Posted on: February 16, 2011 3:45 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Slowly but surely, the Texas recruiting momentum is starting to gain steam. Although the Longhorns are not to their usual number of double-digit commitments following their first Junior Day, the coaching staff has locked up several quality players in the class of 2012.
Mansfield (Tex.) defensive end Hassan Ridgeway is the latest to verbally commit to Mack Brown but not after some confusion. Ridgeway attended Texas’ recent Junior Day this past weekend but was unsure of whether or not he actually had a scholarship offer.
A quick call from Brown Wednesday morning ended all confusion.
“He did commit. Mack Brown called about 11:30,” Ridgeway’s head coach, Jeff Hulme told Orangebloods.com. “I think they just wanted to go over his transcript again or something.”
Taking in campus over the weekend seemed to seal the deal for the 6-foot-3, 240 pound end.
“It was good,” Ridgeway said. “I like the campus and the coaches there. They showed us around the campus and the facilities - the weight room, the stadium and all that. We also got to talk to a couple of players. It was ll real nice.”
Texas A&M and TCU were two of the many programs that heavily recruited Ridgeway. A first team All-District selection as a junior, he was a disruptive force against the pass and the rush last year. His size could also allow for a move to outside linebacker depending on how the Texas coaching staff chooses to use him. Just 16 years old, Ridgeway could also grow into a strongside defensive end or defensive tackle before he steps onto campus.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 10:02 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Duke is one of the first programs to start spring practice today and with pitchers and catchers already in baseball camps across the country, it seems as though spring is here. In February.
- Mack Brown’s Junior Day strategy might be changing, with a focus on holding off on grabbing commitments so early in the process.
- While Texas holds off a bit, rival Texas A&M picked up a verbal commitment from junior Michael Richardson by tapping a well used high school pipeline.
- Two West Coast schools extended offers to Ohio native and defensive end Adolphus Washington.
- While most of the focus is on the class of 2012, at least one 2013 player is hearing from a host of major college programs.
- A good look at some of the top players in the talent-rich state of Florida.
- Some Michigan recruiting notes on several targets in this post.
- Steve Spurrier’s focus on locking up in-state talent has led Georgia to lose more recruiting battles than they win in the state.
Posted on: February 12, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 5:35 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Mack Brown likes to wrap up most of his recruiting class early and he’s off to a good start with the 2012 recruits ahead of the first Texas Junior Day. Just five days after picking up commitment number one in quarterback Connor Brewer, the Longhorns grabbed commitment number two in Denton (Tex.) linebacker Alex De La Torre, according to Hookem.com.
“I have a lot of respect for Mack Brown and the coaches at Texas,” De La Torre told Hookem.com. “I like the family environment at Texas and I like the way they run their program.”
The 6-foot, 210 pound linebacker should be the first of many commitments this weekend for the Longhorns. The invite-only Junior Days are typically when coaches extend scholarship offers and receive the bulk of their commitments for the upcoming recruiting class. Recruits usually get a tour of the facilities and meet with the coaches and support staff during the day-long unofficial visit. Technically, Texas is holding Junior Day on Sunday, however several recruits made the trip on Saturday to catch some of the basketball team’s game against Baylor.
According to Orangebloods.com, several high profile recruits will make their way to Austin tomorrow. MaxPreps 2012 Top 100 watch list running back Johnathan Gray of Aledo (Tex.) will be the marquee visitor of the bunch but is not expected to make a commitment. Wide receiver Cayleb Jones, offensive lineman Curtis Riser, defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, linebacker Peter Jinkens, cornerback Will Hines and safety LaDarrell McNeil are some of the other notable players schedule to attend.
Posted on: February 8, 2011 2:10 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Late last night, news spread like a wildfire that Scottsdale (Ariz.) quarterback Connor Brewer had committed to Texas. One of the best quarterbacks in the west, the news of the commitment shocked several people in the recruiting community.
It wasn’t Brewer’s choice in committing to the Longhorns, but rather his timing.
