NCF On The Trail: Christian Kirk

Tale of the tape: USC vs. UCLA 

November, 20, 2014
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Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Ricky TownTom Hauck for Student SportsIn Josh Rosen (UCLA), Sam Darnold (USC) and Ricky Town (USC), the Bruins and Trojans have pledges from three of the top seven pocket passers in the 2015 class.

There's no hotter ticket for Southern California recruits than the one that gets them into the Rose Bowl this weekend, as USC travels across town to take on UCLA. Both programs have an opportunity to make a statement in front of what should be a star-studded group of recruits.

The Bruins and Trojans already have put together solid 2015 recruiting classes, as both rank among the top 20 programs in the country -- USC checks in at No. 13, UCLA at No. 18. This game won't make or break either recruiting class, but a win sure gives that staff some significant recruiting ammunition against what could be its biggest competition for several ESPN 300 prospects looking to make their decisions close to signing day.

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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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 11, 2014
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There wasn't much movement on the Pac-12 recruiting scorecard this weekend, but Utah was able to bounce back from a tough loss to Oregon by scoring a commitment, and Arizona State might have set the stage for one of the conference's stronger runs toward signing day with a big win against Notre Dame. Elsewhere, Stanford is looking to gain some recruiting momentum after some time without a commitment, and several Pac-12 targets are headed out of the area this weekend.


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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 9, 2014
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Arizona State dominated the Pac-12 visitor list this weekend, as the Sun Devils hosted four ESPN 300 prospects on official visits and received unofficial visits from at least three 2016 ESPN 300 prospects. Elsewhere, Utah hosted a significant official visitor in ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and both Arizona and Washington had several California prospects in town.

Sun Devil statement

Arizona State saw everything go right during its biggest recruiting weekend of the season. ESPN 300 prospects Christian Kirk, Brady White, Trent Irwin, Zach Robertson and Porter Gustin were all in attendance to see the Sun Devils put together a big win against Notre Dame.

White has been committed to the Sun Devils for months and is putting in some serious effort to recruit the other four ESPN 300 prospects -- all uncommitted. He has an especially close relationship with Irwin, his high school teammate and good friend.
Kirk is as much of a local celebrity as it gets with hometown recruits, as he has been the top recruiting target for Arizona State and Sun Devils fans alike since his sophomore year. His highly anticipated official visit took place this weekend, and surely Arizona State did everything it could to make an impression. Safety D.J. Morgan, wide receiver Dylan Crawford and outside linebacker Bryce Youngquist -- all 2016 ESPN 300 prospects -- made the trip to Tempe over the weekend and all were impressed by what they saw. The big win might have planted the seeds for a significant 2016 recruiting haul for the Sun Devils. Also in attendance was Arizona State offensive tackle commit Mason Walter. St. Brown visits Utah

While Utah came up short on the scoreboard against Oregon, the game atmosphere in Salt Lake City looked to be impressive as always. And that's a good thing, considering ESPN 300 wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was on his official visit. While the trip to Utah was seen a while ago as somewhat superfluous, considering St. Brown appeared down to Notre Dame, Stanford and USC as his serious options, the Utes at this point shouldn't be considered out of this at all, as the coaches have done a great job recruiting the talented receiver. Utah also had several committed recruits on hand, including linebacker Cody Barton and 2016 athlete Kahi Neves. A Wildcat win

Arizona kept pace in the Pac-12 South with a home win over Colorado. And while Arizona State boasted the lion's share of impact visitors this weekend, the Wildcats had a few of their own.

Arizona tight end commit Jamie Nunley made the trip out from California, and apparently had a chance to spend some time with head coach Rich Rodriguez on the sideline. Huskies host two California juniors

Washington suffered a tough loss to UCLA, but was able to bring at least two 2016 California prospects up to Seattle for the game, in running back Sean McGrew and quarterback Kevin Davidson. While McGrew has Cal and UCLA out front in his recruitment, the trip to Washington shows he's still giving the Huskies a look. And though Davidson is still looking for his first offer, he's been in serious contact with Pac-12 programs such as Cal, Colorado and Washington.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

November, 7, 2014
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The Oregon Ducks raised the bar for visit weekends last week, earning a commitment from ESPN 300 defensive end Canton Kaumatule during the trip and a verbal from 2016 wide receiver Dillon Mitchell two days later. This weekend, at least two programs are looking to bring in the kind of official visitors that could make that same kind of impact, and a coveted Pac-12 prospect takes a visit to the Pacific Northwest.

Notre Dame at Arizona State


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 4, 2014
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Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA all hosted impressive visitor lists this past weekend and all produced significant home victories. Oregon's paid off immediately with an impact commitment, while UCLA made positive strides with two important targets.

