Alabama Crimson Tide: Kansas State Wildcats

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: No team in America is more on fire than the Alabama Crimson Tide and they’re not done yet; UCLA gets two major DB commits and make an impression with new uniforms, and juco linebacker Errol Clarke II is quickly becoming a wanted man with Big 12 and SEC coaches.
Cameron RobinsonGreg Ostendorf/ESPNFriday's decision by offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the No. 3 prospect in the ESPN 300, between LSU and Alabama could foreshadow the last five months of the 2014 cycle.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Cameron Robinson announces on Friday and his pick could go a long way toward determining who has the No. 1 class, tight end DeAndre Goolsby is quickly climbing the charts, and Elijah Hood’s decision could help North Carolina lure one of nation’s top surprise classes.


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The Early Offer: Robinson's impact 

August, 28, 2013
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Cameron RobinsonGreg Ostendorf/ESPNFriday's decision by offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the No. 3 prospect in the ESPN 300, between LSU and Alabama could foreshadow the last five months of the 2014 cycle.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Cameron Robinson announces on Friday and his pick could go a long way toward determining who has the No. 1 class, TE DeAndre Goolsby is quickly climbing the charts of many recruiters, and Elijah Hood’s decision could help UNC lure one of nation’s top surprise classes.

Decision day set for Robinson
One of the most significant recruiting battles of the 2014 class will come to close Friday when the nation’s No. 3 overall player Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe) announces his decision. Robinson, a five-star prospect, is a franchise offensive tackle that only comes around once every few classes, and the battle between LSU and Alabama is one that could set the tone for the rest of the recruiting season. If LSU lands him, then it could help the Tigers run the table with other high profile in-state recruits like No. 1-ranked Leonard Fournette. That type of run could help the Tigers unseat the Tide from the top spot in the class rankings that it’s held for the last two years. If Alabama lands him, then the Tide basically locks up another No. 1 class with more than five months left in the recruiting calendar. Most projections, including RecruitingNation’s Hot Board, have Robinson leaning towards Alabama.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Live blog: SEC media days

July, 18, 2013
7/18/13
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Join our ESPN.com college football experts for a live blog from SEC media days. We'll have highlights, pictures, videos and interviews with SEC players and coaches from Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Vanderbilt live from Hoover, Ala.

Join us beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET by submitting your comments and questions. See you there. You can also view all the action on ESPNU or WatchESPN.com.

Here is our live blog of Day 1 and Day 2 in case you missed it.

Live blog: SEC media days

July, 17, 2013
7/17/13
8:00
AM ET
Join our ESPN.com college football experts for a live blog from SEC media days. We'll have highlights, pictures, videos and interviews with SEC players and coaches from Texas A&M, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Auburn and Arkansas live from Hoover, Ala.

Join us beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET by submitting your comments and questions. See you there. You can also view all the action on ESPNU or WatchESPN.com.

Here is our live blog of Day 1 in case you missed it.

Live blog: SEC media days

July, 16, 2013
7/16/13
11:00
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Join our ESPN.com college football experts for a live blog from SEC media days. We'll have highlights, pictures, videos and live interviews with SEC players and coaches from Hoover, Ala.

Join us beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET by submitting your comments and questions. See you there.

The Big 12-SEC dream games

May, 17, 2013
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The SEC and Big 12 announced an annual challenge on the basketball court, but colleague Edward Aschoff wondered what it would look like if that challenge extended to the football field.

There are already two games on the schedule this season -- between TCU and LSU, and Oklahoma State and Mississippi State. What else would I like to see?

Let me start by saying that renewing the Texas-Texas A&M and Missouri-Kansas rivalries are a given. I'm omitting those matchups, but I'd love to see them.

Let's get started:

Oklahoma State vs. Alabama: OSU narrowly missed out on playing for the national title back in 2011, and both are among their conference favorites again in 2013. When the BCS "snubbed" the Pokes after the 2011 regular season, OSU coach Mike Gundy half-jokingly suggested these two play for the right to play LSU in the title game. It would be fun to see this one finally played out on the field.

Baylor vs. LSU: Straight up offense vs. defense. That's the Big 12 vs. SEC debate at its heart. Baylor just might be the Big 12's best offense, and LSU will put together another strong defense. These are the matchups we want to see. The Big 12 has faltered on the big stage, helping the SEC stretch its run of national titles, but seeing Bryce Petty sling it around against an athletic defense would be a lot of fun.

Texas vs. Arkansas: Arkansas' exit from the Southwest Conference helped usher in the birth of the Big 12 after the SWC crumbled. Texas has bigger rivals like Oklahoma and Texas A&M, but these two played some of the greatest games in college football history, and as an Arkansas native, I've seen up close how much Razorbacks fans detest the Longhorns to this day. The result would be a great game and a hyped atmosphere.

