Semper Fi: East Team Recruiting Notebook

Corey Cooper

FULLERTON, Calif. -- The East team had its last full practice Wednesday in preparation for Friday's Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, and the FOXSportsNEXT team continued to cover every aspect of it. In this recruiting notebook, there are updates on official visits, announcements and which players are solid with their commitments.

A look at the recruiting news from Wednesday's East practice for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

  • Millbrook High (Raleigh, N.C.) cornerback Corey Cooper is down to Tennessee, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, East Carolina, South Carolina and Duke.

    Cooper said he will be taking an official visit to Tennessee, although he is yet to set a date. He added Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Duke probably won't get official visits since they are so close to his home in Raleigh.

  • The big news with the recruiting of the day with the East team was the reaction by the four Notre Dame commits – Mike McGlinchey, Devin Butler, Malik Zaire and Will Fuller – when told by FOXSportsNEXT that Cocoa (Fla.) High running back Tarean Folston committed to the Irish.

    "Getting Tarean and having Greg Bryant, those are two explosive backs that can flat-out play," Butler said. "It really solidifies our confidence as a class."

  • George Washington High (Philadelphia) defensive lineman Justin Moody continues to look at California, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Purdue and Temple, and his leader is Pittsburgh.

    To that, he said he had a very nice conversation with the Panthers staff Tuesday night, and added things are going very well with them. He is slated to visit Temple officially Jan. 18, but he could make a decision before that.

  • Running back Laray Smith of Xaverian High (Brooklyn) is still mulling whether he will announce Friday at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, but if it does happen the pick is expected to be Syracuse.

    He said Syracuse is his leader and the other two schools in consideration are West Virginia and Oregon. He has not made an official visit to West Virginia and is waiting on an offer from Oregon.

    He did not practice Wednesday because of illness, and he is yet to tell the bowl reps whether he will announce at the game.

  • One player who will announce at the game is four-star running back David Williams, which FOXSportsNEXT reported Monday. Williams is deciding between South Carolina, which was the first SEC school to offer, Penn State and Arizona State.

    "I know where I want to go, and I've known for a while," Williams said.

    The only school he officially visited of the group was Arizona State. He has officials set up to Penn State (Jan. 11) and South Carolina (Jan. 18), but he will only make trips to those schools if he picks one of them. He already made unofficial visits to those schools.

  • Cleveland (Tenn.) Bradley High offensive lineman Austin Sanders has been committed to Tennessee since Aug. 2011, but never wavered even after the firing of head coach Derek Dooley.

    Sanders received four scholarship offers in the three days after Dooley's termination, but remains solid in his commitment to the Volunteers, especially after the hiring of new head coach Butch Jones from Cincinnati.

    "I feel like I'm already part of the team," Sanders said. "It's going to be an awesome feeling to sign my name."

    Sanders said he has been in frequent contact with new offensive line coach Don Mahoney, calling him at least three times during the current dead period, and likes the up-tempo spread offense the new staff will be installing.

  • Lynchburg (Va.) Christian Academy offensive lineman Braxton Pfaff hasn't been able to showcase his skills during practices ahead of Friday's Semper Fi Bowl, as he has been dealing with a right rotator cuff injury.

    While Pfaff would like to play in the game, he said he would talk to his father Wednesday afternoon whether or not to shut it down for the rest of the week.

    Pfaff said he remains solidly committed to Virginia Tech and would likely start his college career at offensive tackle.

  • Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood High linebacker Shaun McGee was thrilled with Georgia's 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday, but is already looking ahead to his role with the Bulldogs next season.

    Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree announced after the game that he would enter the NFL draft early, and All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, regarded as a top-10 pick, could do the same.

    McGee said he would be learning all four linebacker positions in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.

    "They don't want people to know where I am on the field at different times," McGee said. "They want to be able to move me around."

  • Purdue safety commit Austin Logan of Florida State University School (Tallahassee, Fla.) is very happy with new Boilermakers coach Darren Hazell.

    "He's the only black head coach in the Big Ten and I'm very happy to be a part of something like that.

  • Memphis (Tenn.) Central Latevius Rayford said he committed to Vanderbilt because of its academics and its coaching staff. He also likes how Vanderbilt is in Nashville, a city similar to his Memphis home.

    He will be taking his official visit to Vanderbilt on Jan. 18.

  • Strong safety Ahmad Thomas, who plays at Miami Central High and is committed to Oklahoma, said his favorite thing about Oklahoma is, "they like to win." He adds that their guys build character off of the field, and he is solid with the Sooners and not making visits to other schools.

  • Auburn commit Jimmy Hutchinson, a punter from Harrison High (Kennesaw, Ga.), grew up a Georgia fan but is thrilled to be a member of the Tigers. He was also excited to make his official later this month and get to the know the new staff more, but he is happy with the interaction he has had to this point. "I'm planning to take my official visit down there soon," Hutchinson said. "They want to get me down on campus."

    FOXSportsNEXT's Dan Greenspan contributed to this report

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