February 4, 2007

Border wars: A look inside some key states

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Each year, Rivals.com likes to take a look at which schools won the recruiting "title" is key states.

Sometimes two in-state schools tussle to land the best talent inside the borders. Occasionally, an out-of-state school will come in and steal top talent away from the local favorites.

Rivals.com takes a look at the recruiting races in Alabama, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas and declares winners - in most of those cases.

One of the races is too close to call, and - of course - prospects may change their minds in the next three days.

Choose a state: California | Texas | Pennsylvania | Florida | Alabama

The Battle for


The Combatants: Southern Cal, Oregon, UCLA, Cal.

The Winner: Southern Cal.

Last season, USC landed eight of the top 10 players in California. This season, the Trojans didn't let go of their stranglehold on the Golden State.

Even though No. 1 prospect Jimmy Clausen bolted to play quarterback for Notre Dame, the Trojans were able to land six of the top 10 players and nine of the top 20 players in California this season. The Trojans landed five-star standouts Chris Galippo, Marc Tyler.

Others, like Aaron Corp and Da'John Harris, make this a special class.

An out-of-state school also had success in California this season. The Oregon Ducks pulled in four of the top 25 players and 12 of the top 100 players in the Golden State.

UCLA, which didn't have a lot of scholarships to give out this season, was also right there. The Bruins received commitments from nine of the top 100 players in the state. Defensive tackle Brian Price and running back Raymond Carter should be outstanding players for the Bruins.

Cal also did nicely in its home state, securing six of the top 50 players.

The Battle for

The Combatants: Texas, Texas A&M, LSU.

The Winner: Texas.

Coming off a national championship season helped Texas' recruiting efforts a great deal in 2006. It also helped the Longhorns get off to a fast start with in-state prospects in the 2007 class.

The early success from a late February junior day put the Longhorns ahead to stay in the race for many talented players from Texas. UT has landed five of the state's top 10 prospects, including five-stars Tray Allen and Curtis Brown. Brown and Allen had given their commitments to UT coach Mack Brown by mid-April of their junior year.

The Longhorns did miss out on the state's top prospect, five-star quarterback Ryan Mallett, but ended up with plenty of other top Texas targets. Those include Rivals100 standouts John Chiles, Michael Huey, and Andre Jones. All three were in the top 10 of the final state rankings.

The Horns have commitments from 17 players in the Texas top 100. The team finishing second overall in the state was Texas A&M, which has picked up 12 Texas top 100 players - including two in the top 25.

LSU didn't finish with a large quantity, but certainly did well in quality. The Tigers have commitments from three of the top 25 prospects in Texas.

The Battle for Pennsylvania

The Combatants: Penn State, Pitt.

The Winner: Penn State.

Penn State won a close race in Pennsylvania last year, landing four of thetop 10 players in the state.

This year was even closer. Joe Paterno and his staff have securedfour of the top 10 again, but Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt landed four of the top 12.

The top two players in the Keystone State, defensive end Derrick Morgan and wide receiver Toney Clemons, committed to Georgia Tech and Michigan respectively. Even though those two got away, Penn State came away with five players ranked in the top 15 and seven overall in the Rivals.com Pennsylvania Top 40.

Penn State beat out Pitt for defensive back Nick Sukay, offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, linebacker Nathan Stupar, offensive lineman Josh Marks and wide receiver Derek Moye.

Penn State landed the top-ranked player to remain in the state, safety Chaz Powell.

Pitt has an impressive in state class as well, led by quarterback Pat Bostick and offensive lineman Chris Jacobson.

The Battle for

The Combatants: Florida, Florida State, Miami.

The Winner: Florida.

The Gators have commitments from seven of the state's top 15 prospects. They could make if eight of 16 if Brandon Hicks picks Florida. However, coach Urban Meyer is trying to hold on to commitments from the top two Floridians - defensive tackle Torrey Davis and offensive guard James Wilson[/db]. Florida landed the state's top quarterback in Rivals100 prospect John Brantley, and UF is considered the favorite to land the state's top wide receiver, Deonte Thompson.

The state's top linebacker, Kendall Smith currently is the lone top-10 commitment for Florida State, while defensive back Doug Wiggins currently is the lone top-10 commitment for Miami.

Notre Dame (Armando Allen) and Auburn (Enrique Davis) were able to convince top prospects to leave the state. The Irish beat Florida for Allen, while the Tigers held off Florida State for Davis.

South Carolina, LSU, Tennessee and Rutgers also did well in the Sunshine State this year.

The Battle for Alabama

The Combatants: Alabama, Auburn.

The Winner: Too close to call yet.

You have to give Alabama credit for landing state's top prospect. The Tide could end up with three of the top five should Brandon Gibson commit and Kerry Murphy not bolt for Miami. Losing both of those would give the state to Auburn head-to-head this year.

Auburn has six of the state's top 12 committed, including Rivals100 safety Michael McNeil. The Tigers also received commitments from the state's top offensive line prospect in Ryan Pugh and the state's top cornerback in Ryan Williams.

LSU, which coerced top-10 prospects Phelon Jones and Sidell Corley to leave Alabama, was the out-of-state team that had the most success.

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