Florida State Seminoles: Washington Huskies

LITHONIA, Ga. -- In the Class of 2015, defensive end Arden Key (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) is one of the most heavily sought prospects in the Peach State with more than 20 offers.

The No. 59-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 was once committed to South Carolina along with high school teammate Wesley Green, but Key backed off that verbal pledge on Sept. 22.

Fast forward three months and the athletic edge-rush prospect is looking at all his options with two programs in line to make an eventual trimmed list.


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3-point stance: Lesson for Winston

December, 5, 2013
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1. Here’s what we know about Jameis Winston: he’s a very talented athlete with a gift for leadership. That’s all we know. He is young and likely to be on the national athletic stage for many, many years. If, as expected, he is not charged with a crime Thursday, it is likely this incident will become a footnote to what looks like a remarkable career. But that’s up to Winston. He has been exposed to the scrutiny that he will undergo with any misstep. Here’s hoping he decides that missteps carry a price too high to pay.

2. The Big Ten Championship Game is a classic matchup of strength against strength, Michigan State’s old-school defense and Ohio State’s explosive offense (when the Spartans have the ball, make a fridge run). The Buckeyes rank in the top 10 in seven offensive categories. Michigan State ranks first or second in five defensive categories. Ohio State has played only one top-30 defense: Wisconsin. But the Buckeyes played well against the Badgers, scoring 31 points with a balanced attack. I don’t think Ohio State needs to score 31 to win Saturday night.

3. Marques Tuiasosopo is a 34-year-old assistant coach with a pedigree as a Huskies hero. He led Washington to a Rose Bowl victory in the 2000 season. He has done good work with current quarterback Keith Price. Under different circumstances, it’s conceivable that Tuiasosopo, whom Washington named as interim coach, could be seen as a genuine candidate to replace Steve Sarkisian. But the Huskies have closed a huge gap in the Pac-12 North. It seems as if athletic director Steve Woodward would want a veteran to help Washington catch Stanford and Oregon.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Malachi Dupre is the nation’s most coveted receiver, and Florida State is going out of its way to make sure he knows he’s wanted; Washington will use Seattle as a big lure with recruits visiting this weekend for the Oregon game; South Carolina is expected to add one of the nation’s top guards on Friday.


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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: Texas not making the top four for 2015 star Daylon Mack is an interesting -- and troubling -- development; the top player in Texas is scheduled to announce next week and everything is looking good for the Aggies; and Washington adds a four-star lineman, which could help give the Huskies recruiting momentum before Oregon comes to town.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: the LSU-TCU game this weekend in the Metroplex has major recruiting implications for both the Tigers and Horned Frogs; Florida State QB commit J.J. Cosentino is working to bring even more Pennsylvania talent to Tallahassee; and Washington will unveil the new Husky Stadium to a host of impressive visitors.

LSU, TCU have chance to make Lone Star statement
On Monday, I wrote about the top college football games recruits will watch closely each week, and one game that I had a tough time leaving off the list was the LSU-TCU tilt Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. LSU has always recruited well in the Lone Star State, and a victory against a quality team in front of a lot of Texas recruits surely will give the Tigers even more fuel for future efforts. For the Horned Frogs, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a major statement to recruits that they’re ready for prime time. Gary Patterson is one of the best recruiters in the nation, and the way he can find under-recruited kids in Texas is something to marvel at. But since arriving in the Big 12, Patterson has won some bigger recruiting battles against the upper-echelon Big 12 programs. A win against LSU will make it easier to win more of those battles.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Michigan isn’t the only Big Ten team to make waves with 2015 recruits, as Ohio State landed a big junior commitment Monday; Garden City C.C. Dontavius Blair could be the most heavily recruited juco lineman in the nation; and Joe Mixon’s big reveal becomes a social media event.

No need to wait
After watching rival Michigan make a lot recruiting noise in the 2015 class, it was Ohio State’s turn to make news Sunday night. ESPN Junior 300 standout Eric Glover-Williams (Canton, Ohio/McKinley) had been leaning toward Ohio State for quite some time and decided to pledge to the Buckeyes. Glover-Williams, who is ranked 29th overall and fourth at athlete, had double-digit offers, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Tennessee and Pittsburgh, but he said he could only see himself playing at Ohio State. "It means a lot to me, to come in and help them build Ohio State toward winning a national championship," Glover-Williams said. "Most definitely I'll be involved in recruiting. I want the best of the best to come to Ohio State. I'll get the best players I can to Ohio State."

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Derek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren break down player commitments from the Elite 11 finals and The Opening. Overall, 11 players announced their college intentions at the event -- nine of whom did so on ESPNU.
Kendall Baker (Atlanta/Marist) made the ESPN Watch List as a defensive lineman, but he is equally talented on the offensive line. He says that blocking comes naturally to him and will play whichever side of the ball will allow him to see the field early in college.

With that in mind, Baker took in Florida State over the weekend to see what the Seminoles had to offer.


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Na'Ty Rodgers makes his decision 

January, 21, 2013
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Na'Ty Rodgers had the feeling he had been waiting for. He knew it was time for him to commit.

The four-star offensive tackle did so after his official visit to South Carolina, choosing the Gamecocks over a host of other schools. He also took official visits to Maryland, Washington and Oklahoma.

"I thought it was time," the 6-foot-4, 285-pound prospect from Pomfret (Md.) McDonough said. "I had the feeling that it was time to do it."

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Following a summertime commitment to USC, ESPN 150 cornerback Jalen Ramsey (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) believed his recruitment would slow down considerably.

