NCF On The Trail: West Virginia Mountaineers

The addition of No. 1 2016 TE Isaac Nauta shows that the Florida State recruiting machine shows no signs of slowing down. Plus, Tennessee continues to impress with its 2015 defensive class.

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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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.

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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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

November, 4, 2014
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The month of October was a good one for the Big 12 on the recruiting trail. Expect November to be busier. TCU and Texas Tech both added pledges right before the start of the month, and West Virginia had a handful of recruits in Morgantown over the weekend.

Here’s a recap of what went down in the conference:


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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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Early Offer: Hogs dominate in-state 

October, 26, 2014
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To win in the SEC, Arkansas knew it had to keep the star-studded 2015 in-state recruiting class at home, and that’s exactly what it has done. Plus, a rival recruiter believes Notre Dame’s class will be in the top five by the time signing day arrives.

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Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

October, 21, 2014
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While West Virginia landed a commit at a much-needed position, Oklahoma hosted one of the nation's top-ranked players -- hoping to lure him away from his SEC commitment. Those were the highlights of the weekend in the Big 12, but here's a recap of the recruiting weekend, one that could lead to some much bigger results as October progresses.


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Best of the visits: Big 12

October, 19, 2014
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How unpredictable is the Big 12? Baylor is no longer undefeated, Kansas State topped Oklahoma in Norman, and TCU dominated Oklahoma State.

Perhaps "unpredictable" isn't the operative word. "Competitive" may be a better fit.

The Big 12 on Saturday made it a priority to expect the unexpected. West Virginia bested a Baylor team in contention for the College Football Playoff. The 41-27 West Virginia win was even sweeter when the Mountaineers picked up commitment No. 21 on Sunday in rising Florida DE Adam Shuler.



West Virginia pulled the big upset Saturday, but from a recruiting perspective, the big story of the day was ESPN 300 QB and Texas A&M commit Kyler Murray taking an official visit to Norman to take in the Oklahoma experience. Murray, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat quarterback, was seen hanging out with Steele Walker, an Oklahoma baseball commit, during the Kansas State-Sooners football game.

The big question: Is the visit just another opportunity to check out a different school and see how another program functions, or does it give the Aggies legitimate reason to believe Murray is weighing all of his options? Texas A&M has lost three in a row, including Saturday's 59-0 loss to Alabama.



TCU cruised to an easy win against Oklahoma State, and several 2016 athletes were in attendance. The Horned Frogs love their defensive commits, and a couple of players -- such as DE Demerick Gary and OLB/DE Sidney Murray left the game asking the same question: Is Fort Worth in the future?




Texas ended a two-game losing skid with a home win against Iowa State. The Longhorns had a pleasant surprise, as WR commit John Burt was in Austin on an unofficial visit. That's big news, considering Burt lives in Florida and still has an official visit option to Texas available.

One big visitor in attendance was ESPN Junior 300 DB Brandon Jones. Ranked the nation's No. 2 safety in the 2016 class, Jones enjoyed his time in Austin and is considering the Longhorns.



And after Texas' Week 8 win -- a game decided by a 21-yard field goal with time running out -- ESPN 300 WR Ryan Newsome, who is considering the Longhorns in his recruiting, had some fun with the Heisman voters.

Big 12's top recruiting visits 

October, 17, 2014
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Baylor is the team to beat, and West Virginia is hoping to put on a show in front of what’s anticipated to be a raucous crowd. That game will be only one of a handful of must-see Big 12 games on tap Saturday.

Look for some major targets in the following three games to not only be in attendance but also take mental notes of what they see over the weekend. There’s no guarantee, but one or two may even give their verbal commitments.

Kansas State at Oklahoma

Fresh off its Red River Showdown victory against Texas, Oklahoma returns home in hopes to put on a show that will attract a couple of top visitors. ESPN 300 outside linebacker Cameron Townsend and four-star defensive tackle Darrion Daniels will be in Norman on official visits. The additions of both players would be huge for the Sooners. Additionally, quarterback commit Dalton Wood said he will be in Norman for an unofficial visit, as will players like ESPN Junior 300 running back Z'Quan Hogan and 2016 dual-threat quarterback Terry Wilson.


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Big 12 recruiting scorecard

October, 13, 2014
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Here’s the latest around the Big 12 on the recruiting trail this week:

BAYLOR
Total commits: 12
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Several recruits were on hand to watch the Bears’ 61-58 victory over TCU, including Gilmer, Texas, athlete Blake Lynch, a current Baylor commit. He is one of four commitments who are considered four-star prospects.

IOWA STATE
Total commits: 11
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: Junior college defensive end Larry Jefferson committed to Iowa State after a weekend visit. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound prospect flipped from a previous commitment to West Virginia after watching the Cyclones knock off Toledo 37-30 during homecoming weekend.

KANSAS
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Jayhawks landed a commitment from Class of 2016 running back Aubrey White. The highly regarded White spurned offers from Oklahoma, TCU, Arkansas, Nebraska and others to pledge to Kansas. It will be interesting to see how KU’s coaching situation impacts White’s recruitment before February 2016.

KANSAS STATE
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: The Wildcats reportedly offered Class of 2016 athlete A.J. Taylor from Kansas City (Missouri) Rockhurst. It’s the first offer for the 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect.

