NCF On The Trail: Demetrius Knox

Top position classes: OL 

February, 20, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
Not only did Alabama put together the best offensive line class in the 2014 cycle, but it's also one of the best in recent memory. The Crimson Tide inked early enrollee and five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (Monroe, La./West Monroe) and also got top-ranked junior college offensive tackle Dominick Jackson (San Mateo, Calif./College of San Mateo). On the interior, the nation's top two centers, No. 168 overall Josh Casher (Mobile, Ala./Saint Paul’s Episcopal) and No. 190 J.C. Hassenauer (Woodbury, Minn./East Ridge) signed, as did No. 3 guard Ross Pierschbacher (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls). A second guard in the class is three-star Montel McBride (Plant City, Fla./Plant City), who could also play nose tackle at the next level.

The Crimson Tide had the nation’s best offensive line class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:


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Key recruiting visits -- Big 12 

January, 24, 2014
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With less than two weeks remaining until national signing day, every official visit is huge -- for the athlete and for the program. Some schools are in need of elite athletes more than others.

Here are 10 names to keep an eye on as they take their official visits to Big 12 schools:

1. ATH Lorenzo Joe (Abilene, Texas/Cooper)
Visiting: TCU


A two-hour trek eastbound to Fort Worth is making some Longhorns fans wonder -- and, perhaps, worry. Joe, an ESPN 300 athlete, has been committed to Texas since August 2012, but with the coaching transition from Mack Brown to Charlie Strong, Joe has checked out other options just to make sure Texas is the place for him. Look for TCU to roll the red -- or purple -- carpet out for him.


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Ohio State lost a 40-35 shootout to Clemson in the Discover Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes only had two losses on the season, but one prevented them from playing in the national championship game.

There are plenty of players leaving after this season, but Ohio State’s recruiting class will help fill a few holes.

Key losses: OL Jack Mewhort, OL Andrew Norwell, OL Corey Linsley, OL Marcus Hall, RB Carlos Hyde, RB Jordan Hall, WR Philly Brown, DB Corey Brown, DB C.J. Barnett, DB Bradley Roby, K Drew Basil.

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There has been movement on the recruiting trail within the Big Ten conference, so it's time once again to take a look at a few trends and changes among the teams. Here is a look at the latest for the Big Ten class rankings.

Trending up:

Tom VanHaaren: Michigan State has a chance to move up in the rankings if it can close strong. ESPN 300 prospects Jamil Kamara (Virginia Beach, Va./Bishop Sullivan Catholic) and Kiy Hester (Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic) recently added the Spartans to their top list, while Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) and Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) are still listing Michigan State in their top group as well. The strong defensive play on the field has Michigan State in position to play for a Big Ten championship, which could further help this recruiting class.


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Big Ten ESPN 300 analysis 

October, 29, 2013
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The ESPN 300 list has been updated and with 24 ESPN 300 commitments in the Big Ten, it's no surprise that there are some changes to the conference.

Here is a look at how the Big Ten was impacted by the recent changes.

Who is rising:


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Best Big Ten recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

Michigan and Ohio State both sit in the top 10 recruiting rankings this year after each landed top 10 classes in 2013 -- the Buckeyes were third, while the Wolverines were sixth.

That's why it should come as no surprise that the two schools have the top four recruiters in the Big Ten Conference for the Class of 2014 so far.

Here's a look at the top 10 recruiters in the Big Ten and why they deserve such high praise:


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Visitors -- official and unofficial -- flocked to The Horseshoe on Saturday night to take in the game between Ohio State and Wisconsin.

There was even an unofficial visitor with no college eligibility tweeting and taking pictures all evening -- LeBron James -- as Columbus, Ohio, was the place to be in college football before, during and after the Buckeyes’ 31-24 victory.

Here’s a sampling of quotes, tweets and pictures taken during the big Ohio State win:


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Official Visits: Sept. 27

September, 27, 2013
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Arkansas
Georgia
  • Five-star Under Armour All-American ILB Raekwon McMillan (No. 14 in ESPN 300; Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County)
  • Four-star WR Josh Malone (No. 99 in ESPN 300; Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp)
Minnesota
Ohio State
  • Four-star Under Armour All-American ATH John Smith (No. 41 in ESPN 300; Long Beach, Calif./Poly)
  • Four-star WR Johnnie Dixon (No. 42 in ESPN 300; Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer)
  • Four-star Under Armour All-American WR Travis Rudolph (No. 65 in ESPN 300; West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman)
  • Four-star OG Demetrius Knox (No. 166 in ESPN 300; Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) – Committed: Ohio State
  • Three-star TE DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan.)
  • Three-star TE-H Mike Gesicki (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional)
Oregon
  • Four-star ATH Michiah Quick (No. 43 in ESPN 300; Fresno, Calif./Central East)
  • Four-star RB Tony James (No. 164 in ESPN 300; Gainesville, Fla.)
  • Three-star TE-H Henry Mondeaux (Portland, Ore./Jesuit)
Oregon State
  • Four-star WR Erik Brown (No. 187 in ESPN 300; Fontana, Calif./Summit) – Committed: Washington
  • Four-star CB Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) – Committed: Cal. Originally committed to Arizona State
Pittsburgh
  • Four-star ATH Montae Nicholson (No. 252 in ESPN 300; Monroeville, Pa./Gateway)
Washington
  • Four-star RB Joe Mixon (No. 100 in ESPN 300; Oakley, Calif./Freedom)
Urban Meyer doesn’t miss an opportunity to impress.


The two-time national champion did it last year when Nebraska played Ohio State in The Horseshoe under the lights and he’s not missing the opportunity this year.

Here’s a look at some of the bigger names scheduled to make the trek to the banks of the Olentangy River for the Buckeyes-Badgers game Saturday evening.

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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Georgia scored a major recruiting victory on Thursday when it landed an ESPN 300 defensive end; Ohio State is hosting more than just the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend in Columbus; and Oregon hosts a ESPN 300 speedster who would be a great fit for the Ducks’ offense.

Dawgs land key defensive commitment
With a monster SEC matchup against LSU on Saturday, Georgia received some positive recruiting news on Thursday when ESPN 300 defensive end Keyon Brown (Wauchula, Fla./Hardee County) committed to the Dawgs.


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From Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin grabbing a commit, to Penn State receiving great news on the recruiting front, to Ohio State playing host to some big-time official visitors this weekend, Big Ten storylines were everywhere this week.

Here’s a look at a busy time in this week’s Big Ten storylines:


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Big Ten class rankings analysis 

September, 25, 2013
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There wasn’t any movement in the class rankings this week, but there are some trends developing.

Here’s a look at some things to watch within the conference recruiting landscape:

Trending up:

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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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Being the Joneses has its perks.

But when the Joneses can’t live up to their own way of living, things can go awry very quickly.

Manny Diaz found out just how quickly Sunday afternoon when he was relieved of his duties as Texas’ defensive coordinator not even 24 hours after the Longhorns gave up a school-record 550 rushing yards and 679 total yards to BYU in an embarrassing 40-21 loss in Provo, Utah.

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There are still big holes to fill in recruiting for the 2014 class and top targets still on the board. A lot of position groups are being addressed in recruiting, but not many have been completely filled.

Big Ten recruiting writers Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival take a look at the most important position for each Big Ten team in the 2014 class.


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