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List of Prospects on Hand for UMass 7-on-7

(UMass Recruit DeAndre Scott/247 Sports)

The UMass football team had a 7-on-7 tournament a few weeks ago, and a number of recruits were on hand. Check out the list of recruits that we’ve heard about.

Click on names for either highlights or recruiting page:

DeAndre Scott, S: Imhotep (Pa.)

Quadeem Starkes, S: Imhotep (Pa.)

Randell Hunter, LB: Imhotep (Pa.)

Nyeem Thrones, CB: Imhotep (Pa.)

Ace Long, QB: Friendship Christian High School (Tenn.)

Damon Brinkley, DB: Archbishop Wood (Pa.)

Damion Samuels, RB/DB: Frankford (Pa.)

Shareef Miller, OLB: Frankford (Pa.)

Devin Crosby, CB: Imhotep (Pa.)

Zaire Wright, CB: Imhotep (Pa.)

Deniston Moore, WR: Imhotep (Pa.)

Dre Dreuitt Parks, QB: Imhotep (Pa.)

John Graham, WR: Prep Charter (Pa.)

Shaquille Jones, OLB: Imhotep (Pa.)

Naseir Upshur, TE: Imhotep (Pa.)

Delvon Randall, WR/DB: Gateway (Pa.)

Tre Tarpley, DB: Central Catholic (Pa.)

Troy Simon, WR: Renaissance (Pa.)

Mallory Claybourne, WR/DV: Renaissance (Pa.)

Aiden Howard, WR: Gateway (Pa.)

Maleek White, DE/TE: Seton Hall (Pa.)

Maurice Clemm, DB/WR: University Prep (Pa.)

Dominic Fultz, WR/DB: Gateway (Pa.)

Malik Burks, WR/DB: Gateway (Pa.)

Jimmy Moore, QB/ATH: Gateway (Pa.)

Tynen Greer, QB/WR/DB: Montoure (Pa.)

Terry Swanson, RB: Aliquippa (Pa.)

Zaihe Regus, LB: Gateway (Pa.)

Brenon Thrift, JACK: Gateway (Pa.)

Dan DiNicola, OL: Dexter (Mass.)

Tom Tabur, OL: Northbridge (Mass.)

Frank Carter, OL: Hillsborough (Fla.)

Matt Torrey, TE/LB: Cheshire Academy (Conn.)

Taj-Amir Torres, WR/KOR: Amherst Regional (Mass.)

Noah Burke, WR: St. Peter Marian (Mass.)

Malik St. Hilare, ATH: Palisades (N.J.)

Patrick Kehoe, QB: Cheshire Academy (Conn.)

Cody Williams, QB: Springfield (Mass)

Alec Keener, OL/DL: Cheshire Academy (Conn.)

Follow Bob on Twitter: @BobMcGovernJr

Maroon Musket Preseason MAC Projections

(Jordan Lynch/Northern Illinois University)

With the season a little more than a month away, it’s time to take out our dollar-store crystal ball and project the Mid-American Conference.

The MAC looks poised to have another solid year, but with a lot of talent on top, there may not be an unblemished team with an easy shot at a BCS bowl. However, teams like Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Toledo, Ball State, Kent State and Ohio should make bowl games, while Buffalo, Western Michigan and Central Michigan may have some last-minute work to do.

The Maroon Musket Power Poll will be a weekly addition to the blog, so pay attention to this first attempt, and be sure to mock us as it undoubtedly falls apart.

Champion and Runner Up

Northern Illinois over Bowling Green

The Huskies are once again led by all-everything quarterback Jordan Lynch, who has the ability to frustrate MAC offenses with both his arm (3,138 yards and 25 touchdowns) and his legs (1,815 yards and 19 touchdowns). Of course, one player does not make a team, and there is little doubt that Northern Illinois has gone through some changes. Perhaps most important: Dave Doeren has moved on to coach North Carolina State, and Rod Carey is entering his first season as a FBS head coach.

