Big 12: Tom Luginbill

Sooners swipe a future Aggies QB

July, 14, 2011
7/14/11
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Texas A&M's recruiting class is currently ranked No. 4 nationally by ESPN, but the Aggies took a hit on Wednesday.

Quarterback Trevor Knight decommitted from the Aggies and has pledged to become a Sooner, according to a report.

Knight, a San Antonio native that ESPN ranks as the nation's No. 23 quarterback, gives Oklahoma its first commitment from a quarterback in the 2012 class, but he was one of two quarterbacks for Texas A&M. Oklahoma's class was ranked No. 12 in the last rankings on July 1, but the addition of Knight may give them a bump.

For Texas A&M, the decommitment is part of what national recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill says may be tougher than assembling the Aggies class in the first place.

"The difference right now, in my opinion, between Texas and Texas A&M, is when it comes to verbal commitments, very, very few times will Texas have to fight to keep a guy," Luginbill told me in May. "They don't see guys swaying. They don't see guys decide to decommit. I think that's going to be more of a challenge for Texas A&M than it's going to be for the Texas Longhorns. Not only fulfilling the rest of the class, but the challenge of maintaining this level of a class over an extended period of time could be one of their greatest recruiting challenges.

"It's a long way between now and February."

Here's what our scouts had to say about Knight:
This guy is a really gifted prospect athletically and if he can become more consistent in terms of accuracy he will see his recruitment skyrocket in the fall. He is tall and lean, but has a late-bloomers frame and plenty of room to fill out. He is a deceptively good dual-threat with a live arm. You can see that he is green, but a playmaker and has a cool swagger and demeanor that is contagious. He can run, throw and create when things break down. Has a natural feel for the game, has pretty good overall mechanics, shows good set-up quicks and good feet on drops. He has a quick, whip-like release. He's not only mobile and a threat to run with the ball, but has good pocket awareness and creates a lot of second chances.

Texas A&M still has Matt Davis committed, who ESPN ranks as the nation's No. 22 athlete and plans to play quarterback for the Aggies.

Oklahoma's situation at quarterback could still soon be complicated. Gunner Kiel, the nation's No. 1 quarterback and No. 12 overall prospect, has kept his recruitment process quiet, but reportedly has interest in Oklahoma and Missouri, who recently received a commitment from Maty Mauk, the nation's No. 14 quarterback.

Will either recent commitment affect Kiel's decision? It's possible, but the Columbus, Ind., native may end up keeping his talents in Big Ten country.

Five Big 12 teams in 2012 recruiting top 25

June, 10, 2011
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You saw the first version of the ESPNU 150 earlier this week, and now, we've released our class rankings as well Insider.

Four Big 12 teams made the cut.

Here they are.

1. Texas
Nine ESPNU 150 commits headline Texas' well-stocked early class. Adding five-star RB Johnathan Gray (Aledo, Texas/Aledo), No. 8 in the ESPNU 150, to join 2011 five-star RB Malcolm Brown is a huge step in the right direction. Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) and Thomas Johnson(Dallas/Skyline) are top 35 players overall and the top two wideouts in the state. The pair of Under Armour All-Americans can run, and Jones is a big target while Johnson is a home run threat.
My take: It's not surprising to see the Longhorns here, despite the 5-7 year in 2010 and resulting shakeup.

"You're not going to see too much of a significant change in Texas recruiting, unless you see successive losing seasons," ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill told me last month. "I think you'd have to see a minimum of, not counting last year, another two after this. If you count last year, three total before you see a significant drop."

The Longhorns have nine ESPNU 150 commits, two more than anyone else, which make up over half its class. Having the most historic success in the state that produces the second-most top-flight prospects has its advantages. Texas is reaping those benefits, despite the successes of others around on the recruiting trail. Players love playing for Mack Brown, and infusing his staff with younger coaches full of energy that are even more skilled at relating to his players won't change that.

4. Texas A&M
20 commits, the most in the country. RB Trey Williams (Houston/Andy Dekaney) is undersized, but a water bug of a runner who is tough to keep up with. OLB Jordan Richmond (Denton, Texas/Billy Ryan) is rangy, athletic and should have plenty in front of him to keep blockers occupied in the future with five D-linemen also on board, including four-star DE Michael Richardson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto). ATH Bralon Addison (Missouri City, Texas/Hightower ) is an electrifying threat on offense.
My take: As previously predicted, the Aggies' class debuts in the top 5. Luginbill says the strength of the class is in its middle, not its top. That will pay off.

