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Army Bowl: Predicting commitments for five top prospects

SAN ANTONIO – The week of practices at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl continues to move along ahead of Saturday’s game, and so do more predictions on players that are not committed. Here is a look at five more.

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The skinny: Nebraska and USC have become the clear top two for the five-star receiver, and really he could go either way at this point. The Los Angeles Hawkins standout will see both schools in the coming weeks along with a trip to Arizona State and possibly one more before signing day.

Prediction: USC

It’s understandable why the Huskers seem relatively confident with Lewis, especially since he’s been to Lincoln numerous times, has a great relationship with position coach Keith Williams and California recruiter Donte Williams, who is now on staff. But the Trojans continue to pursue Lewis as tough as anyone, the school is literally just miles from his high school and staying closer to home might play a bigger factor as Signing Day get closer.

The skinny: Tufele has stayed pretty mum about which programs are really in the lead for his services, but it sure looks like Ohio State and Utah are the frontrunners. Michigan, USC and BYU round out his top five. The four-star defensive tackle has been having a great week of practice, and whichever program gets him is getting a top-notch player who’s a gap-shooting lineman and super quick off the snap.

Prediction: Utah

Ohio State could have been easily predicted because Tufele has loved his interactions with that coaching staff and others could sneak in there late, but the Utes have been on him for a long time and playing at the hometown school could be the move. A lot of top Utah talent decides to stay local, and that’s going to be our guess with Tufele – that he adds size and weight in the coming years and dominates in the Pac-12.

The skinny: Texas, Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Michigan and Utah round out the top six for Benjamin, who made an early commitment to Iowa but backed off in recent months.

Prediction: Arizona State

The Sun Devils have made inroads with Benjamin. Texas looked like it could land the in-state running back, but the Longhorns have taken commitments from two running backs since offering Benjamin earlier in December. Oklahoma and maybe Michigan are in there as well, but our guess is that the four-star heads to the Pac-12.

The skinny: Can Alabama go back into Louisiana to take one of the state’s top prospects, or will first-year LSU coach Ed Orgeron flex his muscle and keep Smith home? There’s also a third possibility where Miami sneaks in and steals the four-star receiver, so this situation remains fluid as Army week continues.

Prediction: Alabama

The thinking here is this: Coach Nick Saban gets what Nick Saban wants. He has had success going into Louisiana and landing top prospects in recent recruiting classes, and it looks like the Crimson Tide are well positioned with Smith as well. Sure, LSU could keep him home and Miami or another program could come in late, but we’re guessing it’s Roll Tide for the four-star WR.

The skinny: The four-star offensive tackle played in California until his senior season, when Filiaga moved to Texas. It opened up all kinds of possibilities for his recruitment – whether he would stay in the state, return to the West or possibly go somewhere else. Nebraska and Michigan seem to be fighting it out most for him at this point as Filiaga continues to figure out which spot is best for him.

Prediction: Michigan

The Wolverines have done a tremendous job recruiting Filiaga through his senior season, and it seems like the Big Ten powerhouse will land one of the nation’s best offensive tackles. He’s had a challenging start to Army week, but Filiaga is big and powerful and should be a nice addition to Michigan’s outstanding recruiting class.