These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell in this week's mailbag.
Tennessee needs to rally
I know Derek Dooley has recruited well in his other coaching stops. His ability to keep the mid-term enrollees and land some big recruits last year was phenomenal, but what is with all the three-star players committed?
I always have high expectations for Tennessee in recruiting. I still think the Vols should have more than just four four-star recruits out of 18 at this stage. They clearly need to close strong and Arnett is a great start. Otherwise they will find themselves outside the SEC's top six in recruiting for the first time since 2008 when they finished well outside the top 25.
I was curious what your views on Michigan's defensive recruiting this year are?
- Nate from Cary, N.C.
The recent addition of Dallas Crawford certainly helps, but it's a small defensive class so far. However, it's not a bad one at all. Brennen Beyer is a very good player and Delonte Hollowell has a lot of upside and athleticism despite being small for a cornerback. Greg Brown is also solid at defensive back and Kellen Jones has upside as a linebacker. Chris Rock has upside as well but I'm not as sold on him as the others in this class.
Michigan needs to add Anthony Zettel for sure. He could be the most important recruit left on the board, and Kris Frost would be a huge boost to the defensive class. I think the Wolverines lead for both. They also lead now for cornerback Blake Countess.
What are Ohio State's chances at convincing Jadeveon Clowney to come to Columbus?
- Ben from Twinsburg, Ohio
If the Buckeyes get him on campus anything can happen. But I really feel he stays in the SEC. South Carolina is the team to beat and after that it's anyone's guess. I still think Alabama is No. 2 and Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State and the rest are trailing. Just the fact that the only school outside the Southeast that Clowney wants to visit is a compliment to the recruiting efforts of the Buckeyes staff and shows the long reach of the program. But don't get your hopes up too high.
LSU pushes for No. 1
Will the LSU victory over Alabama help with any of the undecided recruits?
- Trey from New Orleans, La.
It certainly won't hurt. Alabama has become what Florida was recently and what USC was a few years ago: Your program gets a ton of attention if it beats them.
With all the in-state talent in Louisiana we knew this was going to be a big recruiting year for LSU, but now it has a chance to steal a few big names from other states and push for No. 1.
Pack is not back
What is going on with the recruiting situation at N.C. State? Are we just having a hard time or are we targeting the big names and it's taking awhile?
- Michael from Raleigh, N.C.
This is a good question. N.C. State has been so up and down this year after a strong start that I think recruits don't know what to think. After a 4-0 start it is 2-3 since, with tough losses to Virginia Tech and Clemson, and a bad loss to East Carolina. A lot of people, myself included, expected the Wolfpack to steal a few recruits from North Carolina with all the problems the Heels have had off the field, but that hasn't happened.
I still think the Pack will swipe a few committed players and finish outside of the ACC basement, but it doesn't look like it's shaping up to be a very good recruiting year and certainly nothing like last year.
These will be impact guys in South Bend but others could be classified as reaches. The class didn't start off that strongly and it took awhile for the staff to hit its stride. The way Notre Dame finishes this class will be key. The loss to Navy was harmful, the play-calling at the end of the Tulsa game has been questioned by many and I think the Irish need a couple of big wins down the stretch to close on all the guys they want.
If they can upset Utah or USC it will certainly help and they can't afford to lose to Army. A 4-8 season would be a disaster and could kill their chances for Ishaq Williams, Savon Huggins, Christian French, Amir Carlisle and others. The Irish will get their share of top players but I'd currently rate this as a top-heavy class for now.
I'd have to say Jernigan out of the three. Clowney has FSU on his list but I think he's headed to South Carolina as I mentioned previously. Drew is hard to read but I keep hearing more about Georgia and Auburn with him. At one point I thought Jernigan was a lock for Florida and I still think it will be a factor here, but with Alabama, FSU, LSU and Michigan as his top four, the 'Noles have a good shot.
Grant and Michigan State
What do you think are the chances of Doran Grant signing with Michigan State? Is Ohio State going to be too hard to overcome or will the idea of walking in his father's footsteps push MSU over the edge?
- Chad from Detroit
I don't see it happening and if it does, it will be a surprise despite his family ties to the Spartans. According to almost every source I talk to, Ohio State has a large edge here and has for quite some time despite the terrific season Michigan State is having on the field. Grant is a fit for either program and I think he sees the field early either way, but it's been an uphill battle for the Spartans to overcome the early OSU lead.