247Sports hit the road to check in on all of the top Class of 2015 prospects in New Jersey and Philadelphia recently. In today’s edition of the Inside Word, we have the scoop on every prospect we saw in the Garden State and the City of Brotherly love, plus go-to quotes (as always) and some new names to watch.
Class of 2015 Top247 cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick has high interest in Ohio State, Miami and South Carolina, but is relatively wide open during the early stages of the process.
Jersey loaded for 2015
247Sports saw 14 of the Top 15 juniors in New Jersey this past week and gathered the early buzz and word on each. The state is deep for the 2015 cycle...
1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep
The nation’s No. 4 cornerback is pretty wide open. Lists high interest in Ohio State, Miami and South Carolina.
2. Juwan Johnson, WR, Glassboro (N.J.)
Four-star wide receiver/safety who has 14 offers. Likes three schools that haven’t offered yet: Alabama, Miami and Ohio State.
3. Steven Gonzalez, OL, Union City (N.J.)
Ten offers are in for the four-star tackle. Top 5: Rutgers, Miami, Florida State, Alabama and Oregon. Indicates that distance from home is a factor.
Class of 2015 Top247 offensive tackle Grant Newsome's father works for the U.S. Secret Service.
4. Sam Madden, OL, Barnegat (N.J.)
The enormous lineman (6-7, 340) will likely play right tackle or guard on the next level. He has 13 offers and hopes for tenders from his two favorites: Alabama and Ohio State. Rutgers is his favorite offer. His cousin, John Moffitt, played offensive line at Wisconsin.
5. Irvin Charles, WR, Haddonfield (N.J.) Paul Vi
This season, 11 of his 32 catches through six games this season have been for scores. Big-upside for this X-wideout (6-4, 212). Top 3: Penn State, Michigan, West Virginia. He’s hoping for those three offers. Indicates Ole Miss as his favorite among the seven schools that have offered.
6. Grant Newsome, OL, Lawrenceville (N.J.) School
Father works for the Secret Service and mother is a Dean of Students of a prep school. High academic and lean tackle prospect. Four-star good. Nine offers and hoping for tenders from Virginia, Penn State, Rutgers, Northwestern and Notre Dame. Likes Penn State, Virginia, Rutgers and North Carolina. Boston College offered on Sunday.
7. Daiquan Kelly, ATH, Union City (N.J.)
Plays wide receiver and safety on the prep level. Thinks he’ll be a big safety (6-3, 200) in college. Has four offers including one from his favorite, Rutgers. Also likes Penn State and Syracuse.
Massive offensive line prospect Kevin Feder of Don Bosco prep will make the transition from the defensive line when he gets to college.
8. Brandon Wimbush, QB, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep
Strong-armed, dual-threat quarterback with nine offers. Ohio State, Vanderbilt and Miami have offered and encompass his three in order.
9. Tommy Hatton, G, Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph’s Regional
Rutgers, Penn State and Vanderbilt stick out for the physical run blocker (6-3, 280). Hoping for Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Tennessee offers.
10. Kareem Ali, CB, Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber Creek
Eleven offers are in for the four-star cornerback. Top 3: Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers.
12. Cinjun Erskine, QB, Barnegat (N.J.)
Miami has offered as an athlete. UMass has offered as a QB. Likes Ohio State, Maryland, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Class of 2017 all-purpose back D'Andre Swift is on track to be one of the elite prospects in the country for his class.
13. Jamie Gordinier, DE, Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic
Pitt has offered. Penn State, Northwestern, Rutgers and Maryland are his Top 4.
14. Kevin Feder, OL, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep
Huge lineman (6-9, 305) that will transition from defensive tackle to offensive tackle in college. His early offer from Miami has the Hurricanes on top of Ohio State and Rutgers.
15. Daivon Ellison, CB, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep
Hoping for offers from his favorites: Rutgers, Penn State and Syracuse.
Reid, Swift lead the way at St. Joe’s
Most of the top programs in the country are recruiting four-star cornerback John Reid of St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia.
John Reid, a four-star cornerback and U.S. Army All-American, is the No. 1 recruit in Pennsylvania in 2015. He’s extremely wide open at this point in the process. Look for him to take official visits after his senior season and be a late decision guy. He lists high interest in Alabama, Penn State, Miami, Michigan, Rutgers and Notre Dame. He grew up liking Penn State, LSU, Florida and USC. Reid, who has 17 offers, says his biggest tenders in his estimation are from Notre Dame, Michigan and Miami. The Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s Prep standout is hoping for offers from Florida, LSU and Alabama.
