New temporary PSU transfer rules go overboard

by Marty Valania

Has anybody actually read what opposing schools are allowed to do to current Penn State football players right now? And does anybody think this is a good idea?

Look, I have absolutely no qualms with any Penn State football player that wants to transfer. I have absolutely no problem with the NCAA easing restrictions on Penn State football players transferring. They should be able to leave and be able to play right away. It makes perfect sense.

In addition, I have no qualms with many of the penalties that the NCAA levied against Penn State. This one part of the transfer rule, however, makes no sense to me.

Here are the “new” rules in black and white.

“The NCAA recognizes that current football student-athletes will be negatively impacted by the Penn State sanctions,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for Academic and Membership Affairs. “We want to allow those eligible student-athletes as much flexibility as possible while still being mindful of some of the transfer safeguards our membership has put in place.”

Okay. That sounds good to me.

What doesn’t make sense is that every college in the country can now recruit Penn State football players – EVEN IF THEY HAVEN’T EXPRESSED ANY INTEREST IN LEAVING.  The suspension of contact rule has been suspended. That is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Phones started ringing Monday morning – just after Mark Emmert got done speaking.

We’ve all heard the rumors. Silas Redd to USC being the chief among them. But I also saw that one SEC coach offered three Penn State players scholarships before noon on Monday. ACC schools, UConn, Rutgers, Tennessee, Ohio State, the list of vultures goes on and on.

Granted, the NCAA wants to punish Penn State football into submission. That much is clear. But allowing this is the absolute most hypocritical thing they can do.

As I stated earlier, if a player wants to transfer he should be able to contact any school in the country. He should be able to pick where he wants to go and go there and play immediately.

But allowing other schools to contact them minutes after they just heard about these unprecedented sanctions is callous and a terrible precedent to set. These players have had their lives turned upside down and now you’re letting the recruiting sharks at them without having the opportunity to even digest the situation. It’s just plain horrible.

In addition, they are allowing schools to exceed their scholarship limits to accept Penn State players. Really? I’m not making this stuff up. This is how the NCAA thinks is a good way to change the football culture – by allowing coaches to attack other rosters and exceed their scholarship limits. At any other time these are all violations.

Does anybody really think that this is “being mindful of the transfer safeguards the membership has put in place?”

Does Penn State need to be penalized? Absolutely. Do the players need to be penalized any more than they already have been? Absolutely not.

Does this rule somehow benefit the victims? If so, fail to see how.

I understand punitive penalties. I don’t understand overturning fundamental rules that have been safeguards forever.

To learn more about eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

NCAA sanction announcement could cause havoc on PSU’s 2013 class

If you think recruiting is a crazy business with lots of upheaval, just wait until NCAA President Mark Emmert announces his sanctions against Penn State.

The announcement is set for 9 a.m. Eastern Monday morning and is expected to include a $30-$60 million fine, a multiple year bowl ban and “crippling” scholarship losses.

Despite the Sandusky scandal, Coach Bill O’Brien and his staff have pieced together a highly ranked recruiting class – ranked in the top 15 of services such as, 247Sports, and ESPN. The class has been led by stalwarts Adam Breneman and Christian Hackenberg and those two have rallied many other high school stars into the Penn State 2013 recruiting class.

Even after the Freeh report was released two weeks ago, all of the recruits have been steadfast in their commitments to PSU.

That changed over the weekend as New Jersey defensive tackle flipped from Penn State to North Carolina. Others have noted that they might look around or “keep their options open.”

Other recruits are just plain sick and angry about being asked about their commitments every hour of the day. Here’s what four-star defensive end from New Jersey Garrett Sickels had to say on Twitter.

That’s probably good advice but not how the media or social media world works these days and speculation is officially rampant.

In addition to Hackenberg, Breneman and Sickels, Penn State’s 2013 recruiting class as of today includes Brandon Bell, Zach Bradshaw, Curtis Cothran, Ross Douglas, William Fuller, Zayd Issah, Dorian Johnson, Brendon Mahon, Andrew Nelson, and Neiko Robinson.

All of them are three and four-star recruits. All of them would be desired by other schools.

In addition, social media has been full of posts talking about college coaches getting ready to pick the Penn State roster like vultures.

Recruiting is a crazy business that is getting crazier all the time. Depending on what Emmert says tomorrow, we may be on the verge of the craziest recruiting story we’ve ever seen.

