NCF On The Trail: UA Game commit analysis

Long overdue for positive news, the USC Trojans finally got some Friday in the form of a commitment from highly coveted safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), live during the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Quite frankly, USC needed this one.

[+] EnlargeLeon McQuay
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comThe exit of Trojans defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin didn't faze four-star safety Leon McQuay.
Following a recent rough stretch -- both in recruiting and on the field -- the addition of McQuay to a dwindling class is both significant and encouraging. If the Trojans plan to regain the momentum they built in the summer, securing a pledge from the nation's No. 3 safety is a good start.

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If Notre Dame lands the No. 1 class in 2013, the Fighting Irish might be thanking Max Redfield. It’s not only because of the immense talent Redfield brings -- though it helps -- but because he might have started a slew of decommitments that will end up in the Irish’s favor.


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It took Ohio State a little more than a month to flip the switch.

Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) headed into The Horseshoe to watch the Buckeyes’ 26-21 win over Michigan on an official visit Nov. 24.

He announced his commitment at the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday and plugged a hole the Buckeyes have been trying to fill for more than seven months.

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Losing No. 1 prospect Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) last fall was a huge blow to Clemson’s recruiting efforts, and the decommitment of ESPN 150 defensive end prospect Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind./Avon) a few weeks later furthered a huge void in the Tiger’s 2013 class, adding even more urgency for Clemson to reel in an elite pass-rusher.

[+] EnlargeEbenezer Ogundeko
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comFour-star Ebenezer Ogundeko could end up at defensive end for Clemson, or outside linebacker.
On Friday the Tigers took a big step in that direction by adding Under Armour All-American Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson), the No. 10 defensive end prospect in the country. In the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect, Clemson is getting a prospect with a very muscular frame, who could project to defensive end or possibly outside linebacker in college.

Tigers coach Dabo Swinney is also getting a productive high school player in Ogundeko, as the top-rated prospect in New York racked up 154 tackles and 28 sacks over his junior and senior seasons.

By adding the No. 112 prospect in the country, Clemson can now shift its focus to trying to replace Nkemdiche with No. 2 prospect Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton), who last visited Clemson in November. Lawson remains committed to Auburn, but programs like Clemson and Ole Miss should get official visits from the five-star defensive end this month.

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Where Kendell Beckwith will make an impact on the football field for LSU is an interesting question to ponder.

An “athlete” in the scout lexicon, the ESPN 150 prospect who committed to the Tigers tonight might be a linebacker in the Tiger’s 4-3 scheme … or he might bulk up and come off the edge as a pass-rushing defensive end, in the Barkevious Mingo mold.

[+] EnlargeKendell Beckwith
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comThe nation's No. 2 athlete, four-star recruit Kendell Beckwith says he'd likely feel most at home at linebacker in college.
His impact on LSU’s recruiting class, however, is unquestionable. Simply put, getting Beckwith is huge for the Tigers for a number of reasons:

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