As decorated of a recruit that Reid is he may not be top prospect at St. Joseph’s. Keep an eye on 2017 athlete/running back D’Andre Swift. The St. Joseph’s Prep staff raves about him. Swift (5-,8, 182, ran a 23.1 in the 200-meters as a freshman) is advanced for his age and already showcasing early glimpses of a potential national recruit down the road. During the early stages of the process, he likes Alabama, LSU and Miami. The program also features Michigan offensive line commit Jon Runyan, Jr. and three-star 2015 running back Olamide Zaccheaus who has Penn State on top of Rutgers and Miami.
Lions looking good for Adams
The nation’s No. 12 running back in the 2015 class, Josh Adams (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South), opened up about his recruitment during a school stop last Monday and Penn State, Notre Dame and Stanford comprise his current lead group. Adams underwent surgery for an ACL tear on Friday. The key going forward is who is going to continue to recruit him hard post-injury. Many figure to given his size (6-2, 198), grades (3.7 GPA) and sophomore production (2,177 yards and 28 touchdowns averaging 8.2 yards per carry). Penn State has already reached out to his coaching staff expressing their want for him. This has positioned the Nittany Lions as the team to beat for the four-star recruit.
Miller is a sack machine
Three-star defensive end Shareef Miller has an ideal frame (6-5, 218) and already has 25 sacks through his sophomore and junior seasons. The Philadelphia (Pa.) Frankford junior has seven early offers including tenders from Arizona, Pitt and Rutgers. He’s hoping for offers from Notre Dame, Auburn and Miami. Right now, he lists Penn State as his favorite over Notre Dame and Rutgers.
Imhotep is loaded with talent
Few programs in the Northeast are as loaded with Division 1 talent like Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter. They could have as many as 15 Division 1 recruits. For 2014, three-star safety Deandre Scott is a three-way battle with Nebraska, Central Florida and Arizona.
Class of 2016 tight end Naseir Upshur is physically dominant already at this young stage.
For 2015, four-star running back Nasir Bonner favors Wisconsin over Indiana and West Virginia. Three-star safety/receiver D.J. Moore has four offers and lists a top three of West Virginia, Arizona State and Virginia Tech.
Arguably their top overall prospect is 2016 tight end Naseir Upshur, who is already advanced physically in his on-the-line blocking and also moves well. Imhotep also has a pair of sophomore offensive tackles in Yasir Durant (6-6, 310) and John Carlo Valentine (6-5, 295).
Bischoff is a sleeper to watch
A sleeper that figures to land offers as soon as this winter resides at Plymouth (Pa.) Whitemarsh in 2015 offensive lineman Ryan Bischoff (6-5, 290). He likes Penn State, Virginia and Maryland going into the process.
Two blue chippers at Wood
Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood has two of Pennsylvania’s top 16 juniors with four-star offensive tackle Ryan Bates and three-star linebacker Jake Cooper. Bates lists a top three of Penn State, South Carolina and Virginia, while Cooper has Penn State on top of Pitt and Nebraska.
Here’s a look at some other names to keep an eye on from the region moving forward. ...
Dual-threat quarterback/athlete Manny Bowen is a prospect to watch for the 2015 class out of Barnegat High School in Coastal New Jersey.
Ben Petrula, 6-5, 275, 2017, OL, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep
Kolton Huber, 6-1, 185, 2016, WR, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep
Xavier Young, 6-2, 250, 2015, DL, Barnegat (N.J.)
Manny Bowen, 6-3, 195, 2015, ATH, Barnegat (N.J.)
Zach Andrews, 6-2, 295, 2014, C/G, Barnegat (N.J.)
Ronnie James, 6-0, 180, 2015, S, Glassboro (N.J.)
