Dallas Colleges: Chad President

College football recruiting can be ruthless and unrewarding.

Decommitments have become a common, almost expected, part of every recruiting cycle and the Class of 2015 is no different. Multiple Big 12 schools have been hurt by longtime commitments reopening their recruitment but some of those defections are bigger than others. Here's a look at the impact of four ESPN 300 members who were longtime commitments to Big 12 schools but decided to decommit prior to signing day.

McKinney (Texas) running back Ronald Jones II
Rank: No. 34 in the ESPN 300
Current commitment: USC
Decommitted from: Oklahoma State
Impact on OSU: Quite possibly the most devastating decommitment in the Big 12. Jones was an elite prospect at a need position for Mike Gundy’s program. Since Jones decided to reopen his recruitment, OSU turned up its pursuit of several running backs including Georgia commitment Chris Carson, Wisconsin commitment Jordan Stevenson and ESPN 300 running back Chris Warren. Yet, the Pokes don’t appear to be the favorite to land any of those highly regarded running backs. OSU has signed junior college running back Todd Mays and earned a recent commitment from Temple (Texas) running back Jeff Carr but Jones still stands as the one that got away.

Stephenville (Texas) quarterback Jarrett Stidham
Ranking: No. 37 in ESPN 300
Signed: Baylor
Decommitted from: Texas Tech
Impact on Tech: Losing Stidham is tough for Kliff Kingsbury’s program. The headliner of Tech’s commit list since the spring of 2014, Stidham changed his mind after Tech’s 4-8 season and left the Red Raiders searching to replace an irreplaceable part of their class. The good news for Tech is the late season emergence of true freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who looks like he could become one of the Big 12‘s top quarterbacks during his time in Lubbock. Davis Webb joins Mahomes to give Tech a solid pair of quarterbacks heading into 2015 despite losing Stidham.
Impact on BU: The Red Raiders loss is Baylor’s gain. Stidham is signed, sealed and delivered for the Bears and is ready to battle to replace Bryce Petty this spring. His signature is yet another sign of BU’s arrival on the national stage as the highest-rated quarterback signee during Art Briles’ tenure. The spring quarterback battle between Stidham, Seth Russell and Chris Johnson will be fun to watch.

Albuquerque (New Mexico) Eldorado quarterback Zach Gentry
Ranking: No. 118 in ESPN 300
Current commitment: Michigan
Decommitted from: Texas
Impact on UT: This one hurts. Gentry was a longtime Longhorns commitment who decided UT wasn’t the right fit after Charlie Strong’s program began flirting with Kyler Murray. Jim Harbaugh and Michigan came in hard after Gentry and landed the 6-foot-7, 237-pound signal-caller during his Jan. 24 visit to Ann Arbor. Now, with Murray reaffirming his plans to sign with Texas A&M, the Longhorns are locked out of the house in below freezing weather with their pajamas on. Quarterback was a clear position of need yet with Gentry’s flip to UM, Strong’s recruiting class doesn’t have a elite quarterback to anchor an exceptional group of commitments.

Temple (Texas) receiver Chad President
Ranking: No. 279 in ESPN300
Signed: Tulsa
Decommitted from: Baylor
Impact on BU: President, who is rated as a receiver by ESPN.com recruiting analysts but is expected begin his college career at quarterback, made the decision to decommit from the Bears after Stidham flipped to BU. Losing President has the least impact of the decommits on this list thanks to Stidham’s arrival in Waco but President is a still an elite talent who could have helped Briles program if he had remained committed. Stidham’s choice and President's desire to play receiver combined with Philip Montgomery’s move to TU created the ideal situation for President’s flip.

Breaking down the Big 12 in ESPN 300

April, 16, 2014
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Today is a minor holiday for recruitniks: The newest edition of the ESPN 300 recruiting rankings have been released, along with a slew of other grades and evaluations.

It's always a big-time endeavor for the ESPN crew of scouts, so be sure to click HERE for the ESPN 300 rankings.

