Sunday, March 30, 2014
Texas Relays recruiting notebook
By Max Olson
AUSTIN, Texas -- The state of Texas’ top track athletes descended on Austin this weekend to compete in the annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on the campus of the University of Texas, and the field of competitors included several touted 2015 and 2016 recruits. Here’s an update on where a few of them stand in their recruitment.
RB Jones wants to travel
The battle for Ronald Jones II, one of the state’s top running back recruits out of McKinney North, rages on as he should be hitting the road in the next few months.
Getting out of state is a priority for RB Ronald Jones II.
Jones holds more than 25 offers at this point and says he’s in no hurry to wrap up this recruitment. He’s out to gather as much information as possible first, and that’ll take him outside his home state this summer.
“I’m trying to get to Oregon, Ohio State, USC and hopefully Notre Dame sometime this summer,” Jones said. “If not, I’ll just wait until my officials.”
Jones, who ran in the 4x100 and 4x200 at Texas Relays this weekend, said he’s hoping to visit Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State before the summer, if possible, and would like to hear more from Texas A&M even though the Aggies already have two running back pledges for 2015.
“Would I be happy there if I wasn’t playing football? The community, the lifestyle, that’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “I’ll talk to the players on the team and see what they do.”
At this point, Jones doesn’t think he’ll wait until his appearance in the Under Armour All-America Game in January to make his announcement.
Coveted ATH in no hurry
Aledo’s Ryan Newsome was one of the fastest junior sprinters at Texas Relays, but he’s not looking for a quick resolution to his recruitment.
Newsome ran the third-fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter dash at 10.78 seconds, then placed seventh in the finals with a run of 10.89. Not the result he was hoping for, but he’s got plenty to look forward to this spring.
In addition to his track work, Newsome’s recruitment is blowing up. The list of schools he said he’s serious about at the moment includes Texas, UCLA, Florida State, Oregon, Clemson, Tennessee, Ole Miss and Notre Dame.
“It’s really about getting outside the state now,” Newsome said. “I’ve seen everything I need to see within the state and Oklahoma. From here it’s just going to be taking those out-of-state visits. I’m going to do my due diligence and give them a look, give them a shot.”
Of those seven out-of-state options, Newsome said visiting UCLA will be a priority. He already has been to Oklahoma twice so he doesn’t plan on taking another visit there soon. If all goes as planned, Newsome said he’d like to decide after his senior season.
“We’ll just see what happens and see how they stack up,” he said.
ESPN 300 CB eyeing preseason decision
Holton Hill ran his 4x100 relay with two other touted recruits -- USC signee John Plattenburg and Texas signee John Bonney -- but neither is putting too much pressure on their younger teammate.
Hill already faces plenty of that as the subject of another close Texas vs. Texas A&M recruiting battle, but he insists those schools are just two of the many on his radar right now.
The nation’s No. 259 prospect said Alabama, Florida State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are also high on his radar and that all schools are fairly even so far.
The schools have the summer to win Hill over as he plans to make an announcement before his senior season begins.
“I just want to make sure I make the right decision, because this is what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life,” Hill said. “I want to make sure it’s right. I don’t want to rush into anything.”
Hill is planning to visit Baylor and LSU at some point this spring and is working to schedule a few more.
Same two still ahead for ESPN 300 WR
More than a dozen schools have offered, but, in the end, chances are pretty good Kemah Siverand’s decision will come down to two rivals.
Holton Hill would like like to decide among his litany of offers before his senior season begins.
As has been the case for nearly the past year, the Houston Cypress Ridge receiver said his stance on his top schools hasn’t changed much.
“Texas A&M and Texas are standing out,” Siverand said.
After running in the 4x100 and 4x200 at Texas Relays, the No. 157-ranked prospect said he’s hoping to visit the rest of his in-state options in the near future. It’s not simply a two-team race, but it has seemed to be going that way for a while.
“A year ago I didn’t think I’d get as many offers as I have now,” he said. “My coach says this spring it’s going to get crazy.”
Bradford enjoys recruiting for Aggies
ESPN 300 running back Jay Bradford has been a Texas A&M commit since last August and vows he’s as solid as ever with that pledge. Since then, the Splendora product has made an effort to keep up with the rest of his 2015 class and work on getting more to join him.
Recently, he took to Twitter to make sure Holton Hill knew A&M was the right place for him, sparking a back and forth with Texas defensive end commit Charles Omenihu.
“It was all fun, we do that stuff all the time to get them riled up,” Bradford said. “Just having a good time.”
Bradford showed off his athleticism this weekend by winning the long jump title, finishing third in his 100-meter dash finals and also running relays. He’s still receiving mail for other schools, but he’s not interested in visiting anywhere besides College Station. The No. 177-ranked recruit is as solid as it gets.
One of the state’s most coveted 2016 prospects, Nacogdoches safety Brandon Jones, said he has an early top three of Texas A&M, LSU and Florida State. Jones already holds nine offers and said he plans to visit Texas, Florida State and Oklahoma this summer. He took a tour of the Longhorns’ facility with their new staff on Saturday.
Three-star running back Rawleigh Williams III said he’s still solid in his commitment to Ole Miss, but Texas Tech and Arkansas have been pushing hard to change his mind. The Dallas Bishop Lynch back will likely visit both schools in the next few months, and plans to attend Ole Miss’ spring game next weekend.
Would Houston North Shore running back Tristian Houston commit on the spot if Texas offered? It has crossed his mind, he’ll admit that, and his mother wants him to stay close to home. But Houston is also seriously considering his offers from UCLA, LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas and Maryland and hopes to hear more from Baylor.
Southlake Carroll quarterback Ryan Agnew is still waiting on his first offer but is talking to Houston, Arkansas State, Texas, Clemson, Tulsa and multiple Ivy League schools. He’s hoping to earn an offer from the Longhorns and new QB coach Shawn Watson this spring, but added that Arkansas State and Houston do appear close to offering.