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Monday, October 28, 2013
Early Offer: Top 5 had big weeks

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: With the newest edition of the BCS rankings released, we take a look at the biggest headlines of the top five teams from the recruiting trail.

No. 1 Alabama

Da'Shawn Hand
Alabama put its best foot forward for Da'Shawn Hand, but was it enough to vault the Tide past Michigan?
The Tide remain the nation’s No. 1 team on and in the recruiting rankings again, and the biggest news with Alabama over the last week had to do with Da'Shawn Hand’s official visit to Tuscaloosa. The nation’s No. 4 player out of Woodbridge, Va., remained on his visit to Alabama late Sunday afternoon and said he really enjoyed the trip. The big question, though, will be to see if the five-star defensive end loved it enough to push the Tide ahead of long-time leader Michigan. Other key recruits such as five-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) and four-star defensive tackle Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) were also in T-Town for the Tennessee game.

No. 2 Oregon

The Ducks remained at No. 40 in the class rankings, but an impressive victory over UCLA this past Saturday will go a long way on the recruiting trail, especially with Oregon’s efforts in Southern California. The Ducks also hosted some highly-regarded prospects for the game, including one of the Southland’s most wanted prospects in John Smith out of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. There were plenty of reports and pictures floating around Twitter of Smith feeling right at home flashing the “O” to the student section before the game.

No. 3 Florida State

While slipping to the third spot in the BCS, FSU retained its No. 2 spot in the class rankings this week. The Noles hosted a nice group of visitors this past weekend, including running back Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central). Cook, the nation’s No. 4 running back, has been a long-time Florida commitment, but that’s not stopped him from looking at other schools. This Saturday’s game against Miami, though, is shaping up as potentially a defining weekend for the Noles with at least six official visitors slated, including Humphrey, ESPN 300 defensive tackle Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose), ESPN 300 receiver Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp) and ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom).

No. 4 Ohio State

The Buckeyes made history on the field against Penn State with a 63-14 victory and it made a big impression with prospects that attended the game. The biggest visitor was ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell). Thomas, the nation’s No. 31 player, said he was impressed with the physical way the Buckeyes’ defense played ,and the Buckeyes definitely moved up his list. Ohio State remains as the nation’s No. 10 class, but pulling a big steal out of Texas like Thomas would surely boost that ranking.

No. 5 Stanford

Unlike the other teams in the top five, the Cardinal didn’t have a home game this past weekend to bring in visitors, but its 20-12 win over a good Oregon State team can help on the recruiting trail and bolster a class that ranks at No. 24 in the country. Oregon State and Stanford often tangle over some of the same kids in the West because they both recruit physical, hard-nosed players, and quality road victory is certainly nice selling point to prospects.