NCF On The Trail: Auburn Tigers

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.
Randy Edsall knows recruiting is the lifeblood of his program, and he is really impressing local coaches with his effort. Plus, don’t be surprised if you see NC State finish with a flurry.

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SEC's top recruiting visits 

October, 10, 2014
Oct 10
There are once again some big games around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. The Auburn-Mississippi State game looks to be loaded with big-time visitors. Texas A&M hopes to bounce back with an impressive performance against Ole Miss this weekend in front of recruits. Here’s a closer look at some of the top visitors in the SEC this weekend.

Auburn at Mississippi State

With Mississippi State hoping to capitalize off its on-field success, the Bulldogs are planning to bring in several recruits this weekend. Jamal Peters, the No. 2-ranked safety in the ESPN 300 and a Mississippi State commit, is planning to attend. He’s still considering Ole Miss, so for the Bulldogs to get him back on campus is big.

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Help is on the way: SEC 

October, 8, 2014
Oct 8
Almost midway through the season and teams such as Arkansas and Texas A&M have shown the obvious strengths of their teams with their running backs and wide receivers, respectively. But in most cases every team has an apparent weakness, too. Here’s a closer look at how each team in the SEC will address its needs through recruiting.

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ESPN 300 outside linebacker Richard McBryde was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends, teammates and classmates on the campus of Charles Henderson High in Troy, Alabama.

The No. 65-ranked McBryde understands the magnitude of being selected to the Under Armour All-America Game.

“It means a lot,” McBryde said. “I think I’m the first from Charles Henderson High to be selected, and that means a lot to me."

As important as it is personally for McBryde to be selected, the meaning for his school and community means more long term for the Auburn commitment.

“To me, it’s very big for the school and for Troy," McBryde said. "This gets exposure for the school and community. We have great athletes in my hometown, and hopefully this helps more players in the future.”

McBryde committed to Auburn July 26 over offers from Miami (Fla.), Tennessee, Florida, USC and a number of others. He joins No. 29 Kerryon Johnson as top 2015 prospects from the state of Alabama to pick Auburn and is one of six prospects from the state selected to play in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.

McBryde is also one of six Auburn commitments set to take part in the Under Armour All-America Game, joining No. 29 Johnson, No. 76 Jordan Colbert, No. 213 D'Anfernee McGriff, No. 228 Bailey Sharp and four-star linebacker Darrell Williams.

Eight questions with Richard McBryde

Is there a specific player you are looking forward to going against at the Under Armour All-America Game?

McBryde: No, sir, there actually isn’t one player I’m focused on. I just want to go down there and have fun but test myself against the best.

If you were to start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be and why?

McBryde: I would start on offense and go with Kerryon Johnson. He’s a great all-around player.

Who is the best player to ever play in the Under Armour game that you know of?

McBryde: Probably Julio Jones. Julio Jones is a great athlete and a great player. I mean, his stats and what you see speak for itself since high school.

What is your earliest football memory?

McBryde: It’s my rec league days. When I was in second grade, I played quarterback. I couldn’t throw the ball at all, but they put me at quarterback and I just ran with it every play. That was a lot of fun and my first memory.

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?

McBryde: It was Ray Lewis when I was young, and then as I got older Patrick Willis. With Ray Lewis, he just stays hype on the field all the time and he dominated.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport, who would it be?

McBryde: I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I guess I would say Carmelo Anthony. I would like to play a little one-on-one against him, but I don’t know why (laughing).

What number do you wear and why?

McBryde: I wear 15. The reason is because I was 15 years old when I first played varsity, and my graduating year in 2015. I plan to wear it in college, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen yet.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

McBryde: I don’t know. I feel like people know me very well. On the football field, I don’t think people know I can cover well. That’s one thing that would surprise people.

The 2015 ESPN Junior College Watch List is comprised of more than 200 prospects who will be evaluated for a position inside the Juco 50. Here is a snapshot of six prospects, three skill and three non-skill, who have impressed in the early evaluations.

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Best of the visits: SEC

October, 5, 2014
Oct 5
From the Ole Miss win over Alabama to Kentucky’s big come-from-behind win over South Carolina, there were some incredible 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 around the SEC:

Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson took a visit to Ole Miss for its huge 23-17 win over Alabama. Jefferson tweeted out a few different photos of his experience in Oxford, Mississippi. Florida, Alabama and Florida State seemed to have been the favorites for Jefferson, but Ole Miss certainly helped its chances of landing the talented pass rusher.

