College Football Recruiting Notebook: Sept. 2

Notre Dame lands AC100 DT and the nation's new No. 1 QB highlight this week's recruiting notebook.

Notre Dame lands AC100 DT and the nation's new No. 1 QB highlight this week's recruiting notebook.

Each week, Athlon recruiting editor Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden) takes a big-picture glance at the world of recruiting - the lifeblood of college football. Official visits, verbal commitments, rankings updates and high school results will be incorporated into Athlon Sports' national recruiting notebook.

It was a relatively quiet week on the recruiting trail. Not surprising considering high school football began in earnest last weekend and the college game kicks-off this weekend.

Notre Dame Lands Big Fish

The biggest news of the week came when Athlon Consensus 100 defensive tackle Jarron Jones made his verbal pledge to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound defensive lineman hails from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, New York. He is the No. 22 overall player in the nation and the No. 3-rated defensive tackle in the AC100. He instantly becomes the highest-rated prospect in this class.

The big nose guard had previously been verballed to Penn State but decommitted and chose Notre Dame over Virginia Tech, North Carolina and the Nittany Lions. He is a massive interior player who could wind up on either side of the ball. He has excellent power and strength at the point of attack and has incredible length in his upper body. Jones actually has room to get bigger and could be scary playing around 315 pounds.

Brian Kelly established himself as an elite recruiter last fall when he landed the best defensive class in the nation. It appears he is pillaging the nation for front seven defenders again in 2012. Jones becomes the 14th Irish commitment and makes this a top-15 class nationally — including fellow AC100 D-Lineman Sheldon Day.

Jones is the fifth AC100 verbal pledge for Notre Dame. Defensive back Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif.) is ranked No. 51, defensive back Ronald Darby (Oxon Hill, Md.) is No. 54, wideout Deontay Greenberry (Fresno, Calif.) is No. 85 and Day (Indianapolis, Ind.) is No. 92.

Only Florida State’s six AC100 commitments best Kelly’s five.

Quarterback Flip-Flop

Talent evaluation is an on-going process with a never-ending schedule of tournaments, showcases, camps, and most importantly, actual football games. Rivals and 24/7 Sports are two of the six services used to compile the AC100, and both reworked their rankings of late. Both had big things to say about the nation’s No. 1 quarterback.

Columbus (Ind.) East’s Gunner Kiel (pictured) was the nation’s No. 1 quarterback recruit since the debut of the 2012 AC100. However, after the recent “re-vals,” Hueytown’s (Ala.) Jameis Winston is now America’s top signal-caller. Winston, also a talented Major League Baseball prospect, now sits as the No. 12-ranked prospect regardless of position — two spots ahead of Kiel, who rests at No. 14 for the time being.

Winston pushed Hueytown High to a come-from-behind victory over 4A defending state champs Thomasville by rushing 117 yards and four touchdowns. However, he completed just 10 of his 21 passes for 138 yards and three interceptions. While he was a bit rusty through the air, Winston’s two late scoring drives prove he is a force to reckoned with.

Kiel, on the other hand, struggled mightily in his season-opener against Greenwood (IN) High School. He completed just four of his 17 attempts for an unimaginable 44 yards. He did rush for 70 yards on 10 carries and his team won 28-7, but one has to wonder why the nation’s No. 2 quarterback managed only five yards passing the second half.

It is only one game, but it proves that Kiel clearly has work left to do in order to be ready to play for the Hoosiers next season. Scouts are certainly ready to see Kiel back out on the field this weekend.

The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Kiel is headed to Indiana while the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Winston is committed to Florida State.

This Week’s Other Commitments:

Alabama: Darius Philon, DT, Prichard (AL) Vigor, 6-2, 265
Boise State: Chanceller James, S, Spring Valley (CA) Steele Canyon, 6-3, 190
Arkansas: Robert Gregory, QB, Chicago (IL) Simeon, 6-2, 185
Oregon State: Joel Skotte, MLB, Bend (OR) Mountain View, 6-2, 225
Louisville: Patrick Jean, OLB, Port St. Lucie (FL) Treasure Coast, 6-3, 200

Exclude From Games: 
<p> Notre Dame lands AC100 tackle and nation's new No. 1 QB highlight this week's recruiting notebook.</p>

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