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Friday, January 31, 2014
Early Offer: A winning attitude

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Coaches say things like size and speed are important when determining whether or not they will pursue a recruit, but one ACC head coach has something else that’s vital in his team’s evaluation process; Les Miles and Nick Saban were in the home of the nation’s No. 1 receiver prospect on Thursday.

Overlooked part of evaluation

I was visiting with an ACC head coach Thursday and asked him what he thought were the most important qualities players in his recruiting class. The coach said athletic ability and position-specific skills were obviously important, but he also pointed out one of the biggest things his coaches look for are a winning attitude. “We spend a lot of time trying to identify players that come from winning programs,” the coach said. “It’s one of the things you never hear come up when looking at where a player’s ranked or how many stars he has, but to us, it’s one of the most important. We don’t want a player that accepts losing, especially when you’re trying to win at a high level. It really is one of the key factors when we decide whether or not to offer a kid or put him on our board.”

Special guests

When you’re the No. 1 receiver in the nation and you haven’t made up your mind with less than one week to national signing day, you’re bound to have coaches knocking at your front door. And that’s exactly what happened for Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis) on Thursday. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver, the No. 17 player overall, started the day off with a visit from Alabama head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. Then later in the afternoon, Dupre got a visit from LSU coach Les Miles. Dupre tweeted pictures of both meetings, drawing a lot of excitement from both Tigers and Crimson Tide fans.

Nations No. 1 WR @MalachiDupre with #Alabama HC Nick Saban & OC Lane Kiffin at AM in-home visit. pic.twitter.com/Y4BUxpMnGl

— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) January 30, 2014

Good in home visit with Coach Miles and LSU pic.twitter.com/FY1jxPLj1U

— Malachi Dupre (@MalachiDupre) January 30, 2014
Dupre will take one last official visit this upcoming weekend to UCLA before announcing his decision at 10:30 a.m. ET on national signing day. His decision will be aired live by ESPNU. Florida State and Ole Miss are also on Dupre's list.

Stoops gets his guy

Mark Stoops said a few weeks back that Kentucky wasn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe against anybody on the recruiting trail. He knew that they weren’t going to win every battle, but he was also confident enough in his staff’s ability to win more than they lost. And that’s exactly what happened with Matt Elam, the four-star defensive tackle from Elizabethtown (Ky.) John Hardin that committed to the Wildcats Thursday. The Wildcats did a tremendous job of convincing Elam, the No. 26 defensive tackle in the country, to commit to UK at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl, but Alabama encouraged him to take an official visit to Tuscaloosa in January. In the end, Stoops and Co. sold Elam again on why he needed to be a Wildcat, and the addition should cement Kentucky’s spot in the top 20 of the class rankings.