Monday, January 20, 2014
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12
By Damon Sayles
The first weekend after the dead period was expected to be a wild one. It didn’t disappoint.
The Big 12 saw multiple players take official visits, and several players either announced their verbal commitments or flipped their pledges to different schools. The first of what is anticipated to be three busy weekends came to a conclusion late Sunday night.
Here are some of this past week’s highlights:
Edwin Freeman could end up playing linebacker at Texas.
Biggest commitment: Of the multiple commitments, the biggest one had to be ESPN 300 safety Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie) choosing Texas over Texas A&M. Freeman can play both safety and outside linebacker at the next level. He most likely will start at safety, but if he continues to show the versatility that attracted numerous schools, don’t be surprised if the Longhorns try to turn him into a linebacker. Freeman’s commitment also was huge for a Texas class trying to stop the bleeding after losing three defensive commitments the week before.
Biggest offer: Oklahoma has a great crop of tight ends, and the Sooners are hoping to continue the trend. The Sooners offered ESPN Junior 300 tight end Hale Hentges (Jefferson City, Mo./Helias) during an unofficial visit on Saturday. Hentges, at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, is listed as the fourth-ranked flex tight end in the 2015 class, but he said he may be used more as a traditional blocking tight end at the next level. The Oklahoma offer was one that Hentges was hoping he’d receive, and the Sooners are high on his list. The process, however, is still early.
Most important visit: ESPN 300 defensive tackle Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head), a former Louisville commit, visited Texas over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed all of what Austin had to offer. That’s huge for the Longhorns, who are in need of defensive tackles after three decommitted last week following the departure of coach Bo Davis. Ford, No. 266 in the ESPN 300, is a strong, physical player who makes up for his lack of height with his explosiveness off the line. He could be a major defensive asset.
Biggest answer: Many were asking before the start of the week if TCU could build on a recruiting class that seemed to be growing slowly. The Horned Frogs answered a lot of questions with three pledges during the week -- and all three were flips. Four-star wide receiver Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln) was once a TCU commit but flipped to Texas and now has recommitted to TCU. Three-star defensive end L.J. Collier (Munday, Texas/Munday) switched to TCU after being committed to Texas Tech. Three-star lineman Ryan Griswold (Pearland, Texas/Pearland) flipped to the Horned Frogs from Boise State.
Biggest question: How big of an impact can ESPN Junior College 50 defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales (Dodge City, Kan./Dodge City Community College) immediately make at Kansas State? Clinkscales, ranked No. 17 in the ESPN JC 50, flipped to Kansas State from Nebraska, and many Wildcat faithful believe he can be an all-conference defensive lineman next year. At 6-3 and 315 pounds, Clinkscales is a first-class run-stopper. There’s a reason why he was an all-conference juco defender last season. Clinkscales said he still has some academic issues to resolve at Dodge City, but he fully expects to be in a Kansas State uniform for the start of the 2014 season.