Alabama Crimson Tide: North Carolina State Wolfpack

Notes from South Carolina camp 

June, 16, 2014
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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina Gamecocks hosted their annual prospect camp on Friday. With the three consecutive 11-win seasons and top-10 finishes, as well as producing a number of high NFL draft choices led by 2014 No. 1 overall selection Jadeveon Clowney, the level of talent at the camps continues to rise.

Here is some news and notes from the camp:

1. Back to football on Michael Sam for a moment. Even as SEC Defensive Player of the Year, the Missouri defensive end is projected as a middle-round pick because he hasn’t shown the flexibility or the lateral movement that NFL scouts want at that position. From what I am told of his work at the Senior Bowl, he had trouble changing direction. Sam’s strengths: good hands, which are critical to his demonstrated ability to get off blocks.

2. What a year the California Golden Bears have had: a new coach and a new coaching staff, a 1-11 record, with the victory coming against an FCS team, an average losing margin of 28 points in the Pac-12, a revamped coaching staff, massive debt, dwindling crowds, and all of that pales in comparison to the death of defensive end Ted Agu after he collapsed during conditioning on Friday. It simply has to start getting better.

3. The graduate-and-transfer rule that Jacob Coker (Florida State to Alabama) and Max Wittek (USC to …?) are using is eight years old, and it seems to me that football coaches are finally accepting it. I like what North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren said when graduate quarterback Pete Thomas decided to transfer. “I have really enjoyed coaching him and want him to be successful as a player and in life. Going forward I will do anything I can to help him through his transition as a transfer.” Here’s hoping Thomas has as much success as the last Wolfpack quarterback to use the rule: Russell Wilson.
HAVELOCK, N.C. – Senior running back Derrell Scott (Havelock, N.C./Havelock) committed to Tennessee in front of a packed auditorium on Monday.
For some programs, losing a record-setting player could make the following season a tough one.

At Havelock, however, the future remains bright for the three-time defending 3A state champions.

Not only does the winner of 47 of the last 48 games return Michael Bowman, ranked No. 146 in the ESPN Junior 300, but also two of the top sophomores in the country.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: The numbers continue to show the SEC dominates college football recruiting; North Dakota State could be a thorn in the side of Big 12 teams on the recruiting trail; and even though NC State lost to Clemson last week, it made a big impression with one of the nation’s top defenders.

SCORE-BOARD, SCORE-BOARD
The Class of 2014 recruiting scoreboard continues to show the dominance of the SEC. So far SEC schools have commitments from 83 recruits in the ESPN 300. To put it in perspective, you would have to combine the ACC (39), Big 12 (25) and Big Ten (24) to get more ESPN 300 commits than the SEC. The SEC also has an astounding 106 four-star recruits committed to its schools, which is 44 more than ACC, 62 more than the Big 12 and 77 more than the Pac 12. The ACC -- headlined by impressive hauls by Florida State and Miami -- is the conference closest to the SEC. The ACC and the SEC are the only conferences at this point that have two five-star recruits committed to league teams.

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3-point stance: Why Clemson is No. 3

September, 20, 2013
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1. Good teams are good in all three phases of the game. That’s not breaking news, but we saw what it means at North Carolina State on Thursday night. The Wolfpack got to Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd early and the pressure disrupted his rhythm. He didn’t find it until late in the third quarter. But the Tigers’ defense and special teams kept the Wolfpack in check. Once Boyd found his game, Clemson easily pulled away to a 26-14 victory. The Tigers look like No. 3.

2. The Texas regent who called Jimmy Sexton about Alabama head coach Nick Saban reminds me of the Sports Illustrated expose on Oklahoma State. That’s probably not the only phone call that Sexton received that week about a client of his from another school. What has that got to do with Oklahoma State? Both cases are an inside look at how business gets done. Saban said on his radio show last night that he’s “too damn old to start over.” He and Terri are happy in Alabama, and they have learned the hard way how important that is.

