National Outlook

At the Army All American game, LSU received two defensive line commitments. One of them was from Luther Davis of West Monroe (La.) High School. This past week, LSU got two more commitments, including one from a prospect that also plays on the defensive line at West Monroe.

Will Blackwell had visited LSU many times. Growing up, his family took in many games at Death Valley. But after taking an official visit this past weekend, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder finally decided that he had seen enough to publicly commit to the Tigers. Blackwell played defensive end opposite Davis at West Monroe, though at his size he will probably wind up being a defensive tackle for the Tigers. As we all know, Blackwell selected LSU over Notre Dame.

Late last week, the Tigers also picked up a commitment from Texas speedster Ron Brooks. The 6-foot-0, 170-pound Brooks played quarterback this season for MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas and as a junior he caught 43 balls for 778 yards and 13 scores while playing wide receiver. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 6 wide receiver prospect in this class and gives him a four-star rating. However, LSU intends to start him out in the defensive secondary. Brooks also considered Texas Tech, Florida, and Arkansas.

It is not often that a highly rated prospect picks a program that has not had a winning team in nearly a decade and is located over 2000 miles from his home. But that is exactly what happened this week when four-star tight end Rob Gronkowski of Pittsburgh committed to the University of Arizona. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Gronkowski is ranked as the No. 3 tight end and the 64 th best player overall by Scout.com. Many experts had considered Ohio State and Clemson to be his leaders, but his experience during his visit for the Cal game and his relationship with the Wildcats' staff gave Arizona the edge they needed.

Arizona also received a commitment from Carrollton, Texas defensive end Ron Jackson. He picked the Wildcats over Indiana.

They may have lost out on Jackson, but it was a good week for the Indiana Hoosiers, as they landed two prize prospects from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. Four-star safety Jerimy Finch committed to Michigan in May and remained a Michigan pledge until he visited Indiana this past weekend. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder liked the fact that Bloomington was closer to home. He also had developed a good rapport with Hoosier head coach Terry Hoeppner. Finch is Scout.com's No. 8 safety and is No. 71 on their Hot 100 list.

Finch visited Indiana with teammate Jeff Boyd and the 6-foot-3, 280-pound defensive tackle also committed to the Hoosiers. In April, Boyd committed to Kentucky, but it was considered a soft commitment from the start, as Boyd stated that he would look at other schools. He had eight sacks during his senior season, which ended with Warren Central winning their fourth straight state title. Finch and Boyd became the third and fourth Warren Central players to commit to Indiana this season, joining offensive tackle Andrew McDonald and cornerback Chris Adkins.

Last signing day, five-star running back LeSean McCoy of Harrisburg, Pa. surprised many when he committed to Miami. When he failed to qualify academically, McCoy enrolled at Milford academy in New Berlin, N.Y. That meant that his recruitment would begin anew and Penn State was thought to be his most likely destination. But this weekend, McCoy surprised everyone again by committing to the Pittsburgh Panthers. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound McCoy is on track to qualify this time around and expects to enroll at Pitt this summer.

The story of Clifton Geathers is very similar to that of LeSean McCoy. The 6-foot-7, 290-pound defensive end committed to Georgia last year after being recruited by teams from coast to coast. But Geathers did not make the grade academically, so he went to Hargrave Military Academy this fall. After attaining a qualifying ACT score, the Georgetown, S.C. native left Hargrave and re-opened his recruitment. This week, he selected South Carolina. Geathers became friendly with defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye at Hargrave, who committed to South Carolina just before Christmas, and the two had talked extensively about attending the same college. This fall, they will.

Three other highly regarded prospects gave commitments to South Carolina this past week. Four-star cornerback Akeem Auguste, who plays with Emeka Nwankwo at Chaminade Madonna College Prep in Hollywood, Fla., committed to South Carolina late last week. Wake Forest, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh were his other options. Three-star wide receiver Dion LeCorn, who catches passes from five-star Florida commit John Brantley at Trinity Catholic in Ocala, Fla., picked the Gamecocks over Ole Miss, Tennessee, and LSU. And his teammate, safety Antonio Allen, went with South Carolina instead of Clemson and Nebraska.

Two four-star defensive tackles also made decisions this week. 6-foot-5, 315-pound Kerry Murphy from Alabama powerhouse Hoover High School had been considering two schools with new head coaches: Miami and Alabama. After visiting Tuscaloosa and meeting new Tide boss Nick Saban this past weekend, Murphy decided to commit to Alabama. He had planned on visiting Miami on January 26 th and whether he will make that trip is up in the air at this time.

Miami was the program that Keller, Texas defensive tackle Chris Perry committed to last summer. This fall, he decided to look at other options and last week, the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Perry switched his commitment to Nebraska. He also visited Oklahoma and Arkansas before he selected the Cornhuskers. Perry became the fifth defensive tackle to commit to Nebraska this year. The Huskers also got a commitment last week from three-star junior college defensive tackle Kevin Dixon.

In a week full of de-commitments pledging to other schools, two former Boston College commits decided to go elsewhere. Three-star offensive lineman Arthur Ray of Chicago committed to Michigan State and three-star wide receiver Corey Gatewood of Belmont, Mass. was one of four prospects to commit to Stanford this week.

Also, five-star offensive lineman James Wilson of Nease, Fla. switched his commitment to the National Champion Florida Gators. The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Wilson worried about being so far away from home and he felt he would be more comfortable in Gainesville. Wilson's former high school teammate, Tim Tebow, will be Florida's staring quarterback next season.

And on a different type of recruiting front, last year's top ranked quarterback prospect Mitch Mustain has decided to transfer from Arkansas. Many programs will surely be interested in the Springdale, Ark. signal caller, but the early rumblings suggest that he may follow ex-Razorback offensive coordinator (and his former high school coach) Gus Malzahn to Tulsa.

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