NCF On The Trail: Deshone Kizer

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts for 2015 suffered a major setback when ESPN 300 quarterback Blake Barnett decommitted. So where do the Irish turn now at the quarterback spot? Plus, could Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas’ loss be Arkansas’ gain?

Will Martin leaving impact ND commits? 

December, 3, 2013
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Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin has been hired as coach at the University of Miami (Ohio), according to ESPN’s Joe Schad. A highly-respected coordinator at a big-time program will typically impact recruiting, but that might not be the case at a school like Notre Dame.


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#AskLoogs: Rating Kizer over Collier

October, 24, 2013
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Simply put, Ohio State had both at camp and liked Collier better. Some programs liked DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) better; so do we. Stephen Collier (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County) is a bit of a sleeper, a late-bloomer if you will. He has nice measurables and tools to work with, but needs to be groomed long term.

Also, keep in mind that we aren’t basing our rankings on what Ohio State or any other team solely thinks about one particular player. If 10 programs were looking at one prospect, you could get five to seven differing opinions on that same player based on a variety of traits or factors. While it is always important to do everything you can to keep the top players in your state at home, when it comes to QBs, you do what you think is best for the program, and that sometimes trumps taking a prospect just because they are in-state. In this case, Ohio State felt like it was best to go in another direction.

Conversely, Notre Dame felt like Kizer was the right fit for them. I actually applaud Ohio State for taking Collier, as he was not widely recruited by many BCS schools, so they are doing what is best for them, not being influenced by what others say.


Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic quarterback DeShone Kizer said last week that Notre Dame exceeded the criteria he was looking for in a school. When Notre Dame offered a few days later on June 5, the Irish immediately jumped into his top group.

Following a weekend visit to South Bend, the 6-foot-5, 208-pound signal-caller, the No. 6 ranked dual-threat quarterbacks nationally, committed to Notre Dame. Central Catholic coach Greg Dempsey confirmed the commitment of his four-star and Elite 11 quarterback.

Alabama and LSU were considered the top two for Kizer before the Notre Dame offer, with Tennessee just behind its SEC counterparts. Kizer was planning visits to both the Tide and Tigers later this week. The offer from Alabama was not a committable one.

This commitment is welcomed news for Notre Dame, which has not had much positivity around the position the last few weeks. Everett Golson, who led the Irish to the national championship game last season, was suspended from school in late May. A few days later, ESPN 150 quarterback Kyle Allen, who many felt could end up signing with Notre Dame, pledged to Texas A&M.

Former backup quarterback Gunner Kiel, a member of the ESPN 150 in 2012, left the program this spring as well.

Ohio has been kind to the Irish the past two recruiting classes. In the 2013 class, Malik Zaire of Kettering (Ohio) Archbishop Alter signed with the Irish and enrolled in January.

Later this month, Kizer will compete at the Elite 11 finals after taking top honors in a regional event in Columbus, Ohio, on June 1. LSU coaches Les Miles and Cam Cameron watched Kizer at the event.

Kizer is the 11th commitment in the Irish’s 2014 class and is the latest piece to what is becoming a stellar offensive haul. Four-star running back Elijah Hood and four-star offensive tackle Alex Bars are both members of the ESPN 150, and Sam Mustipher (No. 11 guard), Justin Brent (No. 38 receiver) and Quenton Nelson (No. 19 guard) are also four-star recruits. Three-star offensive tackle Jimmy Byrne is also committed.

Notre Dame’s class ranks No. 8 nationally but could move up with Kizer’s commitment.
This month is very important for Ohio State, as the staff is set to host its senior advanced camp on Sunday. Hundreds of prospects will be in attendance, including several top targets. Here are five storylines to watch this week:


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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) was ready to commit a few months ago. Then LSU offered. Alabama came soon after. Those two offers made Kizer slow his recruitment down.

With baseball and basketball now done, he will finally have his first opportunity to see both schools up close next week.


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Tales From the Road: Ohio State 

June, 5, 2013
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BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent who should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:

This week’s targets: BuckeyeNation as well as RecruitingNation headed to Columbus, Ohio, for the Elite 11 and Nike Football Training Camp. Seven Buckeyes commitments -- the only pledges missing were Marcelys Jones (Cleveland/Glenville) and Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller) -- made their way to the Ohio State campus and didn’t disappoint as Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech), Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) and teammates Dante Booker and Parris Campbell Jr. of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary each earned trips to The Opening.

Detroit rock city: Assistant coach Kerry Coombs spent a good portion of the evaluation period in Detroit, and for good reason. He went after two-time Michigan commit David Dawson from Cass Tech High School last season, but missed. Coombs and the Buckeyes didn’t this time around as Webb committed back in January. Malik McDowell of Detroit Loyola is also on the Ohio State radar. Before he said yes to Michigan, Lawrence Marshall was an Ohio State pledge, even if it was only for three days. Marshall lives in Southfield, Mich. a suburb 19 minutes away from Detroit.