For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Chesapeake Bowl North team tryout camp’s top players compete for spots

A steady five-hour rain held down attendance at the Chesapeake Bowl’s North team tryout camp Saturday at Cardinal O’Hara High in Springfield, Pa. but there was still a strong contingent of Division I prospects on hand.

The Chesapeake Bowl, run by the Mid-Atlantic Football Foundation, is in its third season and will be played Sunday, Dec. 30 in Prince Georges County, Md.

The majority of the top performers at the camp appear headed for the upper crust of FCS schools. Here’s a look at the top players on the day.

The team will be picked from the tryout camps as well as from a pool of other top players in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.

CURTIS COTHRAN – 2013 class – Council Rock North (Pa.) Defensive End (committed to Penn State)

Cothran, a three-star prospect by all the recruiting services, has already committed to Penn State and remained solid with that commitment Saturday. He was easily the best player in the camp. He has great footwork, good speed and strength. He was clearly a notch above the other lineman. At 6-4, 235 pounds, he has a large frame that can hold more bulk and weight.

JORDYN BENNETT – 2013 class – Glen Mills (Pa.) Garnet Valley High – Running Back/Cornerback

Bennett is a two-star recruit out of Garnet Valley High. He is a 5-10, 160 pounder with 4.4 speed, that is one of the leading rushers in southeastern Pa. His speed is clearly his biggest asset and most coveted by FCS and FBS schools alike. They also would like to see him play cornerback, a position he hasn’t had a lot of time at so far. He is working on his defensive skills this summer and hopes to make an impact on that side of the ball in the fall. He is an outstanding student and has Ivy interest as well.

WESLEY HILLS – 2013 class – Wildwood (N.J.) Linebacker/Running Back

Hills could be a real sleeper and a great get for some FBS school. He’s a linebacker and running back at Wildwood but look for him to emerge as a safety at the next level. At 6-2, 195 pounds, he showed he could run with anybody. He also showed a willingness to play anywhere the coaches wanted. He said CAA schools like Old Dominion and Towson have showed interest as well as Bucknell and even Boston College.

MILEAK FORD – 2013 class – Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway High Tight End/Linebacker

Ford is a 6-3, 215-pound tight end/linebacker who will most likely be targeted for the offensive side of the ball at the next level. He has soft hands, runs great routes and a solid body. On a high school team filled with prospects, Ford is probably overlooked a little bit. An excellent student with a great attitude, look for CAA, Patriot and Ivy schools to come knocking.

TODD JETER – 2013 class – Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway High – Cornerback

Jeter is a 6-0, 170 pound defensive back that has FBS corner skills. He is physical enough to play press coverage and has great closing speed. He appears to be headed the JUCO route but don’t be surprised if he turns up at a FBS or an upper crust FCS school in two years.

XAVIER WILSON – 2013 class – Cinnaminson (N.J.) – Defensive End

Wilson is a 6-3, 250 pounder that plays both defensive end and tight end in high school. He will definitely be looked at more as a defensive end at the next level. He is quick off the ball with good feet and strength. He could make an impact on the FCS level.

RONALD WOMACK – 2013 class – Philadelphia West Catholic High – Wide Receiver

Womack, a 5-11, 180-pounder, was the top receiver in the camp. He has good speed and good hands. His routes were also strong. In addition, he has enough upper body strength to get off the ball and be physical when needed. Like many others at the tryout, he could be a help to a good FCS program.

RYAN AMMERMANN – 2013 class – Malvern Prep (Pa.) Wide Receiver/Safety

Ammermann is 6-2, 205 pounds and plays both wide receiver and safety. He played as a junior as wide receiver but not on the defensive side of the ball. It appears, though, as those his skills may have him  playing safety at the next level. Ammermann is quick with good hands and strong. He was very competitive throughout the day. Once colleges get tape of him at safety expect interest to increase. Currently, he is being looked at by CAA and Patriot League schools.

JOSEPH BARRETT – 2013 class – Malvern Prep (Pa.) Linebacker

At 6-1, 220 Barrett plays offensive line and defensive end at Malvern Prep. Look for him to be looked at as an outside linebacker at the next level. He has good strength and speed and a quick first step. Currently he is being looked at by Ivy League and CAA schools.



