Dec. 30, 2005
By Tom Lemming, CSTV Recruiting Editor
CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming is out on the road on his NCSA tour that will take him to 46 states during which he will see more than 1,000 of the top high school football prospects in the country. Here is the first of his reports:
I left Chicago at 3 a.m. in the midst of a dense fog. It took 2 ½ hours to escape the mist before hitting St. Louis. My first stop was Columbia, Mo., home of the Missouri Tigers. I visited with QB Logan Gray from Rock Bridge High School. I think Gray is one of the top juniors in the land. Gray is 6-2, 175 with a whip-like arm and great vision. He is the best QB in the Show Me State.
I then cut through the middle of the state to get to the northwest section of Arkansas, the best section of that state for talent. First stop was state champion Springdale HS, home of CSTV Offensive Player of the Year Mitch Mustain. I saw PK Alex Tejada, who had a 55-yard field goal this season. Another top talent is LB Jamie Jones, a fast, hard-hitting backer. Zach Pianalto, a 6-5 OLB who can run also has impressed.
I then headed over to Fayetteville HS. There, I met Cam Walker, a 6-1, 200-pound wide receiver and Dallas McCutcheon, a 5-11 QB who threw for more than 1500 yards and rushed for more than 600 yards this season. Also, there is Jake Arnold, a 6-0, 175-pound CB who is the grandson of legendary Arkansas coach Frank Broyles.
The best WR in the state is 5-11, 175-pound Josh Tresvant. He caught 66 passes for 1107 yards this season. He plays for Morrilton HS and is a 4.0 student. His teammate, CB Freddie Burton is a strong tackler is 6-2, 185.
QB Matt Simpson is 6-1, 205. He doesn't look like a QB but boy does he play like one. He is from Shiloh Christian HS in Springdale, Arkansas. He threw for 4387 yards and 52 TDs this season. He is also a 4.0 student. Crosby Tuck, a WR, caught 67 passes for 1443 yards while playing with Simpson.
The best offensive linemen in Arkansas and one of the premier players in the country, Lee Ziemba is 6-7, 295 and plays at Rogers HS. He is big, has great feet and is incredibly athletic. He will be one of the top players on the line in the land. I will be hard-pressed to find a better player nationally.
Next, was the state's TE, Grant Freeman, a 6-7, 245-pound specimen from Paris. The thing that stands out about Freeman is his hands. He has huge hands. He also wears size 19 shoes. When you get a guy like that you can be sure he will turn into an offensive tackle when he finally grows up.
The Northwest section of Arkansas has become the go-to place in the state of Arkansas. It is the fastest growing part of the state. One player of note is Kodi Burns, a QB from Fort Smith. He may turn out to be the best player in Arkansas. The 6-2, 185-pounder compiled more than 3,000 yards of total offense this season and is destined to be one of the most recruited players in the nation in 2006.
A couple other players in the rest of the state to watch are David Williams, a DE from Central Arkansas Christian HS in Little Rock. He is 6-4, 250. Another is Jake Bequette, a 6-5, 235 DE from Little Rock Catholic who is coming on as a pass rusher.
Finally, I visited with the No. 1 QB in Texas and one of CSTV's Top 10 juniors in the country. His name is Ryan Mallett, a 6-6, 235-pounder from Texas High in Texarkana. He threw for 2300 yards and 23 touchdowns. I saw Ryan at the Michigan Summer Camp, where he outthrew the more heralded senior QBS, Pat Devlin and Neal Caudle. Mallett already has several offers, including Texas and Michigan, who both have said they will offer him on signing day.
The next updates will be from Tyler and Longview, Texas, and Shreveport, Jonesboro, Lafayette and Baton Rouge, La., early next week. Until then, happy travels and a Happy New Year to everyone.
Tom Lemming is CSTV's football recruiting editor. He appears regularly on CSTV's Generation Next show, and maintains rankings and offers analysis on CSTV.com.