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May 16, 2013

Rivals Camp Series Then and Now: Defense

MORE: Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour

The regional portion of the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour gave us the opportunity to not only evaluate more than 3,000 players but get an update on the recruitment of the nation's top prospects. But things can change quickly in recruiting, and what was true when the Series kicked off in March might no longer apply.

Today, we look at some select defensive players whose recruitment has changed significantly.

RIVALS CAMP SERIES THEN AND NOW: DEFENSE
LB TRE WILLIAMS, MOBILE (ALA.) ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL RCS BIRMINGHAM
THEN
Williams named a top five of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss and USC, but most considered his recruitment to be a battle between Auburn and Alabama. There was no indication that a commitment could be on horizon, though, as Williams continually referenced his relationships with coaches at USC and Florida.
NOW
Auburn it is. Williams is committed to the Tigers, a decision he said he kept quiet for a week before going public. He referenced the family atmosphere on the school's campus as the reason for his choice and downplayed the significance of the struggles that plagued the program under its previous regime last season.

LB DERIK CALHOUN, EL CERRITO, Calif. RCS LOS ANGELES
THEN
Calhoun never came out and said it, but at the time it was clear that he favored UCLA. At the event, the four-star linebacker stated he had no desire to play college football on a cold-weather campus. In addition to the Bruins, he mentioned Arizona State, California and USC.
NOW
Calhoun has come right out and said UCLA is the team to beat. And while that might not represent much of a change, it means something that he's now unafraid to put his affinity for the Bruins on the record. He has picked up a handful more offers since showing out at the Los Angeles Rivals Camp stop, but the Bruins remain top dog in his eyes.

LB Kain Daub, Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood RCS ORLANDO
THEN
Daub, who held 11 offers, named Florida State and Alabama as his top two options. At the RCS, he was considered a Florida State lean and was planning a visit to Tallahassee.
NOW
He has been committed to Florida State for more than a month and seems solid in his choice. There hasn't been much buzz around the four-star prospect since he made his choice, and that's how Seminole fans like it.

DB Avery Anderson, Colorado Springs (Colo.) Pine Creek (2015) RCS PHOENIX
THEN
Anderson was a relatively unknown underclassman at the RCS Phoenix. He landed on the event's top performers list, though, and buzz started to build for there. Nebraska and others got involved in his recruitment.
NOW
Anderson attended Nebraska's spring game and fielded initial interest from a few other schools. But just when it seemed his recruitment was receiving a jolt as a result of his Rivals Camp Series performance, he accepted an Arizona State offer on the spot.

DB Adam Soesman, Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan RCS LOS ANGELES
THEN
Soesman had two offers when he arrived at the RCS stop in Los Angeles. Back then, Washington State and Houston were the only schools that had made things official with an invitation. Still, he said California would become his leader of the school decided to offer.
NOW
He's still waiting for that offer from Cal, but other programs have pulled the trigger. Soesman is now up to six scholarship offers and carries invitations from Oregon State, Arizona State and Fresno State, among others. He has been in frequent contact with coaches at UCLA as well.

DB Jermaine Roberts, New Orleans St. Augustine RCS HOUSTON
THEN
Texas, Alabama and Texas A&M made up Jermaine Roberts' list of favorites at RCS Houston. He had just returned from a visit to Tuscaloosa but did so without a scholarship offer. At the time, he wasn't sure if he would hold off to see how things developed with the Crimson Tide or decide between the Longhorns and Aggies, from which he already held offers.
NOW
An offer from the Tide eventually arrived but it mattered none. Roberts committed to Texas on April 12 and remains a member of the Longhorns' 2014 class. His decision to pledge his services to Texas was the product of an unofficial visit that catapulted Mack Brown's program from underdog to top dog.

DT Trey Lealaimatafao San Antonio (Texas) Warren RCS HOUSTON
THEN
The last visit Lealaimatafao took before RCS Houston was to Oklahoma. And while he said he enjoyed his time in Norman, he refused to name any favorites in his recruitment. He held a handful of scholarship offers but was still in the process of gathering more. There was no hint at that commitment could be on the horizon.
NOW
Lealaimatafao is committed to Texas on March 31 after an unofficial visit to the campus for the program's spring game. Following his commitment, he said that he had no plans to take any other visits, unofficial or official, in the future.

LB Kyron Watson RCS ST. LOUIS
THEN
At RCS St. Louis, Watson named Michigan as the team to beat for his services. He hinted that a commitment to the Wolverines could be coming in short order. He wasn't shy about that that if it were his mother making the decision, he would end up at Kansas, however. Still, all signs pointed to Ann Arbor.
NOW
Mother, apparently, knows best. Watson is now committed to the Jayhawks despite offers from 10 other schools. Upon giving Kansas his verbal commitment, he canceled a scheduled trip to Michigan and seems to have shut down his recruitment.



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