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Tom Lemming on Recruiting

CHAT LIVE With CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Wednesday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET, CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming enters the CSTV chat room. Tom will be taking all of your college football recruiting questions.

Tom Lemming

Recognized as the country's leading expert on college football recruiting and high school talent, Lemming's analyses and rankings of the country's leading high school athletes have been regularly featured in national publications. Lemming tirelessly logs thousands of miles each year to evaluate more than 1,000 of the top high school football players across the country. He is also the editor of Prep Football Report, considered to be the "bible of the recruiting industry".

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Tom won't be stopping by until 3:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 7th, but feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Good afternoon everyone and Welcome everyone to this week's chat with CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming.

Jon (Portland): What college(s) do you think will surprise people with the quality of their 2006 recruiting class? The top ranked teams are expected to do well, but I'm thinking about schools that are in transition.
Tom Lemming: Auburn is normally a Top 20 team, but it is having a real good year. Also, Florida is having a great year and has a shot at the recruiting title.

Mark (Chicago): Hi Tom, How is the Big Ten shaping up? How does Iowa look? thanks
Tom Lemming: After having a Top 10 class last season, Iowa will probably finish between 20 and 30 this year because of lack of talent in this class in Iowa and surrounding states. That said, I believe Iowa's staff is one of the top five evaluating staffs in the country. You can always count on them bringing in legit players.

Tom S. (NY, NY): Tom, With Mitch Mustain decommitting from U of Ark Monday, where does ND stand with him. If there's a chance he heads to South Bend, where does this leave Jones and Frazer?
Tom Lemming: The more likely scenario would be Mitch heading to Tennessee with new QB coach David Cutcliffe, who first got to know Mitch as the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. A more unlikely scenario would Zach Frazer leaving Notre Dame and Mustain climbing aboard.

Tom S. (NY, NY): Tom, Any goodnews for Coach Robinson next year? With the way things went this season, you'd have to think Delone Carter and Andrew Robinson have a shot at PT early next year. Will they be ready to step in and contribute early?
Tom Lemming: I think yes. There are not many good players standing in their way at Syracuse. The Syracuse recruiting class is a working in progress and the jury is out on whether it is a pretty good class or a poor class.

Tom Lemming: Leading. USC is the juggernaut everyone is afraid of. They have around six commitments but they have a legit shot at challenging Texas, ND, Florida and Georgia for the eventual recruiting crown.

Raul Rodriguez Claremont: Who is leading for Allen Bradford out of Colton.
Tom Lemming: I believe UCLA has a slight lead over USC. That was before the Trojan trouncing of the Bruins last weekend. Right now, it is probably a tossup.

Rockaway, NJ: Hey Tom I always enjoy your chats. Is Notre Dame still pursuing Terrence Austin with any intensity even though Rhema McKnight is coming back next year ?
Tom Lemming: No. Right now, ND will probably have to drop Terrence Austin due to lack of scholarships.

michael-san diego: tom, i am a big husky fan and i'm curious as to what u know about stephen schilling(ol) from wash. state. what school is he leaning towards?
Tom Lemming: I'm not sure. Bellevue HS usually sends its players to Washington. However, he had a great visit last weekend to Michigan and the Trojans of USC are right there at the top.

Nick (San Anselmo): Where do you see C.J. Gable and Darian Hagan ending up?
Tom Lemming: C.J. Gable wants to go to USC. It is a matter of who the Trojans want as a tailback. They are doing so well they can pick and choose as to whom they want. Darian Hagan, if his father remains at Colorado, would seem to have a good shot at playing in Boulder.

Lafayette, LA: What kind of recruiting year do you think UCF will have this year?
Tom Lemming: An oustanding year. Coach O'Leary has really done a remarkable job in two short years. The name UCF is on the lips of most of the top prospects in the state of Florida.

Jim Jones (Hernando,MS): Since my alma mater, Mississippi State defeated our arch rival school, Ole Miss, 35-14, do you think it will help us recruiting wise?
Tom Lemming: Yes, it will give the Bulldogs in-state credibility over the Rebels. They need this because Ole Miss head coach Ed Ogeron is a remarkable recruiter and is setting the tone for a Top 25 year for the Rebels.

