Buckeyes, Irish, Sooners strike with Army Bowl commits
SAN ANTONIO, Texas- Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma both scored big-time verbal commits during Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- There were nine verbal commitments during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome, including some slight surprises and the always-present (at all-star game settings) late-in-the-week switch.
Ohio State led the way with two in-state verbals and if there was one program that was a storyline here, it was the Bucks. Ohio State has the No. 2 recruiting class for the 2014 cycle, just behind No. 1 Alabama. On top of that, the rosters for the game were littered with Buckeyes commits, all of which performed at a high level throughout the practice sessions.
Here's a look at the prospects who committed during the game.
Brian Wallace, OT, St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers (Arkansas)
Wallace was a big coup for the Razorbacks, who beat Alabama for the services of the athletic offensive tackle. Offensive line coach Sam Pittman, who has developed a national reputation for being able to recruit top offensive line talent, was instrumental in landing Wallace. Adding him to Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland, who both played tons of snaps for Arkansas and were True Freshman All-American candidates, bodes well for the future of the offensive line in Fayetteville.
Jamil Kamara, WR, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia)
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Kamara has been penciled in to be part of this Cavaliers’ haul for most of this recruiting cycle, though Wisconsin’s staff had reason to be confident based on the feedback he was giving them as recently as a couple of weeks ago. The big-bodied receiver is another big pick up from the “757” (Hampton Roads area on the coast of Virginia and one of the top talent-producing regions in the country), joining five-star defensive tackle Andrew Brown and five-star safety Quin Blanding for UVA this class. Recruiter Chip West was the lead for Kamara as he was for Blanding and Brown and is now ranked as top recruiter in the Atlantic Coast Conference for this cycle.
Dwight Williams, LB, Gardena (Calif.) Serra (UCLA)
UCLA picked up its second linebacker prospect rated among the top 250 prospects in the country in 24 hours as Williams pledged to the Bruins over Oklahoma during the game, joining former Alabama commit Zach Whitley, who flipped to UCLA late Friday evening while in San Antonio. It was also the second four-star linebacker commit in 24 hours for ace Bruins recruiter Adrian Klemm, who also landed Whitley. Klemm, the Bruins offensive line coach, moved up 44 spots in the 247Sports Pac-12 recruiter rankings for this cycle.
Erick Smith, S/CB, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville (Ohio State)
Smith was better than expected during practice for the bowl this week- playing cornerback even though his best long-term projection is at safety. Smith continues the Buckeyes pipeline into Glenville and was one of two defensive back prospects from the top talent-producing program, led by Ted Ginn, Sr.
Frank Iheanacho, WR, Houston (Texas) Westside (Texas A&M)
From the moment the Aggies extended a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-4.5 late-riser from Houston (who was primarily a basketball player until this year), he seemed bound for College Station and on Saturday, he made it official. Iheanacho showed flashes of his tremendous upside throughout the week and upon arriving in San Antonio, measured a 6 foot, 11 inch wingspan. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney earned Iheanacho’s commitment and moved up to No. 10 in the 247Sports SEC Recruiter Rankings for this cycle.
Bryce Dixon, TE, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure (USC)
Dixon went back-and-forth about his decision throughout the week and appeared set on UCLA as late as Friday before switching to the Trojans. The nation’s No. 2 tight end prospect had a big catch in the game and impressed with his athleticism (he’s slimmed down and is faster) and hands throughout the week. New USC linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, who came with new head coach Steve Sarkisian from Washington, was his Trojans recruiter of record.
Nyles Morgan, LB, Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee (Notre Dame)
For most of the process, it looked as if Morgan would be heading to the Southeastern Conference -- to either Ole Miss or Vanderbilt -- but since November, he’s been trending Fighting Irish and on Saturday made it official. The four-star linebacker, who is one of the more athletic and versatile prospects at his position, will be a nice compliment to the young linebackers like Jaylon Smith already on the roster and his pledge moved Notre Dame into the top 10 of the 247Sports Team Rankings to No. 7.
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville
Lattimore was the second huge get of the day for the Buckeyes. The dynamic athlete- who projects as a cornerback but also could be one of those speedy playmakers that gives Ohio State’s offense a quick-strike element. Lattimore is more highly-regarded and is the No. 36 overall prospect nationally for 2014 according to 247Sports Composite Rankings. His pledge allowed Ohio State assistant Stan Drayton, who has been one of the top recruiters in college football for a decade, to ascend 124 spots to No. 21 nationally in the 247Sports Recruiter Rankings for 2014.
Joe Mixon, RB, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom (Oklahoma)
Mixon was another that was thought to be heading to UCLA until later in the week, when Oklahoma, which had been among the leaders from the start, started trending. Mixon, the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose back and U.S. Army All-American Bowl MVP, mentioned that the Sooners’ Sugar Bowl win against Alabama made a big impression on him when he watched the 45-31 victory during the week and that cemented his decision. Oklahoma recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy recruited Mixon for the Sooners and moved to No. 9 in the 247Sports Big 12 recruiter rankings for this cycle with the pledge. There is a school of thought that Mixon could still end up a Bruin when all is said and done, though, so this one isn’t over. Oklahoma moved to No. 22 in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings after Mixon’s pledge.
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