The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Certain schools always manage to hit home runs at specific positions, despite a player’s ranking. Michigan State is a perfect example of that with quarterbacks, and the Spartans hit one out of the park this past weekend. And Texas made the most out of its opportunity to host recruits at its spring game.

Spartans continue QB success
Four-star quarterback Brian Lewerke, who is ranked No. 255 in the nation, announced his commitment to Michigan State this past Saturday. For the Spartans it was their second ESPN 300 commitment in the 2015 class along with offensive lineman Kyonta Stallworth. But more important, it gives Michigan State additional quarterback depth, a position where it rarely misses.

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Alabama has finished atop the Recruiting Nation class rankings the past three years, and if Saturday’s monster haul is any indication, a four-peat is more probable than possible.

Headed into Alabama’s A-Day game on Saturday, which drew over 73,000 fans, the Crimson Tide sat atop the initial 2015 class rankings released earlier in the week.

A class that already featured nine ESPN 300 pledges quickly jumped to 13.


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Alabama has a new top recruit for the 2015 class in Under Armour All-American cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. Read below to see our analysis of the Crimson Tide's big pickup:

What he brings: The No. 4 corner in the country has an impressive blend of size, speed and athleticism as well as great instincts and football intelligence. Fitzpatrick can play both man and zone schemes effectively and wins most one-on-one battles out on the perimeter with his length, recovery speed and awareness when the ball is in the air. He anticipates and closes as fast as any in this class, and his savvy and overall understanding of the position was likely a trait Alabama coveted.

How he fits: The Tide like big corners with speed, and they landed one in Fitzpatrick. Nick Saban and Co. also value perimeter defenders who know the nuances of the position and are proficient in varied alignments and coverages, and Fitzpatrick excels with the mental aspect of the game.

Prediction for performance: It's not easy to step right in and play corner for the Tide with their sophisticated coverage system, but we expect Fitzpatrick to play sooner rather than later as he is entering Tuscaloosa ahead of the curve when it comes to an understanding of coverages. Physically, he should be ready as well.

Who he reminds us off: Champ Bailey, New Orleans Saints. Bailey is a future Hall of Famer due to great physical tools but also with what he brings to game above the shoulders. Fitzpatrick has size, speed and range to match up with prototypical receivers one-on-one but also a savvy understanding of where to position himself on the field to make plays.

How the class is shaping up: The Tide have controlled the class rankings since Saban’s arrival, and it looks like 2015 will be no different. Alabama is looking to capture its fourth straight top national ranking with a great start to this class. The Tide claimed the top class in our first rankings released last week and solidified it with a big day that saw commitments from two top-50 overall defensive players in linebacker Leo Lewis and Fitzpatrick.
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas' Orange-White spring game ended Saturday afternoon with a boom from the Longhorns' traditional cannon, and then another boom on the recruiting trail.

Shortly after the scrimmage wrapped up, Texas landed a verbal commitment from Converse (Texas) Judson defensive back Keivon Ramsey.


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The spring evaluation period started on April 15 and is prime time for quarterbacks to earn offers and announce commitments. Many quarterbacks tend to commit during this time period, as coaches are given the chance to see the prospects in person, and one ESPN 300 signal-caller added to that list on Saturday.


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AUSTIN, Texas -- Charlie Strong’s #letsride movement is picking up momentum, and it’s going to the next level on Saturday at Texas’ Orange-White spring game.

Strong and his coaching staff already have picked up seven verbal commitments since taking over and could have a chance to lock up a few more at the annual spring game. As many as 100 prospects from the 2014, 2015, 2016 and even 2017 classes are expected to be on the sidelines and in the stands for the unofficial first game of the Strong era.

