We're a little over two months away from Signing Day and with the end of the regular season - both high school and college - approaching, now's a good time to survey recruits in the top 50 and look at who they're considering and where they might end up. The list will see plenty of players verbally commit in January with several all-star games and the pressure to publicly announce so don't be surprised to see this list shrink quickly.
|1.||Dorial Green-Beckham, WR
|Considering: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Auburn, Alabama|
|2.||Gunner Kiel, QB
|Kept quiet since decommitting from Indiana. Visited Notre Dame, looking at Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee and USC as dark horses.|
|3.||Noah Spence, DE 6-4/245||Considering: Penn State, Maryland, Florida, Notre Dame, N.C. State (Dad's alma mater) and USC.|
|4.||Mario Edwards, DE 6-4/285||Committed to Florida State, but watch out for Oklahoma.|
|5.||Shaq Thompson, DB/RB 6-2/210||Two horse race between California and Washington. Shock if he goes anywhere but Berkley.|
|7.||Andrus Peat, OL 6-6/310||Considering: Nebraska (Brother plays there), Notre Dame, Texas, Florida State, Stanford and Arizona State.|
|8.||Ellis McCarthy, DT 6-4/310||Crosstown battle between USC and UCLA.|
|12.||Landon Collins, DB 6-1/205||Comes down to LSU/Alabama.|
|15.||Barry Sanders, RB 5-11/195||Considering: Oklahoma State (Dad's alma mater), Stanford, Alabama, Florida State.|
|16.||Zach Banner, OL 6-8/295||Considering: Michigan, Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame, Washington.|
|18.||Stefon Diggs, WR
|Considering: Auburn, Florida, Virginia, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Florida State among others.|
|21.||Eddie Goldman, DT
|Alabama and Florida State are the leaders with Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Maryland and South Carolina under consideration.|
|22.||Nelson Agholor, ATH
|Kept recruiting under wraps and doesn't talk schools. Stays in-state it's Florida, leave the state it's USC.|
|25.||Davonte Neal, WR/DB 5-10/180||Waiting until after the season to look at recruiting.|
|26.||Keith Marshall, RB 5-11/190||Looking at Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame, North and South Carolina.|
|31.||Kwon Alexander, LB 6-3/215||Tore his ACL during the season.|
|32.||Arik Armstead, OL/DL
|Football and basketball recruit, de-commit from USC. Considering Alabama, Cal, Alabama, Notre Dame and Arkansas among others.|
|37.||Darius Hamilton, DL
|Rutgers is the favorite but Cal, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech are under consideration.|
|40.||Joel Caleb, ATH
|Likely down to Virginia Tech and West Virginia with Penn State issues.|
|41.||Jordan Diamond, OL
|Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin seem to be contenders.|
|43.||Josh Garnett, OL 6-5/300||Education is a major factor, looking at Auburn, Miami, Michigan and Washington.|
|44.||Quay Evans, DL 6-3/310||Most of the SEC is after Evans.|
|49.||Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL 6-4/220||Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and late player USC are in the running.|
Oregon loses but still wins the weekend
It wasn't a great Saturday for Oregon fans after USC's upset win in Eugene but spirits were brightened as soon as they heard junior Beaverton (Ore.) running back Thomas Tyner committed to the program.
The 6-foot, 210-pound junior was at the game and made his pledge known on Twitter later on. Tyner will be ranked as one of the top backs on the West Coast in 2013 after rushing for 1,821 yards and 19 scores last season.
Running back Byron Marshall also committed to Oregon this week giving the Ducks a combo of speedsters to plug into Chip Kelly's offense. A good weekend despite the loss for the program and it just goes to show that, in cases like Tyner's, atmosphere is just as important as winning a big game. It's one reason why most head coaches don't mind inviting plenty of players in if a top ranked team is in town. In many ways, it's hard to lose if the stadium is rocking.
Rich Rodriguez hires will be important but will do well at Arizona
News broke late Monday night that former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was hired by Arizona. I'd agree with my colleague Dennis Dodd that the hire is a home run. Mike Stoops wasn't a bad recruiter but his staffs did miss on a few players and never seemed to get a marquee in-state recruit. Southern California and Texas were two areas where the Wildcats did well in and expect much of the same under RichRod.
Though his tenure in Ann Arbor didn't end well, Rodriguez still proved he could evaluate and recruit - landing several top 25 classes despite mounting losses. His background has been on the East Coast but he's got connections to Florida and should do well in attracting players to his spread offense. Two priorities when building his staff need to be addressed first however: a good defensive coordinator and someone with West Coast ties.
There's a lot of flash surrounding the hire and Rodriguez has had success just about everywhere he's been outside of Michigan so expect recruits in 2012 to take notice but with Signing Day so close, this hire will make an impact on the class of 2013. With instability at Arizona State and possibly at UCLA plus USC hampered by scholarship reductions, there's a chance he could make a splash and leave his mark early in Southern California.
Video of the week
Some highlights of Oregon's latest pledge.