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October 6, 2005

CUSA recruiting: Miners on a roll

UTEP head coach Mike Price has always been a strong recruiter and it's showing.

In the closing days of September, Price's Miners saw two verbal commitments hop on board from within the borders of the Lone Star State. Arlington Sam Houston offensive guard Rod Huntley was a big pickup. He's an interesting story, actually starting his sophomore year as a quarterback before his coaches saw his potential on the offensive line.

"He was just one of our best athletes, so we had to get him on the field some how," Sam Houston coach George McFarland said. "Eventually it became clear to both him and to our coaches that he would be a great offensive lineman in college, so we moved him about halfway through the season."

It was another in-state product, Denton safety Aaron Sims, who pulled the trigger for the Miners first this week.

The story might not be over there, however, as Sims may look around.

"I'm still open, but I am committed," Sims said. "I'm going to take some visits. I don't remember which ones I'm going to try and see, but I'm definitely going to trip to a few schools. I told the UTEP coaches that I was going to keep looking around."

Official visitors are also looking very good for UTEP. Quarterback Andy Dalton became the first known visitor while receiver Da'Marcus Griggs and defensive end Robert Williams are the next two scheduled for this month.

UTEP is Griggs' only offer and Williams holds several offers, including Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Iowa and Iowa State, but has held the Miners high throughout his recruitment.

Indeed Price is making recruiting a big priority for UTEP and that has that long-suffering program looking toward a big future.

Southern Miss commitment looking around?

Southern Miss was the first team to locate and identify Covington (La.) St. Paul defensive end David Boyce. After Boyce jumped on his first offer, it looks like things may be changing.

LSU, Memphis, and Louisville apparently have not given up and Boyce looks now to take trips.

"All of my officials will be taken and one of those will be to Southern Miss," Boyce said. "I am going to the LSU-Auburn game in a couple of weeks. I am still listening to other schools, it's not over."

His commitment could be wavering.

Tulsa's Norton intends on taking trips

At first, Cedar Hill, Texas athlete Jerrell Norton wanted to get his recruitment over with. The lack of attention since his commitment has left him wondering.

It looks like the Tulsa commitment is going to look around to schools such as Texas A&M, SMU, Kansas, and others. He has spoken with the coaches about his intentions, but could go from a soft commitment to a de-commitment depending on how trips go.

"It's like I told coach (Todd) Graham, I love Tulsa and they have a few players from my high school that are up there," Norton said. "Again, I have to make the decision based on my feelings and where I really want to go. It's a great place to be, I'm just not sold completely."

TCU and especially Kansas look to be the major players in trying to sell Norton somewhere else. Many believe that only one trip could leave Tulsa with one less commitment.

Playing time has Bynes eyeing UCF

There is a national list of schools that have offered Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson quarterback Herb Bynes but George O'Leary and UCF may have an inside track.

The fact that the Knights coaching staff is tempting playing time has Bynes heavily leaning towards a visit.

"I might go to the UCF games this Saturday," Bynes said. "It depends on my schedule. They've got some option in their new offense and they also throw the ball almost every down. Plus, they're short on QB's."

UCF has also cracked the top five of Bynes. He will take all visits before deciding, but Central Florida has to like its chances.

Houston waiting on receivers

One of the most notable positions that the Houston Cougars are in need of this year is wide receiver. Now, with offers on the table, it's wait-and-see time to see if commitments follow.

Prospects such as La Marque, Texas wide receiver Jared Perry may be long shots but several other prospects are looking good for the Cougars.

Ashdown, Ark., wide receiver Dee Williams has Houston in his top five and looks to take in a game this season. Missouri's Kris Heard and his defensive back teammate Antonio Gully would like to play together, which plays well for Houston who has offered both.

One of the better chances has to be Dallas (Texas) Kimball wide receiver Rod Houston who was injured again towards the beginning of a season. However, Houston seems to be sticking by its offer and is in great position.




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