Where the nation's Super 25 are going

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Where the nation's Super 25 are going

Dick Butkus wouldn't believe it.

"There were six linebackers last year who were better than the No. 1 linebacker in the class of 2012," said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network.

But linebackers?

"It's a good year but not an overwhelming year for talent, a weak year for linebackers and tight ends but an average to above-average year for the other positions," Lemming said.

Butkus, the legendary linebacker who practically invented the position at Chicago Vocational, Illinois and the Chicago Bears and the man whose name is on the trophy awarded annually to the best linebacker in college football, would find it hard to imagine that the word "weak" is being used to describe this year's crop of linebackers.

Lemming's three picks are Wisconsin-bound Vince Biegel of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., who is rated as the No. 34 player in the nation--and the first linebacker listed among the top 100; USC-bound Scott Starr of Norco, Calif., who is No. 60; and Florida-bound Antonio Morrison of Bolingbrook, who is No. 69.

Other services single out Kwon Alexander of Oxford, Ala., USC-bound Jabari Ruffin of Downey, Calif., Stanford-bound Noor Davis of The Villages, Fla., and Josh Clemons of Valdosta, Ga. Alabama-bound Dillon Lee of Buford, Ga., Michigan-bound James Ross of St. Mary's, Mich., LSU-bound Trey Granier of Thibodaux, La., and Rutgers-bound Quanzell Lambert of Creek, N.J.

"There are a lot of All-America teams and a lot of scouting services and 3,000 kids to pick from. We only choose the top 100," Lemming said. "We would be charged with collusion if our picks were close to being the same. There are a lot of opinions, no set way to separate one prospect from another.

"Football isn't like basketball. It isn't as easy to predict if a kid will develop into a star. It's about size, maturity, productivity, speed, growth and potential. Few kids are ready-made prospects. They have to develop. Sometimes it takes until their senior year in college or a year or two in the NFL to reach their full potential."

And then you have to add politics to the equation.

"Some colleges actually call the ratings people to talk up their classes so their school will be rated higher. They want high ratings. Some can save their jobs with a good recruiting class," Lemming said.

The only top 25 player who didn't commit on national signing day was wide receiver Stefon Diggs of Olney, Maryland. He is considering Ohio State, Florida, Maryland, Arkansas and California. He will make a decision on Feb. 10, after visiting Maryland.

Florida landed four players among the top 25--Morrison, tight end Kent Taylor, offensive lineman D.J. Humphries, kicker Austin Hardin. USC had three players, Alabama and Florida State two each.

Here are the nation's Super 25 players:

Offense

Pos.PlayerHometownHtWtCollegeTEKent Taylor
Land O'Lakes, Fla.
6-5218FloridaWRDorial Green-Beckham
Springfield, Mo.
6-6220MizzouOLJohn Theus
Jacksonville, Fla.
6-6301GeorgiaOLAndrus Peat
Tempe, Ariz
6-7280StanfordOLArik Armstead
Pleasant Grove, Calif.
6-7275OregonOLDJ Humphries
Charlotte, N.C.
6-6265FloridaOLZach Banner
Lakewood Lakes, Wash.
6-8320USCQBGunner Kiel
Columbus, Ind.
6-4216Notre Dame
RBJonathan Gray
Aledo, Texas
6-0195TexasRBRushel Shell
Aliquippa, Pa.
6-0215PittsburghKAustin Hardin
Atlanta, Ga.
5-11200FloridaPBradley Pinion
Concord, N.C.
6-5220ClemsonWRStefon Diggs
Olney, Md.
6-0175Undeclared
Defense:

Pos.PlayerHometownHtWtCollegeDLEddie Goldman
Washington D.C.
6-4295Florida State
DLNoah Spence
Harrisburg, Pa.
6-3230Ohio State
DLMario Edwards
Denton, Texas
6-3270Florida State
DLEllis McCarthy
Monrovia, Calif.
6-4300UCLALBVince Briegel
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
6-3215WisconsinLBScott Staff
Norco, Calif.
6-4230USCLBAntonio Morrison
Bolingbrook, Ill.
6-3220FloridaDBShaq Thompson
Sacramanto, Calif.
6-2215WashingtonDBLandon Collins
Geismar, La.
6-1205AlabamaDB
Shaq Roland
Lexington, S.C.
6-2180South Carolina
DBGeno Smith
Atlanta, Ga.
6-0165AlabamaKRNelson Agholor
Tampa, Fla.
6-2180USC

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

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AP

DePaul basketball program on the rise after landing 5-star recruit Tyger Campbell

DePaul hoops received a huge boost this week as five-star recruit Tyger Campbell committed to the university.

The elite point guard recruit out of La Lumiere, will join the Class of 2018, choosing DePaul over schools like Michigan State, Illinois and Memphis.

"I like DePaul and honestly my coach (Shane Heirman) just went there and we have a great connection and he's always had my back," Campbell told Scout.com. "I like [DePaul] coach Dave Leitao, too. I like his program and he's an intelligent guy.

"Mainly what I like about the school is I want to help bring it back. I love Chicago; it's a great city. I want to bring the city a college back to cheer for."

Campbell also said the Blue Demons' new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Place Event Center, which is slated to open this fall, is a big draw for him.

The Blue Demons are a combined 18-45 the last two seasons and hasven't had a winning season since 2006-07 when they went 20-14 and made the NIT Quarterfinals.

The program last made the NCAA Tournament in 2003-04 during Leitao's first stint as the team's head coach.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.