Mothers grab headlines as the recruiting battles heat up
The mothers of Montravius Adams and Robert Nkemdiche have been vocal
Max Redfield's decommitment from USC could be excellent news for Notre Dame
Oregon's season should put them on track for a top national recruiting class
In this week's edition of the Recruiting Roundup, Rivals.com's Mike Farrell explores the influence of mothers, the end of the Alex Anzalone saga, and the twisty recruitment of Max Redfield.
Make your mother proud: Two mothers of prominent recruits are making waves in the recruiting community. First it was the mother of Loganville (Ga.) Grayson defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, the nation's No. 1 player, and then it was the mom of Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County defensive tackle Montravius Adams, the nation's No. 16 player and No. 2 defensive tackle.
Nkemdiche's mother, Beverly, has been very outspoken over the last week when it comes to her wishes that Robert play at Ole Miss with his brother, Denzel Nkemdiche, for ease of travel for the family as well as avoiding the brothers playing against each other.
While Nkemdiche is still committed to Clemson, it seems inevitable now that he will sign with Ole Miss. What that does to Clemson in regards to his teammates, Wayne Gallman and David Kamara, is anyone's guess.
Nkemdiche and his mother have said they won't make a decision until Signing Day. And it appears that Alabama, if it can get him (and his mom) on campus, could be a bigger threat to Ole Miss than even Clemson, where Beverly said she is not visiting.
What is truly puzzling about this whole thing is the claim by Nkemdiche's mother that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has not contacted her.
As for Adams, it has become clear that his mom, Debbie Young, will have a huge hand in his college decision, and the duo's recent visit to Georgia could put the Dawgs in the lead.
Adams' mom has been much more low-key than Nkemdiche's mom, but she apparently loved the trip; and Athens and the UGA campus have become some of her favorite places.
Auburn, Alabama and Clemson are the other schools often mentioned with Adams. He has also visited Michigan State, Florida State, Tennessee and Florida, although those schools don't appear to be in the lead group.
Adams and his mom will be heading to Clemson this weekend to meet Swinney and the staff, so at least Dabo will be meeting with one of the moms of his top targets in Georgia.
From here on out, it will be clear that the schools hoping to land Nkemdiche and Adams will be recruiting mom as feverishly as the players themselves. Early prediction on Adams? Georgia and Mark Richt take this one home.
The Alex Anzalone saga is over -- it appears. After proclaiming Florida the undisputed winner of this battle a couple of weeks ago, it is now time to show off my impressive backpedal, but with good reason.
Following his visit to Gainesville for the LSU game, I still have little doubt that Anzalone told the Gators staff he was coming despite being committed to Notre Dame.
I also have no doubt he had essentially eliminated Notre Dame, again despite being committed, when he cancelled his official visit for the BYU game.
However, a call from Irish defensive coordinator Bob Diaco a week ago Sunday changed everything. Anzalone scheduled his unofficial visit for the days after the Pitt game and headed into that visit still a strong Florida lean in my opinion.
He and his family discussed everything from how he'd be coached and what role he would fill on the football field to how he could study pre-med in South Bend, and now he has re-affirmed his commitment to the Irish.
On Monday, Anzalone wrote on Twitter, "First off, I want to thank the coaches who have been supportive of me throughout my recruitment. There have been many highs and lows but when it came down to it I had to find the best fit for me. I have developed close relationships with many GREAT coaches, but at the end of the day I had to choose one school. I have been committed to ND since July. With that, I want to reaffirm my commitment to Notre Dame and shut down my recruitment completely with all other schools."
Redfield's recruitment opens up: Anzalone is now hoping to have some high-profile uncommitted recruits join him in Indiana, and at the top of the list has to be California safety Max Redfield, who just de-committed from USC.
While Redfield said the Trojans are still on his list, the feeling of many is now that Notre Dame and Oregon will be battling this one out, with Washington a dark horse.
Everything changed after Redfield took his official visit to Notre Dame for its home game against Stanford, so the Irish have a good shot here.
But I think he de-committed so he could visit Oregon. Remember, Chip Kelly has that ridiculous rule that he won't allow committed prospects to visit the Ducks (unless their name is D'Anthony Thomas) and Redfield really wants to visit Oregon.
This will be one of a few de-commitments from USC between now and Signing Day, I believe, for many different reasons. The Trojans have very tight scholarship numbers, and I don't think they'd mind punting a few current commits.
However, even with a disappointing season, they will re-load and likely replace Redfield with either Tahaan Goodman or Leon McQuay III. Make no mistake about it, Redfield is a guy USC wanted badly and this one hurts.
The Ducks keep rising: Speaking of Oregon, the Ducks could be a team that closes as strong as anyone. In addition to being in the thick of things for Redfield and McQuay, you can bet other highly rated committed and uncommitted prospects will start looking at the Ducks.
While this is the best Oregon defense under Kelly, immediate playing time is obviously available in some spots, as was proven by USC's offensive performance this past Saturday. And on offense, there is no more attractive school in the country.
Terrell Newby, who is emerging as arguably the No. 1 back in California, had to be impressed with Kenjon Barner's performance this past weekend and could be leaning to the Ducks. You know Kelly will go after some USC commits as well. Watch for some interesting things closer to Signing Day for Oregon.
Bruins surge: I also think UCLA will finish very strong. The 66-10 win over a 5-3 (at the time) Arizona team that has some impressive wins over Oklahoma State, Washington and especially USC has recruits in California buzzing about the Bruins. They are now squarely in the mix for Goodman, lead for Devon Allen and are inching closer with players such as Newby, Joe Mathis, Priest Willis and others.
USC will likely win the recruiting title, but the Pac-12 is going to have some strong finishes if the Bruins and Ducks keep winning.
If poor coaching decisions affect recruiting, then LSU's Les Miles and Pitt's Paul Chryst hurt themselves on national television in huge games. However, it's doubtful snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Alabama and Notre Dame, respectively, will hurt. In fact, both performances will likely aid recruiting as the atmosphere in Baton Rouge was insane, and LSU still made Alabama look human in front of a ton of recruits.
A win could have led to bigger leads for Kendell Beckwith and Tim Williams and might have tipped the scale with Ricky Seals-Jones, but again it looks like it didn't hurt. As for Pitt, nearly beating Notre Dame on national TV will only help in efforts to keep players such as wide receiver Robert Foster and offensive lineman Dorian Johnson, both homebodies to start with, at home.
Speaking of coaching either luring or pushing recruits away, how about Washington State coach Mike Leach being unable to stay out of his own way. The Cougs are 2-7, and Leach is throwing his players under the bus. That's not going to lure them to Pullman.
Texas A&M has 29 commitments now. They are in the race for Mike Mitchell, Seals-Jones and Justin Manning and just offered Tennessee commitment Kameron Miles. Can someone tell me what happened to the SEC signing limit of 25 players please? Look for some guys not to qualify, look for A&M to drop a few or look for a small class next year.