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Winter storm Jonas making crucial East Coast college football recruiting visits difficult

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

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We should all monitor how winter storm Jonas affects recruiting, just weeks before Signing Day. Virginia Tech has already cancelled its big recruiting weekend due to the inclement weather. New staffs in places like Maryland and Virginia also have to be worried. This is one reason why schools who experience nasty weather try to get kids from nicer climates to visit earlier in the year.

Washington landed an elite athlete in Byron Murphy, a player many thought would stay home and play for Arizona State. I'm very impressed with what Chris Petersen is doing at Washington. Stanford is stealing the Pac-12 headlines for its great class -- though it has been leaking lately -- but the Huskies are bringing in an impressive level of talent. Petersen has a very good reputation for scouting and developing. House of Sparky discusses what the Sun Devils will do without Murphy.

Loved this profile of Tom Brady. Recruiting rankings are really good, but how the heck do you evaluate whether a 17-year-old will become good at delegating and trusting others around him? Is that even something that should be attempted? If everything about a recruit could be evaluated, football would be really boring. We'd just crown the national champion on National Signing Day and ride bikes on Saturdays. (Technically, this would have worked more often than not during Nick Saban's tenure at Alabama, but the hope for an upset keeps things interesting.)

LSU landed four-star offensive tackle Willie Allen over TCU. There were rumors swirling in the recruiting community that some schools (like Ole Miss) might not take him at tackle and would want him to play guard, but in the end, that apparently got cleared up and he will stay in-state. The Tigers now have the No. 1 recruiting class, vaulting over Ohio State, and have the best chance of any school to end Alabama's streak of No. 1 classes. And to think LSU almost ran Les Miles off.

Penn State lost out on an important receiver commitment, but it has some backup plans.

Jim Harbaugh gained a commitment from one of the best cornerbacks out West. Michigan is rolling.

As South Carolina's complete lack of winning tradition shows, it's very tough to get good players to South Carolina, but Will Muschamp's staff deserves credit for making kids think about the Gamecocks.