Jaime (Louisville): Besides Chris Wells, how many other top players are close to commiting to Ohio State?
Tom Lemming: Conner Smith is an All-American en route to Columbus. And I believe the Buckeyes will land several other out of state blue-chippers in the next month and a half.

Tyler ( wichita): Tom, Who is finding the most success among Junior College players this year? Also, can you give a quick summary of how Nebraska is following up on their recruiting success from last year. Thanks.
Tom Lemming: Nebraska is having the most success with JC All-Americans. If they could land RB Kenny Wilson and WR Maurice Purifoy, it would be a huge get. These are the top two players in the JC ranks. Overall, Nebraska is at No. 7 and has a legit shot at the top five if it continues its impressive lack successes at recruiting, which has been given a major boost by the victory over Colorado.

Fernando, Oakland: Can you see any last minute surprises for Cal recruiting, like last year's pick up of DeSean Jackson? What kind of job is Cal doing this year? Go Bears!
Tom Lemming: Cal is once again steady, but not spectacular. If the Bears could beat UCLA on Terrence Austin and maybe get lucky on one of the top RBs in California then you could count the Golden Bears on a Top 20 finisher.

Mike (Denver): Who will be favored to win the big twelve north next year? Which 2006 recruits for Nebraska will make the biggest impact?
Tom Lemming: A surprising team in the Big 12 North could be Nebraska. The Cornhuskers finished strong and have great talent in their lower classes. I would say the JC players, of course. A couple names to watch are RB Kenny Wilson of El Dorado, Kansas, and a surprise TE Mike McNeill. from Kirkwood, Mo.

Charlie(fresno): where do you think percy harvin will end up?
Tom Lemming: Either USC or Florida. Right now USC might have a slight lead but the Gators are coming on strong. If he goes to USC he ease the pain of losing Reggie Bush to the NFL, should he come out early as expected.

Tony-Mishawaka, IN: OK Tom let's get right to it. Were is Notre Dame at this moment in regards to McCoy and Young?
Tom Lemming: Right in the middle of the ballgame. I believe they have a slight lead with Young and are dead even on McCoy with USC, Miami and Oklahoma. Notre Dame is almost dead-even at No. 1 with Texas. The Irish have gotten commitments from C Dan Wenger, Ft. Lauderdale, and LB Toryan Smith from Rome, Ga. We learned this morning that Smith is going to announce for Notre Dame tonight.

Tom in Coronado: Tom, re: Dan Wenger's verbal to ND today, is he good enough to play as a Freshman and how does it affect ND's overall class?
Tom Lemming: No, he is not good enough. He should redshirt his freshman year. He is a four-star player with great potential but needs at least a year in the weight room. But I do believe new commitment Toryan Smith has the ability to play right away as an ILB for the Irish.

Fernando, Oakland: In class of 2006 or 2007, are there any RB's with Reggie Bush-type potential?
Tom Lemming: No.

tommy bomb: What's happening with Mitch Mustain? Who's behind the maneuvering?
Tom Lemming: Mitch is wary of the progress at Arkansas and is looking out for the future, which may not be in Fayetteville. He has not closed the door on the Razorbacks, just opened it to check out other schools. Tennessee is at the top of the list. This would be great news for Phil Fulmer coming off a poor season.

Matt - Dallas: Is Sam Young going to Florida? I keep hearing he is ND bound.
Tom Lemming: Right now, the schools in the lead are ND and Florida. He has yet to make an official visit. We may have to wait until mid-January for a final decision.

Rick, Los Angeles: Hey Tom, If ND lands Young,Caurfel, Mccoy and REuland, will that guarantee them the number one class, since it looks like Wegner gave his verbal today?
Tom Lemming: Wenger and Toryan Smith gave verbals today. If they do land Reuland, Young and McCoy it would be awfully tough to knock ND out of the top spot.

robby (San Diego): Tom who do you feel has the best oppurtunity to land big OL Sam Young?
Tom Lemming: Florida or Notre Dame.

herman coulter wash.d.c.: Tom Michigan lost four games this year how will they do in recruiting.
Tom Lemming: The Wolverines have a great system going and it is not affected by one average season. They are in the Top 10 now and have a great shot at staying there come signing day.

John (Copperas Cove, TX): Who do you currently see as the top prosepects in the state of Texas for the Class of 2007?
Tom Lemming: QB Ryan Mallett of Texarkana is the No. 1 player in the state for next year.