OKLAHOMA
Total commits: 14
ESPN 300 commits: 6
The latest: The Sooners reportedly offered Class of 2016 defensive end Amani Bledsoe. The three-star prospect from Lawrence (Kansas) High School also has offers from Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and others.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Total commits: 13
ESPN 300 commits: 4
The latest: Solidifying the safety position has been a clear focus for the Cowboys during this recruiting cycle. ESPN 300 safety Kevin Henry joins Kenneth McGruder and Za’Carrius Green to give Oklahoma State three safety commitments who are rated 78 or higher by ESPN Scouts Inc.

TCU
Total commits: 16
ESPN 300 commits: 0
The latest: All 16 of TCU’s current commitments are from Texas but the Horned Frogs, surprisingly, have not secured a member of the ESPN 300 and four-star receiver J.F. Thomas is the lone commitment with more than three stars. TCU has signed at least one member of the ESPN 300 in every class since 2011.

TEXAS
Total commits: 17
ESPN 300 commits: 8
The latest: The Longhorns reportedly offered Class of 2016 prospect Derrick Brown. The Sugar Hill (Georgia) Lanier defensive tackle is the No. 141 player in the ESPN Junior 300.

TEXAS TECH
Total commits: 10
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: It was a disappointing weekend on the field, but things could be looking up as the Red Raiders hosted several recruits, including elite receiver Tyron Johnson, the No. 24 player in the ESPN 300. Johnson tweeted that he enjoyed his Tech visit and would be a huge get for Kliff Kingsbury’s squad if he picks Tech. The four-star prospect from New Orleans Warren Easton has a large list of offers, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Alabama, Auburn and others.

WEST VIRGINIA
Total commits: 21
ESPN 300 commits: 3
The latest: Dana Holgorsen’s squad leads the entire Big 12 in total commits with 21. Quarterback David Sills is easily the Mountaineers' most interesting commitment. You might remember him as the player who committed to Lane Kiffin and USC when he was in a 13-year-old in the seventh grade. He decommited from the Trojans earlier this year and plans to enroll at West Virginia in January.

Big 12's top recruiting visits 

October, 10, 2014
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When one of the biggest rivalries in college football is considered an undercard of sorts in a well-respected conference, consider that a positive message regarding the talent within the conference. Texas and Oklahoma will play in the annual Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl, but when it comes to the Big 12’s current heavy-hitters, Baylor and TCU will collide in a battle of unbeaten, top-10 teams.

With several big games happening Saturday, look for several top-ranked recruits to be in attendance. Here are three games to watch:

TCU at Baylor


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Help is on the way: Big 12 

October, 8, 2014
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When it comes to recruiting, grabbing key players is the name of the game. The idea of getting players who could come in as freshmen and contribute on multiple snaps is what every coach desires.

In looking at the teams in the Big 12, every team has its own specific needs for next year. With every need for each team, it appears immediate help is on the way.


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Juco recruits to watch: Big 12 

October, 6, 2014
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It’s been a good year for junior college talent, and with the 2015 ESPN Juco Watch List released, followers of football recruiting can now be on the lookout for some of the nation’s best juco players.

Here are three names to watch in the Big 12 as the prospects inch closer to their respective signing periods, whether it’s between Dec. 17 and Jan. 15 (mid-year transfers) or between Feb. 4 and April 1 (regular period).


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Best of the visits: Big 12

October, 5, 2014
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Talk about an exciting week of college football.

Five of the top eight teams fell on Saturday. Among those was Oklahoma, which lost to TCU in one of the best games of the weekend.

There was plenty of chatter on social media involving TCU and Oklahoma, as well as Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia. Top-ranked players were in attendance all over Big 12 home games, and two teams managed to get commitments on Saturday.

TCU became the shock of the conference -- and delivered one of the shocks of college football -- when it upset the Sooners in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs remained undefeated on the year, and most importantly from a recruiting standpoint, they impressed ESPN 300 linebacker Malik Jefferson, one of the multiple recruits in attendance. Some thought Jefferson would be in Austin watching Texas and Baylor play, but Jefferson confirmed with ESPN on Friday that he would make the trip to TCU.


The Horned Frogs are hoping to get Jefferson when he announces his college plans on Dec. 19. One player TCU doesn’t have to worry about is wide receiver Jarrison Stewart, who committed to Gary Patterson back in January. Stewart was on hand and enjoyed the atmosphere in Fort Worth and the victory against the Sooners.

Stewart and fellow receiver Jaelan Austin are expected to be major contributors in TCU's offense. Austin also was in attendance on Saturday.


Over in Stillwater, ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tim Settle watched Oklahoma State defeat Iowa State. Settle, the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 15 player overall, took his second official visit and enjoyed what the campus and atmosphere had to offer.


While Texas took a loss to Baylor, it scored a big win for the future, as ESPN Junior 300 receiver Reggie Hemphill recommitted to Texas. Ranked No. 193 in the ESPN Junior 300, Hemphill made the trip to Austin and gave Charlie Strong his verbal pledge.


Hemphill joins fellow ESPN 300 receiver Collin Johnson in Texas’ 2016 class.

West Virginia disposed of Kansas on Saturday, and the Mountaineers managed to land their 21st commitment of the 2015 class in Robert Landers. The rising Ohio defensive tackle received the offer and committed on the spot.

One player happy to see another Mountaineers commit was 2016 pledge Jeremiah Jones. The dual-threat quarterback was in Morgantown and had a chance to hang out with former West Virginia receiver Wes Lyons, who towers over nearly everyone at 6-foot-8.


It was a great week of football in the Big 12. The upcoming week could be equally entertaining, as Baylor hosts TCU in a battle of unbeatens, Texas Tech hopes to get things going when it hosts West Virginia and Texas and Oklahoma meet up for the annual Red River Rivalry.

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