Even though Nebraska suffered a tough loss to USC last weekend, the Cornhuskers received positive reviews from quite a few prospects that were on hand for official and unofficial visits.
One uncommitted recruit in Lincoln last weekend was Rivals100 offensive guard Trevor Robinson. The 6-foot-6, 304-pound four-star prospect said he enjoyed his time at Nebraska, despite the setback on the field.
"It went really well," Robinson said. "I mean, yeah it was definitely different (than Nevada). You can just kind of tell on the outside of the stadium more than anything. The atmosphere is always good on game days, but you could tell it was a bigger game."
As for the game itself, Robinson saw some positives in Nebraska's play. His final list includes Michigan, Nebraska, and Notre Dame, so there are clearly factors other than wins and losses that the nation's No. 2 ranked offensive guard will consider.
"I mean I do notice it, but it's not really a very big factor for me," Robinson said. "I have to look two or three years down the road and where I'm going to be involved."
Robinson also said he had a chance to talk with Nebraska offensive line commits Dan Hoch and Bryce Givens. He also spent some time talking with NU quarterback commit Blaine Gabbert and linebacker Will Compton, who gave his pledge to Nebraska in late July.
Overall, Robinson said the conversations were relaxed.
"A lot of them just joked around with me about when I am going to commit, but sometimes it's not even about football," Robinson said. "Just us talking, I guess. I had only met Bryce one time before that and that was kind of good. It was cool to have them all there."
One of Nebraska's biggest commits - five-star offensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler - said he enjoyed the experience and looks forward to being a part of settings like that in the future.
"It was fun to be down there and meet everybody," he said. "Everybody that I talked to still feels the same way about Nebraska that they did before the game. We still feel good about it."
Rivals100 linebacker Brendan Beal didn't make an expected official visit to Florida this weekend. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder plans to reschedule the trip in the near future.
"They cancelled my flight, and I was informed my connecting flight in Atlanta to Gainesville wouldn't get me there until 4 p.m.," he said. "Instead, I decided I'll just go a lot later this season."
Beal has scheduled two more visits, one to LSU on Oct. 6 and another to USC on Oct. 13.
With one visit taken and two scheduled, is Beal close to a decision?
"With the whole Florida thing and an official to Southern Cal, I don't have a clue now," Beal said. "Hopefully I'll be able to do it around Halloween."
Gettysburg, Pa., defensive end Logan Shultz knows at least two visits he'll be taking in the near future.
"I'm definitely going to start heading out on visits," he said. "I think it's pretty definite I'll be heading up to Penn State for the Wisconsin game on Oct. 13. I'm also supposed to be getting down to West Virginia-Louisville on Nov. 8.
"I'm not sure if those are officials or unofficials. I'm working on scheduling them the next couple weeks. One other school I might look at is going to Boston College for the Florida State game on Nov. 3."
Shultz holds offers from two of his three possible visits, Boston College and West Virginia. What's the situation with Penn State?
"They are just talking to me and want to wait on senior film to see how I do," he said. "They are being very selective in the defensive linemen they pick since they've gotten a lot the last few years. I understand. It's a business, and they've got to do what's best for them."
Four-star offensive tackle R.J. Mattes made a trip to North Carolina this weekend. The 6-foot-6, 259-pounder had a good time in Chapel Hill.
"First of all, it was a great game to be at," he said. "Virginia came out strong, but Carolina came right back. It was an interesting game.
"I decided heading into the game to focus on the offensive lines and hope for a good game. The game was great."
Mattes touched on both lines.
"I felt North Carolina played well. They gave T.J. Yates good protection and he was able to be successful," he said. "Virginia's offensive line was gashing Carolina's defensive line, but they stalled in the red zone."
Virginia and Carolina are two of the leaders for Mattes, along with N.C. State and Clemson.
At this time, Mattes has scheduled two official visits. His first one is to Virginia on Sept. 28, and he plans to take one to North Carolina on Dec. 1.
With the season in full swing, is four-star safety Okechuckwu Okoroha any closer to taking visits.
"Not really," he said. "I haven't even started narrowing my list at all. I do plan on narrowing it toward the end of the season to about eight schools. That's when I'll also get my official visits."
Three-star offensive guard Quinton Sales is beginning to look at visits. Who is the Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly prospect considering?
