Dallas Colleges: Football Recruiting

If you see members of the Texas Longhorns coaching staff smiling during Tuesday's Big 12 media day session, don't be surprised if it's because of its newest commitment.

ESPN 300 athlete Louis Brown became the Longhorns' 12th pledge of the 2015 class Monday night. Ranked the nation's No. 20 athlete, Brown is expected to play defensive end in college.

Big 12 recruiting scorecard

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
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The Big 12's head coaches are in Dallas today for Big 12 media days, but that doesn't mean they aren't busy as usual recruiting like crazy. The latest on each Big 12 program's recruiting efforts:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Bears are capitalizing on their 2013 success in a big way for the future: Baylor might have the nation's top 2016 recruiting class at this point with six verbal pledges. Baylor landed one of its most impressive victories in a long time Friday when offensive tackle Patrick Hudson, a top-20 prospect for 2016, flipped to BU after being committed to Texas A&M for nearly four months. But that's not all. Art Briles and his staff also landed receiver Tren'Davian Dickson and local defensive back Eric Cuffee this weekend and locked up a big-time talent last week in ESPN Junior 300 running back Kameron Martin.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 6
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: We mentioned him in last week's Big 12 scorecard, and the big week is finally here. Running back Devine Ozigbo is set to announce his commitment on Tuesday at 2 p.m., and trimmed his list of 20 offense down to three: Iowa, Iowa State and Boise State. The three-star back is a top-100 recruit in the state of Texas and would be an important get for the Cyclones who could play right away for them.

KANSAS
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: When you're able to get a player as talented as receiver Kevin Thomas on campus, you've got to lock him up. The Jayhawks did just that last week, securing a commitment from the three-star wideout from Texas powerhouse DeSoto High School, during his unofficial visit. Thomas chose KU over offers from the likes of Wisconsin, Nebraska and Clemson and is now KU's highest-rated pledge.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 8
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Wildcat's newest commitment came from three-star defensive end Josh Little of Oklahoma City Millwood. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound lineman picked KSU over a handful of offers, including from Arizona State, Purdue, Washington State and Iowa State. Little hails from the same high school that produced All-Big 12 receiver Tyler Lockett and racked up 76 tackles and five sacks as a junior.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 7
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: Former Sooners commit defensive tackle Du'Vonta Lampkin has set a decision date for Sept. 15, and he still has OU in his final three. The three-star recruit from Houston Cypress Falls is down to OU, Texas and LSU. While Texas is currently in the lead, Lampkin is planning to give the Sooners one last chance to sway him with his official visit for the Sept. 13 game against Tennessee.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 8
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Three-star offensive tackle Joshua Jones released his top five this weekend and Oklahoma State made the list along with TCU, Texas Tech, Purdue and Wake Forest. The big 6-foot-6, 271-pound lineman hails from Bush High School in the Houston area, and it wouldn't be a surprise if this comes down to an OSU-TCU battle.

TCU
Total commits: 16
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: TCU landed its first verbal commit for the class of 2016, from defensive end Jonathan Marshall, during its final summer camp. The Shepherd, Texas, standout is 6-foot-3 and 256 pounds and had early offers from Oklahoma State and North Texas. It's possible another commitment could come Monday from three-star DeSoto (Texas) defensive tackle Bryce English, a former Texas commit who is set to choose between TCU, Arkansas, Arizona State and UCLA.

TEXAS
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: Texas did not land any new commitments off its inaugural "Under The Lights" camp on Friday, but ESPN Junior 300 offensive tackle J.P. Urquidez came close to announcing a decision Saturday and has Texas and Baylor at the top of his list. The Longhorns also hosted a critical unofficial visit from four-star QB Kai Locksley and his father, Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. He's set to make a commitment to either UT, Florida State or Maryland during his season opener.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 7
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Red Raiders got a big opportunity recently to ensure one of their top commits stays in the fold. Three-star running back Corey Dauphine, who has long been rumored to be considering a flip to Texas A&M or Baylor, took an unofficial visit to Lubbock and went home saying he felt 100-percent solid with his commitment. Dauphine could still take a trip to A&M in early August, but this was a big step in the right direction for Tech's chances.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: WVU's newest pledge should be a familiar name: Three-star QB David Sills. As a 13-year-old, he made a (very) early commitment to USC and then-coach Lane Kiffin. He went back on the market this year -- he didn't have much of a relationship with Steve Sarkisian -- and the Mountaineers won out for the standout from Eastern Christian Academy in Maryland. Stills is up to 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds and should be a fairly polished passer when he arrives in Morgantown after years of training with famed QB coach Steve Clarkson.

Manziel meets A&M's future QB

July, 6, 2014
Jul 6
9:32
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Texas A&M's past and future quarterbacks got together Sunday, as Heisman winner Johnny Manziel stopped by Elite 11 practices and posed for a picture with Kyler Murray, an Aggies commit and the nation's No. 1 signal-caller in the 2015 class.

 
If you follow Texas A&M recruiting via social media, you've probably seen the hashtag by now.

#WRTS

Four letters that have become the rallying cry of Aggie recruits, coaches and fans alike. Their meaning? "We run this state."

That's the way the Aggies feel right now when it comes to the state of Texas A&M recruiting, and considering the recruiting prowess they've shown during the Kevin Sumlin era, and particularly this recruiting cycle, it's difficult to debate that point.

A state once ruled in recruiting by Texas and coach Mack Brown in the mid-2000s has seen the balance of power shift roughly 100 miles eastward to College Station, Texas. In the Longhorns' heyday, it seemed as if they could land any in-state prospect they wished and right now, it almost seems as if the Aggies are enjoying that fortune themselves.

This week has illustrated that to a certain extent. Thursday was a big day for the Aggies as they landed two prospects out of Texas high school football power Cedar Hill High School: ESPN 300 receiver DaMarkus Lodge and outside linebacker Richard Moore.

Earlier this week, the Aggies also scored pledges from four-star offensive tackle Keaton Sutherland and three-star linebacker Landis Durham. That's not to mention that earlier this month, they landed four-star defensive tackle Kingsley Keke and last month received a commitment from ESPN 300 WR Kemah Siverand and perhaps their most impactful recruit of the cycle, five-star quarterback Kyler Murray.

Texas A&M is on quite the recruiting roll.

The Aggies' class, which is ranked No. 3 in the ESPN Recruiting Nation class rankings, holds 17 commitments, nine of whom are in the ESPN 300, and the class has 13 prospects with four-star-or-higher ratings. The Aggies hold commitments from the Lone Star State's No. 1 quarterback (Murray), receiver (Lodge), tight end (Jordan Davis) and defensive tackle (five-star prospect Daylon Mack).

Two of the state's top three players are committed to the Aggies and three of the top eight. And when it's all said and done, the Aggies could finish with four of the top five and five of the top 10 in Texas if their pursuit of cornerback Kendall Sheffield and linebacker Malik Jefferson falls their way. Neither has plans to announce his destination anytime soon, but the Aggies are strong players for both, and if that were to happen, the Aggies would lay claim to the state's top player at six different positions.


That would be a rough fate for the Aggies' chief recruiting rival (though no longer on-field rival) Texas and new coach Charlie Strong, who is already feeling the effects of A&M's success. But in reality, this isn't about Texas for the Aggies. It's about building a team and program that can compete and succeed long term in what many consider to be the country's toughest conference, the SEC.

With the Lone Star State being such fertile recruiting ground, the competition for talent will always be fierce. Whether it's Texas, a surging Baylor program that is reaching unprecedented success under Art Briles, a young, energetic, charismatic staff led by Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, TCU's presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex or staving off out-of-state schools such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and other national powers, it's impossible to get every prospect desired from the large pool of talent Texas provides. But snagging most of the desired prospects bodes well for the future.

Texas A&M must continue to produce on-field success this fall -- let's not forget, the Aggies' 20-6 run in their first two seasons as SEC members and the visibility provided by having a Heisman Trophy winner are significant factors why the Aggies are such an attractive option to recruits right now. And teenagers can be fickle, making recruiting an unpredictable roller coaster until pen meets paper on the first Wednesday in February.

But if the Aggies can hang on to the high-level prospects they've already gained pledges from and continue recruiting at their current pace, the effects could be felt well beyond the state's borders, throughout SEC country and across the nation in years to come.

Texas has a state recruiting problem

June, 19, 2014
Jun 19
3:30
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video
Charlie Strong has a Texas-sized problem on his hands.

When a new coach is hired, especially at a place like The University of Texas, it usually creates excitement with prospects and high school coaches on the recruiting trail. Unfortunately for the Longhorns, that buzz isn’t there. With the addition of ESPN 300 receiver DaMarkus Lodge on Thursday, Texas A&M further tightened its grip on the top talent in the Lone Star State.

[+] EnlargeCharlie Strong
AP Photo/Eric GayCharlie Strong still has nearly eight months to bolster his 2015 recruiting class.
Lodge’s pledge gives A&M three of the top eight players in Texas and positions the Aggies for a run that could include four of the top five and five of the top 10.

On the other hand, the Longhorns, whose 2015 class is ranked No. 11 in ESPN's rankings, are struggling within their home state. Texas has yet to gain a commit from a top-10 in-state player. To make matters worse, Strong’s staff is losing commits to conference rivals and SEC powers in Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, LSU and Oklahoma.

“In the state of Texas, A&M has taken over,” Cedar Hill (Texas) High School coach Joey McGuire said. “Through what coach [Kevin] Sumlin has done and then what Johnny Manziel did to help put that school in such a great position, it's helped them move to whole different level. They're the hot thing going right now. It's hard to beat, even for a program like Texas.”

As any Texas fan will tell you, there’s nothing worse than losing to the hated Aggies. The recruiting beatdown could continue as A&M is in good position with cornerback Kendall Sheffield, linebacker Malik Jefferson, defensive end James Lockhart and cornerback Kris Boyd -- all ESPN 300 prospects strongly considering playing in College Station.

A Big 12 assistant who recruits in the Lone Star State said he could see that Texas would have problems on the recruiting trail the minute Strong announced his staff. The assistant praised Strong for luring Joe Wickline away from Oklahoma State and believes his addition will help the Longhorns find some hidden gems along the offensive line. But after that, the assistant said it was hardly the all-star cast many thought Strong could assemble, given the school’s resources.

“I thought [Strong] needed to bring in guys that can stand toe-to-toe against A&M, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and all the other top teams that recruit in Texas,” the coach said. “He needed guys that had deep ties with the high school coaches in Texas. Instead, he got a lot of coaches that can win recruiting battles against Cincinnati, UCF and teams like that. This is the Big 12, not the AAC.”

In defense of the Longhorns, Strong did retain Bruce Chambers, who is entering his 17th season in Austin and has connections with high school football in the state. He also hired Les Koenning, a 1981 Texas graduate who is entering his 34th year of coaching after previous stops at Mississippi, South Alabama, Texas A&M, Alabama, TCU, Houston, Duke, Rice and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Replacing Mack Brown wasn’t going to be easy. Replacing the relationships he so tirelessly built with Texas high school coaches will take some time.

All of this has made Strong’s job of recruiting local talent more difficult than most assumed it would be when he was first hired six months ago. But all is not lost. There has been no shortage of effort from the Longhorns’ staff, and Strong can sway some recruits with a simple formula this fall: winning.

“If Charlie Strong comes out and wins, there might be another flip,” McGuire said. “If they can come out and surprise some people this year and win games, then they’re going to be the hot team with recruits. Winning and losing is going to make a big part of those schools' recruiting classes.”
video
Top wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge has joined Texas A&M's impressive 2015 class. Here’s what the Under Armour All-American adds to coach Kevin Sumlin's squad:


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Texas still waiting on three signees

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Charlie Strong's first freshman class at Texas is still missing three players.

While the rest of Texas' incoming freshmen enrolled at the start of June, running backs D'Onta Foreman and Kevin Shorter and defensive tackle Poona Ford have yet to join the program.

Ford, a defensive tackle from Hilton Head, South Carolina, is set to enroll for Texas' second summer session, according to Hilton Head coach B.J. Payne. Those classes begin July 14, and Payne said Ford is "all good" with his academics for qualifying.

There is greater concern about the status of the running back signees. Houston Eisenhower back Donald Catalon is already enrolled and on campus, but Foreman and Shorter both have work to do to get to Austin.

Shorter said he needs to take a TAKS standardized test and complete some online coursework before he can join the program. He was told he must to report to the team by Aug. 27.

"I have a few things to take care of then I'll be on my way," Shorter said.

The running back from Newton, Texas, suffered a bruised spinal cord in October that ended his senior season and put his playing career in jeopardy. Whenever he does join the program, Shorter will have to go through testing with UT doctors to determine if he'll be cleared to play again in 2014 and beyond.

There's more progress but less optimism in the case of Foreman, the Texas City, Texas, standout whose twin brother, Armanti Foreman, has already begun classes at UT.

Foreman is still waiting for a ruling from the NCAA clearinghouse, according to Texas City assistant coach Chase Fickessen. Foreman has submitted his paperwork and is hoping to hear back on qualifying before the July 14 session begins. If he does enroll in the summer, he'd likely need to take several summer classes at UT to maintain his eligibility.

If Foreman does not qualify, Texas would place him at a junior college this fall with the intention of eventually re-signing him.

Losing Foreman and Shorter would be a tough blow for Texas' depth at running back behind the veteran trio of Malcolm Brown, Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron. Their top backups would presumably be Jalen Overstreet, who converted from quarterback to running back a year ago, and Catalon. Texas has already landed three verbal commitments from running backs for its 2015 recruiting class.

Big 12 recruiting scorecard

June, 9, 2014
Jun 9
1:30
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Here's the latest in recruiting around the Big 12 with summer camps in full swing:

Baylor
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: Baylor added a commitment with the pledge of linebacker Clay Johnston of Abilene, Texas, last week. Johnston picked the Bears over offers from Texas Tech, Tulsa, Duke and others. It wasn’t all good news for the Bears as the No. 246 player in the ESPN 300, athlete Louis Brown from Burton, Texas, elected to decommit from Baylor and reopen the recruiting process.

Iowa State
Total commits: 2
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Cyclones reeled in their second commitment in the Class of 2015 with Bryce Meeker’s pledge. The three-star offensive tackle from Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Prairie picked ISU over offers from Illinois State and Northern Iowa. ISU also held a summer camp over the weekend including an appearance from Billy Bahl, a 6-foot-4, 213-pound quarterback from Woodstock (Illinois) Marian Catholic.

Kansas
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Jayhawks looked east to make one of their latest reported offers, putting their name in the mix for Pawling (N.Y) Trinity Pawling defensive end Austrian Robinson. The Class of 2015 prospect also has offers from Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers and others.

Kansas State
Total commits: 2
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Wildcats dipped into SEC country for their second commit for the Class of 2015. Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson receiver Isaiah Zuber picked KSU last week, spurning offers from Boston College, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Illinois, Iowa State and others. Zuber is a quick receiver who could excel as a slot possession receiver.

Oklahoma
Total commits: 6
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: It was a huge week for the Sooners as they continued to add quality recruits to their commit list. Running back Rodney Anderson picked the Sooners after attending OU’s camp over the weekend. The Katy, Texas, standout is No. 263 in the ESPN 300. Cornerback P.J. Mbanasor, the No. 84 player in the ESPN 300, also chose OU last week. The Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson turned down offers from LSU, Ohio State, Florida and others.

Oklahoma State
Total commits: 5
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Much like the rest of the Big 12, the Cowboys are actively involved in summer camps, including a satellite camp in Rockwall, Texas, on Sunday. Oklahoma State also reportedly offered a scholarship to ESPN 300 cornerback Kris Boyd of Gilmer, Texas, who also holds offers from Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma and others.

TCU
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: TCU’s class is shaping up nicely with New Boston (Texas) athlete Jeff Gladney and Houston Westfield guard Cordel Iwuagwu joining the Horned Frogs’ commit list in the past week. Gladney will likely play cornerback for Gary Patterson’s team. TCU also held a summer camp over the weekend that featured several standouts including KeShawn Somerville, who reportedly ran a 4.37 in the 40 at the camp.

Texas
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Longhorns held a camp on Sunday with several elite prospects, including cornerback Jared Mayden, a Class of 2016 recruit, in attendance. Mayden, from Sachse, Texas, already holds offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU, Texas A&M and others.

Texas Tech
Total commits: 7
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: This week should be big for the Red Raiders as they participate in satellite camps across the state, including one on Sunday at Euless (Texas) Trinity. But the biggest recruit the Red Raiders landed in the past week was quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who decided to turn down professional baseball to join Kliff Kingsbury’s program after going undrafted in the first two days of the MLB Draft. Joining Davis Webb as the Red Raiders’ lone scholarship quarterbacks, Mahomes should be Texas Tech’s No. 2 quarterback this fall.

West Virginia
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Mountaineers held a summer camp on Sunday with several targets participating, including Clairton, Pa., 2017 target Lamont Wade, who can play multiple positions, and 2016 target Aaron Mathews, a receiver.
Texas A&M got a heavy dose of bad news on Tuesday, but the Aggies received some positive news on Wednesday in the form of a commitment.

Three-star defensive tackle Kingsley Keke committed to Texas A&M on Wednesday afternoon, giving the Aggies their 13th commitment in the 2015 recruiting class. Keke, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound prospect, had an offer list that included Florida, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas among others.

The commitment is timely because the Aggies dismissed a defensive tackle off their current squad, Isaiah Golden, on Tuesday. Golden, who along with dismissed linebacker Darian Claiborne was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, was projected to be a starter this fall.

Keke's addition obviously can't help the Aggies this fall since he won't be able to sign until February, but Golden was expected to be a mainstay on the defensive interior for years to come. Depth on the defensive line, and particularly at defensive tackle, is an ongoing challenge for the Aggies as they try to build an SEC-caliber defense.

According to ESPN scouts, Keke has plenty of tools to work with. He is able to generate power with his short area quickness, has the kind of frame suitable to develop more strength and has power to push back blockers. He's not quite as big as Golden was coming out of high school, but he brings a level of athleticism with his size that should serve him well at the next level.

The Aggies have heavily recruited defensive tackles in the Kevin Sumlin era. In addition to the now-departed Golden, they signed ESPN 300 prospect Justin Manning and three-star prospect Hardreck Walker in the 2013 class and in 2014 they added four-star prospect Zaycoven Henderson and ESPN 300 prospect DeShawn Washington, who were two of the three best defensive tackles that the state of Texas had to offer.

Keke joins five-star prospect Daylon Mack to give the Aggies two defensive tackle commitments in 2015. As long as the Aggies can ensure they sign on the dotted line next February, the flow of large, quality players at the position will continue to flow in, which is much needed for this Texas A&M defense.
video Texas A&M continued to reload at quarterback Wednesday with a commitment from five-star dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray, ranked No. 1 at his position and No. 14 overall in the 2015 ESPN 300. Here's a breakdown of the Under Armour All-American's game and what it means for the Aggies following Johnny Manziel's departure.


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When looking at the best recruiting jobs in the Big 12, the conference begins with Texas and Oklahoma, as it always has since its inception in 1996. After the Longhorns and Sooners, the conference has a quartet of programs to consider as the next tier of recruiting jobs in Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech.

While Oklahoma State has separated itself from the pack in terms of facility upgrades in recent years, the rise of Baylor has changed the recruiting landscape in the state of Texas for programs such as the Cowboys, Horned Frogs and Red Raiders. When it gets down to TCU and Texas Tech, proximity to in-state and out-of-state talent looms large in the equation when looking at the current landscape.

Here is a look at the top five recruiting jobs in the Big 12.

1. Texas

[+] EnlargeOklahoma State - Texas
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesDarrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium seats 100,119 for Longhorns home games.
Proximity to out-of-state talent: Texas has had success recruiting in the Phoenix area, which is 1,000 miles away, and parts of Louisiana are less than 400 miles from Austin. Under Charlie Strong, Texas is now focusing on Florida, with the Tampa area being about 1,100 miles away.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

May, 19, 2014
May 19
1:30
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Here's the latest in recruiting around the Big 12:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: Recent commit Jordan Tolbert, a cornerback prospect from Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point, has a torn ACL but remains committed to the Bears. BU is off to a terrific start in its 2015 class, particularly at the skill positions, but could use some added beef up front with Plano (Texas) defensive tackle Sam Tecklenburg as the lone lineman committed.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Cyclones reportedly threw their name into the mix in the chase for Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite cornerback Josh Butler. The three-star prospect has offers from Baylor and Oklahoma State in addition to the recent ISU offer.

KANSAS
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Jayhawks hit the state of Texas, particularly the Dallas area, hard last week with multiple reported offers, including Dallas Bishop Dunne receiver A.D. Miller, Denton (Texas) Guyer defensive lineman Carl Thompson and Frisco (Texas) Wakeland linebacker Justice Williams. KU had some success in the Dallas area a year ago, signing Dallas Carter running back Corey Avery.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Wildcats became the first Big 12 school to offer Gilbert (Ariz.) Williams Field prospect Cade Cote. The 6-foot-3, 257-pound prospect is projected to line up at offensive guard in college.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 4
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Sooners sent out multiple reported offers last week, including Olathe (Kan.) North defensive end Josh Moore. He’s unranked, but his offer list features some of the nation’s elite, including Auburn, Ohio State and Florida State as well as fellow Big 12 schools Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State. The Sooners also made an early offer to 2016 receiver Dionte Mullins of Miami (Fla.) Gulliver Prep, joining Alabama, Ohio State and others on Mullins’ offer list.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 5
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Cowboys made an early offer to 2016 prospect Mike Williams. The Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal defensive tackle also has offers from Michigan, Kansas State and UCLA.

TCU
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: TCU widened its net in the search for more offensive linemen, with reported offers to Fort Bend (Texas) offensive lineman Joshua Jones and Houston Westfield offensive lineman Cordel Iwuagwu. The Horned Frogs also offered 2017 athlete Anthony Hines of Plano (Texas) East, who is currently committed to Mississippi State.

TEXAS
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: It was a big week in Austin as the Longhorns could have landed their quarterback of the future with the commitment of Albuquerque (N.M.) Eldorado signal-caller Zach Gentry. The four-star prospect sits at No. 72 in the ESPN 300 and is the second-ranked pocket passer in the nation. Gentry turned down Baylor, Alabama, Oklahoma State and others to make his pledge to the Longhorns.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 7
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Red Raiders reportedly offered Jefferson (La.) Riverdale cornerback Donte Jackson as Texas Tech continues to expand its recruiting reach and battle the nation’s best for some of the hottest recruits in the country. Jackson, who ran a 10.42 100-meter dash and 21.42 200-meter dash to win Louisiana state titles earlier this month, has speed to burn.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Mountaineers hit Clairton (Pa.) High School last week, reportedly offering 2016 prospect Aaron Mathews and 2017 prospect Lamont Wade. Mathews is a 6-foot-5 athlete who could end up as a college receiver; Wade could end up at running back or cornerback in college.

Q&A: TCU QB signee Foster Sawyer

May, 16, 2014
May 16
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On Saturday, Foster Sawyer will graduate from Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal. In a few weeks, he'll make the short move to TCU. In a few months, well, who knows what's in store for the freshman quarterback?

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound pocket passer knows TCU is bringing in transfer quarterback Matt Joeckel from Texas A&M this summer, but that isn't discouraging him from being competitive and believing he can make an impact in 2014.

Our summer series of weekly Q&As with the Big 12's best incoming freshmen continues Friday with Sawyer, a four-star recruit who's excited to play in the Horned Frogs' new-look offense.

In hindsight, do you wish you could've enrolled early at TCU this spring to compete for the job?

Sawyer: I do. I'm also happy I finished, it has its pros and cons, but I wish I was there with the guys in spring ball. But I'm going to be there soon and it all worked out like it was supposed to. I just didn't work out that way, but I'm glad I finished my high school career at All Saints.

[+] EnlargeFoster Sawyer
Miller Safrit/ESPNFoster Sawyer is anxious to get to TCU and compete for the starting QB job.
Gary Patterson said you were at a bunch of practices this spring. How many did you attend?

Sawyer: I probably made about three-fourths of them, I can't remember how many exactly. It's crazy, I look back on where I was a year ago with all this stuff and it's real now. It's actually happening now and it's coming fast. It's cool watching the guys and understanding the offense. Just being around the new coaches, Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meachem, and how they coach the players was definitely a cool experience and got me even more pumped up to be there.

How's your relationship with fellow QB signee Grayson Muehlstein coming along?

Sawyer: Going good. We hung out after the spring game and we get along well. We both know you've got to compete wherever you go. I'm lucky enough to compete with a guy I like and get along with. We'll work to get better and help each other out.

You knew Cumbie and Meachem from recruiting. How excited were you to learn they'd be bringing their style of offense to TCU?

Sawyer: I was pumped when Coach Patterson told me that. I know those guys pretty well. Coach Meachem was recruiting me pretty hard at Oklahoma State before he left. He offered me from Houston. Coach Cumbie came and watched me throw and we had a good relationship. It all just worked out. That offense is one I'm pretty familiar with already. It's a little more complex now but it's easy, simple and I love the hurry-up offense and spread. Fun for the quarterback, I know that.

When you watched this spring, what stood out to you about how this offense is going to move the ball?

Sawyer: When you think of this offense you think of passing and predominantly passing. That's not necessarily true. The running game plays a big part in that. We have great running backs with B.J. Catalon, Kyle Hicks, Aaron Green. That's going to make a complete offense.

What'd you think of the move to add Matt Joeckel to the mix? Does that take some pressure of you and Grayson as freshmen?

Sawyer: I don't look too much into it. All I've got to worry about is Foster. The positive side is he can mentor me and it'll be good to play under a senior and we can help each other out. But I'm still going to have the mindset of going in and competing. Whatever happens happens and it's whatever Coach Patterson and the coaching staff decide. I'm just worried about what I need to do in order to help the team out. I don't care who I'm going against. It's just my mentality to compete. I don't really worry about anybody else.

What are your personal expectations for 2014? What do you want to achieve?

Sawyer: The first thing is I want to earn the players' respect, first my class and then the rest of the team. I just want to bust my butt this summer and see where I am. I'm going to strive for that starting position, but however I help this team -- whether that's on the field, off the field, giving signals, redshirting, whatever it is -- it's the coaches' job to know what to do with us players. Only thing I can do is bust my butt this summer and in fall camp and see where that leads me.

I remember Nick Saban showed up to All Saints one day to recruit you, and that was a big deal. In the end, what schools were in your final three?

Sawyer: TCU was always the place, it seemed like, but it came down to them, Oklahoma State and Alabama. I never doubted TCU once I felt like that's where I needed to be, and that's why I committed. I signed at this time last year, in my mind.

How would you explain, to the folks who haven't seen you play yet, what you think you can bring to this TCU offense?

Sawyer: It comes down to winning. I don't care if I have to run the ball or throw the ball; if people think I'm a pocket passer, that's fine. But if I have to run the ball and lower my shoulder, I'm going to do that. I like to think of my two role models: Tim Tebow -- he's not the best passer, but it's just the competitiveness he has -- and Johnny Manziel. I really like watching those type of players who get a lot of hate for what they do but get the job done.

At TCU, they've always been so close the past few years and they need to get back to where they were, like the Rose Bowl with Andy Dalton doing what he needs to do to get the 'W.' That's what I plan on doing.

 

States of strength: Texas RBs 

May, 15, 2014
May 15
9:00
AM CT
video
When it comes to running backs, the state of Texas is loaded. Ten running backs represent the Lone Star State in the ESPN 300. Of those 10, five are committed. A total of seven running backs in the state have reported FBS commitments.

ESPN 300 RBs from the state:

No. 50 Ronald Jones II: Ranked the nation’s No. 3 running back, Jones is an explosive, game-changing back who -- as scary as it might sound -- will only get better. Jones committed to Oklahoma State on April 6 and finished his junior season with more than 2,400 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

May, 12, 2014
May 12
1:30
PM CT
Here's the latest in recruiting around the Big 12:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Bears nabbed one of the state of Texas' better defensive backs this weekend when Missouri City Ridge Point three-star CB Jordan Tolbert announced his pledge on Friday. Tolbert, who reopened his recruitment after an early commitment to Houston, held offers from Texas, Oklahoma and several other big-time programs. He and top-rated BU pledge John Humphrey Jr. are working to get S P.J. Locke on board next.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: One name to keep an eye on that's firmly on the Cyclones' radar is three-star Chicago Marist WR Flynn Nagel. In addition to ISU, he holds offers from several Big Ten schools including Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. Bobby McMillen, ISU's lone commitment so far, is working hard to get Nagle to join him in Ames.

KANSAS
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Jayhawks have landed three transfer quarterbacks since Charlie Weis took over. Could they get in the mix for another this spring? Redshirt freshman Trent Hosick is looking for his next school after electing to transfer from Missouri. No guarantee KU would go after him now, but he did have an offer from the program out of high school. Hosick does plan to take an official visit to BYU.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 1
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Kansas State recently extended an offer to RB Alec Murphy of Nixa, Mo., but it faces some stiff competition to keep him close to home. Michigan also offered, and Murphy is interested in Mississippi State and Iowa. Still, expect KSU to get a visit from Murphy in the near future.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 4
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: OU is back up to four commitments in the 2015 class with the addition of K/P Austin Seibert. High school kicker experts (yes, that's a thing) say the Belleville (Ill.) West senior-to-be is the nation's best placekicker and just as good a punter. Seibert had eight other offers, and it's a good get for the Sooners. He can help in whatever role needed when he gets on campus.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 5
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Oklahoma State made another big, big addition from the Lone Star State on Sunday when CB Jaylon Lane announced he'll be a Cowboy. The No. 73 player in the ESPN 300 from Nacogdoches, Texas, was absolutely coveted this spring, with more than 35 schools extending offers, but Lane thinks he has a chance to become the next Justin Gilbert when he arrives in Stillwater.

TCU
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: As the quarterback dominos start falling around the country, watch Quinten Dormady blow up. The Boerne, Texas, standout's recruitment is picking up steam after he missed his junior year with an injury, and he does hold a TCU offer. Oklahoma State entered the mix Sunday, and Texas could end up offering as well.

TEXAS
Total commits: 9
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: No new commitments, but it was still a relatively big weekend for Texas recruiting. With the UIL state track meet just across the street from the Longhorns' football office, Charlie Strong's staff got a chance to host some big-time talent, including ESPN 300 recruits Kendall Sheffield, Kris Boyd and Ryan Newsome. Manvel 2016 safety Deontay Anderson, who already holds more than 15 offers, got one more from the Horns this weekend. He'd received one from the Mack Brown staff a year ago as well.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 7
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Red Raiders landed a new pledge this weekend from Missouri City (Texas) Elkins ATH Jonathan Giles. TTU beat out Missouri and six other schools for Giles, who plays QB in high school and probably translates as a receiver in the Red Raiders' scheme. Even better news, Tech RB commit Corey Dauphine won a state title in the 200-meter dash Saturday with a blazing time of 20.76 seconds.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 2
The latest: The Mountaineers joined the long, long list of schools pursuing ESPN 300 TE Will Gragg when they extended an offer on Sunday. The Pine Bluff, Ark., four-star talent is the top-rated prospect in his home state. You name 'em, they've offered Gragg. It won't be easy for WVU to get Gragg on campus, not when he has so many other suitors and Arkansas desperate to lock him up, but Gragg is definitely worth all the offers.

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