NCF On The Trail: Texas Longhorns

Under Armour All-American Malik Jefferson is now the top-rated prospect in Charlie Strong's 2015 class. Below, find out what Jefferson brings to the improving Texas Longhorns defense:

Midterm junior college signing day winners are headlined by Ole Miss and Oklahoma, but they weren’t the only programs that improved Wednesday.

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Wisconsin landed a four-star running back on Thursday despite not having a head coach. Plus, Nebraska is already impressing rival recruiters with its effort on trail.

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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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Early Offer: Malik Jefferson's final 7 

November, 24, 2014
Nov 24
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
Nov 20
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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A few weeks ago, Adam McLean was asked what it would take to back away from his Penn State pledge, and he said “nothing can change my mind.” Well, something happened and the ESPN 300 prospect is back on the market. Plus, Zach Gentry has been committed to Texas since May, but rumors sprouted Tuesday he was considering taking other official visits.

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ESPN 300 receiver Tyron Johnson said he’s “80 percent” sure of where he’s going but things could change dramatically if LSU steps up its pursuit. The battle to land Nick Brossette will be one of the biggest storylines heading into the final months of recruiting.

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Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Central receiver Terrell Chatman committed to Miami early on, but that hasn’t stopped other schools from coming after him. His teammate, Kevin Henry, is working hard to ensure he’ll end up at Oklahoma State.

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UA jersey tour: Nick Brossette

November, 13, 2014
Nov 13
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Nick Brossette knew being selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game was a big deal, but it didn’t truly hit him until he was presented with his honorary jersey at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Family, friends and teammates packed the gymnasium at Baton Rouge’s University Laboratory School, and Brossette had to give a speech in front of the horde of media members that were just feet away from his face with flashing cameras. Following that, Brossette, the nation’s No. 10 running back, spent the next 45 minutes answering questions from reporters and posing for pictures with almost everybody in attendance.

"Whew," Brossette said after he finally got a chance to sit down and catch his breath.

"I started watching the Under Armour Game when I was 8-years-old, and I knew it was a big deal, but man, this was unreal. I remember Jadeveon Clowney going up against La'El Collins. Just looking at those top athletes, showcasing their talent, I wanted to be a part of that. It’s just now starting to sink in that it’s a reality. This is like a dream come true."

These jersey presentations are always a big deal for the schools and communities, but Brossette’s was especially unique because of his recruiting status. Brossette pledged to LSU -- the school that is literally across the street from University Lab -- last August, and he is one of the most dominating offensive players Baton Rouge has seen in years. But when Brossette announced a few months back that he was going to also visit Notre Dame, Texas and Arizona State, the spotlight focused on him even more.

"I think I'm doing a good job of keeping things in perspective and handling the whole recruiting stuff," said Brossette, who visited Notre Dame in early October and will take trips to the Longhorns, Tigers and Sun Devils after his season is over.

"It has taken up a lot of my time. I just try to stay focused with my team, and I’m just trying to get back to the state championship and win it this time. That time on the football field has kind of become my sanctuary. That’s my time away where nobody is asking me where I’m going to school. Just being around my guys and having fun with them helps keep it all in perspective. It keeps me really grounded."

That is another reason he is excited to play in the Under Armour Game. Yes, he knows there will be plenty of questions about his future asked during the week, but he also knows there will be plenty of football.

"Fans are going to see that I work hard," Brossette said. "They're going to see my vision, how powerful I am, and they're also going to see my speed. Everybody questions me about my speed. I think I'm a full package at running back. This is my chance to show them.

"I’ve been looking at the roster and checking out all of the linebackers. I know there are some good ones in the game. I’m looking forward to going up against all of those guys. I can’t wait to blow up a linebacker on the first day of practice."

Elite receiver prospects Daylon Charlot and Mykel Jones are teammates and lifelong friends, but will they end up at the same college? Plus, what team is the dark horse to land the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, Terry Beckner Jr.?

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UA jersey tour: Anthony Wheeler

November, 11, 2014
Nov 11
DALLAS -- The number 7 holds a lot of weight for linebackers at Dallas Skyline High School. Most recently, Corey Nelson and Peter Jinkens have gone on to do great things wearing the Skyline jersey.

It’s now Anthony Wheeler's turn, and the ESPN 300 linebacker has yet to disappoint. He was rewarded for his efforts Tuesday, as he was the guest of honor during an Under Armour All-America Game jersey ceremony, sponsored by American Family Insurance, at his school.

Nelson was a 2009 Under Armour All-American, and Jinkens received the honor in 2012. Wheeler called following their footsteps “a blessing.”

“They’ve always said here that No. 7 is the leader on the defense and one of the most dominant players on the defense in past years at Skyline,” Wheeler said. “I look up to all those guys. Corey Nelson, Peter Jinkens ... all of them were great players, and I just try to play like them and want to exceed at the level they’re on.

“I’m very thankful for everything that’s come to me. It’s amazing.”

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Wheeler can play inside linebacker and outside linebacker at the next level. He is the nation’s No. 3 inside linebacker and ranked No. 89 overall in the ESPN 300.

Additionally, Wheeler also is one of the most sought-after uncommitted athletes. He's been eyeing Oklahoma and Texas for months -- no surprise since Nelson played for Oklahoma before signing with the Denver Broncos, and Jinkens is currently at Texas. However, Wheeler stressed that LSU is just as much an option for his college plans, as he’s been in frequent contact with the coaching staff.

Wheeler said he doesn’t have any official visits planned and is focusing his attention on Skyline’s run through the Texas Class 6A playoffs. He'll focus on his college future after.

For now, he’ll do what the No. 7s of the past did -- play to win and make a statement doing so. And when January comes, look for Wheeler to do the same at the Under Armour game.

“I just want people to know I can play with anybody in the nation,” he said. “They’re going to see how physical I am.”

Quick hits on Anthony Wheeler

Best UA Game player ever: “I’ll go with Jadeveon Clowney. He goes 100 percent every play. He’s very physical, he dominates the O-line and he always attacks the ball.”

Best player at Skyline not named Anthony Wheeler: Rice DT commit Zach Abercrumbia

Favorite football memory: “When I was in middle school, I used to play running back. Scoring touchdowns was an exciting memory for me.”

Did you know ... “I’m a shoe freak. I love shoes. Matter of fact, I’m addicted to shoes.”