While the college football season typically lasts only a little over 4 months, there is one thing that never stops: recruiting.
This is the one aspect of the college football game that is 24/7, 365 days of the year. To simply put it, there is no offseason for recruiting (outside of a couple dead periods). A commitment can happen at any place or any time of the day. Recruiting has become almost bigger than the game itself sometimes and as social media continues to cross paths in recruiting, the fans get more involved as well.
Just like how the cowboys traveled on the old dusty trail, the recruiting trail can be just as bumpy and harsh (of course, depending on who you root for). It’s time to circle the wagons folks and grab a seat by the campfire because the Big 12 Recruiting Roundup is here. This is a place to check out how your team is doing on the recruiting trail as well as how they stack up against their conference foes. Whether you want to just check on your team or take a gander over at the competition, there is always room for you at the Recruiting Roundup. This will be a bi-monthly series covering the commitments from the beginning of the month to the 15th on our mid-month roundup and following it up by tracking the commitments from the 15th to the end of the month in our ending month roundup. We apologize for putting this roundup off until the end of the month. I did not want this to interfere with Big 12 Media Days and there was also a dead period for most of July as well, which caused little to no movement on the recruiting trail. I also was dealing with some personal stuff as well with a death in my family. Thank you for understanding and enjoy!
**All Rankings Provided By 247 Sports as of 8/2/17**
Texas Longhorns (Trend: Hot) (Big 12 Rank: 1st) (National Rank: 3rd)
Brennan Eagles- (4 star WR, #5 rated WR)(6’3.5-214) (Houston, TX)(Comitted:7/24/17)
Brennan Eagles looks the part of a dominate wide receiver at 6’3.5 and 214 pounds. He has excellent ball skills and body control to go up and pluck the ball right out of the air. At times, he flashes his straight-line speed on film braking away from defenders on a deep ball. Brennan Eagles will have one more year of high school but he already looks to be college ready.
Jalen Green- (4 star CB, #9 rated CB)(6’0-171)(Houston, TX) (Committed: 7/21/17)
Not only does Jalen Green play corner back, he plays quarterback and wide receiver on offense. Don’t let that fool you because if you watch his film, he is a true corner. Jalen is a corner who isn’t afraid to get his hand dirty helping in the run game as well as pressing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. He brings that physical edge that you want to see in a corner and it helps that he has nice ball skills to pair with that.
Al’vonte Woodard- (4 star, #13 rated WR)(6’1-193)(Houston, TX)(Committed: 7/15/17)
Are you starting to see a pattern here with Houston kids? It appears that the Longhorns are having tremendous success in Houston as well as wrapping up the top prospects in the state of Texas. Al’vonte Woodard is next in line for Texas, as he much like Eagles, looks to be like another deep threat for the Longhorns. I will say that he does need to clean up his route running but what really sticks out to me is his ability to find that next gear running with the ball in his hands.
Dominick Wood-Anderson (3 star, #1 rated JUCO TE)(6’5-245)(Yuma, AZ)(Committed: 8/1/17)
While he may be listed as a tight end, Arizona Western College loved to play him outside and throw him a jump ball in the red zone. He looks like a tall, lengthy outside wide receiver but he has the size to play inside to run routes between the hashes. Dominick has a great set of hands and will be a mismatch problem if you decide to put a corner on him because of his size. I am curious to see how he plays when he is called to block but if he is used correctly, Texas just landed a huge need.
Oklahoma Sooners (Trend: Warm)(Big 12 Rank: 2nd)(National Rank: 10th)
Jaquayln Crawford- (4 star, #5 rated WR)(5’9.5-161)(Rockdale, TX)(Committed: 7/17/17)
It is rare that you see a 3A Texas High School football player ranked as highly as Jaquayln Crawford. It is very easy to see on his film that he is the best player on the field at every game at his level. He shows great hands and big play ability on his tape.I think that will translate nicely at the collegiate level. Don’t forget that former sooner wide receiver Dede Westbrook was once a former Texas 2A (before his school moved to 3A) player once at Cameron Yoe High School.
