NCF On The Trail: Kyron Watson

Big 12 recruiting roundtable 

February, 4, 2014
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National signing day is now just 24 hours away. To get you ready, we checked in with our ESPN.com recruiting experts for their takes on the major storylines in the Big 12.

Senior national recruiting writer Jeremy Crabtree and Big 12 recruiting reporter Damon Sayles took time from their extremely busy schedules this week to address a few questions:

Oklahoma is closing strong here. With a few blue-chip players still in play, could the Sooners end up with the top class in the Big 12

Big 12 class rankings analysis 

January, 29, 2014
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With a week left until national signing day, Texas Tech climbed one spot, and Texas and West Virginia each fell a spot in the latest ESPN class rankings.

Clemson and Texas flipped spots, putting the Tigers at No. 13 and the Longhorns at No. 14. Oklahoma remained at No. 16, Baylor stayed at No. 18 and Oklahoma State remained at No. 26.

Texas Tech switched places with Northwestern, moving up a spot to No. 34. West Virginia, however, traded with North Carolina State and moved down to No. 38. Here is an in-depth look at the Big 12 class rankings:


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Most important targets: ACC 

January, 28, 2014
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This is the time for schools to make final visits and final pitches to recruits. Only a select number of prospects remain uncommitted, as most programs’ classes are close to completion, which means coaching staffs are focusing their attention on the final big pieces to the puzzle.

Here are the top targets remaining for each ACC school:

Boston College
DT Oseh Saine (Worcester, Mass./Worcester)
6-foot-4, 295 pounds
Not rated
It is possible Boston College will add another commitment between now and signing day. Coach Steve Addazio is hoping for a quiet signing day, as his first full class at BC is a good one, and any unexpected news on Feb. 5 could be bad news for the Eagles. Postgraduate defensive lineman Oseh Saine could sign, however, and he made an official visit after the Eagles had offered. There are academic hurdles, but if Saine is playing FBS football next season, it likely will be with the Eagles.


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video
An official visit just before signing day had Charlie Weis sweating, but he can now rejoice as he will hold on to one of the highest-rated commitments of his Kansas tenure.


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Big 12 class rankings analysis 

January, 15, 2014
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The big question entering the new week: Would Texas take a dive in the ESPN class rankings after losing three defensive tackle pledges?


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Best Big 12 recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

The best college football coaches will tell you that when it comes to recruiting, their business is an art. It’s a craft you must perfect if you want to have the best players commit and ultimately sign. Recruiting isn’t for everybody, but those who are good at it -- particularly for building the 2014 class -- should be recognized, as the business is extremely competitive.

Here are 10 of the top recruiters from the Big 12.


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Big 12 class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the Big 12 conference, check out our conference rankings:

1. Texas, 24 commits: The Longhorns check in at No. 7 in the RecruitingNation class rankings with the headliners being No. 79 overall Derick Roberson (San Antonio, Texas/Williams J. Brennan High), No. 119 Armanti Foreman (Texas City, Texas/Texas City High) and No. 138 Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/John H. Guyer High). Texas, which currently has seven ESPN300 commits, has its sights set on No. 31 overall Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell High), No. 13 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen High) and No. 25 Jamal Adams (Lewiville, Texas/Hebron High).

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Even for schools like Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas, who all have recruiting classes ranked in the top 40, there is still a lot of work to be done for the Class of 2014. Here is a look at the best-case and worst-case scenarios for every school in the Big 12.

Baylor
Best-case scenario: The Bears continue to put up gaudy numbers on offense, which allows them to round out one of their best-ever classes with a few more gems. One recruit they would love to add is Randall Cunningham II (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman). On defense, one of Baylor’s top targets is ESPN 300 cornerback Nick Watkins (Dallas/Bishop Dunne). Texas struggling this season sure does help BU's recruiting.


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As we inch closer to the start of the college football season, wins and losses are going to be important -- not only for bowl-game consideration but also to keep current commitments interested.

Several 2014 athletes have pledged to Big 12 programs, and it’s up to the conference's schools to keep those athletes committed. Here are must-keep recruits for each team, athletes who can impact their respective classes.


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Big 12 recruiting mailbag

August, 16, 2013
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It’s time to open the mailbag and answer some questions about Big 12 recruiting. We encourage all to send questions each week, either via Twitter to @DamonSayles or @ESPNWilkerson or via email at dsaylesespn@gmail.com or wilkerson.espn@gmail.com.

