June 2, 2011

News and Notes

It's really good to be Donald Hopkins these days.

Over the last six weeks, the Lago Vista defensive tackle has gone from a non-AQ recruit to one where the BCS schools couldn't stop coming by the Central Texas Class 2A school.

"It's going good,'' Hopkins said. "It's pretty stressful. But I'm trying to stay humble and just be Donald Hopkins. I've been the same person from the beginning of this year until now. It's been crazy with all of the schools coming by.''

Baylor finally joined the party when it offered Hopkins on Wednesday. Hopkins called assistant coach Dino Babers after he received word from his coach Alan Haire.

Now, the question is where Hopkins is going to camp this weekend.

He received invitations from Texas A&M, which hasn't offered, and Baylor. Both have Sunday camp sessions. The only other planned summer visit is sometime this month to Alabama.

"The Baylor coaches told me they'd like for me to go,'' Hopkins said. "I could go to A&M. But I don't want to waste my time if they don't offer. I just have to decide what I want to do.''

A short drive from Austin, Lago Vista's program gained attention in 2010 when the Vikings went 13-1 and advanced to the 2A Division I state semifinals. It then sent Jemarcus Johnson off to Baylor.

Now, Hopkins' sudden Division I popularity has given the school, the district and the community uncommon visibility.

"I did not think I would be talking with [Alabama coach] coach Nick Saban,'' Haire said.

Johnson's presence at Baylor could make all the difference for Hopkins' attention toward Baylor. Even though Baylor just offered, Hopkins said it isn't too late for any school to get involved. Hopkins said he and Johnson keep in touch. Johnson graduated last December and enrolled in Baylor in January.

Of the schools that have offered, he said Utah has impressed him the most because he has spoken more about academics with them than any other school.

"But I understand that these schools are trying to get me on their campus,'' said Hopkins who maxed out in the bench at 445 and in the squat at 265. "That's part of the whole thing. I just don't want to miss anything.''

2011 has already begun
Several members of the 2011 signing class are already on the Baylor campus. They are Allen wide receiver Jonathon Lee, Dallas Lincoln linebacker Devante Davis, Euless Trinity defensive lineman Suleiman Masumbuko, Knoxville, (TN.) Catholic punter Spencer Roth and Waco Midway defensive lineman Beau Blackshear.

There was no time to soak in the euphoria of graduating from high school. Lee said both the unsupervised workouts and first summer school session began Wednesday. Lee said he is taking one class this session and then another one in the second session, which will start in July.

The first workout was the standard 110s, followed by a warmup and then a light lifting drill. Everything becomes more challenging as the summer wears on.

"We're a little sore,'' Lee said. "It's time to work. I have to go for what I've achieved and high school. Now, I have to show it to the coaches.''

Throughout the last couple of days, we had mentioned several other players had mentioned they were arriving between Tuesday and Wednesday. However, several still had some graduation ceremonies including Cedar Park's Spencer Drango. There are a couple who are still dealing with some NCAA clearinghouse matters. Those appear to be more procedural than anything else. It's just a matter of when not if.

Cy Creek running back Jermichael Selders told SicEmSports.com that he still doesn't have a qualifying test score and is taking the SAT this weekend. The good news is that Selders said he is totally recovered from the torn left ACL he suffered last summer.

Cajun Spice
Patterson, La. linebacker Lorenzo Phillips is still trying to sort through the list of offers he has received including one from Baylor.

But the 2012 4-star prospect, ranked No. 146 in the Rivals250 list, said he has read up on Baylor and plans on visiting Texas this summer. Of course, Baylor is not the only Texas school vying for him. Texas A&M and Houston have offered.

"My dad works in Houston and is tug boat captain, so he's told me a little bit about Baylor,'' Phillips said. "He said it's really good academic school. I like that.''

As an outside linebacker, Patterson said his strength is blitzing off the edge. Plus, he's fast enough to cover sideline to sideline when needed. However, he realizes there is more to the position than running around doing stuff.

"I think I can cover, but that's something that I need to work on for sure,'' he said.

Collecting Phillips' commitment could be a package deal. Teammate Trevon Stewart lives with Phillips and is also a Division I recruit. So far, the only program to offer both is Houston.

"I'm taking my time with everything,'' Phillips said. "I want to make a decision where I don't have any second thoughts. My family is going to play a big-time role in this.''

For now, the next step is for Phillips to go to Clemson's camp this weekend.

Camp season begins
Baylor's pursuit of the 2012 signing class continues this week as it opens its summer camp schedule Friday with the Houston mini camp at Cy Falls High School. The camp runs from 1-4 p.m. Thus far, about 100 players have pre-registered for the event. The walk-up could make it closer to 200.

On Sunday, Baylor will hold two simultaneously on its campus. The offensive lineman/defensive lineman camp runs from 1-4 p.m., while the skill player camp runs from 3-6 p.m. Cost is $35 per session per player. You can get more information at www.baylorbears.com.

Keller Central offensive lineman Simon Goines re-iterated that Baylor coaches have told him that they would allow him to play basketball if he wound up coming to the program…Baylor has offered Blinn Comnunity College running back Marion Grice...the Bears have looked at Houston Bellaire's program for the long-term future. Coach Trey Herrmann said the program offered 2013 wide receiver Devin Lauderdale. As a sophomore in 2010, Lauderdale was a special teams sensation. He had 690 yards in punt returns including three that went for touchdowns. He also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

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