NCF On The Trail: Michigan Wolverines

Dominating Florida is always critical for Florida State, but another secret to the Seminoles' success is doing well in Virginia, and highly-coveted corner Levonta Taylor could be the Noles' next big get from the state.
Two things have become clear in recruiting: If you want a top quarterback you had better move quickly; each prospect’s decision affects others. That’s why the upcoming decision of Jarrett Guarantano looms large over the 2016 class.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
BUFORD, Ga. - Despite the cold and rainy weather conditions, more than 400 prospects from all over the Southeast made the trip to Buford High School for the Nike The Opening Regional Camp on Sunday.
[+] EnlargeMalik Henry
Miller Safrit/ESPNFlorida State quarterback pledge Malik Henry was among the prospects earning invitations to The Opening.
With less than ideal conditions for throwing the ball, several quarterbacks and wide receivers -- including Malik Henry, David Moore, Josh Imatorbhebehe, Freddie Swain, Tre Nixon and several other players -- had standout performances at the camp. Swain, the No. 214 prospect in the ESPN Junior 300, was one of the most impressive receivers and took home the wide receiver MVP as well as an invitation to The Opening. The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete from Citra (Florida) North Marion High School took advantage of his trip to Atlanta by visiting the University of Georgia on Saturday before attending the Nike camp. The visit turned out to be a success for the talented receiver. “I just got offered by Georgia yesterday on my visit,” Swain said. "It was a lot of fun and I got to meet with coach Richt. He just said to keep working hard and he’ll see me in the spring.”

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ESPN Jr. 300 quarterback K.J. Costello announced on Twitter that he will be making his commitment on March 26 at his high school. Costello is the No. 40-ranked prospect and one of the highest-ranked quarterbacks yet to make his commitment.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Despite living in California, ESPN Junior 300 linebacker Caleb Kelly has only one in-state team –UCLA-- among his top 10. That list could change, but as it stands now there is a good chance Kelly leaves his home state. Among the other suitors on his list are TCU, Notre Dame, Alabama, Washington, Oklahoma, Florida State, Oregon, LSU and Michigan, and Kelly just got the chance to check out the Wolverines on Thursday. The visit for the No. 57 ranked prospect coincided with a high school coaching clinic his head coach was attending, so it was good timing for Kelly and his coach to make the trip together and stay from Thursday until Sunday.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

While it might not be as deep as other cities in the Midlands, Wichita has a great reputation with recruiters, producing top prospects such as Kamerion Wimbley, Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown since 2000. Next on the list is likely to be defensive end Xavier Kelly.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

When 2016 offensive lineman Boss Tagaloa opened up his direct messages on Thursday, he had no idea that Jim Harbaugh would be grinning at him from ear to ear replicating one of Tagaloa’s own pictures.

Four days prior Tagaloa had asked a friend to his prom and tweeted out a picture of the poster he used to ask his date. Harbaugh then replicated the poster with a recruiting twist and sent it to the ESPN Junior 300 lineman in a direct message.


Tagaloa said he had never seen anything like this and believed it to be a first from any coach. He was both surprised and shocked by the picture he received.

While Harbaugh and Michigan aren’t the first to send personalized Twitter messages to prospects, you would be hard-pressed to find one so unique and specific to one recruit.

While graphic design teams and marketing specialists are the new rage, for the cost of a few markers and a piece of paper, Michigan was able to send out a recruiting message to a top target that instantly went viral.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Everything is bigger in Texas, especially high school football. That lesson was taught to us once again at Sunday's The Opening regional at Lamar High School.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Even though recruiters aren't in attendance at events like this past weekend's The Opening regional in Los Angeles, they're easily able to find out who performed well. Melquise Stovall was one of the players that stood out in everything he did and his stock is now red hot with colleges.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
Hundreds of the top West region prospects were on hand for The Opening Los Angeles Regional this past Sunday. Here are five trends that were revealed during and after the event.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- JuJu, Biggie and now Jack Jack.

Over the past 20 years, Long Beach (California) Poly has a tradition of producing some of the best skill position players in Southern California. But recently that run has included talent recruited on such a national scale that fans and college coaches simply know the players by their nicknames.

In the 2014 class, John "JuJu" Smith was the nation's No. 24 player and a household name out of Poly. He had his pick of schools but eventually signed with USC and had 754 yards receiving as a true freshman for the Trojans. Then in Poly's 2015 class, Iman Marshall, better known as "Biggie," was the fourth-best player in the country before he inked with USC, too. Next in line at Poly is 2016 two-way star Jackie Jones, who goes by the nickname "Jack Jack."

Jack Jack proved at Sunday's The Opening regional at Redondo Union High School that he, too, is ready for the national stage. After a strong performance in the testing phase of the camp and an even better showing during drills and one-on-ones, Jones was one of six players that earned an invitation to The Opening finals on Nike's campus in Beaverton, Oregon.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Four prospects received immediate invitations to The Opening following last year’s Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp, though several more from the event eventually found their way to the preeminent summer showcase. This year, The Opening Los Angeles Regional will again feature many of the top prospects in the West region, as several position groups will be loaded and several states will showcase their top recruits, who are looking forward to going toe-to-toe with California’s best. Here are five things to watch heading into Sunday’s event.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Many of the West region’s best seven-on-seven teams were in Las Vegas over the weekend, joined by a few additional national squads for the Pylon Elite Las Vegas 7v7. When the dust settled, Ground Zero, a team made up of California’s Inland Empire prospects, took home the trophy after beating 702 Elite, which featured Las Vegas Bishop Gorman standouts.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

The linebacker position doesn't often receive much attention during 7-on-7 events, where quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs dominate headlines. But with hundreds of players descending upon Las Vegas for the Pylon Elite 7v7 event this weekend, Caleb Kelly and Lokeni Toailoa -- the top outside and inside linebackers in the West region -- were among several must-see prospects on hand.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

The Ultimate ESPN 300 list is loaded with intriguing stories. From unheralded players rising to the top to players not yet reaching their potential, the list has everything. To outline a few of those intriguing players, here is a look at the top five within the Big Ten:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES