Around the nation: USC haul among top five recruiting storylines
By landing Su'a Cravens, USC enhanced an already loaded defensive class
LSU continues to prove it won't post another dud class after a poor 2012
Notre Dame enhanced its presence in the Midwest with one commitment
After another week of 2013 recruiting happenings, Rivals.com goes around the nation to recap the five biggest developments.
No. 8 overall prospect Su'a Cravens committed to USC last week, becoming the third five-star recruit in the Trojans' class. Cravens was a two-way stud for 10-4 Murrieta (Calif.) Vista as a junior, registering 100 tackles, 11 sacks and three interceptions on defense as well as 673 rushing and 339 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns on offense. With the 6-foot-1 Cravens likely to play defensive back in college, and with four-star corner Chris Hawkins also part of the Trojans' class, will other elite DBs want to join USC's current top 10 haul? Or will they look to programs with less competition at the position? Priest Willis, Max Redfield, Tahaan Goodman and many others still list USC among their top choices, which means the Trojans could continue to load up on elite 2013 defensive backs.
LSU's 2012 class ranked a mere 18th nationally. Don't look for a repeat poor performance from the Tigers, who have been on fire since landing four-star offensive tackle Ethan Pocic on May 29, surging to fifth in the current class rankings. Les Miles and company recently landed a pair of four-star standouts in dual-threat quarterback Anthony Jennings from Marietta (Ga.) and strongside defensive end Frank Herron from Memphis (Tenn.) Central as well as the nation's top fullback in Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson three-star Kennard Swanson. The Tigers currently boast 17 commitments and aren't likely to slow down, with a slew of Rivals100 prospects -- including Lake City (Fla.) Columbia five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, Sealy (Texas) four-star wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, Baton Rouge (La.) University Laboratory School four-star defensive end Tim Williams and Jackson (La.) East Feliciana four-star athlete Kendell Beckwith, among others -- still seriously considering LSU.
Notre Dame is among the most prolific national recruiters, but the Irish still place an emphasis on locking up local talent. They did just that June 2, landing five-star linebacker Jaylon Smith, the nation's No. 4 overall prospect, out of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers. Smith's commitment further strengthens an Irish class that sits comfortably in the top 10, but it also helps Notre Dame rebuild some clout in the Midwest. Just five of the Irish's previous 13 commitments hail from Midwest states, and with the region particularly loaded in 2013, Notre Dame would do well to improve that percentage.
Texas usually coasts through the recruiting circuit, collecting ample in-state talent and locking up its class well ahead of most other major programs. But the Longhorns suffered a rare high-profile defection on June 5, when the nation's No. 1 receiver, Ricky Seals-Jones of Sealy (Texas), de-committed. The announcement opened the door for several others programs to move in on the 6-5 Seals-Jones, who was a unanimous District MVP as a junior. While the nation's No. 18 overall prospect is still considering the Longhorns for his college choice, Baylor, LSU and Texas A&M are also working hard to earn his signature.
Few teams needed a big commitment more than Boston College, and the Eagles got a huge verbal from Middletown (Conn.) Xavier quarterback Tim Boyle last week. Boyle was long thought to be Florida-bound after the Gators offered, and he also had interest from Oregon and some other national powers. Boyle decided to stick with his early favorite in BC, and his commitment should help the Eagles keep soft verbal commitment Andrew Isaacs in the fold. (Like Boyle, Isaacs, a Rivals250 tight end, is also a Connecticut resident.) Despite their struggles on the field, the Eagles have five commitments, including three with three-star rankings or better. At this time last year, they had none.
Indiana was the last remaining Big Ten team without a commitment in the 2013 class before landing Isaac Griffith Monday, and the Hoosiers could gain more bodies after holding their first camp of the summer in Bloomington this weekend. One name to watch is Rivals250 propsect and Toledo (Ohio) St. John's quarterback Brogan Roback, who lacks a BCS offer despite impressing everywhere he's been.
Get ready for a flurry of commitments in the Sunshine State as camp season hits overdrive. UCF has already hosted a 7-on-7 event, Miami and Florida have held their first camps and Florida State will host its first camp later this week. USF will have Sling and Shoot, a 7-on-7 event and SuperBull, a one-night event, in mid-to-late June. While the Gators' class is considerably full, every other Florida school still has plenty of space left. Don't be shocked if those class sizes swell between now and the end of June.
It's going to be really interesting to watch the recruitment of Sean Dowling. The three-star offensive tackle from Fallbrook (Calif.) committed to UCLA in mid-April, but his recruitment has taken off since, and Oklahoma offered him last Thursday. The 6-6, 265-pound tackle has also received interested from USC in recent weeks. Dowling has said he plans to stick with his UCLA pledge, but he's sure to face pressure soon.
By all accounts, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside running back Taquan Mizzell is not close to making a decision, but good sources say the race has tightened up quite a bit. Virginia has long been considered Mizzell's favorite, but West Virginia is now tied with UVa or possibly leading, according to the source. NC State is a distant third. The WVU staff has done a great job with Mizzell and the offense is also a great fit for him. This could come down to official visits if Mizzell lets it go that long.
For more recruiting coverage, visit the Rivals.com football recruiting hub.
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