National Outlook

The end of the May evaluation period often leads to June offers and commitments. This year is no exception and a few of Notre Dame's chief rivals reeled in some big fish over the past two weeks. Which teams are making a charge up the rankings?

Not surprisingly, USC made a huge statement by landing three highly-touted prospects. Defensive lineman Michael Reardon and running back Marc Tyler both committed to the Trojans on June 14, while safety Marshall Jones made his decision on the June 19. The 6-foot-6, 253-pound Reardon is rated as the No. 12 defensive end in America by He picked the Trojans over Notre Dame and Stanford.

Tyler and Jones, along with Notre Dame recruit Jimmy Clausen, are teammates at Oaks Christian High School in in Westlake Village, Calif. Irish fans know all about Tyler, who is a five-star prospect that is rated as the No. 2 running back by But the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Jones is plenty talented as well. rates him as the No. 5 safety in the country, and he was the only junior on the all-CIF Southern Section defensive team. He also considered Michigan, Arizona, and Oregon.

Tyler and Reardon were not the only recruits that Notre Dame lost to a bitter rival during the past two weeks. The Irish had heavily pursued Nick Sukay before he chose his childhood favorite, Penn State. The Greenburg, Pa. native is a tremendous athlete that is rated as the No. 7 safety in this class by even though many consider him to be better at wide receiver. No matter where he lines up, the Lions will a hard-nosed player with good speed. Sukay also had Pittsburgh in his final three along with Penn State and Notre Dame.

Along with Sukay, Penn State picked up two other commitments. Like Sukay, Glen Rock, Pa. cornerback Chaz Powell grew up a Penn State fan. His performance at the State College combine prompted offers from schools such as Georgia, Maryland, and Boston College. But as the end of June approached, he still did not have one from Penn State. When the offer came on June 24, it did not take the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Powell long to decide. Powell had three interceptions this past season and rushed for over 1,100 yards. Penn State also received a commitment from Clarkston, Mich. punter Ryan Breen.

Michigan received two commitments this past week, and one of them has a very familiar name. Sugar Land, Texas cornerback Troy Woolfolk's father Butch was a running back for the Wolverines from 1978-81. Troy had always dreamed of following in his father's footsteps, and when the offer was received, it was immediately accepted. Though he plays a different position than his father did, one thing they share is great speed. Michigan was his first offer, but he was being recruited by many of the Texas schools.

On the subject of Texas schools, the Baylor Bears had a great week as they secured seven commitments, all from Texas natives. The best of the bunch is massive offensive lineman Anthony Morgan. The 6-foot-4, 335-pound Morgan chose the Bears over Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Kansas State. Three of the other commits (Chris Sanders, Greg Stewart, and Courtney Green) all play at Corsicana High School in Corsicana, Texas. Green is considered the best prospect of the three, as he turned down Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, and TCU when he committed to Baylor.

Baylor is still waiting on its top recruit, quarterback G.J. Kinne. Kinne's father is an assistant coach at Baylor, but the competition for his services is fierce. He has offers from Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Alabama. He recently stated that Baylor and Tennessee were his two leaders. Kinne threw for over 4,200 yards last year and has thrown for over 8,600 yards in his high school career.

While most schools are currently gearing up their recruiting efforts, Texas is winding theirs down. This week, Blaine Irby became the Longhorns' 22nd commitment. The Ventura, Calif. native was recruited by some schools as a linebacker, but Texas wants him as a tight end, where he is ranked No. 8 by Irby is a fine receiver from that position but will need to improve his blocking skills. Adding weight to his 6-foot-3, 235-pound frame will help as will improved technique. The former Tempe, Ariz. resident selected Texas over Arizona State.

The weekly Lakeland High School update continues as two more Dreadnaughts made commitments this week. Both wide receiver Paul Wilson and safety Steven Wilks pledged to Florida. They became the fifth and sixth Lakeland players to commit to the Gators. Wilson's other offers were from South Florida and West Viginia while Wilks had offers from South Florida and Iowa.

Georgia also picked up two players from the same school. Four-star prospect John Knox and Justin Houston both attend Statesboro (Ga.) High School. Knox, a very physical defender and's No. 17 safety, chose the Bulldogs over Georgia Tech. While the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Houston was only given three stars by, his offer sheet included Auburn, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech. He is an emotional player that pursues to the ball extremely well. Also, Alabama continued their June recruiting roll. They landed five recruits over the past two weeks, making it nine commitments in the month of June and 11 for the season. All five of their new recruits had solid offer sheets prior to selecting the Tide. Four-star linebacker Rolando McClain of Decatur, Ala. had offers from Auburn, LSU, and Ole Miss. Three-star offensive lineman Patrick Crump of Hoover, Ala. picked Alabama over Louisville, Tennessee, and Michigan. Three-star defensive end Alex Watkins of Brownsville, Tenn. considered Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Texas Tech. Defensive tackle LaMarcus Williams of Bastrop, La. had offers from Arkansas and Colorado. And quarterback Robert Marve from Tampa was offered by South Florida, North Carolina State, and Mississippi State. Top Stories