NCF On The Trail: Jason Hall

Top position classes: DB 

February, 18, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)

The top class of defensive backs goes to Alabama, by a landslide. While the Crimson Tide have provided many recruiting firsts in recent years under coach Nick Saban, the 2014 class is the first to have two five-star cornerbacks in the same cycle in the years ESPN has been assigning star rankings. No. 8 overall Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen) and No. 15 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) have the size and speed that Saban and his staff made a must in 2014. Add in No. 3 safety and No. 27 overall Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville) and Alabama signed three of the very best at defensive back. Factor in that No. 7 athlete Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera) seems destined to begin his career at safety and the Crimson Tide dominate in the secondary despite having missed out on coveted safety target C.J. Hampton (Meridian, Miss./Meridian).

The Crimson Tide had the nation’s best defensive back class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

November, 4, 2013
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Texas Tech and West Virginia each scored verbal commitments from athletes in the 2014 class, and in case you didn’t get the memo: Texas is relevant again. Wins tend to make people forget the immediate past.

There were several other updates from Big 12 programs from the weekend, including one 2015 athlete landing his third Big 12 offer. Here are some of the highlights:


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When the Red River Rivalry is played, records are thrown out the window. When the game’s over, some love looking into the future to play “what if” with the next batch of talented college players.

While both teams have some room to land uncommitted recruits, both are pretty happy with where they are currently. Texas has 24 commits, and Oklahoma has 14, and when comparing ESPN 300 athletes, Texas only has a 7-5 lead.

Which team has the Red River Rivalry recruiting edge this year? Here’s a breakdown of eight positions and which team holds the edge for now.

Quarterback

Perhaps the most competitive comparison between the schools is at quarterback. ESPN 300s Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe) and Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) are the nation’s No. 4 and No. 5 dual-threat quarterbacks. Hansen is the Sooners’ top-ranked commit and has proven himself a first-class leader of the class. Heard already has one state championship ring, and he’s hoping for a repeat performance in December before arriving at the Forty Acres.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Dallis Todd
Erik McKinney/ESPNOklahoma will get 6-foot-5 playmaker Daliis Todd in its 2014 class.
Running back

There are high expectations for both ESPN 300 Samaje Perine (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and Donald "Duke" Catalon (Houston/Eisenhower). Perine is a physical specimen with the combination of power and finesse at 6-foot and 213 pounds. Catalon, at 5-10 and 193 pounds, has the agility and overall balance to make him a potential every-down back. Texas also has three-star Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton), a player who plays with a chip on his shoulder, looking to show that he should be mentioned with the elite talent.

Advantage: Texas

Wide receiver

Neither Texas nor Oklahoma will be complaining about their receiver crop. The Longhorns have an ESPN 300 player in Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City), a rising star in Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) and a player in Garrett Gray (Marble Falls, Texas/Marble Falls) who caught 13 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns in a game last year. Oklahoma has size and athleticism in 6-5, 210-pound ESPN 300 receiver Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) and a 6-7, 180-pound end zone threat in Jeffery Mead (Tulsa, Okla/Union)

Advantage: Texas

Tight end

Oklahoma has done well with recruiting tight ends and was able to land ESPN 300 players Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Union) and Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain). Meier is the No. 5 Y-tight end in the country, while Andrews is the No. 8 H-tight end. Texas also has a good one in junior college pledge John Thomas (Bossier City, La./Trinity Valley Community College). At 6-6 and 255 pounds, Thomas can be used as both a reliable blocker and receiver.

Advantage: Oklahoma

Offensive line

It’s hard to believe that between the two schools, only three offensive linemen are committed.

Sooners commit Alex Dalton (Troy, Ohio/Troy) is considered one of the nation’s top centers, and guard Jonathan Alvarez (Mesquite, Texas/Horn), with his work ethic alone, will surprise a lot of people in a couple of years. Texas, like Oklahoma, has a four-star center committed in Terrell Cuney (Jasper, Texas/Jasper). Cuney is a player who might see immediate playing time as a freshman.

Advantage: Texas

Defensive line


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Best Big 12 classes by position 

September, 10, 2013
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There is still plenty of work for every Big 12 program to do before the completion of the 2014 recruiting cycle. But one can begin to at least paint an outline for how each class is going to look come February.

Here is a look at which Big 12 teams have the best 2014 recruiting class at each position.

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What’s the most critical position in the Big 12? It depends on who you talk to. In a conference that rides its offensive reputation, some coaches are hoping to land players that will help them score points, while others are looking for the prospects to prevent points.

As official visits become finalized and uncommitted players get closer to announcing their commitments, here is a look at some of the most critical positions in recruiting for the Big 12 teams.

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Here is a look at how each one of Texas’ 2014 commitments faired this week:

Derick Roberson
Max Olson/ESPNDefensive end Derick Roberson helped Brennan shut out San Antonio Holmes 52-0 on Friday.
• ESPN 300 defensive end Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Brennan), the No. 8 DE in the country, helped Brennan shut out San Antonio Holmes 52-0 on Friday.

• ESPN 300 wide receiver Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City) caught three passes for 62 yards and a 44-yard touchdown in a 48-0 win over Dickinson.

