NCF On The Trail: Week 10 rewind

Weekend Rewind: USC 

November, 5, 2012
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LOS ANGELES -- The decision that had been brewing for weeks became official Sunday night when four-star athlete Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) decommitted from USC.

Redfield broke the news on his Facebook page a day after attending the Trojans' 62-51 loss to Oregon at Memorial Coliseum but, really, had been wavering on his commitment since taking an official visit to Notre Dame on Oct. 12. With the No. 2-rated athlete re-opening his recruitment, USC's top-ranked class was dealt its first blow. Redfield is scheduled to visit Washington on Nov. 9 and has been in contact with Oregon and LSU with intent to set up trips. His official visit to USC is scheduled for Jan. 18, and the Trojans, though no longer the front-runners, are still a viable option.

With Redfield off the books, four-star safeties Tahaan Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) and Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) appear to be the likely candidates to fill the void.

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Weekend Rewind: Southeast 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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Despite LSU's heart-breaking 21-17 loss to Alabama, the Tigers wowed two longtime commitments who visited Baton Rouge this weekend.

When asked about his trip and LSU's game-day atmosphere, four-star linebacker Lewis Neal from Wilson (N.C.) Hunt said via text to ESPN, "Unbelievable".

The ESPN 300 prospect who committed to LSU in July said last week that he wasn't remotely considering other schools last week. That certainly seemed to be the case as he posted multiple pictures on Facebook from the sideline of Tiger Stadium, including one in which he was wearing an LSU sweatshirt and holding up his index finger signifying the Tigers are No. 1.

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Weekend Rewind: LSU 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- If anything was more hyped than LSU's matchup with No. 1 Alabama this past weekend, it was probably the Tigers' list of visitors for the occasion.

The result was not what LSU fans wanted, but in a rare occurrence, both the game and the recruit list lived up to expectations. The Tigers saw 16 members of their committed class take in the game at Tiger Stadium -- including three-star defensive tackle Christian LaCouture (Lincoln, Neb./Southwest), who started the weekend with a bang when he committed to LSU on Friday night.

The Tigers also got visits from some of the nation's top uncommitted prospects, including No. 1 wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones (Sealy, Texas/Sealy), No. 1 athlete Kendell Beckwith (Clinton, La./East Feliciana), No. 4 defensive end Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./LSU Laboratory) and No. 9 defensive tackle Greg Gilmore (Hope Mills, N.C./South View). LSU was the last of a series of visits for Gilmore, who will decide between Florida, LSU and Oklahoma later this week.

The atmosphere for a matchup of No. 1 versus No. 5 was a sight to see, even for seasoned veterans. Louisiana talents such as Beckwith and Williams, who have been to many LSU games, said the atmosphere Saturday night set the standard for Tiger Stadium.

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Weekend Rewind: Georgia 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia Bulldogs returned to Sanford Stadium on Saturday after playing on the road for over a month. Having beaten Florida the week prior, the team was welcomed like conquering heroes during the pregame Dawg Walk and then again when the team took the field. The Bulldogs went on to beat Ole Miss on national television and the entire spectacle was witnessed by a number of Georgia’s top recruiting targets.

Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) was on hand with his mother to see his brother Denzel Nkemdiche, who plays middle linebacker for Ole Miss. The No. 1 prospect in the nation also spent time checking out Georgia. He was greeted by a number of recruiters, from the athletic director to the men’s basketball coach.

The Bulldogs hosted juco wide receiver Jonathan Rumph (Cayce, S.C./Holmes Community College) on an official visit. The 6-foot-4, 194-pound star wideout also was given the rock-star treatment, as he is atop Georgia’s wish list at the receiver position. The Bulldogs don’t have a receiver his size on the roster and would love to add an experienced wideout such as Rumph to their young receiving corps.

