About this time of year coaches scour junior college ranks for offensive line talent, and thathas helped Tyler Howell become one of hottest targets around. Plus, is Clemson in danger of losing ESPN 300 commitment Juwuan Briscoe?

CommitCast: Tarvarus McFadden (Fri., 11 a.m. ET)

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
8:00
PM ET
Tarvarus McFadden, No. 49 in the ESPN 300, is ready to make his announcement. Join the No. 5 cornerback prospect in the country Friday at 11 a.m. ET on RecruitingNation to see his commitment live.

UA jersey tour: Brian Chaffin

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
6:30
PM ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- ESPN 300 offensive lineman Brian Chaffin was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Thursday morning in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of family, friends, teammates, classmates and school faculty on the campus of Charlotte Christian School.

“Oh my gosh, it’s a huge honor and I’m really excited,” Chaffin said. “There are a ton of great athletes that are selected to play in this game, have already played in this game, and I’m just excited to be a part of it,”

The Under Armour All-America Game is not new to Charlotte Christian School. Chaffin follows Georgia freshman tight end Jeb Blazevich as the second player from the Southeast Charlotte-area private school to be selected as one of 90 prospects to participate.

“I think it’s a huge deal. It’s just a testament to our coaches and the type of players we are putting out. Having back-to-back Under Armour All-Americans, I don’t think a lot of schools can say, much less a small private school. It’s just a have testament to what we are doing here, and what we are building.”

Making the game was a goal for the 6-foot-2, 285-pound Chaffin, who is ranked No. 290 in the ESPN 300.

“When I watched Jeb [Blazevich] at the game last year, I always had the thought in my head that I would really like to play in this game. It was the game I always wanted to play in, and when I called them up and told them after talking to Mr. [Craig] Haubert, they were just so excited.”

On the recruiting front, Chaffin will attend Stanford, where he committed in June over offers from Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and several others. While he will be a long way from his East Coast home, it was an opportunity he simply couldn’t pass up.

“For me, it was the best combination of academics and athletics I could find. I think Stanford breeds greatness, and if you want to be great, you have to go to a place that produces greatness.”



Eight questions with Chaffin:

Is there any one player you are looking forward to going up against at the Under Armour Game or practices?

Chaffin: I don’t know a whole lot about the rosters yet. I know there are going to be some beastly D-tackles there. Just going against those guys in practice and testing my skills against them will be fun.

If you were to start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be and why?

Chaffin: Well it all starts up front, so it would probably be my buddy Nick Wilson, who committed to Stanford with me. He’s a guard/center combo, so I think the two of us could be a solid start and do some special things.

Who is the best player to ever play in the Under Armour game that you know of?

Chaffin: Jeb Blazevich. I’m going with my buddy, Jeb Blazevich. I think he’s just a special player on and off the field. Obviously, I’m a little biased, but he’s a great kid and I think he’s going to do big things.

What is your earliest football memory?

Chaffin: Probably seventh grade. I was starting and it was a seventh and eighth-grade league. The guy I was going against was huge, and that was when I really had to test if this game was for me. I ended up doing really well, not giving up any sacks. That game proved to me that I could go up against bigger and better athletes and still succeed.

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

Chaffin: Growing up, he didn’t play my position but I loved Tim Tebow.(Chaffin grew up a Florida fan.) It was just the way he went about the game and the way he went about his business. And the type of guy he is off the field, he was somebody I wanted to be like.

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

Chaffin: I’d probably golf with Tiger [Woods]. Golf is one of things that is tough. I would like to watch him go about his craft, and he is such a great golfer that it would be fun to go out and compete.

What number do you wear and why?

Chaffin: I wear 65 in honor of my former offensive line coach, Coach [Jim] Durning. When I came here to Charlotte Christian in eighth grade, he was the first person to take me under his wing and just teach me everything he knew. I think he’s a big reason I am the player I am today.

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

Chaffin: I like to hunt a lot. I’m a big hunter. I’m an outdoors guy.

Tale of the tape: Stanford vs. Oregon 

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
5:00
PM ET
video
While Stanford's trip to Oregon this weekend has lost some of its preseason luster, it's still a matchup of two Pac-12 North and recruiting powers.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UA jersey tour: Abdul Bello

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
4:40
PM ET
MONTVERDE, Fla. -- ESPN 300 offensive tackle Abdul Bello was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. It's quite an accomplishment for Bello, who moved to the United States just over a year ago and started playing football for the first time last year.

