Commentary

Four schools in the running for Lemonier

Originally Published: December 23, 2009
By Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Christmas break has been peaceful for Under Armour All-American defensive end Corey Lemonier (Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah). Lemonier quit answering his phone during the holidays, choosing instead to focus on resting and his forthcoming college decision.

"I just turned off my phone," Lemonier said. "If I had it on and it rung, I just didn't answer."

But on Tuesday after arriving at the Walt Disney World Resort to begin practicing for Saturday's Under Armour All-American Game (11 a.m. ET/ESPN), Lemonier spoke on the record about the current state of his recruitment.

Lemonier said that Miami (Fla.), Tennessee, Florida State and Auburn are four programs that he's currently looking at the hardest.

Lemonier's teammate, defensive tackle Calvin Smith has already committed to the Vols and the belief is that Tennessee is in good shape to land Lemonier as well.

"They are a good team," he said. "I've just got to see where I am at with them and see if they are the right fit. I just have to continue to talk to them."

Lemonier also said that the Seminoles, who have two top 10 defensive prospects in cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Saint Thomas Aquinas) and linebacker Jeff Luc (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast) committed, have caught his eye because of the talent Jimbo Fisher and staff are bringing to Tallahassee.

"They have been getting a lot of talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball," Lemonier said. "I looked to see who they have committed and they don't have any defensive ends."

Lemonier added that a recent conversation with a member of Miami's coaching staff got the Canes back in the mix strongly, and that he enjoyed spending time with the people when he was on his official visit to Auburn.

Lemonier plans an announcement on national signing day.

As for this week, Lemonier feels he has a lot to prove.

"I want to go out there and prove that I am one of the best defensive ends," he said. "I just basically want to go out there and show everybody that."

Chandler has full January
The recruitment of Under Armour All-American defensive tackle Todd Chandler (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) gained national attention on Dec. 16 when the 6-1, 290-pounder backed off his commitment to Miami (Fl) and switched to South Florida. The switch caught many off guard, but Chandler had been talking about taking all five official visits since October, if not before. In January it will be the Bulls sweating out four official visits for the four-star prospect.

"I've got Louisville on Jan. 8, I think on the 15th I've got Syracuse, I believe on the 22nd I've got either Michigan and Memphis and on the 29th I'll visit FIU," Said Chandler.

Headed into the official visit process, Chandler is reluctant to say he is a commitment anywhere.

"I don't really want to answer that question about being committed anywhere right now, but for the time being I'll say I'm committed to South Florida. I'm comfortable with all of the coaches over there and I did give them a verbal commitment. We'll just have to see what happens," Chandler said

Decision coming for Hurd
One the prospects announcing his college decision Saturday during the Under Armour All-American Game is defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. (Missouri City, Texas/Thurgood Marshall). The former Notre Dame commit reopened his recruitment after the firing of Charlie Weis, taking an official visit to Texas A&M on Dec. 11.

Despite having only taken a pair of official visits, Notre Dame along with Texas A&M, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound nickel back prospect is considering Oklahoma State, Oregon, California and Auburn along with the Aggies.

It appears the Fighting Irish are out of the picture.

"I've only talked to Notre Dame once and that was about a week and a half ago. We didn't even talk much at all." Hurd said.

Nelson to visit Tennessee, North Carolina
Under Armour All-American Corey Nelson (Dallas/Skyline) is one of several committed players who will be making an official visits in January. The 6-1, 200-pound playmaking machine has already visited Texas A&M and Minnesota and will be tripping east twice in January.

"I'm going to visit Tennessee and North Carolina," Said Nelson. "I have Tennessee on January 15 and UNC on either the 8th or 22nd,"

A fifth official visit is likely, but deciding which national power to take in is proving to be a tough chore.

"I'm may take a visit to USC, Oklahoma or Texas. I'm not sure which one it will be, but they are all talking to me." Nelson said.

Quick hitters

• Athlete Dietrich Riley (La Canada, Calif./Saint Francis) has been spending a lot of time with USC defensive tackle commit George Uko (Chino, Calif./Don Antonio Lugo) and Trojans quarterback commit Jesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood).

• According to his head coach Chris Scott, LSU wide receiver commit Justin Hunter (Virginia Beach, Va./Lakes) is firm in his decision to play for the Tigers. He had taken visits to Florida and Tennessee and those programs got him thinking a bit, but he is heading to Baton Rouge.

• Look for wide receiver Kadron Boone (Ocala, Fla./Trinity Catholic), a Texas Tech commit, to take a look at some other programs given the latest developments with Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach. Multiple programs in the Southeastern Conference, as well as West Virginia potentially, should be in the mix.

JC Shurburtt covers recruiting for ESPN.com. He can be reached at jcsespn@aol.com.

ESPN's Gerry Hamilton contributed to this report.