NCF On The Trail: Arizona State Sun Devils

Another wild week in Pac-12 

December, 19, 2014
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The Pac-12 and the West region are capable of producing some wild weeks during the lead-up to signing day, with so many prospects in the area waiting until that day to make their commitment and rivals going after so many of the same prospects.

If Jim Harbaugh takes the Michigan job, it could shake up the recruiting race in the Big Ten. Plus, Paul Chryst’s hiring at Wisconsin makes a lot of sense.


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Early Offer: Hokies score super sleeper 

December, 16, 2014
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Once again, Frank Beamer has landed an under-recruited prospect with “unlimited potential.” Plus, how much progress has been made by the committee looking into whether or not there should be an early-signing period?


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Pac-12 season recruiting superlatives 

December, 9, 2014
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It was another entertaining season in the Pac-12, as Oregon made its mark on the North, while the South was largely determined by two Hail Marys. But while fans got their money’s worth from the action on the field, the happenings on the recruiting trail during the year made an impact as well, marked by big commitments, misses and surprises. Here’s a look at the Pac-12 recruiting superlatives, based on events that took place during the season.


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The West region isn't often home to impact defensive tackles, as evidenced by the Pac-12's signing just two of the top 27 defensive tackles in the country this past signing day. By contrast, the Big Ten signed two of the top seven, and the SEC inked four of the top six.


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James Franklin comes up big again on the recruiting trail, playing a key role in landing talented cornerback Garrett Taylor. Plus, don’t be surprised if the silly season produces some major recruiting drama over the next two months.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 25, 2014
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While there were a number of important visitors at every Pac-12 game this past weekend, the Rose Bowl took center stage as UCLA hosted a number of official and unofficial visitors in what was the hottest ticket of the year for Southern California recruits. UCLA kicked off its strong weekend with a commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect, while Oregon hosted a junior college standout committed to another Pac-12 program. This upcoming weekend presents an opportunity for recruiting statements to be made in rivalry games.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 23, 2014
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It was an active weekend for recruits on social media, especially in Los Angeles, where UCLA turned in a huge performance in front of a number of Southern California's elite recruits. This weekend's look at Pac-12 visits through recruits' eyes on social media features stops in Eugene, Tempe, Berkeley and a whole lot of love for the Bruins in Los Angeles.

UCLA's big night

It all started with a bang for the Bruins, as ESPN 300 defensive end Keisean Lucier-South committed to UCLA well before the start of the game against USC.
Lucier-South, the nation's No. 29 prospect, had always been considered a lean to the Bruins, but solidifying his commitment was still cause for celebration in Westwood. It gives UCLA the Nos. 3 and 5 prospects in the state after not signing any of the top 13 California prospects in the 2014 class. Lucier-South was in attendance at the Rose Bowl as well, as UCLA's decisive 38-20 victory over USC made for a nice day for the new commitment. While Lucier-South was in attendance on an unofficial visit, there were more than a few official visitors in town for the Bruins. Perhaps the most important uncommitted official visitor was ESPN 300 guard Joshua Wariboko, the No. 174 prospect in the nation. He was on a visit with UCLA pledge Will Lockett and they had similar thoughts on the atmosphere on campus and at the game. Utah commit George Wilson was at the game and provided a quick snapshot. But the lasting effects from this game might be more felt in the 2016 class, which was loaded in terms of visitors at the Rose Bowl. Outside linebacker Caleb Kelly, the nation's No. 38 prospect in his class, made the drive down. Insider linebacker Lokeni Toailoa, the nation's No. 79 prospect in 2016 retweeted a number of positive UCLA messages and had this simple statement, regarding UCLA's three straight wins in the rivalry. 2016 wide receiver Theo Howard, who holds early offers from both programs, was at the Rose Bowl. Running back Damian Alloway, a new addition to the 2016 ESPN 300, at No. 206 overall, holds an offer from UCLA and wasn't shy about which direction he was leaning Saturday night. UCLA also hosted 2016 prospects Traveon Beck and Frank Martin -- the No. 132 overall prospect in his class. More visitors to Oregon

The Ducks have taken advantage of in season official visitors more frequently than any other Pac-12 program, relying heavily on Autzen Stadium's tremendous atmosphere to make an impression on visitors. This weekend, a few notable uncommitted prospects took official visits in Marquise Doherty and Octavius Spencer, but the visit to watch could be Arizona State junior college linebacker commit Davon Durant. All three prospects likely heard plenty from Oregon's committed prospects in town on official visits -- offensive linemen Shane Lemieux and Jake Hanson. Trip to Tempe

