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Massive recruiting update

By mrasor Published: December 18, 2007

Here's a recap of some of the new offers, verbal commitments and notes during the past month of recruiting season.

    New verbal...
    Brian Wagner, linebacker, Dayton Offers: Akron Height: 6-2 Weight: 215 Speed: 4.6 Notes: I can't find much on him. He certainly has enough speed to play weakside linebacker in Division I-A.

    New offers...
    Deryn Bowser, wide receiver, Los Angeles Harbor C.C., Calif. Offers: Akron, Kansas State, Oregon State and Stony Brook Height: 6-foot-3 Weight: 215 Speed: 4.5 Notes: Bowser also hears from Kansas State and West Virginia. He enjoyed his trip to campus on Nov. 30. Receivers coach Mauro Monz is recruiting him. gives Bowser four stars. This would be a huge catch for the Zips. Bowser would play immediately -- possibly next to David Harvey.
    Kevin Finney, wide receiver, Lake Forest, Ill. Offers: Akron and Richmond Height: 6-6 Weight: 202 Speed: 4.8 Notes: Finney might be a tight end in college if he can pack on about 50 pounds. He started high school as a quarterback. says he is very skilled. A lot of Big Ten schools are toying with offering a scholarship. The closest BCS school is probably Iowa State. If the Cyclones offer, it will be a two-team race. Until then, the Zips look to be a great position. Brian Callahan is recruiting Finney for the Zips.
    Aiona Key, wide receiver, Mt. San Antonio C.C., Calif. Offers: Akron, Utah and Utah State Height: 6-4 Weight: 200 Notes: Key calls himself an "explosive receiver" who likes to go up for jump balls in the end zone. He recently visited Utah and enjoyed himself.
    Sterlin James, wide receiver, College of the Sequoias, Calif. Offers: Akron Height: 6-6 Weight: 210 Speed: 4.6 Notes: James planned to attend Louisville before he didn't qualify last year. He is getting a lot of mail from Big 12 schools. His schools of interest include Oklahoma State, Nevada and Utah State.
    Grant Valentine, defensive end, Glendale C.C., Calif. Offers: Akron, Fresno State, Utah State, Kansas State, Ole Miss, NC State and West Virginia Height: 6-3 Weight: 240 Speed: 4.5 Notes: gives this super athlete three stars. gives him four. He has "high" interest in Fresno State, so that's probably where he'll wind up.
    Julian Whitehead, cornerback, Hargrave Military Academy, Va. Offers: Akron Height: 5-10 Weight: 180 Speed: Not listed Notes: said he showed good footwork during a recent combine at Hargrave. Whitehead went to high school in Georgia.
      Will Fleming from Hoban picked up offers from Hawaii and Boise State. bumped the safety up to three-star status. He visited Boise on Dec. 14. Someone needs to explain to me why these far-west schools are recruiting mid-level prospects in Northeast Ohio. At one point, Fleming seemed certain to commit to Akron, where his dad is defensive coordinator. Now, who knows?
      Larry Dawson picked up a third offer. The Akron North running back has offers from Akron, Bowling Green and Army.
      Whitney Mercilus committed to Illinois over Akron and several BCS schools. The Zips never seemed to be an option for the defensive end.

    Men's basketball
      While we're at it, here are some players in the 2009 class who are interested in Akron...
      Carl Jones, point guard, Garfield Heights, Ohio Offers: Akron, Kent State, Miami, Cleveland State and Oakland Height: 5-10 Weight: 160 Notes: Despite their proximity, Akron and Kent don't compete too often for basketball recruits. Jones has great quickness, deep shooting range and superb ball-handling. He is on pace to be academically eligible. Xavier, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota might also be close to offering. Jones really seems to like Michigan, where he visited during Midnight Madness.
      Anthony Jaskulski, shooting guard, Beaver Falls, Pa. Offers: None Height: 6-3 Notes: He has interest in Akron, Memphis, Pittsburgh, UCLA and Virginia Tech. (Good luck, kid.)
      Nik Garcia, shooting guard, Skokie, Ill. Offers: Akron, Illinois State, Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois Height: 6-6 Weight: 175 Notes: calls him a long-range bomber. Rivals does not have a listing for him.
      Robert Johnson, small forward, Bedford, Ohio Offers: Akron, Cleveland State, Western Michigan and Oakland Height: 6-6 Weight: 190 Notes: He told Rivals that there is a 7-out-of-10 chance that he will play at the same college as his two top high school teammates. One has already committed to Cleveland State. The other has no offers. That would probably make the Vikings a top choice. Reading his bio, he looks like a pure wing player, much like Nate Linhart. Those types of small forwards have not succeeded in Keith Dambrot's system. Other schools of interest include Cincinnati, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin and Xavier.
      Logan Thomas, small forward, Lynchburg, Va. Offers: Akron, Duquesne, Tulane, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Richmond and Liberty Height: 6-6 Weight: 220 Notes: He has a 3.4 GPA. Thomas also has interest in many other bigger programs.
      Zeke Marshall, center, McKeesport, Pa. Offers: Akron, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech Height: 6-11.5 Weight: 210 Notes: Marshall comes from the same high school as Steve McNees. He also has interest in Boston College, Duquesne, Penn State and St. Bonaventure. Marshall wants to go to an "it" program (whatever that means) and has visited Pitt and Akron unofficially. At this point, Marshall is only a shotblocker with loads of potential for everything else. He needs to pack on some weight and work on his offense. Clearly, he could be the best player in the MAC at Akron. gives him three stars.
      Garrick Sherman, center, Kenton, Ohio Offers: Akron, Iowa, Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio) Height: 6-10 Weight: 230 Notes: Rivals and Scout give him three stars. Iowa appears to be the leader at this point, but he also likes Notre Dame and Virginia Tech.


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