NCF On The Trail: Kevin Toliver II

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian defeated Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage 27-7 in the FHSAA class 3A state championship game on Saturday afternoon. Trinity features five players in the ESPN 300 and nine prospects who are committed to FBS schools. Here is a look at the latest recruiting updates for a few of Trinity’s top players.

Kevin Toliver II remains firm in his commitment

Early Offer: Malik Jefferson's final 7 

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
Malik Jefferson reduced his list to seven schools on Monday, and though the list is hardly a surprise, recruiters think there are still some in store with the No. 35 player in the country.

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UA jersey tour: Kendrick Norton

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four-star lineman Kendrick Norton joined five-star teammate Kevin Toliver II and ESPN 300 linebacker Jeffery Holland in being presented with their Under Armour All-America Game jerseys Thursday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of friends, coaches, teammates and media members at the Trinity Christian School auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 99th-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-America games in the country.

“It just really cool that I’m maybe one of like 100 guys that gets to participate in this event. It’s an honor to play in the game."

Norton at one time was committed to FSU, but has since backed off and is considering other schools such as Miami, Florida, Ole Miss and UCLA. Though ranked as an offensive guard, Norton prefers the defensive line and several teams are recruiting him as a defensive tackle.

“I’m basically wide open,” Norton said of his recruitment. "I’m going to take a second look at Florida but basically I’m wide open. Miami wants me on the defensive line. They’ve been recruiting me real hard. Al Golden, Jethro Franklin, they talk to me every day.”

So far the ESPN 300 lineman hasn’t taken any official visits but that will soon change.

"I haven’t taken any official visits yet but I might go to Ole Miss on Jan. 29 and I’ll probably go to UCLA after the season,” he said. "Probably Miami after the season too."

Seven questions with Kendrick Norton

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Norton: I remember watching Jamie Harper (former Trinity Christian running back) growing up. I didn’t really know who he was until I got to Trinity and I found out he actually played here but I remember watching him in the game.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Norton: I’d say my entire team. I think we have a great team.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in the country who would it be?

Norton: Whoever's the No. 1-ranked offensive guard in the country. Whoever that is, I'd want to take him on.

What's your earliest football memory?

Norton: My ninth-grade year, it was the first time I’d ever been trap-blocked. He hit me and my helmet came flying off.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Norton: Kobe Bryant. He’s the first person that came to mind other than LeBron.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Norton: Just make sure I’m in shape and work on my first step and pad level.

What’s something about yourself that not many people know about?

Norton: I’m a comedian.

UA jersey tour: Kevin Toliver II

November, 20, 2014
Nov 20
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Five-star defensive back Kevin Toliver II was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of friends, coaches, teammates and media members at the Trinity Christian School auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The No. 1-ranked cornerback and the sixth-ranked player overall in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-American games in the country.

“It feels very good to be selected to the Under Armour All-America game,” Toliver said. “This is an accomplishment that I wanted to receive in my life and I just can’t wait to showcase my talents on the field."

Toliver has been committed to LSU for over two years. The talented cornerback has never seemed to waiver, however, he has taken visits to Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Florida State and many wonder how strong his commitment to the Tigers really is. Toliver said his last trip to Baton Rouge certainly helped answer some questions he had.

“My last visit to LSU for that Alabama game was real good,” Toliver said. “I got to experience one of the loudest stadiums in the country and it was a very good experience for me and it just made my commitment stronger.”
Seven questions with Kevin Toliver II

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Toliver: Just last year when I got a chance to stand on the sideline and see what the players go through and everything and seeing how they interact on the field. It was cool watching all of them. Speedy Noil really stood out to me though.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Toliver: I would have to say Derwin James. Think we’d have a great team.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in the country who would it be?

Toliver: Tyron Johnson, the No. 1 wide receiver in the country.

What's your earliest football memory?

Toliver: I’d say when I got my first offer from FIU. It was just a stepping stone and let me know to keep working hard and know that my parents wouldn’t have to pay for college if I keep working.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Toliver: I’d say Michael Crabtree. He talks a lot, I talk a lot. I think it would be a good matchup.

What would you like to improve on before you get to LSU?

Toliver: I’d say just my all around skills at defensive back. I just need to work on everything. Everybody is good at the next level.

What’s something about yourself that not many people know about?

Toliver: How hard I work away from the field when nobody is looking.

UA jersey tour: Tyron Johnson

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
NEW ORLEANS -- Tyron Johnson remembers watching the Under Armour All-America Game in 2013 like it was yesterday, when No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche dominated. Johnson thought to himself at the time that it would be amazing to play in the prestigious all-star game, but he also never dreamed he would actually get that chance.

