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November 5, 2010

Ask Mike: Ohio State not done yet

Mike Farrell is a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. He tackles your questions in his weekly Ask Mike feature.
Previous mailbags
Oct 22: Auburn will be fine
Oct 15: South Carolina gaining
Oct 8: Michigan has Hart

Got a question? Click here to send it to Mike Farrell

What's next for Ohio State?

Can North Carolina rebound from an NCAA investigation?

Will Nebraska have a top 10 class?

These questions and more are addressed by National Recruiting Analyst Mike Farrell in this week's mailbag.


Questions in Columbus

How do the Buckeyes close out this class?

- Mark from Cincinnati

Let's look at the big names first. I think Ohio State lands Doran Grant and Aundrey Walker when it comes to four-stars and it has a good chance at pulling Jabari Gorman from Florida as well. The Buckeyes landed linebacker Conner Crowell on Friday, as he picked OSU over Penn State. After this it becomes confusing.

Obviously if a stud such as Curtis Grant wants to come (I think OSU is running No. 2 behind Florida for him right now), then the Buckeyes take him. Anthony Wallace would be another they would love to land, but Oklahoma appears to be tough to beat there with USC and others pushing hard as well. Ejuan Price is the third option at linebacker.

So what about Glenville standouts Shane Wynn or Cardale Jones? If there's room, Jones is more likely, as Wynn isn't feeling the love. But both Glenville kids could end up elsewhere and unless OSU whiffs on every linebacker, Andre Sturdivant is in the same boat.


Heel of a situation

How does North Carolina finish up its recruiting class amid the turmoil and uncertainty of the NCAA investigation? At one point it was rumored to be in the running for top players such as Jadeveon Clowney, Stephone Anthony, Savon Huggins and Kris Frost. Any chance left with these? And how about Demetrious Nicholson, Travis Hughes, Norkeithus Otis and others?

- Jared from Raleigh, N.C.

I think it really comes down to what happens when the season ends. Will Butch Davis and his staff still be around? How quickly will the NCAA move? In the meantime, North Carolina is still in very good shape for a lot of players. The Tar Heels are out on Clowney and pretty much out of the picture for Anthony and Frost. But Huggins had a good visit and UNC is running a close No. 2 to Rutgers, and I think they lead heavily for Otis. As for Hughes and Nicholson, if Davis is retained then both of those guys could end up at UNC as well. But there are so many factors here that need to play out and it will take time.


Huskers fight for top 10

With the recent commitment of Charles Jackson and Aaron Green, do you see the Huskers' class having a possibility of breaking into the top 10 by the end of the year?

- Will from Elkhorn, Neb.

Nebraska is in the top 10 right now but staying there will be a challenge since most of its top-rated targets have already committed. There are four big-name guys left on the board - Cyrus Hobbi, Todd Peat Jr., Mickey Johnson and Wayne Lyons - and I think the Huskers would need to land all four of them to stay in the top 10.

Hobbi loved his visit but will he leave Pac-10 country? Johnson and Lyons have Nebraska in the mix but they are long shots to land in Lincoln. Peat Jr. still plans to visit sometime. I think a more realistic finish is anywhere from 15-20 for Nebraska, but that doesn't take away from how talented this class is.


Drew remains quiet

Does anyone have any leads or any idea where Ray Drew is going?

- Joshua from Pensacola, Fla.

The simple answer is no. Drew has been one of the hardest kids to figure out. His recruitment reminds me of Ego Ferguson's last year, as plenty of schools were mentioned but no one truly knew where he would end up. Drew isn't talking much, which makes it even harder to get a read on him.

However, schools that continue to be mentioned with him include Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Florida and Florida State. A lot of sources seem to think he'll end up at Georgia if Mark Richt is retained, but I have heard to keep an eye out for Auburn. The Tigers' rise this season, along with the recruiting job the staff has done with Drew, could make Auburn the team to beat.


Michigan update

I have heard Sammy Watkins has moved Michigan into the top two. Any truth?

- Ryan from Traverse City, Mich.

Yes, it appears that Michigan is in the top two along with Clemson, with Miami falling back and Alabama still in the mix. I'm surprised a bit at how far off Miami has fallen but concerns around Randy Shannon's future and the lack of fan following have been mentioned by Watkins.

Clemson has the edge but he will take an official to Michigan and once that happens anything can happen. The Wolverines need to win some games down the stretch. But the NCAA dropping a charge directed at coach Rich Rodriguez recently will only help Michigan's cause.


Prediction: FSU wins for Steward

When do you expect Tony Steward to announce his decision and where does Florida State rank for his services?

- Stu from Clearwater, Fla.

Steward won't be making a decision until around National Signing Day, barring a surprise. He has an official visit set for UCLA in early December and follows that with a Florida trip in mid-December, but his big visits will be in January. Alabama is Jan. 7, but the two biggies, Florida State and Clemson, are on Jan. 21 and Jan. 28, respectively. It is expected to come down to the 'Noles and Tigers.

Gut feeling is that FSU is the team to beat since he liked the Seminoles growing up, and I think have been the default choice going into the process. It will be close. I look for Florida to make a strong push in the end, but if I had to predict now it would be FSU.


Losses equal recruiting woes

After such a great job recruiting last year, why has this year been so down for Texas A&M?

- Nick from College Station, Texas

Take a look at the Aggies' season and it explains a lot. Wins over Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech and Florida International won't impress recruits. Texas A&M's best victory is over 4-4 Texas Tech. With Oklahoma, Baylor, Nebraska and Texas remaining on the schedule, it is looking like a 5-7 season for Mike Sherman, his third straight losing year.

You can sell the future for a while, but eventually the results on the field impact recruiting and that's what is happening with the Aggies.

Mike Farrell is a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Click here to send him a question or comment for his mailbag.



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