NCF On The Trail: Jalen Harvey

Top position classes: WR 

February, 12, 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)
While the Baylor Bears had an exceptional wide receiver class, the nod here goes to LSU. Not only did the Tigers sign the nation's No. 1 receiver in Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian), but also the No. 3 ranked receiver in Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) and ESPN 300 No. 271 D.J. Chark (Alexandria, La./Alexandria Senior) and No. 283 Tony Upchurch (Pearland, Texas/Dawson). In Dupre, LSU snagged the No. 17 prospect overall on signing day. He has a tall, lengthy frame with a near ideal size-and-speed combination and elite high-point ball skills. Quinn will enter LSU as an advanced route-runner with separation skills and the ability to pluck the ball outside of the framework of his body. Chark brings initial quickness and the vertical speed to take the top off a defense, and Upchurch is a big body who continues to add bulk and could eventually transition to a flex type of position.

The Tigers had the nation’s best wide receiver class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:

Biggest flips: Pac-12 

February, 3, 2014
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Many of the biggest flips relating to Pac-12 teams came fairly early in the process, which means there might not be much chaos on signing day when it comes to recruits flipping commitments. However, as with every year, flips will help and hurt a number of conference programs come Wednesday, and we take a look at the five biggest in the Pac-12 during this recruiting cycle.


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ESPN JC 50 WR Lauderdale selects ASU 

January, 24, 2014
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The potential passing attack headed to Arizona State in the 2014 class got a little more potent on Friday as ESPN Junior College 50 wide receiver Eric Lauderdale (Fayetteville, Ga./Saddleback College) announced his commitment to the Sun Devils.

Lauderdale, the nation's No. 23 overall junior college prospect and No. 3 juco receiver, had narrowed his choices down to Arizona State, Florida and Nebraska before making his decision. Though the announcement appeared to be a foregone conclusion following Lauderdale's decision to cancel an official visit to Oregon immediately after returning from an official trip to Arizona State, that won't dampen the excitement for the Sun Devils' coaching staff.


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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

January, 22, 2014
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With just two weeks until signing day, this week's updated class rankings illustrate just how close the gap is between the top teams in the Pac-12. Arizona State again checks in at No. 1 in the conference and now sits at No. 17 in the nation. Behind the Sun Devils, five more Pac-12 teams are within 10 places, as Arizona is No. 20, USC is No. 22, Stanford is No. 23, Oregon is No. 24 and UCLA rounds out the Pac-12 entrants at No. 27.

Trending up: Stanford


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 28, 2013
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Arizona State went back to El Cerrito (Calif.) High School to add another verbal commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect, several big visitors took in Oregon's win over UCLA, and career rushing records fell in San Diego and at a Northern California high school in this week's Pac-12 weekend recruiting wrap.

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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 24 

October, 24, 2013
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Several visitors will be on hand with Oregon hosts UCLA and Oregon State takes on Stanford this weekend, while the Arizona schools both took an opportunity this past weekend to add to impressive classes. Meanwhile, Utah has an opportunity to bounce back from a tough loss to Arizona with a big Pac-12 South contest in a pivotal location.

Oregon's official visitors

Juju Smith
Blair Angulo/ESPNJohn "JuJu" Smith tops an impressive lists of recruits scheduled to visit Oregon.
With UCLA and ESPN's College GameDay in town this weekend, the atmosphere at Autzen Stadium is expected to be as amped as ever. The Ducks will be able to show that off to several recruits who are scheduled for official visits. The headliner is ESPN 300 athlete John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), but he'll be joined by fellow ESPN 300 athlete Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) and offensive tackle Braden Eggert (Napa, Calif./Napa), a Washington State commitment who recently picked up an offer from the Ducks. Oregon will also have verbal commitment Tyrell Crosby (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) on hand, who will certainly help with recruiting. The Bruins, meanwhile, have a chance to make a national statement and prove that they have moved into the top tier of the conference with Oregon and Stanford.

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Arizona State adds ESPN 300 WR 

October, 22, 2013
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Arizona State was riding high after a big win over Washington this past weekend, and that momentum carried through Monday on the recruiting trail.


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Early Offer: Just another manic Monday 

October, 22, 2013
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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: Mondays sometimes can be slow for recruiting news, but not this week. The day started with two major decommitments from Pac-12 programs, one of those decommitments later committing to another Pac-12 program, and ended with a pledge from one of the nation's top 2015 prospects to a SEC team.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

October, 21, 2013
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There was plenty of news made in the desert this weekend, as Arizona landed two commitments and Arizona State had a number of visitors on hand. A number of standout performances by Pac-12 targets and positive statements made in losses are also highlighted in this week's recruiting wrap.

Biggest commitment: A nod goes to USC, which landed a commitment from three-star defensive end Olajuwon Tucker (Gardena, Calif./Serra) on Friday night, but focus quickly shifted to Arizona over the weekend, as the Wildcats landed two commitments. Wide receiver Kaelin Deboskie (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic) gives the Wildcats another dynamic offensive skill player and a local talent, as he joines teammate and ESPN 300 prospect Cameron Denson in Arizona's class. The Wildcats also grabbed a commitment from offensive tackle Levi Walton (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida Baker), who announced via Twitter that he gave a verbal to Arizona while on an official visit. Arizona now holds 26 verbal commitments in the 2014 class and will continue to recruits its top targets -- including offensive lineman Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial), who was on an official visit this past weekend -- as academics and late defections have a way of shaping recruiting classes as coaches close in on the right number of signatures.

Best performance by a commit/target: Normally, 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns won't get noticed, but in the case of ESPN 300 safety Bishard Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), those numbers came on just three carries and despite a few nagging injuries.