TCU vs. Texas A&M: Texas A&M fans take exception to the idea that TCU was an on-field "upgrade" over the Aggies in the Big 12. The Aggies largely struggled in the Big 12 after some early success and a Big 12 title under R.C. Slocum. Since leaving for the SEC, the Aggies have gone nowhere but up, and ended 2012 as the hottest team in college football. Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel has a Heisman Trophy. Could he shred the Frogs? Want to prove TCU is not an upgrade? Beat TCU on the field.

Kansas State vs. Florida: Kansas State is perpetually underrated and wins with a bunch of junior college guys, and high school players overlooked by major programs. Florida won big under Urban Meyer, but has been largely overrated since Meyer left and was whacked by Louisville to end 2012. The Gators would be suiting up an army of recruiting stars, but could Bill Snyder, the Manhattan Magician, grab a win for the Big 12?
Oklahoma vs. Georgia: Mark Richt and Bob Stoops have one big thing in common: Neither fan base truly appreciates what their coach has accomplished. Consider this an opportunity for both to quiet the hot-seat talk. It's been a lot more intense for Richt, who endured a 6-7 season back in 2010, but he's won the SEC East in each of the past two seasons. Stoops has averaged just over 10 wins a season at Oklahoma, and Richt has averaged just under 10 wins. Call this the "Underappreciated Bowl."

Watch List OT Bauer piling up offers 

February, 28, 2013
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As ESPN Watch List offensive tackle Andy Bauer (St. Louis/ De Smet) creeps up on 40 offers, he is reminded of two important yet unofficial rules to the recruiting game.

Network, first of all; and second, have fun.


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Haney: If there were a 2012 playoff ...

November, 14, 2012
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The seeds would be Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida and LSU. But how would it play out? ESPN Insider Travis Haney lines it up, gets some help from the oddsmakers, and picks his champion.

Read the story here. Insider

Missed call works in CB Jones' favor 

November, 1, 2012
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Offers have been coming in weekly for juco defensive back Riyahd Jones (Columbus, Ga./Garden City Community College). On Wednesday, the former Columbus (Ga.) Carver standout felt he was ready to make his commitment, so he picked up the phone.

“I actually called Ole Miss to commit today, but they did not answer when I first called,” Jones said.

Then his phone rang.

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Tide showing interest in junior college CB 

October, 29, 2012
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As Kansas State continues its run through college football victims, junior college cornerback Riyahd Jones (Garden City, Kan./Garden City Community College) continues to wonder what it would be like wearing the royal purple and white.

Jones, a 6-0, 185-pound sophomore, considers Kansas State as a front-runner in his recruiting process, and he recently had a chance to see what the future would look like. A Kansas State fan sent him a picture through Twitter. The picture was of a Kansas State player wearing No. 3 -- the same number he wears at Garden City.

The player, who appeared to be in a defensive back’s stance, was supposed to represent Jones.

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Alabama, Oregon, Florida, Kansas State and Notre Dame all have undefeated aspirations. Which of them has the best shot? ESPN Insider Brian Fremeau compared each team against a close recent profile and modeled the results. So far, Bama has the best shot, but some of the results might surprise you. Read the complete story here Insider.
The Big 12's held on all season, but the SEC finally passed it for the No. 1 spot in the ESPN Stats & Info Conference Power Rankings.

The Big 12 still has the No. 1 spot in the computer polls, but the Big 12 took a hit in the human polls after just four Big 12 teams showed up in Sunday's AP rankings. The SEC took the lead by a full point after steadily creeping up on the Big 12 since the rankings debuted.

(Read full post)

While the University of Alabama basketball staff awaits Devonta Pollard’s decision, it has remained active recruiting the 2013 class, and one player it has shown a lot of interest lately is Texas point guard Kendal Harris.

The Crimson Tide already has an offer out to point guard Jaren Sina, who was once committed to Alabama, but that hasn’t stopped UA coach Anthony Grant from exploring other options. Grant visited Harris at his high school earlier this month and over the weekend Grant and one of the Tide’s assistant coaches traveled to Las Vegas to watch Harris in action with his AAU team, Urban DFW Elite.

“They’ve been saying they like how I run the point and how I would fit with their style of play,” Harris said. “They really like my personality, and they want me to be in their program.”

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Bama, UT eyeing Watch List WR Samples 

December, 15, 2011
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Forgive ESPNU Watch List wide receiver Ra’Shaad Samples (Dallas, Texas/Skyline) if he is smiling a little brighter after Wednesday.

Samples, a junior that entered the week with nine FBS scholarship offers, learned of heavy interest from two power schools in Alabama and Texas. A 5-foot-11, 170-pound junior, Samples had a late-morning visit with Alabama and then met with Texas later in the day on the Skyline campus.

“It was a real good recruiting day for me,” said Samples, one of the premier receivers in his class and the leading receiver statistically on a very talented Skyline roster. “It was definitely in my top two or three days.”

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