Here are five things to watch this weekend:
All eyes on South Bend
The entire recruiting world will be locked in on South Bend, Ind., this weekend as Notre Dame hosts USC -- and about 50 of the country’s elite senior and junior prospects.
At least seven ESPNU 150 members will be on hand including Arik Armstead, a recent USC decommit, Keith Marshall, Shaq Thompson, John Theus, Byron Marshall, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Zach Banner. A host of other four-star athletes will be there, as well as about eight current Notre Dame commits to help the Irish staff recruit a little.
"It’s disorganized or organized chaos," Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Chuck Martin said during a Tuesday press conference. "It’ll be like being a Wall Street trader come Saturday and Sunday, because Sunday’s a big day."
With so many players coming in, the Irish staff will be hard pressed to give all of them the individual attention they would like.
"There won’t be enough time in the day but it is what it is," Martin said. "...We can manage this many. We wouldn't bring in this many if we couldn't manage it. But there's 24 hours in a day and we won't sleep a lot."
With so many elite players coming in, and this being the last opportunity for most to check out the Irish campus, there could be some pressure on the staff to hit a home run, and a big win over USC would definitely help toward that goal.
However, Martin doesn’t see a win as a necessity to having a successful recruiting weekend, though he knows a win would definitely help the Irish’s cause.
"They’re going to have a great weekend regardless," Martin said. "... Obviously if you play well and you win that certainly helps."
The atmosphere will no doubt help turn heads among the recruits. With USC suffering from NCAA sanctions and in a down cycle despite a 5-1 record, the Notre Dame faithful can sense a changing in the tide in a series USC dominated for an entire decade. On top of that, it will be Notre Dame Stadium’s first night game in 21 years.
"This place is going to be electric," Martin said.
Can Michigan State earn bragging rights second straight week?
Last weekend, Michigan State was able to earn bragging rights in recruiting over Michigan for a fourth straight season, beating the Wolverines by two touchdowns.
This could be an even bigger recruiting weekend for the Spartans, though. No matter how many times the Spartans wins, Michigan will always be Michigan. They will always be behind the 8-ball in recruiting.
Wisconsin, though, is on a more level recruiting playing field with the Spartans. Neither program has the luxury of bringing in a handful of ESPNU 150 players every season. If they can nab one or two, it’s usually considered a success. The Badgers’ and Spartans’ staffs usually go for the same kind of player – underrated, program-building players who fit the system.
A win over the Badgers could prove big for Sparty in the 2013 class.
Playoffs starting in Indiana
It’s only the middle of October, but playoff football has arrived in the state of Indiana. Sectional matchups start Friday.
The Class 5A Section 5 is the most intriguing, as it includes Warren Central, Lawrence Central and Carmel. Lawrence Central and Carmel will likely square off in the second round, and the winner of that game will almost certainly get into the Nov. 4 sectional final.
On Oct. 1, Warren Central and Carmel met at Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts. Central led for the most of the game, but Carmel took the lead in the fourth quarter. Central got the ball from about midfield with about 90 seconds left and drove to roughly the 20-yard line. Central, which opted not to kick the extra point after its first two touchdowns, sent out the field goal unit, and the kicker hit a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Battle of top Philly quarterbacks
On Saturday, two of Philadelphia’s best quarterbacks will take the field: St. Joseph Prep QB Skyler Mornhinweg and Roman Catholic’s Mike Keir.
Mornhinweg, the son of Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, is a four-star recruit committed to Penn State, which has been mired in a quarterback controversy since January 2010.
A few weeks ago, Keir, a junior, broke the school record for single-game passing yardage. He’s starting to get some looks from East Coast schools after going to summer camps in the South.
The King returns home
LeBron James was a renowned basketball player during his high school career at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio, but he was a pretty good football player, too. But he quit football just before his junior season. It appears he will be back Friday in Akron to watch his alma mater play against city rival Akron Buchtel.
Last Saturday, St. Vincent-St. Mary senior running back Sae’Von Fitzgerald asked James on Twitter whether James would be attending the game.
“YES SIR! I’ll be there,” James replied.
St. Vincent-St. Mary is 7-1, and Buchtel is 5-3.
James has joked on Twitter with ESPN’s John Clayton and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll about signing an NFL contract during the NBA lockout.