A pair of Boyds are making some noise on the recruiting trail.
First, Gastonia (N.C.) Ashbrook wide receiver Jheranie Boyd has been full of surprises lately. Boyd took an official visit to Oklahoma a couple of weekends ago and went to North Carolina State last weekend.
Oklahoma wasn't on Boyd's radar until Sooners assistant Jay Norvell visited his school the week before his official visit, and NCSU was all but dead in the water until assistants Andy McCollum and Dana Bible did a great job getting Boyd on campus.
The most interesting aspect of this recruiting race could be Florida's insistence that Boyd take his official visit to Gainesville in December. Boyd wanted to take it this weekend to watch the Gators play host to LSU, but the Florida coaching staff wants the last shot at Boyd. They might not get any shot if they try to make him wait, because he wants to make his decision in November.
Boyd has official visits scheduled with Illinois and Missouri, and Clemson or North Carolina could get his last one unless Florida changes its mind - or if Boyd decides to postpone his decision. Auburn still is being listed because they play the same offense Boyd plays in high school, but the Tigers' offensive struggles have hurt them. Oregon is being considered and Georgia has emerged a bit. With Boyd's unpredictability, who knows? Right now, the team to beat is Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, Hampton (Va.) Phoebus quarterback Tajh Boyd isn't saying it publicly, but he's looking at other schools. Boyd is a West Virginia commitment and has a great relationship with Mountaineers assistant Chris Beatty. However, Boyd is considering official visits to Tennessee, Boston College and possibly Oregon. Boyd took his official visit to West Virginia a weekend ago along with fellow four-star commitment Logan Heastie, but he has concerns about the offense.
Tennessee is back in the market for a quarterback after the de-commitment of Josh Nunes. Boston College is looking for two quarterbacks in this class and has no quarterback commitments. Oregon might be too far away, but Boyd likes coordinator Chip Kelly and his offense.
Tajh Boyd isn't the only player having second thoughts.
Wide receiver Bryce McNeal of Minneapolis Breck committed to Michigan in May but he may not end up there. He plans on taking official visits to Colorado and Florida, and sources say Minnesota is the team that truly could steal him away from the Wolverines. Cal is a sleeper.
While Minnesota could get McNeal, it also could lose a commitment. Running back Eric Stephens from Mansfield (Texas) Timberview is getting a lot of love from Big 12 schools, and Texas Tech has emerged as a big-time threat. Stephens had a great official visit to Minnesota, but he is planning on visiting Tech this weekend. Inside word is that if a bigger Big 12 school comes along with an offer later in the process, distance could be a factor.
Michigan commitment Shavodrick Beaver – a quarterback from Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider – long has been rumored to be looking around, but those rumors seemed to fade after Kevin Newsome de-committed and Tate Forcier took his place. Word is starting to spread again that he'll take other visits. One source says Texas Tech is the leading candidate to sign him, while another says it's Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State sounds like the more natural option because Texas Tech prefers pure passers, but both schools could get a look. Still, the feeling here is that he'll visit a Big 12 school or two but will end up at Michigan in the end.
Finally, wide receiver Glasco Martin of Round Rock (Texas) Stony Point is a Baylor commitment, but a recent offer from Kansas has him interested and he likely will visit the Jayhawks. Purdue and Arizona also are in the mix.
• Looking for a sleeper in the race for Somerville (N.J.) Immaculata offensive lineman Mark Brazinski? Try Pennsylvania. Multiple sources believe Brazinski will choose academics and the opportunity to play with his brother, who is at Penn, over offers from Rutgers, Boston College, North Carolina and Florida State.
• USC is back in it for four-star defensive tackle Corey Adams from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro after cooling on him a month ago. The reason? Nick Perry, a 2008 signee, has been cleared by the NCAA and will redshirt for USC this season. With Perry in the fold again at defensive end, the focus is back on defensive tackle. USC was considering getting involved with Michigan de-commit William Campbell, but they are convinced he still is headed to Ann Arbor. USC seems to be trailing Arizona State for Adams, but also keep an eye on Nebraska. Sources say Adams' parents really loved Lincoln.
• It's not often USC loses a committed player, but that could be the case with Inglewood (Calif.) High wide receiver Shaquelle Evans. While Evans never publicly committed to the Trojans, sources say he committed to Pete Carroll following USC's victory over Ohio State. But after an official visit to Notre Dame the weekend of Sept. 26, Evans now has become a strong lean to the Irish. USC, Colorado and Michigan remain in the mix, but Notre Dame will be tough to beat.
• Notre Dame apparently is also the team to beat for linebacker Zeke Motta of Vero Beach (Fla.) High after his official visit to South Bend this past weekend. Motta also has taken official visits to Boston College and Auburn, but Florida might be the biggest threat to Notre Dame. Motta is hoping to take an official visit to Florida soon, then make a decision.
• Cornerback Branden Smith of Atlanta Washington has narrowed his list of schools, and sources say it's a battle between Georgia and Clemson. The Bulldogs hold the edge.
• There has been some speculation regarding Naples (Fla.) High offensive lineman Nick Alajajian. He is a Florida commitment but attended last weekend's Florida State-Miami game. His future position coach at Florida, Steve Addazio, has been mentioned as a candidate for the Syracuse job if it comes open, so Alajajian could be exploring backup options in case that occurs.