ULM among interested in Draven Taylor 

October, 17, 2012
The Dallas school district has built a healthy reputation for churning out FBS talent. Two-way lineman Draven Taylor (Dallas/Adamson) is looking to continue that trend, but he’s also on a mission to help turn things around at his school.

Adamson traditionally hasn’t been a producer of top talent, but the 6-foot-2, 285-pound lineman has caught the eye of several schools and has offers from Louisiana-Monroe and Incarnate Word. Taylor additionally has looks from Kansas, North Texas, Navy, Cornell, Yale and Central Arkansas.

“I know that Adamson really doesn’t have many players recruited,” Taylor said, “but coming in my freshman year, I knew I could change that if I worked hard. My former coach said I had the chance to get to college if I worked every single day, so basically, day in and day out, that’s what I did. I play with a lot of heart. Sometimes, it’s heart over talent. That’s what my coaches always tell me.”

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