Arizona State had several interesting official visitors on campus, as ESPN 300 prospects John Houston, Stanley Norman and Joseph Wicker all made their way to Tempe. The Sun Devils also hosted committed junior college tight end Raymond Epps on an official visit. Big visitor for Big Game

Cal had a number of commits in town for the Big Game against Stanford. The Golden Bears also received an unofficial visit from 2016 ESPN 300 cornerback Treyjohn Butler, the No. 86 overall prospects who holds early Pac-12 offers from Arizona State, Cal, Washington and Washington State.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

November, 21, 2014
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The penultimate weekend of the regular season is upon us, and that means some serious recruiting weekends in store for several Pac-12 programs. A look at the top three recruiting visits in the Pac-12 includes one staff taking advantage of hosting its rivalry game and two others bringing in recruits to witness their final home games of the regular season.

USC at UCLA


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There have been some interesting names linked to the Florida opening, but several coaches believe Marshall's Doc Holliday could be a good recruiting fit in Gainesville. Plus, many expected ESPN 300 OT Chuma Edoga to flip from USC to Georgia, but it looks like the Trojans have won the battle in the end.


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Duke has upped its recruiting efforts in ACC territory and that has helped reel in talented recruits such as ESPN Junior 300 TE Mark Birmingham. Plus, Arizona State already has three pledges from Louisiana thanks largely to the recruiting efforts of offensive coordinator Mike Norvell.

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ESPN 300 receiver Tyron Johnson said he’s “80 percent” sure of where he’s going but things could change dramatically if LSU steps up its pursuit. The battle to land Nick Brossette will be one of the biggest storylines heading into the final months of recruiting.

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Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Central receiver Terrell Chatman committed to Miami early on, but that hasn’t stopped other schools from coming after him. His teammate, Kevin Henry, is working hard to ensure he’ll end up at Oklahoma State.


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UA jersey tour: Nick Brossette

November, 13, 2014
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Nick Brossette knew being selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game was a big deal, but it didn’t truly hit him until he was presented with his honorary jersey at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Family, friends and teammates packed the gymnasium at Baton Rouge’s University Laboratory School, and Brossette had to give a speech in front of the horde of media members that were just feet away from his face with flashing cameras. Following that, Brossette, the nation’s No. 10 running back, spent the next 45 minutes answering questions from reporters and posing for pictures with almost everybody in attendance.

"Whew," Brossette said after he finally got a chance to sit down and catch his breath.

"I started watching the Under Armour Game when I was 8-years-old, and I knew it was a big deal, but man, this was unreal. I remember Jadeveon Clowney going up against La'El Collins. Just looking at those top athletes, showcasing their talent, I wanted to be a part of that. It’s just now starting to sink in that it’s a reality. This is like a dream come true."

These jersey presentations are always a big deal for the schools and communities, but Brossette’s was especially unique because of his recruiting status. Brossette pledged to LSU -- the school that is literally across the street from University Lab -- last August, and he is one of the most dominating offensive players Baton Rouge has seen in years. But when Brossette announced a few months back that he was going to also visit Notre Dame, Texas and Arizona State, the spotlight focused on him even more.

"I think I'm doing a good job of keeping things in perspective and handling the whole recruiting stuff," said Brossette, who visited Notre Dame in early October and will take trips to the Longhorns, Tigers and Sun Devils after his season is over.

"It has taken up a lot of my time. I just try to stay focused with my team, and I’m just trying to get back to the state championship and win it this time. That time on the football field has kind of become my sanctuary. That’s my time away where nobody is asking me where I’m going to school. Just being around my guys and having fun with them helps keep it all in perspective. It keeps me really grounded."

That is another reason he is excited to play in the Under Armour Game. Yes, he knows there will be plenty of questions about his future asked during the week, but he also knows there will be plenty of football.

"Fans are going to see that I work hard," Brossette said. "They're going to see my vision, how powerful I am, and they're also going to see my speed. Everybody questions me about my speed. I think I'm a full package at running back. This is my chance to show them.

"I’ve been looking at the roster and checking out all of the linebackers. I know there are some good ones in the game. I’m looking forward to going up against all of those guys. I can’t wait to blow up a linebacker on the first day of practice."

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 11, 2014
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There wasn't much movement on the Pac-12 recruiting scorecard this weekend, but Utah was able to bounce back from a tough loss to Oregon by scoring a commitment, and Arizona State might have set the stage for one of the conference's stronger runs toward signing day with a big win against Notre Dame. Elsewhere, Stanford is looking to gain some recruiting momentum after some time without a commitment, and several Pac-12 targets are headed out of the area this weekend.


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