NCF On The Trail: Alex Anderson

Biggest flips: Big 12 

February, 3, 2014
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On Wednesday, many of the top stars of the 2014 recruiting class will transition from being college commits to college signees. Don’t be surprised if a last-minute flip or two occurs, as committed athletes will use these final hours to re-examine their choices and weigh them against new possibilities one last time.

Flipping is common in recruiting, and the Big 12 this year has had its share of players leaving for other conferences, as well as players choosing to play in the Big 12 after originally picking another conference. Here are five players who flipped to Big 12 programs and could have an impact on the college level sooner than later.

Three-star OG Anderson flips to Texas

January, 21, 2014
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Three-star offensive lineman Alex Anderson (New Orleans/O. Perry Walker) had a tough decision to make and no time to make it. Late Monday night, he knew, in his gut, that he was ready to choose.

Anderson backed out of his pledge to Arizona State and committed to Texas on Monday, becoming the 22nd member of new coach Charlie Strong’s class.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound offensive guard will enroll early at Texas and said he’s hoping to be on campus for his first classes on Wednesday.

I'm coming in to play, and they dont have much depth and are in a predicament. I'll come in and be a high-impact player right off the bat.

-- OL Alex Anderson, after committing to Texas
The decision came after Anderson made back-to-back officials to Texas and ASU, a trip that began in Austin on Thursday and ended on Monday after two days at both schools.

What the decision came down to, he said, was family.

“I visited Arizona State, and the campus was outstanding. I really loved it and wanted to be there, but I had to see the reality of it,” Anderson said. “My family really couldn’t afford [visiting], and I didn’t feel too much at home. So that’s why I had to go in a different direction. I just really wanted to be close to home.”

Anderson had been committed to the Sun Devils since July but quietly reopened his recruitment recently, initially in the hopes of attending Oklahoma State. And then OSU offensive line coach Joe Wickline left to become the offensive coordinator and line coach at Texas.

While Anderson believed he was closing in on an offer from the previous Longhorn staff, the new one made it clear right away that he was a priority.

“When Coach Strong and Coach Wickline came in, they threw me an offer the first day they were there,” Anderson said.

Landing Anderson was crucial for a Texas class that has only one other lineman, four-star center Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper).

Both of Texas’ starting offensive guards, Trey Hopkins and Mason Walters, are graduating. There’s opportunity to play right away, and Anderson likes his chances.

“I’m coming in to play, and they don’t have much depth and are in a predicament,” he said. “I’ll come in and be a high-impact player right off the bat.”

He never would’ve guessed a few weeks ago that he’d end up at Texas, that’s for sure. When Wickline joined the Longhorns, Anderson knew he had to reconsider things and take a visit. He likes Wickline’s intensity, and he was wowed by the impression Strong made during the official visit.

“He’s a disciplined coach,” Anderson said. “He’s not going to expect nothing but greatness from you. I like that. He wants you to be the best, and he’ll push you to be the best. That’s a program I want to be a part of. I feel like the old Texas is about to be back in effect.”

Anderson will be Texas’ third early enrollee in the 2014 class after tight end Blake Whiteley and linebacker Andrew Beck enrolled last week.

Pac-12 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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This week's list offers a look through the Pac-12 at the potential best-case and worst-case scenarios that the 2014 recruiting cycle could bring for various programs. While a few of the best-case scenarios might be close to within reach for some programs, many of the worst-case scenarios would take a special brand of bad luck.

Arizona
Best-case scenario: Arizona doesn't hold onto all of its 24 verbal commits, but keeps all of its priority recruits in the fold. In exchange for some of the decommitments, the Wildcats are rewarded with a big splash from either ESPN 300 prospect John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) or Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). A strong finish to the season also helps Arizona clean up in its home state, landing commitments from offensive linemen Natrell Curtis (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), Andrew Mike (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino), Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and junior college defensive lineman Claudeson Pelon (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa College).

