I’ve touched base with coaches the last couple days to gather information on the Class of 2012. Certainly it’s very early in the recruiting process for these juniors but not too early for a few to receive scholarship offers already.
Below are updates on the juniors, but the list is far from complete. If you have information I haven’t listed here that you think is pertinent, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
UPDATE, 5/19, 7:34 P.M.: Updates on four Croton-Harmon players, Will Parkinson of Mamaroneck and John D’Onofrio of Westlake.
Justin Combs, CB, Iona Prep — One of the players who surprised me most was Combs, a speedy defensive back. He had a strong junior season and showed great athleticism and ball skills, but Combs stands just 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. What he may lack in size has not stopped him. Combs recently attended a U.S. Army combine in Texas and his performance helped earn him Division I offers from Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Wyoming.
Brian Connolly, QB, Ossining — You saw a glimpse of the big lefty’s prodigious talent when I took a video of him last summer at practice. Obviously, Ossining had an uncharacteristically tough season, which took Connolly off the Section 1 radar. Well, colleges haven’t failed to notice. He’s already received an offer from Bucknell, as well as visits from colleges at the high schools and a number of invitations to Division I-A camps. He will attend camp at the following schools: Lafayette, Syracuse, Temple, Fordham and Rutgers.
Caleb Gilligan-Evans, RB, Stepinac — The 240-pound back has received extensive interest from Patriot League and Ivy League schools. He visited Yale this spring and received an offer from the New Haven school. He was also invited to camp at Penn State, and has received recruiting interest from William & Mary, Stony Brook, Fordham, Ball State and Akron.
Eric Cooley, OL/DL, Yorktown — One of the area’s top returning linemen has received invites to camps at Rutgers, Stony Brook, Albany, UConn and Bucknell. He has not yet received an official offer.
Austin Taps, TE/DE, and Garfield Heslop, OLB, Stepinac — In addition to several visits from colleges at the school for these two and Gilligan-Evans, Taps and Heslop have received some heavy interest, although no offers yet. Taps has been invited to a combine at Rutgers, and will attend camps at Boston College, Syracuse and Temple next month. He also visited William & Mary. Heslop, who is Doug Hogue’s cousin, has received a great deal of interest from Syracuse and will attend camp there. Akron, Temple and Ball State have shown interest as well, but Syracuse has been the strongest suitor.
Dennis O’Connell, OL/DL, Croton-Harmon — The run stuffer in the Tigers’ defense has given a verbal commitment to Division I-AA Byrant. He and teammates QB/DB Jesse Mainiero, LB Kyle Ricciardi and OL/DL John Brennan have all attracted attention, including visits to the high school by recruiters. The suitors include Fordham and Marist, which currently has three Croton players on its rosters, including Mainiero’s brother Nick.
Others — TE/DL Anthony Caldararo, WR/S Shaquille Evans and OL Durrell Rice of New Rochelle have received Division I interest but no offers as of yet. … White Plains WR/S Odaine Franklin was named MVP at the National Underclassmen Combine last weekend in Palisades, N.J. Mount Vernon MLB Sherlon Bacchus was named MVP among linebackers at the same combine in Middletown. … Stepinac K Prezemyslaw Popek has also attracted interest from scholarship-level schools. … Mamaroneck WR Will Parkinson has garnered interest from Division I-AA teams. … Westlake QB John D’Onofrio will attend camps at Albany and Boston College this summer and has received interest from several Division I-AA and II schools.