Najee Harris (© AAG)

The Scout Staff Looks At What Recruitments Are Hardest To Predict This Year

Oct. 12 -- Some recruitments are pretty easy to call, no matter how much mis-direction some players put out there. Then there are others that are toss-ups where it's difficult to even try and predict a leader. Here's a look at a few recruitments that have the Scout staff guessing for answers on where these top kids could end up...


Tariq Castro-Fields, Upper Marlboro (Md.) Riverdale Baptist

Castro-Fields has an official visit to Alabama set for the Nov. 26 Iron Bowl against Auburn, and he plans to make official visits to see the Maryland TerrapinsPenn State Nittany Lions and Virginia Tech Hokies. He has the length and size Alabama loves in its cornerbacks, former teammate Zech McPhearson plays at Penn State, his relationship with the Virginia Tech coaches is strong and there is a strong pull to stay home with Maryland. Now you know why this one is up in the air.

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Nathan Proctor, Indian Head (Md.) Lackey

This one is about as open as a recruitment gets at this stage. Proctor, an outside linebacker prospect, is not making visits during his season, and does not plan on announcing until signing day. He is yet to trim his list, and playing close to home is not important. Penn State, Maryland, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh are doing well with Proctor, but sudden UCLA interest could make it even more cloudy. Or, if the Bruins offer, make it easier to read the recruitment. He does not have an official visits set.

Devon Hunter, Chesapeake (Va.) Indian River

Some think Florida leads for the five-star Hunter, the top player in the East. Others say it is Virginia Tech. North Carolina has an outside shot and is poised to make a push. Alabama and Auburn are still trying to make a push. No officials visits are set, and Michigan and Notre Dame are trying to remain involved. There already have been a few twists and turns in this one, and expect a bunch more.

Isaiah Wilson, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep

Wilson is the No. 11 offensive tackle in the nation, and he already set official visits to Michigan (Nov. 18), Alabama (Nov. 25) and Florida State (Nov. 11). He still is trying to schedule trips to Georgia and USC, but those should come in December. There is a lot of chatter Michigan and Alabama are doing the best with Wilson, who changed his top eight a few times before the summer and changed his top five once. Official visits will mean a ton in this one.

National Recruiting Analyst Brian Dohn


Cam Akers, Clinton (Miss.)

This one could really go a number of different ways.  Will he stay home and go to Ole Miss?  Is he headed to the ACC to play at Florida State?  Is he moving north to be an Ohio State Buckeye?  Then you have numerous SEC schools still in this race — Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee.  He has one official visit scheduled, that is to AlabamaOctober 22, and he is a former Crimson Tide commitment.  He plans to take all five before enrolling at the school he chooses in January.

Tony Gray, Loganville (Ga.) Grayson

Gray just does not get out too much and he does not tip his hand.  He was at Auburn recently, and he does plan to take all five official visits before he commits, but to who?  He is going to take them after the season.  There has been some talk about Kentucky being right there, but only time will tell where Gray ends up.

National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons


Jedrick Wills, Lexington (Ky.) Lafayette

Wills has not been one to give too much away in his recruitment. It seemed fairly certain Alabama and Kentucky were two of his top schools going into the season, but a recent visit to Michigan cast doubt on that because he had a good official with the Wolverines who are now firmly in the race.

Danny Clark, Akron (Ohio) Hoban

Because Clark so recently de-committed from Ohio State, it remains to be seen which schools are going to jump in and go after him. Kentucky is one, but others are likely to join in, so for now, this one appears to be in 'wait and see' mode.

National Recruiting Analyst Allen Trieu


Baron Browning, Kennedale (Texas)

Browning is a tough one to call. He will be making his selection known on Nov. 29 and that just happens to be his father's birthday, and his father played his college ball at TCU. Also in the mix are schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and UCLA. He has already used one of his official visit to see the Wolverines and his older brother -- Barry Browning -- played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. The Buckeyes made a favorable impression on Browning during an unofficial visit this spring. The 'Horns have had him on campus multiple times and and Charlie Strong has built up a strong relationship. He will take a visit to UCLA and the Bruins have had a steady presence on his favorites list.

K'Lavon Chaisson, Galena Park (Texas) North Shore

Chaisson released his Top 10 list in order and the top three programs on it were the Oklahoma Sooners, Houston Cougars and the LSU Tigers. From the beginning there was always a pretty good feeling that the Tigers in the SEC had a strong chance of landing him, they did offer before he ever even took a varsity snap, but the coaching change in Baton Rouge has made things very interesting for a few different prospects and Chaisson happens to be one of them. The head coaching changes across the country could also have an effect on UH if Tom Herman were to leave. OU was a surprise at the top of his list when he released it, but the reasoning was scheme fit and coaching stability, two things that OU can still boast and use in its efforts to help reel in the four-star defender.

National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers


Najee Harris, RB, Antioch (Calif.).

Yes, Harris has been committed to Alabama for 18 months.  Yes, the Tide are the alpha dawgs in college football.  No, we don’t think this is 100% over.  Ever since he committed, we’ve felt that Harris would entertain other schools. He’s never decommitted and has publicly stayed committed to Alabama. But schools haven’t stopped with him.  Why would they? He’s the No. 1 player in the country. But Ohio State is compelling.  Michigan is compelling to him and has made some big strides with him.  You can’t count out Urban Meyer or Jim Harbaugh.  And of course, its foolish to bet against Nick Saban. Then of course the L.A. schools, UCLA and USC, are still trying with him.  The easy thing to say is that Harris is solid to Alabama, but that doesn’t feel right.  It’s too hard to call it a day for the Tide. They’re in the driver’s seat, but there is still a LOT of time for Harris.

Austin Jackson, OT, Phoenix (Ariz.) North Canyon

The No. 1 player in Arizona and No. 6 tackle in the country has been pretty elusive all offseason though Scout was in attendance to watch him play on Friday.  The local school, Arizona State, feels good about him.  So does USC, where his grandfather won a national title.  And then Michigan and Texas A&M are making a push, and the Aggies have fared well in Arizona of late.  Because Jackson generally avoids the media and has never given any indication or tipped his hand, its hard to say where he’s leaning.  It’s still way too early to call for Jackson.

National Recruiting Analyst Brandon Huffman

Joseph Lewis, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins

Lewis, Scout's top rated wide receiver, has played things close to the vest his whole recruitment. He has his five schools picked for official visits and has already checked out  Nebraska  and  Oregon  with  Alabama,  Arizona  and Oklahoma on deck. Locally, USC is still pushing and UCLA remains slightly in the mix as well. The big question has always been, could Lewis really leave home? The two schools that seem to be generating the most buzz have been the Huskers and Wildcats. Lewis has been to Nebraska three times, loves the coaching staff and the opportunity to play right away. His best friend Greg Johnson is a UA commit, the two have always talked about playing together in college and early playing time is available there as well. There are still some who believe at the end of the day, it could be tough for Lewis to leave home and the Trojans are the local school pushing hardest.

Jay Tufele, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham

Tufele has national powers coming after him and recently cut his list to seven; BYU, Michigan, Ohio State, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington. If he stays in-state, we give the Utes the edge over the Cougars and actually think Utah is doing a very good job recruiting him. USC had a lot of early buzz back in the spring and Ohio State is another school we've heard has made a strong impression on him. Michigan will definitely get a visit and you can never rule out the Wolverines. 

National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins

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