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Sun Devils pick good time for statement 

October, 20, 2013
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While Stanford made the most obvious noise on the field in the Pac-12 this weekend -- topping previously unbeated and No. 9-ranked UCLA, 24-10 -- Arizona State positioned itself to make the biggest statement on the recruiting trail.

The Sun Devils targeted their matchup with the Washington Huskies as the weekend to load up on visitors and that decision paid off handsomely, as Arizona State rolled to a 53-24 win.

Leading the recruiting charge was quarterback commit Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin), who has been as vocal a recruiter for his future program as any prospect in the country.

While one game won't carry as much influence in a recruits' decision as many fans believe, a blowout win such as that one is a great way to begin a weekend of recruiting for a coaching staff.

"It was a great game to have some of the top recruits in the nation in attendance," Wilkins said.

Wilkins certainly did his part in getting recruits to the game, as he helped talk Cal commit and ESPN 300 prospect Jalen Harvey (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) into taking an official visit this weekend. Harvey was joined on an official visit by his teammate, and USC commit, D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito). It was the first official visit for Calhoun and it paid off in a big way for the Sun Devils, as they are now firmly among his top three schools -- alongside UCLA and USC.

"The whole experience was nice, especially with the coaches, and the academic breakdown they did was great," Calhoun said. "Watching the game was nice, being able to see how the team operates with each other."

Calhoun, the nation's No. 226 prospect, said the Arizona State coaches see him stepping in for senior defensive end Junior Onyeali, an undersized defensive end who became a pass rushing force for the Sun Devils.

"They want me to rush the quarterback and take No. 5's position," Calhoun said. "I love it all."

The teammates were joined on official visits by four-star offensive tackle Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch, Colo./ThunderRidge), who tweeted a simple message toward the end of his visit.



It was the second official visit for Jones, who slid the Oregon Ducks toward the top of his list after visiting them in early September. Things could now get interesting for Jones, who holds offers from a majority of the conference.

But from the Sun Devils' perspective, the two biggest recruits in attendance were likely there on unofficial visits, as Arizona State coaches were able to put on a show in front of local ESPN 300 prospects and teammates Casey Tucker and Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton).

Both Tucker and Cunningham are very quiet when it comes to recruiting, as they have chosen to focus on their senior seasons first, but it's easy to notice that both have kept Arizona State among their final few schools. The Sun Devils will push hard for both, and while programs such as Oregon, Stanford and Texas A&M are in the mix, Arizona State will absolutely take advantage of getting those two recruits in front of the kind of scene that unfolded Saturday night.

Apparently the student section noticed Tucker, as the nation's No. 38 player retweeted a message directed at him by an Arizona State fan.

Recruits watching Washington at ASU 

October, 18, 2013
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It won't have the national appeal of UCLA's trip to Stanford, or the history of USC visiting Notre Dame, but it's unlikely that any Pac-12 game will have more impact recruits in attendance this weekend than Washington at Arizona State. Here is a look at 10 of the dozens of recruits who will be paying close attention to the goings on in Tempe, Ariz., this weekend.

OL Quinn Bailey (Gilbert, Ariz./Higley): Bailey is a solid offensive lineman that both Arizona State and Washington targeted early in the process. Oregon and Arizona will have a say in what happens with Bailey's recruitment, but it's the Sun Devils and Huskies that have a chance to make a statement this weekend.


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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 17 

October, 17, 2013
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Several Pac-12 programs have an opportunity to make statements on the recruiting trail this weekend, headlined by Arizona State hosting Washington, and including USC's trip to Notre Dame and the biggest clash in the conference -- UCLA visiting Stanford. The following day, the B2G West Coast Bowl will draw plenty of interest, as Pac-12 commits and targets are separated into two teams for the late January all-star game.

Manny being Manny

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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the Pac-12, check out our conference rankings:

1. Arizona, 24 commits: The Wildcats check in at No. 23 in the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that includes four ESPN300 commitments, including No. 120 overall Marquis Ware and No. 185 Jamardre Cobb of Salesian High in Los Angeles. Arizona will take its shot with No. 17 overall Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy), and teammate Dae'Juan Funderburk (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) in December.


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Wadood decides to head for Cal

July, 2, 2013
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Four-star athlete Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) is bound for Berkeley.

Previously committed to Arizona State, the four-star defensive back gave his verbal pledge to Cal on Tuesday at The Opening, choosing the Golden Bears over 13 other scholarship offers. Wadood, who decommitted from Arizona State on June 25 following a five-month pledge to the Sun Devils, became the ninth member and sixth in-state prospect in Cal’s 2014 class.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound athlete picked up offers from hometown schools USC and UCLA following strong performances at the schools’ camps last month, but he intends to experience college life away from Southern California, according to a source close to his recruitment. Wadood has shown versatility throughout his high school career, playing mostly safety but also starring at cornerback, running back and receiver.

Wadood’s commitment is yet another important pickup for Cal coach Sonny Dykes and his staff. The Golden Bears also have ESPN 300 receiver Jalen Harvey (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) in tow and, despite a poor 2012 season, are in the running for a number of the state’s other highly coveted prospects.

Cal has two players on its roster, defensive lineman Todd Barr and receiver Darius Powe, who are from Lakewood (Calif.), where Wadood played his first two years before transferring.

The local schools, meanwhile, figure to keep recruiting Wadood until the very end, especially given their needs in the defensive backfield. UCLA may have been Wadood’s most recent offer, but assistant coach Demetrice Martin has proven to be relentless in the past and will continue to pursue him. The same goes for USC, which is in desperate need of cornerbacks in this recruiting cycle after signing only Chris Hawkins in the 2013 class.
The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.

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