Although many schools were sending verbal offers out to the desert, Texas generally waits until one of their “Junior Days” to extend an offer and more than likely receive a commitment. The fact that Brewer becomes offer – and commitment – number one for Texas’ class of 2012 is significant.
Obviously Mack Brown is hoping to continue the momentum he built with the great class of 2011. Grabbing an out of state recruit who figures to be on everyone’s top 100 list is a great way to start. Rivals analyst Brian Perroni noted that Texas did the same thing with current starter Garrett Gilbert in high school to start his class off with a bang and it appears the Longhorns staff hopes to do the same this year.
The 6-foot-2, 185 pound Brewer is also the first commitment for new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, who recently joined the staff from Boise State. Not only does Harsin lock up his future pupil just less than a year before Signing Day, but he can have Brewer help recruit other kids to join the fold.
While the timing is a bit interesting, Texas is off to their usual early start in the recruiting game with a very good quarterback. We’ll see if this commitment has the desired effect in a few weeks.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:21 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Ranking the Big 12 recruiting classes and breaking them down at the same time.
Overview: Mack Brown earned the title of Mr. February once again, turning a losing season and six new coaches into another top 10 class. Once again, the top talent in Texas is headed to Austin in a class that fills a lot of needs on both sides of the ball.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley may have a familiar last name but he has the skills to easily pickup where his brother left off.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Malcolm Brown, one of the best running backs to commit to the Longhorns out of high school in years.
Just missed on: Offensive tackle Christian Westerman to Auburn.
Overview: The Sooners have a ton of talent returning for 2011 and a likely top three team in the country but that didn’t stop them from bringing a talented recruiting class. It wasn’t a big class but the talent in it should hit the field sooner rather than later (pun very much intended).
Hidden gem: Cornerback Bennett Okotcha, a former Notre Dame commit, has continued to get better and could be a steal after a redshirt year.
Pencil in for the fall: Wide receiver Trey Metoyer, who should be the next freshman wide receiver to put up numbers in the Oklahoma offense.
Just missed on: Athlete Brandon Carter to TCU.
3. Texas Tech
Overview: Tommy Tuberville has certainly made his mark on the recruiting trail for the Red Raiders this year. Pulling prospects from Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama and Pennsylvania show that Tech is no longer just grabbing the players passed over by Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, this may be the most talented class to ever head to Lubbock.
Hidden gem: Defensive end/linebacker Branden Jackson, who could be a terrific hybrid player with his speed and athleticism.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Kenny Williams has the size and power to add to the Tech ground game from day one.
Just missed on: Cornerback Marcus Roberson to Florida.
4. Oklahoma State
Overview: Credit to Mike Gundy for signing an impressive class, especially on offense, despite experiencing a lot of staff turnover. The Cowboys filled needs and brought in some great skill position talent in 2011.
Hidden gem: Athlete Desmond Roland is very versatile and could play all over for Oklahoma State.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Herschel Sims should slot into the running back rotation from the get go.
Just missed on: Possibly Jon Jenkins, a former commit at defensive tackle who still hasn’t made his choice.
5. Texas A&M
Overview: The Aggies might not have taken advantage of Texas’ down year quite as much as they might have liked but they did put together a very solid class. Grabbing a few linebackers filled a big need.
Hidden gem: Kicker Taylor Bertolet, one of the best kickers in the country and even kicked the game-winning field goal in the Under Armour All-America game.
Pencil in for the fall: Outside linebacker Shaun Ward should come in and compete for playing time right away.
6. Kansas State
Overview: Junior college heavy to no one’s surprise, the Wildcats grabbed talented players from different parts of the country.
Hidden gem: Former top recruits Arthur and Bryce Brown are part of this class as transfers and are still very talented despite most glossing over them because they transferred awhile back.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive end Ian Seau may have a familiar name (he’s Junior Seau’s nephew) but he will have no problem getting Wildcat fans to think of Ian whenever they hear of Seau.
Overview: Turner Gill’s first full class as head coach doesn’t have a ton of impact players but it is a deep and versatile class.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd is a very explosive athlete who could end up being a steal.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Darrian Miller is an early enrollee so he will already be going through spring drills to learn the system. One of the best backs from the Midwest, he should step in right away at Kansas.
