LSU and Texas A&M have become bigger rivals on the field and in recruiting now that both are in the SEC. Plus, few programs are trending like Ohio State is on the field and on the recruiting trail.

USC recruiting is in need of a significant shot in the arm after the Trojans’ performance at the Rose Bowl this past weekend. But the good news for USC fans is that the Trojans are in position to do just that, thanks to a handful of significant visitors who will be in town to watch USC host Notre Dame.

This weekend presents a slight departure from USC’s official visit plans for the past few years. In fact, the five official visitors scheduled this weekend appear to be more than USC hosted on in-season official visits during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes combined.


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Whether recruits are attending games this holiday weekend or watching on television, all eyes around the recruiting world will be focused on several rivalry games. From the Iron Bowl to the Egg Bowl there will be recruiting implications throughout the conference this weekend. Here’s a closer look at how these game might affect the top remaining recruits.


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#AskLoogs: Auden Tate's ranking

November, 25, 2014
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Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.
Auden Tate has been a guy we have gone back and forth on a lot. Wide receivers can often be the most difficult players to slot/rank because there are so many of them. So, in reality, what is the difference between the 59th and 74th or 105th 99th? We write more evaluations on receivers than any other position. With Tate and his measurables, we feel strongly that he could be a candidate to move inside to the slot or grow into an H-back, but top-end speed and explosiveness are a bit of a question when it comes to creating mismatches. Yes, his size makes him a mismatch on jump balls and as a red zone target, but he might not bring the same productivity after the catch in the open field. Keep in mind he will be coming off a knee injury as well.
Michigan and Ohio State have always fought for some of the same recruits. The Wolverines win some and the Buckeyes win some, and those recruiting battles have real implications on the field.

Each team could have used one or two more victories on the recruiting trail, so let’s take a look at a few current players recruited by both teams who could have made an impact for the opposing team in the big game on Saturday, and a few future battles that could impact games in the years to come.


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In the 100 days leading up to signing day 2015, RecruitingNation will be looking back at our ESPN recruiting rankings from 2006 to the present and count down the best player of the past 10 years at each ranking position, No. 100 to No. 1.

Chris Whaley, No. 72 in 2009 class

Whaley came out of Madisonville, Texas as a 6-foot-3, 245-pound athlete that had hopes of playing running back and his recruitment followed that path. Whaley picked Texas over Nebraska, Texas A&M, Florida State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State with the Longhorns being the long-time favorite of Whaley, and the Texas staff selling running back only to the 3A star. Whaley was part of a Texas 2009 class that included quarterback Garrett Gilbert, Alex Okafor and NFL draft first-round selection Kenny Vaccaro.

After a redshirt year in 2009, Whaley played in 12 games in 2010, including four at running back.

Whaley made the move to the defensive line following the 2010 season playing in 13 games in 2011 with one start, against Baylor. He totaled five tackles during his developmental season.

Whaley began to realize his potential as a redshirt junior in 2012 playing in 13 games, including nine starts totaling 22 tackles and four tackles for loss.

Whaley was a full-time starter in 2013 as a senior making nine starts before missing the final four games due to injury, but still was named All-Big 12 Honorable mention by the coaches after totaling 25 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks.

Whaley went undrafted in the 2014 NFL draft, but signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys. He is currently on the roster as a reserve/non-football injury.
The defending National Champion Florida State Seminoles will play host to arch rival Florida Gators Saturday with some of 2015 and 2016's top prospects in the Sunshine State and beyond in attendance.

When looking at the Seminoles, and some of the very key battles Florida State beat Florida on in recent years, it's a clear indication of how impactful difference-maker skill players can be, and how much the 2013 4-8 season for the Gators was a crushing blow to the current Florida offense.

Here are five battles that Florida State won, all of whom will be key players Saturday.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

November, 25, 2014
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As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. There was a big commitment, there were key visits and new offers over the weekend. Here's a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: ACC 

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The weekend that was in the ACC was filled with a number of key official visits, including a trio of ESPN300 prospects. While the news of Josh Sweat's visit to Florida State takes center stage for many, both Wake Forest and Georgia Tech picked up key commitments, as well as a 2016 quarterback giving his verbal to Virginia.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten 

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Here is a look at all the most important recruiting action from this past weekend within the Big Ten conference.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

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While Oklahoma picked up a junior college commit, Texas had a commit give his fans reassurance. TCU offered one of the fastest risers in recruiting, and Iowa State hosted several athletes, including one juco player who may now have the Cyclones atop his list of schools.

Here’s an in-depth look on Big 12 recruiting and how the weekend fared:


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 25, 2014
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While there were a number of important visitors at every Pac-12 game this past weekend, the Rose Bowl took center stage as UCLA hosted a number of official and unofficial visitors in what was the hottest ticket of the year for Southern California recruits. UCLA kicked off its strong weekend with a commitment from an ESPN 300 prospect, while Oregon hosted a junior college standout committed to another Pac-12 program. This upcoming weekend presents an opportunity for recruiting statements to be made in rivalry games.


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On The Trail Show (noon ET)

November, 25, 2014
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Join RecruitingNation's panel of experts as they break down all the recruiting news around this week's rivalry games.

Early Offer: Malik Jefferson's final 7 

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Malik Jefferson reduced his list to seven schools on Monday, and though the list is hardly a surprise, recruiters think there are still some in store with the No. 35 player in the country.

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In the 100 days leading up to signing day 2015, RecruitingNation will be looking back at our ESPN recruiting rankings from 2006 to the present and count down the best player of the past 10 years at each ranking position, No. 100 to No. 1.

Matt Kalil, No. 73 in 2008 class

Kalil came out of uber talented Servite High in Anaheim, California, in 2008 as a lock for USC with his older brother, Ryan Kalil, having played for the Trojans and had a very successful college career. The youngest of two brothers, Kalil, chose the Trojans over Notre Dame, and was a member of a USC class that included Tyron Smith, Nick Perry, Jurrell Casey, Khaled Holmes, Malik Jackson and Wes Horton. Kalil's father, Frank Kalil, played college football at Arkansas and Arizona.

Kalil redshirted as a freshman in 2008 due in part to sprained knee. He spent his redshirt freshman season as a backup tackle with one start.

It was the 2010 season in which Kalil became a full-time starter, logging 13 starts at left tackle earning All-Pac 12 mention.

His fifth and final season in Los Angeles was a First-team All-American performance at left tackle. In addition to being selected to All-American teams, he also took home the 2011 Morris Trophy, which is awarded to the best lineman on the West Coast. He was the third straight USC player to win the award following Charles Brown in 2009 and Tyron Smith in 2010.

Kalil was selected fourth overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2012 NFL draft. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and has started every game for the Vikings since being drafted.

Honorable mention: Devonte Fields, No. 73 in the 2012 class. Fields was on his way to All-American status before off the field issues led to suspensions. As a freshman, the Arlington Martin High product started all 13 games that ended with Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors by the coaches after recording 53 tackles, 18,5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Fields selected the hometown Horned Frogs over Texas A&M and Oklahoma.

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