"I hope to take a visit to Boston College and Syracuse," he said. "There are some other schools I hope to take visits to as well. Nothing is really scheduled right now since I haven't discussed it with those schools."
Currently Sales holds offers from Akron, Buffalo, Kent and Wake Forest, and maintains there are no leaders.
Iowa lost a tough one on the field Saturday to in-state rival Iowa State, but that's not the only loss the Hawkeyes suffered this weekend. One of Iowa's top 2008 commitments, Parkston, S.D., defensive end Riley Reiff said he's decided to open up his recruitment again.
Reiff took an unofficial visit to Nebraska for the USC game. On Sunday, he said he shouldn't be considered a Hawkeye commitment anymore.
"I pulled the trigger too soon," Reiff said. "I was feeling a lot of pressure in April with all the phone calls and text messages and mail I was receiving and I made a decision before I was ready. The only two teams I'm looking at are Iowa and Nebraska."
Reiff visited NU unofficially on Saturday, and he spent most of the day soaking up the festivities in Lincoln with his family. During warm-ups, Reiff said several of Nebraska's current commits came up and greeted him and told him they were surprised to see him.
"I've met a few of their guys before and they all came up to me and asked what I was doing at the game," Reiff said. "I was really impressed with what I saw on Saturday. Going to Lincoln for a real game verses the spring game made a big impression on me."
The rumors about Birmingham (Mich.) Brother Rice running back Caulton Ray making a commitment to Michigan State have been running rampant for more than a month now. However, the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder has not decided to go public with his decision for one reason or another.
There are multiple reports from teammates and officials at Brother Rice that Ray has told his teammates that he's going to be a Spartan. However, until he announces it publicly he'll be listed as uncommitted. Ray, the No. 53 running back in the nation, has offers from Michigan State, Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Miami University, Cincinnati and others.
Despite commitments to Florida, teammates Franklin Green and Chaz Sutton decided to visit South Carolina so they could experience the atmosphere on game day. Green, a three-star running back, and Sutton, a four-star defensive end, took the trip for some reassurance.
"This was kind of a trip just to make sure my decision to go to Florida was the right one, and I think it was," Sutton told GamecockCentral.com.
Green expressed similar sentiments.
"I'm still committed to Florida, but I'm still kind of open, too," he said. "I just want to be
sure of my decision"
While Florida fans were hoping to hold on to Green and Sutton as they visited the Gamecocks, the Gators may have swayed a Miami commit their way.
Three-star wide receiver Davon Johnson saw enough on his trip to the Swamp to open up his recruitment. Johnson said the trip exceeded his expectations.
The Gators didn't stop there.
Four-star cornerback Jeremy Brown closed the door on his recruitment by committing to Florida during his official visit. Brown had been quietly sure of his commitment to Florida for some time, but decided to make it public over the weekend.
Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral receiver Randall Carroll picked up the first of what promised to be several scholarship offers last Wednesday. However, Carroll took himself off the market and committed to one of the nation's true heavyweight programs.
"USC offered Randall and he jumped on it," Cathedral coach C.J. Fulwilder said. "Ken Norton was at our game last weekend and Randall blew it up. He had like eight catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns. USC then offered in writing earlier in the week and Randall went down to the school yesterday.
"Randall was going to be offered by everyone, but when USC offers there really isn't any need to wait for anyone else. Randall loves USC and has kind of always wanted to go there."
As for his upside, Carroll has a chance to be the top receiver in the state next year.
"I can't even begin to tell you how good he's going to be," Fulwilder said. "He was third in the state 100-meters last year running a 10.52, and he did that with a bad hamstring and a lousy track coach - who was me. This year if he stays healthy, he could be a 10.3 guy. But you have to understand, he's not a track guy playing football. He's football all the way.
Now don't get me wrong, he loves to run and wants to try and make the Olympics someday. But football is his love and he's very excited to be a Trojan right now."
Compton, Calif., defensive lineman Datone Jones gave an early commitment to UCLA last March but also said he still planned to take a few official visits. Fast forward to the fall, and that is the still the case. Jones' commitment to UCLA still appears solid, but that won't stop him from taking a look around at some other schools.
"He was just at UCLA for their game last weekend with BYU," Compton coach Calvin Bryant said. "He likes UCLA a lot but he still wants to look at some other schools and see what they have to offer. He hasn't set up any dates yet, but he definitely plans on visiting Notre Dame and Oregon."
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