Posted on: February 26, 2012 1:11 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Texas is off to a slow and methodical start to recruiting in the class of 2013 but added another top in-state player on Sunday after Cypress (Texas) linebacker Deoundrei Davis committed to the Longhorns.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder held offers from schools such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M on top of increased interest from schools from across the country. Davis attended Junior Day in Austin and picked up his offer from Texas on Saturday, according to multiple sites.
Davis becomes the seventh pledge for Texas' upcoming class and the first linebacker in the group.
Click here to view his highlights
Posted on: February 20, 2012 5:12 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 5:39 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Starting a new feature on the blog as the recruiting season picks up and spring ball starts across the country: The Monday Mailbag. My colleague Bruce Feldman runs a similar feature on Friday that is a must-read but there are plenty of questions out there that need answering and, well, I'm here to answer them since college football is very much a 24/7/365 sport nowadays. So without further ado, let the smorgasbord of questions commence.
Great start to the mailbag because it's a chance to bring up Dennis Dodd and Brett McMurphy's early top 25 ballots. I'm sure there's some griping from plenty of fans about how both have the order but I pretty much see eye-to-eye on most of the picks. To answer the question, I see a few teams that are a tad over-hyped going into next year, starting with Oklahoma, especially at number three overall. Are they top-10 worthy? Absolutely with 15 starters coming back and quarterback Landry Jones among them. But the way they struggled down the stretch last season was worrisome, especially with the injuries to Dominique Whaley and Ryan Broyles and how the offense just wasn't the same. I'm guessing the coaching staff will put more emphasis on spreading the ball around and hope for a boost in the run game with all of the tailbacks healthy to provide more consistency. Don't discount the loss of defensive coordinator Brent Venables either, the guys were not around for when Mike Stoops was and he didn't recruit them so it will take a little time to develop some chemistry. With plenty of time to study it, I don't think the 'Belldozer' package will be as effective as it was in 2011 unless there's more passing to keep defenses honest.
One other factor that should be noted is it'll be a tough Big 12 this year with newcomers TCU and West Virginia both having good teams on top of rival Texas taking what should be a step forward this year. It's possible the Sooners have a better team than last year but doesn't mean they'll be able to take advantage. I also expect several of the incoming recruits to see extended playing time, especially among the tight ends and receivers (I'd guess Taylor McNamara and Durron Neal for sure) Stoops signed.
A few others that are a tad over-hyped: Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame. Under appreciated? You're looking at TCU, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina.
Great timing for this question considering what the Aggies did on the recruiting trail over the weekend. Seven commitments is an impressive number and pushes the program to a nation's best 13 total commitments for the class of 2013. After already grabbing a top 15 class with the group they just signed, Kevin Sumlin and his staff have certainly hit the ground running. It helps tremendously that several of the coaches came over from Houston and had already been evaluating some of these recruits and developed a prior relationship. One of the things that I got when talking with Sumlin last month was that he certainly would make it a point to sell the fact that A&M was the only SEC program in the state. While Texas will almost always have the pick of the litter when it comes to in-state guys, you can tell recruits going forward will give a longer look at playing in College Station because of that. With the 2013 class, they have two excellent offensive linemen who are two of the top five or ten guys along the line in the state and they have a handful of speedy playmakers on both sides of the ball committed as well. Bottom line is that the program has jumped out to a big start and probably should be able to hold on and better what they did on Signing Day in 2012.
Darrell, surely you know by now not to go against the great Les Miles. The Mad Hatter had a great team last year that went through a lot off the field that some people forget. I think the national title game helped, in some respects, prepare this team for 2012 because it tempered expectations a little and also gave them a reason for the team to think, 'it's us vs. them,' in some respect.
I'm like most writers and have LSU #1 based on what they return and disagree that they lose "key" players so that prohibits them from taking the top spot in the preseason. It could be, for example, a positive that the rotation of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson is over and the Tigers stick with talented transfer Zach Mettenberger, who many expect to grab hold of the job this spring.
LSU returns only five starters on defense but they rotated so many players in last season that I don't think it will be an issue for them as younger players like Anthony Johnson get more snaps. Incoming freshmen like Avery Johnson - Patrick Peterson's younger brother mind you - should be able to contribute early on special teams and offense to complement the strong run game the team should have. The national championship game really colored a lot of people's opinion of LSU the wrong way and it's sometimes good to remember that there's a lot of talent on this squad.
Neal is referring to Scottsdale (Ariz.) athlete Davonte Neal, who will be committing to a school Tuesday morning. His recruitment has been an interesting one, not only waiting nearly a month after Signing Day to pick but because of all the twists and turns he's taken. First off, he's a dynamic playmaker who is built to be a slot guy in a spread offense and get the ball in space. He's also a solid cornerback and should play early on special teams no matter what - there's a reason he's a top 100 player in the class of 2012.
