I’m back on the camp odyssey on Tuesday, and I will get stuff from Barnegat, Point Boro, Shore Regional and others from Bob Badders after I’m done with Tuesday’s stuff. Before that, here’s a few things from Monday.
Toms River North and Lacey played to a 14-14 tie in their annual scrimmage. Demetri Davis, the Mariners’ new quarterback, threw for one touchdown and ran for another. He has the makings of a breakout player in the Shore this year as a junior quarterback after moving over from running back. He is kind of an Andrew Mandeville-type who is always a threat to make a play with his legs off a broken play, but also has a rifle arm.
As for Lacey, some info that had been mentioned to me earlier by Bob Badders was true as the Lions came out in a spread formation, running a Tim Tebow-style Florida offense under junior quarterback Craig Cicardo. That is a pretty radical departure from the usual power-I running game of the Lions, who lost leading rusher Tom Rickmers to graduation. Junior Jarrod Molzon could be the next standout running back in a long and proud tradition for Lacey, but it looks like the Lions may be putting more in the hands of Cicardo, the son of offensive coordinator Craig Cicardo, now that he is more comfortable after seeing significant time last year as a sophomore.
In other notes, Jackson Memorial coach Mike Smith said that junior defensive tackle Dimitrius Smith has received interest from Rutgers, Boston College, Temple, Syracuse and Penn State. Schools are not allowed to offer him until Sept. 1, but many have been in to see Smith in person. The way it works is that coaches from these schools can’t speak to Smith at this point, so they dropped by school during his sophomore year to get a look at him in person without actually speaking to him. The same thing has gone on with Middletown North junior tight end Shilique Calhoun, who has drawn interest from Rutgers and Boston College. Essentially the coaches want to see if the player passes the “look test” while also showing that their school is very interested. The class of 2011 is shaping up to be very strong in the Shore and throughout New Jersey compared to the class of 2010, which only has two players ranked by Rivals in the Top 100 and one ranked in the Scout.com Top 100 in the nation, including the future teammate of Raritan WR Bennett Jackson, Hun School defensive end Chris Martin, who has also verbally committed to Notre Dame. Jackson, by the way, reportedly looked outstanding in a scrimmage against Monmouth Regional on Monday.
As for another highly-regarded defensive lineman, Manchester senior defensive tackle Jimmy Lawson will have to choose between a wrestling career and a football career. He has already been offered wrestling scholarships to Rutgers, Ohio State and Virginia Tech, while attracting mainly Division I-AA interest for football. Monmouth University is reportedly very interested in Lawson, who has had a hard time passing the “look test” himself because he is “only” 5-foot-10 and about 285 pounds. Anyone who has seen him on a wrestling mat knows he is a tremendous athlete and very agile for his size. He has a chance to make state history this winter as the first three-time NJSIAA heavyweight champion, so we’ll see which way he is leaning. I’m sure Scott Goodale and Rutgers have gone after him hard on the wrestling mat because Goodale has had great success recruiting the Shore Conference and to snare someone like Lawson this early would only help their recruiting efforts this year. As far as Greg Schiano and the football side go, it’s unclear how interested he is in Lawson. I’ll be stopping by Manchester this week, so we’ll see what Jimmy has to say.
Finally, as I analyze all the running backs in the Shore, there is one who stands out and would be the biggest star of them all – if only he played in the Shore Conference. Jackson resident Savon Huggins, who would’ve attended Jackson Memorial, has become one of the nation’s top recruits in the class of 2011 as a running back for St. Peter’s Prep. Oklahoma, Florida, Notre Dame, Rutgers you name it – they are all hot on Huggins’s trail. Rutgers has already offered him verbally, just like it did with Neptune junior RB Charles Davis. The head coach of St. Peter’s, Rich Hansen, is a Freehold Township resident whose daughter attends Red Bank Catholic, so he certainly has Shore ties and routinely procures talent from this area. Still, you wonder what kind of video game numbers Huggins could have put up with four years in Jackson’s power-I running game, which has produced a 1,000-yard rusher every year since 1995.