"If you took an 85-man roster and spread it over the course of four years and you have 3-4 classes with 20 guys in each class and the top 4-6 were five-star guys, that's only making up a quarter of those 85 guys, if that," Luginbill said.

Texas A&M is now charged with the task of holding together the class, while trying to add to it. It lost a very good commit in Louisiana native Davante Borque earlier this week, but the coaches will have to keep in touch with those committed to prevent others from following.

"I think that's going to be more of a challenge for Texas A&M than it's going to be for the Texas Longhorns," Luginbill said. "Not only fulfilling the rest of the class, but the challenge of maintaining this level of a class over an extended period of time could be one of their greatest recruiting challenges.

"It's a long way between now and February."

11. Oklahoma
The Sooners added three potential difference-makers at the offensive skill positions and retained the top two in-state prospects. RB Alex Ross (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) is a top-five back in the country with his great combination of size and speed. He could be the next big-load back in Norman. Receiver Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) may lack ideal measurables, but this guy simply makes plays and can move the chains from a variety of positions.
My take: Oklahoma has eight commitments after adding St. Louis receiver Durron Neal earlier this week, giving them three ESPNU 150 commits.

The Sooners 2012 class won't be big one, but Oklahoma is in on a number of big-name recruits, namely the nation's No. 1 quarterback (Gunner Kiel) and No. 1 receiver (Dorial Green-Beckham). Expect to see Oklahoma crash the top 10 as usual by next February.

14. Texas Tech
The Longhorns and Aggies are off to very hot starts in the state of Texas, but Tommy Tuberville's Red Raiders are enjoying some early success on the recruiting trail, as well. The class features two ESPNU 150 prospects led by wide receiver Reginald Davis (Tenaha, Texas/Tenaha), a speedy and athletic playmaking prospect. The other 150 member of this class is offensive tackle prospect Michael Starts (Waco, Texas/La Vega), a physically good-looking player with the athleticism for the tackle position.
My take: Texas Tech is fresh off the best class in school history. Starts was a big pickup for the Red Raiders, but could Tommy Tuberville's 2012 class be even better? The Red Raiders are on track to make it happen.

22. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys' class may have come in a little higher in the initial class rankings if ESPNU 150 LB Dalton Santos (Van, Texas/Van), the top ILB in the country, didn't decommit, but despite that the class is still off to a good start. It has three four-star prospects, highlighted by ESPNU 150 TE Dominic Ramacher (Denton, Texas/John H. Guyer). He is a big, ultra-versatile throwback player who can line up at just about any offensive skill position.
My take: Mike Gundy has built up Oklahoma State's recruiting year-by-year since he came to Stillwater, and the Cowboys look headed for another top 25 finish after a very solid class in 2011. He has just six commits in this class, including one ESPNU 150, but snagging Barry Sanders Jr., the son of the legendary Cowboys Heisman winner, would add a sure fan favorite to his future teams.
Texas A&M already has the nation's biggest recruiting class for 2012, with 21 players committed to next February's class. Of that group, 11 are on the ESPNU 150 Watch List. The official 150-man list is scheduled for release on June 8. I got in touch with our national recruiting director, Tom Luginbill, this week to break down the developments in College Station.

What are your impressions of this class right now?

Well, the first thing that jumps out is it's stunningly large. Usually you don't see this many verbal commitments out of anybody outside of usually the University of Texas, so it's very clear that they're making significant inroads within the state and seem to be resonating in a positive manner faster than ever before.

I would venture to say that there will be a minimum of five guys in the first edition of the ESPNU 150 that will be Texas A&M verbal commits. [Ed. note: The ESPNU 150 and position rankings are scheduled for a June 8 release.]

Now, with that being said, and here's the part we focus an awful lot on: Everybody seems to have the fixation on that five-star and four-star guy. But the reality of the situation is that the bulk of the roster of a top 25 team isn't made up of those guys. It's made up of the guys who were in the middle third and the bottom third of your class. Because if you took an 85-man roster and spread it over the course of four years and you have 3-4 classes with 20 guys in each class and the top 4-6 were five-star guys, that's only making up a quarter of those 85 guys, if that.

