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Army Bowl notebook: Dec. 31 

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
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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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The Big Ten always has plenty of recruiting storylines worthy of following.

From key commitments to intriguing attempts to flip prospects committed elsewhere, here’s what went down in a very busy week on the trail for the conference.


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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: The rumor mill has started to picked up about the status of Jalyn Holmes' commitment to Ohio State, so the four-star linebacker took to Twitter on Wednesday to address the speculation; one of the most heavily courted junior-college DT prospects has his sights set on two fast-rising SEC teams; and Oklahoma State commit Tyreek Hill picked the perfect time for a breakout game.


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The Backyard Bowl, the game pitting Oklahoma high school football powers Jenks and Tulsa Union, is one of the biggest football attractions of the Sooner State -- on any level. More than 19,000 fans were in attendance Friday to watch the two teams play at the University of Tulsa's Chapman Stadium.

ESPN 300 safety Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) did his part to help his team beat Union, 20-16. In addition to offering his normal defensive back duties, Parker also finished the game with four catches for 89 yards, including a 47-yard reception early in the game.

Parker showed his versatility in the win, and that versatility is going to make one college program very happy next season.

For which school? That’s for Parker to announce -- at a later date.


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Myles TurnerCourtesy of Kelly Kline/Under ArmourNo. 10 recruit Myles Turner is down to eight finalists: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville and Ohio State.
Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) was unknown and anonymous just a few months ago, heading into the April recruiting period. A broken ankle kept him off the summer circuit last season and kept him off the radar for most of the elite college programs.

But it has all changed in a hurry for the 6-foot-11, 225-pound Texan, who has made an Anthony Davis-esque rise up the rankings, elevating himself from outside the ESPN 100 to No. 10 overall in the Class of 2014 to now potentially challenging fellow big men Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) and Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie) for the No. 1 spot. While Okafor is polished and skilled, no one in the 2014 class may have as much upside as Turner.

Turner recently cut his college list to eight and has set just one official visit thus far, to Lawrence, Kan., for the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness on Oct. 4. Turner’s father, David, told ESPN.com that the family has also already set up in-home visits with Texas and Kentucky.

Here’s handicapping the race for Turner, ranking his finalists from 1-8 after talking to those involved in the recruitment:

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Five-star center Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity) has confirmed that he has trimmed his list to eight schools. In no particular order, the finalists for high school basketball’s hottest prospect are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas.


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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Myles Autry is still on the sidelines. A vicious injury to his knee last fall, with tears to his ACL, MCL and meniscus, has kept the Norcross (Ga.) High School athlete from participating in basketball, track, spring practice and now the summer camp series. And it is killing him.


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Quarterback Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) knew he wanted to work quickly through the recruiting process. ESPN's No. 128 overall player and No. 5 pocket-passer began doing his homework on various schools throughout the country very early, and when it came time to narrow things to a final destination, he didn't take long at all.

Last Tuesday, Allen announced his final five schools: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and UCLA. Less than a week later, the 6-foot-3, 197-pound quarterback took to Twitter to announce he was ready to put an end to the process.

"I will be playing my college football for Coach Sumlin at TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY!! GIG EM!!," Allen posted.


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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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And then there were five for ESPN 150 quarterback Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain).

On Tuesday, the 6-foot-3, 197-pound quarterback trimmed his lengthy list of offers to a more manageable number. The nation's No. 128 overall player and No. 5 pocket passer announced on Twitter that his final five schools are Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and UCLA.

When reached via text message, Allen broke down each of his finalists:

On Notre Dame: “Notre Dame is unique because it’s a national power, with a top ten world school -- great mix of the two. Also, very great people there.


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Telep's Top 10: Wooden replacements 

March, 13, 2013
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Recruiting is a tricky deal to figure out sometimes.

There’s Duke, which knew it had to replace seniors Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly with a stud frontcourt player in this recruiting class. But conversely, did the thought of potentially having to replace sophomore Shane Larkin even enter Jim Larranaga’s mind at the beginning of the season? I know Larkin is not likely going anywhere, but still, the point is that it can be hard to know exactly what you’re going to need to replace in recruiting.

To that point, Tom Crean knew Victor Oladipo was good, but no one saw this type of year coming from the now projected lottery pick.

Once the afterglow of this season wears off, many Wooden Award finalists will need replacing -- and that’s not an easy task. So while not every player on this list will turn pro, the point of this top 10 is to rate how well each team prepared for the contingency going forward in recruiting.

Top 10 Recruiting Replacements for Wooden Award Finalists


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ATHENS, Ga. -- ESPN Watch List wide receiver Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) recently cut his mammoth offer list down to a top-15 group of schools that he will consider.

“It got crazy at one point with almost everybody that offered me trying to talk to me,” Kitt said. “So I had to cut my list down to 15 schools. After spring practice I will cut it down to eight or 10. At the end of summer I will do five and then go from there.”


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In an effort to keep ESPN 150 athlete Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) committed, Oregon decided to make its trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex count.

To quote Wilson’s father Don, “They sent in the army.”


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Sunday’s news of offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich being named Oregon’s new head coach was good news to ESPN 150 athlete and Ducks commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto). However, according to his father, more needs to happen for Wilson to be totally sold -- or resold, in the eyes of some -- on the Ducks.

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ESPN 150 athlete and Oregon commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) is apparently ready to hit the road.


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New ESPN 300 Top 10 Revealed
National recruiting analysts Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert count down the top 10 recruits in the latest ESPN 300 player rankings update. The complete ESPN 300 will be released April 16.Tags: Tim Settle, CeCe Jefferson, Torrance Gibson, Mitch Hyatt, Terry Beckner Jr., Byron Cowart, Josh Sweat, Kevin Toliver II, Martez Ivey, Trevon Thompson, ESPN 300, RecruitingNation, high school football recruiting, Tom Luginbill, Craig Haubert
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