Jalen Redmond- (3 star, #17 rated WDE)(6’4-233)(Oklahoma City, OK)(Committed: 7/29/17)
Jalen Redmond might fall into the Jaquayln Crawford category. I am not sure what level of high school ball he is playing at in Oklahoma but he is manhandling people at his level. He has the size already to play at the college level and shows his physical power on film. The only knock I have on Jalen is his quickness off the snap. It takes him awhile to get off the ball but when he does, watch out because his presence is felt by opposing offensive players.
TCU Horned Frogs (Trend: Warm)(Big 12 Rank: 3rd)(National Rank: 22nd)
Derius Davis- (3 star CB, #108th rated CB)(5’10-165)(Saint Francisville, LA)(Committed: 7/28/17)
To me, Derius Davis is a bit of an unknown as far his cover skills at corner. There is not much on his film to show his coverage ability but what I do see is a knack for forcing turnovers, which is fantastic. He also shows that he can defend that run but I still would like to see some film out there of him in actual coverage at corner.
Taye Barber (ATH, #38 rated ATH)(5’9-185)(Cypress, TX)(Committed: 7/30/17)
I think we have found my favorite TCU commit in Taye Barber. If I could describe Taye in one word, it would be WOW. This is a guy who is very explosive who plays multiple positions for his team. I am sure he is out there selling popcorn too because he just does so much on his film. He plays a little quarterback, running back, wide receiver and corner on defense. Taye Barber has Tavon Austin type potential at slot receiver because I think his ceiling could be that high. This is without a doubt my favorite slot receiver that is committed to any Big 12 team currently.
Anthony McKinney- (3 star OT, #3 rated JUCO OT)(6’8-330)(Council Bluffs, IA)(Committed: 7/13/17)
It is rare that you find an offensive lineman this big and this athletic. Anthony has an interesting background story. His first love was wrestling, so he was on the wrestling team in high school and didn’t play football until his junior year. After learning the game in the JUCO ranks, Anthony has the right size and quickness to play at a high level. TCU found one heck of a prospect in Anthony McKinney.
Baylor Bears (Trend: Neutral)(Big 12 Rank: 4th)(National Rank: 24th)
Christoph Henle- (3 star TE, #34 rated TE)(6’5.5-245)(Arlington, TX)(Committed: 7/21/17)
With the addition of Christoph Henle, this gives the Bears their third tight end commit for the 2018 class. Christoph is a very raw player but he has some upside. He has the size to play tight end and can catch the football nicely but he still needs a few tweaks to his game. His route running isn’t the smoothest but he does a nice job blocking, as far as I could see on his tape. With his size, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up on the offensive line in a few years down the road.
Joseph Ogunbanjo (3 star OLB, #46 rated OLB)(6’2.5-215)(Houston. TX)(Committed: 8/1/17)
So Joseph Ogunbanjo’s film starts off with basketball highlights followed by track and then football. I have never seen this before but I am assuming he wants to show how athletic he is? Anyways, on his football tape Joseph has outstanding quickness on the edge. He played with his hand in the dirt on film but at the next level he will be a stand up OLB. I think with a year or two in the weight room this could be one of the highest upside guys in this Baylor 2018 class.
Connor Galvin- (3 star, #40 rated OG)(6’6-260)(Katy, TX)(Committed: 8/1/17)
Unfortunately, I was not able to find any film from the 2016 season on Connor Galvin. I can’t give you a fair evaluation without watching his most recent film. I will say that he does have the size to play at the next level and for being as highly rated as he is, Baylor should be happy with this pickup.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (Trend: Neutral)(Big 12 Rank: 5th)(National Rank: 26th)
There have been no commitments for the 2018 class in the past few weeks for the Cowboys. Be sure to check in again on the next Big 12 Recruiting Roundup to see if the Cowboys have anyone else on board.
3 star TE Nic Tear re-opened his recruitment on 7/22/17.
Kansas Jayhawks (Trend: Cool)(Big 12 Rank: 6th)(National Rank: 44th)
There have been no commitments for the 2018 class in the past few weeks for the Jayhawks. Be sure to check in again on the next Big 12 Recruiting Roundup to see if the Jayhawks have anyone else on board.
