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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Early Offer: Pulling out all the stops

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini brought his lucky charm with him on the recruiting trail Wednesday; while a lot of fans are focused on Adoree' Jackson and John Smith, schools haven’t forgotten about Damien Mama; and Notre Dame’s upgrades to its facilities will help on the trail.

Hope recruits don’t have allergies

Coaches have to use whatever tricks they can while on the trail in recruiting’s final week, and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is doing that surprisingly through social media. Working with Huskers assistant John Papuchis, Pelini was seen Wednesday in a picture boarding a plane with a cat carrier. The picture is in reference to his Twitter impersonator @FauxPelini, who has mocked Pelini for months with pictures of Pelini and cats together. Pelini has never been known as being social media-friendly, but you do whatever it takes with only six days to signing day. The ploy worked, as a number of recruits and more than 1,000 people retweeted the picture or favorited it.

Another Day on the grind with the Boss and his cats #catlover #GBR #allergic. Got to love closing time!

— John Papuchis (@CoachJP_NU) January 29, 2014

For the record, I searched and was not able to find an NCAA rule that would prevent a coach from bringing a cat with him on an in-home visit.

The battle for Mama

With four of the top six players in California still uncommitted, it’s easy to overlook movement with one of the players within that group. Take Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco offensive guard Damien Mama for example. With all the attention on Adoree' Jackson and John Smith, fans across the nation might have missed the battle this week that has erupted for Mama’s final visit. On Tuesday it appeared that Mama, the No. 5 player in California and No. 4 guard, was going to take an official visit to UCLA and had canceled earlier plans to visit BYU. But by Wednesday, Mama was back on the visit schedule for the Cougars. USC is projected as the team to beat, but keep an eye on the Cougars. BYU has a great track record with players of Polynesian heritage.

Notre Dame ups its game

On Wednesday Notre Dame unveiled a sweeping $400 million renovation plan to upgrade Notre Dame Stadium. The plans call for the construction of separate structures to on the East, West and South sides of the stadium that will include new premium seating, a student recreation center, the university's in-house media production center and a career services center. All of those things are great for the University, but more importantly the upgrades will definitely be used as a recruiting tool by Brian Kelly.

“It’s an arms race,” a Notre Dame assistant said. “We have been told by recruits that other schools have used the stadium against us, but they won’t be able to anymore.”