Monday, September 30, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12
By William Wilkerson
Texas Tech continues to impress on the field and recruits are taking notice. The Red Raiders added some beef to their 2014 class and also offered one of the top 2015 defensive tackles in the state of Texas. We’ll take a look at those two players, how Kansas State’s future quarterback shined on Friday, and plenty more in this edition of the Big 12 weekend wrap.
Biggest commitment: That goes to Texas Tech and the verbal pledge it received from junior college defensive tackle Keland McElrath (Clarksdale, Miss./Coaoma Community College) on Tuesday. This is another piece to the puzzle for Kliff Kingsbury to better his chances of turning things around on defense, which will graduate three defensive linemen on its current two-deep. McElrath is the second DT to commit to the Red Raiders in 2014, along with Ivan Thomas (Lawton, OK/Lawton), the No. 65 DT overall. McElrath (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) also had offers from Kentucky, West Virginia and Western Kentucky. He is scheduled to take his official visit to Texas Tech on Nov. 9.
Biggest offer: We’ll stick with the Red Raiders, who threw their hat in the ring for 2015 defensive tackle Darrion Daniels (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) on Tuesday, and why not? Daniels has absolutely blown up the past two weeks. The 6-4, 290-pound edge rusher picked up offers from Arizona, Baylor, Notre Dame and Oklahoma all from Sept. 19-21. The Longhorns have shown interest and could offer at any point, as could former Big 12 member Texas A&M. The Red Raiders could be looking to pick up several defensive ends in 2015 as they have yet to garner a verbal pledge from one in 2014.
Best performance by a commit/target: Kansas State 2014 quarterback commitment Aaron Sharp (Houston/Summer Creek) completed 18-of-30 passes for 280 yards and five touchdowns in a 63-49 win over Crosby on Friday. Sharp’s touchdown passes came from 8, 15, 73, 3 and 59 yards. On the season, Sharp has completed 53 of 83 passes for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns and has yet to throw an interception.
Most important visit: West Virginia had several of its commitments on hand for the Mountaineers upset victory over No. 11 Oklahoma State on Saturday. But WVU also had two important 2015 prospects on hand in offensive linemen Matt Jones (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) and Larry Scott (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard). Jones already has offers from Kentucky, Toledo and West Virginia and is also receiving interest from Indiana and Maryland. Scott has offers from Michigan State, West Virginia, Cincinnati and Kentucky and is receiving heavy interest from Ohio State.
Biggest answer: Many were wondering if 2014 defensive end Justin Hollins (Arlington, Texas/Martin) would commit to Oregon during his official visit on Sept. 14 for the Ducks’ 59-14 victory over Tennessee. It didn’t happen. But anyone who knows recruiting knows how important those few days after a trip can be. Once the recruit has an opportunity to get back home, think things through, and talk to those close to him, he often decides to pull the trigger. Well, that didn’t happen either. Hollins is still uncommitted and that bodes well for Oklahoma’s chances. The Sooners have been at or near the top of Hollins’ list for some time now thanks to the relationship he has built with defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. Hollins took part in OU’s camp in June and made another trip in early August.
Biggest question: Whom is Baylor still targeting for its secondary in 2014? The Bears already have commitments from cornerbacks Jourdan Blake (Princeton, Texas/Princeton) and Verkedric Vaughns (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet), and safeties T’Kevian Rockwell (Wylie, Texas/Wylie) and Cordell Dorsey (Abilene, Texas/Cooper). That’s a good start but the Bears would like to finish strong with a commitment from one of the following players: Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne), John Plattenburg (Houston/Lamar), Travone Hobbs (New Orleans/O. Perry Walker) or Josh Keys (Seminary, Miss./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College). Baylor feels like it is very much in the picture for Watkins and Plattenburg, though Watkins seems to be leaning toward Alabama, Notre Dame and Texas right now.