Tuesday, November 19, 2013
ESPN Junior 300 analysis: Big 12
By William Wilkerson
There was plenty of shakeup in the latest ESPN Junior 300, including some monumental jumps up the ranks -- and a few big tumbles.
Here is a look at some of the key recruits for the Big 12.
Class of 2015 QB Jarrett Stidham made a big move in the ESPN Junior 300, going from No. 155 overall to No. 24.
Who's rising: When you move up from No. 155 overall to No. 24 and become the top pocket-passer in the nation, you’re going to get the nod here. That’s exactly what has happened to Jarrett Stidham (Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville), who took a monumental leap up the ESPN Junior 300 after proving to the country what he could do as a full-time quarterback. That’s right, Stidham was a receiver in his sophomore season. He has passed for 1,692 yards, 22 touchdowns and only three interceptions this season, while also rushing 98 times for 637 yards and 10 scores. He’s received offers from the likes of Baylor, Clemson, Kentucky, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.
Who's falling: Safety Larry Pryor (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs) moved down from No. 66 to No. 90. Nevertheless, he is the No. 6-ranked player at his position and has already acquired quite the offers list. The schools that have offered so far are Arkansas, Baylor, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech. Texas A&M safety commitment Justin Dunning is another one to keep an eye on. The recent Aggies verbal pledge dropped from No. 127 to No. 222.
New entrant: Wide receiver Carlos Strickland (Dallas/Skyline) went from not being ranked to No. 241 overall. Strickland plays for one of the state’s perennial powers that has as much or more talent than anyone in the state. So it can be hard to spread the wealth on offense sometimes. Still, Strickland leads the team with 29 catches for 669 yards and nine touchdowns. He has offers from Illinois, LSU, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU and Texas Tech. Programs like Texas and Texas A&M are interested as well.
Battle to watch: It’s really take-your-pick as far as the top prospects in Texas are concerned. But we’ll go with outside linebacker Malik Jefferson (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet), who moved up from No. 64 to No. 43 overall. Jefferson is a beast of an athlete at 6-foot-2 and 212 pounds. He has just under 20 offers, including Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. His really good friend Daylon Mack has committed to the Aggies, which makes A&M a team to watch. But others, like Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas, have a great chance as well.
Biggest question: What is going to happen with the rest of the “Fab 5” now that two of its members have committed to Texas A&M? ESPN Junior 300 members Mack (DT) and Dunning have committed to the Aggies. Will they be able to lure fellow ESPN Junior 300 members Jefferson, Pryor and Ja’Mycal Hasty to College Station as well? Several Big 12 programs would not want to see this happen.