NCF On The Trail: Big 12

Top sleeper commits: Big 12 

December, 16, 2014
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Five-star and ESPN 300 prospects create the most buzz, but with more than 100 FBS programs competing for talent, it takes more than just those top-rated prospects. Rosters are built with mainly prospects who enter college with little fanfare, but their development and contributions are key to a program’s success. Every year we see prospects who flew under the radar in recruiting but developed into some of their conference's top players.

Throughout our evaluations we come across many players who show promise and based off their upside for development or scheme fit are great additions to their college programs. Here are five headed to the Big 12:

The addition of No. 1 2016 TE Isaac Nauta shows that the Florida State recruiting machine shows no signs of slowing down. Plus, Tennessee continues to impress with its 2015 defensive class.


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Early Offer: The dead period is here 

December, 14, 2014
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What is the dead period and why is it an important time in football recruiting? Plus, Texas Tech’s loss at quarterback could be Baylor’s gain.

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For the longest time it looked like Alabama was going to run away with the title for the top-ranked class, but here comes Florida State. Plus, why the hype around Josh Sweat?

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David Cutcliffe of Duke said young coaches should turn to Kenny Rogers for advice on how to get ahead on the recruiting trail. Plus, Florida's Jim McElwain has been busy since he was hired.

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Go ahead and debate who should have been in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but there’s no debating Bama, Oregon, FSU and OSU dominate in recruiting.

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The good news Thursday was that both Florida and Nebraska filled their open coaching positions in a timely manner, but the bad news is we’re less than 60 days until signing day. Plus, what type of recruiter is Nebraska getting?


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Jordan Howard rushed for 1,600 yards at UAB this season, and now that the program has been shuttered, recruiters are lining up to get his transfer. Plus, with the Brady Hoke news, Michigan lost four-star tight end commitment Chris Clark. So where do recruits think he’ll end up?


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SMU’s move to hire Texas native Chad Morris will pay off big time on the recruiting trail. Plus, you have to really give credit to UAB coach Bill Clark for the recruiting job he did while his administrators were shuttering his program.


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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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While the rest of college football’s Power 5 conferences prepare for conference championship games, three Big 12 teams will be hosting big conference games, and of course, recruits.

Kansas State visits Baylor, and TCU hosts Iowa State in two matchups with major College Football Playoff implications. Bedlam takes place in the Sooner State as Oklahoma hosts Oklahoma State.


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Whoever ends up getting the job at Nebraska has to be willing to take the Husker brand on the national recruiting trail. Alabama proved again this weekend why it's the top recruiting program in the country.

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Early Offer: Malik Jefferson's final 7 

November, 24, 2014
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Malik Jefferson reduced his list to seven schools on Monday, and though the list is hardly a surprise, recruiters think there are still some in store with the No. 35 player in the country.

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Early Offer: Who will land Soso Jamabo? 

November, 20, 2014
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Soso Jamabo loved visits to UCLA and Notre Dame, but is it too early to count out the Texas schools? Plus, NC State added a key pledge on Wednesday that should give the Wolfpack much-needed help on the offensive line.

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UA jersey tour: Toby Weathersby

November, 20, 2014
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ESPN 300 offensive tackle Toby Weathersby remembers first receiving his varsity jersey. He didn’t have a favorite number, and he didn’t request a number.

He just wanted a jersey. It happened to be No. 66.

“Once I got it, it was just a jersey to me. I never knew why I had it,” Weathersby said. “Then I found out the reason why. My coach said I reminded him of Tony.”

“Tony” is Tony Ugoh, a Westfield High School graduate who played at Arkansas. Ugoh wore No. 66 before getting drafted in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft, ultimately playing for the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions and New York Giants.

Foreshadowing? Perhaps. Ugoh achieved greatness on the offensive line, and Weathersby, a Texas commit, is expected to follow suit. Weathersby was named an Under Armour All-American and participated in his American Family Insurance-sponsored Under Armour All-America Game jersey ceremony Thursday afternoon.

“It made me feel amazing. All the hard work has paid off,” Weathersby said. “I get to compete against the top guys in the country. I’m ready to put on for my city.”

A Houston native, Weathersby is the nation’s 11th-ranked offensive tackle, and he is No. 143 in the latest ESPN 300. Weathersby has been committed to Texas since March.

At 6-foot-5 and 292 pounds, Weathersby is a streamlined offensive lineman. It’s his physical nature and strength that makes him a player to watch. Weathersby said the UA Game, set for Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the perfect setting to show what he’s capable of playing for Charlie Strong.

Don’t expect Weathersby to be a self-promoter. Off the field, he’s a quiet guy who understands that humility can get him far.

“Growing up, we didn’t have much,” Weathersby said. “Now that everything’s starting to happen, I’m just giving the glory to God. I just keep a smile on my face and keep pushing.

“A lot of people don’t know that I’m a real quiet dude. I speak when I’m spoken to. On the field, it’s different. I like to put people on their backs.”

Quick hits on Toby Weathersby

What’s your motivation? “My mom. It’s just me and her. We didn’t have much, and that pushed me to grind harder and get to where I need to be. I want to do it for her.”

Best UA Game player ever: “Jadeveon Clowney. That dude has a motor. I don’t know what happened to him when he was younger, but whatever he did, it shows on the field. He’s like a shark in the water. He’ll hit you, and he’ll make the play.”

Who do you want to line up against? “Whoever they put in front of me. I’ll use what I have to dominate.”

Thoughts of Charlie Strong: “He’s real down to earth. He doesn’t put on a show. He doesn’t pretend. He’s just him.”

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