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Preparing to make the jump

Five Cougars could land in Division I

Posted: January 1, 2009 9:23 p.m.
Updated: January 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The College of the Canyons has frequently been a talent source for Division I college football programs, and this year is looking to be no exception.

Wide receiver Hayo Carpenter has verbally committed to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Carpenter finished his sophomore season with 93 catches for 1,675 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 18 yards per reception.

Minnesota went to the junior college ranks and hauled in five players last offseason, and Carpenter has been rated a five-star recruit (out of five) by and a four-star recruit by He also received offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State.

College of the Canyons defensive tackle Jonathon Hollins is also headed to a BCS conference, having issued a verbal commitment to the University of Tennessee. Hollins is rated as a four-star recruit by Scout and a three-star prospect by Rivals, and made an official campus visit in the middle of December.

Hollins finished the 2008 season with 44 total tackles, including six tackles for loss and four and a half sacks. Hollins' decision hasn't been affected by the resignation of former Volunteers head coach Phillip Fulmer and the hiring of new head coach Lane Kiffin, whose father Monte will serve as defensive coordinator. Monte Kiffin spent 13 seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and he helped the Bucs win Super Bowl XXXVII with his renowned Tampa 2 defense.

Cougars quarterback Brad McClellan hasn't made a verbal commitment yet, but McClellan is reportedly leaning toward the University of Kentucky, which has extended him an offer. McClellan is scheduled to visit the campus in Lexington, Kentucky, on Jan. 15, and also has an offer on the table from Middle Tennessee.

McClellan is listed as a two-star recruit by Scout but not rated by Rivals. He threw for 2,333 yards and 18 touchdowns this past fall, and averaged 212.1 yards per game passing.

College of the Canyons offensive lineman Joe Evinger is also getting looks from several Division I colleges according to Rivals, including Arkansas, Louisville, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Nevada and San Diego. Evinger has also reportedly expressed interest in Indiana University, which is located approximately 45 miles from Evinger's hometown of Northview, Ind.

Evinger is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals, but Scout only gives him two stars.

Cougars running back Fred Winborn is interested in several Pac-10 schools, including Arizona State, California and Washington State, although no offer has been extended. Winborn had 225 carries for 1,634 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season, and is listed as a three-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals.


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