Neal is quiet and it was like pulling teeth for a while to get him to mention a school he had interest in before his senior season ended. He's taken a lot of recent official visits and most have him picking between Notre Dame, Arizona and Arkansas tomorrow. I've heard good things about Notre Dame in this case but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up staying close to home and picking Arizona either. His high school head coach was recently hired there and family is very important to Neal so there are definite draws for the Wildcats. Old CBS Sports pal Rich Rodriguez no doubt told the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder how well he'd fit in the offense down in Tuscon too. I'll stick with a cautious prediction of Neal going to South Bend but I would be surprised for him to state in-state either.
That will wrap things up for the first Monday Mailbag, plenty of others to come in the weeks and months ahead. Tweet your questions to me at @BryanDFischer on Twitter and I'll try and answer as many as I can.
Tags: Anthony Johnson, Arizona, Arkansas, Avery Johnson, Big 12, Brent Venables, Brett McMurphy, Bruce Feldman, Bryan Fischer, Davonte Neal, Dennis Dodd, Dominique Whaley, Durron Neal, Florida, Houston, Jarrett Lee, Jordan Jefferson, Kansas State, Kevin Sumlin, Landry Jones, Les Miles, LSU, Mike Stoops, Monday Mailbag, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Patrick Peterson, Rich Rodriguez, Ryan Broyles, SEC, South Carolina, Taylor McNamara, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Zach Mettenberger
Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:59 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Texas A&M is one of the major programs on a roll early in the recruiting process and kept up the momentum from a big weekend with a commitment from Dallas (Texas) offensive tackle J.J. Gustafson on Monday.
"I've been going to A&M games since I was one or two years old," Gustafson told Rivals. "I've always loved the atmosphere at Kyle Field. I've been to camps there too. I liked the coaching staff. I enjoy College Station too."
The 6-foot-6, 275-pound tackle held offers from schools such as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas Tech. Gustafson was considered an A&M lean for most of the recruiting process with several family members having attended the school but waited to see what new coach Kevin Sumlin brought to the table before committing.
"I really like the A&M staff," Gustafson said. "I am getting a feel of the team and staff and where the depth chart is. I am discovering the A&M philosophy going forward and how they see their season is shaping up."
The pledge gives Texas A&M seven commitments in the past three days and give the program 12 total for the class of 2013. Gustafson is the second offensive lineman of the bunch.
Photo by Lonnie Erickson
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:24 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 2:26 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Texas has gotten off to a relatively slow start with their 2013 recruiting class - shockingly no commits from their recent Junior Day - but added a nice piece of the puzzle on Wednesday morning with their second pledge from Dallas (Texas) wide receiver Jake Oliver, multiple recruiting sites report.
The 6-foot-4, 194-pound prospect held scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Texas A&M among others on his long list of suitors. Oliver took in Austin and the Texas campus during the Junior Day festivities this past weekend and apparently saw enough to end his recruiting process early.
A Maxpreps Top Junior in the class of 2013, Oliver was recruited by Longhorns wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt.
"He's talked to me about what they'd expect from me and how I'd fit in," Oliver told Orangebloods.com prior to his commitment. "They love the guys that go to class, do their job, and do everything they can to the best of their abilities, and not expect anything; not to be a hotshot and to work for your spot."
Oliver caught 108 passes for 1,637 yards and 23 touchdowns last season as Dallas Jesuit went 8-3 during his junior year.
Wide receiver figures to be a spot where Texas will take somewhat limited numbers with the Horns' class a whole on the smaller side after signing 28 earlier this month. The Longhorns landed the top wide out in the state in Cayleb Jones and, with Oliver's commitment, have added another in their second commitment for the class of 2013.
Photo by Lonnie Erickson
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:46 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
As usual, expect lots of commitments at Texas' Junior Day.
Urban Meyer calls the Big Ten's gentlement's agreement "nonsense" and Lane Kiffin defends him.
Defensive tackle Deadrin Senat has a big future ahead of him at Florida State.
Georgia may add a "mystery" football recruit.
The final rankings tell the story of how Oregon's past recruiting classes fared.
Alabama has their eye on Georgia's prized quarterback commit.
For Oklahoma and others in the state, recruiting is very much a junior-driven thing.
Ross Els is getting busy as Nebraska's new recruiting coordinator.
Some video fo Tosh Lupoi talking his departure from Cal and recruiting at Washington.
Hawaii had a late add to their 2012 class in Juco defensive end Quenton Brown.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:05 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Tags: Baylor, Big 12, Charlie Weis, Dayne Crist, Dominique Wheeler, Durron Neal, Grant Rohach, Greg Allen, Iowa State, Jake Heaps, Javonte Magee, Johnathan Gray, Kansas, Kansas State, Mack Brown, Marquez Clark, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, RGIII, Robert Griffin III, Signing Day Grades, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Tyler Matthews, Wes Lunt
Posted on: February 2, 2012 6:01 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 6:07 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
The letters have been faxed and the recruiting classes set so it's time to assess how each and every team did. While the program and head coach played huge roles in recruits committing to a school, the assistants who developed a bond with them are just as big - if not bigger - of a reason as to why they're headed to the college campus of their choice by the fall. Here are the top assistants who hauled in their fair share of top prospects in the class of 2012, sorted by each conference.
