NCF On The Trail: Isaiah Ford

Bold predictions: ACC 

February, 4, 2014
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It is becoming a bit cliché, but the saying holds true every year on the first Wednesday of February: Expect the unexpected on signing day.

With the direction signing day and recruiting have been going, a prospect simply signing his letter of intent to the college he has been committed to for months qualifies as a mild surprise.

Here are five bold predictions for ACC signing day.

ACC class rankings analysis 

January, 22, 2014
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video NC State coach Dave Doeren told ESPN colleague Jeremy Crabtree that the Wolfpack would finish the 2014 recruiting cycle strong despite a winless ACC campaign. Raise your hand if you believed him.

NC State was one of the few risers in the updated class rankings this week. A look at the Wolfpack's rise and other trends across the ACC:


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Signing day is a little more than two weeks away, meaning the next 15 days are going to be very interesting. Here are five storylines in the ACC to keep an eye on come signing day on Feb. 5.


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Key recruiting visits -- ACC 

January, 17, 2014
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The dead period has finally come to an end, and coaches are itching to get back on the road. The NCAA extended the dead period an additional week this January, so coaches have been quarantined in their football offices longer than they have ever been before with signing day just three weeks away.

With signing day quickly approaching, each official visit weekend becomes exponentially more important. This is the first of three official visit weekends in January. Here are this weekend’s 10 biggest visits in the ACC:

1. CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover): Florida State
The five-star cornerback was down to Alabama and Florida State, but there is some talk that Georgia could get in late with defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt now with the Bulldogs. Although most project Humphrey to Alabama, the Seminoles were keeping it very close when Pruitt was their defensive coordinator and recruiting the No. 15 player in the ESPN 300. Maybe the Noles will impress Humphrey enough this weekend to remain a finalist, but, without Pruitt, it seems unlikely FSU will land him.


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Isaiah Ford (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) will have one of the more interesting recruitments up until signing day. The four-star receiver is only looking at schools that will allow him to pursue football and basketball.

Ford, No. 46 among receivers, found another school this week when Miami contacted him. Miami football coach Al Golden and basketball coach Jim Larranaga signed off on Ford playing both sports so Ford will officially visit this weekend. It is his first official visit since decommitting from Louisville earlier this month.


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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A trio of Jacksonville Trinity Christian underclassmen decided to announce their college destinations on Thursday morning. ESPN Junior 300 defensive tackle Kendrick Norton made his pledge to the national champion Florida State Seminoles, while 2015 safety Deontai Williams gave his pledge to Florida. Sophomore running back Jalin Buie joined in on the action by giving his commitment to Auburn.

Norton said his comfort level with FSU was a primary reason for his decision.

"I just felt the most at home there,” Norton said. "They are the school that recruited me the hardest. All of my family is up there and that’s where I’m from so it was just very comfortable for me.”

Deontai Williams, Kendrick Norton, Jalin Buie
Derek Tyson/ESPNDeontai Williams, Kendrick Norton and Jalin Buie have committed to Florida, FSU and Auburn, respectively.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound athlete, who’s the No. 118-ranked 2015 player in the country, can play either offensive guard or defensive tackle on the next level.

"I prefer defensive line and that’s what they are recruiting me for,” Norton said, "but they said I could play either side of the ball.”

Florida, meanwhile, received a surprise Thursday morning when, ESPN 300 cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Academy) announced that he would enroll at Florida on Monday. The Gators got more good news when Williams, too, joined the Gators.

Williams, who also held offers from Louisville, Mississippi State, North Carolina and Memphis, decided to end the process early.

"I’ve been a Florida fan since a very young age,” the hard-hitting safety said. "I grew up as a Florida fan. I bleed orange blue so that’s why I committed to Florida. Their season didn’t matter. I bleed orange and blue.”

Buie, a 2016 prospect, said he was impressed with how Tre Mason was used in Auburn’s offense and could see himself in a similar role.