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Weekend Rewind: Oregon 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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When the Oregon Ducks walked out of the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday, it felt like 2007 all over again. That year, the Ducks rolled into The Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., and not only came away with a huge 39-7 win, they had some of Michigan's commits -- and biggest recruits -- telling reporters that Oregon was now right at the top of their list.

On Saturday, the Trojans hosted a large group of current commits and a star-studded group of 2014 recruits. With their storm trooper uniforms and an offensive display even more impressive than the one in Ann Arbor, the Ducks were the team that left an impression on the majority of prospects in attendance. USC's commits were mostly unaffected by the Ducks second straight win in the Coliseum, but a handful of the top prospects from Los Angeles in the class of 2014 came away thinking about the Ducks.

Max Redfield of Mission Viejo (Calif.) -- the No. 37 player in the ESPN 150 -- had been rumored to be on his way out the door after a great visit to Notre Dame last month. It's probably no coincidence that he chose to de-commit the day after Oregon -- another school he has always liked and planned to visit -- took another step towards becoming the premier program on the West Coast.

There are still three full months until signing day, but the Ducks look like they are primed to make another late run and add some surprise pieces to the Class of 2013.

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Weekend Rewind: Texas A&M 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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Texas A&M had made sure that Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College outside linebacker Kenny Flowers knew that he was a priority.

The constant contact and effort that the Aggies put into recruiting the 6-foot-2, 228-pound prospect paid off in a big way last week when he called the coaches to commit to Texas A&M.

Flowers made the commitment on Friday afternoon and the December graduate said he is excited to be joining the program in a couple months. He chose the Aggies over offers from Arkansas, Kansas, Kansas State and West Virginia. It was Texas A&M's aggressiveness in its pursuit that made the difference.

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Weekend Rewind: Southeast 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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With the news that Kentucky will be firing head coach Joker Phillips at the end of the season, the 1-9 Wildcats will again have to look elsewhere for someone to rejuvenate the program. That will include trying to bring in more talent to compete against the tough competition in the SEC. Three prospects committed to Kentucky out of the Peach State heard the news Sunday, and they updated the status on their verbal commitments.

Offensive tackle Jake Boynton (Marietta, Ga./Walton) was somewhat surprised to hear of Phillips’ dismissal, but as of now, Boynton remains part of the Wildcats’ 2013 recruiting class. Wide receiver Deangelo Yancey (Atlanta/Mays) remains committed to the Wildcats, but that could change soon. Tight end Daren Dowdell (Atlanta/Grady) remains committed for now, but says his recruitment could be heavily affected by the news.

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Weekend Rewind: Alabama 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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The rubber match between Alabama and LSU took place Saturday, and the game certainly lived up to the hype. The Crimson Tide put together a late drive to come back and steal a victory in Death Valley. Despite the loss, the game gave LSU a chance to host some of the nation’s top recruits in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes.

The game was obviously big for ESPN 150 stars Kendell Beckwith (Jackson, La./East Feliciana) and Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, La./University Laboratory), who both have Alabama and LSU at the top of their lists, but a pair of ESPN Watch List stars from the state of Alabama had two very different experiences in Baton Rouge over the weekend.

Linebacker Tre Williams (Mobile, Ala./St. Paul’s), who has offers from the Tide and the Tigers, had a great time at the game. He said he wasn’t surprised with how well LSU played, and he was happy just to see a good football game. More than anything, he was impressed with the record crowd inside Death Valley.

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Weekend Rewind: East Region 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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Ryan Switzer gave himself an early birthday present -- seven times over.

The four-star receiver prospect, who turned 18 on Sunday, accounted for seven touchdowns in his school's win on Saturday.

Switzer helped Charleston (W.V.) George Washington beat Parkersburg (W.V.) High 54-17 with three touchdown runs, two touchdown receptions, a passing touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown, he said on Sunday. Switzer ran for 232 yards on just eight carries.