3 star WR Tevailance Hunt re-opened his recruitment on 7/31/17
Texas Tech Red Raiders(Trend: Heating Up)(Big 12 Rank: 7th)(National Rank: 48th)
KeSean Carter- (3 star, #135 rated WR)(5’10-150)(The Woodlands, TX)(Committed: 7/18/17)
If you are looking for lighting in a bottle, KeSean Carter is your man. Tech not only offered the 3 star receiver in football but track as well, which was a key factor in his decision. He ran the 100 meter dash in 10.32 seconds and I think he is a perfect slot receiver to fit in this electric offense.
Xavier Benson- (3 star OLB, #75 rated OLB)(6’3-200)(Texarkana, TX)(Committed: 7/24/17)
I am not sure if I have ever seen a linebacker play receiver and special teams like Xaiver Benson. He is such an athletic outside linebacker who can also play with his hand in the dirt. As of right now, Texas Tech is his only power five offer but my guess is that would change during the football season if he can add some weight.
Hakeem White- (3 star OG, #65 rated OG)(6’3-281)(Waco, TX)(Committed: 7/20/17)
What a steal here for Texas Tech. I really like the film on Hakeem White and he has bright future ahead of him. He is very physical at the point of attack and he has quick feet as well. Hakeem is one of the more athletic guards in this class and I think that he will fit nicely in this offense up front. I would like to see him use his hands a little bit better but that is something that can easily be fixed with proper technique. Can’t say enough positive things about this kid, great grab by the Red Raiders here.
Demarcus Marshall- (3 star OG, # 35 rated OG)(6’2.5-333)(Grand Prairie, TX)(Committed: 8/2/17)
Demarcus Marshall is the most highly rated offensive lineman that the Red Raiders have on board for the 2018 class and it is easy to see why. His size speaks for itself, but my goodness, this guy has that mean streak you love to see in a guard. He doesn’t stop until the whistle blows and he is looking for to put on hat on somebody every single play. He could use some footwork improvements but his toughness and attitude playing football is something you don’t see often on the offensive line. He has enough pancake blocks on his film that Aunt Jemima syrup may want to look to sponsor this kid.
West Virginia Mountaineers (Trend: Heating up)(Big 12 Rank: 8th)(National Rank: 52nd)
Oyenmwen Uzebu- (3 star OT, #45 rated OT)(6’6-305)(Alpharetta, GA)(Committed: 7/30/17)
There aren’t many guys that have raw power like Oyenmwen Uzebu. Whenever he gets his hands on someone properly, they end up on their back. While Oyenmwen may be a three star prospect, he has 4 star talent in my opinion. This is a guy in the next 3 to 4 years that could be an All-Big 12 caliber player up front for the Mountaineers. Of course, this will all depend on proper development with Offensive Line Coach Joe Wickline.
Sam James- (3 star WR, #132 WR)(6’2-160)(Holly Springs, NC)(Committed: 7/7/17)
The Mountaineers have added another receiver to their 2018 class with Sam James. Sam has that typical outside wide receiver height and his skill set matches that. He uses his size very well when snatching the football out of the air. I will say that he needs some time in the weight room to out on some pounds for his taller frame. If he can fill out a bit more, this is a very nice take for West Virginia.
Jayce Rogers- (2 star CB, #251 rated CB)(5’8-165)(Valdosta, GA)(Committed: 7/22/17)
First off, Jayce Rogers is very fast. He has quick feet and is a nightmare to cover when he is returning kicks and punts back on special teams. I think he has a bright future helping with that but I just don’t see him playing corner at the collegiate level. Maybe it is just me but I would like to see him at slot receiver in this offense. His upside is much higher there than at corner.
Briason Mays- (2 star OT, #180 rated OT)(6’3.5-290)(Bolivar, TN)(Committed: 7/30/17)
Briason Mays is probably the most raw prospect committed for West Virginia in the 2018 class. While he may not be that highly rated, he flashes some potential. He has some power and aggression that you just can’t teach. He needs some time to polish his game but I think Briason ends up at guard rather than tackle.
