Commentary

Richardson, Scroggins Pac-10 bound?

While some top players head west, Chas Dodd and others are looking at the Big East

Originally Published: July 19, 2009
By Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- One of the top uncommitted prospects at the Nike 7ON this past week was wide receiver Paul Richardson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), whose recruitment is still somewhat shrouded in mystery.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder was one of the top performers at the two-day event and has scholarship offers from multiple Pac-10 programs, including California and UCLA.

"I am trying to make some official visits the second half of the season," Richardson said. "I have heavy interest in the Pac-10. I am pretty sure I will end up playing for a Pac-10 school."

[+] EnlargeRobert Woods
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comWR Robert Woods is focusing on the Pac-10 and will likely pick USC.

Perhaps a bit overshadowed by the ultra-talented and highly regarded Robert Woods and emerging Class of 2011 prospect George Farmer, Richardson showed during the weekend he was an excellent prospect in his own right, catching several key passes as his Team Land Sharks finished third overall at the event.

Richardson says Cal is recruiting him the hardest at the moment. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Washington, Washington State and Oregon State also have offered.

"I'm looking for a family environment and some place I can fit in with the coaches and the other players," Richardson said.

As for Richardson's talented teammates, most of the buzz at the camp was that Woods would ultimately stay in the Pac-10 and pick Southern California when all is said and done. It's too early to tell on Farmer, but USC, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and others have already issued verbal offers.

Knights time at Byrnes
Quarterback Chas Dodd and running back Marcus Lattimore (Duncan, S.C./James F. Byrnes) are expected to make an unofficial visit to Rutgers this weekend. The Scarlet Knights recently offered a scholarship to Dodd, who played well at the Nike 7ON event. Recruiting has not been as fast as one would think for Dodd, a two-time state championship quarterback who will enter his third year as a starter for the Rebels, but it is now starting to pick up.

As for Lattimore, he is expected to trim his list to five next month. North Carolina, South Carolina, Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, Maryland, Clemson, Penn State and Rutgers are all in the mix for his services.

Wide receiver Torian Richardson also has an offer from the Scarlet Knights and is expected to make the trip. Richardson has good hands and runs excellent routes. He performed well during the weekend for Team Zoom Blade. Syracuse, Mississippi State (which signed receiver Rico Sanders out of the school in the 2009 class), Michigan State, Louisville and others also have offered.

Hawkeyes moving in on Thomas?
Safety Jerome Thomas Jr. (Miami/Northwestern) has already picked up a scholarship offer from Florida International and said after the event that he believes Iowa could be close to making him an offer. Thomas was good individually and was part of a tremendous effort for champion Team Vapor Trail.

Quick hitters
• There was a lot of buzz at the event that Under Armour All-America quarterback Jesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif.) would pick USC by the end of the month. Scroggins was outstanding for Team Field Generals and has offers from Tennessee, Florida, Nebraska, Colorado and many other of the nation's top programs.

• The odds are still good that Under Armour All-American Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, Fla.) will end up at Florida. Dunkley is taking his time with the decision, but the Gators are still in great shape. Dunkley was outstanding for Team Vapor Jets at the event.

• Dunkley's teammate De'Joshua Johnson committed to Florida State recently and said he could not wait to get to campus and play for the Seminoles.

• Word is that Clemson is near or at the top of the list for Class of 2011 linebacker A.J. Johnson (Gainesville, Ga.) early. The Tigers, along with Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, NC State and Central Florida, have offered.

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

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