WASHINGTON, D.C.- Five-star defensive tackle Eddie Goldman of Friendship Collegiate Academy, the nation's No. 3 overall prospect, really is giving every school a chance.
Eddie Goldman, the nation's No. 3 prospect, is open to all suitors.
Many times in this business, it's clear where a prospect is going. Even if the public line is "I am wide open" the reality is that most prospects have favorites from the beginning. Not Goldman. The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder, who from an eyeball test standpoint looks like he could step on a college football field and start right now, knows that this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“(The recruiting process) is good,” he said. “Any 17-year old would love to be in my position, so I don’t take it for granted. It’s getting a little bit hectic, but you’ve got to love it because it’s your only chance to go through the process. I am wide open."
Goldman, who has a numerical rating of 100 on 247Sports (the highest any prospect is rated this recruiting cycle), is more than just a great athlete.
By all accounts, he's a respectful, intelligent, individual that is giving his decision deep thought and exploring the details of what each program has to offer. He recently took a trip through the Southeast for several unofficial visits. Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Clemson all received unofficials.
“They all interest me,” he said. “None of them were really above the other. I want to go back and visit all of them again.”
There are dozens of other programs that have offered- LSU, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, Stanford, Notre Dame, Penn State, the list goes on and on. Goldman said that he does have interest in local school Maryland and that he would like to visit most of the schools that have come in to see him during the recruiting process.
So needless to say, there is no top group, no leader, nothing definitive on his recruitment yet and he’s fine with it. He just wants to find the right connection.
“Facilities can be good and you can find good facilities everywhere, but you can’t find good people everywhere,” he said. “I am just trying to find people to have good relationships with. I am also looking at academics and want to meet the players on the team.”
Four-star safety Landon Collins has a top five. Speculation is that it's going to wind up being an Alabama-LSU battle for Louisiana's top prospect.
Goldman, who has been invited to both the Under Armour All-American Game and U.S. Army All-American Game, but has not made a decision on which game to play in yet, says that there’s a chance he will make a decision at one of those games.
In the meantime, he has plenty of help from the coaches at Friendship. Azaar Abdul-Rahim and his staff do an outstanding job prepping their student athletes for the recruiting process and guiding them through the process.
“The coaches here help me a lot,” he said. “They help me go around to different schools and check them out. The furtherest we’ve been is Florida. We haven’t scheduled anymore visits yet. The next visits will probably be during the summer.”
At that point, Goldman will get a look at several more college programs and then begin to focus on which schools will get an unofficial visit. Until then, stay tuned as one of the most wide open recruitments of a five-star, top five prospect in the country will unfold during the coming months.
Top five for Collins
Four-star safety Landon Collins (Geismar, La./Dutchtown), the top prospect in Louisiana for the 2012 class, has a top five of LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Florida State with Miami (Fla.) still in the picture. He say he’s built the best relationships with Crimson Tide assistant Burton Burns and Tigers assistant Frank Wilson- both recruiters that have deep ties to the Pelican State. We feel this could very well come down to Alabama and LSU. There could be more players this summer as Collins plans to camp at Texas, Southern California, Texas A&M, Florida and Miami (Fla.).
Catch and release
When Auburn landed four-star wide receiver Alex Taylor, it looked as though they had reeled in one of the top pass-catchers in the southeast. With great size, elite speed and major big play ability, Taylor’s addition to Auburn’s class seemed to be a huge in-state haul.
Florida State assistant Dameyune Craig has been on a hot streak on the recruiting trail as good as anyone in the country for the past month. Craig is a former Auburn quarterback.
One month later, the Auburn staff has parted ways with the talented prospect. Kicked off of his high school team and cut loose from the Auburn 2012 recruiting class, Taylor is once again on the market. With great athleticism and ability, Taylor could be a great pickup for another program if his off-field issues are cleared up.
Craig strikes again
Twice in one week, Florida State quarterback coach Dameyune Craig has hit it big. On Monday, Craig made a big splash in Alabama landing four-star lineman Alphonse Taylor. Just two days later, Markuss Eligwe, a four-star linebacker out of Georgia also pledged to Craig and the Seminoles.
Batesville (Miss.) South Panola has long been one of the top high school football programs in the country and no single college program has benefited more from the steady pipeline of talent that the school produces than Ole Miss.
Gross, a four-star prospect and a member of the Top247, is one of the top prospects in the state of Mississippi. He could project as a strongside defensive end or a defensive tackle and he possesses one of the quickest get-offs in the southeast.
Strong is likely an outside linebacker on the next level but has played with his hand down for South Panola’s dominating defense on the high school level. He also should feel right at home in the Ole Miss program. Former Rebel linebackers Eddie Strong and Chris Strong are Temario’s uncle and cousin respectively.
Should Florida fans feel good about four-star Pennsylvania tight end Colin Thompson? We think so.
Strong and Gross join Memphis (Tenn.) University School offensive guard Ben Still as the first three 2012 commits for the Rebels. When Still arrives in Oxford he will reunite with his former quarterback Barry Brunetti. Brunetti and the Rebels also received good news this week with the ruling that the precise quarterback would not have to sit out following a transfer from West Virginia.
Gators in good shape
We feel that Florida is in excellent shape for four-star tight end Colin Thompson (Warminster, Pa./Archbishop Wood). He recently took a multi-day trip to Gainesville, Fla., so his mom could check it out (it was his second trip). “(Florida) is one of the top places to play football year-in and year out,” Thompson said. “Meeting (Charlie) Weis and the tight ends coach was great.” The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Thompson added that he plans to narrow his list in the coming weeks. The Gators are near locks to make that cut. Thompson is the nation’s fourth-ranked tight end prospect.
The wait is over
Last week, Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth wide receiver Cory Batey and Inglewood (Calif.) High School cornerback Davian Shelton were without any scholarship offers. However, each player has shown repeatedly this offseason that he is deserving of elite level interest. Shortly thereafter, Shelton added an offer from San Diego State and Batey added an offer from Vanderbilt. For Batey Kentucky and Arkansas State soon followed. As coaches hit the road for spring evaluations, expect each prospect to see that offer list expand rapidly.
Texas quick hitters
-Cornerback Jalen Mills (DeSoto, Texas) picked up a verbal offer from North Texas on Tuesday. The Mean Green join Iowa State, UNLV, Tulsa and Memphis in offering the 6-foot-0, 180-pounder with 4.48 speed. Mills will play corner opposite Texas commit Bryson Echols (DeSoto, Tx.) in 2011.
-Fast-rising offensive guard Germain Ifedi (Houston, Texas/Westside) picked up a verbal offer from San Diego State on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder with a near 7-foot wingspan also has verbal offers from Missouri, Colorado, Louisville, Baylor, Mississippi State, Virginia, Vanderbilt, SMU, Houston, Iowa State, Memphis and Rice. LSU and Baylor were by Westside on Tuesday to take a look at Ifedi.
Mississippi State and N.C. State are the latest offers for Tyler Knox.
Nuts and Bolts
-Defensive end Tyler Knox (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) picked up offers from Mississippi State and North Carolina State this week.
-Shane Youngblood of BamaOnline documents where Alabama’s coaching staff will be recruiting during the coming week.
-Four-star cornerback Wayne Morgan (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall) told 247Sports Justin Hopkins that he’s focused the most on Rutgers, Syracuse and Connecticut. Morgan has been consistent in saying that he would like to remain close to New York City for college. Alabama, Michigan and others have offered as well.
National Recruiting Analysts Gerry Hamilton and Barton Simmons contributed