Florida Gators: Kansas Jayhawks


As expected, Day 2 at the Under Armour All-America practices were smoother, more concise and much more productive. The players are now starting to think less and play more. Natural ability is starting to come to the forefront, which allows for them to be more productive. There have been fewer dropped passes, fewer misses by the QBs and the offensive lines are starting to jell quicker than expected. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this group is there have not been any true letdowns. They have stepped up and been as advertised almost top to bottom for both squads. Let’s hit the highlights of the day:

Top performers

WR Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish): Sims might not wow anyone with his 40-yard dash time, but it may not matter. Sims is so similar to Mike Evans at Texas A&M. He just makes plays. He has extremely long arms and is outstanding when in contested matchups. The ball will look like it is uncatchable and then next thing you know he jumps out of nowhere, extends and makes a play and the defender is left scratching his head. When it comes down to it, the QBs for Team Highlight can trust that if they need to throw it up, Sims will make a play. The most basic thing about the position is catching the football and Sims has no problem doing that.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Da'Shawn Hand changing his visit schedule up is good news for Wolverine fans and bad news for Alabama fans; Arizona, Arizona State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M fans can see big pieces of their 2014 recruiting classes on television Friday night; and one of the top juco recruits in last year’s class is going to redshirt at Kansas.

Looking good for the Wolverines
Five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) was set to visit Florida on Oct. 4 for its game against Arkansas and Alabama on Nov. 8 for its game against LSU with national title implications on the line. However, the SAT is on Oct. 5, causing Hand to alter his schedule. Hand is still ironing out the final details, but it looks like he will visit Alabama on Oct. 25 when its hosts Tennessee, and he'll trip to Florida on Nov. 8 when the Gators host Vanderbilt. He’s already taken a visit to Michigan and will announce his decision on Nov. 14. The Wolverines have been his leader for quite some time with Florida and then Alabama next in line. Some observers have long-worried what a visit to Alabama for what could be the game of the year would do to Hand’s process. But a college coach close to the situation believes the change now gives Michigan a major edge and puts Bama clearly third in the pack. “I would say this puts it at about 80 percent for Michigan,” the coach said. “The biggest question left is whether or not Florida can wow him enough right before his announcement to get him to change his mind.”

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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.

Elite 2014 PF is in high demand 

May, 9, 2013
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Spend enough time on the high school basketball circuit and you’ll find there are certain players you gravitate toward because you know exactly what you’re getting when you go watch them. ESPN 60 forward Kevon Looney (Milwaukee/Hamilton) is one of those guys.

Duke, Michigan State, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Kansas are among a big pack of programs that will vie for his signature.

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Julius Randle played out his recruiting until just about the 11th hour. And when the music finally stopped playing and Randle picked Kentucky on Wednesday, there were three schools left standing with broken hearts. Here’s a look at where those programs go from here.

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On Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. ET live on ESPNU, No. 3 overall recruit and No. 1 senior power forward Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) will announce his college decision from a list of finalists that is comprised of Kansas, Texas, Kentucky and Florida.

Whichever school he chooses, his skills and athleticism will make him an instant-impact player and program-changing recruit from day one. Simply put, he has the talent to change the landscape of college basketball next season with his decision. Consider this: As historically good as Kentucky's 2013 class already is, Randle would immediately become the Wildcats' top-rated recruit. That's how special he is.

So before he finally ends the suspense and makes one college program very happy, let's break down what a commitment from Randle would mean for each of his four finalists.

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Randle trims NC State and Oklahoma 

March, 8, 2013
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ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) has cut NC State and Oklahoma from his list of finalists, ESPN.com's Dave Telep has learned.

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Julius Randle added to McDonald's game 

March, 6, 2013
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It has been an eventful couple of weeks for ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian). First, he returned to the court three weeks ago after being out since November with a fractured foot. Then on Monday he announced he would make his college decision March 20.

And on Wednesday, the McDonald's All American Games announced Randle has been added to the McDonald's roster as a 25th player. He will suit up for the East squad in the game, which will be played April 3 at the United Center in Chicago and televised live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET.

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
John F. Rhodes for ESPN.comJulius Randle was added to the McDonald's All American roster on Wednesday.
The McDonald’s All American Games released the following statement: “Today, the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee is pleased to name Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian Academy to the 2013 McDonald’s All American Team. As promised, we’ve been closely monitoring Randle’s play since his return to the court in February, and it’s been an inspiring return to watch. Randle has not only proven that he is capable of competing at the highest level, but truly deserving of the title McDonald’s All American.”

Why did this happen and what does it mean?

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Julius Randle will announce on March 20

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
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ESPN 100 power forward Julius Randle (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) announced on Monday night he will make his college decision on March 20.

The senior will announce at 1 p.m. ET, with the decision expected to come on ESPNU.

Randle has visited all six schools on his list, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky and NC State.

Randle led Prestonwood to a Texas private school state title over the weekend.


The most important position on the basketball court when it comes to winning games is point guard. They come in all shapes and sizes with different talents, but the one common denominator is that a good point guard is a must in recruiting.

Here is a look at five of the nation’s top point guards in the Class of 2013, what each does better than anyone in the country and what they’ll bring to their college teams next season.

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SAN ANTONIO -- Wednesday was a day off for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl teams. Instead of working out and participating in drills, the players took in visits around the city -- including a stop at the Alamodome for photo opportunities and to see their game apparel -- and used the day to recover from two days of practice.

The teams will return to the fields on Thursday in arguably the most important practice of the week. Here are five things to keep an eye on for Thursday’s practice:

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Joel Embiid commits to Jayhawks 

November, 13, 2012
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Class of 2013 center Joel Embiid (Gainesville, Fla./The Rock School) announced his commitment to Kansas on Tuesday, ESPN.com has confirmed.

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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.

What was the biggest factor for the move? From the Stats & Info Blog:
Losses by Top-5 teams LSU and Georgia did not impact the SEC’s conference ranking because they lost to teams that were also in the Top 10.

On the other hand, losses by TCU and Texas Tech impacted the Big 12 in the rankings since they lost to teams with worse records entering the game.

The computers still favor the Big 12 over the SEC due to the depth of the conference, but the gap has narrowed. The SEC’s dominance in the polls has vaulted the conference into first place for the first time since the final conference power rankings of the 2011 season.

It's going to be a tight race all season, but for now, the SEC's pulled ahead by a nose.

Weekend visits: Hungry Gators 

October, 5, 2012
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Apparently, Florida didn’t get the memo. Huge recruiting weekends are supposed to happen around Midnight Madness. Billy Donovan is hosting a prospect party a week early, and he’s invited five five-star recruits. Seriously, you have to be a bona fide stud to be in Gainesville this weekend.

Here’s the ranking of the players the Gators have on campus: No. 3 2013, No. 8 2013, No. 9 2013, No. 4 2014 and No. 1 2015. Donovan already owns commitments from point guard Kasey Hill and power forward Chris Walker. If he can just land one other player from this visit, it would be an historic recruiting weekend.

Elsewhere, there are talented underclassmen on a number of campuses. Pay close attention to Duke and Texas, as they host high-profile big man targets.

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