NCF On The Trail: Nyles Morgan

Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), the No. 65 player in ESPN 300, has committed to Notre Dame.

What will the hard-hitting linebacker bring to South Bend? Let's break it down:

Army Bowl notebook: Jan. 2 

January, 2, 2014
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SAN ANTONIO -- Thursday’s practice session for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl saw players in more of a rhythm on offense, but it also saw defensive players showing their skills. If Thursday is any indication, Saturday’s contest could be a low-scoring affair.

Here are a few notes:

Cannon reaffirms Baylor commitment … again.

For the Baylor fans who read the late-Wednesday tweet coming from ESPN 300 receiver K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant), don’t read anything into it.


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Ole Miss scores big with DT McDowell

December, 20, 2013
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The Ole Miss Rebels continue to show they are here to stay under the direction of head coach Hugh Freeze. Already sitting at No. 15 in the RecruitingNation class rankings, the Rebels added to an impressive haul Friday, picking up a commitment from defensive tackle Garrald McDowell (Covington, La./Covington).

The 6-foot-1, 257-pound, athletic McDowell is the No. 110 prospect in the country, and becomes the fourth ESPN 300 prospect to pledge to Ole Miss following No. 49 Rod Taylor (Jackson, Miss./Callaway), No. 92 Markell Pack (Purvis, Miss./Purvis) and No. 134 C.J Hampton (Meridian, Miss./Meridian).
Defensive tackle is a key position of need for the Ole Miss staff in the 2014 class. McDowell becomes the fourth defensive tackle to commit to the Rebels, a group that includes four-star senior riser Breeland Speaks (Jackson, Miss./Callaway).

Earlier in the week, the Rebels signed three four-star junior college prospects in offensive tackle Fahn Cooper (Crystal Lake, Ill./College of Dupage), defensive lineman Jeremy Liggins (Oxford, Miss./Northwest Mississippi Community College) and inside linebacker Christian Russell (Raeford, N.C./East Mississippi Community College).

Ole Miss now has 26 commitments, including 13 four-star prospects. The Rebels remain in the hunt for No. 65 overall Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), No. 120 Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) and four-star offensive guard Jordan Sims (Birmingham, Ala./Homewood), among others.

Ole Miss signed the No. 5 class a year ago, which included 2013 SEC All-Freshman selections Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), Robert Nkemdiche (Logansville, Ga./Grayson) and Antonio Conner (Batesville, Miss./South Panola).

McDowell will play in the 2014 Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2 at 4 p.m. EST on ESPN.

Irish sending 477-letter packages

December, 20, 2013
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Notre Dame made a splash with recruits this week when the Fighting Irish sent out packages filled with 477 letters, called "Pots of Gold," to recruits across the country.

ESPN 300 linebacker Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) was one of the recipients. The No. 65 prospect tweeted a picture, which explained why the package consisted of 477 letters.




The note says there is one letter for every NFL draft pick to have come out of Notre Dame.

Tennessee and a few other SEC schools have been known to ship out a large number of recruiting letters to prospects, creating an arms race to see who can send the most mail.

To read Tom VanHaaren and Jared Shanker's story, click here.
A recent string of commitments heading into the dead period has left USC with only five remaining slots in its 2014 recruiting class. The Trojans have 19 total spots to use, as long as four of them are mid-year enrollees.

Here's a position-by-position look at how USC could allocate those empty spots, with a projection of how many players at each position the Trojans will try to sign:

Offensive line: 6

The Trojans hold five commitments on the offensive line, two of those from mid-year enrollees who already have signed financial aid agreements. They might not be done, though, as a big fish is still out there and possibly leaning toward signing with his childhood favorite. If the coaching staff decides a scholarship would be more important at another position, the Trojans might have to part ways with a prospect from this bunch.


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Most important targets: SEC 

December, 10, 2013
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Evaluating the most important recruiting targets for each school in the SEC for the Class of 2014:

Alabama
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover)
6-foot, 180 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 9
The Crimson Tide have already put together the No. 1-ranked class in the country, and adding a playmaker such as Humphrey would cement their status as the top recruiting class for the 2014 cycle. Humphrey is an athletic cornerback who has great size and would be a natural fit in coach Nick Saban's system. FSU is also in the picture for the five-star defensive back, and Alabama will have to fight to keep this electric playmaker from leaving the state.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

December, 2, 2013
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As the regular season winds down, there was a lot of news around the SEC over the weekend. Texas A&M received a big commitment on Thanksgiving at a position of need, and Auburn hosted several visitors for its incredible last-second victory over Alabama. Here’s a closer look at some of the top storylines in the SEC this weekend.

