Michigan Wolverines: Washington Huskies

1. Keith Price, the fifth-year senior quarterback for No. 15 Washington, has matured enough to no longer try to force the big play. Price has learned to love the third receiver. Against Illinois, “he checked it down twice on third-and-long and we got the first down,” Huskies quarterback coach Marques Tuiasosopo said. “So we talk about, ‘Hey, it’s not sexy, but guess what? We’re still on the field. Coach Sark [head coach Steve Sarkisian] gets to call more plays, and we have a chance to score another touchdown.’”

2. Among the 170 semifinalists for the National Football Foundation’s Campbell Trophy -- the Academic Heisman -- are prominent FBS players such as quarterbacks Aaron Murray of Georgia and Nathan Scheelhaase of Illinois; offensive linemen Spencer Long of Nebraska, Gabe Ikard of Oklahoma and linebacker Max Bullough of Michigan State. But if any of them beats out Penn State center John Urschel, who’s teaching undergraduate math, then he’s one smart cookie. The NFF will whittle the candidates down to 16 finalists, each of whom will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship, on Oct. 31.

3. The Little Brown Jug may not be important at Michigan, which has lost it only three times in 44 years. But that’s exactly why Minnesota cherishes the Jug. The last time the Gophers won it, in 2005, then-head coach Glen Mason got off the plane from Ann Arbor and drove the Jug straight to dinner at Manny’s, the best steakhouse in Minneapolis. Patrons gave Mason and the Jug a standing O, then oohed and aahed and took photos with it all night. That’s what a trophy game should be all about.
T.J. Wheatley Jr. (Buffalo, N.Y./Canisius) has moved around more often than an Army brat.

He's followed his father and current Buffalo Bills' assistant coach, Tyrone Wheatley, from New Jersey to Florida, from California to Michigan (in three different homes) and then, finally, to New York. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound tight end/defensive end is still unpacking some boxes after his most recent switch from Syracuse to Buffalo, when his father was promoted from college assistant to NFL coach.

But the next move the ESPN Junior 300 prospect makes? That'll finally be up to just T.J.

Christian Kirk has always been ahead of schedule.

This spring, the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro sophomore went toe-to-toe with the West region's top juniors on the field and on the recruiting trail. But that's nothing new for the 5-foot-10, 190-pound wide receiver.

Kirk began playing football at 5 years old, but don't tell that to the administrators of the league he played for.


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2015 running back Osa Masina (Salt Lake City/Brighton) is very familiar with the recruiting process. His older brother, Uaea Masina, signed with Utah as part of the 2013 recruiting class, and the younger Masina already holds offer from BYU, Michigan, Utah and Wisconsin.

His most recent offer, from the Wolverines, caught him off guard.


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#BlueChipBattles: Dec. 21

December, 21, 2012
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Dee Liner, Reuben Foster, Tray MatthewsESPN.comReuben Foster (center) is torn between good friends Dee Liner (left) and Tray Matthews (right).

No. 1 ILB Reuben Foster has voiced his desire to play with at least one of his SEC-bound friends next season. But will he follow Tray Matthews to Georgia or hook up with Dee Liner wherever the ESPN 150 DL settles? It remains to be seen, but the mystery surrounding his recruitment keeps Foster at the top of our #BlueChipBattles.

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.

#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 30

November, 30, 2012
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Carl Lawson, Dee Liner, Reuben FosterESPN.comCarl Lawson, Dee Linerand Reuben Foster are still committed to Auburn, but the Tigers' coaching situation could change things for the three ESPN 150 recruits.

Auburn bid farewell to head coach Gene Chizik on Sunday. Could the Tigers also be saying goodbye to a trio of ESPN 150 recruits who could take their talents elsewhere?

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.

#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 16

November, 16, 2012
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Alvin Kamara, Derrick GreenESPN.comUncommitted 2013 running backs Alvin Kamara and Derrick Green.

ESPN 100 running backs Alvin Kamara and Derrick Green can score from anywhere on the field thanks to their breakaway speed, an attribute that makes them very attractive recruits to the Oregon Ducks. Oregon's pursuit of the duo headlines this week’s #BlueChipBattles. Insider

Click through for our list to rank the top 10 recruiting battlesInsider.

#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 2

November, 2, 2012
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RecruitingNation has summoned its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits Insider leading up to February's signing day. We'll update our rankings periodically to reflect a change in a player's status (i.e., new offers, trimmed-down list or a positive/negative official visit).

Our writers have debated the list for weeks, but we value your input as well. Voice your opinion on Twitter (@RecruitingESPN) using#BlueChipBattles or vote for which player should hold the No. 1 spot on Facebook.

#BlueChip Battles: Oct. 26

October, 26, 2012
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Pitt doesn't want WR Robert Foster to leave the Keystone State and USC hopes to keep CB Max Redfield in Cali. The local programs' bid to keep those two stars in-state highlights this week's #BlueChipBattles Insider.

#BlueChipBattles is the Twitter hashtag to use if you want to voice your opinion on our list or to view other fans' reactions as the commitments begin to roll in. Get recruiting updates on the players above as well as the nation's other top football prospects here: @RecruitingESPN.

Watch: College Football Final (Week 2)

September, 9, 2012
9/09/12
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video
Jim Basquil and the ESPN.com College Football team deliver the highlights, analysis, and interviews from an exciting Week 2 of College Football.

Podcast: The Verbal Commitment

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
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Dave Hooker and the RecruitingNation regional writers deliver all the latest news and notes from around the nation in this week's edition of The Verbal Commitment podcast. Listen

RecruitingNation: From the Road

September, 4, 2012
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Every week, RecruitingNation sends out a fleet of writers to report from high school football games across the country. From the Road Insider breaks down the top performances by the recruits they saw in person over the weekend.

Allen trims list to 15 

July, 10, 2012
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Devon Allen (Phoenix/Brophy Prep) knows it’s time to start narrowing things down.

The three-star receiver has trimmed his list of favorite schools down to 15, and he plans to take five unofficial visits later this month.

Allen told HornsNation his top 15 are, in no particular order: Arkansas, Arizona State, California, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC and Washington.

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Vanderdoes names his top 15 

June, 18, 2012
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Monday was a busy day for commitments in the West region, but defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) isn't exactly ready to jump into the commitment scene. More than half of the top 30 players in the West have already made verbal commitments, but Vanderdoes is taking things slowly. On Monday, the 6-foot-3, 285-pound lineman took to Twitter to release a list of his top 15 schools.

Alabama, Baylor, California, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, UCLA, USC and Washington all made the cut. Vanderdoes included in his tweet that he will be cutting that down to a top 10 group soon.

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Latest recruiting buzz out west 

January, 10, 2012
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With just a few weeks to go before signing day, there is a lot going on and a lot of news coming out on some of the top prospects out west.

Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) gave some thought to committing at the U.S Army All-American Bowl last weekend but decided to hold off. The buzz was if he did commit, Cal was the likely choice. A decision could still be around the corner and the family continues to mention Oregon and Notre Dame as having a real shot at this time as well.

Offensive lineman Zach Banner (Lakewood, Wash./Lakes) will visit USC but is still trying to figure out the date. His original plan was to visit this coming weekend (Jan. 13) and then commit the following Monday. Now Banner is saying he’ll likely visit (Jan. 20) and decide the following week. Oklahoma, Washington and USC are in his final three.

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