Chesapeake Bowl North team tryouts July 14 at Cardinal O’Hara

Tryouts for the Chesapeake Bowl North team selection camp will be Saturday, July 14 at Cardinal O’Hara High in Springfield, Pa. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is $85 and begins at 9 a.m. at the school. Click here to register online. According to the Chesapeake Bowl website, the players at the camp will be coached by former NFL and college players, college coaches and top area high school coaches.

In addition, recruiting analysts from Rivals and other recruiting services will be on hand.

The Chesapeake Bowl is put on by the Mid-Atlantic Football Foundation and the tryout camp is sponsored by

The game is the premiere event of the Mid Atlantic Football Foundation.  It is a senior only all-star football game with players from the North (New Jersey,PennsylvaniaandDelaware) competing against players from the South (Maryland,WashingtonD.C., Virginia andWest Virginia).

This year will mark the third Chesapeake Bowl. In the first two years, the event has had 170 players that received Division I scholarships and 150 that have been ranked by recruiting services.

This year’s selection camp is open to underclassmen (class of 2014 and 2015).  These players will have an opportunity to be evaluated by for early exposure and recognition in the 2014 and 2015 classes.  They will also be able to receive an early invitation to next year’s Chesapeake Bowl Selection Camp.

This year’s North squad will be coached by Jeff Weachter of Bishop McDevitt High.

Cardinal O’Hara’s street address is 1701 Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064.

For more information on eastern football recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email


Eastern Christian’s Rodgers picks USC over Auburn

According to, Khaliel Rodgers, of Eastern Christian Academy, has given his verbal commitment to the University of Southern California.

Rodgers, a unanimous four-star recruit in the scouting services, was listed as the 64th overall best recruit in the country, according to Rivals.

The former Red Lion Christian Academy offensive lineman is a standout guard, who is 6-foot-3, 300 pounds. He had offers from 15 schools and was leaning toward Auburn until he was recently offered by USC.

“USC has a lot of advantages,” said Rodgers’ coach Dwayne Thomas, who knows that two of his other players – Kenny Bigelow and David Sills will be attending the school. “They’re in Los Angeles.There is no NFL team. They have a great fan base. They have great academics. It’s just a great school.”

Bigelow, a 6-3, 295-pound, five-star defensive end, is ranked as the sixth overall recruit in the country by Rivals. Sills is a 2015 quarterback prospect that has already committed as well.

Bigelow and Rodgers are close and when Thomas was visiting USC recently he had a conversation with USC coach Lane Kiffin about the situation.

Kiffin just wanted to be sure that Bigelow was secure and asked Thomas if Rodgers were to pick Auburn was there any chance that Bigelow would flip. Thomas told him that if Rodgers gets an offer from USC, then there was a better chance of Bigelow flipping Rodgers.

As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened.

Rodgers, on Wednesday, decided to join his high school teammates in Los Angeles.

For more information on eastern recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

USC, Auburn battle over four-star offensive guard

by Marty Valania

Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton Md.) coach Dwayne Thomas was recently talking with USC coach Lane Kiffin about two of Thomas’ players – but it wasn’t about USC commits Kenny Bigelow and David Sills. Instead conversation was about Bigelow and Khaliel Rodgers, who is undecided.

Bigelow appears to be a secure USC verbal but Kiffin just wanted to be sure and asked Thomas if Rodgers were to pick Auburn was there any chance that Bigelow would flip. Thomas told him that if Rodgers gets an offer from USC, then there was a better chance of Bigelow flipping Rodgers.

Bigelow, a 6-3, 295-pound, five-star defensive end, is ranked as the sixth overall recruit in the country by Rivals and is very tight with Rodgers. Rodgers, a 6-3, 300-pound, four-star offensive guard has offers from 15 schools including Auburn, Boston College, Connecticut, Hawaii, Houston, Iowa, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple, UCLA, West Virginia, Western Kentucky – and now USC.

Rodgers, who Thomas feels very strongly will play in the NFL one day, still has not made any verbal commitment. He did, however, note on his Twitter account that USC had offered.

“USC has a lot of advantages,” said Thomas, who knows that both Bigelow and Sills (2015 QB prospect) will be attending the school. “They’re in Los Angeles.There is no NFL team. They have a great fan base. They have great academics. It’s just a great school.”

Thomas knows what he’s talking about when it comes to recruiting. He was on the recruiting trails for many years as an assistant coach at Tennessee State. He also has 20 players on his current roster that have scholarship offers.

