Bowl games, family time, traveling, opening gifts, more bowl games, holiday sales, New Year's Eve and watching more football.
A ton of stuff occupied the last few weeks, and although it was a dead period, there was also a lot of recruiting news through the East region. The top player set three official visits, the No. 2 player in the 2018 class announced a top six despite being committed and much more happened.
We understand a lot of things could fall through the cracks, so as normalcy returns, and with the end of the dead period still 10 days away, here is a quick-hitter look at the biggest happenings since the holidays hit.
Class of 2017
Hampton (Va.) cornerback Dazz Newsome committed to Maryland in October and although he is still committed to the Terrapins, Newsome scheduled officials visits to North Carolina (Jan. 13) and Virginia Tech (Jan. 20). Newsome, who is the top cornerback in Virginia, is a Virginia Tech legacy, so keep an eye on this until signing day.
Tariq Castro-Fields, the No. 27 cornerback in the nation, announced he has a final three of Penn State, Alabama and Maryland, and he will announce his decision Jan. 23 during the Upper Marlboro (Md.) Riverdale Baptist football banquet. He already made official visits to Alabama and Maryland, and he has one set for Jan. 13 to Penn State.
Cheshire (Conn.) Academy cornerback Brandon Sebastian is committed to Boston College, but continues to speak with Penn State about a late January official visit. He set an official visit to Michigan for Jan. 13, and he will be at Boston College on Jan. 20. He could make an official visit to Penn State on Jan. 27, but nothing is set.
Penn State commit C.J. Thorpe, the No. 11 offensive guard in the nation, said he is solid with the Nittany Lions, but he said he would officially visit UCLA on Jan. 13. The Pittsburgh Central Catholic standout added he could officially visit Michigan, but added "It would take a lot to change my mind right now."
Rutgers commit Ihmir Marsette, a cornerback from Newark (N.J.) Weequahic, is looking at making an official visit to Iowa in January. There is history between Weequahic and Iowa as the Hawkeyes were one of the few programs to recruit Akrum Wadley, who now stars for the Hawkeyes.
Cheshire Academy quarterback C.J. Lewis announced his decommitment from Tennessee after his senior season, and he announced on Christmas his commitment to Boston College. Lewis is the No. 1 quarterback in Connecticut.
Harrison Hand, the No. 2 uncommitted cornerback in the East, picked up an offer from Baylor and set an official visit. He will be on campus Jan. 20 as he re-connects with Bears coach Matt Rhule, the former Temple coach. Hand will also officially visit West Virginia on Jan. 13. He already officially visited Rutgers and Virginia Tech.
Rhule leaving Temple means schools could have more success flipping commits, and one to keep an eye on is Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood receiver Raheem Blackshear. He will officially visit Temple Jan. 13, but he added a Rutgers offer and will officially visit Jan. 27. Between that, he will officially visit Michigan State (no offer) on Jan. 20.
Two days after his bowl game ended at Arkansas, former New Jersey prep standout Damon Mitchell said he is heading to Rutgers as a graduate transfer, where he will re-unite with his brother, Ahmir Mitchell, who transferred into Rutgers in the summer after leaving Michigan. Damon Mitchell is slated to play receiver.
Markquese Bell made his announcement during the Under Armour All-American game, and the Bridgeton (N.J.) High standout chose Maryland. He will enroll later this month as the Terps moved into South Jersey for a major recruiting score.
Nathan Proctor, the No. 11 outside linebacker in the nation, made a somewhat surprise decision when he decided to announce his commitment at the Under Armour game, where he chose Virginia Tech. However, his recruitment is far from over. The Indian Head (Md.) Lackey standout said he will still visit Pittsburgh (Jan. 13) and Penn State (Jan. 20).
Class of 2018
Defensive end Micah Parsons, the No. 2 player in the 2018 class, committed to Penn State in February and he considers his commitment to the Nittany Lions solid. However, he released a Top Six on New Year's Eve, and joining the Nittany Lions on his list are Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Florida State and Georgia.
Jeremy Ruckert, the No. 117 prospect in the class, also released a top list on New Year's Eve, and there are six schools on it. The Lindenhurst (N.Y.) High standout named a top five of Florida State, Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State. The wild card is where Notre Dame factors into the equation. Ruckert said he is visiting South Bend, Ind., in the spring and the Irish are also in the mix.
Artur Sitkowski, the No. 1 quarterback in the East, is leaving Old Bridge (N.J.) High and enrolling at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. The gifted thrower was running a triple option at Old Bridge. But will it impact his recruitment, particularly with Rutgers, which is 20 minutes from his house? Before announcing his decision, he called the Scarlet Knights to let them know, and to say it would not have an impact. Miami, Mississippi, Iowa and South Carolina are among the other schools also recruiting Sitkowki hard.
The No. 3 running back in the East in the class, Iverson Clement from Mt. Holly (N.J.) Rancocas Valley, announced on Christmas Eve his top six of Penn State, Rutgers, Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee and Florida. He said he will try to take junior day visits to each of the schools, and added he remains open to everyone.
Defensive end Lancine Turay, the brother or Rutgers defensive end Kemoko Turay, picked up his first offer when Syracuse extended one. The spring will be huge for Tuary, who plays at Irvington (N.J.) High and has an impressive frame. Rutgers and Penn State are also showing a lot of interest.