Jarrett McClenton, 5-9, 170, 2015, RB, Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood
Jake Strain, 6-3, 240, 2015, DL, Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s Prep
Mike Waters, 5-9, 180, 2016, RB, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Rhamir Johnson, 5-10, 178, 2016, S, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Shyheim Shaw, 5-10, 183, 2016, DB, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Dre Dreuitt, 6-2, 175, 2015, QB, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Shaka Toney, 6-3, 210, 2016, DE, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Jordan McCray, 6-2, 212, 2016, DE, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
Tyliek Raynor, 5-11, 175, 2016, RB, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute Charter
“I like the atmosphere and school tradition at Penn State. I just like the coach. That’s my favorite definitely. They talk to me about academics and getting a degree. Its not always about football. Its about getting your education,” - Shareef Miller
“I know Wisconsin produced Monte Ball and he’s in the NFL. Their running backs get exposure and they win games. They run the ball a lot,” - Nasir Bonner
“I like the atmosphere out at West Virginia. I like how they throw the ball a lot and I like the school in general,” - D.J. Moore
“Penn State was the first school that contacted me. I took a visit there and the education is real solid. I like the atmosphere. Its close to home. I like the family feel and team there. I could get used to the environment.” - Josh Adams
“Virginia is a pretty good school and I like the area. Their stadium is nice. Its definitely an academic school,” - Ryan Bischoff
“Alabama has a great coaching staff. They were genuine when I went there. I’m so used to being coached hard here that its prepared me for the transition to college. They coach so hard at Alabama,” - John Reid
Class of 2015 sack master Shareef Miller likes the atmosphere at Penn State.
“Penn State is real similar to our program. There’s lots of similarities. We have kind of a new coach like they do with coach (Bill) O’Brien. They have similar philosophies. The atmosphere is one of a kind. Its crazy,” - Olamide Zaccheaus
“South Carolina has that Southern hospitality. The people are so nice. They have good facilities and great people. They treated me well there,” - Ryan Bates
“I definitely liked the camaraderie of the team at Pitt. They are fighting to get back to how they used to be and doing very well. I like their team and tradition,” - Jake Cooper
“I just like Michigan a lot. From a wide receiver’s standpoint. How they do everything there. I just like Michigan a lot,” - Irvin Charles
“I like that Ohio State is very explosive. They get the ball where it needs to be. They run and pass it. They definitely have told me they are very interested in me They said I’m their No. 1 wide receiver on their 2016 list,” - Cameron Chambers
“I’m really liking Penn State. I like the atmosphere and crowd support. I like coach (Bill) O’Brien and his staff. He’s a great guy with NFL experience. He keeps that staff strong. They know what it takes to get to the NFL. Its all about their players there,” - Kareem Ali
“Miami has a good team and their new coach (Al Golden) is doing a good job. I like their style of play. They are showing a lot of interest and I like them,” - Juwan Johnson
“Rutgers definitely makes you feel like you’re at home. They have some friendly coaches that put their work in. Its a great school overall,” - Ronnie James
“I love coach (Pat) Fitzgerald. They came by a month ago. Its a cool area in Chicago and I’d like to visit there,” - Jamie Gardinier
“Virginia is going in the right direction. They have good upside. They have a real good recruiting class coming in with the 2014 class,” - Grant Newsome
“South Carolina is a great program. I love the way its run. I like coach (Steve) Spurrier and coach (Lorenzo) Ward. I love the campus. My parents loved it there. They have a great defensive backfield,” - Minkah Fitzpatrick
“Ohio State’s offense is similar to ours. So it would be easy for me to grasp. They have the same types of plays running the spread option,” - Brandon Wimbush
“I like everything about Miami. My head coach went to Miami. I always grew up watching them. I like Al Golden. They have a great program,” - Steven Gonzalez
“I like the coaching staff, its close to home and I feel comfortable at Penn State. There’s a lot of people there so there’s a lot of people you can get to know. Their staff is good,” - Daiquan Kelly
“Just from the start the staff at Miami has been awesome. Their offensive line coach (Art Kehoe) is amazing. They have brand new facilities including a new weight room and locker room. Coach (Al) Golden has a bright future,” - Kevin Feder
“The Pitt coaches are real cool. You can play there as a freshman which I like. They have a great defense,” - Daivon Ellison
“Rutgers is close to home and you get a family feel there,” - Tommy Hatton
Stay tuned to 247Sports for onsite full length interviews with Miller, Bonner, Moore, Adams, Bishoff, Reid, Zaccheaus, Bates, Cooper, Charles, Chambers, Ali, Johnson, Jones, Madden, Erskine, Gardinier, Newsome, Fitzpatrick, Wimbush, Gonzalez, Kelly, Feder, Ellison and Hutton.
Follow National Recruiting Insider Ryan Bartow on Twitter @RyanBartow