Commentary

Notes from Jacksonville UA combine

Originally Published: February 16, 2010
By Jc Shurburtt | Scouts Inc.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Recruiting is picking up for quarterback Kevin Sousa (Lake Nona, Fla./Lake Nona).

[+] EnlargeKevin Sousa
Davide De Pas for ESPN.comKevin Sousa's performance proved he's someone to keep tabs on.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder said Miami recently issued a verbal offer, and that he's getting attention from Notre Dame, Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Tulane.

"I am going to be looking at location and size of the school when I pick the program," said Sousa, who also intends to seek the advice of his coaches in making his decision.

Sousa threw for 1,500 yards and rushed for another 989 this past season while maintaining a 3.5 grade point average. He has academic goals he will consider as well.

"I am not sure of my major yet, but I am thinking about mechanical engineering," he said.

Sousa continues a busy travel schedule this spring and summer. He plans to make an unofficial visit to Oregon. A trip to Ohio State also is on the schedule, along with several other camps and combines.

Bama in the mix for Mitchell

Via phone, Alabama coach Nick Saban delivered to the high school coaches of Derrick Mitchell (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) the news that the Crimson Tide were offering the defensive lineman.

The Crimson Tide's is the latest offer for the 6-5, 285-pounder, who probably was the top overall prospect at the Jacksonville Under Armour combine Sunday.

Florida State, where Mitchell's father played basketball, is considered a strong early player, as well as Clemson -- which signed defensive end Tavares Barnes out of First Coast for the Class of 2010. North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida International, among others, round out Mitchell's lengthy and soon-to-be-even-lengthier scholarship offer list.

Smith drawing interest

Thomas Smith (Apopka, Fla./Apopka) does not have any scholarship offers currently but is getting interest from Florida State, Alabama, LSU and Georgia. The 5-11, 202-pounder, who rushed for 1,651 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season, grew up a fan of the Seminoles.

"When I get my offers, I am going to be looking at what type of academic programs the schools have and also at the football facilities," Smith said.

Checking out the Gators

Leonard
Davide De Pas for ESPN.comA.C. Leonard is a kid who looks the part and offers nice versatility.

Tight end A.C. Leonard and running back/slot receiver Kion Williams (Interlachen, Fla./Interlachen) both were at Florida's junior day Sunday.

Leonard, who recently transferred to Interlachen from Jacksonville Ribault, is one of two Gators commits from the 2011 class.

"[Florida's junior day] went pretty well; it was very informative," Leonard said. "We should have a good class this year."

Williams also recently transferred to Interlachen. He previously played at Palakta.

"It was a good visit," he said. "We talked about what it took to play Division I football as far as academics and everything like that."

Williams, who had a good day at the combine Sunday, added that he thinks his best collegiate position might very well be as a slot receiver, which is where some colleges are recruiting him.

Quick hitters

• Notre Dame, Miami, Syracuse, NC State, Duke and Iowa State all are showing interest in safety Jared Henry (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast). The physical safety prospect recently transferred to First Coast from Jackson High.

• Georgia is showing the most interest in defensive end Chris Terry (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast). The 6-4, 215-pounder is the son of the former Bulldogs and NFL player with the same name.

• Linebacker Isaiah Bruce (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) is still waiting on his first offer but is getting looks from Iowa State, Michigan State, UCLA, Mississippi State, Indiana and Notre Dame. Bruce has family in Boston but has not heard from Boston College, Connecticut or any other programs in the Northeast.

• Safety Tyler Osario (Celebration, Fla./Celebration) had an impressive day of testing Sunday, highlighted by a 40-inch vertical leap, but so far, his recruitment has been slow. TCU and Cincinnati -- two programs that are known for spotting talent -- have sent letters, but that's the extent of it. Osario did miss two games because of injury this past season.

• Class of 2012 receiver Chris Black (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) was perhaps the top prospect at his position Sunday. Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Clemson all have issued early verbal offers.

• Class of 2012 linebacker Shakeel Rashad (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal) is getting early interest from Wake Forest, Florida State and Notre Dame. The 6-2, 205-pounder might camp at those schools this summer.

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