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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Aug. 2 

August, 2, 2013
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There were a number of commitments in the Pac-12 over the past seven days, as several teams kept their strong momentum on the recruiting trail. Programs on a roll with the 2014 class highlight this week's Pac-12 storylines.

Desert programs stay hot


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New Orleans SPARQ All-Combine team

February, 19, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS -- Over 980 athletes gathered Feb. 2 at Joe Brown Memorial Park for the New Orleans stop of the Nike Football SPARQ Combine tour. Here is a look at the 25 standout performers who make up the New Orleans All-Combine team.

Note: Selections are based upon combine performance as well as past and projected on-field performance. Athletes must have completed two of the four combine tests to be eligible for selection. Athletes are in the Class of 2014 unless otherwise noted.

OFFENSE

QB: Donovan Isom, 6-foot-3 , 245 pounds, Destrehan (La.)
Results: 5.00 40-yard dash, 4.60 shuttle, 33-foot power ball throw, 31.3-inch vertical jump, 79.14 SPARQ rating
Breakdown: Good athlete with great frame who could end up on defense or at tight end in college if quarterback doesn’t work out.

RB: Dontrell Hilliard, 5-11, 186, Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville
Results: 4.62 40, 3.95 shuttle, 41.5’ PB, 34.9” VJ, 126.63 SPARQ
Breakdown: The 2012 District 4-5A Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year as a junior has the nation’s top SPARQ Rating through two combines.

RB: Jeremy Smith, 6-0 , 196, Hammond (La.)
Results: 4.72 40, 4.52 shuttle, 35’ PB, 33.6” VJ, 86.22 SPARQ
Breakdown: Bigger back also doubles as a linebacker and earned all-district on both sides of the ball as a junior.

WR: D.J. Chark, 6-0 , 170, Alexandria (La.)
Results: 4.55 40, 4.10 shuttle, 35’ PB, 37.0” VJ, 106.95 SPARQ
Breakdown: Totaled over 1,000 yards receiving and rushing and 11 touchdowns last fall.

WR: Gabe Fuselier, 5-10, 173, Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic
Results: 4.61 40, 4.06 shuttle, 35’ PB, 33.7” VJ, 101.58 SPARQ
Breakdown: Snagged 77 passes for over 1,200 yards and 19 scores last fall.

WR: Glenn Irons, 5-8 , 148, New Orleans Edna Karr
Results: 4.68 40, 4.15 shuttle, 32’ PB, 36.3” VJ, 89.73 SPARQ
Breakdown: Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama have offered Irons, who helped Karr to a state title in 2012.

WR: Corey McBride, 6-1, 173, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown
Results: 4.46 40, 4.40 shuttle, 32’ PB, 35.5” VJ, 94.08 SPARQ
Breakdown: McBride backed up his rep as one of the Bayou State’s fastest players with a 4.46 40.

WR: Speedy Noil, 5-10 , 176, New Orleans Edna Karr
Results: 4.45 40, 4.18 shuttle, 36’ PB, 41.7” VJ, 120.54 SPARQ
Breakdown: ESPN Watch List recruit locked up the second invite to The Opening this summer.

OL: Alex Anderson, 6-3, 267, New Orleans O. Perry Walker
Results: 5.21 40, 4.78 shuttle, 35.5’ PB, 23.5” VJ, 67.56 SPARQ
Breakdown: Impressive two-way lineman held his own versus state’s best last fall.

OL: Ethan Frith, 6-7, 336, Summit (Miss.) North Pike
Results: 5.49 40, 5.41 shuttle, 33’ PB, 21.8” VJ, 67.26 SPARQ
Breakdown: Showed solid athleticism, and you can’t teach 6-foot-7, 336 pounds.

ATH: Dylan Moses (2017) , 6-1, 210, Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab
Breakdown: Youth league phenom picked up an offer from LSU at the Tigers’ camp last summer.

DEFENSE

DL: Deldrick Canty, 6-1 , 252, Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville
Results: 5.08 40, 4.69 shuttle, 37.5’ PB, 34.5” VJ, 94.32 SPARQ
Breakdown: Well-built defensive lineman displayed explosive athleticism for a 252-pound prospect.