Tags: ACC, Adrian Klemm, Al Golden, Alabama, Arik Armstead, Baylor, BCS, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Brennan Carroll, Bryan McClendon, Cal, Camren Williams, Chip West, Clint Hurtt, D.J. Durkin, Dameyune Craig, Dante Phillips, Darius Hamilton, Derrick Woods, Duke Johnson, Durron Neal, Florida, Florida State, Fred Jackson, Georgia, Greg Schiano, Jay Norvell, Jeff Hafley, Jelani Hamilton, Jeremy Pruitt, Jim Gush, Jonathan Bullard, Kyle Flood, Lance Anderson, Leonte Carroo, Louisville, Major Applewhite, Miami, Michigan, Mike Vrabel, NCAA, Noah Spence, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pac-12, Phil McGeoghan, Recruiters of the Year, Rhaheim Ledbetter, Rutgers, SEC, Shaq Thompson, South Florida, Stanford, Sterling Shepard, Steven Longa, Texas, Tosh Lupoi, Tracy Howard, Trey Metoyer, UCLA, Urban Meyer, USF, Virginia, Washington
Posted on: February 1, 2012 7:32 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Breaking down who won and who lost in the Big 12 on National Signing Day
WINNER: Mack Brown
Nothing new for Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns on signing day this year, as the Longhorns put together a class of 28 players. Players that were good enough to earn the Longhorns the second spot in our CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. The Longhorns already had a strong class coming into the Wednesday, but flipping players like Torshiro Davis, Bryce Cottrell, and Daje Johnson in the last few days helped put it over the top.
LOSER: Mack Brown
How can you win and lose at the same time? Well, it's not that hard if you're Mack Brown. After all, Brown has long been considered one of the best coaches on the recruiting trail since taking over at Texas. However, the great classes that he's signed haven't done much to help the Longhorns when it comes to picking up victories the last few years. Now with another top class, the expectations that Texas compete for the Big 12 title will only grow that much larger, and considering that Connor Brewer is the only "top" quarterback in his latest class, Brown will really need the rest of his newest class to start contributing right away. If they don't we can't be sure how many more signing days Brown will have, contract extension or not.
WINNER: Boomer Sooner
While Oklahoma's class may not be as highly regarded as Texas, it's still good enough to finish at #8 in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. It has its share of studs in wide receivers Trey Metoyer and Durron Neal, along with lineman Will Latu and quarterback Trevor Knight, but more than anything Bob Stoops and his staff focused on the areas of need in Norman. Of the 25 players in Oklahoma's class, 12 are either receivers, tight ends or defensive lineman. If the Sooners had been able to add another running back or two -- and this isn't a knock on Alex Ross, David Smith, or Damien Williams -- this class would have been ranked even higher.
LOSER: Oklahoma State
It doesn't seem like the Cowboys and Mike Gundy were truly able to capitalize on their first Big 12 title and win in the Fiesta Bowl. While their 2012 class certainly isn't terrible -- I consider it pretty solid to be honest -- it's not exactly the type of class that will wow anybody either. Still, Gundy and company focused on need, and while a class full of three-star recruits isn't going to knock anybody off their feet, it's those same types of recruiting classes that Oklahoma State rode to the Fiesta Bowl last season. So while I have the Cowboys marked a as "loser" here, it's in the context of the National Signing Day. Besides, if four-star quarterback Wes Lunt and receiver C.J. Curry go on to become the next Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon, well, then this class will be magnificent won't it?
WINNER: Tommy Tuberville
Texas Tech went out and, quietly, pulled in one of the better classes in the Big 12. In fact, depending on which recruiting service you fancy, the Red Raiders trailed only Texas and Oklahoma in overall quality this season. While four-star receivers Reginald Davis and Dominique Wheeler are the flashier commits, I feel the best sign for Tech's future is the fact that at least 15 of its 26 commits will play on the defensive side of the ball. We already know Texas Tech can light up a scoreboard, but until it starts playing better on defense, it won't be able to win consistently. Recruiting classes like this one will go a long way to making that happen.
LOSER: Iowa State
Again, like I said in the Oklahoma State entry, don't take this "loser" personally. The fact is that Iowa State just isn't the type of program that is going to pull in a lot of 5- and 4-star recruits. Instead Paul Rhoads pulled in a class of 21 players comprised mostly of 3-star players. So while this class may not have a lot of "sex appeal" it could help Iowa State continue to make bowl appearances under Rhoads, and that's all you can ask of Iowa State right now.
WINNER: Fax machine distributors of the United States
Hope you made enough money this year to tide you over until next signing day.
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Tags: Alex Ross, Big 12, Big 12 Winners and Losers, Bob Stoops, Brandon Weeden, Bryce Cottrell, C.J. Curry, Connor Brewer, Daje Johnson, Damien Williams, David Smith, Dominique Wheeler, Durron Neal, Fax Machines, Iowa State, Justin Blackmon, Mack Brown, Mike Gundy, National Signing Day Winners And Losers, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Paul Rhoads, Reginald Davis, Texas, Texas Tech, Tom Fornelli, Tommy Tuberville, Torshiro Davis, Trevor Knight, Trey Metoyer, Wes Lunt, Will Latu, Winners and Losers