Several of today's updates to the ESPN 300 affect the Big 12. Here's a closer look at what you should take away from the rankings:
  • Oklahoma State quarterback commit John Kolar enjoyed an incredible jump, going from unranked to the nation's No. 3 pocket passer. He's now ranked No. 82 overall in the ESPN 300. The Norman (Okla.) North senior-to-be impressed filling in for injured Alabama signee David Cornwell last year, and he has wowed our scouts as well.
  • What a killer start for Baylor. The Bears have verbal commitments from six high school prospects, and all six made the ESPN 300. The highest ranked of the bunch is WR John Humphrey Jr., who announced his commitment last night. He's one of three ESPN 300 receivers in the class, joining Devontre Stricklin and Chad President. The Bears signed four ESPN 300 recruits in last year's class, and three the previous year, so this is quite the jump. With Baylor high on the list of several other ESPN 300 prospects, including WR DaMarkus Lodge (No. 63 in ESPN 300) and DE James Lockhart (No. 113), there's a good chance this class ends up being the best in the Big 12 when it's all said and done.
  • Texas now has verbal commitments from five ESPN 300 recruits: S DeShon Elliott (No. 94), OT Toby Weathersby (No. 138), OG Patrick Vahe (No. 171), new RB commit Tristian Houston (No. 208) and RB Jordan Stevenson (No. 296). The Longhorns are in the mix for more than 30 ESPN 300 prospects and have offered several more elite out-of-state recruits. Texas has some real momentum under new coach Charlie Strong at the moment, and it's possible more than 10 uncommitted ESPN 300 prospects visits Austin this week for the spring game.
  • The state of Oklahoma has five prospects in the ESPN 300, and nearly all of them could end up being Sooners. OU already has verbal pledges from DT Marquise Overton (No. 150) and OG Joshua Wariboko (No. 190) and is among the leaders for OG Jalin Barnett (No. 36) and S Will Sunderland Jr. (No. 212). And then there's Kolar, who the Sooners could still make a push for over time. Four of Oklahoma's five current pledges are in the ESPN 300.
  • Texas Tech already has two top-50 recruits in QB Jarrett Stidham and DT Breiden Fehoko, and they'll be the lead recruiters of this Red Raiders class. Stidham checks in at No. 37 in the new ESPN 300, which puts him No. 4 among all prospects in Texas, and Fehoko is the nation's No. 7 defensive tackle.
  • It's a great year to find a running back in the state of Texas. Ten of them made the newest ESPN 300, and six have already committed to schools. The top-rated member of the group is Oklahoma State commit Ronald Jones II, the nation's No. 3 running back. Texas already has Houston and Stevenson, Baylor has Ja'Mycal Hasty (No. 274) and Texas A&M has pledges from Rodney Anderson (No. 263) and Jay Bradford (No. 277).
  • West Virginia is off to a great start with the 2015 class thanks to its dedication to recruiting Florida. Two of its verbal commits made the ESPN 300 in WR Jovon Durante (No. 120) and S Kendrell McFadden (No. 153), and half of its 10 pledges come from the Sunshine State. WVU is one of only seven program in the country with double-digit commitments at this point.

Baylor commits envision bright future

December, 30, 2013
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An 11-1 season resulted in a school-record for victories. There was also a first-ever Big 12 title and first-ever BCS bowl berth. And a new, state-of-the-art stadium is something to look forward to for next season.

[+] EnlargeK.D. Cannon
Max Olson/ESPN.comESPN 300 wide receiver K.D. Cannon likes what he's sees from Baylor's recruits.
Not a bad season for the Baylor Bears. And if Baylor's commits have anything to do with it, the 2013 success is just the beginning.

A group of commits are beyond elated about the future of the program. Baylor has 27 commits in its 2014 class -- four of whom have already signed as mid-year, junior-college transfers -- and three are in its 2015 class. The Bears have four ESPN 300 players, one ESPN Junior College 50 player and one ESPN Junior 300 player.

Ask the commits, and the classes get high marks. And, to many, rightfully so. “A-plus,” said ESPN 300 athlete Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau). “We have people that play different positions and not just same ones.”

