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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Early Offer: Starks back in action

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: After transferring to Cherry Creek in Colorado, four-star running back Nathan Starks was finally able to get back on the field last Friday night, and that could help his recruiting stock; USC continues to make a strong local push; and the battle for one of the nation’s top defensive backs is getting heated.

Starks returns to the field
Starks, a four-star running back, had to watch his teammates at Greenwood Village (Colo.) Cherry Creek play six games from the sidelines after the Colorado High School Activities Association after deeming him ineligible after transferring from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. That changed this past Friday after Starks, the nation’s No. 30 running back, won his appeal with the state association after a day-long round with an arbitrator. Neil Devlin of the Denver Post did a great job recapping Starks’ battle with the CHSAA, and Starks told him that he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders. “I've finally gotten my life back,” Starks, who rushed for 53 yards on seven carries, told the Post. When he was at Gorman, Starks was one of the nation’s most highly recruited players. But after the transfer and sitting out for the start of his senior season, some schools have cooled on him. However, Starks said Oklahoma has remained in contact, and it will be interesting to see who comes into the picture again now that he’s back on the field.

Trojans go on an offer spree
Nobody loves the recruiting trail more than Ed Orgeron, and now that he’s the interim coach at USC, he’s being ultra-aggressive with offers to five new prospects over the last two weeks in Southern California. The Trojans first offered three-star outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) and quickly picked up his commitment. Then offers came to Boise State receiver commit Shay Fields (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Los Angeles Loyola offensive lineman Chris Brown, UCLA receiver commit Jordan Lasley (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and defensive end Olajuwon Tucker (Gardena, Calif./Serra). The offers will likely lead to commitments from a number of the prospects and help generate some positive buzz after Lane Kiffin left a bad impression with many Los Angeles prospects. But it also could lead to a numbers crunch when a new head coach is hired. If you’re a USC fan, you’re hoping the Trojans will leave room for top-ranked players like athlete Adoree' Jackson, quarterback Brad Kaaya, defensive back John Smith, offensive lineman Damien Mama and others.

Battle for Hampton heats up
Ole Miss defensive back commitment C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Miss./Meridian) took his official visit to Oxford this past weekend and gushed about his time with the Rebels' players and coaches. However, the battle for Hampton is far from over. Hampton has already visited Tuscaloosa, Ala., twice unofficially and likely will be back on campus for the Crimson Tide's showdown against LSU. One SEC insider believes that despite the pledge to the Rebels, Alabama is the “team to beat.”