So the strength needs to come from the middle third or the bottom third of the class, and I would say that from probably the sixth or seventh guy down -- you get out of the way of the Matt Davises and the Trevor Knights and the Trey Williamses -- if you start looking at the next 6-8 guys, that's where I think the strength is at. And as good as the top-level and the big-name guys are, you look at the middle range guys in this class, and that's what stands out to me as being really impressive.

Where do you see this class once you release the first set of rankings?

That is so hard to answer, because first and foremost, I'll tell you this: The single thing I most despise doing is class rankings. Because it's nothing other than a projection on paper and it means absolutely nothing, but fans eat it up. So we recognize that. If I were to sit here and tell you, OK, we're going to be coming up on June 1 and ESPN said they wanted me to do a top 10 classes, there would be no question that this would be a class right now that would be in the top 5-7. No question. Where that stands come next February? You just don't know.

What were your impressions of the Aggies' 2011 class last year that signed in February?

I think last year was when you kind of started seeing maybe the transition of this coaching staff really cementing themselves, because it takes time to do that. That's not an easy thing to do. So we were impressed with it. We thought it was one of the top classes in the country. Not any, in my opinion, at the top end of the scale. Last year's class did not have anything near the top end of what this class looks to have right now. Twenty-three guys ended up signing with them. I'd say the top half of those guys are bona fide, BCS conference-caliber potential starters who can win games for you. This class this year, in comparison, could have 4-6 potential difference makers on top of what I mentioned earlier about that middle third that can be so important.

Why has recruiting for them been so much better this year?

It's a difficult question to answer, but I would venture to say that, again, the cohesiveness of the staff working together for an extended period of time and the type of individual that's out there. What programs are doing now is they're going out and they're getting that young, energetic grinder to hit the road, find players, resonate with the prospects, their parents and the high school coaches.

So, I think it can be attributed to the kind of staff he's put together, and the selling approach. Whatever they're selling, in terms of how they approach prospects -- because they've got to battle Texas, they've got to battle Oklahoma, to some degree they have to battle Oklahoma State with their emergence and Tommy Tuberville is making it tougher out at Texas Tech -- but whatever it is they're doing as far as the sales pitch of what they have to offer, for whatever reason, seems to be hitting home stronger than the predecessors, at least since R.C. Slocum.

It's tough to know exactly what that is, but there's something there that's obviously happening that hasn't been happening before.

If you put yourself in Mike Sherman's shoes, what would you be selling?

I would be selling tradition, BCS conference affiliation, the ability to contend for a conference championship. The facilities are as good, if not better, than any within the conference and within the country. There's a lot to offer. The following there is about as good as it gets.

If you're going to bring a kid in on an official visit, bring him in on a home game weekend, because that's an impressive atmosphere. So, I don't think there's any point in selling bowls. Everybody's going to bowl games. There's got to be something that sets you apart, and I think A&M has always been one of those schools that maybe has resources other programs don't that can give them an edge.

How much better can this class get then? How much more room will they have to sign a few more guys?

It's all going to depend on their numbers, because you can only go so far. You can manipulate your scholarships, you can oversign if you need to and you know you're going to be able to make room, but it's really more about the numbers. I wouldn't anticipate this class being any bigger than 26-29 total prospects, so they're going to be pretty close to being done. I don't think that they're too far off from that right now.

The difference right now, in my opinion, between Texas and Texas A&M, is when it comes to verbal commitments, very, very few times will Texas have to fight to keep a guy. They don't see guys swaying. They don't see guys decide to decommit. I think that's going to be more of a challenge for Texas A&M than it's going to be for the Texas Longhorns. Not only fulfilling the rest of the class, but the challenge of maintaining this level of a class over an extended period of time could be one of their greatest recruiting challenges.

It's a long way between now and February.

A question I get a lot is, with Texas falling last year, what is it going to take for Texas on the field before you really start seeing some problems on the recruiting trail for them?

I think you would have to see successive down seasons. I don't think there's any question about that. They're in such a unique position within the state, because there's not that constant battle to keep kids once they've committed, because they can get them so early and because they put so much time into their summer camp circuit. And they're seeing so many of these kids who have wanted to be a Longhorn since they were in the sixth grade.

