Thursday, August 8, 2013
Big 12 recruiting storylines: Aug. 8
By William Wilkerson
It’s been a big week for the Red River rivals as they’ve each hosted a top 2015 recruit on an unofficial visit. Those recruits as well as TCU’s continued ability to recruit top-end defensive talent are some of the top storylines around the Big 12 this week.
Longhorns host top 2015 DB
When the Longhorns hosted several of their top targets on July 27 for their inaugural Texas Stampede, they were keeping their fingers crossed that ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Kendall Sheffield (Fort Bend, Texas/Marshall) would be in attendance.
Unfortunately for them, Sheffield was in North Carolina competing in the Junior Olympics.
But he and his father, Cecil Sheffield, showed just what type of interest they have in Mack Brown’s program by unofficially visiting campus on Wednesday. They made the couple hours’ drive southwest and arrived around 1 p.m. for a few hours.
Sheffield, the No. 19 player overall, already has offers from 11 programs across the country but an in-state tug-of-war seems to be going on between the Longhorns and Texas A&M.
This one is a long way from over but Texas definitely made an impression.
Fellow ESPN Junior 300 DB Larry Pryor Jr. (Sulphur Springs, Texas/Sulphur Springs) will visit Texas on Saturday.
OU gets big 2015 visitor
The Sooners hosted one of the country’s top junior wide receivers on Wednesday when ESPN Junior 300 recruit DaMarkus Lodge (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill) took an unofficial visit.
Lodge (6-foot-2, 185 pounds), the No. 41 player and No. 4 WR overall, had already unofficially visited Texas and TCU so the importance of this visit for the Sooners can’t be overstated.
Oklahoma has several selling points it can throw at Lodge, including the fact that he’d be catching balls from highly touted 2014 quarterback Justice Hansen (Edmond, Okla.,/Edmond Santa Fe).
He’d also be a part of a impressive group of wide receivers that will soon include ESPN 300 skyscrapers Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif/La Mirada), Carson Meier (Tulsa, Okla./Tulsa Union) and Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain). That type of talent should keep multiple defenders from keying in on Lodge.
TCU gets two back-to-back
Anytime you can go into SEC country and get a commitment from a highly regarded defensive player, you know you’ve got something good going.
That’s what the Horned Frogs were able to do on Friday when four-star outside linebacker Jimmie Swain IV (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit) decided to give his verbal pledge to Gary Patterson and Co.
Swain (6-foot-3, 229 pounds) is rated as the No. 24 OLB in the country and No. 4 player in Missouri. He chose TCU over offers from the likes of Arkansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Stanford.
His commitment obviously had the TCU coaching staff feeling good about themselves. Their mood became even happier when three-star offensive tackle Ty Barrett (Dallas/Skyline) committed to the Frogs the following day.
He chose TCU over Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Texas Tech.
Red Raiders really rely on Peach State
John Scott Jr. has made an instant impact in his short time as Texas Tech’s defensive line coach, particularly in getting Georgians to Lubbock.
He played a role in getting commitments from five of them in 2013 and is doing his best at getting at least one more in 2014.
It appears that feelings are becoming mutual between Texas Tech and defensive end Randy Anyanwu (Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy).
He will likely take an official visit to Lubbock at some point during the season and, if all goes well, it could be his last. The Red Raiders are in need of defensive ends and outside linebackers.
Anyanwu also has offers from Duke, Georgia State, Marshall, Old Dominion, UAB, West Virginia and Western Kentucky.
Three states key to ISU
Iowa State only has one commitment from inside its borders, which means it is relying on other states to supply itself with pledges. There are three states in particular that ISU has honed in on: Texas, Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Cyclones have long scanned the Lone Star State for recruits and this year is no different. They have pledges from defensive back Victor Holmes (La Porte, Texas/La Porte), DB De’Monte Ruth (Dallas/Wilmer-Hutchins), athlete Orion Salters (Dallas/Jesuit), running back Martinez Syria (Houston/Nimitz) and offensive lineman Will Windham (Schertz, Texas/Clemens).
ISU has two pledges from both Wisconsin and Illinois, and might not be done in those states.