ZipsNation.org moderator Captain Kangaroo (a credible source) is reporting Akron received a verbal commitment from Pittsburgh linebacker Aaron Williams.
Williams, whom Scout.com calls the 24th best weakside linebacker in the nation, is the most talented player that Akron was pursuing with a scholarship offer.
Williams visited UA in early December and called it a beautiful campus. Scout.com's three-star recruit rated his visit as a nine out of 10. Toledo was the other finalist for the 6-foot, 196-pound player's services. Buffalo also offered a scholarship. Marshall, Pittsburgh and Michigan State showed interest as well.
I can't confirm this as 100 percent accurate just yet, but Captain has never led me astray before.
Here are some other Zips targets you should pay attention to in the next month...
- Morgan Williams, a Rivals.com three-star recruit from Canton McKinley. The nation's 27th best running back likely will choose between Akron and Indiana.
- Rontez Miles, a Scout.com three-star recruit from Woodland Hills, Pa. The safety is sifting through scholarship offers from Akron, Colorado, Kent State, Pittsburgh, Temple, Toledo and West Virginia.
- Haroon Brown, the nation's No. 22 fullback according to Scout.com. The Virginia product will decide between Miami (Ohio) and Akron.
- Miles Stroter, a highly ranked offensive tackle from Chicago. Zips assistant Brian Callahan is trying to lure Stroter away from Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Western Michigan, according to Rivals.
- Dan Marcoux, a 6-4, 335 defensive tackle from New Jersey. He has offers from Akron, Kent State and Delaware. Michigan State, Rutgers and Maine also have interest.
- Pete Rolf, the nation's No. 68 strongside linebacker, according to Scout.com. It will come down to Oregon and Akron, but the Ducks are the frontrunners.
Perhaps Keith Dambrot is using the media to send a message to his veteran big men, or maybe he means it when he says Quade Milum may be the team's best interior scorer.
Dambrot said Milum's confidence has skyrocketed, and obviously the coach is becoming more sure of his 6-7 high jumper's ability, too.
Those quotes are from Elton Alexander's Plain Dealer story. I'm a little surprised how much the PD has covered this Zips this year. Pleasantly surprised, that is.
- Tom Gaffney's ABJ story talks about Akron's effective man-to-man defense. I thought it was a bit odd Dambrot would open the game with a zone, considering YSU is a good shooting team. He abandoned it, and Akron took over.
- Penguins coach Jerry Slocum said afterward that he hates playing nonconference games once the team begins its Horizon League portion of the schedule. What a baby. In the words of Herman Edwards, "You play to win the game." Nothing changes just because Akron isn't in your conference.
- The Tribune-Chronicle story said Akron and YSU are scheduled to play twice more as part of the current deal. Maybe Slocum will complain to reporters his bus driver hit too many bumps en route to Akron after next year's game.
- A Utah Jazz scout was in attendance last night. Quin Humphreys is my best guess as the reason.
We will find out immediately if Akron (7-5) can contend with the MAC's best.
Jodi Kest told the ABJ's Michael Beaven that BGSU (10-2) has the ideal program -- one she'd like to mimic at Akron.
I don't think anyone should expect a win tonight. As long as the Zips compete against the Falcons, I'll be pleased. If they do win, however, the expectations are much, much higher going into MAC play.
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