Overview: Solid if not spectacular is the best way to describe Baylor’s class. There’s a ton of talent that should benefit from a redshirt year and good coaching from Art Briles.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Jonathan Lee has the size and speed to quickly become a factor in the passing game.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Trevor Valdez has a terrific motor and great quickness inside.
Overview: Not the typical class we’ve seen from Missouri over the past couple of years but nevertheless a solid class to build around.
Hidden gem: Quarterback Corbin Berkstresser should be a dependable backup early in career before being tapped to put up some big numbers for the Tigers.
Pencil in for the fall: Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been waiting for a few years to play for Mizzou and should step in right away in the middle of the defense.
10. Iowa State
Overview: A very surprising class given some of the talents the Cyclones brought in. Although they’re ranked at the bottom of the Big 12 classes, there’s still a talent upgrade headed to Ames.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver Quenton Bundrage is a very speedy kid who could be very productive in just about any offense.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back DeVondrick Nealy is a great get for Iowa State out of Florida.
Tags: Art Briles, Arthur Brown, Baylor, Bennett Okotcha, Big 12, Big 12 Signing Day, Branden Jackson, Brandon Carter, Bryce Brown, Christian Westerman, Corbin Berkstresser, Darrian Miller, Desmond Roland, DeVondrick Nealy, Herschel Sims, Ian Seau, Iowa State, JaCorey Shepherd, Jaxon Shipley, Jon Jenkins, Jonathan Lee, Kansas, Kansas State, Kenny Williams, Mack Brown, Malcolm Brown, Marcus Roberson, Mike Gundy, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Quenton Bundrage, Shaun Ward, Sheldon Richardson, Taylor Bertolet, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, Trevor Valdez, Trey Metoyer, Turner Gill
Posted on: February 3, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 1:51 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Despite a tumultuous season and an offseason that saw six coaches depart the program, Texas head coach Mack Brown still managed to bring a MaxPreps top 10 recruiting class. Recapping some of the highlights of the class of 2011 and just how the Longhorns kept rolling in February.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 10:21 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
There’s not much rest for the weary as we can’t officially close out the class of 2011 yet.
- One key recruit is still on the board in quarterback Jacoby Brissett and he’s especially key to Miami.
- USC might have lost De’Anthony Thomas but their impressive class still means they had more hits than misses on Signing Day.
- CJ Johnson was the prize recruit for Ole Miss in a very impressive class for Houston Nutt. Down the road at Mississippi State, a great defensive line class headlined for Dan Mullen.
- Wrapping up Signing Day at Washington. Another impressive class for Steve Sarkisian so, as he likes to tweet when they get a commitment, Woof!
- Colorado head coach Jon Embree had to hit the recruiting trail hard but had a very solid first class.
- Texas Tech had one of the best classes the school had ever signed yesterday and head coach Tommy Tuberville said recruiting to Lubbock wasn’t an issue.
- Mack Brown told recruits to trust him in the face of the adversity that Texas went through the past few months.
- Great pickup for TCU in Brandon Carter, someone who head coach Gary Patterson had no problem talking about.
- Some more details on Ohio State recruit Chris Carter after he was arrested Tuesday.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:47 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
As mentioned yesterday, one of the key late commitments of the 2011 Big 12 class was going to be DE Brandon Alexander, who was picking up interest from a host of high-level programs as he stayed uncommitted this late in the recruiting process.
Unfortunately for Texas, Burnt Orange Nation's fears were confirmed when Alexander signed with Texas A&M today. A&M was one of the first schools to recruit and offer Alexander, which evidently played a big role in his commitment as he eschewed offers from such big names as Texas, TCU, Arkansas, and Florida.
Alexander is a big-time prospect, as his offer list would suggest, but the real news here is that the Longhorns are still left with three scholarship DEs on the roster. That can be worked around by moving players, of course, but we're sure Mack Brown would have preferred plugging Alexander in on Day 1 and fixing the problem long-term like that instead.