NCF On The Trail: Big Ten

ESPN 300 prospect Holton Hill is one of only three elite cornerbacks remaining on the board in the 2015 class, and that means coaches are doing all they can to land his commitment.

ESPN 300 receiver Van Jefferson is no longer committed to Georgia and the news was definitely disappointing for the Dawgs. So who’s in the driver’s seat now for the one of the best receivers in the country?


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One of the biggest success stories in the 2015 recruiting class has been Arkansas with its in-state recruits. The Razorbacks were 10-for-10 on players they had offered in Arkansas, but that changed Sunday when ESPN 300 receiver K.J. Hill backed off his pledge.


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Ohio State is coming off a national championship and has a three-headed quarterback dilemma that most schools would love to have. The Buckeyes are not complaining about their unusual predicament but it has caused their five-star quarterback commit Torrance Gibson to consider some of his other offers.

The 16th-ranked player in the nation took an official visit to Auburn this weekend and though he remains committed to Ohio State, the Tigers gave him a lot to think about.

"I sat in Coach [Gus] Malzahn's office and he told me that I'm their guy,” Gibson said. "He said he wants me to come in and I would get a fair opportunity to play quarterback and I believe him.

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Few recruiting battles are more intriguing than the ones going on in Texas for high-profile players such as Daylon Mack, Soso Jamabo and Chris Warren III. What schools they pick could tilt recruiting supremacy in the Lone Star State moving forward


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Even it looks like there is momentum for an early signing period in mid-December, college coaches still are torn on whether that’s a good thing. Plus, what does an early signing period do to the financial aid agreements players are already signing?


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Most coaches at AFCA agree an early signing period is a good thing, but when to have it will be a hot topic at Tuesday’s NCAA recruiting seminar.


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Not only is Ohio State playing for the national championship in a matter of hours and headed towards a possible top five recruiting class in 2015, but it struck gold in the 2017 class Monday, picking up a commitment from Sunshine State cornerback Shaun Wade.

The 6-foot-2, 181-pound Wade starred as a sophomore for Jacksonville Trinity Christian as a sophomore in 2014 playing opposite 2015 five-star Kevin Toliver II and alongside a bevy of future FBS defenders. According to Trinity Christian assistant coach and former Florida State cornerback Gerard Ross, the Buckeyes are getting a cornerback with elite potential.

“As a corner, Wade definitely has the footwork and length,” Ross said. “He also has a high football IQ, along with the long arms to reroute in press man. Most people are familiar with Kevin Toliver, but Wade is different. Toliver was more of a man-to-man guy, but Wade is capable of playing zone and man because of his football IQ being so high.”

As a younger prospect on a team with more than a dozen FBS prospects, Wade had the chance to sit back, listen and learn from his teammates about the recruiting process, which included Toliver.

“Ohio State has been there with Wade for a while," Ross said. "They came down to recruit Toliver the last two years and got to see Wade practice. Then Toliver made an official visit to Ohio State and really liked it. Ohio State was a school Toliver really liked, and he came back and told our guys how much he liked it. That helped Wade."

The commitment for Ohio State is the second in the 2017 class following the December 2013 verbal by quarterback Danny Clark.

The Buckeyes might not be done at Trinity Christian either. Ohio State also has offered 2018 cornerback Tyreke Johnson, the younger brother of 2015 Florida State quarterback early enrollee De'Andre Johnson.
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- At the American Football Coaches Association convention, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's ability on the recruiting trail was the talk of high school coaches from all over the country.


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No. 2 running back Damien Harris announces at 1:15 p.m. ET Friday between Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio State, but this has always been a Crimson Tide-Wildcat recruiting battle.


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Ohio State and Oregon have different recruiting philosophies, but both have made it work on the way to an appearance in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T.


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OU coach Bob Stoops fired co-offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell on Tuesday, and the moves might help the Sooners get new life on the recruiting trial.


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With 30 days to national signing day, there are still plenty of headlines left to be made in the 2015 class. One of the biggest will be how Jim Harbaugh does in recruiting’s home stretch.


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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Some of the top underclassmen in the country gathered for the debut of the Under Armour Elite 50 combine on Friday morning. The group included many of the top 50 prospects in the ESPN Junior 300 and a few 2017 prospects such as LSU commit Dylan Moses and uncommitted wide receiver DeAngelo Gibbs. Even 2018 prospect Tyreke Johnson, who has multiple scholarship offers, attended the event.

There were several standout performances throughout the morning practice and several top plays were caught on social media. Here’s a look at the sites and sounds from the Under Armour Elite 50 combine.

Georgia offensive tackle commit Ben Cleveland squared off against Penn State commit Shane Simmons.


All four quarterbacks in attendance -- Shea Patterson, Malik Henry (FSU), Dwayne Haskins and Jacob Eason (Georgia) -- looked incredible. It was obvious to see why all four are so highly ranked. Here’s a highlight from each signal-caller.



Defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence went against Baylor commit Patrick Hudson in one-on-one drills.


Defensive back Saivion Smith matched up against wide receiver Dredrick Snelson. Smith had good coverage but Snelson one this particular battle.


Alabama wide receiver commit Demetris Robertson was one of the top receivers today. Robertson had multiple deep catches and the defensive backs had a hard time matching up with the speedy wideout.


Two top running backs for the next two years, Kareem Walker and Dylan Moses doing some individual drills.


Defensive end Marlon Davidson and 2017 OT Calvin Ashley hanging out in between drills.

UA practice notebook: Day 3 

December, 31, 2014
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Todd Wofford knows a good football player when he sees him.

As the coach at Central Gwinnett High School, Wofford has worked with some special players over the years, including ESPN 300 outside linebacker and current Alabama commitment Adonis Thomas and current Ohio State linebacker Trey Johnson. So it speaks volumes when he gushes about the running back talent he is tutoring this week at the Under Armour All-America Game.


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