The college football recruiting season has formally entered its final stretch. Two weeks from today, high school seniors will be permitted to sign national letters of intent with the colleges of their choice, capping a hectic, hyped process that has developed a vernacular all its own (soft verbal, tripping, firm commitment, etc.). How busy will the North Suncoast be that day? Depends on what happens until then. Here's a glimpse of how things are shaping up.
Division I commitments
. ATH Josh Johnson, Pasco (Purdue)
. OL Mylon Brown, Pasco (Vanderbilt)
. OG Kamran Joyer, Wesley Chapel (USF)
Ivy League commitments
. ATH Ben Noury, Springstead (Brown)
Noury, who visited the Providence, R.I., campus last weekend, has received a substantial financial assistance package, Eagles coach Bill Vonada said. Ivy League programs don't offer football scholarships. According to Eagles assistant Jeremy Olson, Noury (6 feet, 183 pounds) ranks fifth in his 399-student graduating class with a 4.23 weighted grade point average. Arguably Hernando County's most versatile player, he ran for 357 yards, caught 37 passes for 557 yards, registered 63 tackles and had three interceptions in 2008.
Also getting Ivy League looks
Ridgewood center Andrew Stagner, the school's valedictorian for 2009, has applied to Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is awaiting word of his acceptance. … Pasco coach Tom McHugh said defensive lineman Zach Faza has been visited by a coach from Brown, and has been in contact with Cornell and MIT.
Central two-way lineman Kevin Grier, set to visit Bethune-Cookman this weekend, also has received interest from Liberty and Alabama State. … Hernando punter/kicker Josh Harvey also is being looked at by B-CU and has generated interest from Division I Akron. Leopards two-way standout Clay Kessler has drawn looks from Sacred Heart (Conn.) and Delaware. … Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare said two-way lineman Patrick Pate has been accepted to Virginia Military Institute, but also is eyeing a service academy. Wildcats teammate Keenan Reynolds, who ran for nearly 800 yards as a senior, has strong interest from South Dakota State.
Courted by Quincy
In what has become an annual occurrence, a number of prominent local players are being recruited by NAIA program Quincy (Ill.) University. Quincy assistant Raleigh Daves, who provides the local connection (he played at East Lake) is looking at — among others — Ridgewood tailback Sterling Ross, Springstead quarterback James Mahla, Eagles two-way standout Bryce Hollingshead and a handful of other Pasco players.