“Scale of 1-10, I’ll give it a 10,” added ESPN 300 wide receiver K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant). “Baylor has done a good job in getting players who want to win and play every game like it’s his last. We don’t have a lot of five-star people, but we all are willing to show the world that stars don’t mean anything.”

When Baylor held its first junior day of 2013, it was fortunate to land verbals from three standouts in Hall, running back Terence Williams (Ennis, Texas/Ennis) and wide receiver Chris Platt (Willis, Texas/Willis). Since then, Baylor’s class has grown to become a top-20 class nationally. The Bears are ranked No. 16 in the latest RecruitingNation class rankings, second only to No. 13 Texas in the Big 12 conference rankings.

ESPN 300 wide receiver Ishmael Zamora (Houston/Alief Elsik) graded the class a “95,” a quality mark considering he’s very critical of giving it or any other group a perfect score. Zamora is a fan of this class, and he’s excited about his future teammates. Statistically, Baylor has 14 defensive commits, 11 offensive commits and two who could see time on both sides of the ball.

“We got basically all position [players] who were top talent and can flat-out ball,” Zamora said.

The missing link of the class, according to Zamora? A lack of a quarterback commit. Every wide receiver commit wants his own quarterback in the class, but the Bears won’t be hurting for a signal-caller in the immediate future. Bryce Petty said he will return to Baylor for his senior season. Seth Russell just finished his redshirt freshman campaign, Andrew Frerking will be a junior, and Cole Edmiston and Chris Johnson -- an ESPN 300 player from the 2013 class -- will be sophomores.

And then there’s the 2015 class. Baylor received commits from ESPN Junior 300 athlete Chad President (Temple, Texas/Temple) and three-star athlete Blake Lynch (Troup, Texas/Troup) -- two players who can line up at both quarterback and wide receiver.

For both President and Lynch, who still have a year of high school ball remaining, the goals of following in the footsteps of this Baylor squad are sky high -- and attainable.
“Another Big 12 championship,” President said, referring to upcoming college goals. “Hopefully, we can play in the national championship game. We have an A-plus, five-star recruiting class.”

Lynch added: “I think we have one of the best 2014 recruiting classes in the nation. Our versatility and diversity is what makes our 2014 class special.”


I think we have one of the best 2014 recruiting classes in the nation. Our versatility and diversity is what makes our 2014 class special.


-- Baylor commit Blake Lynch
Three-star safety Chance Waz (Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson), the latest high school player to commit to the Bears, switched his pledge to Baylor from Nebraska. He wanted the opportunity to play close to home, and he's excited about the talent he’ll be surrounded by. Waz said the 2014 Baylor class could be compared to Ole Miss' 2013 class, a group that saw several freshmen thrust into starting positions and become major contributors in the super-competitive SEC.

“A lot of Ole Miss players saw PT [playing time]. I follow at least five [of them] on Twitter,” Waz said. “I think a lot of us can get playing time; we just have to see what we do in camp.”

When asked about the comparison and the shot at immediate playing time, Hall said, “It all depends on us and work ethic, but I don’t think that will be a problem.”

Expect all of the commits to be paying full attention to Baylor as it faces Central Florida on Jan. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. And they'll continue monitoring who commits between now and Feb. 6, the first day to sign a national letter of intent. And they're watching the 2015 class as well.

Cannon said there are tons of talented players he’d love to call a teammate. And there’s one in particular, however, who has caught his eye.

“I hope we get that No. 1 corner,” Cannon said, referring to ESPN Junior 300 Kendall Sheffield (Missouri City, Texas/Fort Bend Marshall), the nation’s No. 13 overall player and the top-ranked player in Texas for the 2015 class. Sheffield has a Baylor offer but also has offers from Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Texas, Ohio State, Oklahoma and a host of other recruiting heavyweights.

Time will tell, but it looks like Baylor has set a new bar. And it doesn’t plan on looking back.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

October, 21, 2013
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Colorado has talented players, and it’s always news when players decide to commit to colleges out of state. Kansas State already had one of Colorado’s best players, and the Wildcats picked up another top player from the Centennial State.

There were several other updates from Big 12 programs from this weekend, including one under-the-radar athlete who earned his first Big 12 offer. Here are some of the highlights:

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