NCF On The Trail: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Best of the visits: Big 12

January, 18, 2015
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The third weekend in January is always a busy -- if not the busiest -- weekend in the recruiting cycle. College coaches are allowed to contact recruits face-to-face again and the college football season is over, so both players and coaches have turned their attention to the final few weeks of recruiting. It was a busy weekend around the Big 12 with almost every conference program hosting recruits on official visits. Here’s a look at some of the best of the best form those visits.

ESPN 300 running back Nick Brossette has been a longtime LSU commitment, but that hasn’t stopped him from giving Texas a long, long look. Texas would like to land an impact running back in the 2015 class, and Brossette remains one of its best options. Brossette has built a great relationship with Horns coach Charlie Strong, and from all indications he had a good time in Austin this weekend.


Oklahoma landed a much-needed commitment from Dallas Kimball three-star cornerback Antoine Stephens on Sunday. The 6-foot-1, 187-pound Stephens was also offered scholarships by Texas Tech, Baylor, Louisville, SMU, Washington State and others.


After losing five commitments in the past few weeks, Iowa State received positive news from three-star inside linebacker De'Amontae Jackson over the weekend. The 6-foot, 235-pounder was a big get for the Cyclones out of the Sunshine State. At one point in time, Jackson had offers from Alabama, Florida State, Kentucky, Miami and others.


It also looks like Iowa State did a very impressive job with No. 10 junior college offensive tackle Jaypee Philbert this weekend. He posted about loving his time at the Kansas-Iowa State basketball game and also posted a picture of him hanging out with Cyclones offensive coordinator Mark Mangino.


Three-star defensive tackle Tyrell Jacobs joined fellow Louisianan Reggie Walker on an official visit to Kansas State this weekend. Jacobs, who visits Missouri and Illinois the next two weeks, was also accompanied by his mother.


Texas Tech had a large group of visitors on campus this weekend, including Kansas three-star athlete pledge Arico Evans. The 6-1, 190-pounder from Dallas Hillcrest seemed to be having a good time on his trip to Lubbock.


Oklahoma State also had some big prospects on campus, including eight players who were already committed to the Cowboys. This includes players like three-star safety Za'Carrius Green, who definitely liked what he saw with the black Oklahoma State uniform.

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There are 30 players committed to Big 12 schools in the final update of the ESPN 300 for the Class of 2015. That number is comparable to the Big Ten and the Pac-12, but definitely trails behind the ACC and SEC. What also has to be troubling is the lack of top-flight national recruits ending up at Big 12 schools. Only two top-50 players and seven in the top 100 are heading to Big 12 programs. The good news is that those numbers could change down the stretch as some good talent remains on the board in Texas and Oklahoma.

Top 10 instant-impact recruits in 2015 

January, 14, 2015
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With signing day a few weeks away, early enrollees already on campus and the national championship game in the books, which teams are reloading with talent that can hit the field and make an immediate impact?

Here are 10 committed prospect who have the chance to contribute early and often in the 2015 season:


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Even it looks like there is momentum for an early signing period in mid-December, college coaches still are torn on whether that’s a good thing. Plus, what does an early signing period do to the financial aid agreements players are already signing?


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Now that Randy Shannon has been officially announced as a part of the Florida coaching staff, the expectations for success in South Florida are high for the Gators.


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Future Big 12 signees? Five names to watch 

December, 21, 2014
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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.


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Early Offer: Hokies score super sleeper 

December, 16, 2014
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Once again, Frank Beamer has landed an under-recruited prospect with “unlimited potential.” Plus, how much progress has been made by the committee looking into whether or not there should be an early-signing period?


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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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Early Offer: The dead period is here 

December, 14, 2014
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What is the dead period and why is it an important time in football recruiting? Plus, Texas Tech’s loss at quarterback could be Baylor’s gain.

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Go ahead and debate who should have been in the inaugural College Football Playoff, but there’s no debating Bama, Oregon, FSU and OSU dominate in recruiting.

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Early Offer: Malik Jefferson's final 7 

November, 24, 2014
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Malik Jefferson reduced his list to seven schools on Monday, and though the list is hardly a surprise, recruiters think there are still some in store with the No. 35 player in the country.

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UA jersey tour: Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.

November, 20, 2014
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The Under Armour All-America Game jersey presentation tour hit the Aloha State for the third day in a row, as ESPN 300 offensive guard Fred Ulu-Perry Jr. was awarded his jersey in front of friends and family in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance.

Ulu-Perry Jr. joins good friends and fellow ESPN 300 prospects Canton Kaumatule and Breiden Fehoko as participants in the game and players to have been honored this week.

"It was great," Ulu-Perry Jr. said of the presentation. "It was great to have all my family here and all my brothers from St. Louis [School]. It was pretty cool and something I'll always remember."

