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Sunday, August 31, 2014
Early Offer: Despite loss, Cowboys win

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting news across the country. Today’s offerings: Despite losing to Florida State, Oklahoma State could end up being a winner on the recruiting trail because of its effort. Plus, Oregon brought in two key official visitors for its first game of the season and was rewarded with an ESPN 300 commitment, and we continue our tour of the top recruiting happenings on social media.

1. Even though Oklahoma State wasn’t able to upset No. 1-ranked Florida State Saturday, the Cowboys impressed a lot of recruits and could come away big winners on the trail in the long run. I talked to an assistant coach at a prominent high school in Dallas, who was at the game with a number of his top players from the 2015 and 2016 classes, and the coach said all the players wanted to talk about after the game was the effort from Oklahoma State. The Metroplex is one of the most important recruiting territories for Mike Gundy, and the strong showing will surely be mentioned over and over to prospects and their families.

2. Monday marks the beginning of the fall evaluation period on the NCAA recruiting calendar. During this window, which runs through Nov. 29, coaches are allowed to make weekly phone calls to recruits. This marks the first time since May 31 that coaches can legally call recruits. Yes, phone communication has gone on throughout the summer between coaches and recruits, but all of those conversations had to be initiated by the prospect. Coaches weren’t even allowed to return messages if a recruit had called. The next important recruiting date to mark on your calendar is Nov. 30. That’s when the off-campus contact period begins and coaches can make in-home visits to recruits.

3. Some schools love to showcase their game-day environment and use that as a big lure to recruits. One of those programs is Oregon, and the Ducks played host to athlete Malik Lovette and receiver Jaylinn Hawkins on official visits this weekend. The move to bring in recruits early, instead of waiting for the traditional December official visit window, worked as Lovette pledged to the Ducks. Lovette, an ESPN 300 athlete that ranks as the No. 29 player in California, looks to be a nice fit at a number of positions for the Ducks.

Social Studies
On Friday, I wrote about how it would be a big recruiting weekend for Virginia Tech despite the Hokies hosting William & Mary. The Hokies beat the Tribe 34-9, but more importantly, it looks like elite prospects such as ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tim Settle, offensive tackle Matt Burrell Jr. and four-star Darrell Taylor were impressed.

ESPN 300 corner Holton Hill remains one of the top uncommitted prospects in the Lone Star State, and the battle to land him is intense. Currently Texas is the team projected to land Hill, but it sure looks like he was having a good time at Sunday’s Baylor game.

Playing time ranks as one of the most important factors in a prospect’s decision, and based on tweets like this from Alabama ESPN 300 commitment Deionte Thompson, they’re paying attention to the schools allowing young players to see the field early.