With the presidential election just days away and the battleground states playing a big part in the country's next commander-in-chief, there is not a better time to take a look at six key "battleground recruits" for the East region in the 2013 class.
New Jersey national 100 running back Corey Clement is leaving the state.
6. Corey Clement, RB, Glassboro (NJ)
The New Jersey running back has gone from a Pittsburgh commit, to a Notre Dame lean, to de-committing from Pittsburgh to leaning to Wisconsin with just one day left before he announces his final decision. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound record-setting runner is thought to be headed to the Big 10 to follow in the footsteps of another South New Jersey great.
National Analyst Steve Wiltfong on Clement’s recruitment: “Been a lot of different leaders in this campaign. First it was Pittsburgh who won Clement’s vote only for him to reconsider and de-commit. While Clement was still a Panthers pledge, he took an official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of Sept. 21 and the Irish became the front-runner. While Notre Dame waits on another running back candidate in Tarean Folston, Clement took an official visit to Wisconsin the weekend of Oct. 19. Following the stop on the trail in Madison, Clement de-committed from Pitt and named the Badgers his leader. He’ll announce on Nov. 2 and we expect this vote to go to Wisconsin unless Notre Dame does something last minute to try and sway him.”
5. Derrick Green, RB, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Four-star running back Derrick Green has been one of the most talked about prospects in the 2013 class. With the in-state programs not having pushed Green for a commitment, his recruitment has literally covered the map from Michigan to Auburn to Tennessee, and now to Oregon and possibly Ole Miss.
National Analyst Steve Wiltfong on Green’s recruitment: “This campaign has a chance to end with the biggest surprise. Nobody is sure who the true leader is. Michigan is in a good spot as the Green camp told 247Sports his latest stop in Ann Arbor, an official visit over Oct. 19 weekend was another great trip. He took an official visit to Tennessee the weekend of Sept. 14 and word out of Knoxville is the Vols are still in the fight. He’s scheduled to visit Auburn on the weekend of Nov. 9. The Tigers were always figured to be one of the leaders but will their struggles this fall hurt in the Green race? Can Oregon make a major move when Green visits the weekend of Nov. 17? Ole Miss is still involved, Will Green eventually be a Rebel? This one’s impossible to call at this point as the Green party still collects all its data.”
4. Alquadin Muhammad, SDE, Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep
Muhammad is another prospect from the state of New Jersey that will likely leave the state. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound end will not take any official visits until after his season, which means programs such as Notre Dame, Oregon, Miami and others will likely have a long wait.
National Analyst Steve Wiltfong on Muhammad’s recruitment: “Notre Dame is the leader at the polls for Muhammad who doesn’t plan to take any official visits until after his senior season. The Irish are in a very strong position and at this point the only potential challenger appears to be Alabama. Besides those two schools, Muhammad said he is still considering Michigan, Colorado, Miami, Oregon, Rutgers and USC among others.”
3 Robert Foster, WR, Monaca (Pa.) Central Valley
Foster is one of two five-star prospect in the state of Pennsylvania Pittsburgh can ill afford to lose. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound silky smooth wide receiver visited Alabama over the weekend and will trip to Ohio State before deciding.
National Analyst Steve Wiltfong on Foster’s recruitment: “Another prospect Pittsburgh is ahead for in the polls. Alabama and Ohio State are a couple schools in the mix looking to get this elite playmaker to change his mind. Last weekend, the Crimson Tide had Foster on campus for the third time since the spring for an official visit, and he told 247Sports he “had a good time and felt comfortable.” Foster also plans on taking an official visit to Ohio State before deciding, but this whole thing has the same feel as Stefon Diggs and his courtship. The five-star class-of-2012 receiver took official visits to Auburn, Cal, Florida and Ohio State before deciding to stay close to home and signing with Maryland. At this point, unless a decision comes quick, we see the same scenario for Foster.”
Notre Dame is in a battle to keep one of the regions top prospects from heading south to Florida.
2. Alex Anzalone, LB, Reading (Pa.) Wyomissing
National 100 linebacker Alex Anzalone has the full attention of Notre Dame and Florida fans. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Under Armour All-America selection appears to be headed the Gators way, but the Fighting Irish are ready to take their swing with an unofficial visit scheduled for next week. This is not a recruitment that the Midwest program wants to lose to an SEC school.
National Analyst Steve Wiltfong on Anzalone’s recruitment: “This race is tight. Anzalone has been committed to Notre Dame since July but Florida may have all the momentum following his visit to the Gators campus for the victory over LSU on Oct. 6. Anzalone has the family ties to Gainesville, but the Irish will get one last crack here when he returns to South Bend for a visit early next week. Unless Notre Dame can stem the tide and show Anzalone that it’s a better fit, it looks like he’ll be SEC bound.”
1. Dorian Johnson, OT, Belle Vernon (Pa.)
There is not a more important recruit for Pittsburgh in the 2013 class than five-star tackle Dorian Johnson. The 6-foot-6, 270-pounder with terrific feet and athleticism has been long thought to end up inside the Pennsylvania state lines, but Ohio State is making a serious run at the Under Armour All-America selection.
National Analyst Steve Wiltfong on Johnson’s recruitment: “Pittsburgh is ahead in the polls, however Ohio State is trending upward with Johnson since he took his second visit to Columbus for the Nebraska game on Oct. 6. The Buckeyes will get another opportunity to gain ground and perhaps surge into the lead when Johnson takes his official visit to Ohio State over Thanksgiving weekend for the Michigan game. The Panthers had Johnson on campus for the upset victory over Virginia Tech and he plans to get back in the next couple weeks. Pitt’s been in the pole position for Johnson before but then he committed to Penn State. Now that Johnson is back in the market, the Panther faithful hopes the same thing doesn’t happen again.”