NCF On The Trail: Florida State Seminoles

Duke now has the ability to sell a winning program and new facilities to recruits, and prospects like what they're seeing. Plus, the nation's top 2016 quarterback was slated to be at Florida State for the Notre Dame game, but he wasn't able to make it and now is looking for a return date.

UA jersey tour: Josh Sweat

October, 22, 2014
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ESPN 300 defensive end Josh Sweat received his Under Armour All-America jersey on Wednesday. The No. 5 ranked prospect received the honor in front of his classmates, teammates and family and spoke about his accomplishments on and off the field.

A short video played on a projector before the ceremony, giving everyone in attendance a better look at who Sweat really is as a person.

Sweat took some time to answer a few questions to help expand on who he is, where he has been and what makes him tick.

What one player are you looking forward to competing against?: Yeah, probably the biggest person I was looking for was Martez Ivey. Great guy, I played against him at a camp and I believe that's the person I would have been going against anyway. That would be a good matchup.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?: Give me the best corners, defensive backs and linebackers. Everybody who can cover the best so I can get to the quarterback. That's a defensive end's best friend is the secondary.

What was your earliest football memory?: Probably knocking off Oscar Smith middle school in the city championship. The middle school I went to never won a game two years before and then I came out there and we won everything in every other sport for this one year. We beat them in the city championship and now I'm at Oscar Smith high school. So I played against a lot of the guys that are my teammates now. That’s a good thing to brag about. When they bring it up, I had to brag.

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?: Honestly, no one. Other than my two older brothers. I watch it more now that I'm heavy into football.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport who would it be?: I would like to race Usain Bolt. I would challenge LeBron James to try to dunk on me. I would challenge him to try to. I would also swim against Michael Phelps.

Why do you wear your number?: I wear No. 9. The person that previously wore it was a real good guy, a tight end and linebacker. But, my favorite number is 2. I always wanted to wear that number.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?: I used to video game heavily. I mostly played "Call of Duty." I play a little bit now, but not as much as I used to. I used to sit in the house and play before I was heavy on football.

ESPN 300: Five who could flip 

October, 22, 2014
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The Class of 2015 has seen more than 35 prospects in the ESPN 300 flip or decommit during the cycle. As many as 30 more prospects in the ESPN 300 could flip between now and national signing day. With that possibility in mind, here are five to keep tabs on less than four months away from national signing day.


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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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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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UA jersey tour: Iman Marshall

October, 17, 2014
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Cornerback Iman Marshall was the center of attention at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly on Friday morning, as he received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey. It's the second consecutive year a Jackrabbits standout will take part in the game, as Marshall follows Juju Smith, from the 2014 class.

Marshall will follow Smith's lead in another aspect as well, as the five-star cornerback and nation's No. 8 overall prospect will keep recruiting fans guessing as to his ultimate destination all the way to signing day.

While Marshall announced earlier this fall that he would take official visits to Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, those have yet to be scheduled.

"Everything is still the same," Marshall said of his recruiting plan. "I'm just enjoying the process and the season. I'm excited for my five officials."

Although, everything might not be the same for long, as Marshall added that those might not actually be the five schools he visits.

"I have a feeling I might switch one, but I'm still debating," Marshall said, declining to state what school might not actually receive a trip.

SATs have prevented Marshall from taking official visits to this point, and he said he hopes to eventually take some during the end of the season so there isn't a rush to take them all after the season ends. One thing that isn't likely to change between now and the end of the year is that the three California schools involved -- Stanford, UCLA and USC -- will all be in the race until the end.

Six questions with Iman Marshall

Who are you most looking forward to playing with at the Under Armour All-America Game?

Marshall: "First off I would love to play with Josh Rosen, Christian Kirk and Cordell Broadus. There are a lot of guys on the East Coast as well, but those are the three that come to my mind right now."

If you could start your team with any player from the 2015 recruiting class, who would it be?