Despite upheaval at the top, the Huskies are still an odds-on favorite to win the MAC. Northern Illinois returns nearly its entire offensive line and appears to have reloaded at at key defensive positions during the 2013 recruiting cycle. Losing receivers Martel Moore and Perez Ashford will hurt, but, as usual the Huskies have impressive depth and seem to have decent momentum heading into the season. The only thing that will slow NIU down is if Carey tinkers with what worked last year.

Standing in Northern Illinois’ way is the brick wall known as Bowling Green’s defense. Anchored by one of the best defensive lines in the country, the Falcons allowed less than 17 points per game and frequently stifled opposing running backs. Bowling Green returns nine starters on defense in 2013 but has to figure out a way to replace defensive tackle Chris Jones, the 2012 MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Ted Ouellet should hold down one spot, while Jarius Campbell, a senior, will get his chance to shine in the trenches. Head coach Dave Clawson will still be roaming the sidelines, and 2013 will be the year he shows the rest of the country what a program looks like in his image.

The Falcons’ achilles heel is its offense. Bowling Green was in the bottom half of the MAC in points per game (22.9) but will return one of the more experienced offensive lines in the conference. Also returning is senior quarterback Matt Schilz, who had 2,585 passing yards and 14 touchdowns in 2012. Schilz has a number of tall receivers, but the Falcons face a very real issue at running back. Anthon Samuel, who ran for more than 1,800 yards during the past two seasons, has apparently transferred to Florida International to be closer to his family. That means the Falcons will likely pick between Andre Givens and Jamel Martin.

Offensive Player of the Year

Jordan Lynch is the easy pick here. The dual-threat quarterback spent the 2012 season shattering Mid-American Conference records en route to the Orange Bowl. While things have changed at Northern Illinois, the team will siphon nearly 100 percent of its offense through the Chicago native, which will make it hard for running backs like Kent State’s Dri Archer or Toledo’s David Fluellen to take the top spot.

NIU has already launched a “Jordan Lynch for Heisman” campaign, going so far as to create a Twitter page for the occasion. It’s unlikely that Lynch will be called to New York, but the MAC’s best player will once again put up impressive numbers. While two Big 10 games – at Iowa and at Purdue – may slow him down, a relatively weak in-conference schedule (along with games against Idaho and Eastern Illinois) will give Lynch plenty of opportunities to put up big numbers.

Also Ran: Dri Archer (RB, Kent State), David Fluellen (RB, Toledo), Willie Sneed (WR, Ball State), Beau Blankenship (RB, Ohio) and Keith Wenning (QB, Ball State)

Defensive Player of the Year

Khalil Mack is an absolute monster.

Mack, Buffalo’s NFL-ready outside linebacker, is one of the most dangerous weapons in the MAC. With Big 10 size (6’3, 245 pounds) and a nose for the backfield (eight sacks in 2012), Mack is a headache for every team he faces – just ask UMass. Against the Minutemen, Mack had 15 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. This year, the nation has already taken notice, and Mack has been named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list.

The Bulls primarily run a 3-4 defense, and that has helped Mack boost his stats from the outside position. This season will be Mack’s NFL job interview, as scouts want to see if the imposing athlete can play linebacker at the next level or if his speed will hold him back. If Mack can tally 19 more tackles for loss this season, he will break the all-time NCAA record.

Also Ran: Boo Boo Gates (S, Bowling Green), Nathan Collie (DT, Ball State), Ted Ouellet (DT, Bowling Green), Desmond Bozeman (LB, Western Michigan), and Dayonne Nunley (CB, Miami (OH))

Freshman of the Year

The MAC had a banner year on the recruiting circuit, and the top teams reached out to far-flung territory in lieu of fighting over Big 10 leftovers. No school recruited better than Toledo, and its crown jewel of the 2013 class – Rodney Adams – should be an impact player right away.

Adams chose the Rockets over a number of big-time offers, including: Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma and others. One has to assume that a major lure for the St. Petersburg, Fla. native was early playing time. Considered one of the top 50 wide receivers in the country – and one of the top 50 recruits, overall, in the state of Florida – Adams will have high expectations throughout his career in Toledo.

