Full Friday on the recruiting trail
Four of the better prospects in the 2014 cycle made decisions on Friday, causing plenty of movement in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings heading into the holidays.
The Friday before Christmas typically features a lot of movement on the recruiting trail as several elite prospects get decisions out of the way prior to the holiday break.
The 2014 cycle proved to be no different as multiple decisions came in, causing significant movement in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings.
Here’s a recap of the highly-ranked prospects who made decisions today
Shai McKenzie to Virginia Tech- The Top247 running back has been a lean to the Hokies for several months and committed to VT over local player Pittsburgh. The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder from Washington (Pa.) High is the prototype Virginia Tech running back- big, powerful and fast. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and running backs coach Shane Beamer tag-teamed McKenzie and came from No. 4-5 on his list to the top. McKenzie suffered a torn ACL this season, so he will have to rehab and may not be an immediate impact player in Blacksburg, but he’s got the talent to have a great career over time. The Hokies class is now ranked No. 20 nationally.
Budda Baker to Oregon- The Ducks got just what they need- another electric playmaker from the west coast- in Baker, a Bellevue (Wash.) standout, topping hometown Washington (and rival) for his services. Baker, a U.S. Army All-American, will start off as an offensive player for the Ducks and his explosiveness and crafty footwork will remind some of D’Anthony Thomas. The 5-foot-9, 174-pound Baker, the No. 58 overall prospect in 247Sports Composite rankings, is the highest-rated commit so far today. His pledge moved Oregon to the No. 16 class nationally and the top-rated class in the Pac-12.
Parrker Westphal to Northwestern- Westphal, a four-star cornerback from Bolingbrook (Ill.), was expected to pick the Wildcats and ultimately did Friday (he will enroll in January, so time was of the essence). Westphal is one of the better pure cover corners in the country and had an excellent senior season. The Wildcats, who have a stout 15-member class and are done provided they suffer no defections between now and signing day, moved up eight spots to No. 38 nationally in the team rankings. Westphal’s pledge gives Northwestern three top 10 state of Illinois prospects in what is a very deep cycle in the Land of Lincoln.
C.J. Hampton (back) to Ole Miss- The Meridian (Miss.) standout de-committed from the Rebels just three days ago, then re-pledged on Friday after strongly considering Alabama, so much so that the Crimson Tide thought he was almost a done deal to head to Tuscaloosa. The No. 8 safety prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings for this cycle, Hampton’s re-commit has the Rebels holding steady at the No. 14 class nationally this cycle.
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