NCF On The Trail: Texas A&M Aggies

If Jim Harbaugh takes the Michigan job, it could shake up the recruiting race in the Big Ten. Plus, Paul Chryst’s hiring at Wisconsin makes a lot of sense.

video Texas A&M picked up a huge commitment Wednesday from Under Armour All-American Christian Kirk, the No. 30 overall prospect in the 2015 ESPN 300. Read on to see how the nation's No. 3-ranked wide receiver fits into Kevin Sumlin's plans:


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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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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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LSU and Texas A&M have become bigger rivals on the field and in recruiting now that both are in the SEC. Plus, few programs are trending like Ohio State is on the field and on the recruiting trail.


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Whether recruits are attending games this holiday weekend or watching on television, all eyes around the recruiting world will be focused on several rivalry games. From the Iron Bowl to the Egg Bowl there will be recruiting implications throughout the conference this weekend. Here’s a closer look at how these game might affect the top remaining recruits.


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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: Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.

November, 20, 2014
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The Under Armour All-America Game jersey presentation tour hit the Aloha State for the third day in a row, as ESPN 300 offensive guard Fred Ulu-Perry Jr. was awarded his jersey in front of friends and family in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

Ulu-Perry Jr. joins good friends and fellow ESPN 300 prospects Canton Kaumatule and Breiden Fehoko as participants in the game and players to have been honored this week.

"It was great," Ulu-Perry Jr. said of the presentation. "It was great to have all my family here and all my brothers from St. Louis [School]. It was pretty cool and something I'll always remember."

The 6-foot-3, 307-pound Ulu-Perry Jr., the nation's No. 4 guard, committed to UCLA over the summer, but his recruitment rolls on. He will use all five of his official visits and has already gone to UCLA and Texas Tech. He'll visit Oregon State for the Civil War on Nov. 29 and will visit Colorado and Texas A&M in January.

"When I go on trips, I want to take everything," Ulu-Perry Jr. said. "It's supposed to be fun, but it's a business trip. I'm really evaluating the coaches, players the area and how the program is run."

Ulu-Perry Jr. said he'll ultimately have a final decision in late January or early February, whether to stick with his UCLA commitment or flip elsewhere.



Six questions with Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.

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

"There are so many people I would take. Definitely Canton and Breiden. I would take Kanawai Noa from Punahou and Salanoa-alo Wily from Kahuku. There are too many."

What was your earliest football memory?

"I started playing football in sixth grade. I remember I was just a young kid running around trying to learn the game. I got the hang of it my first year and from there it's been fun. My goal from the start was to dominate everyone."

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?

"I really look up to Olin Kreutz and Samson Satele. Those were the best centers out here and Kreutz is probably going to the Hall of Fame."

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

"I'd want to take on Haloti Ngata. He's probably the nastiest defensive tackle I've seen."

Why do you wear your number?

"I wear No. 64 because my favorite car is a 1964 Impala."

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

"I'm a pretty basic person. I just love working hard, dedicating myself to the lord, my family, school and football. I think everybody pretty much knows everything about me."
There have been some interesting names linked to the Florida opening, but several coaches believe Marshall's Doc Holliday could be a good recruiting fit in Gainesville. Plus, many expected ESPN 300 OT Chuma Edoga to flip from USC to Georgia, but it looks like the Trojans have won the battle in the end.


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UA jersey tour: Kendall Sheffield

November, 18, 2014
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There are many who believe ESPN 300 cornerback Kendall Sheffield is the poster child for how to go through the recruiting process.

Play like a champion. Garner interest from college scouts. Earn scholarships. Treat every scholarship with equal density. Refuse to publicly lean to a program.

Ask Sheffield about a favorite in his recruiting process, and expect an answer that will lead the most persistent, inquisitive person to nowhere. He's quick to say that he's "still wide open with 37 offers."

Ask the five-star cornerback about the Under Armour All-America Game, however, and get a completely different answer. Sheffield was awarded his commemorative jersey on Tuesday in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

"It's a huge honor to be an Under Armour All-American. I'm very happy, very excited," Sheffield said. "I've always wanted to be an Under Armour All-American, since I was a little kid. "I just want to get there and have fun and compete."

Hearing Sheffield open up about the game is a treat of sorts, as he's naturally an actions-first kind of athlete. Sheffield prefers letting his game speak for itself -- and it's spoken loud enough for him to earn nearly 40 offers coast to coast.

At 6 foot and 181 pounds, Sheffield is the top-ranked player in Texas and the No. 3 cornerback in the nation. He is No. 8 in the ESPN 300 and has seen a steady rise in the 2015 rankings since its debut last season.

