NCF On The Trail: Kansas State Wildcats

A few weeks ago, Adam McLean was asked what it would take to back away from his Penn State pledge, and he said “nothing can change my mind.” Well, something happened and the ESPN 300 prospect is back on the market. Plus, Zach Gentry has been committed to Texas since May, but rumors sprouted Tuesday he was considering taking other official visits.
It is easy to see why Oregon, Texas A&M and Auburn are working hard to land ESPN 300 athlete Kirk Merritt. He might be only a sophomore, but recruiting fans need to learn Joshua Paschal's name.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

November, 10, 2014
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Here is what's happening on the recruiting trail around the Big 12 this week:


BAYLOR
Total commits: 12
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Waco (Texas) Midway four-star safety Kahlil Haughton was on hand to see Baylor embarrass Oklahoma, 48-14, on the Sooners' home field. Both schools are recruiting the elite safety prospect so the Bears undoubtedly made a strong impression on the Class of 2015 prospect.


IOWA STATE
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: ISU’s week on the recruiting trail was a reminder how quickly things can change. The Cyclones landed Navarro Junior College tackle Tristan Nickelson early in the week, only to see him flip his commitment to Texas on Saturday. Rough week in Ames.


KANSAS
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Class of 2016 quarterback Dagan Haehn of Corinth, Texas/Lake Travis was on hand to see the Jayhawks capture their first Big 12 win over the season with a 34-14 triumph over Iowa State. The Jayhawks also offered Shawnee Mission (Kansas) East defensive tackle Kyle Ball.


KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: It was a rough weekend for the Wildcats on the field, but Bill Snyder’s program is looking at a good “case of the Mondays” after Loganville (Georgia) Grayson linebacker Mohamed Barry committed to KSU Monday morning. The three-star prospect also reports offers from Wisconsin, South Florida, NC State and others. He continues the Wildcats' trend of looking for hidden gems in Georgia as the fourth 2015 KSU commit from The Peach State.


OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: Along with Haughton, the Sooners had several visitors for the game against Baylor including UCLA commit Will Lockett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) and current commit Kenneth Mann (Burleson, Texas/Burleson).


OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 15
ESPN 300 commits: 4
The latest: Several Cowboys coaches hit the recruiting trail with OSU on a bye week. The Cowboys also offered junior college offensive lineman Tyler Howell (Butler C.C.), who has offers from Arkansas, Ohio State, Missouri and others.


TCU
Total commits: 17
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Horned Frogs hosted several recruits for their game against Kansas State including Class of 2016 prospect Kaleb McNac (Garland, Texas/Lakeview Centennial) and Keion Sutton (Midlothian, Texas/Midlothian).


TEXAS
Total commits: 18
ESPN 300 commits: 9
The latest: The Longhorns flipped Navarro Junior College offensive tackle Tristan Nickelson, who was previously committed to Iowa State. Meanwhile UT lost a commitment when Converse, Texas/Judson safety Keivon Ramsey decided to re-open his recruiting process.


TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 5
The latest: The Red Raiders added a commitment from Humble (Texas) Atascocita receiver Quan Shorts. The three-star prospect flipped from Texas San Antonio to pledge to Kliff Kingsbury’s program.


WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 21
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: The Mountaineers offered Coconut Creek (Florida) Monarch receiver Cavin Ridley, the No. 264 player in the ESPN Junior 300. Miami (Fla.) and Temple have also offered Ridley, who is the younger brother of Alabama commitment Calvin Ridley, the No. 23 player in the ESPN 300.
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Arizona State’s victory over Notre Dame Saturday gives the Sun Devils’ huge momentum on the recruiting trail. Texas hasn’t had to rely on junior-college players in the past, but that’ll change some under Charlie Strong.

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Big 12's top recruiting visits 

November, 7, 2014
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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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Kansas State and TCU battle in one of the biggest games of the weekend, and Horned Frog coach Gary Patterson said both teams have been built off a comparable recruiting philosophy. Could landing ESPN 300 Junior recruit Jovanny Garcia start a trend for Minnesota?


