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 being a few days late for the launch but everything in this piece is up to date as of 7/4/17. Our next article will be the mid-month roundup which will be out on July 15th so keep your eyes out for that one.
**All Rankings Provided By 247 Sports as of 7/4/17**
Oklahoma Sooners (Trend: HOT)
(Big 12 Rank: 1st)
(National Rank: 7th)
Tramonda Moore- (4 star OT, #1 rated OT) (6’6-330) (Independence, KS) (Committed: 6/18/17)
Tramonda Moore is a former Oklahoma State commit originally from the 2016 class. Coming out of high school, Tramonda was the #1 rated prospect in the state of Oklahoma in 2016 but some grade issues off the field forced him to play JUCO ball. The past is the past but as of right now Moore is the #1 rated JUCO offensive tackle in the country. No matter the grade issue, this is a guy whose tape shows me that he is a big, athletic tackle. He has got the ideal size to play either guard or tackle but I see him as a tackle. Lincoln Riley may have found the next Orlando Brown replacement.
Tavion Thomas- (3 star RB, 18th ranked RB) (6’2-225) (Dayton, OH) (Committed: 6/20/17)
The Sooners were able to pluck this running back out of Buckeye country in Ohio. Tavion had offers from Ohio State, LSU, UGA and Alabama (Schools that know how to scout excellent RB’s). It is easy to see why these schools were chomping at the bit for his commitment. Tavion’s size for a running back is one of a kind and not something you see every day. On his film, Tavion shows that he has good vision and can cut very well for his size. He isn’t the fastest guy on the field but good luck tackling him and not to mention his wicked stiff arm. Tavion reminds me a lot of current Texas running back Chris Warren but faster.
Jaylon Robinson- (3 star ATH, 28th ranked ATH) (5’10-170) (Ft. Worth, TX) (Committed: 6/26/17)
Jaylon is a former Texas Tech commit, who decided to join the new Riley Empire in Norman. He will probably play inside receiver and on his film; he shows some really nice speed. What I like about Jaylon the most is that he doesn’t dance around after he catches the football, he is always moving toward the end zone.
Kundarrius Taylor- (3 star ATH, 35th ranked ATH) (6’3-200) (Memphis, TN) (Committed: 6/23/17)
Kundarrius will play wide receiver at the next level just like he is in high school. He has slick moves for a guy with his height and he is very tough to bring down. My favorite thing about Kundarrius is that he high points the football in the air and he has excellent hands. He may be a bit of a raw prospect but he has a very high ceiling.
Treveon Johnson- (3 star WR, 108th ranked WR) (6’1-179) (Brenham, TX) (Committed: 6/25/17)
Another former Texas Tech commit chooses Norman instead of Lubbock. Hey, if you are going to flip some guys from tech, it is best if they are either a quarterback or wide receiver (two positions they scout very well). Treveon has some major speed on his film and his aggressiveness grabbing the football out of the air jumps out to me on his film. This is a guy who could be a very valuable red zone target at the next level or anywhere on the field for that matter. Out of all the wide receiver commits for the Sooners, Treveon Johnson maybe the best of the bunch.
Texas Longhorns (Trend HOT)
(Big 12 Rank: 2nd)
(National Rank: 8th)
Rondale Moore – (4 star WR, 43rd ranked WR) (5’9-174) (Louisville, KY) (Committed: 6/25/17)
If you have ever heard the term “speed kills”, this applies to newest Texas commit Rondale Moore. After running a 4.33 40 yard dash at the opening in Chicago, Rondale is considered to be the fastest wide receiver in the 2018 class. He will most likely play the slot receiver at Texas, which you can never have too many inside guys like Moore. Anytime Rondale touches the ball, he can take it the distance.