They get them into camps as an eighth, ninth and 10th grader, and by the time it comes to their class, they know who they're going to get a couple years in advance, and they can kind of focus their efforts on the next class and beyond. And until that apple cart gets upset, if you will, you're not going to see too much of a significant change in Texas recruiting, unless you see successive losing seasons.

How many is successive?

I think you'd have to see a minimum of, not counting last year, another two after this. If you count last year, three total before you see a significant drop.

And if that happens, it obviously benefits everyone in the conference, but I think it would benefit A&M and Oklahoma the most.

Video links: Updates on Big 12 recruiting

January, 28, 2010
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Two recently posted videos provide a quick primer on recruiting as we head to National Signing Day.

ESPNU’s Lowell Galindo and Scouts Inc.’s Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert give us what to look for in Big 12 recruiting.

Unlike recent seasons, Texas is still in the hunt for a couple of major commitments in Plano, Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat and outside linebacker Jordan Hicks of West Chester, Ohio. The Longhorns are currently ranked No. 2 and both say they could zoom in the recruiting rankings if they get either key remaining recruit.

I've got to agree. If the Longhorns are able to finish with a flourish, they have a great opportunity to nose into the top position nationally. Oklahoma can similarly make a jump up if they can beat out the Longhorns for Jeffcoat in the last head-to-head recruiting battle of the season between the two South Division powers.

Luginbill also notes DeMarco Cobbs, a late defection from Tennessee, as a possible contender for playing time at running back. The position has been the Longhorns’ greatest weakness in recent seasons.

Oklahoma follows at No. 6 and Texas A&M is at 14th among Scouts Inc’s most recent rankings.

Haubert and Luginnbill also play a quick game of “Take Your Pick,” as they analyze where Jackson and Hicks will end up on another video. Check it out to determine where these key recruits and other top undecided players will be headed.

And keep checking back until Signing Day at ESPN.com to catch the latest recruiting information.

Big 12 recruiting nuggets: Yuba Co. DE Rony Nelson picks ISU

December, 16, 2009
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Here's a daily dose of recruiting information from Tom Luginbill, the esteemed national recruiting director from ESPN's Scouts Inc.

You can follow all of the information you want in real time by checking out ESPN.com's On The Trail, which is a part of the Insider benefits.

Here's a compendium of Big 12 information provided by Luginbill in his daily missive.

DE Rony Nelson

Miami, FL

Yuba College (CA)

Iowa State has added a Class of 2010 commitment from Rony Nelson, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound defensive end from Yuba CC, Calif.

Nelson, who played at Miami Jackson (Miami, Fla.) as a prep, also has offers from East Carolina and Florida International.

The Cyclones now have 23 pledges.

DE Scott Smith

Honolulu, HI

Butler County Community College (KS)

Scouts Grade: 40

Butler County CC, Kan., defensive end Scott Smith is near an announcement between Arkansas and Texas Tech for the Class of 2010.

The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Smith, who was the Jayhawk Conference's 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, is originally from St. Louis School (Honolulu, Hawaii). He signed with California in 2007, but transferred to Butler County following his freshman year.

Smith also holds offers from Louisville and South Florida. He drew late interest from Kansas, Baylor, Louisville and South Carolina.

During 2009, Smith recorded 69 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble for Butler County.

QB Cameron Newton

Atlanta, GA

Blinn College (TX)

Top junior college quarterback Cameron Newton (Brenham, Texas/Blinn College) updated ESPN affiliate Web site OUInsider.com on the latest surrounding his recruitment.

"Talking to Coach Stoops, Coach Heupel and Coach Wilson and all those guys, I have an opportunity to be the man if I commit there," he said. "That is what I want in a school. I want a chance to compete for a starting spot. I don't want anything given to me, because I feel if something is given to you then people won't take you as seriously as if you earned it."

"Oklahoma, North Carolina, Auburn, Mississippi State, Baylor and Arizona," said Newton when asked which schools were still in contention. "But out of those schools, especially with this weekend being as good as it was, Oklahoma is right there in the race. Coach (Bob) Stoops has an excellent coaching staff there, good guys on the team, good personnel and the recruiting class that is coming in is an eye-opener nationally."