The No. 6 offensive tackle in the ESPN 300 and the 68th-ranked player overall said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top all-star games in the country.

"It’s such an honor to me,” Bello said. “It’s such a prestigious game, where only the big-time players go. I also want to thank ESPN, Under Armour and American Family Insurance for inviting me to the game."

Bello has been committed to Florida State since July and hasn’t wavered. In fact, the four-star lineman said he won’t take any other visits despite still being recruited by several schools.

"Florida, Missouri, LSU and Auburn sometimes still try to talk to me,” Bello said. "They are still recruiting me, but I don’t think I will visit anywhere. I love the school; I feel really good about it. I see myself playing there next year. I feel good about the coaching staff. Anywhere I go, I know I’m going to improve, but I know I will improve my technique there. Coach [Rick] Trickett is one of the main reasons I’m going there."



Five questions with Abdul Bello

If you could start a team with one other recruit in this class, who would it be?

Bello: Byron Cowart. He’s like a very good football player. I went against him a couple of times and he’s really really good. I would love to go against him again in practice. I feel like if I work with someone like that, I’ll get really really good. He’s athletic, he’s smart and he’s big and strong. I like the way he plays.

What is your first memory of playing American football?

Bello: My first memory is when I came over from Nigeria and I tried to put on my shoulder pads and I didn’t know how to do it, so I put them on upside down and backwards. My teammates where laughing, so my coaches had to come tell me they were on the wrong way. Also, when I first started, guys would get by me and my coach would say, 'Don’t let your guy get a sack,' and I was like, 'Sack?' Because in Nigeria, a sack is like a bag or sack full of food or groceries. So I didn’t understand. I do now, though.

Has the language barrier been difficult?

Bello: Yeah, my English is pretty bad. I’m from Nigeria, so my voice kind of shakes. I have a Nigerian accent, so speaking and writing is sometimes hard for me. But I'm getting better at it.

What are you looking forward to the most at during the Under Armour week?

Bello: I’m looking forward to improving more. Every time I go to one of these camps, I just want to improve on my footwork and my run-blocking. It’s good right now, but I want to improve on everything and ask a lot of questions. I’m going to be going against the top guys in college very soon, so I want to improve as much as I can before then.

What is something about yourself not many people would know?

Bello: When I was little, people would say I’m too fat, I can’t run, I can’t this or I can’t that. But I’ve always been strong. So when they would say you’re too fat, I would say to myself, 'What can I do about that?' So I would get up at five o’clock and go to the stadium in Nigeria and run like 13 laps around the track. So I started doing boxing because I thought it would help me. At first it was hell, it was hell, but I kept on pushing so boxing gave me this quick fix. But it has really helped my feet and how quick my feet are and my quick hands. When I’m playing football, I use some of the boxing technique. When I pass set, I don’t just block you, I block and bend you to the ground. I just use some boxing technique in football. It’s really helped me a lot.

Five-star Martez Ivey talks recruiting 

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
4:00
PM ET
APOPKA, Fla. -- Martez Ivey is the top-rated offensive lineman in the ESPN 300 and has scholarship offers from just about every school in the Southeast.

Apopka High School coach Rick Darlington said his star offensive tackle, the No. 3 overall prospect in the nation, is arguably the best player he’ has coached.

"As a person, he cares about other people, he’s a very good leader and he plays for his teammates," Darlington said. "He cares about them. He’s the same guy every day. He doesn’t have bad days. I’ve never seen him in a bad mood. He’s a consistent, low-key person and a phenomenal leader.”

Ivey’s humble attitude has made him a leader and a captain for Apopka, but it’s his presence on the field that has turned him into an All-American.

[+] EnlargeMartez Ivey
Miller Safrit/ESPNMartez Ivey, the nation's top offensive lineman, will choose between home-state Florida and Auburn.
"As a player, he’s off-the-charts tenacious,” Darlington said. "He wants to finish blocks. He gets on people and stays on them and he’s very athletic. You see how he runs. To run that well at that size -- he’s 270 and he’ll play in the SEC at 330. He’s got arms that go across the room. He’ll be a great great player. He’s very tenacious, flexible and he’s a smart player.”

