Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

October, 21, 2014
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There once again was a lot of big recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference over the weekend. There was a big commitment, key visits and several new offers. Here's a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

October, 21, 2014
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As we get further into the season, more programs are starting to look at filling up their 2015 classes and looking ahead to offering 2016 prospects.

The Big Ten had plenty happen over the weekend, so here is the recap within the conference.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

October, 21, 2014
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While West Virginia landed a commit at a much-needed position, Oklahoma hosted one of the nation's top-ranked players -- hoping to lure him away from his SEC commitment. Those were the highlights of the weekend in the Big 12, but here's a recap of the recruiting weekend, one that could lead to some much bigger results as October progresses.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

October, 21, 2014
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The weekend has come and gone without a single commitment to an ACC program. With that said, there is plenty to talk about within the conference including huge official visitors for Florida State, a key offer by Louisville and a look at some players that could flip.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 21, 2014
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Even without a public commitment, the Pac-12 was full of recruiting news this weekend, as every home team hosted visitors and ESPN 300 prospects made their way to each Saturday game. Elsewhere, Arizona State extended an offer to a 2017 quarterback and Utah has a chance to make a big statement.


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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland recruiting coordinator John Dunn has a long list of things he can sell to prospects considering the Terrapins.

He can sell recruits on the school's tremendous academics, a campus just miles from the nation's capital and long list of distinguished alumni like Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, Seinfeld creator Larry David and legendary puppeteer Jim Henson.

But the one thing that's at the top of Dunn's list is Maryland's recent move to the Big Ten.

[+] EnlargeRandy Edsall
Doug Kapustin/MCT/Getty ImagesRandy Edsall has a lot of factors to sell to area recruits.
“I think one of the things that is a draw, is the conference itself in terms of being a national conference," said Dunn, who is in his fourth season with the Terps after previous stops at LSU and North Carolina. “You look at all the TV avenues. Academically, it's one of the best conferences in America. One of the things the Big Ten talks about is being globally respected. It's worldwide."

Dunn said the Terps also uses the conferences' postseason affiliations with bowl games like the Rose Bowl, Citrus One, Outback, Holiday and other games to sell prospects. And then there's just the overall tradition. Combine all of that together and Dunn says it's a strong pitch to a high school junior or senior.

"It's about as attractive as it gets," he said.

Now the key for Dunn and the rest of the Terps coaches is to get the players in their backyard to buy in.

Maryland's recruiting footprint is the Washington D.C.-Baltimore metro area, called the DMV. The area is better known for producing tremendous basketball players -- ever hear of Elgin Baylor or Kevin Durant -- but everybody in the high school community agrees there's been an uptick in football talent in the last 10 years.

And to win at the highest levels in the Big Ten, the Terps know they're going to have to keep some of that talent at home. It's something they've not done just yet in the 2015 class. Maryland's class doesn't rank in the top 40 of the ESPN class rankings, 15 of its 16 commitments are three-star prospects and no player among Maryland's top 15 has decided to spend his future in College Park. The 2014 class was similar as it ranked as the 50th best and included only two ESPN 300 prospects.

But high school coaches in the area believe it's the right move to sell the Big Ten to recruits and it will eventually pay off.

"We have many kids that are playing in the Big Ten, and the pull of the Big Ten is really attractive to kids in this area," said Elijah Brooks, who coaches at Hyattsville (Maryland) DeMatha Catholic, a school that's a must-stop spot for recruiters. "We think of the Big Ten as big-time football. We have kids at Wisconsin and Penn State, so when you go to those games and see 100,000 people that really impresses.

"You see that Maryland had 55,000 for the first Big Ten home game that's something that wows, too. Kids around here can relate to that and can see that Maryland is becoming a part of something special."

Gaithersburg (Maryland) Quince Orchard coach John Kelley agrees.

“I just think recruiting wise when you can sell you're playing Ohio State, playing Michigan, playing Nebraska, playing Penn State; that will sell to the kids in this area," Kelley said. “No offense to Wake Forest and schools like that in the ACC, but on the national scene that just doesn't match up against Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. I think that plays better to 16, 17 and 18-year-old."

And while it hasn't gone exactly as the Terps have planned so far with the 2015 class, Brooks and Kelly both strongly believe Dunn and the Maryland coaches must continue to sell the lure of the Big Ten on the recruiting trial.

“I think with Maryland, it's more of a wait and see how they perform in the Big Ten before they really jump on board," Brooks said. “They have our starting running back (Lorenzo Harrison) committed, and that's going to start to lead to others in our program. To me, I think it was definitely a good move to join the Big Ten and they're doing a great job of selling it to the kids. It's the No. 1 thing they sell and they're doing a good job of it."

On The Trail Show (Noon ET)

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
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Join RecruitingNation's panel of experts as they breakdown the big visitors from Week 8 and what lies ahead in the coming week.

A lot of talent has already come off the board, but there’s still quality at the top of the ESPN 300 that could give at least 10 teams a shot at the second-best class. Plus, Penn State's James Franklin continues to be the most talked about coach in the Washington D.C. metro area.