Sheffield's resume has everything college coaches want to hear. His fastest 40-yard dash is 4.37 seconds. He's a cover corner who doesn't mind making the big hits. If he's needed for special teams, he can be a reliable return man, as well.

The world will get a chance to judge for itself when Sheffield competes in the UA game in January. The big question now, however, is, where will Sheffield end up? He's taken official visits to USC, Ohio State and Florida State, and he recently was in Baton Rouge for an unofficial visit to LSU. Sheffield said he'll take an official visit to Alabama next month, and he's expecting to take an unofficial visit for Texas A&M's Thanksgiving game against LSU in College Station.

Sheffield said he plans on taking that fifth official visit. Which team will get it?

"I'm unsure right now," he said. "It'll be one of my 37 offers."

Sheffield will announce his college plans at the UA game. Until then, he's tight-lipped. One thing he won't keep close to the vest is the importance of having a position coach who will push him. He said the winning school will have a coach he can build a quality relationship with, in addition to someone who can potentially take him to the next level.

"That's important to me," Sheffield said. "Real important."

Quick hits on Kendall Sheffield

Best player to put on a UA jersey: "Jadeveon Clowney. He's a good athlete, and he was the No. 1 player coming out of high school. He also was the No. 1 draft pick."

Receiver you most want to compete against: "It doesn't matter. I just want to get there and compete."

Your jersey number: "I've always worn No. 11. It's a number I've worn since Little League."

Favorite football memory: "It was my sophomore year in my first year on varsity. I had my first interception, and it was a pick-six. It won the game for us."

Did you know? Sheffield wants to major in sports management. He said the schools he ultimately considers in his top list will have solid sports management programs.
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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UA jersey tour: Daylon Mack

November, 14, 2014
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Picture a 6-foot-1, 330-pound athlete running full speed to make a play -- as a defensive tackle and a short-yard running back.

That’s Daylon Mack, an ESPN 300 defensive tackle who also sees time in the backfield on offensive plays.

Now picture the guy lined up against Mack, who has run the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. Imagine that guy’s thoughts.

“No chance,” said Mack, the Gladewater (Texas) High School standout.


To say Mack has been dominant at the high school level is an understatement. As the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle, Mack has five sacks on the year and has been a problem for offensive lineman throughout his high school career. He was rewarded for his play Friday during an Under Armour All-America Game jersey ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

But as good as he is on the defensive line, Mack has been a solid ground-game option on offense. As a burly fullback, Mack has scored eight touchdowns this season.

Let Mack tell it, it’s all about being a well-balanced football player and a respected athlete on the field.

“That’s real important to me. I think I learned a lot of that just going through camps,” Mack said. “I have to know technique, and I learned that you’re always going to see someone as athletic as you. I think because of camps, I’m 1,000 times better than I was last year.”

Mack is hoping that athleticism will allow him to see immediate playing time as a freshman in college. Mack is committed to Texas A&M and has been committed since October 2013. Mack, however, added that he still wants to take an official visit to LSU, and he was at TCU on an official visit when the Horned Frogs beat Texas Tech, 82-27, last month.

Mack also will take an official visit to Texas A&M. No dates have been set for the LSU and Texas A&M visits as of yet. Mack’s current priority is to help to advance his team as far in the postseason as possible.

As for being an Under Armour All-American, consider it a bucket-list item happening in roughly six weeks.

“It feels great,” Mack said. “It’s something I’ve been looking at for the longest. Since the seventh grade, I’ve wanted to play in this. I have a chance of a real dream coming true.”

Quick hits on Daylon Mack

Best UA Game player ever: “Myles Garrett. I saw him destroy it last year.”

Better feeling: Scoring TDs or getting sacks? “I’d have to say getting touchdowns. It’s something a defensive lineman doesn’t feel. Sacks are great, too. Whichever changes the game, I guess.”

Why do you wear your number? “I wear 34, but I really want to wear No. 5 in college. I want to wear a single-digit number.”

Favorite football memory: “Last year, I ran a 3-yard touchdown against Henderson (Texas) to get us in the playoffs. Then I ran a 67-yard touchdown at Atlanta (Texas) to get us to the third round.”

What Texas A&M’s #WRTS [We Run The State] hashtag means to you: “It’s just really a hashtag. I feel like it’s a true hashtag with Texas teams, but it’s just a hashtag. It’s helped us bring players in, though.”

Did you know … “I’m a big fan of SpongeBob.”
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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