NCF On The Trail: Bryan Mone

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: With Kenyon Frison's decision to decommit from Utah, it likely means three of the top five players in state are going end up at programs other than BYU or Utah; Nick Saban headed West Wednesday to visit the high schools of the top two quarterbacks in the 2015 class; and Washington filled a major hole in its recruiting class Wednesday by landing quarterback Kyle Carta-Samuels.

Michigan has seven early enrollees set to hit campus from its 2014 class.

Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School), Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville), Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City/Highland), Freddy Canteen (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and teammate Brandon Watson are all headed up to Ann Arbor to begin their new journey.

Speight, Harris, Ferns and Canteen answered a few questions on enrolling early and what is next for them.

Q: What are you most nervous about?

Wilton Speight: "A lot of people say school, but I went to such a tough high school that I’m not too worried about that. More of the winter workouts and the conditioning is absurd."


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Midyear signings: Michigan

December, 21, 2013
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According to ESPN's Tom VanHaaren, the following players have signed financial aid agreements with Michigan:

Bryan Mone DT Salt Lake City/Highland
HT: 6-4 WT: 315
Positional Rank: No. 5 DT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 75)
Under Armour All-American

Drake Harris WR Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian
HT: 6-3 WT: 172
Positional Rank: No. 10 WR
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 85)
Under Armour All-American

Michael Ferns ILB St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville
HT: 6-3 WT: 228
Positional Rank: No. 7 ILB
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 125)
Under Armour All-American

Wilton Speight QB-PP Richmond, Va./Collegiate
HT: 6-6 WT: 230
Positional Rank: No. 6 QB-PP
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 133)
Under Armour All-American

Mason Cole OT Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake
HT: 6-5 WT: 266
Positional Rank: No. 15 OT
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 153)

Brandon Watson CB Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian
HT: 5-11 WT: 179
Positional Rank: No. 51 CB
Stars: 3

Freddy Canteen WR Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian
HT: 6-0 WT: 170
Positional Rank: No. 159 WR
Stars: 3

As the calendar year winds down, there is still plenty to talk about within recruiting. Big Ten teams have been on a roll on the recruiting trail as of late, and each program is hoping that continues into signing day.

Here are five things for fans to watch as we head into the holiday season.

Under Armour Game

There are six Big Ten teams represented in the Under Armour All-America game this year with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State all having commitments scheduled to play in the game.

The game will be played Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla., but there will be plenty to watch before the big game. The participants will go through tough practices and skill competitions leading up to the event, which always has some interesting storylines.

The practices put the best players in the country against each other, so it’s a good measuring stick of top prospects.


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The Under Armour All-America game is fast approaching and plenty of participants still have questions surrounding their recruitment.

The Big Ten has quite a few of those recruits in the game, so here is a look at five of the bigger storylines heading into the prestigious game.

Will Jabrill Peppers take visits?


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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

December, 4, 2013
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There was some good news for the Pac-12 in the updated class rankings released on Wednesday as Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon all moved up. The Wildcats maintained their grip on the top class in the conference and now sit at No. 18 overall. The Sun Devils jumped two places -- from No. 24 to No. 22 -- largely on the strength of a commitment from four-star running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale), and in doing so, leapt Stanford for the No. 2 spot in the Pac-12. The Cardinal slid two spots, down to No. 25 overall, while Oregon remains the fourth conference team among the top 40, up to places to No. 30 overall. Here's a look at the conference's rankings. Insider

Trending up: In the 2013 class, Arizona State didn't sign and enroll a single four-star high school prospect. With Richard's commitment on Monday, the Sun Devils now have eight in their 2014 class. While Richard is the first commitment since mid-November, Arizona State's on-field performance has recruits buzzing about the future of the Sun Devils and with a win this weekend, coach Todd Graham will have an opportunity to close out this class in a big way.

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As each and every new evaluation period begins for our staff, we always try and use today’s college football stars and apply some of their best traits when describing the next generation of prospects.

All prospects are different from one another, but many share similar characteristics that stand out in relation to their styles.

In this edition of the series, we take a look at the top-five defensive tackles in this class and who they remind us of in college football at this time.

Andrew Brown -- LSU DT Anthony Johnson: With the No. 1 rated DT Brown, the 2011 class came to mind as the five-star invoked thoughts of the top two D-tackles in that class.

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UA Game jersey tour: Bryan Mone

October, 5, 2013
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Defensive tackle Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City, Utah/Highland High) was presented his honorary game jersey during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game at Highland High School in Salt Lake City on Friday.

