Tennessee Volunteers' recruiting writer Brad Shepard is all over the news on Rocky Top. Shepard has an excellent writeup on the commitment of Alton "Pig" Howard. Howard is a speedy receiver out of Florida. He's small, but Shepard explains how Tennessee plans to use him in favorable situations. And his profile of new tight end commitment Justin Meredith is equally as good. Meredith held offers from Clemson, Auburn and Notre Dame. Rocky Top Talk is a must read for Tennessee Volunteer fans.
• The Miami Hurricanes had a big weekend of JUCO visitors. Among them was CB Vernon Davis, CB Nate Dortch, RB Greg Garmon, WR Robert Lockhart, WR Amari Cooper, DE Denico Autry, DL Eddie Goldman.
Autry is widely considered one of the top JUCO players in the country. He is believed to have a top four of Mississippi State, Alabama, Miami and Tennessee, in some order.
Miami might have a slightly smaller recruiting class than originally expected:
Although Golden said in his press conference he believed "the worst was behind us" in terms of what sanctions UM could be facing from the NCAA, I've heard on my travels throughout Miami-Dade and Broward high schools over the past two weeks Golden and his assistants have been telling recruits "scholarships are limited." Several local coaches have told me UM is anticipating losing scholarships and thus is doing its best to create room by encouraging some current players to walk. Again, just what I'm hearing from outside -- nothing concrete from UM.
• 247 Sports has an update (free) on five-star athlete Shaq Thompson
"Schools that I'm considering still Washington, USC, Cal, ND ,Oregon."
Many believe Thompson will ultimately choose Cal, as the Golden Bears look to close strong.
• I'm hearing that Oregon made quite the impression on defensive end DeForest Buckner and JUCO offensive tackle Kyle Long. Both would be excellent additions to the Ducks' class, which just seems to get better and better.
• Sticking in the SEC, there are rumors that Arkansas might have locked up JUCO receiver Courtney Gardner. Gardner is scheduled to take a visit to Florida State this weekend, but the folks in Tallahassee won't be shocked if it doesn't happen. Arkansas has been recruiting Gardner longer than anyone, and Arkansas' receiver coach was the man in charge of recruiting Gardner to Nevada when the receiver was still in high school.
• Former Notre Dame commitment David Perkins had a good visit to Columbia Mizzouri and came away impressed with the Tigers, per ESPN:
"It was definitely the family-oriented things that impressed me the most," Perkins said. "[The coaches] came in talking about family a lot -- a real family-oriented team. And when I got there I was like ‘They really are tight like that.’ "
This will be a tough battle for Mizzouri, as LSU, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee are still in the race.
Defensive End Javonte Magee also visited Mizzouri over the weekend. Mizzouri fans are confident, as are LSU fans, which is strange because Magee is yet to visit LSU.
For more on Missouri recruiting, visit Rock M Nation.
• Colorado gained a commitment from Defensive Lineman Josh Tupou. I haven't seen Tupou play, but the Ralphie Report has you covered:
It wasn't that long ago that we were looking at the current state of the 2012 Buffaloes recruiting class and bemoaning the small number of defensive players that had pledged to play in Boulder next season. Less than three weeks later Colorado has added their fourth verbal commitment on the defensive line, a huge position of need for the team over the next two seasons. Tupou is pretty under the radar due to a transfer to Buena Park from Orange and a lack of film combined with some raw abilities. He should be a great candidate to improve quickly once he learns the techniques of the position and he has the size that will be needed on the line.
And the Buffs also gained a commitment from Donta Abron Jr. He's a scatback from California.
For more on Colorado Buffalos recruiting, check out The Ralphie Report.
• Maryland loses three-star DE commitment ... less than two weeks after he committed. Deshawn Cody, a decent commitment out of Ohio.
• Florida State insiders feel pretty confident about the meeting with JUCO cornerback Travell Dixon. Dixon is still considering Alabama, Miami and others. Playing time is always important to a JUCO player, due to the limited amount of eligibility with which they enter college. Still, his last visit is with the Hurricanes, and Miami can offer more playing time than any of his other offers.
• The University of Buffalo secured a commitment from its kicker of the future, Tyler Grassman.