Marshall: "I'd have Rosen at quarterback, Broadus on one side and Kirk on the other, with Calvin Ridley in there also. Me at cornerback, Derwin James at safety and Kevin Tolliver on the other side of me. John Houston and Jeffery Holland at linebacker."

What is your earliest football memory?

Marshall: "In my first game, I went 85 yards for a touchdown on my first carry."

What football player did you idolize growing up?

Marshall: "As a defensive back, of course, I wanted to be like Deion Sanders. Every DB wants to be like him."

If you could take on any professional at their sport, who would it be?

Marshall: "I'd take on LeBron or Kobe at basketball. You can't miss that."

Why do you wear your number (8)?

Marshall: "Nobody knows this but the reason I got eight was that in Pop Warner, my number was zero. They didn't have zero in high school, so the closest number that looks like zero is eight."
The DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) has developed into one of the most competitive areas in the country, so what recruiters do the best job in Washington D.C.? Plus, can Minnesota keep one of the top juniors in the country at home?


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

October, 14, 2014
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As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. There were a few big commitments, key visits and new offers over the weekend. Here's a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.


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Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and Texas A&M are trying, but it’s going to take a lot to get Penn State defensive tackle commit Adam McLean to change his mind. Plus, James Franklin's ability to spread the Penn State brand in Washington, D.C., was on full display Monday afternoon.

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UA jersey tour: Cordell Broadus

October, 13, 2014
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Cordell Broadus was presented with his Under Armour All America jersey on Monday afternoon, in a ceremony attended by friends and family. Of course, one attendee was just a bit easier to recognize than others, as Broadus is the son of Calvin Broadus, better known to most as Snoop Dogg.

But Broadus made it known early on in his recruiting process that if programs and coaches are merely looking to make a splash by landing the son of the legendary rapper, they shouldn't waste their time.

"They should know from the jump that if you're recruiting somebody it should be for who they are," Broadus said, adding that so far, coaches have been good about that angle. "It hasn't come up yet, but I would stay away from a college that did that. It'd feel like it's fake, and that it wasn't for me and my athletic ability."

After making the move from Diamond Bar (Calif.) High School to Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman this past offseason, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound wide receiver finds himself a significant member of a nationally-ranked program that finished its nonconference schedule with wins over powers from Arizona and Utah, as well as four wins over top California programs. All the Gaels have done in two conference games is post a combined 130-0 score line as Bishop Gorman seeks yet another state title. Broadus ranks second on the team with 22 receptions for 297 yards and five touchdowns.

While Broadus, the nation's No. 133 recruit and No. 14 wide receiver, sports an impressive offer sheet, he said his focus has been on his senior season rather than recruiting. As a result, he has yet to truly begin narrowing down his finalists and said he would like to see as many of the schools that have extended scholarships as possible.

Broadus said Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Notre Dame and Washington will eventually receive official visits, while he was at the Rose Bowl on an unofficial visit to UCLA this past weekend.

"I want to see if I can fit in comfortably and if they need me at the wide receiver position," Broadus said of what he'll be looking for during his visits.



Seven questions with Cordell Broadus

What players are you looking forward to competing with or against at the UA All America Game?

"A lot of my friends that I grew up with will be at the game. Iman Marshall, Josh Rosen, John Houston. Those guys."

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

"Iman Marshall at the cornerback position. He's such a big corner. He can contribute and shut down a whole side of the field. He has a great head on his shoulders."

What was your earliest football memory?

"My dad forcing me to play football because I didn't want to play football right away. I didn't really start liking football until seventh or eighth grade. In eighth grade I started officially working out, doing cone work and running routes. When you start working on your craft, the more time you put in, the better you get."

Which football player did you watch as a kid?

"I liked to watch Jerry Rice, Keenan Allen, Kez Bryant, Terrell Owens, A.J. Green. Guys like that."