@hammerheel: Which Big 12 team can improve their recruiting ranking the most with a big season on the field? Which team has biggest upside?

Damon Sayles: I think Texas Tech can really improve its ranking down the road if it can score a few clutch victories. This is Kliff Kingsbury’s first year as head coach, and if he can lead the Red Raiders to a great season, it will result in getting some top-notch commitments for the future -- the same way Texas A&M picked up stud commits after a strong 2012 season.

@LeeRagland: Never asked before, but did Ty Barrett to TCU surprise you? Enjoy your work.

DS: Thanks, Lee, and honestly, Barrett’s decision did not surprise me. I’ve always known Barrett to be a shock-the-world type of player. Several of the players from Dallas Skyline think similarly (remember, Victor Evans surprisingly chose Ole Miss over Texas). Barrett should be a major asset to the Horned Frogs’ offensive line -- and trouble for opposing Big 12 defenders.

@CLadyjags31s: As a parent, I want to know the reason for committing so early. Things change day to day. Why is it such a rush to commit?

DS: Unfortunately, it’s one that doesn’t have a conventional answer. Some commit early because they’ve been set on going to one school for quite some time; perhaps, it’s their favorite school. Others commit early because they jump on the first school to offer. That’s frowned upon by many, because you want a player to have time to weigh all options, but it happens. Then you have some players who commit early for the glamor and glitz of the event. They make a deal out of it either by way of a school ceremony or per an announcement on Twitter. One thing’s for sure: If a player commits, almost every college coach would agree that you should honor that commitment.

garrettjelley@yahoo.com: Other than Steven Parker, what ESPN 300 prospects do you see Oklahoma State ending up with? Also, does Oklahoma State have a shot at Malachi Dupre, Trey Quinn or Cameron Sims?

DS: I’m sure that Oklahoma fans would beg to differ on Parker going to Stillwater and not Norman. Those are the two favorites, but whether or not he ends up a Cowboy is still to be determined. As for Dupre, Quinn and Sims, I think Oklahoma State is in the running for all three. However, it’ll be tough to steer Dupre and Quinn from LSU and Sims from Alabama. The process isn’t over until it’s over, right?

@ElmoSledd: Where do you think Dakota Allen will land?

DS: Allen is supposed to make a decision Friday night, and he is down to Texas Tech and TCU. While he’d look good in TCU purple, I think the relationship he’s built with the Red Raiders coaching staff will be the ultimate decider. Plus, Texas Tech is in dire need of a linebacker for its 2014 class. Allen is one of the best-available inside linebackers around, and whichever school ends up with him gets a steal.

@RL1_Era: Which Big 12 team needs a big recruiting class the most?

DS: A team like Kansas really could use a big class strictly for the confidence boost. The Jayhawks only have seven commitments entering the weekend. Fortunately for Jayhawks fans, three of the seven are four-star players, and two -- OLB Kyron Watson and OL Jacob Bragg -- are ESPN 300 players. A strong 2014 class will help change the image of Kansas football. Charlie Weis and Co. understand that with recruiting in Lawrence, it’s all about taking small steps.

tuxjackson@ymail.com: When does Jamardre Cobb plan to make his decision, and if you were to guess today, who would you say has the upper hand out of his top 3?

DS: Right now, Cobb is focused on winning a state championship for Los Angeles Salesian. Recruiting isn’t necessarily taking a back seat, but it’s far from the forefront. The ESPN 300 linebacker has an official visit scheduled for Oklahoma in early October, and the Sooners have had success landing players from the west coast. Arizona and Arizona State also are teams to watch in the Cobb sweepstakes.

The Kansas football team has been prime example of quality over quantity with recruiting. The Jayhawks entered Wednesday with only three commitments, but one is ESPN 300 linebacker in Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis), and another is a four-star dynamo in running back Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner-Edgerton).

Wednesday afternoon, the Jayhawks added another major piece to its small-but-statuesque recruiting class, as ESPN 300 offensive lineman Jacob Bragg (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches) gave his verbal pledge. Bragg committed while visiting the campus and taking in all that Lawrence, Kan., had to offer.


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Kansas lands local talent Dineen

May, 30, 2013
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Joe Dineen (Lawrence, Kan./Free State), a high school quarterback expected to play safety in college, has pledged to sign with his hometown Jayhawks, multiple sources report.