Biggest commitment: Though Texas A&M suffered a tough loss to Missouri on Saturday night, the Aggies did have something to be thankful for when junior college offensive tackle Avery Gennesy (Southhaven, Miss./East Mississippi CC) verbally committed to Texas A&M on Thursday.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pound tackle chose the Aggies over Ole Miss, Tennessee and Ohio State.

Texas A&M now has 18 commitments, including 10 from in the ESPN 300. The Aggies have the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the country.

Georgia, Tennessee lose commitments:
ESPN 300 defensive tackle Dontavius Russell (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton), after visiting Auburn over the weekend, decided to open back up his recruitment. The four-star defensive lineman announced his decision on Twitter.
Auburn now appears to be the team to beat for Russell. Tennessee lost another wide receiver commit from ESPN 300 wideout Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike) on Sunday. Booth is the third pass-catcher to decommit from the Vols this year. Junior college prospects Eric Lauderdale (Fayettville, Ga./Saddlebrook) and Kameel Jackson (Arlington, Texas/Blinn) also backed off their pledges to Tennessee earlier in the season.


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The annual Florida-Florida State game is usually one of the top games in the country. This year, with Florida’s disappointing season, the game seems to have lost some luster. Florida State, however, is fighting for a chance to make it to the BCS National Championship game in January. The Gators would like nothing more to ruin their archrival’s season, especially in front of several top recruits. Here’s a closer look at which recruits will be watching this weekend.


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SEC recruiting storylines: Nov. 21 

November, 21, 2013
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It has been another busy week in the SEC. Alabama has had a rough week, while other programs will be getting visits from high-priority targets. Here's a closer look at the latest story lines in the Southeastern Conference.

Bama loses second recruit in three days


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SEC recruiting storylines: Nov. 14 

November, 14, 2013
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A week after LSU-Alabama took center stage in the recruiting universe, the Auburn Tigers will take the spotlight this weekend with a number of big-time prospects expected on the Plains.

Stellar visitor list expected on the Plains


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Most important targets: SEC 

October, 22, 2013
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video

The Southeastern Conference already has two commitments from a top-10 player (Cameron Robinson to Alabama and Myles Garrett to Texas A&M), but the SEC has a real possibility of landing the final six uncommitted top-10 prospects in the country. Here is a closer look at the top remaining recruiting targets in the SEC.

Alabama

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USC recruits to visit Notre Dame 

October, 17, 2013
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A midseason visit to South Bend, Ind., last season convinced Max Redfield,, then a USC commit, that Notre Dame was the place for him. The same trip nearly swayed longtime Trojans fan Chris Hawkins, too, as the Fighting Irish laid out the golden carpet on their way to securing the No. 4-rated recruiting class.

This season, USC will have an opportunity to offset the infamous glow when some mutual targets take their official visits to Notre Dame. A Trojan victory would not only boost recruiting, but also deal a blow to the rival’s efforts.

Top offensive line priority Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), who grew up rooting for USC, will be in attendance after taking his first official visit last weekend to Wisconsin.


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SEC recruiting storylines: Oct. 10 

October, 10, 2013
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Taking a look back at the week that was in SEC recruiting and looking ahead to future visits as teams build toward signing day:

Banner week for Tennessee

While Tennessee couldn’t pull out a victory over Georgia Saturday, the Vols had more success in the minds of prospects. The Volunteers have picked up a pair of commitments since Saturday, and both are significant. Defensive end Derek Barnett (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy), the No. 298 player in the ESPN 300, helps fill a serious need on the defensive front. Junior college offensive tackle Dontavius Blair (Anniston, Ala./Garden City Community College) has the ability to be an impact player at a key position that will be hit by graduation. The 6-foot-7, 307-pound Blair was a huge recruiting win over SEC programs Auburn and Texas A&M. The Vols look like a lead-pipe cinch to sign a top-10 class at this point.


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SEC 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 SEC, check out our conference rankings:

1. Alabama, 21 commits: The Crimson Tide sit atop the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that features 15 ESPN 300 prospects, including most recent commitment Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), the No. 96 overall prospect. Alabama remains in the hunt for several five-star prospects, including No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover).


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SEC 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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With signing day still several months away, schools will add and in some cases lose committed prospects. Here is a look at the best and worst case scenario for each SEC school.


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