SAN DIEGO, Calif. – One look at Pierre Cormier’s highlight film and you’ll come away impressed. The 5-10 running back out of San Diego (Calif.) Madison made defenders look silly during his junior season and it was only his first year playing varsity football.
Currently Cormier holds six offers. UCLA came first and has been followed by Boise State, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon State and Washington State. The early interest from UCLA was reciprocated from Cormier and he even considered committing after a junior day visit that left him extremely impressed.
But Cormier managed to hold off and now UCLA is getting plenty of competition.
“I’m kind of wide open,” Cormier said last week. “I came back here, came back to reality a little bit and talked to my coaches, talked to my family and they all said don’t make any early decisions because they think I can have more options.
“My coach knows me as a football player and my family knows me as a person so I’m just going to wait it out a little bit and see what best fits me.”
Among the more recent offers, Arizona poses a real challenge to the Bruins for several reasons.
“Arizona interests me,” he said. “It’s in the Pac-12 and that’s kind of a school that I always thought I’d be interested in going to and that’s a school that I gave to my coach that I’d be interested in going to. They’ve got an offensive coordinator that’s pretty legit too.”
It’s also an offense with which Cormier already has a familiarity. Madison head coach Rick Jackson modeled Madison’s offense after Rich Rodriguez’s schemes at West Virginia. It’s a scheme that has fit Cormier perfectly. However, even though Cormier’s highlights display great big-play ability and make-miss athleticism, his physicality is not to be ignored.
“He’s one of the strongest kids we have,” said Coach Jackson. “He’s physical He doesn’t get a lot of attention for that but he really attacks the hole and makes people look silly not just from his movement but also from his physical prowess.”
Athletically, Cormier is a big play waiting to happen.
“Give him an inch and he can take the whole field,” said Jackson.
This spring he pulled his hamstring running track and was on pace to put a verification stamp on his speed as well. Before pulling up lame, Cormier had a healthy lead on a teammate that ended up clocked a 10.9. As the hamstring begins to heal, Cormier has hopes on attending some camps this spring to further his rising stock.
With 180 pounds of muscle packed on, a physical approach and great productivity in his first year carrying the ball on the varsity level, Cormier’s recruitment could be just getting started.
Lots more at Madison
Cormier is just the beginning when it comes to talent at the Madison program. Coach Rick Jackson has multiple college prospects in the 2013 class and even more in the classes beyond.
Along with Cormier, wide receiver Kevon Mitchell is the upperclassman that has already landed legitimate college interest. At 6-2, 180 pounds, Mitchell already has offers from Nevada and San Diego State.
“He’s long, very physical and strong,” Jackson said of Mitchell. “He runs very good routes, he’s a very physical, athletic kid who goes up and gets the ball when it’s thrown his way.”
Lee Walker is a 6-0, 175-pound athlete that makes plays on both sides of the ball for Madison out of the class of 2013 but Jackson sees his best fit on the defensive side in college. Offensively though, his athleticism can certainly shine through.
“After we had an injury midway through the season, [Walker] started playing slot for us and he’s just explosive,” said Jackson. “He had six 50-plus yard touchdowns. He’s got good movement, he’s a quick, natural and long.”
The 2014 class looks to be loaded early on for Madison and it stars up front. Currently standing at 6-1, 240 pounds, Tiasamo Savusa was a monster on the defensive line as just a sophomore in 2011.
“He started both sides last year as a sophomore and dominated at times as a sophomore,” said Savusa’s coach. “He’s lost some weight but gained strength and quickness. He’s a great student, a 3.8 guy in the classroom. The sky is the limit for that guy.”
A pair of big-bodied twins also look to keep Madison strong on both sides of the ball in the trenches. Jake Vermillion and Sam Vermillion could project to either offensive or defensive line as they continue to develop. Physical prospects with the right mindset, both are names to watch in the 2014 class.
Finally the cupboard will not be bare at running back with the 2013 departure of Cormier. Class of 2014 prospect Michael Garner should continue the trend of great backs at Madison following the path paved by Cormier and current San Diego State running back De’Sean Hardwick before him.
In 2011, Garner was used in the slot to complement Cormier in the backfield. In the future, he will take over the reins in the backfield and looks fully equipped to do so.
“He’s a dynamic player in space,” Jackson said. “He really did some good things for us as a sophomore.”
With an 11.2 100 time under his belt as s sophomore, Garner looks to have the speed necessary as well.
Click on the photo feature for more on Madison's talented group of prospects.
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