As Ivey’s senior season winds down and signing day quickly approaches, the 6-foot-6 athlete took time out of his day to answer some questions about his recruitment.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

video
Terry Beckner Jr., the No. 1 ranked prospect in the country, likes to play his recruitment close to the vest. He doesn’t share too much when it comes to what he’s thinking, but Beckner is ready to release the schools where he will make official visits.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

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.

Jon Major, No. 98 in 2008 class

Major was the top-ranked prospect in Colorado in the 2008 class and was considered a huge recruiting win for then-head coach Dan Hawkins and staff over Oklahoma and Wisconsin after officially visiting the Buffaloes, Sooners and Badgers. Former Colorado star linebacker, nine-year NFL linebacker and then Buffaloes linebackers coach Brian Cabral was the key for Colorado in Major’s recruitment. It was the second straight year that Colorado had inked the marquee name prospect in the state following offensive tackle Ryan Miller in the 2007 class. Major was the second-highest rated prospect in the Buffaloes' 2008 class behind nationally coveted running back Darrell Scott (No. 9 in ESPN 150) out of Saint Bonaventure High in California.

Major battled major knee injuries throughout his time in Boulder. Despite missing half his redshirt sophomore year, he still amassed 225 career tackles. He led the team in tackles as a redshirt junior with 85, including 11 tackles for loss in 13 games, and followed up as a senior with 70 tackles in 11 games. Major was on his way to making a splash as a true freshman quickly moving into the two-deep in the first handful of practices in 2008, but tore his ACL and missed the entire season.

Honorable mention: Craig Drummond. The 6-foot-6, now 272-pound Drummond was No. 98 in the 2009 class. He signed with Ole Miss out of the Chicago area, but left Oxford his freshman year. He was out of football three years before heading to Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. Listed as a sophomore, Drummond is now excelling on the field to the tune of 24 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and an interception through five games. His ceiling remains high.
video
Springdale (Arkansas) Shiloh Christian coach Jeff Conaway has a long list of words he uses to describe Auburn's Gus Malzahn. Memphis Briarcrest Christian coach Brian Stewart uses some of the same terms to define Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze.

Adjectives like dedicated, faithful, inspiring and organized flow quickly from Conaway's and Stewart's mouths. Eventually they find more fitting ways to describe the head coaches at Auburn and Ole Miss.

"They're one of us," said Conaway, who is in his first season at Shiloh Christian, the same school where Malzahn won two state championships in 1998 and 1999.

"Gus and Hugh are both still high school coaches at heart. They're coaching at the pinnacle of college football, but deep down they are just like the rest of us high school coaches that know what Friday night is like and how tough it is to get ready Monday through Thursday for that game."

Stewart, who was an assistant under Freeze at Briarcrest and was a part of two Tennessee state championship and six regional championship teams, agrees.

"They both understand what it's like to teach five or six classes," Stewart said. "They understand what it's like to have to do so many different things and wear so many hats. That's something they immediately have in common with high school coaches throughout the nation."

Read the full story here.
video
Elite 2016 quarterback Shea Patterson will be one of many top recruits in Oxford this weekend. While the SEC leads the way in total ESPN 300 commitments, it’s another conference that has secured the most pledges to this point.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Class rankings: Oct. 29 update

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
3:30
PM ET
video
National recruiting analyst Craig Haubert breaks down updates to the ESPN class rankings for 2015 football recruiting. College football’s top two teams see fruits of their labor in recruiting.

To see the full class rankings, click here.

UA jersey tour: Drew Galitz

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
1:25
PM ET
ROWLETT, Texas -- Social media, with the power of a camera and an embed, has the ability to separate myths from reality. Twenty years ago, the story of Under Armour All-American Drew Galitz’s 71-yard field goal would have been as big of a myth as Paul Bunyan or Pecos Bill.

But with the help of YouTube, Galitz’s story not only is legit but also one of the most impressive tales in college football recruiting. The Rowlett High School kicker and Baylor commit made national headlines with the kick -- supported by video -- during a practice, and on Wednesday, the nation’s No. 3 kicker was presented with his Under Armour All-America Game jersey in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

“I’ve always wanted to play in this. It’s the best game in nation, and I get to play with the best players in the nation,” Galitz said. “It’s a blessing to get to play with the best. I’ve watched it on TV and knew I wanted to play in it one day.”