4-star WR Justin Watkins
Less than 24 hours after Rondale Moore’s commitment to Texas, Justin Watkins withdrew his commitment from Texas. This was Watkins third decommitment before his senior year in high school and most Texas fans saw this coming for a while.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (Trend: Warm)
(Big 12 Rank: 3rd)
(National Rank: 15th)
JayVeon Cardwell- (3 star CB, 85th ranked CB) (5’11.5-174) (Cibolo, TX) (Committed: 6/26/17)
It is not very often you see a high school cornerback with 7 interceptions in one seasons. More importantly, why are opposing teams still trying to throw on JayVeon Cardwell? Not only does he have all those picks but he has 3 fumble recoveries as well. That means he has been involved in 10 defensive turnovers in one season. If that doesn’t scream ball hawk than I am not sure what will. Don’t forget the fact he is doing this at one of the most powerful high school programs in Texas at Steele High School.
Jacob Farrell- (3 star OT, 96th ranked OT) (6’6-280) (Sulphur, Ok) (Committed: 6/15/17)
Jacob Farrell is one of those old school offensive linemen. He is a true road grader at the tackle position which is rarity nowadays. While I do love his toughness in the run game, I need to see more of his pass blocking skills. Oklahoma State is an air it out kind of team and in their offense you need to have that trait as an offensive lineman.
Baylor Bears (Trend: Warm)
(Big 12 Rank: 4th)
(National Rank: 22nd)
Marje Smith- (2 Star WDE, 104th ranked WDE) (6’6-205) (Marshall, TX) (Committed: 6/12/17)
Yes, I am aware that his commitment was before the 15th of June but Baylor had no other commits for the rest of the month. Anyways, for Marje, Baylor was actually his first FBS offer so that played a huge factor in his recruitment. On film, he is a very raw prospect who could benefit from a year or two of some off season workouts to add to his 6’6 frame. Marje is athletic enough to not only play defensive end but he also plays wide receiver on offense. Consider this guy a project for the Baylor defensive staff.
TCU Horned Frogs (Trend: HOT)
(Big 12 Rank: 4th)
(National Rank: 27th)
Ben Wilson – (3 Star ILB, 21st ranked ILB) (6’2-220) (Sumner, WA) (Committed: 6/23/17)
TCU went out west all the way in Washington for Ben Wilson and let me tell you folks something, it was worth every mile for the Horned Frogs staff. Ben had 200 plus tackles as a junior who almost never came off the field. That tells me this kid has a motor like no other. Not only will he make tackles, he makes them with authority as he is a big bruising linebacker in the run game. He looks the part of an old school, cowboy collar wearing linebacker and it is a pleasure to watch on his film.
John Stephens- (3 star ATH, 51st ranked ATH) (6’5-205) (Logansport, LA) (Committed: 6/15/17)
John Stephens is what I would like to call a “tweener” which means he could play multiple positons on offense. There is no clear cut evidence that he is strictly going to play wide receiver at TCU like he does now at his high school. He is a bit of a raw prospect but make no mistake, he is a serious threat in the red zone. I don’t think his route tree is that diverse because most times he is running a fade route on his film. The more film of his I watch the more I think it is possible for him to play a flex tight end to make some mismatches for opposing defenses.
Chase Van Wagoner- (3 star WR, 125th ranked WR) (6’1-180) (Lucas, TX) (Committed: 6/17/17)
The great thing about Chase is that he can play both inside and outside receiver. It is always a good thing to have that versatility on offense because it usually means more playing time. On film, he shows deep threat ability as well as a nice set of wheels on him to take the pigskin yard. He may not be the flashiest prospect but this is a nice get for the Horned Frogs.
Eddie Smith- (3 star CB, 73rd ranked CB) (6’0-178) (Slidell, LA) (Committed: 6/16/17)
TCU grabs yet another Louisiana kid right from the boot. As much as this is driving LSU head coach Ed Orgeron crazy, the folks in the other purple have to love this. Eddie smith has quick feet and outstanding instincts playing corner. To me he looks like more of a safety than a corner and I expect TCU to let him roam in the middle of the secondary to see the entire field. This is the type of prospect that TCU turns into an all Big 12 type player.
Kris Dike- (3 star OT, 77th ranked OT) (6’5.5-285) (Van, TX) (Committed: 6/17/17)
How often do you see offensive tackles pull on film? I am not sure about you but I haven’t seen many. Suprisingly, Kris Dike is one of those pulling tackles that can do it and do it well. While it is great to have such an athletic tackle, you also need to have the proper footwork at that positon. I am not sure Kris is there yet with his footwork and that will take some coaching to get accustomed to once he gets on campus. Once he can get the footwork part down, he should be a valuable asset down the road.
