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Thursday, October 17, 2013
Big 12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 17

By Damon Sayles


One ESPN 300 athlete is expected to choose a school the majority of the public has predicted for months. Any chance for a surprise change of plans? Another ESPN 300 athlete celebrates a birthday but continues to keep his followers guessing. Also, who’s the next big get for Texas after landing its eighth ESPN Junior 300 commitment?

Here are some of the Big 12 recruiting storylines for the week:

Does TCU have a chance at Garrett?

ESPN 300 DE Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin) is expected to announce where he’ll play college football this weekend. The majority of his followers agree that when the weekend is over, he will be a Texas A&M commit.

Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State also are high on Garrett’s list. The school closest to him, TCU, also is in the mix. What are the odds that the nation’s No. 7 player shocks the world and chooses the Horned Frogs over the Aggies?

Low. But, fortunately for TCU fans, not nonexistent. While Texas A&M is the team to beat, TCU has two things working for it -- proximity and familiarity.

Garrett lives roughly 15 minutes from TCU, and having his parents at every home game -- and several close road games in the Big 12 -- wouldn’t be difficult at all. Additionally, Garrett and TCU defensive end Devonte Fields have Martin ties. Fields, who will miss the remainder of TCU’s season with a foot injury, graduated from Martin in 2012.

Garrett is expected to be in College Station, Texas, for A&M’s game Saturday against Auburn, and all signs are pointing to him to wear Aggie maroon next year. But let’s not count out TCU just yet. After all, the Horned Frogs managed to score a shocker commitment in high three-star offensive lineman Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) -- who was thought to favor Ole Miss and Oklahoma, among others.

Who’s next for Texas’ 2015 class?

ESPN Junior 300 running back Jordan Stevenson (Dallas/South Oak Cliff) recently became the eighth member of the Texas Longhorns’ 2015 recruiting class. The Longhorns have eight commitments, and all eight are ESPN Junior 300 athletes.

Texas is hoping its recruiting success continues, as the coaching staff has its eyes on several ESPN Junior 300 players. Among those who have publicly expressed interest in the Longhorns are running back Soso Jamabo (Plano, Texas/Plano West), cornerback Kendall Sheffield (Missouri City, Texas/Marshall), wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill), outside linebacker Malik Jefferson (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) and safety Larry Pryor Jr. (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs).

Stevenson, No. 182 in the ESPN Junior 300, has rushed for 806 yards and seven touchdowns, and he’s averaging better than eight yards per carry for South Oak Cliff, which is undefeated through six games. He chose Texas over offers from Arkansas, SMU and Utah State.

No set timetable for ESPN 300 Adams

Thursday was special for ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron), as he turned 18 years old. Adams is hoping he can get a birthday present on Friday when his team hosts Denton (Texas) Ryan in a big district game.

The public wouldn’t mind getting its own birthday present from Adams. Although the 6-foot, 204-pound safety has Florida, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Texas and Ole Miss high on his list, he’s said that there’s no set date for when he will announce.

An announcement in November had been discussed, as was an announcement in December. It’s even been discussed that Adams would make his decision as a part of the Under Armour All-American Game. Adams said only one thing is known for certain.

“I’m going to do it on ESPN,” he said, “before that [Under Armour] game or after.”

ESPN 300 teammates to officially visit WVU

The Miami Booker T. Washington duo of wide receiver Lamar Parker and cornerback Nigel Bethel II, two ESPN 300 athletes, are expected to be in Morgantown, W.Va., for an official visit to West Virginia.

Parker is a West Virginia commitment. Bethel is a Miami commit who will take the trip with his teammate. What are the odds that the two will end up as college teammates? West Virginia understands Bethel’s situation, but it likes its chances of potentially swaying the 5-9, 172-pound cornerback who is ranked No. 238 in the ESPN 300.

Both are considered solid commits to their respective programs, but the weekend can be a great opportunity for the Mountaineers to make a major impression on Bethel. Expect Parker, No. 230 in the ESPN 300, to be in his teammate’s ear now and until signing day.

Juco talent on Texas Tech’s recruiting radar

With 21 commits, Texas Tech is feeling good about where it is with its 2014 class. There’s still room for a few more commits, and the Red Raiders are focusing on some junior college prospects.

Defensive tackle Owen Williams (Macon, Ga./Butler Community College), cornerback Jamarcus Howard (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Coffeyville Community College) and cornerback Darius White (Grenada, Miss./Itawamba Community College) are three juco players who could come in and help the Red Raiders immediately on defense. All three have been offered by Texas Tech.

Williams, a 6-2, 285-pound lineman, has an outside offer from Houston and interest from Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. The secondary can be boosted with Howard and White playing opposite from each other. Howard (5-11, 190) has West Virginia and Cincinnati offers, while White (6-1, 180) has offers from Kansas State, Utah State and others.