The highlight of that lengthy list? Texas is expected to receive unofficial visits from the following members of the newly released ESPN 300:

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Getting to know Jashon Cornell 

April, 18, 2014
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video Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

When you attend a school as prestigious as Cretin-Derham Hall, as No. 16-ranked recruit Jashon Cornell does, you are bound to have connections. The Minnesota school has produced its share of college and NFL players over the years, including associate dean of students Marcus Freeman, who played for Notre Dame.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

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ACC
Clemson
Kelly Bryant QB-DT
HT: 6-4 WT: 204
Positional Rank: #12 QB-DT
Stars: 4

Gage Cervenka DT
HT: 6-3 WT: 275
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kaleb Chalmers CB
HT: 5-10 WT: 174
Positional Rank: #36
Stars: 3

Maryland
Denzel Conyers S
HT: 6-2 WT: 200
Positional Rank: N/A Juco
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Miami-FL
Scott Patchan DE
HT: 6-5 WT: 228
Positional Rank: #26 DE
Stars: 4

Dexter Williams RB
HT: 6-0 WT: 189
Positional Rank: #5 RB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#78)

NC State
Brian Sessmoms WR
HT: 5-8 WT: 161
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

North Carolina
William Sweet OT
HT: 6-6 WT: 280
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Syracuse
Tyrone Perkins RB
HT: 5-11 WT: 190
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Baylor
John Humphrey Jr. WR
HT: 5-11 WT: 162
Positional Rank: #19 WR
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#177)

Oklahoma State
Taaj Bakari DT
HT: 6-2 WT: 275
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3

Texas
Tristian Houston RB
HT: 5-10 WT: 203
Positional Rank: #19 RB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#208)

Collin Johnson WR
HT: 6-4 WT: 192
Positional Rank: N/A Class of 2016
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kirk Johnson RB
HT: 6-0 WT: 185
Positional Rank: #41 RB
Stars: 3

Texas Tech
Breiden Fehoko DT
HT: 6-2 WT: 285
Positional Rank: #7 DT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#49)
Under Armour All-American

D'Vonta Hinton ILB
HT: 5-10 WT: 215
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Nebraska
Spencer Tears WR
HT: 6-2 WT: 175
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Zach Allen DE
HT: 6-5 WT: 242
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Andrew Dowell RB
HT: 6-2 WT: 203
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3

David Dowell ATH
HT: 6-1 WT: 195
Positional Rank: #31 ATH
Stars: 4

Joe Gaziano DE
HT: 6-3 WT: 230
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Trent Goens DE
HT: 6-3 WT: 239
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Nathan Fox ILB
HT: 6-3 WT: 222
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

John Moten RB
HT: 6-0 WT: 188
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Tommy Vitale OLB
HT: 6-2 WT: 215
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Penn State
Adam McLean DT
HT: 6-1 WT: 282
Positional Rank: #12 DT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#110)
Under Armour All-American

Pac-12
Colorado
Dillon Middlemiss OG
HT: 6-5 WT: 275
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Oregon State
Kyle Haley OLB
HT: 6-1 WT: 205
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Utah
Donzale Roddie WR
HT: 5-10 WT: 164
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Alabama
Montell Custis CB
HT: 6-1 WT: 173
Positional Rank: #26 CB
Stars: 3

Auburn
Kerryon Johnson ATH
HT: 6-0 WT: 200
Positional Rank: #3 ATH
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#23)
Under Armour All-American

Florida
Marcus Lewis S
HT: 6-1 WT: 180
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3

Missouri
Daniel Imatorbhebhe TE-H
HT: 6-4 WT: 220
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mississippi State
Deddrick Thomas WR
HT: 5-10 WT: 170
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3

Tennessee
Rocky Reid RB
HT: 6-0 WT: 210
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

American
Louisville
T.J. Jallow S
HT: 6-0 WT: 205

Rutgers
Al-Kadir Ports S
HT: 6-1 WT: 185
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

UCF
Cameron Stewart WR
HT: 6-3 WT: 193

Independents
Old Dominion
Jamez Brickhouse CB
HT: 5-9 WT: 160
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3

Jelani Carter S
HT: 6-1 WT: 190

C-USA
Marshall
Delvin Weems RB
HT: 5-8 WT: 181

Rice
Josh Cummings CB
HT: 5-10 WT: 175

Tulane
Brian Webb DT
HT: 6-1 WT: 268

Keeyon Smart OT
HT: 6-4 WT: 300

Mid-American
Eastern Michigan

Rob Pavletich OT
HT: 6-4 WT: 270
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: With the release of the RecruitingNation class rankings, the focus was on SEC schools, but Clemson is quietly putting together a tremendous offensive class, and it added another key weapon on Thursday. Plus, there’s not just one but two elite 2015 tight ends in Arkansas.