The nation’s No. 2-ranked outside linebacker, Roquan Smith, also visited Ole Miss this weekend. The four-star athlete tweeted out a picture of himself on the sidelines at the game. Ole Miss has made a big run at the talented prospect.

ESPN 300 wide receiver Ryan Newsome took a photo of Katy Perry, who was also on the sidelines for the Rebels' big win.

Auburn hosted several key visitors for its big 41-7 win over LSU on Saturday. ESPN 300 linebacker Jeffery Holland was on hand and tweeted out a few different photos and videos of his experience, including one of himself alongside five-star defensive tackle Trenton Thompson.

Despite losing 10-9 to Florida on Saturday, Tennessee still had some big visitors on campus. ESPN 300 defensive end Ricky DeBerry tweeted out a photo of the field at Tennessee and recent defensive tackle commit Shy Tuttle tweeted out a photo of himself and a friend.

Kentucky had a thrilling come-from-behind victory over South Carolina on Saturday night, and several recruits were in attendance. Three-star defensive end Kengera Daniel tweeted a photo of himself along with Kentucky true freshman Kendall Randolph.

The No. 1-ranked running back in the ESPN 300, Damien Harris, has been to Kentucky numerous times over the last several months. He was once again in Lexington for Saturday's game. What seemed like a long shot for Kentucky is now seeming like a real possibility of landing this elite athlete.

Mississippi State safety commit Jamal Peters was impressed with how well the Bulldogs played against Texas A&M on Saturday. After the thrilling win, it was announced that ESPN’s "College Gameday" would be in Starkville next Saturday for Mississippi State’s game against SEC West opponent Auburn.


SEC's top recruiting visits 

October, 3, 2014
Oct 3

There are once again some big games around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. The Alabama at Ole Miss game looks to be loaded with big-time visitors. Auburn will also host some key targets as it faces SEC West rival LSU. Mississippi State will hope to build on its momentum with a big game against Texas A&M this weekend. Here's a closer look at some of the top visitors in the SEC this weekend.

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Auburn hasn’t been given too much of a chance to land coveted receiver Christian Kirk, but the Tigers’ chances are better than most think. Plus, Michigan lost a key defensive recruit, and don’t be surprised if more are to follow.

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Early Offer: Sumlin's message for Lodge 

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin sent a not-so-subtle message to former commit DaMarkus Lodge at his Tuesday news conference. Plus, Mississippi State captured a monumental victory over LSU this past weekend, but the Bulldogs are also winning on the recruiting trail.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. There were several players who committed to SEC schools over the weekend, and Texas A&M lost a top commit. Here’s a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.

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Best of the visits: SEC

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
There were some great 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:

Auburn commit D’Anfernee McGriff took an unofficial visit to Alabama for it’s impressive 42-21 victory over Florida on Saturday. The ESPN 300 member has been committed to Auburn since April but it appears the Alabama visit made quite an impression on him.
Here is a photo of five-star Alabama quarterback commit Blake Barnett, his father Lance Barnett and Nick Saban during an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa, Alabama over the summer. Barnett did attend the game on Saturday and his father tweeted out his thoughts on how Alabama's offense looked in the first half against the Gators. ESPN 300 outside linebacker Adonis Thomas, a Florida commit, was scheduled to visit Alabama but was not able to attend. Thomas chose Florida over Alabama back at the beginning of August, but after the game yesterday, it appears things could be changing based on a tweet he sent out. Though LSU suffered a disappointing 34-29 home loss to Mississippi State, the Tigers still had several visitors on campus. ESPN Jr. 300 cornerback Chad Clay Tweeted a photo of himself along with who appears to be former NBA great Karl Malone in the background. With Mississippi State's big win, several recruits were impressed with what the Bulldogs were able to do in Death Valley. Florida commit Tre Jackson was impressed with what he saw from MSU as was current commit Keith Mixon. 2016 cornerback prospect Elijah Pankey attended Vanderbilt's game against South Carolina. Even though the Commodores fell short against the Gamecocks they still put on a impressive performance in front of several recruits.
Numbers tell us it’s USC that rules the roost over the years with the top-ranked prospects in California. Plus, UCLA has officially signed Josh Rosen, the Bruins’ most important recruit in years, to a financial aid agreement.

1. Since ESPN started ranking players in 2006, only four different schools have signed the top player in California. Those four schools are USC, Colorado, Washington and Notre Dame. You could say five if you count Eddie Vanderdoes as a Bruin signee in the 2013 class, but he did ink with Notre Dame on signing day and later transferred to UCLA. During that timeframe, though, USC has signed the top California player in the 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2014 classes. The Trojans have a good shot at doing it again in 2015 as many insiders believe five-star cornerback Iman Marshall is USC’s to lose.