DL: Christian Gill, 6-3, 237, Navarre (Fla.)
Results: 5.11 40, 4.34 shuttle, 34.5’ PB, 30.8” VJ, 84.60 SPARQ
Breakdown: A second-team all-area selection as a junior, Gill recently landed offer No. 1 from Louisville.

DL: Chuck Harlow, 6-3, 292, DeRidder (La.)
Results: 5.44 40, 4.52 shuttle, 34’ PB, 28.5” VJ, 83.31 SPARQ
Breakdown: Strong and athletic, Harlow was a breakout performer in New Orleans.

DL: Raekwan McClellan, 5-11 , 251, Biloxi (Miss.)
Results: 5.09 40, 4.89 shuttle, 40.5’ PB, 33.2” VJ, 94.44 SPARQ
Breakdown: Sturdy defensive end totaled 13 tackles for loss as a junior.

DL: Garrald McDowell, 6-1, 244, Covington (La.)
Results: 5.11 40, 4.75 shuttle, 32’ PB, 24.4” VJ, 60.60 SPARQ
Breakdown: Kansas State and Arkansas have offered this Class 5A all-state player who had 10.5 sacks as a junior.

LB: RaeJuan Marbley, 5-11, 211, Destrehan (La.)
Results: 4.84 40, 4.50 shuttle, 37’ PB, 33.0” VJ, 88.53 SPARQ
Breakdown: All-district selection as a junior, Marbley is regarded by locals as one of Bayou State’s best LB prospects in this class.

LB: Arthur McGinnis (2015) , 6-1 , 203, New Orleans Warren Easton
Results: 4.78 40, 4.70 shuttle, 41.5’ PB, 32.8” VJ, 96.12 SPARQ
Breakdown: Rising sophomore already physically resembles an SEC linebacker.

LB: Alvin Moore, 5-11, 183, Bassfield (Miss.)
Results: 4.40 40, 4.28 shuttle, 33’ PB, 36.4” VJ, 106.74 SPARQ
Breakdown: Southern Miss is the first offer for Moore, who totaled 103 tackles and four sacks last fall.

LB: Delvin Purifoy, 6-1 , 234, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic
Results: 4.70 40, 4.87 shuttle, 36’ PB, 33.6” VJ, 89.64 SPARQ
Breakdown: Early FSU pledge racked up 116 tackles as a junior to earn Class 3A all-state honors.

LB: Josh Watson, 6-1, 233, Blue Springs (Mo.) South
Results: 4.83 40, 4.22 shuttle, 37.5’ PB, 31.7” VJ, 102.00 SPARQ
Breakdown: Big, sturdy Show Me State ‘backer made the 15-hour drive worth it with a 100-plus SPARQ Rating.

DB: Camyron Brown, 5-9 , 180, Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point
Results: 4.67 40, 4.29 shuttle, 34.5’ PB, 33.6” VJ, 91.32 SPARQ
Breakdown: Texas State and UTSA are first two offers for Brown, a second-team all-district pick as a junior.

DB: Molefi Maat, 5-10, 159, Cordova (Tenn.)
Results: 4.51 40, 4.44 shuttle, 33’ PB, 40.9” VJ, 97.38 SPARQ
Breakdown: Elite track performer also earned all-district honors on the gridiron as a junior.

DB: Curtis Mikell, 5-7 , 161, Bassfield (Miss.)
Results: 4.34 40, 4.46 shuttle, 32’ PB, 42.2” VJ, 105.93 SPARQ
Breakdown: Small, speedy corner had five interceptions as a junior.

ATH: Calvin Moore, 5-11, 184, Bassfield (Miss.)
Results: 4.53 40, 4.28 shuttle, 35’ PB, 38.6” VJ, 106.86 SPARQ
Breakdown: Alvin Moore’s twin brother was part of a tremendous showing by Bassfield prospects.

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