After another week of 2013 recruiting happenings, Rivals.com goes around the nation to recap the five biggest developments.
The surprising news that Robert Nkemdiche, the country's No. 1 overall prospect, committed to Clemson last Thursday was undoubtedly the biggest headline of the cycle thus far. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive end was dominant in leading Loganville (Ga.) Grayson to Class 5A state championship last year, and has drawn comparisons to South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney for his strength and versatility. He should make a major impact -- and more than likely become a star -- from the moment he arrives on campus.
The Tigers quickly jumped to the front of the pack for the five-star prospect when, on Wednesday night, they received a pledge from three-star cornerback David Kamara, Nkemdiche's teammate and one of his closest friends. And though Nkemdiche's verbal comes as a recruiting shock, it could cause a snowball effect in Clemson. Dabo Swinney's team now has nine players in its 2013 class with an average star rating of 3.33.
In a matter of a week, the Bulldogs went from two commitments to 10, completely reversing their previously subpar recruiting fortunes. The coup got started when Gadsden (Ala.) Gadsden City three-star wide receiver B.J. Hammond pledged on June 7. A pair of linemen, Hallandale (Miss.) Simmons School's Kent Flowers and Batesville (Miss.) South Panola's Deon Mix, gave their verbals within the next three days. Then Dan Mullen and Co. really cleaned up. From June 11-12, Mississippi State secured five 2013 prospects: four-star dual threat quarterback Cord Sandberg, four-star running back Kalio Moore, three-star athlete Gabe Myles, three-star wideout DeAndre Woods and strongside defensive end Chris Jones.
The hot stretch for Mississippi State is directly correlated to the start of its camp season, and the safe bet is that Mullen isn't finished for the summer. Targets to keep an eye on include athlete Ashton Shumpert, offensive tackle Jake Thomas, cornerback Montreal Jordan and safety Cortez Leonard, among others.
After a very quiet period, there was a flurry of activity for many of the schools in Texas. Baylor, TCU and Texas A&M all received a handful of coveted commitments recently. Baylor beat out several local suitors for four-star wide receiver Robbie Rhodes and three-star safeties Austin Jupe and Taion Sells, while TCU gained verbals from fast-rising tight end Charlie Reid and defensive standouts Steve Wesley, George Baltimore and Bryson Henderson. But Texas A&M may have enjoyed the biggest week of all. After adding top local linebacker prospect Reggie Chevis on June 12, the Aggies locked up four-star cornerbacks Tavares Garner and Noel Ellis and multi-faceted athlete Alex Sezer. That brings the Aggies 2013 class to 20 recruits -- nine with a four-star ranking.
The Sun Devils gained commitments from four-star linebacker Chans Cox and three-star quarterback Joshua Dobbs last week, expanding their 2013 class to four. It might be a springboard for bigger things to come. The new Arizona State staff has worked tirelessly to convince in-state prospects to come to Tempe, Ariz., and picking up Cox -- the top-rated player in Arizona -- is a huge start.
Priest Willis, Kenny Lacy, Devon Allen and Cole Luke are local four-star prospect who remain uncommitted. All of them are receiving attention from Todd Graham and Co., and all could provide a major boost to the Pac-12 program.
The Tigers have been on a bit of a roll lately. After securing commitments from tight end Arshad Jackson and defensive back Jahmere Irvin-Sills in the past two weeks, Gene Chizik and Co. landed the pledge of Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata defensive end Tashawn Bower, a 6-foot-5, 245-pounder who boasted offers to Florida, Miami and Michigan, among others. However, Bower is listed as just a three-star recruit.
Bower's upside is evident, as he has terrific size and athletic ability. But his skill set is incredibly raw. While there's a boom or bust factor with every touted prospect, Bower fits that billing to the extreme. The question remains: Will Carl Lawson and Dee Liner, two five-star defensive ends also committed to Auburn, push Bower to reach his full potential upon their arrival to campus?
• Last week, Rivals predicted that Indiana could start making recruiting noise following its first 2013 commitment. That came to fruition, as the Hoosiers picked up three-star wide receiver Isaac Griffith out of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Homestead. But his pledge wasn't the program's only noteworthy move. Four-star prospects Darius Latham and Tim Kimbrough both made recent visits to Bloomington, Ind., and rumors are swirling about the duo playing together for their in-state school.
• It didn't seem possible that the recruiting process could accelerate any more than it has, but that's been the case in early summer in the Midwest. Many top schools are opening summer camps and the returns have been tremendous. Michigan State has attracted several high-profile visitors, including Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle offensive tackle Jamarco Jones, while Wisconsin has drawn prospects such as Clifton Garrett and Ross Pierschbacher. With Notre Dame, Ohio State and several others also hosting camps, expect plenty of more commitments to pour in by the end of the month.
• LSU had high hopes of landing the nation's No. 1 overall prospect, Robert Nkemdiche, before he committed to Clemson last Thursday. But while he headed elsewhere, Les Miles and Co. remain in very good shape with top defensive end recruits Tim Williams and Torrodney Prevot. And keep an eye on current Arizona State pledge Dimarya Mixon. He camped in Baton Rouge, La., last week and LSU coaches have requested his return for the program's July camp.
• Washington played host to same major talent, and the returns could mean a lot for its 2013 recruiting class. Four-star safety Tahaan Goodman, four-star defensive end Joe Mathis, four-star safety Sean Barton and three-star offensive tackle Alex Redmond all visited campus recently, and Mathis was originally committed to the Huskies earlier in the cycle. Washington just landed a verbal from four-star quarterback Troy Williams, and -- coupled with a few key additions -- could be the start of something special for the Huskies.