[+] EnlargeDeon Cain
Tom Hauck for Student SportsClemson commit Deon Cain has 184 yards passing yards and 197 yards rushing in two games.
2. There was never, ever any doubt about how solid No. 1 ranked pocket-passing quarterback Josh Rosen was to UCLA. But Rosen, the No. 19 player in the country, took his commitment to the next level on Monday when he signed a financial aid agreement with the Bruins. Rosen remains the top-ranked prospect to commit to a Pac 12 program, and in my opinion, he is also the most important recruit in the conference with the Bruins’ quarterback race next season expected to be wide open since most UCLA observers believe Brett Hundley will depart for the NFL after his junior season.

3. How good has Clemson commit Deon Cain been in Tampa Bay (Florida) Tech’s first two games of the season? Cain, the nation’s No. 25 player, has been so good that Tech coach Jayson Roberts said he’s going to have to find somebody else to help do something on offense because he’s afraid he’s going to “break Deon’s back” from carrying the load. “Deon has been about 90 percent of our offense,” Roberts said. “The good thing is that he’s doing exactly what we want him to do, but the bad thing is that somebody else on the team is going to have to step up to help him out. But he’s been doing a tremendous job for us.” So far, Cain has 184 yards passing and 197 yards rushing in two games. He’s also caught a few passes and is returning punts and kickoffs. “He’s doing everything but driving the bus for us,” Roberts said.

Social Studies
There’s little doubt as to which school ESPN 300 quarterback Sheriron Jones is committed to. Check out the picture he posted Tuesday on his birthday.

Schools tweet posts like this one sent out by Baylor Tuesday and fans think they’re meant for them. Wrong. Tweets like these are meant to impress recruits and what’s scary is that the Bears have another good receiver in the 2015 class heading to Waco. Don’t forget about ESPN 300 receiver longtime Baylor commit Devontre Stricklin. He’s got the talent to be a huge impact player for the Bears.

The Under Armour All-America jersey tour continued on Tuesday with Auburn offensive line commitment Bailey Sharp receiving his jersey on Tuesday. To read more about the tour check out RecruitingNation’s coverage.

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Best of the visits: SEC

September, 14, 2014
Sep 14
There were some great games around the SEC over the weekend. Several prospects attended games and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts:

The No. 2-ranked inside linebacker in the country, Roquan Smith, visited South Carolina for its 38-35 victory over Georgia. The Under Armour All-American tweeted out a picture of his family in Williams-Brice Stadium. Georgia is one of Smith’s favorite schools, while South Carolina has fallen behind. A big win against the Bulldogs could have given the Gamecocks a boost.

Former Florida defensive back commit Marcus Lewis is still considering Kentucky and Florida. The four-star prospect might not have attended the game, but Lewis was definitely watching on TV. The ESPN 300 prospect tweeted out his thoughts on how Kentucky looked.

David Womack tweeted a picture of his son, Matt Womack, an LSU commit, with Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Womack has been committed to LSU since July, but it appears the Alabama offer could give this three-star offensive lineman something to think about.

Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson, despite suffering a shoulder injury Friday night, visited Florida for the third consecutive week. In this photo he tweeted out, Jefferson is in the Florida locker room holding a “Chucky” doll. The doll, which is usually taken through the Gator Walk prior to the game, is a recent Florida defensive tradition started by New England Patriots defensive tackle and former Florida player Dominique Easley and passed down to defensive end Dante Fowler Jr.

ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Brandon McIlwain poses with his mom for a photo in front of Williams-Brice Stadium. McIlwain has narrowed down his choices to South Carolina, Duke, Florida, Auburn, Penn State and Virginia Tech. The strong-armed quarterback is one of the top signal-callers in the country for 2016.

Miami running back commit Dexter Williams visited Florida for its thrilling 36-30 victory over Kentucky. Despite his commitment to the Hurricanes, the Gators have continued to pursue Williams. Williams tweeted about his time in Gainesville.

2017 OL prospect Jack Anderson, who already holds offers from Arizona State, New Mexico, Texas Tech and UAB, visited Texas A&M for its 38-10 victory over Rice on Saturday night.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news across the country. Today's offerings: James Franklin and Penn State was already building one of the best classes in the country, and Monday's news that the Nittany Lions were eligible for postseason play will help them build an even better class. Plus, recruits across the country agreed with the NFL and the Ravens' decision to distance themselves from Ray Rice, and we continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.

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