Rice also offered the 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect. Arkansas, Iowa State, Nebraska and Oklahoma State expressed interest.

Kansas now has three verbals for 2014, including ESPN 150 linebacker Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis) and four-star running back Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Edgerton).
East St. Louis (Ill.) High has a long history of producing BCS-level products, and the 2014 and 2015 classes are loaded.

ESPN 150 linebacker Kyron Watson (Kansas) and safety Gregory Taylor (Missouri) are already committed, but there is still a lot of talent on the board at East St. Louis.


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Weekly commitment roundup

May, 17, 2013
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ACC
Duke
Zach Harmon OG Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic
HT: 6-foot-4 WT: 275 pounds
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kerrion Moore RB Gastonia, N.C./Hunter Huss
HT: 5-8 WT: 180
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Chris Taylor WR Coconut Creek, Fla./North Broward Prep
HT: 6-0 WT: 168
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Miami
Brad Kaaya QB-PP West Hill, Calif./Chaminade College Prep
HT: 6-4 WT: 213
Position Rank: #12 QB-PP
Stars: 4

NC State
Coult Culler OLB Wilmington, N.C./E.A. Laney
HT: 6-4 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jalan McClendon QB-PP Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg
HT: 6-4 WT: 195
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Baylor
Jordan Feuerbacher TE-Y Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood Park
HT: 6-4 WT: 240
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Xavier Jones DE Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West
HT: 6-3 WT: 200
Position Rank: #32 DE
Stars: 3

Iowa State
Sam Seonbuchner OLB Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-2 WT: 223
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kansas
Kyron Watson OLB East Saint Louis, Ill./East Saint Louis
HT: 6-1 WT: 210
Position Rank: #4 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#100)

Oklahoma
Marcus Green CB Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill
HT: 6-1 WT: 176
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Louisville
Isaiah Ford WR Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
HT: 6-1 WT: 161
Position Rank: #34 WR
Stars: 4

George Rushing WR Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons
HT: 6-0 WT: 182
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Rutgers
Justin Herron OG Potomac, Md./Bullis School
HT: 6-4 WT: 275
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Michigan State
Chris Frey Jr. OLB Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington
HT: 6-2 WT: 214
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Matt Sokol ATH Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Blake Hance TE-Y Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville
HT: 6-6 WT: 260
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Jackson RB Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North
HT: 5-11 WT: 175
Position Rank: #32 RB
Stars: 4

Ohio State
Lonnie Johnson WR Gary, Ind./West Side
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Position Rank: #41 WR
Stars: 4

Penn State
Marcus Allen S Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jared Wangler OLB Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate
HT: 6-2 WT: 218
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wisconsin
Billy Hirschfeld DE Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-6 WT: 267
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ula Tolutau ATH Salt Lake City, Utah/East
HT: 6-1 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
UCLA
Dionte Sykes WR Chandler, Ariz./Chandler
HT: 6-2 WT: 205
Position Rank: #49 WR
Stars: 3

Utah
Raelon Singleton WR Crosby, Texas/Crosby
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington
Chase Blakely DE Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Coeur D'Alene
HT: 6-4 WT: 221
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Greg Hoyd OLB Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta
HT: 6-1 WT: 191
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Auburn
Derrick Moncrief S Prattville, Ala./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 226
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Thornton DE Prichard, Ala./Vigor
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: #13 DE
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#111)

Kentucky
Drew Barker QB-PP Hebron, Ky./Conner Senior
HT: 6-4 WT: 205
Position Rank: #7 QB-PP
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#141)

Kobie Walker S Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel
HT: 6-3 WT: 188
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

LSU
D'haquille Williams WR Laplace, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 210
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri
Michael Fairchild OT Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West
HT: 6-6 WT: 270
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Finis Stribling IV CB Thompson's Station, Tenn./Independence
HT: 5-11 WT: 167
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mississippi State
Dontavian Lee RB Brooklyn, Miss./Forest County Agriculture
HT: 6-0 WT: 205
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Montez Sweat TE-Y Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
HT: 6-6 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending
The Jayhawks landed a potentially class-defining commitment Tuesday from ESPN 150 linebacker Kyron Watson (East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis) and our scouts feel he has the ability to make an instant impact in Lawrence.

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