Kansas Jayhawks (Trend: Neutral)
(Big 12 Rank: 6th)
(National Rank: 30th)
Nick Williams- (3 star OT, 75th ranked OT) (6’7-267) (Saint Louis, MO) (Committed: 6/22/17)
While he may not be a factor from day one, Nick Williams is one of those project type offensive linemen. He has the size to play tackle but he needs some time in the weight room to add some muscle to his frame to match his height. He has extremely long arms, which is a plus but he is still a very raw prospect. Two or three years from now you may see him at his full potential on the field.
Aaron Blue, 3 star Safety
They day before OT Nick Williams gave his verbal to the Jayhawks, Aaron Blue decided Kansas may not be his best option.
Iowa State Cyclones (Trend: Neutral)
(Big 12 Rank: 7th)
(National Rank: 47th)
Christian Young- (3 star Safety, 49th ranked S) (6’1-201) (Richmond, TX) (Committed: 6/18/17)
Christian Young already has the size to play in the secondary to play at the collegiate level and that isn’t easy to find sometimes. Along with his size, Christian has outstanding ball awareness as a defender, maybe one of the best out of all the safety prospects. While he does play corner in high school, safety will suit him much better with his ball skills and I see him becoming a very productive one for the Cyclones. Matt Campbell may have found a hidden gem down in Texas with this one.
Gerry Vaughn- (3 star OLB, 117th ranked OLB) (6’0-210) (Tucker, GA) (Committed: 6/18/17)
Sometimes using your brain is better than using your physical strength in certain cases. Well I am here to tell you that Gerry Vaughn can use both pretty well. He shows that he can diagnose plays before they develop and get that extra step to make the play. Sniffing out screen passes was his specialty and he had some burst to get there. I would like to see some coverage film on him since this is a pass happy conference but being football smart is a good head start.
Carson Schleker- (3 star WR, 221st ranked WR) (5’9-180) (Allen, TX) (Committed: 6/26/17)
Iowa State has found their speedster of the class in Carson Schleker, the product of a Texas powerhouse in Allen. On film, he shows off that blazing speed of his to his advantage. This is a guy who can blow the top off a defense on the outside or right through the heart of it. His size tells me he is a slot guy but you can never have enough of those guys on your roster in this league. Also Carson is capable of returning kick offs and punts at the college level.
C.J. Bolar, 3 star WR
C.J. decided to withdraw from his Cyclone commitment to re-open his recruitment on 6/18/17
Texas Tech Red Raiders (Trend: Heating Up)
(Big 12 Rank: 8th)
(National Rank: 50th)
Weston Wright- (3 star OT, 132nd ranked OT) (6’6-290) (New Braunfels, TX) (Committed: 6/18/17)
This player comes to you from the same place where his future head coach was raised, New Braunfels, Texas. It is home of the Unicorns (Yes, that is the mascot there) but make no mistake, Weston Wright plays more like a lion than anything. He is a mauler who loves to pave the way for his running back. What he does so well is the unteachable things, the toughness and the physicality in which he plays with. This is a bring your lunch pail kind of guy who finishes off block by burying people. He does needs to tweak his pass protection and footwork a bit but over time he should be a steal for the Red Raiders.
Jaylon Hutchings- (3 star DT, 117th ranked DT) (6’1-270) (Forney, TX) (Committed: 6/16/17)
How often do you see a defensive tackle in high school also play running back on offense? That is exactly what Jaylon Hutchings does for his team on Friday nights. He may be a bit of project at the nose tackle but not many guys his size are this athletic. Jaylon has a quick first step off the snap and will only get better focusing on one position down the road.
Troy Bradshaw- (3 star OT, 153rd ranked OT) (6’6.5-272) (Mineral Wells, TX) (Committed: 6/18/17)
Troy is another offensive line project for Texas Tech. They love taking in athletic lineman (mostly tackles) and molding them into whatever they need them to be. 2016 was Troy’s first full year playing offensive tackle moving from the tight end spot. He will need to add some weight as he is still adjusting to his new role as well as learing the techniques and footwork of a collegiate offensive lineman.
