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March 14, 2008

Stars to come out for loaded Five-Star weekend

Rivals.com will host three Five-Star Academy events this weekend, including two stops in the Midwest. All three events are expected to attract some of the top players in the country, including five-star defensive tackle William Campbell.

Campbell will headline Sunday's Five-Star Academy in East Lansing at Michigan State University. He'll be joined by many of the top players in Michigan and a few top players from Northwestern Ohio.

Campbell, the top-ranked player in Michigan from Detroit Cass Tech, is already committed to Michigan, but other schools haven't given up their pursuit to land him. He has numerous national offers and will be one of the most heavily targeted players in the nation during the spring evaluation process.

Michigan State has gotten off to a great start in-state this season and almost all of the Spartans' commitments will be on hand for the event.

This includes stud running backs Edwin Baker of Oak Park and Larry Caper of Battle Creek. Linebacker Chris Norman of Detroit Renaissance is also slated to be there. All three are expected to be highly ranked in the Rivals250 when it's released next week. Receiver Donald Spencer of Ypsilanti is also a Spartan commitment that's expected at the event.

Other elite Michigan players will be there, too.

Top players like James Jackson from Grand Ledge, Teric Jones from Cass Tech, Shamari Benton from Brother Rice, Zac Matthias from Hemlock, Cameron Gordon of Inkster, Mike Schaaf of Arthur Hill, Jeremy Gainer of Clarenceville and Reid Fragel of Grosse Point South highlight a group of around 100 players expected to be at Michigan State on Sunday.

Rivals.com hits Illinois

Tim O'Halloran of EdgyTim.com will host his annual Rivals.com event Saturday at Naperville North High School, one of two events on Saturday. O'Halloran has hosted the Five-Star Academy events for more than eight years now and it always attracts the top players in Illinois.

Last season it attracted more than 250 of the top players from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Midwest. It'll be the same story again Saturday as household names in Illinois like Chris Watt, Patrick Ward, Jon Budmayr, Michael Schofield, Leon Hill, Michael Buchanan, Lendell Buckner, John Brewer and others will be there.

One player that Rivals.com is really excited to eyeball on Saturday is Schofield. The 6-foot-6, 270-pounder is about to explode nationally as his film is one of the finest in the state. He could be the next big thing in Illinois.

Best of the Carolinas

The Rivals.com Five-Star Academy tour also stops in the Charlotte area at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., this Saturday with plenty of top talent from North Carolina and South Carolina expected to be on hand. Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook wide receiver Jheranie Boyd headlines a deep group that will be at the event.

Boyd, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound wideout who emerged as a potential top 50 national prospect after his film made the rounds, has a great combination of size and speed and is just starting to receive big offers. Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest are among those who have already tendered offers with many more to come.

A couple of Charlotte locals will also highlight the event. Charlotte (N.C.) Independence defensive back DeVonte Holloman and Matthews (N.C.) Butler linebacker Hawatha Bell are both expected to be on hand to represent their home state. Holloman, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety, has early offers from Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, North Carolina, NC State, Tennessee, Clemson and others. Bell, who stands 6 feet 1 and 225 pounds, favors offers from South Carolina and Virginia Tech and also boasts offers from NC State, North Carolina and Miami.

Norwood (N.C.) South Stanly cornerback Terry Shankle, who is 6 feet and 170 pounds, will also be on hand. He has early offers from Alabama, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, Tennessee and others. Durham (N.C.) Hillside running back Desmond Scott, with offers from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, NC State and many others, might also make an appearance.

Others from North Carolina expected to attend with offers include Raleigh (N.C.) Leesville Road wide receiver Zach Greene (NC State), Durham (N.C.) Southern Durham wideout Kendrick Wiggins (East Carolina), Charlotte (N.C.) Charlotte Catholic tight end Tucker Windle, Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek corner Josh Hunter and others.

The state of South Carolina will be represented as well, led by Greenwood, S.C. teammates Sam Montgomery and D.J. Swearinger. Montgomery is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end with offers from nearly everyone in the Southeast while Swearinger is a 6-foot-0, 188-pound safety with two early offers from Illinois and Vanderbilt.

Florence (S.C.) West Florence defensive end Malliciah Goodman, a 6-foot-4, 242-pounder who is already committed to Clemson, is also expected to attend as well as his teammate, defensive end Sydney Sarmiento.

Even the state of Georgia will be represented as McDonough (Ga.) Henry County wide receiver Jamal Patterson is expected to be on hand as well. Patterson has offers from Florida, Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina and others.



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