3. Three weeks into the season, 22 FBS schools have scored on every trip into the red zone, but only four of them have scored touchdowns on every trip: Oklahoma State, Texas State, Georgia State and Hawaii. Oklahoma State has the most trips, with 15, and winless Hawaii the least -- just one. A special shout out to Dennis Franchione’s Bobcats, who also lead the FBS in red zone defense, allowing only one touchdown and one field goal in seven trips. Texas State plays at No. 25 Texas Tech on Saturday night.
NORCROSS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive end Lorenzo Carter seems to never stop grinning, even on the football field. His 100-megawatt smile calls to mind another affable defensive end, Michael Strahan, complete with the trademark gap. Even a shoving match with a teammate resulted in Carter falling down laughing about it later.

During the Norcross spring game on Friday, Carter and offensive tackle Horatio Walker tangled as they went at each other in the trenches. Walker held Carter’s jersey and was rewarded with a shot to the helmet.

“Well it was a run, and I don’t think Horatio respects me on the run yet, but it is all good,” Carter said between guffaws. “He tried to bully me around, but I was not having that so I had to hit him back. I was having fun out there.”


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SEC foes target sophomore DT Tuttle 

May, 13, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Viewers who tuned into last year’s SEC championship game were treated to an epic battle between Alabama and Georgia that was not decided until the last play of the game. It was the latest in a series of battles between schools that clash again and again on the recruiting trail, year after year. Both have targeted a sophomore defensive tackle from North Carolina. In fact, both programs offered Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson) on the same day.


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BUFORD, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) credits his blindingly pink socks and highlighter yellow shoelaces with helping him win the defensive lineman MVP award at the Atlanta NFTC on Saturday.

The award came with a brilliant gold dog tag that complemented his outfit. But what really caught Carter’s eye, and fashion sense, was the big gold box that he was handed that contained his invitation to The Opening.


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Lessons Learned: Charlotte NFTC 

March, 24, 2013
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CORNELIUS, N.C. -- The 2013 Nike Football Training Camp tour continued in the Charlotte area on Saturday as many top players from the Carolinas and beyond showcased their skills at Hough High School. With deep running back and linebacker groups set to go head-to-head, the weather ultimately might have been the big winner. In spite of cold temperatures and a chilling rain, several players earned MVP honors and many more stood out.

Recruiting Nation writers Miller Safrit and Kipp Adams attended the camp. Here is what they learned:


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Coveted OLB names a top five 

March, 14, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Outside linebacker Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) isn’t exactly sure of how many offers he has. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior has not counted them. Once he had received over 30 offers to the top programs in the nation, there really seemed no point in doing so. Pugh is more concerned about the five that he has on top.


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After a junior season that included 100 tackles, four sacks, seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles, defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest) and his coach Bill Sochovka felt offers would eventually come.


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Watch List DB has 'exciting' new offer 

February, 24, 2013
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ROCKLEDGE, Fla. -- Watch List defensive back Quincy Wilson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./University School of Nova SE) has recently picked up new offers from Arizona, Ole Miss, UMass and NC State.


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Vandy, Vols impress Watch List receiver 

February, 17, 2013
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CLEVES, Ohio -- The state of Tennessee is making a move for one Watch List prospect in the Midwest.

Class of 2014 receiver Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike) added offers from Tennessee and Vanderbilt recently, and he made a return trip to Knoxville in January. It was his first time visiting the Volunteers under new coach Butch Jones, though.

“I’ve been to Tennessee before but it was real different with the new coaching staff,” Booth said. “I don’t know how to explain it, it’s a different atmosphere going on around there. Everybody’s a lot different. The last time [under former coach Derek Dooley] was real gloomy.

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Top safety target plans to hit road 

February, 13, 2013
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Cortez McDowell’s extensive offer list has grown yet again. Tennessee and Kentucky are the two most recent entrants into the race for the signature of the Locust Grove (Ga.) High School safety. Programs such as Alabama, Florida State and Georgia are among the 13 schools that have already extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior.

To help make sense of all the opportunities and figure out a favorite, McDowell is hitting the road.


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Bama expected to offer Watch List star 

January, 24, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- On Thursday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart made a stop at Cedar Grove High School in Georgia to see 2014 ESPN Watch List defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams.

The Crimson Tide coaches couldn’t speak with the Peach State prospect, but they told his coach that they wanted to extend a scholarship offer. A formal offer is expected to come from Saban at Alabama’s junior day this weekend.

“It’s a great feeling,” Allen-Williams said. “Alabama is the best program in college football -- back-to-back national champions, three out of four years -- who doesn’t want to want to go play for Alabama?”

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