Mid-Atlantic mailbag: Silent commit for ND

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Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Mike Farrell addresses questions from readers in his weekly mailbag.
SEC to Big

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East flip?
What are the chances
Tashawn Bower flips to Rutgers as Auburn
loses and Rutgers continues to win?
-- Floyd from Teaneck, NJ
This has become a hot topic recently, mainly because of a perfect storm of
events. Rutgers remains undefeated and poised to make a run at a BCS
bowl, while Auburn is floundering and coach Gene Chizik is on
the hottest seat possible. On top of that, Bower has long been very comfortable
on the Rutgers campus and attended RU's most recent home victory against
Syracuse. But is there any real substance to all of this? While this
may not play out until an official announcement is made by Auburn regarding
Chizik and his staff, Rutgers is very much a player if they are let go. Bower is
very much a local prospect, has friends on the team and at the school, and is
getting a good amount of push to stay at home.
Staying close
to home
Robert Foster is visiting Alabama this weekend and now
there are rumors about an Ohio State visit as well. Can Pitt still land him?
-- John from Aliquippa, Pa.
Throughout the process, Foster has not had much interest in dealing with the
publicity that usually comes with being a four-star prospect. With an official
to Alabama this weekend, it will certainly be tempting as he watches
the No. 1 team in the nation in an atmosphere that Pitt can't compete with. As
for Ohio State, I'm not sold the Buckeyes are actively recruiting him unless
they whiff on Shelton Gibson and all of James Quick,
Tony Stevens, Cornelius Elder and JUCO Corey Smith. Keep in mind,
Foster took a visit to Ohio State in the spring and sources say he turned off
the staff with his lack of interest in academics and a few tweets.
So can Pitt overcome Alabama? The answer is definitely yes. Foster has long come
across as a homebody who, when push comes to shove, will likely decide to stay
closer to home. The Panthers coaching staff has done a very good job showing him
that staying home is the best option and Foster is listening.
This recruiting
process is taking a very similar path to that of running back
Rushel Shell, who ironically signed with Pittsburgh earlier this year
after early interest in Ohio State and flirtation with Alabama. While it is
still possible that Foster will be blown away by his visit to Tuscaloosa or that
Urban Meyer may be too tempted not to pursue such a talent, my guess is
that he will stay home in Pittsburgh.
Talking rumors
Did Al-Quadin Muhammad commit to Notre Dame like rumors
-- George from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rumors were flying that this was
official about two weeks ago, and since then everything has died down. However,
that does not mean that something did not happen.
When there is that much smoke,
you can generally assume that there was a fire. More than a few sources,
including a very good one tied to Bosco, believe that Muhammad is a silent
commitment to Notre Dame now, but that he does not want to make it
official and public until he announces it at the Army All-American Bowl in early
January. Rutgers will continue to do their best to change his mind in
the next two months, but with Notre Dame enjoying a very successful season, it
seems like a very tall task for their coaching staff, even if the Scarlet
Knights make a BCS bowl of their own.
Making up
Is Virginia Tech a player for wide receiver Marquez North?
-- Walt from Lynchburg, Va.
They are still in the conversation
but they probably still have some ground to make up on top contenders such as
Clemson, North Carolina, Florida and
Tennessee. If the Hokies were having their typical season (i.e. 10
wins), their chances would be even better but he seemed lukewarm after his
unofficial visit recently and said he doesn't know a bunch about the program.
That's usually the kiss of death after a visit.
There have been a few twists and turns in this one, but Clemson is the school
North seems to consistently come back to.
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