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Recruiter Rankings: Oct. update

October, 20, 2014
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Tony HughesAP Photo/Don Juan MooreMississippi State's Tony Hughes has had a big hand recruiting the team that has risen to No. 1 in the rankings.


The recruiter power rankings examine which assistant coaches have already done damage on the recruiting trail in the 2015 class. Beyond looking at how many four- or five-star recruits a coach lands, the rankings take into account the needs those recruits will fill at the next level.

With the season and official visits off and running and more than 200 players in the ESPN 300 having already committed, the coaches are working extra hard to bolster their classes.

Previous rankings: Feb. 6 | April 17 | June 19 | Aug. 25 | Sept. 22



To read this month's update, click here Insider.

ESPN 300 Player of the Week: Oct. 20 

October, 20, 2014
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Each week, Recruiting Nation's scouts will highlight great performances from the nation's top recruits.

This week's honoree is ESPN 300 quarterback Blake Barnett. Check out the highlights.


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The Big 12 was turned upside down by West Virginia and Kansas State, and both are being led by former juco recruits. Plus, it was no surprise that many of the nation's best recruits walked away impressed with Florida State following Saturday's victory over Notre Dame.


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Best of the visits: Big 12

October, 19, 2014
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How unpredictable is the Big 12? Baylor is no longer undefeated, Kansas State topped Oklahoma in Norman, and TCU dominated Oklahoma State.

Perhaps "unpredictable" isn't the operative word. "Competitive" may be a better fit.

The Big 12 on Saturday made it a priority to expect the unexpected. West Virginia bested a Baylor team in contention for the College Football Playoff. The 41-27 West Virginia win was even sweeter when the Mountaineers picked up commitment No. 21 on Sunday in rising Florida DE Adam Shuler.



West Virginia pulled the big upset Saturday, but from a recruiting perspective, the big story of the day was ESPN 300 QB and Texas A&M commit Kyler Murray taking an official visit to Norman to take in the Oklahoma experience. Murray, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, was seen hanging out with Steele Walker, an Oklahoma baseball commit, during the Kansas State-Sooners football game.

The big question: Is the visit just another opportunity to check out a different school and see how another program functions, or does it give the Aggies legitimate reason to believe Murray is weighing all of his options? Texas A&M has lost three in a row, including Saturday's 59-0 loss to Alabama.



TCU cruised to an easy win against Oklahoma State, and several 2016 athletes were in attendance. The Horned Frogs love their defensive commits, and a couple of players -- such as DE Demerick Gary and OLB/DE Sidney Murray left the game asking the same question: Is Fort Worth in the future?




Texas ended a two-game losing skid with a home win against Iowa State. The Longhorns had a pleasant surprise, as WR commit John Burt was in Austin on an unofficial visit. That's big news, considering Burt lives in Florida and still has an official visit option to Texas available.

One big visitor in attendance was ESPN Junior 300 DB Brandon Jones. Ranked the nation's No. 2 safety in the 2016 class, Jones enjoyed his time in Austin and is considering the Longhorns.



And after Texas' Week 8 win -- a game decided by a 21-yard field goal with time running out -- ESPN 300 WR Ryan Newsome, who is considering the Longhorns in his recruiting, had some fun with the Heisman voters.

Best of the visits: Pac-12

October, 19, 2014
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Another weekend of Pac-12 games meant another weekend of Pac-12 visitors, as multiple conference programs hosted important official and unofficial visitors. Those recruits took to twitter to share their experiences, as Arizona State, Cal, USC and Oregon all put together significant performances -- including three home victories -- in front of recruits.

Cal hosts big weekend

The Golden Bears had a number of official visitors on hand -- including ESPN 300 wide receiver Carlos Strickland -- and almost pulled off the upset against UCLA. As always, the Cal passing game was on display, and this time it came in front of Strickland and three-star receiver Lavan Alston. Class of 2016 standout running back Sean McGrew, who holds a number of Pac-12 offers, was also on hand on an unofficial visit.

Oregon's ESPN 300 visitors

Perhaps no Pac-12 program hosted a more potent one-two punch than the Ducks, as Oregon brought in ESPN 300 teammates John Houston Jr. and Rasheem Green on official visits.


The two hold significant interest in UCLA, USC and other programs, but the Ducks picked a great weekend to bring in the talented defenders on official visits. Neither is expected to make a decision before signing day, but Oregon could be in the mix for both until the end.

Masina's second Pac-12 trip

ESPN 300 outside linebacker Osa Masina has three Pac-12 programs among his final schools, and the nation's No. 124 overall prospect was on an official visit to Arizona State this weekend. Masina went to UCLA earlier this month and will visit USC at the end of November.

Recruits see big USC win

While the Trojans didn't host any official visitors, being the only game in Los Angeles brought out some important local prospects.

ESPN 300 athlete Ykili Ross attended several USC games this season and was at the Coliseum again on Saturday.


