- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notre Dame is now No. 1 in both the BCS and the college football recruiting world.
Max Redfield, the nation's No. 4 athlete out of Mission Viejo (Calif.) High School, was one of five players to commit Friday night at the Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field. His pledge propelled the Fighting Irish to the No. 1 spot in the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings over BCS National Championship opponent Alabama.
Redfield's commitment is the 23rd for Notre Dame, which counts 10 members of the ESPN 150 in its Class of 2013. Redfield, the No. 3 prospect in California, ranks behind linebacker Jaylon Smith of Fort Wayne, Ind., and running back Greg Bryant of Delray Beach, Fla., on Notre Dame's list.
The highest-profile player to commit in the game -- won by Team Highlight 16-3 -- was four-star athlete Kendell Beckwith of Jackson (La.) East Feliciana.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Beckwith chose LSU over SEC West rival Alabama midway through the first quarter. Beckwith, the sixth member of the ESPN 150 to join LSU's class, said he felt more comfortable with the Tigers.
"It's just a school that I felt more at home with -- that I was most comfortable with throughout the whole process," he said.
Beckwith said it doesn't matter which position he ends up playing.
"Defensive end or outside linebacker," he said, "it really doesn't matter to me."
Four-star defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Thomas Jefferson was next to make his pledge. The ESPN 150-ranked defensive end verbally committed to Clemson over the home-state Syracuse Orange. Clemson's recruiting class is ranked No. 14.
As a senior, Ogundeko totaled 74 tackles, including 17 sacks. He is the nation's No. 10 defensive end.
Inside linebacker Trey Johnson of Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinett committed to Ohio State at halftime. The nation's No. 2 inside linebacker chose the Buckeyes over Tennessee and Florida. Johnson said OSU's depth chart was a deciding factor.
"When I took a visit up there, it was different," Johnson said. "I kind of like the feel up there, the depth chart. And there are many factors that make it a good fit there."
The addition of Johnson gives Ohio State 20 commitments, nine of those being members of the ESPN 150, and boosts what is already the No. 4 recruiting class.
Safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) was the last prospect to commit. The nation's No. 3 safety chose USC over Vanderbilt, Oregon, Florida State and Michigan.
McQuay's pledge ended a string of four decommitments to USC since November. Four-star wide receiver Sebastion LaRue reopened his commitment Wednesday after UA Game practice. McQuay is ranked as the No. 32 player in the nation.
Florida commit Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, Fla./Wharton) was named Team Highlight's MVP after recording five tackles, an interception and a tackle for a loss. Four-star linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) was recognized as Team Nitro's MVP after he racked up six tackles, two tackles for a loss and a pass breakup.
Playing in his hometown, UCLA kicker commit Sean Covington of St. Petersburg High School got the scoring started for Team Highlight with a 25-yard field goal late in the first quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 28-yard run by uncommitted running back Alvin Kamara of Norcross (Ga.) High School.
Team Nitro got on the board in the second quarter with a 44-yard field goal by 6-foot-5, 270-pounder Ryan Santoso (Pace, Fla./Pace), a Minnesota commit. Covington put the final points of the game on the board with a 31-yard field goal.
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