It was a busy weekend across the college football recruiting landscape with the next-to-last official visit weekend of the 2013 cycle taking place on campuses across the country. Let’s count down the top five stories of the weekend, shall we?
Florida State commit (soft commit) Davin Bellamy says his top two are Tennessee and Georgia, but he considers himself still committed to the Noles.
5- The bizarre case of Davin Bellamy
Three-star defensive end Davin Bellamy (Chamblee, Ga.) has been committed to Florida State since Aug. 11. Following a series of coaching changes in Tallahassee, he began to set up official visits, including Tennessee last weekend and Georgia this weekend. Following his trip to Athens, he told Rusty Mansell of Dawgs247 that his top two schools were UGA and the Vols but that he remained committed to FSU. Huh? We are told that the Seminoles staff still considers him a commitment and that head coach Jimbo Fisher has an in-home this week with him, but how committed are you when you have one school that’s on top of the school you are pledged to, much less two? Look for 247Sports to remove Bellamy from the Florida State commit list as soon as we get more clarification on the matter. Regardless, it looks like the uber-athletic, upside defensive end/outside linebacker will be playing his college football somewhere other than Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.
4- Alexander sneaks into Auburn
We knew that 247Composite five-star cornerback Mackensie Alexander (Immokalee, Fla.) was unpredictable, so it did not come as a complete shock when he showed up at Auburn for an official visit this past weekend. The Tigers did make an impression on Alexander, according to Bryan Matthews of AuburnUndercover, and now find themselves squarely in the mix to land the confident corner. One thing to consider that makes a lot of sense. Clemson has been at or near the top for Alexander from the day he became a national-level prospect. Current Auburn defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison, part of Gus Malzahn’s all-new staff on the plains, came from Clemson. Alexander noted that Harbison has been recruiting him for almost a year and a half. Could that tip the scales in Auburn’s direction. Alexander’s brother, Mackenro Alexander, has a committable offer from Auburn and will officially visit next weekend.
3- Foster will announce pre-NSD
The recruitment of five-star linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala.) is not nearly as unpredictable as Alexander’s. Foster has been thought to be heading to one of three programs- Auburn, Georgia or Alabama- for some time now. What was interesting is that following his official visit to Athens this past weekend, Foster announced he would be committing on the Monday before signing day. This is a major surprise to folks in the recruiting media (and probably a relief) as many speculated that perhaps his decision would go beyond Feb. 6. At this point, it’s likely Auburn or UGA, give a slight edge to the Tigers because of proximity to home and the fact he was committed there for so long.
2- Jones sneaks into Oxford
The nation’s No. 2 overall prospect, defensive end Chris Jones (Houston, Miss.) has been committed to Mississippi State since June 11 and has not wavered, much. Therefore, it was a surprise to many outside the Ole Miss football offices when the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder was taking an official to Oxford, according to David Johnson of Rebels247. Alabama, Auburn, Florida- we had all heard those schools were involved and that he may visit there, but not Ole Miss. That meant that the Rebels had the nation’s top two prospects according to 247Sports on campus at the same time for official visits. Top overall prospect Robert Nkemdiche, a likely Ole Miss signee, also was in for his official. It’s going to be a Magnolia State throw-down for the next 10 days to gain Jones’ signature. Odds are, he sticks with the Bulldogs after a nice run from the Rebs, but nobody will truly know until Feb. 6. In a twist of irony, one of the current Ole Miss commits made an undercover official visit. Four-star defensive tackle Jarran Reed visited another SEC West school.
Derrick Green says Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was moved to tears when he found out Green was committing to his program. We don't think there is a thing wrong with that.
1- Green goes blue, Hoke moved to tears
Five-star (247Composite) running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Varina) made his much-anticipated commitment on Saturday, as expected, to Michigan. It is quite a match- the bruising power runner and the running back-needy Wolverines- and after considering multiple programs with spread offenses, Green made the right call in the end scheme-wise for his talents. Michigan also moved to No. 4 in the 247Sports team rankings with the commitment. Those items, though, were overshadowed by a comment Green made following his announcement to 247Sports reporter Jamie Oakes, who was covering the presser. Green was quoted as saying that when he told Michigan head coach Brady Hoke he was going blue, that Hoke “was astounded and actually started crying” and went on to call it an unbelievable experience. This piece of information hit social and other forms of media and spread like wildfire. Ohio State fans (of course) and other rival fans poked fun at Hoke, while Michigan fans were proud of their coach for showing a human side. The take here is this. Football is an emotional game. Many times fans, media and others forget that these are human beings. Hoke is a Michigan man and has a tremendous amount of pride in the program he coaches and Green and current commit DeVeon Smith are potential game-changers for the Wolverines’ offense. It was likely a brutal recruiting battle given the twists and turns that it took, so hey, tears of joy are all good in that situation.
JC Shurburtt is the National Recruiting Director for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @jcshurburtt