NCF On The Trail: 070213 Opening nation site stories

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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- There's a reason QB Deshaun Watson has been walking around this week at the Elite 11 and The Opening with a smile on his face. It's because the Clemson commit knew he was gaining a new weapon for the Tigers' offense.

Artavis Scott, a four-star receiver from Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake High School, has committed to Clemson, picking the Tigers over Auburn, Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and others.

Scott ranks as the No. 89 player in the ESPN 300 and the No. 10 receiver in the nation, helping bolster an impressive offensive class for Clemson that already includes Watson, who is the nation’s No. 1 quarterback.

Early in the process, it seemed that Michigan would be the destination for Scott, but a recent unofficial visit to Clemson -- and a continued recruiting push from Watson -- helped lure him to the Tigers’ side.

"I liked it a lot when I visited,” Scott said earlier this week before making his decision. “I have fun every time I go there. I just like the atmosphere that they bring. Just knowing all the guys that have been there and what they've done and their history, just makes it even better. It's a great opportunity based on what they have produced over the years."

Watson admitted that he’s been talking to Scott a lot about playing together at Clemson.

“I take pride in trying to get the best players to be part of our class,” Watson said. “I’ve been talking a lot to Artavis, and I think we have a special opportunity to do some big things at Clemson.”

Scott, who is 5-foot-11 and 177 pounds, should help bolster Clemson’s class, which was ranked No. 11 in the RecruitingNation class rankings before his pledge. He is Clemson’s 13th known commitment for the class of 2014.
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- On Tuesday at The Opening, the linemen finally got a chance to go one-on-one and show who's best. The linemen challenge put the big men in pads and let them battle in the trenches.

Since pads were involved, the defensive linemen didn't dominate the event. The offensive linemen had a chance to get their hands on the rushing player and make it a true battle. The offensive side seemed to have the better day, but defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) was one of the few defensive players that stood out.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- FBI agent Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) might eventually be his title, but he's a high school defensive tackle for now. The ESPN 150 prospect says he hopes to study criminal justice in college with a minor in sociology and would love to one day be a special agent.

Holley also is a year ahead in terms of his high school credits, so he's currently working on AP courses and earning an honors diploma.

"I loved AP psychology, and I've been taking AP credits so I can graduate early," he said. "That way I can get ahead in college credits, because my goal is to graduate in three and a half years. So I can either start working for the NFL combine or working on my masters."

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BEAVERTON, Ore. --- Rumors circulated early this week that defensive tackle Anthony Moten (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) had decommitted from Florida.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Four-star wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) has always had Miami and Florida near the top of his list of schools, but after a recent visit to Ohio State, the Buckeyes and Canes are now his top two schools.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- As if there ever needs to be any validation that an Alabama offensive line commit is a top prospect, Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) has done just that with his performance at The Opening.

The No. 7-ranked guard in the nation has been outstanding in one-on-one drills and held his own against the top defensive linemen in the country. He was being watched all day on Monday by the coaches and specifically by former NFL lineman, LeCharles Bentley, who was coaching Talamaivao throughout the day.

"Viane is the player right now that intrigues me at a very high level because of his ability," Bentley said. "Tremendous feet, strength, understands, feisty, tough, strong, smart. He has great flexibility, and he's everything you want as a football player."

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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Offensive lineman Demetrius Knox has had an interesting recruitment thus far. The one-time Texas commit is now no longer considering the Longhorns and will likely head out of state.

The four-star lineman has a current top five of UCLA, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida and TCU and says he still needs to further evaluate these programs to see which is the best fit for him.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) has a top eight consisting of Texas, Oklahoma, Stanford, Notre Dame, Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio State and UCLA.

The 6-foot-3, 256-pound defensive end recently visited three of his favorites and said he came away impressed with each school.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Three-star safety Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), after running a blazing 4.34 40-yard-dash at the SPARQ national championship on Monday, said he will make his final decision on Wednesday between Ole Miss and Florida State.


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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- When the finalists were announced for the SPARQ National Championship, it was mainly comprised of the prospects most people thought would be there. As somewhat of a surprise, ESPN 300 running back Nick Chubb (Cedartown, Ga./Cedartown) was among the list of finalists.


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