But Johnson’s dream has come true.

Now a senior, Johnson is the nation’s 25th-ranked prospect and the second-best receiver. He’s got schools from coast-to-coast recruiting him, and Thursday he was officially recognized as an Under Armour All-American at a ceremony in front of his classmates, family, friends and teammates.

“My first time watching the game, Robert Nkemdiche was the No. 1 player in the country,” Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound four-star prospect, said. “Boy, he was fun to watch. I plan on going into the game and doing a lot of big things like he did. I saw what he did, and I was like 'Man, I want to play in that game.' I never thought it would happen, but I worked hard and now I have the opportunity.”

It’s an opportunity he plans on making the most out of.

“My expectations are to do in Florida what I do in New Orleans,” Johnson said. “I'm great at working hard and doing my job making a big play on the field. When it's the fourth quarter and we need something big with only 1 second left in the game, I tell coach, 'Throw the ball to me.'

“I also want to put my city on my back and show that I can be a great receiver on the national level. I want to show for everybody here in New Orleans that we have great football players.”

Johnson said he’s looking forward to testing himself against the talented cornerbacks in the game, especially LSU commit Kevin Toliver II. Fans are looking forward to getting a clearer picture on when he’s going to pick a college. Last week, Johnson told that Auburn had passed Texas Tech as the top team on his list. He made an official visit to Texas Tech on Oct. 10, is slated to visit Auburn on Nov. 21 if his team isn’t still in the playoffs and hopes to also visit Oklahoma State before making a choice.

“It's been very tough to stay focused on school and my team,” Johnson said. “When that phone rings all the time, people are like, 'You have to make a decision. You have to make a decision.' And in the back of my head, I know I have to make a decision, but I'm just not ready yet. I still want to focus on my team and my grades, too. It's really hard. I don't want to rush it.

“I want to be 100 percent. I'm about 80 percent sure of what I want to do. I'm almost ready.”

UA jersey tour: George Campbell

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Five-star athlete George Campbell was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday morning in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends and teammates at the East Lake High School gymnasium.

Campbell, the No. 1-ranked athlete and the No. 10 player overall in the ESPN 300, said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top all-star games in the country.

“It means a lot; it’s a dream come true to play in the Under Armour All-America game,” Campbell said. “Just growing up and watching the game year after year and now being able to play it and have people watch me is pretty cool.”

Campbell has been committed to Florida State since early in September. Before his commitment to FSU, Campbell had been committed to Michigan. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound athlete, who is being recruited to play wide receiver at FSU, said there will be no more switching his commitment this time around.

“A lot of teams have backed off. ... I kind of cut everyone else off except for FSU,” Campbell said.”I’m a 100 percent to FSU. That’s where I’m going — period. I just really haven’t had conversations at all with other schools.”

Campbell said he chose Florida State because of the success they have had recently, his relationship with the coaches and, most importantly, what he believes the Seminoles are building.

“Florida State is building up a powerhouse and not just that, the guys I’m going to surround myself with are some of the best athletes in the nation. It’s pretty much iron sharpens iron. I’m just looking forward to getting better and working with coach [Lawrence] Dawsey."

As a senior, Campbell has 701 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns on 43 receptions and has helped East Lake advance to the FHSAA playoffs.

Eight questions with George Campbell:

Who is one player you remember watching in the game?

Campbell: I remember watching Jameis [Winston] and that crew. I remember last year watching Malachi Dupre and Speedy Noil and all those guys and even back to Vernon Hargreaves III a few years ago. I remember a lot of those guys.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Campbell: It would have to be Derwin James, just for the simple fact that I know what I’d get out of him and he’s one of the top athletes and we could get after it together.

If you could go one-on-one with any player in this class, who would it be?

Campbell: I have two of them. I got Derwin and then I got Kevin Toliver. Those are two DBs that I know get after it all the time and they are physical and they want to compete and get better.

What's your earliest football memory?

Campbell: Probably when I first started playing flag football in Clearwater. Ever since then, it’s been something that I love.

What's something that most people don't know about you?

Campbell: I’m just really outgoing. I always keep a smile on my face and I’m happy to be alive every day. I’m very respectful and kind. That’s pretty much it.

What are you looking forward to the most during the Under Amour week in Orlando?

Campbell: Just pretty much having fun and being comfortable out there with a whole bunch of good athletes. Just pretty much getting better and learning from new coaches and enjoying the game.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Campbell: Pretty much everything. As soon as the season is over, I want to train and develop every aspect of my game.

What kind of player can FSU fans expect to get from you?

Campbell: Fast, physical, a fast-learner and just someone who just wants to soak it all in and learn as much as he can on and off the field.

UA jersey tour: Daylon Charlot

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
PATTERSON, La. -- Even at his Under Armour All-America Game jersey ceremony Tuesday, Daylon Charlot couldn’t get away from the question.

While he was being introduced, somebody in the crowded gymnasium of students loudly asked where Charlot, the nation’s No. 8 receiver, would be attending college at. Across the gym, an emphatic reply of “LSU, baby” came from another student.

At this point, nobody knows where Charlot is going to end up. He committed to Alabama back in early February, but that was before LSU offered him a scholarship. The Tigers eventually did and haven’t stopped pursuing him since.

“It's going to be a hard decision,” Charlot said. “It's either Bama or LSU. It's 60 Alabama, 40-percent chance LSU. When the time comes, everyone will find out. It's just crazy because everywhere I go people ask me the question ‘Where are you going to school at.’ I wear my ID on an LSU lanyard here at school, so people think that means I’m going there, but no one knows where I want to go, including me. If I don't know, then no one else does.”

Tuesday wasn’t about where Charlot will be attending college, though. It was a celebration for him being selected to play in the nation’s most prestigious high school football all-star game. Charlot said that fact hadn’t sunk in with him until he put on the black and red Under Armour jersey during the ceremony.

“It’s real now,” Charlot said with a big smile. “It was a goal of mine to play in this game, so I’m going to take advantage of it. I want to show everybody I’m the best receiver in the country.”

He plans to do that by doing anything and everything the coaches ask of him during the practices leading up to the Jan. 2 game that will be televised on ESPN2.

“I'll play corner,” he said. “I'll play receiver. I'll kick. I’ll play on the kickoff and punt return teams. I'll even drive the bus if that's what coach thinks will help the team win the game and show people what I’ve got. I think I'm electric with the ball in my hands. I know how to make people miss and get away from people very easily.”

Charlot also hopes to settle a score with five-star Kevin Toliver II, the nation’s No. 1 cornerback.

“At LSU’s camp in my freshman and sophomore years, we were going at it back and forth,” Charlot said. It was basically a tie. I want to break the tie at Under Armour.”

Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. There was a big commitment, there were key visits, new offers and an ESPN 300 offensive lineman is almost set to announce his decision. Here’s a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.

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Best of the visits: SEC

November, 9, 2014
Nov 9
From Alabama’s big 20-13 come-from-behind win over LSU Saturday night to Texas A&M’s big win over Auburn Saturday afternoon, there were some incredible games for recruits to watch this weekend. Some prospects attended the games while others watched on television and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend:

ESPN 300 guard Matt Burrell Jr. tweeted out a few photos of him during his time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for his official visit to LSU.
LSU commit Kevin Toliver II, who has visited other schools, used his official visit this week to attend the LSU-Alabama game. The five-star cornerback tweeted a picture of his visit itinerary he received when he arrived on campus. Auburn commit D'Anfernee McGriff has been working hard on flipping his friend and fellow Tallahassee, Florida, native John Burt. The four-star Burt took his second visit to Auburn this weekend. Former Florida linebacker commit Adonis Thomas backed off his pledge to the Gators after Florida lost to Missouri earlier in the year. The ESPN 300 took a visit to LSU this weekend and likes the Tigers along with Alabama and Florida. He tweeted out his thoughts on how a few of the games played out on Saturday. Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson took an official visit to LSU this weekend. He shared a photo of LSU's white uniform. ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Michael Divinity shared a photo of himself on the field before the LSU-Alabama game on Saturday night. 2017 athlete Jamyest Williams tweeted a photo from the Mississippi State-Tennessee Martin game.

SEC's top recruiting visits 

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7

Saturday's Alabama-at-LSU game, as always, is loaded with big-time prospects making recruiting visits. Auburn is expected to have at least two key visitors in for its game against Texas A&M and Vanderbilt is hoping to build some momentum by bringing in some visitors for the Florida game. Here’s a closer look at some of the top recruits making visits to SEC schools this weekend.

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With Alabama coming to town, Ole Miss coaches plan to make the most of the weekend by hosting official visitors. Plus, will Florida State be able to lure away two highly ranked corners that have previously committed to LSU and Alabama?

