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Updates on Joyce, Travis

By mrasor Published: December 26, 2007

Men's basketball
The ABJ's Michael Beaven updated readers on how Romeo Travis (Spain) and Dru Joyce (Germany) are doing in Europe.
There is still more than a month remaining in recruiting season, but the Zips seem to be having their worst year since J.D. Brookhart's arrival, according to the recruiting Web sites.

    Here is a list of the current verbal commitments...
    Adam Bice -- OL, two stars. He had no other scholarship offers. Marvase Byrd -- DB, two stars. With offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Minnesota and West Virginia, Byrd is the most sought-after commitment so far. He ran for 971 yards on 90 carries as a running back, too. Kevin Funches -- DB, two stars. He's a junior college player from the same school as Miguel Graham. James Harvey -- DE, two stars. lists him as an offensive guard. He will fit in nicely as a DE in the 3-3-5 (or 3-4 if my Christmas wish is granted). Jordan Miller -- QB, two stars. The coaches like this pocket passer. He will be the Zips only QB recruit this season. Nate Schuler -- LB, two stars. Akron was his only offer. says he's a safety. Norman Shuford -- RB, two stars. Akron grabbed this speedy, yet short, runner over all three directional Michigans. Brian Wagner -- LB, two stars. Akron was the only offer for this Dayton native. does not list him. Manley Waller -- DB, two stars (one on He has great hands, is an elusive runner and sure tackler. Waller could be an interception machine in college. Mitch Straight -- OL, one star. At 6-foot-6, 290, he's a big dude. says he could play offensive or defensive tackle. Akron was his only offer and he's not listed on

As you can see, there are quite a few players who committed to Akron without having other scholarship offers. It's sort of like dating. You can judge your progress by seeing if you're getting the girls that everyone else wants.
For that reason, I put more credibility in the amount of offers a player has received than how many stars the Web sites give them.
Coaches also have more riding on their assessments. A poor choice on a recruit has four years of ramifications. Their evaluations are probably more thorough.
That said, the Zips are doing OK in recruiting so far, but probably not as well as last season, when they were a year removed from a MAC Championship. Then again, this year the coaches have a more concrete promise of a stadium in 2009 or 2010.
The team is pursuing several high-level junior college players, so maybe Akron can catch up with Miami, Temple and even Ohio (who landed a four-star junior college QB).
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