Auburn, though, has its own connections with Jahmere Irvin-Sills, also from Eastern Christian Academy, already having verballed to Auburn.

Irvin-Sills, is a 5-10, 175 pound, three-star cornerback, who verbally committed to Auburn last month.

It will be interesting to see which school Rodgers ends up choosing, but it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if he joins high school teammates somewhere.

For more information about eastern recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Opinion: Are camps and 7-on-7 tournaments good for the players?

By Marty Valania

The Opening just ended and certainly provided a ton of fodder for recruitniks all over the country this past weekend.

The Opening is where 150 of the nation’s top prospects were flown to Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. to compete against each other in combine-like agility drills and 7-on-7 team competitions. The four-day event was managed by Nike and ESPN and provided ESPNU with several hours of programming Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

From a viewer’s standpoint, I’m not sure it made for great television. But it was interesting to see some of the names we’ve been reading about for the last year. Whether it was actually good TV or not is just one of the arguments that came out of the weekend.

The debates ranged from who was the best quarterback of the weekend (it seemed that USC commit Max Browne won the majority of praise from the multitude of recruiting analysts that also attended) to who will have the best class by the end of the recruiting season to whether these types of event were worthwhile at all.

I read numerous posts that essentially said that these types of events mean nothing as compared to real high school football games played in pads. And while I agree that these events certainly shouldn’t be evaluated the same as real high school football games, I do think there is value to them.

You name the event – from The Opening, Elite 11 and the Rivals100 Challenge to more local and regional events like the Elite 25 Showcase in Lancaster last month – and it provides competition and the ability to see top players together. No, it’s not the same as seeing them play in a game. However, it does provide an avenue to evaluate.

Some people are upset that some of these camps charge players to attend. Some are upset that 7-on-7 tournaments are turning into something akin to the AAU basketball circuit.

Both are concerns.

To those, however, I say, yes, those are concerns and these events should be monitored so they don’t get out of hand. But these events also bring opportunity.

For example, there are tryouts Saturday for the Chesapeake Bowl North team. The tryouts are sponsored by Rivals and it seems that Rivals will have analysts there to evaluate players.

Some are upset that the players have to pay to attend the tryouts and think that the people that select the teams already have the best players in mind. In essence, they think this is just a way to get money.

Let’s just say that a player who would typically not get chosen for the game (if there was just a selection committee and no tryout opportunity) goes to this tryout and shines. He has a great tryout and this leads him to being written up by national recruiting analysts and chosen for the game.

More importantly than being chosen for the game, his name gets out there and maybe it leads to the opportunity to be scouted this fall in real games. How he does there will determine if he gets the opportunity for a scholarship – but that possibility may have stemmed from his tryout.

Maybe this won’t be the outcome for the majority of players that attend the tryout or a 7-on-7 tournament. But it is a possibility.

And if you’re a player that thinks he’s good enough, all you want is chance. Events like these may give that chance that might not otherwise come. Certainly there are concerns to be wary of and parents and coaches should do their due diligence on an event before sending their players there. And, let’s face it, the players still have to back it up with great play during the season – but it’s an opportunity.

I’m all for giving players as many opportunities as possible. Camps, showecases and 7-on 7s provide just that. It’s then up to the player to take advantage of those opportunities.

For more information on eastern recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Nation’s and region’s top talent at The Opening

If you’re looking for many of the nation’s top prospects and many of the people that follow their every move, they’ll be in Beaverton, Ore. this weekend for The Opening – a blue chip football camp being held at Nike headquarters.

The invite-only event is run by ESPN and Nike and last year saw NFL stars Larry Fitzgerald, Ndamukong Suh, Patrick Peterson, Ray Rice and Dwayne Bowe coach the players in a variety of drills.

If you can’t make it to Oregon to watch, you will have the opportunity to check it out on ESPNU. There will be a show at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

One hundred fifty of the nation’s top recruits will be at the event including 15 from the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to three days of great competition, The Opening provides a platform for some of the prospects to make their verbal commitments to colleges. One of those will be Alex Anzalone of Wyomissing, Pa.

Anzalone recently narrowed his choices down to Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State. He announced via Twitter last week that he will be making his decision this weekend. According to various reports, there are strong cases to be made for each one of his candidates. His will be one of the more noteworthy of the weekend – especially here in the East with the hordes of both Penn State and Notre Dame fans.