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Several of the West’s top uncommitted recruits such as Christian Kirk and John Houston Jr. will be at ASU this weekend for visits that could alter the recruiting race in the Pac-12. Plus, Carlos Davis and Khalil Davis are doing everything they can to help their team advance in the Missouri state playoffs.

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Best of the visits: Pac-12

November, 2, 2014
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Big home wins by Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA resonated with a number of impact visitors -- both official and unofficial -- this weekend. In fact, the Ducks and Sun Devils both added commitments shortly after, or during, their victories. Here's a look at visits and visitors to the Pac-12 through their eyes on social media.

Ducks make a statement

Oregon took control of the Pac-12 North with its big win over Stanford and gained a nice secondary prize as well, as ESPN 300 defensive end Canton Kaumatule was in attendance.
Kaumatule was so blown away by the experience on his visit that not only did the nation's No. 44 overall prospect and No. 7 defensive end commit during his visit, he also signed his early enrollment financial aid paperwork. The news was announced by football program's official twitter feed. Oregon had a second impact defensive end on campus as well for an official visit, as the No. 29 overall prospect, Keisean Lucier-South was in Eugene. While Lucier-South didn't commit and still has several visits to take, this trip to Oregon left an impression. The Ducks also had a class of 2016 visitor in attendance, in wide receiver Dillon Mitchell. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound wideout holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ohio State and Tennessee, as well as Oregon, so getting him on campus before he announces his decision this week is big for the Ducks. Official visitor Zach Okun, an ESPN 300 guard who made an early pledge to the Ducks and plans to enroll early at Oregon, had this message for Ducks fans following his official visit this weekend. UCLA steels some attention

Wearing their LA Steel uniforms for their home game against Arizona, the Bruins had a number of high-profile visitors in attendance and didn't allow Oregon to take all the spotlight -- registering a win over an Arizona team that was ranked No. 12 entering the game.

The Bruins had several official visitors on hand, including two important wide receiver targets -- ESPN 300 prospects Ryan Newsome and Christian Kirk. The Bruins' defense picked a good time to step up in a big way, as it shut down the Wildcats' offense and did so in front of ESPN 300 defensive tackle Rasheem Green. The No. 21 overall prospect is a high priority recruit for UCLA, as well as several other Pac-12 programs. UCLA also hosted 2016 ESPN 300 cornerback Treyjohn Butler on an unofficial visit. Butler is the No. 49 overall prospect in the class and picking up some recruiting momentum, having landed an offer from Arizona State recently. ASU lands another Perry

Speaking of the Sun Devils, Arizona State's overtime win over Utah earned them control of the Pac-12 South as well as a commitment from sophomore cornerback Alex Perry, the younger brother of freshman defensive back Armand Perry. Though it came well into the night, it was celebrated by Arizona State's Assistant AD for Recruiting, Patrick Suddes.

Pac-12's top recruiting visits 

October, 31, 2014
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ESPN 300 prospects are set to scatter all over the Pac-12 landscape this weekend, as several conference programs are hosting very important official visit weekends. We take a look around the Pac-12 at the three biggest recruiting weekends in the conference.

Stanford at Oregon


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Several Pac-12 commitments and prospects saw some significant movement in the updated ESPN 300 rankings released Wednesday. Overall, the conference holds commitments from two of the top 22 prospects in the country and 26 of the top 300. With fewer than four months until signing day, let's take a look at where the Pac-12 stands in the ESPN 300.


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UA jersey tour: Iman Marshall

October, 17, 2014
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Cornerback Iman Marshall was the center of attention at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly on Friday morning, as he received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey. It's the second consecutive year a Jackrabbits standout will take part in the game, as Marshall follows Juju Smith, from the 2014 class.

Marshall will follow Smith's lead in another aspect as well, as the five-star cornerback and nation's No. 8 overall prospect will keep recruiting fans guessing as to his ultimate destination all the way to signing day.

While Marshall announced earlier this fall that he would take official visits to Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, those have yet to be scheduled.

"Everything is still the same," Marshall said of his recruiting plan. "I'm just enjoying the process and the season. I'm excited for my five officials."

Although, everything might not be the same for long, as Marshall added that those might not actually be the five schools he visits.

"I have a feeling I might switch one, but I'm still debating," Marshall said, declining to state what school might not actually receive a trip.

SATs have prevented Marshall from taking official visits to this point, and he said he hopes to eventually take some during the end of the season so there isn't a rush to take them all after the season ends. One thing that isn't likely to change between now and the end of the year is that the three California schools involved -- Stanford, UCLA and USC -- will all be in the race until the end.

Six questions with Iman Marshall

Who are you most looking forward to playing with at the Under Armour All-America Game?