Woodrow Lowe III- (3 star DT QB, #21 rated DT QB)(6’3-185)(Bolivar, TN)(Committed: 7/11/17)
The teammate of Briason Mays, Woodrow is the only quarterback commit in the 2018 class for West Virginia. On film, I see a quarterback with solid pocket presence (which is hard to find with a dual threat QB) and a quick release. He has that typical size teams look for at quarterback and he is a smart player too. There are times where he floats the ball on his deep throws. While he may not burn you with his quickness, Woodrow knows when to take off and when not to. I had the chance to speak with Woodrow Lowe III about his commitment to West Virginia.
HCS: What Stood out about WVU and what made you decide that this was the right school for you?
WLIII: “They have a great history of success with QBS. They were open to my desire to play baseball. My relationship with Coach Spavital (Offensive Coordinator) and the success he has had with his QBs. He also has coaches several QBs who have played baseball.”
HCS: What are your thoughts about Dana Holgorsen? How excited are you to play for a guy like him?
WLIII: “Coach Holgorsen is a great coach and he has had a lot of success at WVU. He’s a brilliant offensive mind and I definitely look forward to working with him.”
HCS: What are your thoughts about him chugging energy drinks on the sidelines?
WLIII: “It doesn’t bother me. Whatever it takes.”
Iowa State Cyclones(Trend: Cool)(Big 12 Rank: 9th)(National Rank: 68th)
Isaiah Lee- (3 star DT, #63 rated DT)(6’2-280)(La Grange Park, IL)(Committed: 7/31/17)
On film, Isaiah Lee shows quickness and a knack for bringing down the ball carrier with authority. The only thing that makes me take a step back is the fact that whatever level of ball he is playing now is not very good around him. I am worried that his greatness on film may be due to the fact that the level of competition is low. However, I do like his quickness off the football and finding it but this is a guy who I think is more of a project player at this point.
Kansas State Wildcats(Trend: Neutral)(Big 12 Rank: 10)(National Rank: 96th)
Spencer Trussell- (2 star WDE, #101 rated WDE)(6’3-215)(Arlington, TX)(Committed: 7/24/17)
One of the more interesting prospects for the Wildcats but I do see some positives from 2 star WDE Spencer Trussell. First off, he has a quick first step off the snap that puts him in an early position to make a play (which he usually does). The second is his motor, it doesn’t stop because he only has one speed which is fast. The biggest question I have is that if he can add weight and still keep that quickness I see on film. If he can manage to do that, then the Wildcats have found a gem here. It may be a few years before he will see the field but it may be worth the wait for Spencer.
E.J. Thomas- (3 star CB, #110 rated CB)(6’1-170)(Atlanta, GA)(Committed: 7/23/17)
E.J. Thomas is a raw prospect but I see what Kansas State likes in him. He has all the measurables to be a solid corner in this conference but he needs to clean a few things from a technique standpoint in coverage. This is nothing new for Kansas State because they normally take lower rated guys and turn them into solid contributors down the road for their football team. I think in this case it is no different.
Christian Duffie- (3 star OG, #50 rated OG)(6’4-290)(Humble, TX)(Committed: 7/25/17)
I really like this fit for Kansas State. Christian is physical in the run game and the one thing he does well is get on his man and extend his arms as if he were bench pressing someone. His use of his hands will bode well with his road grading ability. This is exactly the type of guard Kansas State looks for to add to their roster. I had a chance to speak with Christian on his commitment to Kansas State.
HCS: What made you choose Kansas State for your decision and what made you decide to commit now?
CD: “It just felt like home when I was there and they have awesome coaches. Just wanted to finish up recruiting and focus on my senior season.”
HCS: What are your thoughts about playing for Bill Snyder and how long do you think he can keep coaching the Wildcats?
CD: “I think he is definitely one of the greatest coaches of all time and I think he still has a few years to go.”
HCS: What are your thoughts on the offensive fit? Kansas State has always been a run first offense.
CD: “I think it is a great fit, I like run blocking the most.”
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