Other regional participants include Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va., QB and Penn State recruit), Eli Woodard (Vorhees, N.J. CB and Ohio State recruit), Kendall Fuller (Olney, Md., cornerback, undecided), Derrick Green (Richmond, Va. RB, undecided), Dorian Daniel (Olney, Md., LB, Clemson recruit), Matt Rolin (Ashburn, Va. LB,  South Carolina recruit), Holland Fisher (Midlothian, Va. LB Va. Tech recruit), David Williams (Philadelphia, Pa. WR, undecided), Tashawn Bower (Somerville, N.J. DE, Auburn recruit), Taquan Mizzell (Virginia Beach, RB, undecided), Doug Randolph (Woodberry Forest, VA, LB, Stanford recruit), Devin Butler (Washington, D.C. CB Notre Dame recruit), Tre’ Bell (Jersey City, N.J. CB, Florida recruit) and Paul Harris(Upper Marlboro, Md. WR, undecided).

Of the 150 players in attendance, 50 are from Florida (29) or California (21). In addition, there are 17 prospects from Texas. Those three states have the most players in any of the scouting rankings that you will see.

The event will begin in earnest Friday and run through Sunday.

For more information on eastern recruiting follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email

Comparing the recruiting rankings of Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247

So you think you know a good high school football player when you see him. You think you can do better than the so called recruiting “analysts” out there?

We’re here to tell you that you can go ahead and try – but it’s a far more difficult task than you can ever imagine. In fact, all four of the services we looked at do an outstanding job. It’s actually pretty amazing how well they do and how they can differentiate one skilled high school player from another when they’re all playing in different parts of the country against different competition.

Sure, the big combines and regional and national 7-on-7 tournaments have helped a lot. But it’s still about putting the pads on and hitting and that’s not so easy to analyze all the time.

When you look at the four recruiting rankings, I don’t know whether to be amazed about how many of the same kids show up in each or about how different they can be.

For example, highly touted Christian Hackenberg out of Fork Union, Va. is ranked No. 10 overall by ESPN, No. 24 overall by 247Sports, 143rd overall by Rivals and No. 175 by Scout. That is a significant difference.

Let’s look at how how many kids from some of the big recruiting states and some of the Eastern states are ranked in each of services. We looked at the top 250 in each of the rankings (247 for 247Sports).

Alabama – 8

California – 27

Florida -39

Georgia – 20

Maryland – 7

New Jersey – 7

Ohio – 16

Pennsylvania – 7

Texas – 28

Virginia 12

Alabama – 8

California – 29

Florida – 34

Georiga – 20

Maryland – 4

New Jersey – 5

Ohio – 17

Pennsylvania – 9

Texas – 41

Virginia – 7


Alabama – 8

California – 31

Florida – 32

Georgia – 25

Maryland – 5

New Jersey – 10

Ohio – 15

Pennsylvania – 6

Texas – 32

Virginia – 12


Alabama – 8

California – 23

Florida – 48

Georgia – 24

Maryland – 3

New Jersey – 9

Ohio – 16

Pennsylvania – 8

Texas – 37

Virginia – 12

Look at the discrepancy for Texas, which has 41 ranked in the top 250 of but only 28 in Virginia has 12 in three of the rankings but only 7 in Scout. Florida, a talent rich state, had as many as 48 and as few as 32.

Let’s take a look at the top 10s for each one.

