Monday, August 19, 2013
Weekend wrap: Big 12
By William Wilkerson
Even with recruits entrenched in two-a-day practices in advance of the coming season, many still are keeping their recruitment a priority. That includes two players who decided to get their commitments out of the way before the season.
Here’s a look at the players who headline the Big 12's weekend wrap:
Biggest commitment: This one has to go to the Longhorns and Kevin Shorter (Newton, Texas/Newton), who surprisingly picked Texas over Arkansas and Texas A&M on Saturday. Many believed the Razorbacks had the inside track, since his cousin, D.J. Dean, is a freshman cornerback at Arkansas. The Aggies were long thought to be the other serious contender. But two trips to Austin in a week's span in early August sealed the deal for Shorter and the Longhorns.
The 6-foot, 188-pound running back is UT's third backfield commitment in 2014 but is probably the most versatile of the bunch. Last season as a running back, he rushed for 1,800 yards and 31 touchdowns and had 15 receptions for 315 yards and four scores. He also recorded 58 tackles and three interceptions as a safety. In the spring, he was the Texas Class 2A silver medalist in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 11¿ inches.
Most important visit: Three important visits occurred at Texas on Sunday night, with 2014 four-star safety John Bonney (Houston/Lamar), 2015 defensive end James Lockhart (Ennis, Texas/Ennis) and 2015 wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) checking out the Austin campus.
Bonney's visit was completely unexpected but totally fine with Texas coaches. He arrived out of the blue Sunday night, which bodes well for the Longhorns as Bonney would like to make a commitment sometime before the season. This was Lockhart's second visit to Texas since the Texas Stampede on July 27. The No. 98 player in the ESPN Junior 300 has offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. This was Lodge's fifth visit to Texas this spring, which is an obvious good sign for the Longhorns as it pertains to the No. 41 player in the ESPN Junior 300. Lodge also is carefully considering Baylor, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Biggest answer: Those wondering when Kliff Kingsbury would get his first linebacker commitment at Texas Tech got their answer on Friday with the verbal pledge of three-star Dakota Allen (Houston/Summer Creek). The 6-foot-2, 223-pound inside linebacker, who chose the Red Raiders over TCU, gives Tech a player ranked nationally in the top 25 for his position. He'll contend for playing time upon arrival.
Biggest question: Will KU go after junior college players as strongly as it did last year, when it signed 18? The Jayhawks have yet to garner a commitment from one but have offered several, including DE Demetrius Hill, and offensive tackles Luke Hayes and Phil Ford, who all go to school in Kansas.