1. Coaches have different mindsets about the importance of hosting official visitors during a game weekend. Some coaches hate it because you’re not able to give prospects and their family your undivided attention. But there are others like Maurice Harris, Ole Miss' tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for offense, that think official visits on game weekends are a tremendous recruiting tool. "You want them to see actual game-day atmosphere, whether it's in the stadium or whether it's in The Grove," Harris said. "Also, too, you want them to see you coaching your players on game day as well. You want them to see you coaching during the good times and coaching during the bad times. That helps a lot of recruits judge if that's something they want to be around. It’s a great opportunity for them to evaluate us." For the record, the Rebels will host five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson and ESPN 300 receiver Ryan Newsome on official visits this weekend for the Rebels' Saturday matchup against No. 3 Alabama.

2. Speaking official visits on game weekends, Florida State plays host to two of the nation’s top cornerbacks this weekend when No. 5-ranked Kevin Toliver II and No. 27-ranked Minkah Fitzpatrick visit for the Noles’ game against Wake Forest. Toliver, a five-star recruit and the No. 1 cornerback in the country, has been a longtime LSU commitment, but he is still taking all five of his official visits. He’s already tripped to Ohio State and Virginia Tech, and will check out LSU and UCLA in November. Fitzpatrick is the fourth-best cornerback in the country and has been pledged to Alabama for quite some time. With all of Florida State’s success at cornerback over the years, don’t be surprised if either player comes back from Tallahassee talking big about the Noles.


3. To win in the Pac 12, you have to have a talented running back, and that has been something that has been sorely lacking at Colorado for years now. However, the Buffs landed a big recruiting victory Tuesday night when four-star running back Donald Gordon picked CU. Gordon fills a big need for Buffs, especially when you consider CU hasn’t taken a true running back at the position in the 2014 and 2015 classes.

Social Studies
With Wyoming off this weekend, the Cowboys’ coaches are hitting the recruiting trail. This was a neat way to help visualize where the Wyoming coaches will be.


Boy, have times have changed in the recruiting world. Thanks to YouTube, fans are now able to see a Colorado State recruiting video from 1977. The first thing the Rams sell in the video is the beautiful scenery in Colorado and the tape job after you’re hurt. Now we’ve got schools Photoshopping recruits into pictures with BeyoncÚ.

ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Trayvon Mullen picked up another impressive offer on Thursday. This time the nation’s top junior cornerback added an offer from Oklahoma. The Sooners join the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and around 15 other schools.


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Early Offer: Tough times ahead for UF? 

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
Recruiting in the SEC is already difficult, but the difficulty in Gainesville is about to be ratcheted up even more as rival recruiters are already pressuring Florida recruits to reconsider. Plus, it was clear Saturday night that Oregon needs help on the offensive line, but the good news is that help is on the way.

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ACC's top recruiting visits 

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19

This weekend kicks off the meat of the big visit weekends for the ACC with the marquee matchup of Clemson at Florida State taking center stage. Not to be outdone, Virginia Tech has a very big weekend on the horizon featuring the nations top ranked prospect.

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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news across the country. Today’s offerings: No. 2 cornerback Iman Marshall announced four of his five official visits on Thursday, but he decided to crowd-source his final visit and that brought out the worst from Oklahoma and Texas fans. Alabama is expected to bounce back with good news on Friday after losing two recruits last weekend, and we continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.

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BRADENTON, Fla. — There were as many as 10 games going on at the same time at the IMG 7v7 National Championship over the weekend, and at times it was difficult to determine just who the top performers were. After all, there were more than 30 prospects in the ESPN 300 who participated. Here's a closer look at several seniors who stood out during the two-day event.

ATH Deon Cain
Committed to Clemson
ESPN 300 rank: 25
Cain helped lead his team, Unsigned Preps from Tampa, to the championship game with several acrobatic catches. The trio of Cain, Ray Ray McCloud III and junior-to-be wide receiver Nate Craig proved to be too much for teams to handle. Cain is solidly committed to Clemson and said he is not considering any other schools at this time.
S Derwin James
Committed to Florida State
ESPN 300 rank: 26
James is known for his physical play, but he showed he is more than just a big hitter. James broke up several passes and just always seemed to be around the ball. Like Cain, he is solid with his commitment, but in this case to the Seminoles.
CB Iman Marshall
ESPN 300 rank: 20
Marshall played wide receiver and defensive back for his team, B2G, and excelled at both. The four-star prospect teamed with another ESPN 300 receiver, Trent Irwin, to form a dangerous pass-catching combo. Marshall is still narrowing his choices but knows he will take visits in the fall to Florida State and Notre Dame.