Robby (San Diego): Tom do you think ND will land Torryn Smith later today or is he going to stay down south?
Tom Lemming: As said early, Smith has committed to the Irish.

Marc (Mercedes, TX): What other recruits can Florida expect? Does Florida have a good chance of landing Percy Harvin?
Tom Lemming: Yes, I believe the Gators have a 50-50 shot with USC on landing Harving. They are in on several of the top prospects. The top schools with a shot at the recruiting title are Texas, ND, Florida, Georgia and USC.

Eric (Chicago): What teams in the Big 12 have the best chance to beat Texas in recruiting this year?
Tom Lemming: None. Absolutely none.

Ryan(Boston): Hi Tom, any idea if Sam Young is a package deal with Wenger?
Tom Lemming: No, he is not. It won't hurt Notre Dame's chances. Young is his own person and will make up his own mind. Definitely not a package deal. Even though Wenger is a four-star prospect he is the nation's premier center and is a legit prospect who had several big-time offers.

Josh (Pittsburgh, Pa): Who do you see rounding out ND's recruiting class?? Do you think it will be a top 2 class?
Tom Lemming: Yes, it will be a top two class and it will probably be rounded out by Matt Carufel, Konrad Reuland, Sam Young and either Gerald McCoy or Butch Lewis. That's after the two commitments today.

Phil (Austin): Who are some of the top kids in next years class that has impressed you so far?
Tom Lemming: The top player is QB Jimmy Clausen of Oaks Christian HS in West Lake Village, Ca. Next is RB John Clay from Racine Park, Wisconsin. There are four tailbacks that have played in the NFL in the last five years from Wisconsin. Clay is a better prospect than all of them.

Josh (Pittsburgh, PA): Will the BCS berth help WVU in recruiting?? any big names heading there???
Tom Lemming: Yes, the BCS berth will help the Mountaineers. However, it is a very weak year in-state so all their top players will have to come from Pennsylania, Ohio, Florida or New Jersey.

Matt (Tampa): Where do you see the rest of the STA Trio and Tim Tebow going.
Tom Lemming: Tebow is heading to Florida. He will choose the Gators over Alabama.

Jack South Bend IN.: I hear Toryan Smith will announce tonight at 6:30 where he will be heading,does Notre Dame have a good shot at landing him?
Tom Lemming: As we said before, he has already committed to Notre Dame so the suspense is over.

Jim (Iowa City): Where do you see theses top players committing to, Russell Okung, Adrian Clayborn, A.J. Wallace, Greg Davis, Jonas Mouton, and Ricky Thenarse?
Tom Lemming: Obviously, you are a Nebraska fan and the Cornhuskers have a legit shot at everyone mentioned.

Josh(Pittsburgh, PA): Come on Tom just one WVU question. Were you suprised with the success of Steve Slaton and Pat White based on last years evaluations?? and do you think WVU will land any big recruits this year???
Tom Lemming: Absolutely not with Steve Slaton. I had him as a five-star player in my magazine. It may have been a shock to others, but not me. I think next year when Jason Gwaltney is healthy the Mountaineers' running game will be even more effective.

Ryan (Bos): Tom, do you see Jimmy Clausen committing early next year to intice other top RBs and WRs to commit to his college choice?
Tom Lemming: Possibly, I believe ND and USC will be the frontrunners. If he commits early, it will likely be to ND. If he commits later, it will be to see how Mark Sanchez does at USC.

Kevin (Atlanta): I know that Georgia is having a great recruiting year so far, but are they in the running for any more top recruits before signing day?
Tom Lemming: Yes, Georgia is almost full. The Bulldogs only have a few scholarships left. They are still pursuing a few big names, but not many. One if Butch Lewis, the defensive lineman from Denver.

Dan (Omaha): How do you think Nebraska's class will finish and what top players do you see committing there to fill out their class?
Tom Lemming: Nebraska will finish between 5-10. This would be a great followup class to the No. 1 class of 2005. The players that Nebraska really wants are A.J. Wallace, who is looking at the Huskers and Penn State. They are battling USC and Michigan for Jonas Mouton and they really like DB Rickey Thenarase of Los Angeles Jordan. Also, Deuce Wright, a two-way back from Colton, Ca., is in the mix.