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Oregon is still working hard on its 2015, but that hasn't stopped the Ducks from landing quality 2016 targets like receiver Dillon Mitchell. Plus, why is Branden Bowen important to both Ohio State and Utah's 2015 class?

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Five-star Torrance Gibson is slated to announce his decision Monday, and there's expectations that it'll be a good day to be a Buckeye. Plus, Florida and Maryland's recruiting efforts could get a real shot in the arm after big victories this weekend over recruiting rivals.

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Best of the visits: Big 12

November, 2, 2014
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TCU continued to write its own ticket in its quest for a College Football Playoff berth, Kansas State hosted several players from the Peach State and Baylor won big during its homecoming weekend. These were a few of the highlights from a busy week in Big 12 football.

One of the best games in college football on Saturday was TCU’s last-second 31-30 win against West Virginia. While the Mountaineers didn’t win, they managed to impress the many recruits in attendance. Two primary targets in Morgantown were ESPN 300 ATH Jordan Cronkrite and four-star ATH Tim Irvin, who both made the trip from Florida for official visits.
Three-star CB Antonio Howard, another Florida talent, committed to West Virginia back in August. Howard also was in Morgantown, enjoying his official visit. Baylor didn't have any problems with Kansas, and it had a few recruits in town to watch the 60-14 rout. One player who is picking up recruiting steam is LB Trevis Gipson.

A big defender at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Gipson -- the younger brother of Kansas State basketball standout Thomas Gipson -- has a Tulsa offer and Big 12 interest from Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech. ESPN Junior 300 QB commit Zach Smith was in Waco, Texas, as the Bears had several 2016s in attendance. Also in Waco was ESPN 300 OT J.P. Urquidez, who moved from Texas to Maryland but has always had a high interest in playing college football in Texas. It was a big weekend for Kansas State, as three commits and two targets were in Manhattan for official visits. One of those targets is LB Mohamed Barry, who recently decommitted from Wisconsin and set his first official with the Wildcats. Barry, a Georgia talent, also had the chance to hang out with other Georgia standouts in CB Duke Shelley, RB Kalin Heath and WR Isaiah Zuber. All three are Wildcat pledges, and you can bet they were in Barry's ear from the start of the trip. ESPN 300 QB Jarrett Stidham was in Lubbock for Texas Tech's matchup with Texas. Stidham was happy to hear his class added another offensive stud in ESPN 300 WR Carlos Strickland during the week. The Red Raiders lost, 34-13, to the Longhorns, but they're hoping that they can add some defensive help to the class. A huge get for Texas Tech would be four-star DT Darrion Daniels, who was in Lubbock for an official visit. Red Raiders fans are hoping Daniels will be a legacy, as he is the son of former Texas Tech DE standout Tony Daniels.

Big 12's top recruiting visits 

October, 31, 2014
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With five big games on tap Saturday, it could mean a memorable weekend for recruiting in the Big 12. Iowa State will host Oklahoma and Kansas will host Baylor, but there are three other games to watch where a player or two may decide their college destinations.

TCU at West Virginia

[+] EnlargeTim Settle
Tom Hauck/Student SportsTim Settle will be on his official visit to West Virginia as the Mountaineers play TCU.
The game could be considered a clash between the conference’s hottest two teams, but West Virginia could come out a double winner if everything works as planned. With "College GameDay" set to air in Morgantown this weekend, the Mountaineers will host several big-name players, including ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tim Settle, ESPN 300 athlete Jordan Cronkrite and four-star athlete Tim Irvin. Guard Jah'Shaun Seider and cornerback Antonio Howard, two three-star West Virginia commits, also will be in attendance -- most likely playing the role of player-recruiters during what is shaping out to be an important weekend.