The 6-foot-3, 307-pound Ulu-Perry Jr., the nation's No. 4 guard, committed to UCLA over the summer, but his recruitment rolls on. He will use all five of his official visits and has already gone to UCLA and Texas Tech. He'll visit Oregon State for the Civil War on Nov. 29 and will visit Colorado and Texas A&M in January.

"When I go on trips, I want to take everything," Ulu-Perry Jr. said. "It's supposed to be fun, but it's a business trip. I'm really evaluating the coaches, players the area and how the program is run."

Ulu-Perry Jr. said he'll ultimately have a final decision in late January or early February, whether to stick with his UCLA commitment or flip elsewhere.



Six questions with Fred Ulu-Perry Jr.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class, who would it be?

"There are so many people I would take. Definitely Canton and Breiden. I would take Kanawai Noa from Punahou and Salanoa-alo Wily from Kahuku. There are too many."

What was your earliest football memory?

"I started playing football in sixth grade. I remember I was just a young kid running around trying to learn the game. I got the hang of it my first year and from there it's been fun. My goal from the start was to dominate everyone."

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?

"I really look up to Olin Kreutz and Samson Satele. Those were the best centers out here and Kreutz is probably going to the Hall of Fame."

If you could take on any pro in their sport, who would it be?

"I'd want to take on Haloti Ngata. He's probably the nastiest defensive tackle I've seen."

Why do you wear your number?

"I wear No. 64 because my favorite car is a 1964 Impala."

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

"I'm a pretty basic person. I just love working hard, dedicating myself to the lord, my family, school and football. I think everybody pretty much knows everything about me."

Early Offer: Adam McLean's surprising move 

November, 19, 2014
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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.

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UA jersey tour: Breiden Fehoko

November, 19, 2014
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Breiden Fehoko received his Under Armour All-America Game jersey on Wednesday during a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance and attended by Fehoko’s friends, family, coaches and teammates in Honolulu.

“It was a surreal experience,” Fehoko said. “As a kid watching all the guys go through this and finally to have my dreams come true, it was such an awesome experience.”

The fact that several of Fehoko’s family members were in attendance is little surprise, as the 6-foot-3, 290-pound, ESPN 300 defensive tackle has always placed a high priority on family -- it’s a significant reason he ultimately made the decision to commit to Texas Tech.

Fehoko’s oldest brother, Sam, played football for the Red Raiders and his other brother, V.J., is a linebacker at Texas Tech now. The Fehokos have spent plenty of time at Texas Tech during the past few years and V.J.’s decision to transfer there from Utah certainly helped the Red Raiders eventually land a commitment from the younger Fehoko, the nation’s No. 53 overall prospect.

“For V.J., he really sets the tone for me,” Fehoko said. “Being that older brother above me, he molded me into what I am by showing me what I need to be to accomplish what I want to do.”

Though Texas Tech is 3-7 and the defense has given up 35 points or more in seven games, Fehoko said he has no thoughts of looking elsewhere.

“I’m done with this,” Fehoko said of his recruitment. “I’ve already signed my financial aid agreement and I’m confident in my decision.”


Eight questions with Breiden Fehoko

What players are you looking forward to competing with or against at the UA Game?

Fehoko: I’m looking forward to playing with Jarrett Stidham, as well as Fred Ulu-Perry and Canton Kaumatule.

If you could start a team with any player in your class, who would it be?

Fehoko: I’d probably go with Jarrett [Stidham]. He’s a dual threat and it’s not just the fact that he’s committed to my school. You see what he did with Stephenville (Texas) this year. Dude’s a player, and you always want to build your team around a quarterback.

Who is the best player to ever play in the UA Game?

Fehoko: Guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Manti Te’o. They really set the tone and were guys that balled out in this game. They didn’t just go there to experience the atmosphere. Those are guys I looked up to and I want to go fill those shoes.

What is your earliest football memory?

Fehoko: I was about 4 or 5 years old and my dad made me suit up with my older brothers in the back yard. Boy did I get tossed around. I’m thankful for it now, but that was real backyard football.

Which football player do you idolize or model your game after?

Fehoko: A whole bunch of guys, but one guy I like to model my game after is Aaron Donald. I like the way he’s so explosive and has great hands. Another guy is John Randle, the legend. His motor is as fast as mine.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport, who would it be?

Fehoko: Christiano Ronaldo, hands down. That guy is probably one of the most hated and respected athletes in the world. Hopefully I could get some of the women he gets as well.

Why do you wear your number?

Fehoko: No. 1 represents my older sister, Brittany. She passed on, and every time I take the field, I’m proud to wear it.

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

Fehoko: I’m kind of a genius with computers. On the field I’m smashmouth and talk a bunch of crap, but off the field my hobby is working with computers.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

November, 18, 2014
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The Big 12 had a relatively slow week, as three games were on tap. The result of the slow week, however, proved to be prosperous for Baylor, as the Bears landed a commit to increase its 2015 class to a baker's dozen.

Here's an in-depth look at how the weekend fared from a recruiting perspective:


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