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Tales From the Road: LSU 

June, 5, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Home-field advantage is supposed to go to the local team.

But at the Columbus, Ohio Elite 11 on Saturday, it was advantage LSU.

LSU head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had sons participating at the Elite 11, which gave them a loophole and allowed them to attend the event. The Elite 11 normally allows parents but prohibits college coaches from attending.


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Tales From the Road: Alabama 

June, 5, 2013
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Each week, Tales From The Road provides news and updates about where Alabama’s coaches are recruiting and which prospects are getting noticed.

This week’s targets: The week has been all about Alabama’s first summer camp. Prospects from across the country have flocked to Tuscaloosa to either compete or just to visit. The headliner was five-star Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), the No. 1 offensive tackle in the country, who last visited for the Crimson Tide’s spring game in April. Robinson recently tweeted that his decision will come down to Alabama and LSU. Other ESPN 150 stars who have been on campus this week include quarterback David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) running back Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), defensive tackle Elisha Shaw (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and athlete Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera).

Area of interest: The state of Arkansas isn’t what you’d call a recruiting oasis year in and year out, but there’s still talent to be had. Last year, Alabama plucked out ESPN 150 running back Altee Tenpenny (North Little Rock, Ark./North Little Rock), the No. 1 player in the state. This year, the top player still available is four-star defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber). Not surprisingly, the Tide are among his five finalists. This week, Nick Saban and his staff decided to get a head start on next year’s crop, offering 2015 quarterback Ty Storey (Charleston, Ark./Charleston) and 2015 tight end Will Gragg (Pine Bluff, Ark./Pine Bluff). Both prospects camped at Alabama.

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It’s been quite the week for four-star quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway). He made a stop at Alabama on Thursday before flying up to Columbus, Ohio, to visit Ohio State and compete in the Elite 11 this weekend.


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Here are five storylines to watch on Sunday:

Looking out for No. 1

The Columbus Nike Football Training Camp will bring out the top defensive lineman in the country in Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge).


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Tales From the Road: Ohio State 

May, 29, 2013
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BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent that should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:

This week’s targets: BuckeyeNation swung out to the Youngstown, Ohio, area and took a good look at Hubbard and Warren Harding high schools. While there, we talked to offensive guard Matt Jones and running back Larry “LJ” Scott of Hubbard. Both are Buckeyes targets as sophomores. Harding is the home of Denmark sensation Hjalte Froholdt and Ohio State legacy James Daniels, whose father LeShun Daniels Sr. played offensive guard for the Buckeyes in the 1990s. One other interesting note about Daniels is that his brother LeShun Daniels Jr. signed a letter of intent to play for Iowa this February.

Vividly Virginia: The Buckeyes made it abundantly clear last week that Virginia was fertile recruiting ground. Ohio State long has had offers out to Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge/Woodbridge), Andrew Brown (Chesapeake/Oscar Frommel Smith) and Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach/Bayside), but last Wednesday the Buckeyes offered five Virginians in rapid fashion. The offers went out to outside linebacker Ricky DeBerry (Richmond, St. Christophers), cornerback Garrett Taylor (Richmond, St. Christophers), wide receiver Scott Bracey (Richmond/Benedictine School), wide receiver Jaason Lewis (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes) and inside linebacker Jahvoni Simmons (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes).

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Tide OC watches QB Cornwell throw 

April, 26, 2013
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Since the conclusion of spring practice, the University of Alabama coaching staff has been busy hitting the road, evaluating recruits. No coach has compiled more miles than offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

Nussmeier, the Crimson Tide’s quarterback guru, has already seen three prospects this week. After checking in on DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) on Tuesday, he made a stop in Norman, Okla., on Wednesday to watch David Cornwell, the nation’s No. 1 pocket passer.


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Who They Have: QB DeShone Kizer, OG Zach Harmon

Where They’re Looking: Kizer has visited Cincinnati, USC and UCLA this spring and has plans to visit Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee. Harmon visited Bowling Green, Buffalo, Indiana, Kentucky, Kent State, Ohio State, Toledo and Western Michigan. He has plans to see Kentucky, Marshall and Western Michigan as well as the Buckeyes again.

Who they’ve had: JoJuan Armour, Chris Boles, Eric Herman, Mike Marrow, Ryne Robinson, Brad Rogers, Dane Sanzenbacher, Keith Towbridge, Jayme Thompson, Jeremey Whitlow, Brian Wagner, Ethan Wirth

Where they went: Akron (Wagner), Iowa (Rogers), Illinois (Boles, Whitlow), Louisville (Towbridge), Miami, Ohio (Armour, Robinson), Nebraska (Marrow), Ohio (Herman), Ohio State (Sanzenbacher, Thompson), Toledo (Wirth)

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Alabama has five offers out to 2014 quarterbacks, although the Crimson Tide coaches would not accept a commitment from any just yet. One quarterback could be closing in on turning his scholarship into a legitimate offer soon, though.

Dual-threat quarterback DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) threw for Alabama offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier on Tuesday.


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