Rivals Top 10

1.  Robert Nkmemdiche   Lawrenceville, GA (Clemson)

2.  Reuben Foster  Auburn, AL (Alabama)

3.  Kendall Fuller Olney, MD (undecided)

4.  Jaylon Smith, Fort Wayne, IN (Notre Dame)

5.  Max Browne, Sammamish, WA (USC)

6. Kenny Bigelow, Wilmington, DE (USC)

7.  Laremy Tunsil, Lake City, FL (undecided)

8.  Su’a Cravens  Murietta, CA (USC)

9.  Vernon Heargraves  Tampa, FL (undecided)

10.  Montravius Adams  Vienna, GA (undecided) Top 10

1.  Robert Nkmemdiche   Lawrenceville, GA (Clemson)

2.  Reuben Foster  Auburn, AL (Alabama)

3.  Max Browne, Sammamish, WA (USC)

4.  Laremy Tunsil, Lake City, FL (undecided)

5.  Su’a Cravens  Murietta, CA (USC)

6.  Montravius Adams  Vienna, GA (undecided)

7.  Antonio Conner  Batesville, MS (undecided)

8.  Kenny Bigelow, Wilmington, DE (USC)

9.  Eddie Vanderdoes  Auburn, CA (undecided)

10.  Robert Foster   Monaca, PA (undecided)

ESPN Top 10

1.  Robert Nkmemdiche   Lawrenceville, GA (Clemson)

2.  Reuben Foster  Auburn, AL (Alabama)

3.  Laremy Tunsil, Lake City, FL (undecided)

4.  Vernon Heargraves  Tampa, FL (undecided)

5.  Carl Lawson  Alpharetta, GA (Auburn)

6.  Mackensie Alexander  Immokolee, FL (undecided)

7. Ricky Seals-Jones  Sealy, TX (undecided)

8.  Dee Liner  Muscle Shoals, AL (undecided)

9.  Kenny Bigelow Wilmington, DE (USC)

10. Christian Hackenberg  Fork Union, VA (Penn State) (143 Rivals, 175 Scout, 24 247)

247Sports Top 10

1.  Robert Nkmemdiche   Lawrenceville, GA (Clemson)

2.  Reuben Foster  Auburn, AL (Alabama)

3.  Montravius Adams  Vienna, GA (undecided)

4.  Max Browne, Sammamish, WA (USC)

5.  Vernon Heargraves  Tampa, FL (undecided)

6.  Laremy Tunsil, Lake City, FL (undecided)

7.  Jaylon Smith, Fort Wayne, IN (Notre Dame)

8.  Su’a Cravens  Murietta, CA (USC)

9.  Kendall Fuller Olney, MD (undecided)

10.  Jonathan Allen  Ashburn, VA (Alabama)

There are a few differences – but not really a lot – when you consider the differences are mostly between players ranked inside or just outside the top 10. Hackenberg is the the outlier – with very high rankings and some considerably lower ones.

Incredibly, the top two are the same in all four rankings.

If one thing is to be learned by it all, it’s that recruiting rankings and the science of it all, although it has improved immeasurably over the years, is still an example of inexact science.

Recruiting notes – Anzalone sets date for choice; Eastern Christian Academy shines at 7-on-7; Andre Patton also has big tournament

Anzalone to make choice this weekend

Standout Wyomissing Area linebacker Alex Anzalone tweeted over the weekend that he will be making his college decision on Friday or Saturday.

Anzalone, 6-3, 220, has narrowed his choices down to Florida, Notre Dame and Penn State. He carries a four-star ranking from both Rivals and Scout and has connections to at least two of the schools with his father going to Florida and his brother currently enrolled at Penn State.

The heavily recruited linebacker has offers from over 30 schools including the likes of Alabama, Michigan and USC (Michigan and Alabama are already ranked as the top two 2013 classes).

Eastern Christian Academy wins again

With 2015 USC quarterback commit David Sills leading the way, Eastern Christian Academy – competing as Flash Training – won the New Level 7-on-7 national championship Sunday in Brooklyn, N.Y. Eastern Christian beat Michigan Elite in the title game.

The team lost a game Saturday in pool play to Team Delaware but bounced back in championship bracket play to take home the top prize Sumday. The team won 7-on-7 tournaments all over the country this spring and summer. It was the last event the team will compete in as it will turn its focus to the upcoming fall season.

In addition to Sills, his current Eastern Christian Academy and future USC teammate Kenny Bigelow, a five-star defensive end, helped the team to the title by playing some tight end for the first time.

In addition to the USC duo, Dhameer Bradley, a Connecticut recruit, had a noteworthy tournament as a wide receiver and Brandon Watson and Jahmere Irvin-Sills (Auburn recruit) played big at the two corners – recording several key interceptions – to help the team to victory.

Patton stands out

While former Red Lion Christian players get most of the attention in Delaware, St. Elizabeth wide receiver Andre Patton showed why he is the No. 1 recruit in the state of Delaware this season. The 6-4, 185 pounder led his team to an upset of Eastern Christian in pool play before finally falling to the same team in Sunday’s semifinals.

Patton is a three-star recruit and has offers from Boston College, Iowa, N.C. State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Syracuse and West Virginia. In addition to the offers, he has over 20 more schools showing interest including Ohio State and Michigan State.

For more information on eastern recruiting, follow @EastRecruiting on Twitter or email


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