As a freshman, Adams should make waves right away. He will likely see single-coverage early, as Toledo senior Bernard Reedy has proven to be one of the better deep-threat receivers in the conference. The 6’1, 166-pound athlete should step in right away as a slot target and will add to the already explosive Rockets offense. Adams will also have a chance to see what he’s missing out on early in his career – the Rockets travel to Gainesville to take on the Gators on August 31.

Also Ran: Lorenzo Woodley (RB, Massachusetts), Darius Holiday, (DE, Bowling Green), Derek Edwards (OG, Central Michigan), Darius Philips (WR, Western Michigan), Jerome Lane (S, Akron)

Power Rankings 

  1. Northern Illinois
  2. Bowling Green
  3. Toledo
  4. Ball State
  5. Kent State
  6. Ohio
  7. Buffalo
  8. Western Michigan
  9. Central Michigan
  10. Miami (OH)
  11. Massachusetts
  12. Akron
  13. Eastern Michigan

Follow Bob on Twitter: @BobMcGovernJr

UMass Commit: Frank Carter

(UMass Commit Frank Carter/

The UMass football team picked up a big commitment from the Sunshine State.

Frank Carter, a 6’2, 320-pound offensive lineman from Hillsborough High School in the Tampa Bay area, verbally committed to UMass. The 2014 recruit tweeted about his commitment.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 4.18.21 PM

Earl Garcia, Hillsborough’s legendary head coach, told the Maroon Musket that UMass got a steal with Carter and will have to keep recruiting him during the course of his senior year “because a bunch of big schools are going to get involved, but I’m glad for him because he saw the campus and is comfortable with the staff.” Garcia indicated that Carter currently holds offers from Florida International and Florida Tech.

“He’s a great human being, and he has great character. Frank is going to be a great husband, a great father and a great employee – he doesn’t even need football,” Garcia said. “He has all the intangibles that everyone wants. As far as tangibles, he’s a big kid at 320 pounds, and I think his better football-playing days are way ahead of him. … I’d say he’s about 50 percent of the way there.”

He said that, off the field, Carter is a great student and is in the top 2 percent of his class with a 4.6 grade point average. He added that the only time Carter missed an off-season workout was during his visit to UMass in June.

Garcia indicated that UMass wide receivers coach Allen Suber was instrumental in Carter’s recruitment.

“He did a good job recruiting him,” he said. “In real life, UMass and New England is a foreign country for a lot of out kids. Coach Suber did a great job.”

While Carter plays left tackle for Hillsborough, Garcia anticipates that he will play center at the next level.

“You want a very intelligent player to make the calls in the middle,” he said. “I think he’ll fit in the mold, and I think he’ll lose some weight and get taller, and he’s going to be a great player for UMass. I bet he starts for three years for the program.”

Here is an updated list of 2014 commitments:

  • J.T. Blyden, RB: Cardinal O’Hara High School (Pa.)
  • Norvel Stewart, WR: Bloomfield High School (Conn.)
  • Frank Carter, OL: Hillsborough High School (Fla.)
  • Jason Smith (Grey Shirt), DE: Hackensack High School (N.J.)
  • Anthony Fernandez (Grey Shirt), OL: Rancho Cucamonga High School (Calif.)

Follow Bob on Twitter: @BobMcGovernJr

UMass Recruit: Coray Keel

(UMass Recruit Coray Keel/247 Sports)

It looks like UMass is looking for a wideout down in the Peach State.

The Maroon Musket has learned that the Minutemen have extended an offer to Coray Keel, a 2014 wide receiver from Snellville, Ga. Keel is a 6’3, 190-pound athlete and has offers from all over, including Buffalo and Ohio in the MAC, and a few Big 10 programs.

John Bond, UMass’ new offensive coordinator, has been working to open new recruiting pipelines down in Georgia since joining the staff. Bond was the offensive coordinator for Georgia State and also had a stint with Georgia Tech.

Check out Keel’s hudl highlights here.

Follow Bob on twitter: @BobMcGovernJr

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