Jabari James- (3 star ATH, 133rd ranked ATH) (6’0-170) (Missouri City, TX) (Committed: 6/15/17)
I think Texas Tech has found the 2018 version of Xavier Martin. For those who don’t know, Xaiver Martin was a high school quarterback turned receiver by the Red Raiders and that’s exactly the case here. Jabari is could play either quarterback or receiver but his ceiling is much higher at receiver. While he may need some times learning how to catch the football, one thing that Jabari has is straight line speed. He would make a nice inside slot receiver catching some short passes and using his speed to get down the field.
John Scott- (3 star DT, 129th ranked DT) (6’3-255) (Hitchcock, TX) (Committed: 6/18/17)
Playing defensive tackle at 255 pounds isn’t going to cut it at the next level. John Scott will need to add some weight on his frame to fill out a bit more to continue playing DT. He has some nice football instincts such as finding the football and playing with a chip on his shoulder. While I am not sure if he will be a defensive end or not, what I will not question is John’s effort on the field.
Clayton Franks- (3 star OT, 167th ranked OT) (6’4-270) (Mansfield, TX) (Committed: 6/18/17)
Remember what I said earlier about how Texas Tech recruits their offensive linemen? This applies most to guys like Clayton Franks. From what I see on film, Clayton will be a guard at the next level. His pass protection skills could use some work but I think that will improve as he gets stronger in the weight room to handle those bull rushing defensive linemen.
West Virginia Mountaineers (Trend: Heating Up)
(Big 12 Rank: 9th)
(National Rank: 60th)
Ralph Davis- (3 star WR, 225th ranked WR) (6’0-170) (Houston, TX) (Committed: 6/29/17)
West Virginia may have found their slot receiver of the 2018 class. Ralph Davis has exceptional catching skills and has some really good straight line speed to pair with it. Where he could use a little help is in his route running. Other than that, I think the Mountaineers got a nice little pick up here.
Bryce Wheaton- (3 star WR, 140th ranked WR) (6’3-191) (Holly Springs, NC) (Committed: 6/28/17)
Bryce is a big bodied receiver at 6’3, he has long arms and legs and has some incredible stirdes when carrying the football. On film, it appears that Bryce has good body control and has a pretty wide catch radius. All these things are great tools to have and the only thing I would like to see more of is consistent route running, more crisp to be exact. Overall a very good future outside receiver for this offense.
TJ Ivy- (3 star TE, 61st ranked TE) (6’5-217) (Chicago, IL) (Committed: 6/23/17)
TJ Ivy is plays like an old school tight end before the spread offense wave. He does what a complete tight end is supposed to do, which is catch passes and help block in the run game. TJ isn’t going to burn you in the open field with his speed but you better buckle up your chinstrap when you try tackling him because he isn’t shy of contact. I really like his blocking in the open field where he can engage with some defensive backs and put them on their backs.
Josh Chandler- (2 star OLB, 158th ranked OLB) (5’10.5-215) (Canton, OH) (Committed: 6/25/17)
Speaking of another old school type player, Josh Chandler says hello. I absolutely love this guy’s tape and it’s very easy to see why. Josh is a very physical linebacker who loves hitting the gap and crushing the running backs in the hole. When he hits people you can see his physicality on film. It seems like some folks have knocked him about his height when ranking Josh because how in the world is he a 2 star prospect? Now I didn’t see him in any real pass coverage but I think the Mountaineers have found a gem here.
Kansas State Wildcats (Trend: Cold)
(Big 12 Rank: 10th)
(National Rank: 99th)
Lance Robinson- (3 star Safety, 82nd ranked S) (5’10-175) (New Orleans, LA) (Committed: 6/10/17)
Who is a better coach to find hidden prospect gems than Bill Snyder? The answer is no one. What I like most about Lance is his effort on the field, this guy has a very high motor and looks like a field general in the secondary. He has next level ball instincts, which is required of any good safety at any level of football. If he was a little bit bigger, Lance would probably be a 4 star prospect, but either way Bill Snyder found another gem in Lance Robinson.
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