The Trojans also received an unofficial visit from 2016 ESPN 300 safety C.J. Pollard, who picked up an offer from USC last week. Pollard is another in a long line of Gardena (Calif.) Serra standouts and his father, Marvin, is a former USC cornerback.

Best of the visits: ACC

October, 19, 2014
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Saturday's Notre Dame-Florida State game was the prime-time attraction in college football this weekend, and plenty of recruits were on hand to see the Seminoles hold on for victory. Here's a look at some of the best social media posts from ACC recruiting this weekend.

Notre Dame at Florida State

The Seminoles played host to the best visitor list in college football over the weekend, and quite possibly the best of the season to date. Among the truly elite group of visitors were top cornerback prospects Kendall Sheffield and Tarvarus McFadden.

ESPN 300 No. 44 McFadden is set to announce between Florida State and Georgia on Oct. 31, and he tweeted that the Seminoles were showing the love Saturday.


ESPN 300 No. 158 Neville Gallimore tweeted shortly after landing in Tallahassee Saturday.


Gallimore made an official visit to Oklahoma Sept. 12 prior to this weekend at Florida State. Ohio State is also in line for an official visit Nov. 28, as is Florida and possibly Oregon.

Florida State four-star commitment Calvin Brewton was on his official visit this weekend and commented on the morning after the Seminoles' thrilling win. Brewton made an official visit to Notre Dame Oct. 4.


Another 2015 defensive back on an official visit to Florida State was versatile Davante Davis. The safety/nickelback summed up Tallahassee after the game. Along with the Seminoles, Alabama, Florida, Miami (Fla.) and possibly Auburn are seriously under consideration.


ESPN Junior 300 No. 13 Trayvon Mullen was in attendance Saturday with a pair of teammates, No. 297 Malek Young and wide receiver Binjimen Victor.


Victor tweeted about the atmosphere at Florida State and in Doak Campbell Stadium.


Mullen and Binjimen are also high on Ohio State and Alabama, among others, with there being a strong connection to Alabama on the Coconut Creek High coaching staff. Young was a heavy lean to Florida State during the spring and summer, but the Seminoles weren’t ready to accept a verbal commitment.

Even the class of 2018 was represented Saturday by First Coast budding star corner Tyreke Johnson, the younger brother of 2015 ESPN 300 quarterback and Seminoles commit De'Andre Johnson. Tyreke posted a twitter picture with 2016 fast-rising defensive back Saivion Smith and ESPN Junior 300 No. 28 and Alabama commit Demetris Robertson.

Syracuse at Wake Forest

Wake Forest hosted a number of highly ranked running backs and skill players Saturday. While the Demon Deacons lost convincingly to Syracuse, it was a showcase for the ability to come in and play right away for Wake Forest.

ESPN Junior 300 No. 117 and running back Robert Washington took to Twitter and posted a picture with ESPN Junior 300 No. 92 Moe Neal (left) and friends at the game Saturday.


Both Washington and Neal are top targets of the Demon Deacons in 2016. Washington has more than 15 offers and lists Ohio State as one of his early favorites. Neal has been to games at Duke, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest this season.

The most important prospect in attendance didn’t tweet Saturday: ESPN 300 No. 149 Nyheim Hines. He made the short trip west to Winston-Salem with his family, including twin sister Nyah, who has a track offer from NC State. The Wolfpack are considered the favorites for the talented duo.

Best of the visits: SEC

October, 19, 2014
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From the Alabama’s dominating 59-0 win over Texas A&M, to Georgia's big win over Arkansas on Saturday, there were some big games around the SEC over the weekend. Several prospects attended the games while others watched on television and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend:

Alabama outside linebacker commit Mekhi Brown tweeted a photo of himself along with five-star Alabama commit Blake Barnett and defensive end Christian Bell. The three players visited Alabama for the Texas A&M game on Saturday.
Barnett also posted another photo of himself along with his dad and head coach Nick Saban before the game. Five-star defensive end Byron Cowart was on an official visit to Alabama this weekend. The No. 2-ranked prospect in the country posted a photo of himself and Saban's wife and a video on Instagram of his experience in Tuscaloosa. Alabama commit Ronnie Harrison tweeted a photo, albeit a sideways photo, of himself in the front row, during the game. ESPN 300 athlete Donte Jackson visited LSU for its big 41-3 win over Kentucky on Saturday night. Jackson came away impressed with how the Tigers played. Ole Miss also had a few visitors including commits Drew Richmond and Ugo Amadi. Both players posted photos on Twitter. Richmond stopped to pose with a fan in his photo. ESPN 300 defensive tackle Kyle Phillips took a visit to Ole Miss this weekend as well and tweeted about his experience. Ole Miss safety commit Cam Ordway posted a photo on Instagram of himself posing with head coach Hugh Freeze and other recruits at the game. Florida suffered a bad 42-13 loss in front of several recruits. ESPN 300 outside linebacker Jeffery Holland was in attendance. Though he didn't say much, his tweet during the game pretty much summed up how everyone else felt about the game.

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