• ESPN 300 quarterback Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer) completed 12 of 18 passes for 179 yards and two interceptions and rushed 18 times for 103 yards in a 38-28 loss to Cedar Hill (Texas).

• ESPN 300 cornerback Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) helped the Purple Knights defense hold Amite to six points in a 35-6 victory on Saturday.

• ESPN 300 outside linebacker Otaro Alaka and Houston/Cypress Falls lost to Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge, 37-16.


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag

August, 23, 2013
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This week’s Big 12 recruiting mailbag takes a look at a recent Iowa State transfer, a few Oklahoma State topics and when the Longhorns’ 2014 class will start reflecting its “DBU” ways.

John Goorsky (Ames, Iowa): What are your thoughts about the recent addition of D'Vario Montgomery to the Cyclones?

William Wilkerson: I think it’s a very important pickup for Paul Rhoads and the future of the program. Montgomery should transfer seamlessly given his history with Cyclones starting quarterback Sam Richardson. The two were high school teammates in Winter Park, Fla., where Montgomery was a two-time all-state selection with 21 touchdown receptions as a junior and senior.

Not only will it benefit them immediately but it also helps give someone like ESPN 300 receiver Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale) more incentive not to look elsewhere. Just because Lazard is committed to ISU right now doesn’t mean schools are going to stop pursuing him. If anything they’ll come after him harder. Having Montgomery on board, as someone who could take some attention of Lazard in future packages, could entice Lazard to stay put.

Robert Thomas: What will Oklahoma State have to do to move into a top 25 class?

WW: Keep doing what they are doing and live up to the expectations that have been placed on them for the upcoming season. It’s really that simple. If the Cowboys win like they should, the recruits will come. They especially need to win the marquee matchups at home, when their sidelines should be packed with official visitors. Getting guys like ESPN 300 receivers Malachi Dupre and Cameron Sims on campus to see the renovations around the football facilities would be huge.

Mike Gundy has recruited well in-state so far, with the commitments of Devon Thomas and Gyasi Akem, the two Broken Arrow teammates. The Cowboys are still in the mix for four-star safety Steven Parker, as well. Getting a commitment from any three of these recruits would greatly increase their chances of finishing with a top 25 class.

@pt2479: How good can @RichardLagow be in this system?

WW: If the transfer quarterback from UConn is given the opportunity, I think he could be productive. He’s larger than most of the quarterbacks that have come through Mike Gundy’s system, but that’s not to say he wouldn’t be capable of moving the chains like others before him.

The Cowboys recruited him out of Plano (Texas) High School in 2013, so there must have been some inclination that he could work out in the system, even though a scholarship offer was never extended. He was actually going to be working in more of an up-tempo offense at UConn this season as the Huskies transition from a pro-style offense. But he’s going to have to beat out some stiff competition after he redshirts this season. Class of 2014 commitment Mason Rudolph (Rock Hill, S.C./Northwestern) is the No. 7 pocket passer in the nation.

@1jaydub: When does Texas start focusing on DBs for 2014 to get back to DBU Football?

WW: Defensive back has been a focus of Texas’ coaching staff from the jump. They just haven’t gotten the commitments ... yet. They’ve got two commitments in four-star CB Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and three-star safety Jason Hall (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie), a former Nebraska commit. But some big dominos are about to fall that will tell the tale.

John Bonney (Houston/Lamar) surprised Texas’ staff last weekend with a visit. He wants to commit somewhere before the season. ESPN 300 safety Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), who has long had Texas No. 1, will decide sometime during the season after he takes some official visits. ESPN 300 safety Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) will officially visit Texas this fall. And the Longhorns still feel like they are in the mix for ESPN 300 CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen). If the Longhorns get any of these four they’ll feel much better about where things stand.
Three-star safety Jason Hall (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) has finally committed to the Longhorns.

Hall, who confirmed the commitment via text, had long been rumored to be a Texas lean even before he decommitted from Nebraska on July 5. He had been committed to the Cornhuskers since May 8.

[+] EnlargeJason Hall
Max Olson/ESPNJason Hall made his long-awaited commitment to Texas on Saturday.
When he cuts ties with Bo Pelini’s program, though, Hall said there were other schools he was still considering such as Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa and Utah.

But that all changed when he met with Texas head coach Mack Brown, co-recruiting coordinator Bruce Chambers and defensive backs coach Duane Akina in Austin at the Texas Stampede on Saturday.

Hall, who stands 6-foot-3 and 192 pounds, helps the Longhorns fill a desperate position of need at the back end of their secondary. He is the first safety commitment of the class and the second defensive backs pledge along with ESPN 300 cornerback Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/Saint Augustine).

It remains to be seen if Hall’s commitment has any affect on ESPN 300 safeties Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron) and Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), and four-star recruit John Bonney (Houston/Lamar).

Adams will officially visit Texas on Nov. 16 for the Oklahoma State game. Freeman has long had the Longhorns at the top of his list, ahead of TCU and Texas A&M, but still wants to visit LSU before he commits somewhere before his season. Bonney also wants to end his recruitment before the season kicks off but has been pretty mum on who his favorites are.

