Early Commit: WR Courtney Lark to TCU 

January, 31, 2015
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TCU is certainly making the most of the 12-win season and top-5 finish. While the Horned Frogs were already off to a terrific start in the 2016 class with seven commitments and three ESPN Jr 300s, Gary Patterson and staff added a fourth ESPN Jr 300 pledge Saturday in receiver Courtney Lark.

Penn State has added a fourth ESPN Junior 300 commit. Cornerback Lavert Hill gave his verbal commitment to James Franklin, joining No. 21 Shane Simmons, No. 134 Miles Sanders and No. 265 Jake Zembiec in the Nittany Lions' 2016 class, which is off to a very impressive start.


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In the 100 days leading up to signing day 2015, RecruitingNation will be looking back at our ESPN recruiting rankings from 2006 to the present and counting down the best player of the past 10 years at each ranking position, No. 100 to No. 1.

DeMarco Murray, No. 6 in 2006 class

Murray's recruitment was hotly contested coming out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

After picking Oklahoma and redshirting in 2006, Murray quickly became one of the Big 12’s most feared running backs in 2007. He rushed for 764 yards and 13 touchdowns and accumulated 1,263 all-purpose yards in 11 games before dislocating a kneecap. He was selected honorable mention All-Big 12 by the league coaches.

As a third-year sophomore in 2008, Murray rushed for 1,002 yards and 14 TDs. He also topped 2,000 all-purpose yards, finishing with a school single-season record 2,171 yards and 18 total touchdowns on his way to All-Big 12 first-team honors from the league coaches. He missed the Big 12 championship game and the BCS Championship because of a hamstring injury, however.

In 2009, Murray rushed for 705 yards and eight scores and totaled 1,227 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs, earning All-Big 12 second-team by the coaches.

Murray rebounded as a senior in 2010 and rushed for 1,214 yards and 15 TDs. He also caught 71 passes for 594 yards and five TDs.

The versatile back finished his Sooners’ career with 3,685 rushing yards, 1,571 receiving yards and a school-record 6,718 all-purpose yards despite missing time to injuries. He's Oklahoma's all-time touchdowns leader, all-time leader in receiving yards for a running back and all-time leader in kickoff return average.

Murray was selected in the third round, No. 71 overall, by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2011 draft. He has become one of the best running backs in the NFL, having been named to back-to-back Pro Bowls. He was the NFL's rushing leader in 2014 with 1,845 yards.

Honorable mention: Trent Richardson, No. 6 in 2009 class. Richardson starred at Alabama with 3,130 rushing yards and 35 TDs in three seasons and 2011 All-American honors before heading to the NFL draft in 2012, when he was selected No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns. Lamarcus Joyner, No. 6 in the 2010 class, was an All-ACC performer at Florida State and was selected in the second round (No. 41 overall) in the 2014 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. Landon Collins, No. 6 in the 2012 class, is projected to be a first-round selection in the 2015 draft after a stellar career as a safety at Alabama. Matthew Thomas, No. 6 in the 2013 class, just finished his redshirt freshman season at Florida State and came on strong in the second half of the 2014 season.
Bryce Love has become the fourth ESPN 300 prospect to select Stanford since late December. Continue reading to see what Love and his 4.3 speed can do for the Cardinal's offense:


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ESPN 300 cornerbacks Holton Hill and Kris Boyd have committed to Texas. Below, see what this duo means for the Longhorns' 2015 class:


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Recruit breakdown: CB Iman Marshall 

January, 30, 2015
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What he brings: The versatile Iman Marshall is the complete package at the corner position. He brings size, ball skills and athleticism that could project at different positions throughout the secondary. He possesses great transitional quickness for a perimeter defender with his frame and closing speed to shut down receivers in man coverage. He also has the big frame and physicality, range and ball-hawking skills to add value at safety. We expect this competitive and instinctive athlete to compete for early playing time at the next level.

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In the 100 days leading up to signing day 2015, RecruitingNation will be looking back at our ESPN recruiting rankings from 2006 to the present and counting down the best player of the past 10 years at each ranking position, No. 100 to No. 1.

Jaylon Smith, No. 7 in 2013 class

Smith was the most heavily recruited linebacker in the country in the 2013 class coming out Bishop Luers High in Fort Wayne, Indiana. While his brother Rod Smith was a running back at Ohio State, Smith was more partial to in-state schools and chose Notre Dame in June 2012. He headlined a Fighting Irish class that included Tarean Folston, Max Redfield, Cole Luke, William Fuller and several others, including current UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, who was released from his letter of intent.

Smith was a star from Day 1 in South Bend. He started all 13 games at outside linebacker as a freshman in 2013, making 67 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups and one interception, earning several Freshman All-America honors following the season. His 67 tackles were the third most ever by a freshman by a Notre Dame player.

If Smith’s freshman campaign wasn’t impressive enough, his sophomore season in 2014 could be tabbed as dominant. In 13 starts, he made a team-leading 112 tackles with nine tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries and 3.5 sacks, earning AP second-team All-America honors.

Headed into his junior season, he is virtual lock to be on every major All-America preseason list, as well as several preseason college football awards lists.

He’s already considered a near-lock to be a first-round selection in the 2016 NFL draft.

Honorable mention: Robert Woods, No. 7 in 2010 class. Woods picked USC coming out of Junipero Serra High in Los Angeles. After an All-Pac-12 and All-America three-year career for the Trojans, Woods entered the 2013 NFL draft and was selected in the second round (No. 41 overall) by the Buffalo Bills. He has 105 catches and eight touchdowns in two seasons.