Galitz flipped his pledge to Baylor on Aug. 26 after first committing to Miami in June. Galitz said the proximity from Rowlett to Waco and the overall fit made him want to switch his commitment.

The three-star specialist is a dominant punter as well as a kicker. In a recent game, Galitz showed just how much of an asset he can be during a busted play.

“I had to punt left footed in a game,” the right-footed Galitz said. “The snap went over my head, and I was just trying to kick it away. When I got it, I kicked it, and it actually went 58 yards.”

Galitz is privately coached by Rocky Willingham and coached at school by Clark McMurtray. The idea of attempting the 71-yard field goal came after he did some research on what his school record was.

“I knew I wanted to break the school record,” said Galitz, referring to a 67-yarder by McMurtray's son Chris, a former Rowlett and SMU kicker. “A few from Kohl’s Kicking had hit 70-yarders, so I said I might as well try one from 71. I tried it, and I made it.

“After I sent it to Kohl’s Kicking, they posted it and tweeted it out.”

Galitz hopes to make similar memories at Baylor. He’ll also have a chance to shine as an Under-Armour All-American in January.

Quick hits with Drew Galitz

Best kicker to play in the UA game: “Aaron Medley. He’s really consistent at what he does, and he makes a lot of kicks.”

Best UA game player ever: “Jadeveon Clowney. He’s a beast.”

Who are you looking forward to seeing? “Either Malik Jefferson or Kyler Murray. They’re probably the two best players in Texas at their positions.”

Favorite football memory: “I’d probably say it’s the 71-yard field goal.”

Why do you wear your number? “I wear 38 because of Brad Wing when he was at LSU. I like how he plays. He’s a really good punter, and I wanted to be like him. I picked the number last year and kept it going for my senior year.”

In any sport on any level, who would you challenge?Dan Bailey from the Cowboys. I want to compete against the best.”

Drew Galitz “did you know”: “I like to read. I’m reading ‘The Hunger Games’ right now.”
Recruiting junior college talent can be a constant gamble of possibly adding a fully developed body, ready to provide immediate help and cover any depth concerns, and the possibility of missing entirely on getting the recruit admitted academically or getting a prospect with a limited window of opportunity who still isn't ready to contribute.

But one game this weekend -- when Utah travels to Arizona State -- will provide a perfect look at what successful junior college recruiting can do to the fortunes of a program.

Close to 20 players on each of the Arizona State and Utah rosters have junior college experience, and several of those will have a big say in Saturday’s final score.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

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.

C.J. Mosley, No. 99 in the 2010 class.

Mosley was one of the big Mobile-area recruiting battles between Alabama and Auburn that helped Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide to back-to-back BCS National Championships. While Mosley officially visited Auburn and gave the Tigers a chance, he grew up an Alabama fan and was a near lock to head to Tuscaloosa. Mosley was a member of the Crimson Tide’s No. 3-ranked recruiting class that included 2013 top 10 NFL draft pick DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner, Adrian Hubbard and DeQuan Menzie. Current members of the Crimson Tide team in Mosley’s class are quarterback Blake Sims, fullback Jalston Fowler, offensive lineman Austin Shepherd, safety Jarrick Williams and receiver DeAndrew White, among others.

Mosley appeared in 51 games in four season in Tuscaloosa, including 29 starts. He was a member of the Alabama 2011 and 2012 BCS National Championship team, as well as being a two-time All-American in 2012 and 2013. He was also the SEC defensive player of the year in 2013 and took home the prestigious Butkus Award in 2013, joining Derrick Thomas and Rolando McClain as the winners from the University of Alabama. Mosley finished his career at Alabama with 319 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, six sacks and five interceptions.

Honorable mention: Knowshon Moreno. Moreno came out of New Jersey as one of the most highly sought running backs in the 2006 class. After three seasons at Georgia, including 2,734 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns and two first-team All-SEC selections, Moreno declared for the 2009 NFL draft and was selected No. 12 overall.
video
The Red Raiders have a new top offensive weapon in their 2015 class following the commitment of ESPN 300 wide receiver Carlos Strickland. Continue reading to see how he fits into Kliff Kingsbury's plans:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES