Dallas Colleges: Football Recruiting

Dec. 19, 2014. Consider it one of the biggest days for Big 12 recruiting in a long time.

On a day already anticipated as one to watch with the morning announcements of ESPN 300 linebacker Malik Jefferson and four-star athlete DeAndre McNeal, the Big 12 got its own version of a Christmas bonus with five major commitments by the end of the afternoon.

Jefferson and McNeal committed to Texas. ESPN 300 quarterback Jarrett Stidham committed to Baylor after recently decommitting from Texas Tech. ESPN 300 defensive end Ricky DeBerry and four-star safety Kahlil Haughton chose Oklahoma.

And better believe, it’s not over for the conference.

There are several players who could be additions to the growing number of Big 12 commitments. Here are five names to watch from now until national signing day in early February.

On Friday shortly after noon, following the 8 a.m. commitment of ESPN 300 No. 35 Malik Jefferson to Texas over Texas A&M, No. 15 and five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack sent another shock wave in the Lone Star state decommitting from Texas A&M in what would turn out to be a Friday to forget for Aggie fans.

Just minutes ago, Mack followed through on his Friday tweet, releasing his top two teams.


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video Texas A&M picked up a huge commitment Wednesday from Under Armour All-American Christian Kirk, the No. 30 overall prospect in the 2015 ESPN 300. Read on to see how the nation's No. 3-ranked wide receiver fits into Kevin Sumlin's plans:


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Top sleeper commits: Big 12 

December, 16, 2014
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Five-star and ESPN 300 prospects create the most buzz, but with more than 100 FBS programs competing for talent, it takes more than just those top-rated prospects. Rosters are built with mainly prospects who enter college with little fanfare, but their development and contributions are key to a program’s success. Every year we see prospects who flew under the radar in recruiting but developed into some of their conference's top players.

Throughout our evaluations we come across many players who show promise and based off their upside for development or scheme fit are great additions to their college programs. Here are five headed to the Big 12:


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Top defensive backs are always in demand in a conference that loves offense like the Big 12. The desire for Big 12 schools to land Justin Martin, the nation’s No. 4 juco cornerback, is no different.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

November, 24, 2014
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Here’s what's been cooking on the recruiting trail in the last week around the Big 12:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Baylor had a big weekend, hosting a pair of its 2016 commits in four-star running back Kameron Martin and four-star receiver Tren'Davian Dickson. 2015 ESPN 300 wideout Devontre Stricklin was in McLane Stadium for the Oklahoma State game as well. The Bears also bolstered their trenches for 2015 by snagging a commitment from 6-foot-7, 300-pound City College of San Francisco offensive tackle Dominic Desouza, who had offers from Big 12 foes Oklahoma State, TCU and Kansas.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College defensive tackle Demond Tucker visited Iowa State over the weekend. Tucker holds offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Arizona State and Big 12 rival Kansas State. He would be a huge pickup for the Cyclones, who badly need to fortify their defensive line.

KANSAS
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Jayhawks are in a battle with Minnesota for three-star Kansas City, Kansas, inside linebacker Colton Beebe. Two weekends ago, Beebe visited Minnesota, and though he’s visited Kansas unofficially several times, Beebe has indicated he will set an official visit with the Jayhawks after they name a head coach.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Wildcats have a big visit coming up this weekend in junior-college wideout DeDe Westbrook, who was at Oklahoma this past weekend and Oklahoma State the weekend before that. With Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton both set to graduate, Westbrook would fill a big firepower void at receiver for K-State.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 15
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Sooners got some much needed junior college cornerback help with William Johnson of Rochester (N.Y.) Monroe Community College committing after visiting Norman over the weekend. Oklahoma, however, missed out on one of its top targets, as 4-star defensive end Keisean Lucier-South stayed in state and committed to UCLA on Sunday.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Oklahoma State had a tough week on the trail, as the Cowboys parted ways from ESPN 300 cornerback Jaylon Lane after he was arrested. Earlier in the week, three-star safety Kenneth McGruder decommitted from the Pokes and reopened his recruitment. Oklahoma State turned McGruder’s spot into a commitment from Kilgore Junior College safety Jordan Burton, who had previously been committed to Memphis.

TCU
Total commits: 17
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: TCU remains in the mix for the top wide receiver in Texas in Cedar Hill’s DaMarkus Lodge. The former Texas A&M commit is also looking at Baylor, Ole Miss, LSU and USC and might not pick a school until signing day. The way the Horned Frogs have been throwing the ball around this season hasn’t hurt their chances with Lodge.

TEXAS
Total commits: 19
ESPN 300 commits: 9
The latest: Cistercian (Irving, Texas) quarterback Matthew Merrick committed to Texas, but will grayshirt and delay his enrollment by a year. Merrick had offers from Colorado State and Nevada. Merrick would give the Longhorns a fourth quarterback for 2016, along with starter Tyrone Swoopes, redshirting freshman Jerrod Heard and incoming freshman Zach Gentry.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: After missing the last month with a broken hand, Texas Tech QB commitment Jarrett Stidham returned with a vengeance Saturday, throwing for 318 yards, rushing for 193 and accounting for nine touchdowns in leading Stephenville to a 69-60 win over Estacado in a playoff game.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 22
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Former Iowa State defensive end commit Larry Jefferson could be on the cusp of pledging with the Mountaineers. His Itawamba (Miss.) Community College defensive end teammate Xavier Pegues has already made that switch, and the two have indicated they want to continue playing together.

Best of the visits: Big 12

November, 23, 2014
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Three Big 12 games took place Saturday, but there was one that caught extra national attention. Oklahoma defeated Kansas 44-7, and Sooners freshman Samaje Perine set the FBS single-game rushing record with a 427-yard performance.

It was a chance for recruits to see how good the Oklahoma offense can be when everything is clicking on all cylinders. One player who was impressed was junior college receiver Dede Westbrook, who was in Norman on an official visit. Westbrook enjoyed his third of five scheduled official visits.


Westbrook had a chance to spend time not only with coach Bob Stoops but also a future teammate in wide receiver Sterling Shepard.


Any time a running back has a rushing game like the one Perine had, the offensive line deserves recognition. Perine’s performance allowed ESPN Junior 300 OT Jean Delance to see how good the Oklahoma offensive line can be. Delance was in attendance on an unofficial visit.


One player very impressed with what he saw was 2017 ATH Quindon Lewis. Still relatively early in his recruiting process, Lewis -- at 6-foot-2 and 165 pounds -- can play either cornerback or wide receiver. While he doesn’t have an Oklahoma offer, Lewis is receiving interest from the Sooners -- and a few other schools.


While Perine was setting records in Norman, Baylor was trying to stay relevant in the College Football Playoffs race -- and also stay dry. Storms swept through the Waco area, but Baylor managed to take home a 49-28 win against Oklahoma State and earn its 15th consecutive home victory.

Texas high school playoff games on Saturday prevented some athletes from attending, and the weather may have scared off others. However, two ESPN Junior 300 athletes were on hand in RB Kameron Martin and WR Tren’Davian Dickson.


In Ames, Iowa State hosted several athletes in an effort to improve on its commitment list, which currently is at 11. The Cyclones fell 34-31 to Texas Tech, but the recruits in attendance enjoyed their stays.

A few junior college prospects were in Ames, and juco DT Demond Tucker was one of the primary targets. The Cylones are looking to add to a 2015 class that doesn’t have a defensive tackle commit as of yet.


Iowa State loves to find hidden gems, and one player who could be a diamond in the rough is 2016 prospect Jeff Gurley. A defensive end who also can play tight end, Gurley had a chance to take in Saturday’s atmosphere.


Look for next week’s games in the Big 12 to have a big-named recruit or two watching. Texas will host TCU on Thanksgiving in a key matchup that should have several unofficial visitors in attendance. Also, Baylor will take on Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Kansas State hosts Kansas in a battle of the Sunflower State and West Virginia collides with Iowa State in Ames.

ESPN Jr. 300: What to know in the Big 12 

November, 19, 2014
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With the latest ESPN Junior 300 rankings now live, one thing is for sure: The state of Texas has its share of players in the 2016 class.

Of the top 300 players, 39 are from Texas. Seven players in the top 30 are from the Lone Star State, including the nation’s top-ranked player, Texas A&M OT recruit Greg Little.

From a Big 12 perspective, OT Patrick Hudson is the highest ranked recruit. The 6-foot-5, 330-pound lineman, a Baylor pledge, jumped from No. 20 to No. 11, and he’s the nation’s second ranked offensive tackle.

Here are five things to watch involving players in the revised rankings:


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Big 12's top recruiting visits 

November, 14, 2014
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It’s a three-game week in the Big 12, but two of those three games will have a few big-time official visitors in attendance.

Kansas will host TCU, and several committed and uncommitted players will continue monitoring if the Horned Frogs can stay in the top four in the College Football Playoff race. Others will continue to pay attention to how the Jayhawks are doing under the Clint Bowen era, particularly after the Jayhawks scored a 34-14 win against Iowa State last week.

There are two other games on tap Saturday that have potential to see players commit -- and, perhaps, a player or two decommit and/or flip.


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SEC's top recruiting visits 

November, 7, 2014
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Saturday's Alabama-at-LSU game, as always, is loaded with big-time prospects making recruiting visits. Auburn is expected to have at least two key visitors in for its game against Texas A&M and Vanderbilt is hoping to build some momentum by bringing in some visitors for the Florida game. Here’s a closer look at some of the top recruits making visits to SEC schools this weekend.


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Big 12's top recruiting visits 

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7
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With the month of November upon us, games are beginning to matter more. Even more so, recruiting visits are becoming more and more important.

There are four games on Saturday’s Big 12 schedule, and while the biggest game of the weekend won't host any official visits, look for two traditional powers to have huge official visit weekends. Additionally, be on the lookout for a couple of standout players giving coaches their verbal commitments.

Baylor at Oklahoma


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Around this time last year, TCU was near the bottom of the Big 12 barrel. The Horned Frogs were fresh off an overtime loss to West Virginia, which ultimately meant being in the middle of losing five of their last six games.

In short, the Horned Frogs weren’t taken seriously. Not by opponents. Not by analysts. Not by many of their fans.

And especially, not by star recruits.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

October, 28, 2014
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Even while Texas is losing ball games, it’s managing to find the silver lining in the dark clouds. The Longhorns lost to Kansas State and were shut out for the first time in 10 years, but they won on the recruiting trail, as another ESPN 300 athlete committed Sunday.

Baylor also added to its 2015 class over the weekend. The Bears have some outstanding skill-position players on their current roster, and they have studs within its 2015 class. They added another top skill-position player on Sunday.

Here’s an in-depth look at how the weekend finished in Big 12 recruiting.


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Best of the visits: Big 12

October, 26, 2014
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There were only three Big 12 games on tap Saturday -- but those three games made extremely loud statements for TCU, West Virginia and Kansas State.

How significant was TCU’s 82-27 win against Texas Tech? The TCU men’s basketball team scored more points only once last season -- in a 98-75 win against Grambling State.

One primary college football target on hand was ESPN 300 DT Daylon Mack, a Texas A&M commit and the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle. Mack was there on an official visit said he enjoyed his time in Fort Worth. He also admitted that while he expected the Horned Frogs to play good defense, he was surprised at the offensive outburst.


TCU has 16 players committed in the 2015 class, and it is looking to not only add to the class but also build for the 2016 class. The Horned Frogs have two 2016 commits in ESPN Junior 300 QB Brennen Wooten and three-star DT Jonathan Marshall, but they are hoping to also land ESPN Junior 300 CB Jared Mayden, who took in the game with potential targets in ATH Donovan Duvernay and WR M.J. Clark.


West Virginia’s 34-10 win against Oklahoma State proved that the Mountaineers, picked among the bottom feeders of the conference during the preseason, are very much alive for a conference title.

Despite getting the loss, Oklahoma State still managed to entertain a couple of top recruits. One of those is junior college OT Brandon Pertile, who committed to the Cowboys back in August.


ESPN Junior 300 DT Mike Williams also was in Stillwater over the weekend. The Cowboys are looking for their first 2016 commit, and Williams, a defensive lineman who continues to pick up recruiting steam, would make for a great cornerstone to Oklahoma State’s defensive future.


In Manhattan, Kansas State handed Texas a 23-0 setback and the Longhorns’ first shutout loss in 10 years. That won’t sit right with Longhorns fans, but it definitely should help Kansas State from a recruiting end.

The Wildcats have 11 commits, and they are hoping to add to their total with ATH Kylan Johnson. A quarterback for his high school, Johnson is a three-star talent expected to play safety at the college level. Johnson visited Manhattan over the weekend, and while his visit went well, he left his social media fans with a random observation, one that made him laugh a little.

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The updated ESPN 300 player rankings are now live, and one of the primary Big 12 targets is the newly crowned top-ranked running back.

Soso Jamabo said in September that he was gunning for the No. 1 spot at running back, and after several huge games, Jamabo has earned that spot, bypassing Kentucky running back Damien Harris. The hunter, however, is now the hunted, as Jamabo looks to maintain that spot. He'll have to fight off Harris, Oklahoma State commit Ronald Jones II, fast-rising Chris Warren III -- who jumped from 183 to 102 in the new rankings -- and several others.

Here are five things to know involving Big 12 recruiting:


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