"I have had a lot of universities give me a call, but Oklahoma, Mississippi State, North Carolina and Auburn are the top tier of schools in the running right now."

RB Tyler Williams

Cincinnati, OH

Colerain H.S.

Scouts Grade: 45

Mighty-mite 5-foot-6, 140-pound running back Tyler Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) currently favors West Virginia, ESPN affiliate Web site EerSports.com reports.

"I'm looking at a couple schools. I like West Virginia a lot though," Williams said. "I want to go there. They've been looking at me."

While he does not have any offers at the moment, programs including Michigan, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Cincinnati, Indiana, UCLA, South Carolina, Iowa, Purdue, Kansas, Wisconsin and Nebraska have showed interest.

He rushed for nearly 900 yards and 12 touchdowns during his junior campaign.

At the Cincinnati Nike Combine he posted an electronically-timed 4.69 40-yard dash, 4.13 20-yard shuttle and 33.4-inch vertical.

ATH Robert Johnson

Hattiesburg, MS

Oak Grove H.S.

Scouts Grade: 78

Position Rank: 33

Three-star athlete Robert Johnson (Hattiesburg, Miss./Oak Grove) has committed to Mississippi State, ESPN affiliate Web site BullDawgJunction.com reports.

Recruited to play wide receiver, He also seriously considered Auburn, Ole Miss and West Virginia. Amongst his other offers were Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tulsa, Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss.

As a senior, he caught 28 passes for 529 yards (18.9 average) and two touchdowns.

Johnson's high school teammate, athlete Jay Hughes, has also picked the Bulldogs.

DE Michael Douglas

Largo, FL

Largo H.S.

Scouts Grade: 75

Position Rank: 88

Defensive end/tight end/linebacker Michael Douglas (Largo, Fla.) has committed to Kentucky over Indiana and Central Florida, ESPN affiliate Web site KentuckyInk.com reports.

Cincinnati, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, Purdue amongst others also offered the 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior.

"I watched them a whole lot," Douglas said. "I watched a lot of SEC games. They can definitely make plays. They're just missing a few pieces here and there."

Douglas had a very impressive at the Orlando Under Armour Combine posting a 4.71 40-yard dash, 4.53 20-yard shuttle, 8.0 three-cone drill, 38-inch vertical and 9-foot-11 broad jump.

DE Jordan McDonald

Scottsdale, AZ

Saguaro H.S.

Scouts Grade: 75

Position Rank: 90

Arizona State has landed Jordan McDonald, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end from Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.), for the Class of 2010.

He chose Arizona State over Fresno State. Among his other offers were Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and New Mexico State.

"They have some of my ex-teammates, but it came down to my parents being able to see me play," McDonald told the Arizona Republic. "Their defensive line coach is a really good coach and he makes me feel like I can fit in there."

McDonald, who registered 16 sacks as a senior, is the 16th pledge for ASU.

ATH Travis Williams

Cooper City, FL

Cooper City H.S.

Scouts Grade: 75

Position Rank: 122

Recruited as a defensive back, Travis Williams of Cooper City, Fla., has committed to sign with Miami (O.)'s Class of 2010.

He was once set for Michigan, but the Wolverines told him to wait. Among his other offers were Clemson, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Syracuse and Wake Forest.

Big 12 recruiting: RB Mister Jones headed for Aggies

December, 14, 2009
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Considering that new Kansas coach Turner Gill mentioned recruiting four times among his seven major priorities for his new program, it's understandable how important these December days are for coaches everywhere.

Here's a look at some late afternoon Big 12-related recruiting nuggets compiled by Tom Luginbill, the national scouting director from ESPN's Scouts Inc.

RB Mister Jones

Littleton, CO

Littleton H.S.

Scouts Grade: 75

Position Rank: 99

Mister Jones, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound running back from Littleton High (Littleton, Colo.), has made a decision to switch his Class of 2010 commitment from Colorado to Texas A&M.

The three-star prospect was also offered by Kansas and Wyoming. He rushed for 1,317 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior.