That certainly hasn’t been the case.

Ramsey, the No. 4-ranked corner, officially visited Florida State over the weekend, a trip that was planned following the hire of new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt from Alabama. The top-ranked prospect in Tennessee previously visited Florida (Sept. 21), Mississippi State (Nov. 30) and Washington (Dec. 7), and has his fifth and final trip scheduled to USC for this upcoming weekend.


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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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SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 cornerback Jalen Ramsey (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) has been committed to USC since July 16, but a lot has changed with the Trojans since then.


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videoSAN ANTONIO – ESPN 150 wide receiver James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) has drawn plenty of attention for his play through two practices for the East team in preparation for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

He’ll garner even more eyes his way on Saturday when he announces his commitment during the game.

[+] EnlargeJames Quick
Damon Sayles/ESPN.comESPN 150 WR James Quick is set to decide between Ohio State, Louisville and Oregon on Saturday.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder said he is down to Louisville, Ohio State and Oregon. Though his decision will come Saturday, it could be finalized by Wednesday morning, as he sits down to discuss his options with his parents, who are in town for the event.

“I am basically going to ask them which coach they have the best relationship with,” Quick said. “There has to be a relationship with the head coach and family as well.”

When asked if there was a head coach among his finalists that was stood out to him the most, he said no. But Louisville coach Charlie Strong and his tendency of playing freshmen is intriguing to him and is one of the main reasons that Louisville is in the mix.

The sales pitch for all of them is pretty much the same: Join our program, and early playing time will likely be there.

“They are all basically saying that I am going to get early playing time. Some are saying that I am going to get the ball more than others,” he said. “It’s all about early playing time, really.”

Quick has taken official visits to Louisville and Ohio State. He wasn’t able to make it to Oregon for an unofficial visit but has the Ducks squarely in the mix because of his relationship with the coaching staff.

“I have built a good relationship with their coaches and the offense that they run. It’s up-tempo, which really excites a player of my caliber,” he said.

Newsmaker: Last week, offensive tackle Jake Campos (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) wasn’t expecting to play football over his break. On Tuesday, he was preparing for a nationally televised appearance in a U.S. Army All-American Bowl uniform.

Campos, a three-star Iowa State commit, was called Sunday afternoon as a replacement for injured lineman Chris Fox (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa). By 6 a.m. Monday, he was on a flight to San Antonio. At the end of Tuesday, he was fully taking on the responsibility of fending off stud defensive linemen such as Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer), Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) and A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights).

“I was shocked at first, but then, I got really excited,” said Campos, a 6-7, 250-pound tackle who said he’s “110-percent committed” to Iowa State.

“It was so out of the blue, but it’s great to be here. At first, learning the plays was tough, but I got those down now. I’m just adjusting to right tackle. I was still working the kinks out, that’s all.”

Superlatives: The East defensive line really stepped up in afternoon practice during 11-on-11 action. Alabama defensive end commit Jonathan Allen (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) was unstoppable. Virginia Tech defensive end commit Wyatt Teller (Bealeton, Va./Liberty) also stepped up his game from Monday, intercepting a pass in the morning session from Auburn-bound quarterback Jeremy Johnson (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) and playing even better in the afternoon. … The best hands on the West team may not be on a wide receiver. ESPN 150 tight end DeSean Smith (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) made some great catches on Monday, and he continued to shine on Tuesday. Smith an LSU commitment, is the No. 5 tight end in the country. … The catch of the day from the East goes to ESPN 300 athlete Tyler Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton), who ripped a ball away from Florida defensive back commitment Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian). An uncommitted, four-star athlete, Boyd is expected to announce his college future on Saturday. … ESPN 150 running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) continued to be the best running back for the East. He shined in the early morning practice, with help from a very good offensive line.


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ATLANTA -- Kendall Baker (Atlanta/Marist School) is playing on the defensive line this week at the Georgia Junior Bowl, but he took one rep at offensive tackle during Saturday’s practice. All he did was prevent ESPN Watch List pass rusher Bryson Allen-Williams from getting to the quarterback. Is there a future there?

“Offense comes like natural to me,” Baker said. “I really didn’t play it at my school because I hurt myself this year, so I went back on the defensive side of the ball, but it’s fine. I really don’t mind playing offense at all.”

Baker has offers from Florida State, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Washington, and he says most of the schools like him on offense. The hometown Yellow Jackets offered just a couple of days ago.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With four officials already done, Priest Willis (Tempe, Ariz./Marcos De Niza) is trying to figure out his fifth and final trip in the next couple of weeks.

Three schools, all from the Pac-12 Conference, are in the mix.

"I have one more left, but I still have to decide which one I am going to take," he said today while at Under Armour All-America Game registration at Disney's Yacht Club Resort. "It is going to be either ASU, UCLA or Washington."

The ESPN 150 safety visited Florida State in November. He enjoyed his trip to see the Seminoles play and likes the idea of playing in the Sunshine State.

"It was a great visit. Marvin Bracy was my host," he said. "He was a great guy, fast. The experience is nice and the state of Florida is nice."

Nebraska, Virginia and LSU, respectively, also received officials.

“Nebraska, the Blackshirts,” he began. “Toby Wright, my trainer, he is from Nebraska so he tells me all about it. Virginia, my cousin plays there, Demeitre Brim goes there. That was a nice visit. It is a beautiful place.

"LSU, what else can I say. It was a great visit.”

Wearing an LSU shirt and socks, Willis might have silently indicated a favorite. But when asked he denied the notion, claiming it was just a matter of convenience.


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