Notre Dame still has some work to do after getting a commitment from Durham Smythe, a highly touted 4-star tight end.
Smythe announced his decision on Jan. 27 following his weekend visit to South Bend (via Twitter):January 27, 2013
With Smythe locked in, the Irish must shift focus to the defensive side of the ball. February 6 is right around the corner, and two of the Fighting Irish’s top targets are still undecided about where they will play their college football careers.
Defensive linemen Eddie Vanderdoes and Kylie Fitts were both in line to go to USC after committing to play football for the Trojans in 2012. However, things changed, and the two California natives have extended their search from the confines of Southern California.
Could either one or both of them be headed to South Bend? Let’s take a look at the latest on their recruitment and an updated outlook for the Irish landing these two key prospects.
Eddie Vanderdoes, 5-star defensive tackle
Vanderdoes, a former USC commit, visited South Bend from Jan. 25-27 to hear the pitch from the Irish team. Irish DT Louis Nix was one of his hosts for the weekend, and he came away with a seemingly positive experience (via Twitter):
Great time out here at #ND everyone's so cool.— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 27, 2013
He didn't stop there, tweeting once more about his experience:
Pretty cool that everyone knows me out here to. Even the students that don't play sports!— EV4™ (@EddieVanderdoes) January 27, 2013
Vanderdoes would represent a huge boost to an already successful Irish recruiting class. His size, strength and versatility to play in all three defensive line positions in the Irish’s 3-4 scheme would make him an integral asset and instant contributor.
But was his fun weekend in South Bend enough to sway him in favor of the Irish? Alabama will have the last shot at getting his commitment when he visits Tuscaloosa next weekend.
Kylie Fitts, 4-star defensive end
Like Vanderdoes, fellow Californian defensive lineman Kylie Fitts also spent the weekend in South Bend. And like Vanderdoes, Fitts also recently withdrew his commitment to USC.
Fitts sounds like he had a great visit, too, according to comments he made on his Twitter account following the trip:
Headed back to the airport! Had an awesome time here at Notre Dame thanks to @matthiasfarley !! Its gonna be a hard decision on feb 6!!!!— Kylie Fitts (@K_Fitts93) January 27, 2013
Whatever happened in Indiana was enough to sway Smythe to sign following the trip. Was it enough for Fitts, too?
There is still some time to go until signing day, but things are looking positive for the Irish to get a commitment from the very promising DE.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
Iowa Hawkeyes head football coach Kirk Ferentz has taken his share of heat lately, most of it deserved.
However, it is worthwhile to consider some of the great moments he has brought to Iowa football. It is also worthwhile to keep in mind that while his current contract may be absurd, and it makes him effectively untouchable, he did earn it.
Lastly, there has been a positive return on the investment in his time at Iowa thus far. Therefore, absurd contract or not, he has earned one more chance to turn this program around.
The following will recount Ferentz's 14 greatest individual wins as the Iowa head coach. That is one for each year he has been in Iowa City, though, admittedly, the majority of the wins came between 2002 and 2004, an era that seems so long ago.
The wins are listed from least greatest to greatest.
The ranking not only takes into consideration the game itself, but also the importance of the game to the program and whether it contributed to a successful season overall.
For example, the 2006 Syracuse game, while exciting to watch—or at least overtime was exciting—was one small glimmer in an abysmal year. It was also against a team that finished the season 4-8 and whose head coach was pretty abysmal.
Enjoy, Hawkeye fans. I can remember where I was during all of them. Can you?
Another weekend of official visitors to the Plains has come and gone and it yielded positive results when 3-star athlete Marcus Davis committed to the Tigers. Davis was one of seven official visitors to Auburn this weekend.
Davis was Auburn's third commitment in three days. He joined WR Dominic Walker and LB Kenny Flowers, who both committed to Auburn on Jan. 25.
Since the start of the new year, Auburn has accumulated nine commitments to bring the number of commitments up to 19. The Tigers are ranked No. 17 in the 247sports composite rankings.
It appears that Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and staff have some momentum on the recruiting trail with just a week and a half remaining until national signing day on Feb. 6.
"It's going really well," Malzahn told Joel Erickson of al.com at the Senior Bowl. "We've got some momentum, and I really feel like we'll finish well."
Auburn is poised to do as Malzahn predicted and make some noise on the recruiting trail in the remaining days until signing day. If things go the Tigers' way, they could land a fourth consecutive top-10 recruiting class.
Considering that Auburn just went through its worst season in the modern era and went through a coaching change, landing a top-10 class would be a remarkable achievement and Malzahn's first big win as Auburn's head coach.
College football recruiting is a season in and of itself. There are many ebbs and flows that go along with it.
That is not a surprise when an 18-year-old is at the center of it all. It is very cyclical and when a coaching staff has momentum on the recruiting trail, it feels like every prospect in America wants to come play for that team.
Without momentum on the trail, it feels like the bleeding will never stop.
Auburn found a band-aid for the bleeding it was suffering in a horrible downswing on and off the field.
On top of suffering through a horrible 2012 campaign, the Tigers saw seven decommitments from top prospects in the three weeks (Nov. 25—Dec. 18) after former head coach Gene Chizik was fired. Auburn dropped as low as No. 28 in the recruiting rankings.
The Tigers are now on an upswing.
Since that time, Auburn has added 10 names to the recruiting class and enrolled three JUCO commitments that will participate in spring practice.
A lot of this recruiting momentum that Auburn is experiencing has to do with the hiring of Malzahn's first coaching staff. His staff is filled with acclaimed recruiters who are very familiar with recruiting in the southeast.
Malzahn hired recruiting coordinators away from Florida State (Dameyune Craig), Arkansas (Tim Horton) and Georgia (Rodney Garner).
But the coaching staff isn't the only reason that Auburn is poised for a strong finish in recruiting.
The weekend of Feb. 1 will be huge for the Auburn program and could affect the next four to five years.
Auburn will be hosting three 5-star prospects on the Plains next weekend, at the very least. That number could jump to four if DT Montravius Adams decides to take an official visit. LB Reuben Foster and DEs Chris Jones and Carl Lawson have scheduled an official visit.
Those are prospects that will make an impact as soon as they step foot on campus wherever they choose to play.
Also scheduled to visit are 4-star FSU commits Marquez White and Austin Golson. It would not be a surprise to see other names added to the list before next weekend.
Auburn is the last scheduled visit for so many big names only five days before signing day, and that can heavily impact the decisions that these prospects end up making. The Auburn campus and football program will be the last thing they see and the time they spent with the coaching staff will be fresh in their minds.
If next weekend's efforts result in only one signature on national signing day, the efforts will be worth it.
Momentum is in the corner of the Auburn football program on the recruiting trail and it appears that the Tigers are poised to keep the ball rolling all the way to national signing day.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com