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

"I'd take on Alex Morgan in soccer. Just for a chance to hang out with her and get her number."

Why do you wear your number (21)?

"My mom had me at the age of 21, so I really represent that. And my dad is from 21st Street as well."

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

"I like reading. I read a lot of books on a wide variety of topics. Also, I want to be a director and direct their favorite movie."
Tim Beckman is 1-17 in Big Ten games and questions about his future has hindered the Illini's recruiting efforts. Plus, Georgia Tech has surprised both on the field and on the recruiting trial.


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Help is on the way: ACC 

October, 8, 2014
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Each year on the recruiting trail, schools are met with needs that need to be addressed to shore up depth issues both immediately and down the line. With four months until national signing day for the class of 2015, many teams have addressed and met needs.


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Vols RB commit Alvin Kamara is drawing comparisons to a former four-time Pro-Bowl selection after his fast start. Plus, Michigan seemed to be in great shape for ESPN 300 DE Keisean Lucier-South, but now the Wolverines’ chances are fading quickly.

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With Alabama coming to town, Ole Miss coaches plan to make the most of the weekend by hosting official visitors. Plus, will Florida State be able to lure away two highly ranked corners that have previously committed to LSU and Alabama?

1. Coaches have different mindsets about the importance of hosting official visitors during a game weekend. Some coaches hate it because you’re not able to give prospects and their family your undivided attention. But there are others like Maurice Harris, Ole Miss' tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for offense, that think official visits on game weekends are a tremendous recruiting tool. "You want them to see actual game-day atmosphere, whether it's in the stadium or whether it's in The Grove," Harris said. "Also, too, you want them to see you coaching your players on game day as well. You want them to see you coaching during the good times and coaching during the bad times. That helps a lot of recruits judge if that's something they want to be around. It’s a great opportunity for them to evaluate us." For the record, the Rebels will host five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson and ESPN 300 receiver Ryan Newsome on official visits this weekend for the Rebels' Saturday matchup against No. 3 Alabama.

2. Speaking official visits on game weekends, Florida State plays host to two of the nation’s top cornerbacks this weekend when No. 5-ranked Kevin Toliver II and No. 27-ranked Minkah Fitzpatrick visit for the Noles’ game against Wake Forest. Toliver, a five-star recruit and the No. 1 cornerback in the country, has been a longtime LSU commitment, but he is still taking all five of his official visits. He’s already tripped to Ohio State and Virginia Tech, and will check out LSU and UCLA in November. Fitzpatrick is the fourth-best cornerback in the country and has been pledged to Alabama for quite some time. With all of Florida State’s success at cornerback over the years, don’t be surprised if either player comes back from Tallahassee talking big about the Noles.

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3. To win in the Pac 12, you have to have a talented running back, and that has been something that has been sorely lacking at Colorado for years now. However, the Buffs landed a big recruiting victory Tuesday night when four-star running back Donald Gordon picked CU. Gordon fills a big need for Buffs, especially when you consider CU hasn’t taken a true running back at the position in the 2014 and 2015 classes.

Social Studies
With Wyoming off this weekend, the Cowboys’ coaches are hitting the recruiting trail. This was a neat way to help visualize where the Wyoming coaches will be.

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Boy, have times have changed in the recruiting world. Thanks to YouTube, fans are now able to see a Colorado State recruiting video from 1977. The first thing the Rams sell in the video is the beautiful scenery in Colorado and the tape job after you’re hurt. Now we’ve got schools Photoshopping recruits into pictures with Beyoncé.

ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Trayvon Mullen picked up another impressive offer on Thursday. This time the nation’s top junior cornerback added an offer from Oklahoma. The Sooners join the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and around 15 other schools.

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Big Ten teams need to find a way to increase athleticism through recruiting and Wisconsin is working hard in Florida to make that happen. Plus, UCLA quarterback commit Josh Rosen continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Bruins on the recruiting trail.


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