Maryland coach Gary Williams, Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt were a few of the more notable Division I coaches in Albany, N.Y., last weekend for a coaches clinic at Bishop Maginn High School.
We want you, Taran. Here I am, in your home gym on a September Saturday, just so I can say hi -- even if I can't.
And that's primarily why Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Gary Williams (Maryland) and Hewitt and others came here.
"They are recruiting Taran, I'm not going to lie to you," said [Rich] Hurley, coach of the reigning state champion Golden Griffins. "Everyone knows it. ... They want to show Taran how much they want him by helping out our program."
Terrelle Woody coached one of the teams, shortly before he was hired as USF's new video and conditioning assistant. Woody coached Gilchrist, Jones and Verdejo on the same team in the Tampa Bay Pro-Am League. Only two players per school are allowed per team unless approval is obtained from the school's athletic director, which it was not.
On Aug. 17 in Orlando, in the Tampa Bay-Orlando league final, Woody coached Team Impact, which consisted of only five players: Gilchrist, Jones, Verdejo and non-USF students Renaldo Balkman and Jerell Davis.
However, a Tribune photographer witnessed Woody entering the name "Marlon Jackson" in the official scorebook and excluding Verdejo. The photographer and the league's Web site confirmed no one named "Marlon Jackson" played and that Verdejo played in the game, scoring 10 points.
Hairston first visited Duke in July. He also was offered scholarships by Georgetown, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Clemson, Ohio State and Kansas.
"After his first visit in the summer, he was leaning toward Duke," Nino said. "It was just a matter of him getting comfortable when Coach K got back from China (and the Olympics). He had a good feeling about the elite status of the program, and I think that just solidified this decision."
Senior quarterback C.J. Brown, a University of Maryland recruit, has passed for an average of 291 yards per game through three weeks. Brown is 60 for 93 for 874 yards, and perhaps more impressive are the facts he has thrown only one interception as opposed to six touchdown passes and done so with a 65 percent completion percentage and 14.6 yards-per-completion average.
"I think the Brown kid is just probably one of the best quarterbacks I've ever seen as far as being able to evade the rush and stay cool under pressure and put the ball where it needs to be put," [Knoch coach Mike] King said. "And then their wide receivers, against Baldwin [a 42-7 win last week], I'm not sure they dropped one ball all game. You can tell there's a confidence level in what they're trying to do offensively."