“Well really I just felt comfortable with coach [Gus] Malzahn,” Buie said. “He runs the ball a lot and his offense does a lot of what we do. They run a lot of dives and I like how they use their running backs.”

Holland, Ford name favorites

Jeffery Holland, the No. 8-ranked junior in the country, has narrowed his choices down to six: Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama and UCLA.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Texas’ hire of Charlie Strong could help the Longhorns open up new recruiting territories, but it will also be important for him to hire assistants who have ties to the Lone Star State. Louisville’s top 25 class is very much in flux after Strong’s departure.

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Poona Ford committed to Louisville in August, but the ESPN 300 defensive tackle really pledged to suit up for Charlie Strong.

“He really, really likes him and respects him,” said B.J. Payne, Ford’s coach at Hilton Head (S.C.) High. “That’s who he wanted to play for.”


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ORLANDO -- The Florida High School Athletic Association's class 1A through 4A state championship games were played this weekend in Orlando, Fla. The games featured several prospects who are committed to top programs, as well as some uncommitted prospects. Here's a closer look at who had some of the best performances.


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ACC recruiting storylines: Sept. 26 

September, 26, 2013
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Virginia Tech is trying to capture the attention of a Louisville commitment from Florida, the Seminoles' offensive line appears to be in good shape for recruiting, and Miami is looking to impress in Tampa this weekend.

All this and more in this week's ACC recruiting storylines.


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ACC class rankings analysis 

September, 25, 2013
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Another week passes without movement among the ACC schools in the class rankings. A commitment from three-star Ryan Izzo (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) was not enough to launch Florida State past Alabama and back into the No. 1 spot. With Izzo’s pledge out of the way, it does not appear any conference school is on the verge of a commitment any time soon.


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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Trinity Christian Academy has enjoyed its fair share of success and produced several Division I players under longtime coach Verlon Dorminey. This year, the Conquerors are off to a 2-0 start with a roster chock full of Division I prospects.

Junior class leads the way

The Class of 2015 in Jacksonville is loaded, and the junior class at Trinity Christian litters any and every list. Led by the No. 2 overall player in the ESPN Junior 300, Kevin Toliver II, and No. 17 Jeffery Holland, the uber-talented class of Conquerors is made up of as many as nine future FBS players.


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Weekly commitment roundup

May, 17, 2013
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ACC
Duke
Zach Harmon OG Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic
HT: 6-foot-4 WT: 275 pounds
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kerrion Moore RB Gastonia, N.C./Hunter Huss
HT: 5-8 WT: 180
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Chris Taylor WR Coconut Creek, Fla./North Broward Prep
HT: 6-0 WT: 168
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Miami
Brad Kaaya QB-PP West Hill, Calif./Chaminade College Prep
HT: 6-4 WT: 213
Position Rank: #12 QB-PP
Stars: 4

NC State
Coult Culler OLB Wilmington, N.C./E.A. Laney
HT: 6-4 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jalan McClendon QB-PP Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg
HT: 6-4 WT: 195
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Baylor
Jordan Feuerbacher TE-Y Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood Park
HT: 6-4 WT: 240
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Xavier Jones DE Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West
HT: 6-3 WT: 200
Position Rank: #32 DE
Stars: 3

Iowa State
Sam Seonbuchner OLB Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-2 WT: 223
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kansas
Kyron Watson OLB East Saint Louis, Ill./East Saint Louis
HT: 6-1 WT: 210
Position Rank: #4 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#100)

Oklahoma
Marcus Green CB Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill
HT: 6-1 WT: 176
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Louisville
Isaiah Ford WR Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
HT: 6-1 WT: 161
Position Rank: #34 WR
Stars: 4

George Rushing WR Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons
HT: 6-0 WT: 182
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Rutgers
Justin Herron OG Potomac, Md./Bullis School
HT: 6-4 WT: 275
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Michigan State
Chris Frey Jr. OLB Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington
HT: 6-2 WT: 214
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Matt Sokol ATH Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Blake Hance TE-Y Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville
HT: 6-6 WT: 260
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Jackson RB Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North
HT: 5-11 WT: 175
Position Rank: #32 RB
Stars: 4