[+] EnlargeBryan Mone
Courtesy of IntersportMichigan commit Bryan Mone, who is No. 76 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 5 DT, is excited about the opportunity to play in the Under Armour Game.
Mone, a Michigan commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh-annual Under Armour All-America Game, which will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Jan. 2. It will be televised on ESPN at 4 p.m. ET.

“I would like to thank my God, my family, my teammates, my coaches, my school American Family Insurance and Under Armour.” Mone said. “Thank you.”

The powerful and quick defensive tackle understands the prestige of being selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game.

"I feel really lucky. I'm blessed and humbled that ESPN picked me, so I'm very thankful,” he said. “I am most looking forward to getting out there and just having fun because that's what everyone says. It's not business, it's just having fun.”

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Mone is No. 76 in the ESPN 300 and the No. 5 defensive tackle in the nation. He committed to Michigan over offers from Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA, BYU, Ole Miss and a number of others.


Each class within the Big Ten has its strengths and weaknesses, but there is a lot of talent joining the conference. Here is a look at the top classes in the Big Ten by position.

Quarterback
Strongest class: Penn State


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#AskLoogs: Bryan Mone as five-star?

September, 4, 2013
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



At this time, we are not. This defensive tackle class as a whole is not as talented in our opinion as some in the past. Also, Michigan commit Bryan Mone is more of a two-gap occupier who can anchor at the point of attack and can be disruptive more often than not, but he is not a quick-twitch penetrator like LSU's Anthony Johnson or Arizona State's Will Sutton who is going to explode off the ball with low pad level, get skinny and consistently get in the backfield.

To be considered for five-star status in, you have to have most or all of those traits. However, so much of a player's success at the next level comes down to whether he made the right choice of school and in this instance, Mone certainly did. Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison wants size and strength. He wants to stop the run and allow the linebackers to be a force. Mone fits this mold perfectly. Conversely, if Mone had committed to a school that wanted smaller, more explosive guys, he would likely not be in the best environment for his skill set. At Michigan, he will be. We like Mone, we invited him early to the Under Armour game and will be able to really gauge him against others who can challenge him.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan had several areas of need in the 2014 class, chief among them being quarterback and linebacker, largely due to injuries both position groups have suffered. Here’s a look at the top five areas of need and what Michigan has done to address them so far.


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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- On Monday, the ESPN 300 was released, as was an updated ESPN 150. The majority of Michigan’s class was largely unaffected, only experiencing minor moves throughout, though most of Michigan’s commits’ moves were down rather than up.

However, the Wolverines continue to have nine of their 11 commits in the ESPN 150, and many of their top targets remained in the top 100.


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With seven commitments in the ESPN 150, Michigan has been on a roll in the 2014 class. That continued Saturday as the Wolverines picked up their eighth ESPN 150 prospect.

Defensive end Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) confirmed in a text message that he committed to Michigan while on a visit Saturday.

The No. 107 ranked player in the country originally made his pledge to Ohio State in February, but that only lasted a few days. Marshall decommitted from Ohio State after visiting Michigan and Michigan State and since then mainly focused on the in-state schools.

Many believed that the Spartans held the upper hand with Marshall, but Michigan had a secret weapon on its side. Wide receiver commit Maurice Ways (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) has been friends with Marshall since middle school and put in some extra work to recruit his longtime friend to Michigan. Ways said at a recent camp that he believed his recruiting pitch to Marshall was working, and it turns out he was right.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect is likely a weakside defensive end at the next level. He has added good weight in recent months while maintaining his quickness off the line. He will add size and speed to Michigan's pass rush.

Marshall's commitment gives Michigan nine total commitments and two defensive line commits to go along with defensive tackle Bryan Mone (Salt Lake City/Highland). Michigan is being considered by some other top-ranked defensive line prospects and Marshall's commitment likely won't deter those efforts.

The overall No. 4-ranked prospect, Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), still holds Michigan in his top group and is probably best suited at strong-side defensive end in college. His recruitment shouldn't be impacted by Marshall. The same goes for defensive tackle target Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola), who also holds Michigan very high on his list.
Adoree' JacksonCal Sport Media via AP ImagesAn all-purpose threat for Gardena Serra, Adoree' Jackson is rated as the country's No. 2 cornerback.
The initial ESPN 150 for the Class of 2014 was released Thursday, and 19 West region prospects are included. California is home to 11 recruits, while Arizona supplied four, Utah had two and Nevada and Washington produced one each.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup 

February, 15, 2013
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ACC
Miami-FL
Alin Edouard QB-DT Hialeah, Fla./Hialeah
HT: 6-1 WT: 180

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