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

Preview: Eastern Illinois, Southern llinois in action today on CSN

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AP

Preview: Eastern Illinois, Southern llinois in action today on CSN

College basketball is back on CSN on Saturday as two local teams will be featured in live conference matchups.

In the first matchup at 11 a.m., Eastern Illinois will host Austin Peay in an Ohio Valley Conference clash on CSN+ while the second matchup has Evansville hosting Southern Illinois in a Missouri Valley Conference game at 1 p.m. on CSN.

Eastern Illinois (9-8, 1-3) is coming off of a conference loss to Murray State. Junior guard Montell Goodwin leads the charge for the Panthers as he's averaging 14.8 points per game on the season. Austin Peay (5-13, 1-3) just earned a tight win over SIU-Edwardsville to help end an 11-game losing streak. Junior Josh Robinson is having a strong season despite the losing as he's averaging 21.2 points per game for the Governors.

The second game will be on the main CSN at 1 p.m. as Southern Illinois (10-8, 3-2) tries to bounce back from a loss to Bradley. The Salukis are led by sophomore guard Armon Fletcher as the Edwardsville product leads the team at 13.7 points per game.

Evansville (10-8, 1-4) is coming off of three consecutive losses as the Purple Aces are trying to figure things out at home. Senior Jaylon Brown has been one of the Valley's premier scorers this season as he's putting up 20.9 points per contest.

MVC basketball doubleheader on CSN

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USA TODAY

MVC basketball doubleheader on CSN

Missouri Valley Conference basketball is back on CSN on Wednesday as a doubleheader begins at 6 p.m.

In the first game, Loyola will travel to Wichita State to face the Shockers in a 6 p.m. tip while the second game features Northern Iowa traveling to Bradley in a game that tips at 8 p.m.

Loyola (12-5, 2-2) has won two straight games as Chicago products Milton Doyle (Marshall) and Donte Ingram (Simeon) are both playing well. Doyle barely missed a triple-double in a win over Northern Iowa and followed that up with a career-high 35 points in a win over Bradley. Ingram has returned from a knee injury to give the Ramblers a boost as he had 25 in the win over Northern Iowa.

Wichita State (14-3, 4-0) has won five straight as they once again look like one of the Valley's best teams. Junior forward Darral Willis Jr. leads the Shockers in scoring at 12.1 points per game while sophomore Markis McDuffie is putting up 11.8 points per game. 

[RELATED: Complete NCAA coverage]

The second game of the doubleheader features Northern Iowa taking on Bradley. The Panthers (5-10, 0-4) have dropped five straight games as they're struggling to find help for senior guard Jeremy Morgan.

Bradley (7-10, 2-2) is coming off of a home loss to Loyola but they've had a solid bounceback season in head coach Brian Wardle's second year. The Braves only won five games all of last season as the roster has been revamped for this season.

Freshman guard Darrell Brown paces the Bradley offense at 12.2 points per game while junior forward JoJo McGlaston is putting up 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.