Oregon Ducks: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Army Bowl notebook: Dec. 31 

December, 31, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO -- The second day of practice for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl -- on the last day of 2013 -- has come to a conclusion. Here is Tuesday’s notebook featuring some of the nation’s elite athletes:

LB Williams: Law and order equals '98 percent'


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3-point stance: Losing parallels

November, 7, 2013
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1. History provides parallels of sort to the possible demise of No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon in their big games this week. No. 2 Oregon, with a quarterback who was the Heisman favorite, lost on the road in November 2007. But that was at Arizona, not Stanford, and quarterback Dennis Dixon had a torn ACL when the game began (the knee gave out in the first half). The last time the No. 1 Crimson Tide was a two-time defending national champion, 1980, the Tide made it into November with ranking intact before losing an SEC game, 6-3. But that was at Mississippi State, not home against LSU.

2. A Georgia Tech fan on my chat Wednesday asked if the Yellow Jackets had hit a ceiling with Paul Johnson and his option offense. Georgia Tech is 6-3 as it prepares to play No. 7 Clemson. But no one wants to play an option team -- ever. A week after Pitt lost to Georgia Tech, 21-10, and Notre Dame edged Navy and its option, 38-34, the Panthers and Fighting Irish play. The first thing Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said at his press conference Tuesday? “I know for both teams, we're excited about getting away from the option offense that we have both seen over the last couple of weeks.” Exactly.

3. One of the most intriguing stories this month will be whether Duke -- yes, Duke -- can win the ACC Coastal. The Blue Devils are 6-2, 2-2 in the league, and with their victory over Virginia Tech, in the thick of the division race. A year ago, Duke started the season 6-2 – and finished 6-7. Unlike last year, the Blue Devils enjoyed an off week before they hit November. “It gave us time to talk about what lies in front of us,” head coach David Cutcliffe said. “Everybody’s aware on this team of what happened a year ago. We didn’t win. We had all the losses, but it’s easy to forget that we played good football in November.”
Not much has developed recently in the recruitment of four-star athlete Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway), but that figures to change in the coming weeks.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver/safety has not made too many recent recruiting visits, but he will begin doing that this summer before working toward a decision.

“I’m in the same place except it’s closer to summer, so I’ll take a bunch of unofficial visits and see which ones are best for me,” Nicholson said, “and then as soon as I can take my officials I will and my decision will be after I take my officials.”


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Georgia Tech assistant Andy McCollum was at Brooks County on Wednesday to check on ESPN 150 athlete Malkom Parrish (Quitman, Ga./Brooks County).


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#BlueChipBattles: ESPN 150 release edition

April, 19, 2013
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Speedy Noil, Adoree Jackson, Da'Shawn HandStudent Sports, ESPN, ESPNSpeedy Noil, Adoree Jackson and Da'Shawn Hand are three of the most coveted recruits in the Class of 2014.
#BlueChipBattles Insider: RecruitingNation summoned its writers from around the country to outline the recruiting battles for the ESPN 150's top 10 prospects.

Plus, rank the battles in SportsNation.

#TopFBMixtapes: Athlete mixtapes are all the rage in this highlight-crazed era of sports. We reached out to our Twitter followers to find out which 2014 football stars had the best highlight reels on YouTube, then had our staff rank and comment on the top submissions.

Tom Luginbill writes Insider: After talking to many coaches across the country and hearing their frustrations, here are their five biggest complaints about homemade highlight videos.

Taking a look at no-visit policies

February, 12, 2013
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Texas is joining the likes of Michigan, Oregon and Georgia Tech in instituting a no-visit policy for its commits. Is this hard-line stance a good idea for elite programs? RecruitingNation writer Mitch Sherman takes a look the trend.

Read the story here.

On The Trail TV

February, 12, 2013
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Join ESPN RecruitingNation's Jeremy Crabtree, Brandon Oliver, Mitch Sherman, William Wilkerson and Tom VanHaaren at 2 p.m. ET Tuesday for a special edition of "On The Trail TV."

We'll discuss the no-visits for commits policies of Michigan, Oregon and Georgia Tech and the new stance to mirror that approach by Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns. Tweet questions to @RecruitingESPN or tune in for the live discussion.

Before his Bellevue High team took on powerhouse Euless (Texas) Trinity High School on Thursday night, UCLA linebacker commit Myles Jack (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) discussed his continued interest in the Oregon Ducks.

In spite of his solid commitment to the Bruins, the Ducks are among the handful of teams Jack says will likely receive an official visit.

UCLA and Georgia Tech will definitely receive an official visit from the athletic linebacker. Oregon is among the other programs in the mix for one of his remaining visits.

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Fall camp is more than halfway complete and opening kickoff is just 10 days away.

While the current roster is competing for starting spots, high school seniors are competing to become the next in line.

Recruiting is still at a relative standstill as coaches are not allowed to call recruits until Sept. 1. Even during the slow periods, there is always something happening in the world of recruiting.

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When wide receiver Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) scheduled an official visit to Oregon a couple of weeks ago, some people had questions about where he was in the recruiting process. During the next few weeks, the answers should become a lot more apparent.

"I'm going to release my top five in two or three weeks so I can focus on those schools and work on scheduling the rest of my official visits," Williams said.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete has about 20 offers but has started narrowing things down in his head.

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Shortly after releasing a list of his top 15 schools, defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) trimmed it to a final 10.

Vanderdoes took to Twitter to release the news, just as he did with his previous list. He made sure to remind everyone again that there is no order to his final 10 schools, but they are Baylor, California, Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Oregon, Penn State, UCLA, USC and Washington.

Cut from his initial list of 15 schools were Alabama, Georgia Tech, Miami, Michigan and Michigan State.

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound standout is the nation's No. 57 player. He has a chance to play football and baseball at the next level. Vanderdoes will spend the remainder of this week at The Opening.

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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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ESPN 300 Ranking Motivates Byron Cowart
After a recent rise into the top 10 overall, defensive end Byron Cowart of Armwood (Seffner, Fla.) joins ESPN's Matt Schick to discuss recruiting and the new ESPN 300.Tags: Byron Cowart, Armwood, ESPN 300, RecruitingNation, high school football recruiting, Matt Schick
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