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Video: Grading No. 1 ATH Gibson

April, 17, 2014
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National recruiting analysts Tom Luginbill, Craig Haubert and Gerry Hamilton break down the good and the bad for every ranked prospect. Go behind the scenes as they grade Torrance Gibson, the No. 1 ATH in the newly updated 2015 ESPN 300, who wants to play quarterback in college.
Two sons of a former Texas legend are following in their father's footsteps.

San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian running back Kirk Johnson and younger brother receiver Collin Johnson announced their commitments to Texas on Thursday during an unofficial visit.



Kirk is Texas' third running back pledge for the 2015 class, while Collin is the new first member of the Longhorns' 2016 class. And nobody is happier than their father, Johnnie Johnson.

“This is an awesome day for the Johnson family,” he said. “Watching them give their commitment to Charlie Strong was a precious moment.”

A consensus All-America defensive back for the Longhorns in 1978 and 1979, Johnson brought his sons back to Austin last month for a junior day that nearly ended their recruitment on the spot. Both brothers were offered that day, but they held off because they'd promised to take more visits elsewhere.

They still had more trips on the schedule, too, including to UCLA next week, but a return trip to Austin on Thursday was all they needed to lock down their commitments.

In addition to Strong, the Johnsons were made a priority by defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, receivers coach Les Koenning and running backs coach Tommie Robinson. Johnson played with Bedford and Koenning while at Texas, so he knew what kind of men were going to coach his sons.

“You could’ve have asked for better, stronger character guys with values,” Johnnie Johnson said. “The other factor is the fact that Charlie and his staff continued to communicate how high they were on their board and how much they wanted them.”

Kirk Johnson, a three-star prospect, held offers from Cal, Washington, Utah and Colorado State. Despite an ankle injury that held him to seven games, he still rushed for 1,228 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior. Texas also has verbal commitments from ESPN 300 backs Tristian Houston and Jordan Stevenson.

The recruiting interest was starting to heat up for both of them, especially Collin Johnson. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound wideout held offers from TCU, Arizona State, Cal, Utah and Colorado State and had strong interest from USC.

Landing pledges from the Johnson brothers could be the first step toward Texas growing its recruiting footprint in California. While the Longhorns have found junior-college transfers Geoff Swaim and Desmond Harrison there in recent years, the previous coaching staff signed just two high school prospects out of that state in more than 15 years.

Though they have committed early, the Johnsons are sure to sign. Now that they've made their pledge, their father says the recruiting process is completely over. The brothers wanted to weigh their options before deciding, and in the end, that decision led them back to their dad's alma mater.

And he can’t help but fantasize about the day he first watches Kirk, and then both boys, run onto the field in burnt orange like he once did.

“It’s a dream I can’t even describe to know they are going to be able to experience that,” Johnnie said. “I’ve shared with them it’s a feeling I can’t even describe. Anything I could say wouldn’t do it true justice until they have that first experience.”

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Video: Projecting top 2015 recruits

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
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National recruiting analysts Craig Haubert and Tom Luginbill pick the 2015 prospects they think are most likely to make an immediate impact in college and those who best project to the first round of a future NFL draft.
Oklahoma lost its second-highest-ranked recruit in the 2015 class on Wednesday when ESPN 300 offensive guard Joshua Wariboko decommitted from the Sooners. In most situations, this would be a bad thing for OU, but in the long run it might not be so bad after all. That’s because the race to land Wariboko, the state of Oklahoma’s No. 4 player and the No. 14 guard nationally, will be a marathon and not a sprint.


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Dylan Crawford’s mind raced the first time he jogged toward a five-star cornerback last fall.

It was the first night of November. The grass at Gardena (Calif.) Serra had dampened as a heavy marine layer made its way inland. Shifty receivers such as Crawford typically rely on their footing and ability to change directions, so he had quite the challenge on his feet.


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Getting to know DaMarkus Lodge 

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
10:00
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video Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

DESOTO, Texas -- With all the multiple camps, combines and special events happening each spring, DaMarkus Lodge chooses not to be a regular on the circuit.

It’s not that Lodge is against them, or that he thinks he’s above them. The ESPN 300 receiver has simply prioritized his life as a student-athlete. The camp circuit happens to be a middle-of-the-pack priority.


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