"After leaving College Station, I thought a lot about whether I wanted to change my commitment," he told ESPN affiliate Web site TexAgs.com. "I had to decide which school was going to get me to where I wanted to go and help make me successful. My mom and I [called the Colorado coaches] to tell them that I was switching my commitment. It was really tough, but I thought that A&M would be better and that's why I decided to commit to A&M."

He continued, "All I've wanted to do since I was a little kid was make it to the NFL. Having a coaching staff that has been there and done that, it is a huge plus. It's a good thing to know that they have that experience and they know what they're talking about."

Texas A&M now has 21 pledges.

QB Quinn Mecham

Quinn Mecham, a quarterback from Timpview (Provo, Utah)/Snow CC, Utah, has accepted a Class of 2010 offer from Kansas.

He was also recruited by Virginia, Arizona State, Utah State, Utah and Mississippi State.

During the 2009 season, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Mecham finished second in the NJCAA national rankings by passing for 3091 yards and 40 touchdowns. Snow College finished fifth in the final NJCAA poll.

The Jayhawks now have 15 commitments.

ATH Tuswani Copeland

Lawton, OK

MacArthur H.S.

Scouts Grade: 75

Position Rank: 118

Baylor has added defensive back/receiver Tuswani Copeland of MacArthur (Lawton, Okla.) for the Class of 2010.

The 6-foot-0, 175-pound athlete was also sought by Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan State and Western Michigan.

"I feel like Baylor's perfect for me," Copeland told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "I played receiver on my high school team as well as cornerback, but people have been recruiting me as a cornerback. I like taking the ball away from receivers and putting hits on guys."

He is the 15th pledge for Baylor.

T Eric Richter

Mission Viejo, CA

Saddleback College (CA)

6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive lineman Eric Richter of Saddleback CC, Calif., has chosen Colorado for the Class of 2010.

Richter, who is originally from Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo, Calif.), holds other offers from San Diego State and Arkansas State.

The Buffs have 11 commitments.

CB Anthony Young

Ontario, CA

Palomar College (CA)

A 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback, Anthony Young of Colony (Ontario, Calif.)/Palomar CC, Calif., has chosen Iowa State in the Class of 2010.

He also drew offers from Arizona State, Colorado State, Tulsa and Middle Tennessee State.

T Jon Caspers

Olivia, MN

North Dakota State College of Sci. (ND)

Iowa State has a pledge from Jon Caspers, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound offensive lineman from Bold HS (Olivia, Minn.)/Bird Island, Minn./North Dakota State College of Science, ND.

Caspers chose the Cyclones over Washington State.

He becomes the 22nd commitment for ISU's Class of 2010.

DE Chris Martin

Aurora, CO

Grandview H.S.

Scouts Grade: 81

ESPNU150 Rank: 111

Position Rank: 12

ESPNU 150 defensive end Chris Martin (Aurora, Colo.,/Grandview) has decided to come back home, verbally committing to California, choosing the Bears over Florida, USC, and Oklahoma, ESPN affiliate Web site IrishSportsDaily.com reports.

Back in February, Martin, who is an Oakland native, verbally committed to Notre Dame, but dropped the Irish from consideration December 1st.

"One of the things, when Chris committed to Notre Dame, the quote I said to him was Chris, if you do not go to Notre Dame, you need to come back home," Martin's mother Cheryl said. "Well, he's coming back home and this is solid. We're not going to do anymore visits or entertain anyone coming by."

ESPN's Craig Haubert added, "Cal scored big this weekend and it looks like they have coaching changes at two other schools to partially thank for it. Florida seemed to be a strong contender, but it appears the staff turnover there clouded the picture and made the hometown Golden Bears look like right fit. Regardless of the path that led Martin to Cal, the Golden Bears now add to their top-25 caliber class with their highest rated prospect."

"Martin is a kid who possesses good natural size and certainly looks the part. He has played several positions and while we feel overall he will fit best as a defensive end, in Cal's scheme they could get more from him. With his size he could fit well at end, but he could also be a good fit for them at outside linebacker in their 3-4 look as more of that hybrid end / backer. With his size and straight line speed he could be tough to handle."

Martin is the second ESPNU 150 and 11th overall commitment for the Bears' Class of 2010.