Ohio State
Lonnie Johnson WR Gary, Ind./West Side
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Position Rank: #41 WR
Stars: 4

Penn State
Marcus Allen S Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jared Wangler OLB Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate
HT: 6-2 WT: 218
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wisconsin
Billy Hirschfeld DE Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-6 WT: 267
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ula Tolutau ATH Salt Lake City, Utah/East
HT: 6-1 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
UCLA
Dionte Sykes WR Chandler, Ariz./Chandler
HT: 6-2 WT: 205
Position Rank: #49 WR
Stars: 3

Utah
Raelon Singleton WR Crosby, Texas/Crosby
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington
Chase Blakely DE Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Coeur D'Alene
HT: 6-4 WT: 221
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Greg Hoyd OLB Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta
HT: 6-1 WT: 191
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Auburn
Derrick Moncrief S Prattville, Ala./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 226
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Thornton DE Prichard, Ala./Vigor
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: #13 DE
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#111)

Kentucky
Drew Barker QB-PP Hebron, Ky./Conner Senior
HT: 6-4 WT: 205
Position Rank: #7 QB-PP
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#141)

Kobie Walker S Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel
HT: 6-3 WT: 188
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

LSU
D'haquille Williams WR Laplace, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 210
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri
Michael Fairchild OT Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West
HT: 6-6 WT: 270
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Finis Stribling IV CB Thompson's Station, Tenn./Independence
HT: 5-11 WT: 167
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mississippi State
Dontavian Lee RB Brooklyn, Miss./Forest County Agriculture
HT: 6-0 WT: 205
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Montez Sweat TE-Y Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
HT: 6-6 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

UL's momentum continues with Ford

May, 12, 2013
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Arguably the most active program on the trail this spring, Louisville scored another verbal on Saturday from four-star wide receiver Isaiah Ford (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian), multiple sources report.

Ford is now the Cardinals' highest-rated pledge, according to ESPN RecruitingNation, and their 13th commitment overall. Eleven of the 13 players announced during the last 30 days.

Trinity Christian offensive coordinator Gerard Ross spoke with the Courier-Journal about Ford's decision:

"The type of offense Louisville runs suits him, and they also recruit Florida players. He felt comfortable with them. Coach [Charlie] Strong turned down the Tennessee job (last winter) and showed he's going to be at Louisville for the next four years, and that was big also."

Arkansas, Clemson, Cincinnati, Florida International, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oregon, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, Texas Tech, Central Florida, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia were among his other scholarship offers.

Ford's a 6-foot, 161-pound prospect who registered a 4.86 40-yard dash, 4.42 20-yard shuttle and 31-inch vertical at this year's National Under Armour Combine in Orlando, Fla.

His primary recruiter was Louisville wide receivers coach Ron Dugans.
The IMG 7v7 Southeast Regional Championship in Bradenton, Fla., on Saturday and Sunday will feature several ESPN 150 players. This star-studded event will feature the South Florida Express, one of the top 7-on-7 teams in the country, and Team Tampa, which won the IMG 7v7 National Championships last year. Here's a look at five things to watch at this weekends events.

1. Wide receiver position is loaded
Ermon Lane
Derek Tyson/ESPNHomestead, Fla., wide receiver Ermon Lane will be one of several top prospects participating in the IMG 7v7 Southeast Regional Championship.
There will be a plethora of top wide receivers in Bradenton this weekend. Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead), the No. 1-ranked wide receiver in the country, will have a chance to showcase his abilities against some elite talent. Additionally, Travis Rudolph (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman), Artavis Scott (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), Moral Stephens (Perry, Fla./Taylor County), Kenric Young (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville), Isaiah Ford (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian), Garrett Johnson (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) and 2015 wideout Da'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central) are scheduled to participate.


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