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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / August 21.
  • Busy Recruiting Weekend for RU’s Schiano; Phillips Named U.S. Army All-American (UPDATED)

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    Wondering how Rutgers coach Greg Schiano spent his bye week?

    Traveling around the Eastern seaboard watching recruits, that’s hows.

    Schiano was in Florida Friday night and back in New Jersey Saturday afternoon.

    “You have to love high school football,” Schiano told The Associated Press Friday night.

    Rutgers (3-1, 0-1 Big East) is off this week and hosts Texas Southern for Homecoming Oct. 10.

    On Friday, Schiano took an eight-seat chartered plane to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to watch the top two teams in the nation, No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., against No. 2 Byrnes High of Duncan, S.C.

    Rutgers commit Chas Dodd threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns for Byrnes (5-1), but Aquinas won the game 42-34.

    “South Florida football has been a big part of our program,” Schiano told The Associated Press. “And it always will be.”

    Florida coach Urban Meyer and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, whose team lost at Miami Saturday night, also attended the game.

    Schiano and Rutgers cornerbacks coach Chris Hewitt then went to Lodi, N.J., on  Saturday afternoon to watch Paterson Catholic senior defensive end Trevor “T.J.” Clemmings.

    The 6-foot-6, 263-pound Clemmings had eight tackles, four for loss, as the Cougars beat Lodi 22-12.

    Schiano’s appearance at the game was first reported by the Bergen Record.

    The top New Jersey recruit in the Class of 2010 despite playing in just his second year of organized football, Clemmings verbally committed to Pittsburgh in June. But Cougars head coach Benjie Wimberly told me Sunday “he’s still going through the recruiting process.”

    “He did verbally commit to Pitt,” Wimberly added. “He’s now considering taking visits. Can that change between now and December? Yes, it can.

    “He has said that he would consider taking other visits at the conclusion of the season. Obviously, Rutgers is somebody that if he does consider taking visits they would be one of the schools. Nothing is going to be set until next month.”

    Chris Melvin of EliteRecruits.com, who is close with Clemmings, says Clemmings is also considering Ohio State and Florida along with Pitt.

    “T.J. hasn’t ruled anyone out, but those three schools seemed to have surfaced to the top of his list,” Melvin said.

    Wimberly said Clemmings  will “definitely” take an official to Pitt at some point.

    Paterson Catholic is still waiting to learn its playoff schedule. The postseason begins in early December.

    “Pitt is the definite one [he will visit],” Wimberly said. “It’s pending our schedule with the playoffs, how many teams are in the bracket. We’ll have a better picture once we know how many teams we have in the bracket.”

    Because Clemmings has only played two years of organized football, Melvin says his upside is tremendous.

    “The ironic thing about T.J.’s recruitment is that he is still a novice at the sport,” Melvin said. “He’s only 14 games into his football career. I would say there is a lot more room for a legit player like T.J. to blossom.” 

    (The Associated Press contributed.)

    PHILLIPS NAMED U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN

    Boston College-bound wide receiver Shakim Phillips of Wayne (N.J.) De Paul Catholic has been selected to play in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

     The game is set for January 9, 2010, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The annual classic East vs. West match-up will be televised live on NBC and will feature the nation’s top 90 high school football players.

    The 6-2, 191-pound Phillips is the No. 5-ranked wideout in the Class of 2010, according to Rivals.

    “Shakim is a talented athlete whose exemplary displays of leadership and teamwork have made him a standout at De Paul Catholic High School,” said Col. Derik Crotts, Deputy Chief of Staff, G7, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “The qualities necessary to succeed on the football field, strength, dedication, leadership and teamwork, are the same qualities mirrored in Army Strong Soldiers. We are proud to honor all of our U.S. Army All-American Bowl players and congratulate them on their selection.”

    BOSCO’S JONES HONORED

    Don Bosco RB Tony Jones of Paterson, N.J. was named the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Player of the Week for the week ending Sept. 26. Jones, who led his team to a 35-24 win over Prattville High School (Ala.), rushed 22 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

    Jones is being courted by Rutgers, Pitt and UConn, according to Bosco AD Nunzio Campanile.

    Jones’ performance was even more extraordinary because of the national implications of the Ironmen’s victory over the Lions. Bosco, ranked No. 10 by Rivals.com heading into the weekend’s action, can now make a legitimate case for itself as the top team in the United States. On Sept. 12, the Ironmen defeated De La Salle High School (Concord, Calif.), 30-6.

    Dallas Jackson of RivalsHigh says Bosco could be No. 2 in the nation in this week’s poll.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.