As for the here and now, though, Hall gives Texas its 22nd commitment in 2014 and a boost in its secondary. He will likely start out at safety but is versatile enough to play cornerback if needed.

He picked up his offer during Texas' June 9 minicamp.
With 32 offers, four-star prospect John Bonney (Houston/Lamar) is one of the most sought-after safeties in the country. But Texas and Baylor have long been rumored as the teams to beat.

Some have said the Bears, especially lately, have crept into "favorite" position with the No. 21 safety in the country. Bonney, however, said that is not the case.


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Here is a look at five things we’ve learned about Longhorns recruiting this summer.

1. Suddes making big impact

Patrick Suddes, Texas’ Director of Player Personnel, could go down as one of coach Mack Brown’s best hires in his time at UT. All Suddes has done since coming on board in March is help make smart, innovative decisions that have helped the Longhorns appeal to recruits despite not winning like they’re used to on the field.


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Many felt it was a matter of time for Jason Hall (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie). Once he picked up a Texas offer, he was put on a countdown to how long it would take for him to decommit from Nebraska.


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Give Arrion Springs some credit: At least he’s been honest throughout.

The ESPN 300 defensive back’s decision Tuesday night wasn’t a surprise if you’ve been following this recruitment. The San Antonio Roosevelt standout, ranked No. 6 among prospects in the state of Texas, went with the green and yellow Ducks hat and committed to Oregon.

He'd been calling Oregon his top school for months. The Ducks had been a heavy favorite since Springs visited the school in June, and he'd never hid that. Even before the Ducks officially had offered a scholarship, they'd been atop his list.

His announcement at The Opening came after several days of intense deliberation. Make no mistake, Texas made this a tough call by hosting him and his mother on an impressive unofficial visit on Friday.


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Thursday’s commitments from ESPN 300 wide receiver Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas High) and brother D'Onta Foreman gave the Longhorns 21 commitments in 2014, leaving them just a few more spots to fill.
Here are a look at five positions of need that could help Texas put a bow on this class.


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Nebraska or Texas for DB Hall? 

June, 27, 2013
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Not long after Nebraska defensive back commit Jason Hall (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) picked up an offer from Texas on June 9, the purists from two sides came out in force.

Longhorns fans said it’d be a matter of time before Hall switched his commitment. Cornhuskers fans said there was nothing to worry about, as the three-star defensive back would value his commitment and the fact that Nebraska was the first school to offer.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

May, 10, 2013
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ACC
Boston College
Christian Lezzer | ILB |Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield
HT: 6-1 WT: 215
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Clemson
Milan Richard |TE-Y |Savannah, Ga./Calvary Baptist Day School
HT: 6-3 WT: 229
Position Rank: #2 TE-Y
Stars: 4

Maryland
Johnathan Thomas |RB |Peabody, Mass./Saint John's Prep
HT: 5-11 WT: 196
Position Rank: #35 RB
Stars: 4

Big 12
Iowa State
Victor Holmes |S |La Porte, Texas/La Porte
HT: 5-11 WT: 177
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending
De'Monte Ruth | CB | Dallas/Wilmer Hutchins
HT: 5-9 WT: 150
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Texas Tech
Byron Daniels | WR | San Antonio/James Madison
HT: 5-11 WT: 170
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Cincinnati
Hakeem Allonce | DT | Greenbelt, Md./Pierce College (JC)
HT: 6-5 WT: 290
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Louisville
De'Eric Culver | CB | Tallahassee, Fla./Godby
HT: 5-10 WT: 169
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jared McCray | OT | Minford, Ohio/Minford
HT: 6-4 WT: 305
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Nebraska
Jason Hall | S |Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie
HT: 6-2 WT: 192
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Auston Anderson | RB | Plano, Texas/Plano West
HT: 5-9 WT: 180
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Tommy Doles | OT | Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian
HT: 6-5 WT: 250
Position Rank: #47 OT
Stars: 3

Dareian Watkins | ATH | Galion, Ohio/Galion
HT: 6-1 WT: 195
Position Rank: #40 ATH
Stars: 4

Penn State
Daquan Worley | ATH | Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville
HT: 5-10 WT: 171
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Purdue
Trae Hart | WR | Dallas/First Baptist Academy
HT: 5-11 WT: 155
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
Arizona State
Korey Rush | DE | Salt Lake City/East
HT: 6-2 WT: 240
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Stanford
Daniel Marx | FB | Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viego
HT: 6-3 WT: 238
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

USC
Austin Maloata | DT | Corona, Calif./Centennial
HT: 6-3 WT: 250
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington
Don Hill | DE | Boise, Idaho/Timberline
HT: 6-4 WT: 235
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Alabama
Zach Whitley Jr. | ILB | Houston, Texas/North Shore
HT: 6-2 WT: 220
Position Rank: #9 ILB
Stars: 4

Mississippi State
Jamoral Graham | ATH | Decatur, Miss./Newton County Academy
HT: 5-11 WT: 180
Position Rank: #15 ATH
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#109)

Missouri
Kevin Pendleton | OT | Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit West
HT: 6-4 WT: 328
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

 

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