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Weekend Rewind: West 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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The biggest news from the West region took place Sunday night, as the nation's No. 2 athlete Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) announced his decommitment from the USC Trojans. His decision opens the door for schools such as Notre Dame, Oregon or Washington to step through, with the Irish the likely leaders at this point.

While the Trojans lost a commit, Oregon State took a step closer to landing one, as safety Brandon Arnold (Encino, Calif./Crespi) thoroughly enjoyed his official visit. California and Michigan State were two early leaders for Arnold, but the Beavers made a big impression and jumped to the top of his list, where they now sit alone at No. 1. He still has official visit to Boise State and California coming up, but the trip this weekend had to have been what Oregon State coaches were hoping for.

* During and after a blowout win over Arizona, UCLA coaches helped themselves in the eyes of teammates Bryce Dixon and Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). Dixon, a 2014 standout tight end, said he was very impressed by the way the Bruins utilized his position during the game. After it, he said he was shocked to receive a scholarship offer from UCLA.

Town, who could develop into one of the most highly recruited 2015 quarterbacks in the state, already held a UCLA offer, but spent the weekend with the Bruins coaches. After a trip to the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Town visited the UCLA campus on Sunday to spend some extra time with the staff.

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Weekend Rewind: Washington 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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Facing a short week and an opportunity to pick up its first road win of the season, Washington spent last week focused on football, not recruiting.

However, considering Northern California is an important recruiting region for the Huskies, Friday’s 21-13 win over Cal provided another chance for the program to show recruits the program’s progress.


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Weekend Rewind: Texas 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
9:00
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Texas went on the road and knocked off Texas Tech this week 31-22 for a crucial victory that gets the Longhorns’ season back on track. But the real recruiting news of the weekend for Texas came from Fort Worth, not Lubbock.

Following his game against Southwest on Saturday afternoon, ESPN 150 defensive tackle and longtime Texas pledge A’Shawn Robinson said he has scheduled an official visit to Alabama for next weekend’s game against Texas A&M.

Robinson has been wavering on his commitment to Texas for a while now. He took an official visit to Florida State in September and plans to visit USC in December.

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Weekend Rewind: Oklahoma 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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Three-star defensive end Dimarya Mixon (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) has seen Oklahoma play three times this season. Each time he made sure to say he was an Arizona State commit.

Mixon is not saying that anymore. Mixon decommitted from the Sun Devils on Sunday afternoon but said he will not do any interviews until the completion of his senior season.

He took an official visit to OU in September and was a guest of OU for the Red River Rivalry against Texas. More good news came last weekend when Mixon bypassed senior homecoming to attend OU’s showdown with Notre Dame.

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Weekend Rewind: Midwest 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
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For college students, the weekend often starts on Thursday, so for the purpose of this rewind and the benefit of Notre Dame, we'll do the same. So it's been a very good weekend for Notre Dame and could get even better.

Four-star Cole Luke (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), the No. 33 cornerback nationally, committed to the Fighting Irish on Thursday over both Oklahoma and Texas. Each year, Arizona produces a handful of top prospects, and for the second straight year the Irish have grabbed one of the state's top prospects. Last class, Scottsdale athlete Davonte Neal signed with Notre Dame.

As Notre Dame coaches got ready to go to sleep Sunday, they were given more news to assure they would rest easy. Mission Viejo (Calif.) athlete Max Redfield, No. 37 in the ESPN 150, decommitted from USC after an official visit to Notre Dame in October had him doubting his pledge to the Trojans. Although Redfield will take a few more official visits to Pac-12 programs, the Irish are the favorite.

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Weekend Rewind: Ohio State 

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
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ESPN Watch List junior Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte/N.C./Charlotte Christian) came to The Horseshoe over the weekend and had a blast during his unofficial visit to Ohio State.

With 19 offers, he is arguably the hottest commodity at tight end in the class of 2014 and the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Blazevich saw a lot of good in the Buckeyes’ 52-22 win over Illinois on Saturday.

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