Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
In nearly every recruiting cycle in the Southwest Region, Texas and Oklahoma gain the majority of the accolades. While the Longhorns and Sooners are well deserving of the attention that comes their way, a couple of programs are quietly building impressive 2011 classes in their own right. One of them, Texas Tech, is not only putting together one of the top classes in the Big 12, but is also knocking on the door of a top 15 class nationally.
Texas Tech (14 commitments)
The Red Raiders have surprised many with their success in the 2011 recruiting cycle. It’s safe to say head coach Tommy Tuberville and staff hit the ground running gaining commitments from some of the top prospects in Texas, while also looking to make their mark in Florida and areas of the Southeast Region.
Quarterback Michael Brewer (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis) got the party started on the offensive side with a March 5 commitment. The 6-foot, 175-pound Brewer is one of the top signal callers in the region and brings name recognition having been the starter for the 4A state champs in 2009. Brewer was joined in late March by two of the top prospects in the state at their positions. Running back Kenny Williams (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson) and receiver Derek Edwards (Brenham, Texas) were huge commitments for Texas tech. Williams, 5-foot-10, 210-pounds, is a powerful back with impressive pop/snap in his hips that allows him to run through would be tacklers with powerful force. He also possesses the speed to eat up ground in the open field. Edwards is an athletic receiver prospect with high-point ball skills. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder caught more than 800-yards in passes in Brenham’s run to the 4A state finals in 2009.
Texas Tech has continued to add key playmaking pieces after the impressive trio. Tight end Jace Amaro (San Antonio, Texas/MacArthur) picked the Red Raiders over Texas A&M April 2. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Amaro will provide Tuberville and staff with a well rounded tight end prospect that can play in a three-point stance, but also has the speed to stretch the field vertically from his position. On May 7, Texas Tech added running back Bradley Marquez (Odessa, Texas/Odessa High). The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Marquez complements Williams’ running style nearly perfectly. Marquez is at his best when he is a one cut, vertical runner with quickness and burst through the hole. Similar to fellow West Texas running back Herschel Sims (Abilene, Texas/Abilene High), Marquez is adept out of the backfield and will provide the offense with a passing game threat as a running back or in the slot.
The Red Raiders have also recruited very well on the offensive line. Tackle prospect Le’Raven Clark (Rockdale, Texas) is one of the more underrated prospects in the state at 6-foot-6, 245-pounds with the athletic ability to play defensive end or tight end at the FBS level. Guard prospects Tony Morales (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston) and Alfredo Morales (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston) will be maulers in the middle. The twins block for the uber talented Jamal Turner (Arlington, Texas/Sam Houston) at Sam Houston. Tony Morales, 6-foot-4, 305-pounds, is slightly bigger than brother Alfredo, 6-foot-3, 290-pounds.
The defensive part of the class doesn’t feature the headliners like the offensive side of the ball, but has some capable front seven prospects. Inside linebacker Devon Hocutt (Killeen, Texas/Ellison) plays the game with passion and a non-stop motor. The 5-foot-11, 263-pounder has clocked in the low 4.8’s consistently at a number of combines and could very well make the move to the defensive line at the next level. Speedy linebacker Terrell Hartsfield (Chatham, Va./Hargrave Military Academy) is a sleeper prospect on the East Coast with good size at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds.
Defensive tackle James Castleman (Amarillo, Texas) is a talented prospect with good size at 6-foot-4, 265-pounds, while metroplex end Kindred Evans (Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie) possesses much of the same high-ceiling upside ability as Clark. Evans, 6-foot-5, 216-pounds, has the ability to develop into a top-notch pass rusher.
Texas Tech is also on the board in the 2012 class with a commitment from probable national 100 prospect Derek David (Rockdale, Texas). The 6-foot-3, 220-pound hard-hitting linebacker is a current teammate of Red Raider commitment Le’Raven Clark as well as the brother of current Blinn junior college and Texas Tech commitment Logan David (Rockdale, Texas). The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Logan David could play either defensive tackle or offensive guard. All three were members of the 8-3 Rockdale team last season.
Oklahoma State (13 commitments)
The Cowboys began building their 2011 class with a February 2 commitment from quarterback J.W. Walsh (Denton, Texas/Guyer). The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Walsh possesses a plus arm that will provide the Cowboys the ability to stretch the field vertically any time they desire, quick and reactive feet in the pocket and the mobility to make plays on the move whether it be running or throwing. The son of Guyer head coach John Walsh, J.W. plays in an offense in which he is both under center and in the shot gun, which will place his adjustment to the next level ahead of many other high school quarterbacks who play in the shot gun only.
On April 29, running back Herschel Sims (Abilene, Texas) said yes to the Cowboys giving Mike Gundy and staff two of the top offensive prospects in the Lone Star state. Sims, in a cycle in Texas full of big time running back prospects, may be the most rounded of them all. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and at times line up in the slot and work fluidly will give Oklahoma State an all-around back that never has to leave the field. While he’s not as quick as current running back Kendall Hunter, the two have similar body types. Sims is in the neighborhood of 5-foot-8, 190-pounds.
Joining the talented duo as offensive commitments for the Cowboys is a pair of offensive linemen in 6-foot-5, 275-pound tackle Travis Cross (Plano, Texas/West) and guard/tackle Michael Bowie (Corsicana, Texas/Navarro J.C.) as well as receivers David Glidden (Mustang, OK), 5-foot-8, 165-pounds, and Johnny Haynes (Irving, Texas/MacArthur). Haynes, 5-foot-10, 183-pounds, will be a threat in the quick game. He plays as a running back after the catch rarely going down on first contact.
While the two Lone Star state stars get the most mention in the class, two defensive prospects have very high ceilings. Cornerback Miketavious Jones (Houston, Texas/North Shore) recently put on a show at the one-day camp in Stillwater running a 4.42-forty yard dash, a smoking 4.01 pro agility shuttle (5-10-5), a 10’2” broad jump and a 34-inch vertical leap. Add in what one sees on Friday nights, which is a physical style of play both in coverage and against the run and Oklahoma State snagged one of the top corner prospects in Texas. Jones, 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, needs only to add strength in the weight room and finish more plays with improved ball skills to become a top future corner in the Big 12.
Joining Jones as a high-ceiling defensive prospect in the Cowboys class is end Jimmy Bean (Denton, Texas/Guyer). The 6-foot-4, 218-pound long-armed prospect features a body type that will likely reach 6-foot-4, 260-pounds in time. Bean, still somewhat new to the game as a late bloomer, improved by leaps and bounds from the start of the season to the end during his junior campaign. He flashed the ability to chase the ball from sideline-to-sideline at times as well as the ability to develop into a quality pass rusher off the edge.
Oklahoma State has dipped into Southeast Region as well on the defensive side of the ball securing commitments from 6-foot-4, 255-pound end Ryan Robinson (Ellisville, MS/Jones County J.C.) and inside linebacker Demarcus Sherod (Decatur, Ga./Columbia). Sherod, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, reportedly turned down offers from three SEC programs (Tennessee, South Carolina & Kentucky) in choosing Oklahoma State.