Marshall: "First off I would love to play with Josh Rosen, Christian Kirk and Cordell Broadus. There are a lot of guys on the East Coast as well, but those are the three that come to my mind right now."

If you could start your team with any player from the 2015 recruiting class, who would it be?

Marshall: "I'd have Rosen at quarterback, Broadus on one side and Kirk on the other, with Calvin Ridley in there also. Me at cornerback, Derwin James at safety and Kevin Tolliver on the other side of me. John Houston and Jeffery Holland at linebacker."

What is your earliest football memory?

Marshall: "In my first game, I went 85 yards for a touchdown on my first carry."

What football player did you idolize growing up?

Marshall: "As a defensive back, of course, I wanted to be like Deion Sanders. Every DB wants to be like him."

If you could take on any professional at their sport, who would it be?

Marshall: "I'd take on LeBron or Kobe at basketball. You can't miss that."

Why do you wear your number (8)?

Marshall: "Nobody knows this but the reason I got eight was that in Pop Warner, my number was zero. They didn't have zero in high school, so the closest number that looks like zero is eight."

Pac-12 South recruiting roundup 

October, 16, 2014
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At the halfway point of college football's regular season, there is still plenty to be decided both on the field and on the recruiting trail. The Pac-12 placed six programs among the top 40 recruiting classes in Wednesday's updated class rankings Insider and conference recruiting classes contain as many as 24 -- Arizona -- and as few as nine -- Stanford -- commitments. This update offers a look at where each Pac-12 South program stands with its 2015 recruiting class, including its top prospect and position of strength, as well as a look at where things are going well for each class.

Arizona

Total number of commitments: 24

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The Texas A&M-Alabama game on Saturday is sure to be one of the top games in the country this weekend. The teams have had much success on the field since the Aggies joined the SEC, and that success has led to tremendous success in recruiting. This year is no different as both teams rank in the top four of the RecruitingNation class rankings. Here’s a closer look at how the schools match up in recruiting and who some of their remaining targets are.

Instant Impact recruit


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 14, 2014
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Pac-12 home teams are 4-14 this season, but the coaches in the conference continue to find recruiting success despite being forced to pitch their programs to prospects following home defeats. This past Saturday, Pac-12 home teams went 0-3 yet came out victorious on the recruiting trail, landing commitments and making positive impressions.


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UA jersey tour: Christian Kirk

October, 9, 2014
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Christian Kirk is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the 2015 class. He has offers from across the nation and coaches clamoring for his services.

Kirk has everything from fans after him on Twitter, trying to convince him to pick their favorite school, to coaches flying helicopters with his number on it to come see him.

So far he has taken official visits to Texas A&M and Rice, but a few more schools will have the opportunity to wow Kirk on campus.

“I just scheduled UCLA for November 1 when they play Arizona. I scheduled Arizona State when they play Notre Dame on Nov. 8,” he said. “Hoping if it all plans out well, kind of have some conflict with the state championship game, USC against Notre Dame on Nov. 29. Those are the next three schools I’ll visit.”

Kirk is hoping to make his decision after he takes all his visits and after his season, potentially near the end of December.

The No. 36 ranked prospect in the country received his Under Armour All-America jersey on Thursday and while fans and coaches know who he is on the field, Kirk spoke a little about who he is off the field as well.

What one player are you looking forward to competing against?:

Obviously if I’m on the opposite team as him, being on the other side of Biggie [Iman Marshall] would be fun. That’s my boy and he loves to talk and I’m always giving it back to him especially when we’re together. If me and him are on different teams that would be fun.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?: I would have to go with a quarterback, so I would have to go with [Kyler Murray]. Give me that dual-threat, mess with the defense because he’s hard to scheme against.

What was your earliest football memory?: I started playing football when I was five years old and the last game of the season was the game that everybody got to play the position that they wanted to play. I played offensive line forever, so the coach let me go in at running back. My first carry I took it to the end zone and my dad was holding the markers. He ran all the way down the field with the marker and they had to tell him to come back.

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?: Edgerrin James because my dad is a die hard Colts fan and that’s all I knew growing up. I knew No. 32 was the best player on the Colts and I played running back most of my life so I idolized my game after him and always wanted to be like him.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport who would it be?: I’d take on Kobe. I’m a Kobe fan and I’ve seen videos here and there of him at camps playing against little kids and messing with them. I think it would be interesting and fun.

Why do you wear your number?: I wear No. 2 only because Edgerrin James is my favorite player and he wore 32 in the NFL. When I got to high school someone was already wearing 32, so I just dropped the 3 and wore No. 2.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?: Before each game I listen to the Batman: Dark Knight soundtrack; the whole thing. I just have it playing. I love the movie and I just love Batman as a character. Whenever he comes around people just stop and nobody wants to mess with him so it gets me in that mindset and gets me in my zone.

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