There were not any big commitments over the weekend in college football. But there was recruiting news.
Home teams win big
There were, however, three big games: Notre Dame at Michigan, South Carolina at Georgia and Florida at Miami. All three were decided in the fourth quarter, and all three home teams came out victorious.
And all three hosted big-time recruits.
I don't believe that one win is enough to sway a recruit. But a win and the environment it provides around campus during the visit, and the electricity in the stadium, and the resulting attitude in the athletic department, etc., can have a major impact on recruits.
One of Michigan's visitors was Da'Shawn Hand, one of the top players in the country. Michigan insider Steve Lorenz is very confident in Michigan's chances of landing the defensive end ($).
"I continue to hear good things on Hand and his visit. He spent most of his time last night with Michigan's current commitments, and the vibe I'm getting from pretty much all directions is that it'd be a surprise if he committed elsewhere. Of course, there's still two more official visits with Florida and Alabama, but there's next to no chance that I will change my Crystal Ball, which has been in favor of the Wolverines since March 17th."
Here is a tremendous recap of all the visitors at the game from SB Nation's Michigan site Maize N Brew.
Georgia's big win was more about offense, but it was a pair of elite defensive prospects who came away impressed, according to Rusty Mansell ($).
From what I am hearing from multiple sources that Georgia is "trending" big with the state's top overall prospect Lorenzo Carter. Mark Richt took both Carter and Rashaan Evans to mid field during pre-game on Saturday and it made an impression on both I am told. Carter is just "very comfortable" at Georgia, is what I am told by a source close to him.
Speaking of Evans, Todd Grantham rolled out the red carpet big time as reported by Kipp in his story. The Georgia DC spent over an hour eating with him and his family after the game and made sure he knew how much of a priority he is for this staff. Georgia is in good shape here and have really sold the multiple 3-4 set to him and his family.
Can Georgia keep Carter away from Alabama, or Evans away from the hometown Auburn Tigers? We'll have to see. A big win in an atmosphere like Saturday's in Sanford Stadium cannot hurt.
Georgia also hosted David Sharpe, the four-star offensive tackle from Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence School. Sharpe talked with ESPN about his visit and how Georgia compared to Clemson.
"I enjoyed both of them, but the Georgia game was crazier than the Clemson game," he said. "The fans were more rabid at Georgia than they were at Clemson, but I enjoyed both of them."
Florida is also in the mix for Sharpe.
Miami pulled the (small) upset of Florida over the weekend. It was by far the biggest win of Al Golden's career, and the environment for recruits was awesome.
Miami commitment Trevor Darling, a four-star offensive tackle prospect out of Miami Central High School, told Cane Sport ($) that winning will help Miami with other recruits.
"People see you winning, want to be a part of it," he said. "They want to go to a team that is truly good."
Miami defensive end commitment Trent Harris echoed those thoughts to Nate Adelson ($).
"I think a win like this brings the swagger back to Miami, maybe they could go undefeated," Harris said. "I was hoping they would have a big season but now I’m kind of expecting it after today. We’ll see how they do against Florida State, that’s another challenge on the schedule for sure."
Don't expect the loss to hurt Florida's recruiting. But if the Gators go on to lose four or fives games, which is unlikely, that would be a different story. Defensive line commit Khairi Clark is still a strong Florida commit.
USC, Texas and dominoes
Two of the top jobs in the country could be open by the end of the year. How would this impact recruiting?
USC lost at home to Washington State. The crowd audibly chanted "Fire [Lane] Kiffin," and worse. That is the sort of atmosphere that can completely ruin an experience for a recruit, and indeed, several top recruits were in attendance. Kiffin is going to be constantly mentioned as being on the hot seat, and while the program largely recruits itself, this is not an optimal situation.
"It was kind of a letdown," said an in-state ESPN 300 recruit who wished to remain anonymous. "It's really thrown me off of them. I think everybody thought the play calling could have been better. That game shouldn't have ended like that. You could hear it in the crowd -- the "Fire Kiffin" chants -- it's that noticeable when the crowd is saying it. Probably people who don't even really understand football are noticing that they're running that bubble screen that many times."
Kiffin and his staff are going to be in the weird position of trying to keep recruits and their own jobs at the same time.
Texas, a team expected to compete for the national title with its incredible number of returning starters, gave up more than 500 yards rushing to BYU in an embarrassing loss. One day later, Mack Brown fired his defensive coordinator.
Brown is extremely tight with the big Texas boosters, but unless the Longhorns turn it around in a major way, it is tough to see him lasting. Opposing coaches will use yet another year of disappointing Texas football against the Longhorns on the recruiting trail, and will absolutely tell recruits that this staff will be fired.
The only way the Longhorns can overcome the negative recruiting is to win games. And even then, all the negativity during the season will help teams recruiting against the Longhorns.
If both programs undergo change, the recruiting impact would be felt all over the college football map, as it would set off a chain reaction of coaching change at other top programs.