On Tuesday, 247Sports National Writer Steve Wiltfong stopped by one of the top up-and-coming programs in the country in Paramus (N.J.) Catholic. The Paladins are led by the nation’s No.3 player in the class-of-2014 in cornerback Jabrill Peppers, but they have another 14 players with a chance to play college football.
Jabrill Peppers is the nation's top CB and No. 3 prospect overall in the class-of-2014 according to 247Sports.
Here is Wiltfong’s notes from the road.
Jabrill Peppers, 6-1,205, CB/S/RB/ATH, 2014
Recruiting Update: The five-star Peppers says that Ohio State and Stanford are the two programs recruiting him the hardest and that he plans to visit both in the spring. Besides Rutgers, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Peppers has yet to see any other campuses, focusing on his junior season at his new school. He played his first two seasons at nearby Don Bosco Prep. Peppers added that he’d like to take visits to Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, and USC. He plans to take his time with the recruiting process and doesn’t expect to have a decision made prior to his senior season.
Prospect Note: Ranked as the nation’s No. 1 cornerback in his class, Peppers has been playing safety this fall and makes the checks and calls presnap. The straight-A student is also an aspiring musician, business owner and doctor. “He’s better than advertised,” head coach Chris Partridge said. In eight games, Peppers has 891 yards rushing on just 93 carries and 12 touchdowns. He’s added another 323 yards receiving and five more scores. On defense he has 48 tackles, a sack and two interceptions.
Tyrone Washington, 6-1,180, WR/CB, 2014
Recruiting Update: Landed an offer from Massachusetts in mid-October to go with the scholarship he already had from Rutgers. Had a chance to check out the Scarlet Knights campus earlier this fall when Paramus Catholic played at the school. Hasn’t had a chance to take any other visits and is on the radar of schools coast to coast.
Prospect Note: This fall Washington has emerged as more of a cornerback prospect and according to Partridge has only given up one completion all season in helping his team to a 7-1 record. He’s registered 26 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble on defense, and on the other side of the ball he’s caught 20 passes for 358 yards and a touchdown. “Everyone that comes in, people are taking the tape the first time, and when they come back, I think Tyrone will have a huge winter,” Partridge said regarding future offers.
Najee Clayton, 6-3, 195, WR/TE, 2015
Recruiting Update: Holds a very early offer from Rutgers and Partridge expects Clayton to see his offer list grow in the spring.
Prospect Note: Has caught 20 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. According to Partridge, Clayton could grow into one of the top tight ends in the country. “His legs are huge,” Partridge said. “He’s just now growing into who he’s going to be. That’s exciting for us. Physical, and he plants people all over the field. That’s why we use him at tight end. He takes corners and they have no shot of getting off of him.”
Juwann Bushel-Beatty, 6-7, 310, OT, 2014
Recruiting Update: The gigantic offensive tackle is hearing from Penn State, Michigan and Rutgers among others and visited the Nittany Lions campus for the Ohio State game earlier in the fall. He’d like to get back to Happy Valley in the near future.
Prospect Note: Bushel-Beatty is in just his second year of playing football. “I give him all the credit in the world,” Partridge said. “We weren’t easy on him early. He pushed through it and it wasn’t easy for him. He pushed through it and he’s mean and he’s getting it and it’s good to see as a coach. We took a chance with starting him and giving him that spot and it worked out.”
Marquise Watson, 6-0, 245, DE, 2013
Recruiting Update: Has an offer from Miami (Ohio) and 15 Division I-AA programs. Also hearing from Rutgers, Temple and Massachusetts.
Prospect Note: Plays middle linebacker for the Paladins but is being recruited to play defensive line on the next level. “He’s just a vicious, nasty, competitive kid that gets after it on the field,” Partridge said. Watson has a team-high 84 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
Khilyni Kennedy, 6-3, 215, OLB/DE, 2013
Recruiting Update: Hearing from Maryland, Temple and Massachusetts along with the likes of Delaware, James Madison and Villanova.
Prospect Note: Has a team-high six sacks to go along with 69 tackles. “Khilyni is extremely athletic and extremely fast,” Partridge said. “He was a track kid growing up. He’s a five-minute miler playing defensive end for us. He’s lengthy. He’s a kid, I think anywhere he goes, as a junior or senior he’ll be a 260-pound outside linebacker kind of kid because he’s explosive and can fly around.”
Steve Shanley, 6-2, 205, QB, 2014
Recruiting Update: Colorado has been out twice to see Shanley.
Prospect Note Has completed 78-of-133 passes for 1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns to three interceptions. “Shanley is a big-bodied, strong-armed quarterback,” Partridge said. “Good leader, very very smart. I think he has a 4.0 GPA.”
Keyon Washington, 5-6, 165, RB/CB, 2014
Recruiting Update: Has attracted interest from Georgia Tech and Rutgers. The Yellow Jackets like him in the slot.
Prospect Note: Another great student, Washington has rushed 87 times for 556 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Also has a receiving score. “Keyon is extremely explosive and fast,” Partridge said.
Terrence Harris, 6-2, 245, DT, 2014
Recruiting Update: His film has caught the attention of the coaches at Cincinnati.
Prospect Note: Has forced a team-high three fumbles while making 39 tackles and four sacks. “Terrence is explosive,” Partridge began. “He’s really coming around. We’ll bulk him up to 250 and he can move. He’s as athletic as they come.”
Dejon Harrison, 5-10, 170, ATH, 2014
Recruiting Update: Rutgers is showing interest.
Prospect Note: Has four receiving scores and one rushing score while also playing defense and serving as the punter. “Dejon is a do-it-all kid for us,” Partridge said. Just an athletic kid. He’ll be a football player somewhere.”
-Junior offensive linemen Alec Bouman and Billy-Ray Mitchell are both listed at 6-3, 260 and Partridge is excited about their potential. “Who knows, they can be 6-5, 280-pounds and become big-time offensive linemen come next year,” he said. “They’re getting looked at because they’re big kids and they are growing into their bodies.”
-Sophomore safety Saleem Brightwell is another with a bright future. He plays a lot of nickel this year but will move to strong safety alongside Peppers next season. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Brightwell has three interceptions this season including a pick six. “He flies around and hits, he’s physical, and is a kid that could grow into something real special at linebacker I think,” Partridge said.
-Two more anchors on the defensive line are juniors Marcus Pantoja (6-1, 245) and Nick Flores (6-0, 260). Pantoja is a three-year starter. “Marcus works extremely hard and is just a physical kind of kid,” Partridge said. “Flores is just nasty. Obviously we have Jabrill but Flores may be our best football player in terms of snapping off and making plays.” Flores has made 53 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, while Pantoja has registered 25 tackles and a sack.