Weekly Commitment Roundup

January, 30, 2015
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The following is a list of commitments made to FBS programs from Jan. 23 through Jan. 29:

ACC

Georgia Tech
Marcus Marshall RB
HT: 5-9 WT: 202
Positional Rank: #137 RB
Stars: 3

Anree Saint-Amour DE
HT: 6-3 WT: 240
Positional Rank: #32 DE
Stars: 4

Louisville

Emonee Spence WR
HT: 6-2 WT: 181
Positional Rank: #46 WR
Stars: 4

Maryland
Darryl Turner WR
HT: 5-9 WT: 184
Positional Rank: N/A (2016)
Stars: 3

Miami

Keyshon Camp DT
HT: 6-4 WT: 255
Positional Rank: N/A (2016)
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Devin Gil S
HT: 6-0 WT: 205
Positional Rank: N/A (2016)
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Joseph Jackson DE
HT: 6-4 WT: 230
Positional Rank: #18 DE (2016)
Stars: 4
ESPN Jr300 (#209)

Amir Rasul RB
HT: 5-11 WT: 194
Positional Rank: N/A (2016)
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Cedric Wright S
HT: 5-9 WT: 179
Positional Rank: #10 S (2016)
Stars: 4
ESPN Jr300 (#151)

NC State

Johnny Frasier RB
HT: 5-11 WT: 200
Positional Rank: #6 RB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#80)

Emmanuel Olenga DE
HT: 6-4 WT: 240

James Valdez CB
HT: 6-0 WT: 175
Positional Rank: N/A (2016)
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pittsburgh

Saleem Brightwell OLB
HT: 6-3 WT: 215
Positional Rank: #31 OLB
Stars: 3

Ben Dinucci QB-PP
HT: 6-3 WT: 200
Positional Rank: #27 QB-PP
Stars: 3

Allen Edwards DE
HT: 6-3 WT: 247
Positional Rank: #19 DE (JC)
Stars: 3

Gentry Ivery WR
HT: 6-1 WT: 205
Positional Rank: #110 WR
Stars: 3

(Read full post)

Twitter went into a late Thursday night frenzy. The reason: No. 1-ranked quarterback Kyler Murray announced on twitter and through ESPN that he was in fact sticking with his commitment to Texas A&M after visiting Texas 10 days ago. And with a 25 character tweet, Murray set off a twitter reaction rarely seen by a football recruit's decision.

@HamiltonESPN: With this quote by five-star and No. 1-ranked quarterback Murray, a worried Texas A&M fan base let out a collective sigh of relief. The final decision by Murray to sign with Texas A&M also provides Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin with a shot in the arm in the final days headed to national signing day.


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Official Visits: Jan. 30 

January, 30, 2015
Jan 30
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ACC
Florida State Jordan Scarlett RB
HT: 5-11 WT: 207
Positional Rank: #13 RB
Stars: 4

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video Byron Cowart's recruiting process is almost over.

"Byron has committed to eight schools in his mind since this process begun," said Woodrow Grady, Cowart's mentor and 7-on-7 coach. "There was Auburn, Florida, FSU, Alabama, Oregon and so on. Byron finds the best in every school. That's what he looks for. He's not looking for the speed traps. That's why he's been all over the place in where he may go."


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ACC's top recruiting visits 

January, 30, 2015
Jan 30
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It's down to this. There is just one official visit weekend remaining until national signing day Feb. 4. That means it's the last chance to make a statement with campus visits, and add key pieces to classes. In the case of some, it's also about holding onto verbals that are making visits other places as well.

Louisville

This weekend is huge for Louisville. Not because of a jam-packed visitor list full of nationally ranked prospects, but because one big time difference-maker will be on campus. That player is former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Devonte Fields, who spent last year at Trinity Valley Community College and plans to play one season at the FBS level before heading to the 2016 NFL draft. With Fields scheduled to visit Louisville this weekend, the Cardinals are the heavy favorite to land the Under Armour All-American Game alumnus. Fields is No. 3 in the ESPNJC50.

Two other visitors of note are Vanderbilt three-star offensive guard commit Darion Debrossard. The 6-foot-4, 305-pounder is a raw prospect with otherworldly natural strength to the tune of a 475-pound bench press. Joining Fields and Debrossard on the visit list is cornerback Rashad Fenton, who visited South Carolina last week and is considered a lean to the Gamecocks headed into the weekend.


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SEC tipping point classes 

January, 30, 2015
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Signing day is just around the corner, and most SEC teams have a chance to finish in the top 40 of the ESPN class rankings. Two schools, however, could make or break their overall recruiting classes in this last week.

Auburn and Florida are in a unique situation that could certainly have an effect on both of their recruiting classes. Former Florida coach Will Muschamp is now the defensive coordinator at Auburn, and several top recruits from the state of Florida grew up Gators fans but have a great relationship with Muschamp. Here’s a closer look at how these two teams could finish.


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SEC's top recruiting visits 

January, 30, 2015
Jan 30
9:00
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There is less than a week until national signing day and while the No. 1-ranked player in the country, Byron Cowart, is not visiting anywhere and another five-star prospect Martez Ivey is taking a cruise this weekend, there will be several other ESPN 300 prospects taking visits to SEC schools on Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a closer look at some of the top expected visitors from around the SEC.


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Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

January, 30, 2015
Jan 30
9:00
AM ET
video
It's the final weekend for official visits before signing day on Wednesday, Feb. 4, and Pac-12 programs are looking to make that final in-person push as they close in on finishing out their classes. We take a look at the top three visit weekends in the conference.


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