Matt (Topeka): Hey Tom, what of players like Demarco Murray and Staffon Johnson, and also the Olive Branch kids
Tom Lemming: Demarco Murray is looking at USC and Oklahoma. Staffon Johnson is looking at USC. The Summers Brothers and Alan Walker have several schools on their main hit list.

Gerry (Reading,PA): Tom , what's up with Jason Kates ?
Tom Lemming: He verbally committed to ND last summer and reneged. Now it looks as if the Irish may not have room for him. He is still in the mix with Penn State and Virginia and Notre Dame.

Richard Alta Loma: Dear Tom As the recruiting time comes to an end, do you think Weis will have had a better first class, then Pete Caroll's first year? Last year didn't count for Weis, he came in way too late.
Tom Lemming: Without a doubt. Charlie Weis' first full class will definitely be better than Pete Carroll's first full class.

Richard(Memphis): Do you think Weis is setting himself up for an even better class next year?
Tom Lemming: Yes, like USC the Irish will move up one level from the second level to the elite level in 2007, a place they have not been since 1990. Then, they had a No. 1 class and five No. 1 draft choices out of the group.

Dave(Chicago): Do the Irish have a better chance at Butch Lewis or McCoy? Which Irish recruits could start next year?
Tom Lemming: I believe it is fairly even. McCoy would be the top choice. Lewis has Georgia and USC ahead of ND, however his mother is a big fan of the Irish.

Dave(Chicago): Will George West commit early for the Irish? How will the Irish handle their lack of remaining spots this year?
Tom Lemming: I think George West is leaning toward being a midterm grad, which would open up a spot for ND's 28th commitment.

Brendan (Los Angeles): The USC Trojans only have a hanful of commits right now, but they are all great players. How do you think the USC recruiting class is shaping up?
Tom Lemming: They are the one everyone is afraid of every year now. When it is all said and done USC will be banging down the door at the national recruiting title. The Trojans will finish stronger htan anyone in the country.
Tom Lemming: He will be one of the nation's premier QBs and I think he will be one of the most recruited players in the state of Florida. He is the nephew of former Florida standout Scott Brantley.

Jay Hawaii: Do you think Notre Dame taking a lot of early committs hurst their push at the end to land the top recruits and limits them?
Tom Lemming: Yes. Notre Dame did what it had to do early before its success on the field put it at another level on recruiting. Four or five players were signed that would not have been signed at the end of the year.

Zach (Ohio): What big name kids this year that you have heard, might not qualify do to grades?
Tom Lemming: It is too early to answer that question. Once again, there will be at least 9-10 of the Top 100 looking to go to prep schools come the summer.

Brenner (Glasgow,MT): Tom- Who are your top three running backs in the class of 2007? Any Frontrunners for these backs at this point?
Tom Lemming: John Caly is the No. 1 guy.

Matt (Baltimore, Md): Tom, a big loss to the Seminoles on Saturday, then a crushing loss by a last second buzzer-beater to Duke on Sunday?!? Can you give a Hokie fan any good news on the recruiting front?
Tom Lemming: Yes, Frank Beamer is one of the top recruiters in the country. The loss to FSU will mean little to the top prospects in the East region and I look for the Hokies to finish strong.

Stephen (Donna, Texas): So is Ty Willingham hitting the links or the recruiting trail?
Tom Lemming: He is definitely on the recruiting trail. Washington is doing a good job in the Pacific Northwest. However, the key to the recruiting is how well the Huskie will do in recruiting in the state of California in the next two months.

Sean (Richmond, VA): Tom, Any idea on where Navarro Bowman will verbal to?
Tom Lemming: I recently talked to Navarro and dont bet against Penn State.

Ron(West Palm Beach): Is James Aldridge good enough to start over Darius Walker at Notre Dame?
Tom Lemming: He is good enough to share the workload with Darius Walker. He will add size and strength to the Notre Dame backfield.

Russell (NY): Which is a better QB? Clausen or Mallett? Is Mallett leaning anywhere?
Tom Lemming: Right now, Clausen is more polished. More of a Joe Montana precision-type passer. Mallett is more of a Drew Bledsoe with great size and arm strength. Mallett now has Michigan and Texas as his top two schools.
CSTV.com Moderator: That's all the time for today. We will have another chat with Tom next Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 3 p.m. Thanks, everybody.

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