USC Trojans: North Carolina Tar Heels

#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.

Coveted OLB names a top five 

March, 14, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Outside linebacker Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) isn’t exactly sure of how many offers he has. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior has not counted them. Once he had received over 30 offers to the top programs in the nation, there really seemed no point in doing so. Pugh is more concerned about the five that he has on top.


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First official set for five-star DE 

January, 8, 2013
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Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), the No. 2 prospect in the country, has taken one trip in the last two months, an unofficial visit to Clemson back in November on the weekend that Auburn head coach Gene Chizik was fired. The 6-foot-2, 251-pound defensive end is set to take his first official visit this weekend.

"I set an official to Clemson," Lawson said. "I am interested and excited about visiting such a wonderful program such as Clemson."

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More than 150 of the top underclassmen prospects in the country were in attendance for registration to the Under Armour All-America Combine, several of which are from Georgia.

Massive OL looking to visit Wolverines

[+] EnlargeOrlando Brown Jr.
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comOrlando Brown Jr. is looking forward to visiting Michigan and other northern schools.
ESPN 2014 Watch List prospect Orlando Brown Jr. (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) should have no problem finding a place to play at the next level. At 6-foot-8, 370 pounds, the mammoth offensive lineman boasts offers from 36 programs, although he maintains eight of them are at the top.

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– Five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) has been committed to Auburn since March. After Gene Chizik was let go and replaced by former Tigers offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn earlier this month, schools lined up to try and get Lawson on campus. If he had his way he would oblige as many of his suitors as possible.

“I would like to visit Clemson, Tennessee, FSU, UCLA, USC, UNC and Ole Miss, but realistically the five I visit might be Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss, UNC and USC,” Lawson said.


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Auburn coaches meet with 5-star Lawson 

December, 13, 2012
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New Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn wasted no time in making the trip to see five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), the highest-rated commitment of the Tigers’ 2013 class. Lawson has stuck with his commitment as he waits to see who might be coaching him for Auburn, and he met with Malzahn first last Friday. His father, Carl Lawson Sr., said the meeting went well.

Carl Lawson
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSCarl Lawson, No. 2 overall in the ESPN 150, committed to Auburn in March but is uncertain since the school's coaching change.
“It was a good conversation, and we were impressed with what he has done with his career,” Lawson said. “He was very driven and focused on what he wants go get done. “

One thing Malzahn made sure to present to the Lawson family was his gameplan for how Auburn will succeed on the field.

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Five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) has been committed to Auburn since March, but with newly-hired Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn hiring new offensive and defensive coordinators, the nation’s No. 2 prospect is uncertain what to expect.

“I do not know how to respond to the news about the assistant coaches because I have been told they could still interview,” Lawson said. “So as of now I am not sure what to think.”

Malzahn has made a few attempts to get in touch with Lawson, but as of Wednesday night he had been unsuccessful.

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Midway through spring practice at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic, tight end Reilly Gibbons decided to make the move to the offensive line. Three months later, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound junior has more than a dozen offers with programs such as Nebraska, Tennessee, Missouri, South Florida and North Carolina showing heavy early interest.

For his part, Gibbons said the move wasn't difficult to make and he's happy that the switch was made.

"We really don't throw a lot in the offense so maybe I was getting two balls a game if I were lucky," Gibbons said. "I was blocking from the tight end position for Ryan [Green] anyway so it was a natural transition."

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Memphis (Tenn.) East is quickly becoming the center of several recruiting battles, with the latest involving two West Coast teams recruiting a potential left tackle for the future.

Southern California was a short-lived leader for Christian Morris. The three-star prospect said earlier this month that the Trojans led for his services after offering him a scholarship, which vaulted them over his former leader, Tennessee. Morris, who has said he'd like to play football on the West Coast, now calls UCLA his leader after a recent flurry of offers from the Bruins, Wake Forest, North Carolina and Arizona State.

So what happened to USC?

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Christian Morris has picked up two more scholarship offers. The offensive lineman now has offers from Arizona State and North Carolina.

"Good programs but need more knowledge," Morris stated via text message to ESPN.

The three-star offensive tackle from Memphis East has exploded onto the scene. He had just a handful of scholarship offers in March. Now he has approximately 20.

He recently said that USC is his top school. He said they vaulted over Tennessee after offering him a scholarship earlier this month.

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