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Insider

What to watch this weekend

11/17/2011

Marshall matters

Five-star Raleigh (N.C.) Millbrook RB Keith Marshall, who is No. 6 in the ESPNU 150 and the nation’s No. 2 RB, is always well worth watching for several reasons:

1. He's the top rated, undecided running back in the nation.

2. He's just a couple of weeks away from announcing a decision.

3. And, lastly, he tweets.

One of Marshall's recent tweets had the Internet buzzing on Wednesday when he stated, “My final schools are UGA, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, UNC and South Carolina in no particular order.

Despite the buzz, Marshall's announcement wasn't that earth shattering. We said as much earlier this month. The difference was the exclusion of North Carolina. Credit Marshall for paying respect to his in-state schools, but the Tar Heels aren't really in the running. There's too much turmoil there.

A person with knowledge of Marshall's recruitment said he believes that it's “75-percent Georgia and 25-percent Clemson” for Marshall's services. Marshall spoke glowingly of his trip to Clemson last weekend and there's a prevailing thought that he bonded with the players there.

Still, with Georgia quietly in the lead, Bulldog fans can continue to hope for a Marshall commitment alongside his good friend: tailback Todd Gurley from Tarboro (N.C.) High School.

Manley man

Josh Manley is set to announce his college decision in the coming days, although he hasn't said exactly when.

The defensive end from Milton (Ga.) High School is down to Purdue, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Syracuse.

Manley said Purdue and Georgia Tech have a similar appeal in that both schools have strong engineering programs and up-and-coming football teams.

“The coaches come off great and I have a great feel for them,” Manley said of the two schools.

Credit Louisville for making Manley a top priority.

“The coaches are very verbal about how much they want me there,” Manley said. “Syracuse is the same with their great schooling and they are moving to the ACC so even being away from home I would still be able to be watched by family.”

Such family matters make Manley's decision interesting. He has relatives in Kentucky, New York and, of course, Georgia.

Bullish on Bullard

Clemson is thought to be in good shape with defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard from Shelby (N.C.) Crest after an official visit there this weekend.

Bullard is taking an official visit to South Carolina this weekend but the final pairing for his services will likely be Clemson and Florida, according to a source. Bullard will take his official visit to Florida on Nov. 25.

From Jersey to Oklahoma?

One rumored visit that is well worth watching is a Nov. 25 visit to Oklahoma by two prospects from Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep: safety Elijah Shumate and defensive lineman Darius Hamilton. That would certainly be a boost for the Sooners if they indeed make the trip.

The four-star Shumate is considering UCLA, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan, Rutgers and South Carolina, where he took an official visit last weekend. Hamilton, a four-star prospect who is No. 66 in the ESPNU 150, is considering a host of schools.

Battle for Tennessee

This is the kind of game that could be a defining event for the Commodores, who have only beaten the Vols twice in nearly three decades. The 'Dores have already proven themselves worthy recruiting adversaries for the Vols, nabbing several top in-state prospects.

On the field, Tennessee is reeling with a 4-6 record and public signs of disgruntled players. Vandy, on the other hand, is riding a wave of optimism with a 5-5 record and a top 25 signing class.

The crowd in Neyland Stadium could be weak for the last home game as Tennessee hosts some significant visitors: tight end Justin Meredith from Anderson (S.C.) Hannah, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College and defensive tackle Daniel McCullers from Milledgeville (Ga.) Georgia Military Academy, who has been listed at 6-foot-6 and 380 pounds.

McCullers, who is also considering Alabama and Mississippi State, would be a huge pickup (pun intended) as the Vols are still searching for solid defensive tackles.

Patterson would help add depth to a unit that proved unable to overcome the loss of rising star sophomore Justin Hunter. Patterson visited Auburn earlier this fall.

Meredith is the highest-rated North Carolina commit, but has expressed strong interest in Tennessee, especially if there is no satisfactory resolution to North Carolina's NCAA issues by the time he has to enroll in January.