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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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The center of Bill Snyder’s program at Kansas State is local players, and K-State has done a masterful job with the 2015 class in the Sunflower State. Plus, Utah hasn’t grabbed a lot of recruiting headlines so far this season, but one Pac 12 recruiter says it should be.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

October, 27, 2014
Oct 27
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Here's what happened on the recruiting trail around the Big 12 this week:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 12
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Houston (Texas) Lamar prospect J.W. Ketchum made it a good bye week for the Bears with his Sunday commitment to Art Briles' program. The four-star athlete picked BU over Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Alabama and others.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Defense has been the focus of this recruiting class for the Cyclones. Eight of its 13 commitments are defenders including four defensive linemen. Paul Rhoads squad dealing with small numbers along its defensive front heading into this season but hopes to address some of those issues with a pair of junior college defensive linemen in Larry Jefferson and Xavier Pegues.

KANSAS
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: It’s been an interesting dynamic in Lawrence, Kansas, where interim coach Clint Bowen landed Olathe (Kansas) North tight end Josh Moore picked KU last week. Moore spurned offers from the majority of the Big 12, Auburn and Ohio State to pledge to the Jayhawks.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Bill Snyder’s program dipped into Texas for its latest commitment with McKinney (Texas) North safety Bryce Balous picking the Wildcats last week. The three-star prospect turned down Texas Tech and Iowa to verbal to K-State. The Wildcats also added Pittsburg (Kansas) running back Alex Barnes, who committed to KSU on Monday. The three-star prospect picked KSU over Kansas, Minnesota, Rutgers and others.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Sooners sent out some offers to Class of 2016 pass-catchers last week with La Canada (California) St. Francis receiver Dylan Crawford and West Hills (California) Chaminade receiver Dymond Lee reportedly receiving offers last week. Both receivers are ESPN Junior 300 members and four-star prospects.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 4
The latest: It wasn’t a great day on the field but one ray of light came to Oklahoma State during Saturday’s 34-10 loss to West Virginia as ESPNJr300 member Mike Williams appeared to love his unofficial to OSU, tweeting about his visit multiple times on Saturday.

TCU
Total commits: 16
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Not only did TCU score big on the field, putting up 82 points against Texas Tech, the Horned Frogs could have scored big on the recruiting trail as well. Gladewater (Texas) defensive tackle Daylon Mack, the No. 15 player in the ESPN 300, loved his official visit to TCU. He’s currently committed to Texas A&M but it appears Gary Patterson’s program definitely gave the elite defensive tackle something to think about.

TEXAS
Total commits: 18
ESPN 300 commits: 9
The latest: ESPN 300 member Cameron Townsend picked Texas on Sunday, becoming the 18th commitment for Charlie Strong’s program. The Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point linebacker picked UT over Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU, USC, Michigan and others. He is the No. 284 player in the ESPN 300.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Could it get any worse for Kliff Kingsbury’s program? Not only did Tech give up 82 points to TCU, its top 2015 commitment, quarterback Jarrett Stidham, broke his hand over the weekend. The injury shouldn’t impact his future as a Red Raider but there doesn’t seem to be much good news in Lubbock, Texas, right now.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 21
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: It could be a critical recruiting weekend with TCU and ESPN’s "College Gameday" heading to Morgantown, West Virginia, on Saturday. Expect several prospects to take advantage of the opportunity with ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tim Settle, ESPN 300 athlete Jordan Cronkite and Army All-American Tim Irvin among the early list of prospects who could be on campus.

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.

Big 12's top recruiting visits 

October, 24, 2014
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It’s a relatively slow week in the Big 12, but “slow” doesn’t mean “nonexistent” when it comes to big conference matchups. TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma State all host major games, and all three games will have potential commits in attendance. Check out some of the names and where they will be where this weekend:

Texas Tech at TCU

The Horned Frogs may be the hottest team in the Big 12, and they have a chance to impress a couple of top-ranked recruits who will be on campus this weekend. ESPN 300 receiver Carlos Strickland is a primary target for the Horned Frogs, and he is expected to take his official visit. Strickland, at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, can be a major get for an offense gaining more and more national respect each week. ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Jared Mayden also will be in Fort Worth this weekend. Mayden is one of the top-ranked cornerbacks in the 2016 class, and he would fit in well in TCU’s always-respected defense.


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