Golden Recruiting Wire: Could Shaq Thompson of Grant be a Husky?

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August 26, 2011

Tedford & Company

  • Shaq Thompson, ATH Grant Union (Sacramento, CA) plans to visit Florida, Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington. Washing could be an early favorite because of the coaches and his best friend James Sample from Grant [1]:

    "Shaq can do it all," Grant coach Mike Alberghini marveled. "He doesn't even know how great he is."

    He is great enough to be considered one of the top recruits in the country. As humble as he is dominant and as unselfish as he is spectacular, Thompson aims to add to his 1,892-yard, 25-touchdown rushing season from last fall. He is fit and eager, forever pained that he wasn't close to even 70 percent in the playoffs last fall due to a deep bone bruise on the ball of his heel. He was still fast, mind you.

    Just not Shaq Fast.

    "That still bothers me," Thompson said. "It took me a long time to get healthy."

  • Freddie Tagaloa, OT Salesian (Richmond, CA) has Oregon, USC, Cal, Stanford as his final four leaders:

    "My final four schools are Oregon, USC, Cal and Stanford," Tagaloa said. "Those are the ones I'm most comfortable with and the schools that are recruiting me the hardest as well. I camped at Cal and had a great time working with the coaches there. I've been up to Stanford a number of times and attended two of their junior days this year. I've never been to USC but talk with Coach [Ed] Orgeron all the time and really like him a lot [$2].

  • Ellis McCarthy, DT Monrovia (Monrovia, CA) has his top 5 official visits set with USC, Cal, Florida, Washington, Oregon [3]. Patch.com interview [4]:

  • Eddie Goldman, DT Friendship Academy (Washington, DC) has his top 7 of Maryland, Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, Florida State, Cal [5].

    At 17 years old, Goldman is one of the nation’s prize recruits, a mammoth 6-foot-4, 307-pound defensive lineman with quick feet and powerful hands — attributes that make him a prime target of millionaire college football coaches and rabid fan bases.

    He has become his school’s greatest form of advertising. He is his teammates’ hope for a chance at playing college football. He is the reason they will be on television and why some have ever heard of Friendship Collegiate. Quite simply, the often shy and quiet Goldman has the weight of his 1,200-student school on his broad shoulders.

    "I tell him, ‘The spoils come with the riches,’ " Friendship Coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim said. "He’s got a lot on his shoulders. For him to be the way he is is a testament to his folks and what kind of person he is. Regardless of what we’ve done in the past, if he goes out and flops then it’s like our program flops. . . . That’s a lot of pressure for someone that’s only 17. I think he’s handled it well [6]."

    It’s easy to see why college coaches are so enamored of Goldman. Rated the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle and No. 2 overall recruit in the ESPNU 150, he uses his size, speed and power to terrorize offenses like a high school version of Detroit Lions All-Pro Ndamukong Suh, who’s actually eight pounds lighter than the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Goldman.

    "I feel sorry for some of his opponents," says Abdul-Rahim, who’s in his seventh year at the helm. "He’s quick, explosive and has a natural knee bend, so when he’s coming off the line, he’s coming straight at you. It’s hard to find defensive linemen who just whoop up on the player in front of them [7]."
  • Yuri Wright, CB Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) has Cal and Rutgers in the lead right now [$8]. Michigan, Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan State round out Wright's top 6 [9].
  • Cedric Dozier, ATH Lakes (Lakewood, WA) may have Cal over Washington currently [10]. Highlights [11]:

  • Josh Garnett, OL Pullyaup (Pullyaup, WA) runs a 4.68 40 in his 300lbs frame [12]. Garnett and Golden Recruit Zach Banner of Lakes had a little fun at a recent Seattle Times photoshoot.

    Kelley [Mason, Seattle Times reporter] said Garnett and Banner were at a recent photo shoot and for fun, did a little route running and coverage drill.

    "I can't remember who was receiver and who played DB, but as big as those guys are you'd think they'd be awkward out there," Kelley said. "Instead, it just looked like normal athletic guys going after passes. Normal except they are both monstrous."

    Lemming thinks Garnett looks as good or better than Banner on film, however being four inches shorter makes him just slightly a lesser recruit.

    "Nevertheless, he has what it takes to become an All-American at either tackle or guard in college," Lemming said of Garnett. "He loves to mix it up, shows good work habits and plays the game on his feet."

    Unless he's driving a poor kid to the ground [13].

    Before meeting last year, each player had attained elite status at his own school. Garnett entered high school as a diligent worker who routinely hit the gym and participated in one-on-one drills with his father, Scott, a former NFL nose tackle. From the start, the coaching staff was enamored with his work ethic.

    "We knew that when he came in as a sophomore, he was a Division I prospect," says Jeffers.

    Garnett’s footwork and agility in the trenches were unmatched, and he was a natural leader as well. But for all of his individual abilities, it didn’t translate into team success.

    "Puyallup has been a powerhouse traditionally, but we’ve missed the playoffs three years in a row," says the Under Armour All-American. "I want to win a championship this season and make my teammates as good as they can be [14]."

  • Matt Cochran, C Buhach (Atwater, CA) is by far one of the leaders and the most trusted person on his team [15]:

    It's not surprising if you know Cochran. He's the Buhach Colony student body president. He carries a 3.8 GPA and is be recruited nationally by some of the top college programs.

    "He's one of the most mature players I've ever met in all my years of coaching," Swartwood said. "He's a joy to be around. He sincerely cares about his teammates and it's obvious."

    Swartwood isn't the only one to notice. Auburn called Swartwood to let him know they offered Cochran a scholarship.

    "They told me even though he's 6-foot-3 and 330 pounds, he's not the biggest kid they're recruiting," Swartwood said. "But they said his work ethic, his maturity and his sincerity sold them that he's going to be great."

  • Darius Hamilton, DE Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ) went through up and downs with his father ex-NFL defensive tackle Keith Hamilton [16]. The younger Hamilton and his Don Bosco Prep Ironmen are widely considered the #1 team in the country [17].
  • Byron Marshall, RBValley Christian (San Jose, CA) unofficially visited Notre Dame. Marshall is unofficially visiting Washington, Oregon, USC before setting up his official visits [18]:

    "Practice was real cool, real high tempo," Marshall explained. "Coach Kelly was really trying to get after things, especially with this being their last day of fall practice. He wanted them to stay focused and stay sharp."

    Marshall spent most of his time with the running backs. He got the opportunity to see how Irish running backs Coach Tim Hinton worked.

    "I liked the way Coach Hinton coached," said Marshall. "(Friday) was more of a two-minute drill and a fourth down drill. They did a lot of running (Thursday), but I got to see practice which is what I wanted to see."

  • Jordan Payton, WR Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) is officially visiting Penn State [$19].
  • Ishmael Adams, CB Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) visited UCLA during scrimmage [$20]. Adamas is set to officially visit Notre Dame [$21].

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