DE Wayne Dorsey

Baltimore, MD

Mississippi Gulf Coast Comm College (MS)

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (Perkinston, Miss.) defensive lineman Wayne Dorsey has pledged to join Ole Miss' Class of 2010, ESPN affiliate Web site InsideTheGrove.com reports.

He also visited Florida State and North Carolina. Programs including Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi State, South Florida, Oklahoma State and Iowa State were amongst Dorsey's other offers.

"I like everything about Ole Miss. The city the conference, the team, the assistants, everything," he said.

Another Mississippi Gulf Coast product, safety Damien Jackson (Pineville, La.), is set to play for Ole Miss. The Rebels now have 14 commitments.

S Tejay Johnson

Egg Harbor Township, NJ

Egg Harbor Township H.S.

Scouts Grade: 73

Position Rank: 127

A 6-foot-1, 185-pound receiver/defensive back, Tejay Johnson of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., has made a decision to play for Rutgers in the Class of 2010.

Cincinnati, Michigan State, Nebraska and Syracuse had also made offers.

Johnson is the 15th commitment for the Knights.

WR Joshua Ford

Washington, DC

Calvin Coolidge H.S.

Scouts Grade: 76

Position Rank: 126

Wide reciever Joshua Ford of Coolidge H.S. in Washington has picked New Mexico for the Class of 2010.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Ford was also sought by Kansas and Utah. He had 19 receptions for 470 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior.

Ford is the 7th pledge for the Lobos.

CB T.J. Ballou

Russell, MS

East Mississippi Community College (MS)

Physical cornerback T.J. Ballou, a 6-foot-0, 200-pounder from Northeast Lauderdale (Russell, Miss.)/Alabama/East Mississippi CC, Miss., has made a decision to attend Alabama-Birmingham with the Class of 2010.

Oklahoma State, Western Michigan, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe has also offered.

Ballou spent two years as a walk-on for the Tide before transferring to junior college.

He is the 19th commitment for the Blazers.

Big 12 recruiting notes: Arps drops Tech commitment for KU

September, 1, 2009
9/01/09
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin


It's never too early to start some recruiting chatter.

Tom Luginbill, the national recruiting director for ESPN's Scouts Inc. had a couple of nuggets that pertain to prospective Big 12 players in this morning's missive.

Here are some highlights:


Jaqwaylin Arps, DE


Denison, Texas

Denison H.S.


Scouts Grade
: 75


Position Rank:
99

Defensive end Jaqwaylin Arps drops Red Raiders for Kansas

Arps has decommitted from Texas Tech and is now set to play for the Jayhawks, ESPN affiliate Web site TheShiver.com reports.

Arps' high school teammate, inside linebacker Jimmay Mundine, is also committed to Kansas' Class of 2010.


Anterio Sloan, CB


West Helena, Ark.

West Helena Central H.S.


Scouts Grade:
78


Position Rank:
28

Anterio Sloan, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound cornerback from Central (West Helena, Ark.), has decommitted from Nebraska.

The prospect is now considering Auburn, Kentucky, Mississippi and the Cornhuskers. The Tigers have yet to offer.

Sloan has also offered by Texas A&M, Memphis and Hawaii.


Marcus Murphy, RB


DeSoto, Texas

DeSoto H.S.


Scouts Grade:
76


Position Rank:
80

DeSoto's Marcus Murphy open to playing multiple positions

Running back Marcus Murphy (DeSoto, Texas), who rushed for 238 total yards and five touchdowns Saturday night on ESPN, spoke with ESPN affiliate Web site TheShiver.com about where he stands with the recruiting process.

"I don't really care," Murphy said of what position he plays in college. "I like catching the ball and running the ball, but I just want to go wherever I want to go and play wherever they want me to play."

According to Murphy, he is now holding approximately 13 scholarship offers including Iowa State, Missouri, Utah, Northwestern, Mississippi and Kansas.

Last fall, he rushed for 1,274 yards and 23 touchdowns.
  • Three-star OLB Rashod Favors of Dunbar High School in Fort Worth, Texas, committed to sign with the Sooners Monday night, ESPN affiliate Web site OUInsider.com reports. Other programs to have offered Favors have included Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and TCU.
  • Colorado gained a commitment from safety Zack Craig of Smithson Valley High School in the San Antonio suburban area of Spring Branch, Texas. Craig was also sought by Colorado State.

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