NCF On The Trail: Corey McBride

Today will be the busiest of the year for fax machines. That’s because it’s national signing day, and recruits across the country will be faxing in their letters of intent.

It’s always an exciting day for college football fans. And there’s plenty to be excited about in the Big 12.

Below is a breakdown of the most exciting element from each of the 10 Big 12 recruiting classes:

Baylor

What to get excited about: The wide receivers

The players: K.D. Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas/Mount Pleasant), Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau), Ishmael Zamora (Houston/Alief Elsik), Chris Platt (Willis, Texas/Willis)

The skinny: The Bears have one of the best WR classes in the country, with four players ranked in the ESPN 300. With Antwan Goodley also back in Waco, QB Bryce Petty should have a big, signing day smile on his face.

Iowa State

What to get excited about: A blue-chip wideout

The player: Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale)

The skinny: Elite skill talent has come at premium in Ames the last few years. But that’s exactly what Iowa State is getting in Lazard, an ESPN 300 prospect who had offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska and Stanford. If Lazard comes ready to play, new offensive coordinator Mark Mangino will have a dynamic complement to pair with No. 1 wideout Quenton Bundrage.

Kansas

What to get excited about: The replacements for RB James Sims

The players: Traevohn Wrench (Gardner, Kan./Gardner Edgerton), Corey Avery (Dallas/Carter)

The skinny: The Jayhawks graduated their only All-Big 12 performer this past season in Sims. But they prevailed in a pair of hard-fought recruiting battles to land four-star running backs Wrench and Avery. Wrench was the first commit in the class, and gave coach Charlie Weis a player to build the rest of the class around. Then this week, Weis beat out Nebraska, Ohio State and LSU, among others, to reel in Avery. The one-two combination of Wrench and Avery is reason to be optimistic about the future of the KU offense, even without Sims.

Kansas State

What to get excited about: Junior-college impact

The players: Terrell Clinkscales (Dodge City, Kansas), Andre Davis (Santa Rosa, Calif./Santa Rosa), D’Vonta Derricott (Garden City, Kan./Garden City), Danzel McDaniel (Dodge City, Kan.)

The skinny: The Wildcats have a returning core capable of contending for the Big 12 title. In this recruiting class, they’ll be adding four players in the ESPN Junior College 50 to aid that cause. K-State swiped Clinkscales from Nebraska, and he could team with Travis Britz to form a stout one-two punch at DT. Davis could be the perfect complement opposite wideout Tyler Lockett. Derricott (OLB) and McDaniel (CB) should help the defense.

Oklahoma

What to get excited about: Backfield firepower

The player: Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom)

The skinny: The Sooners closed as strong as any program in the country, and that included plucking the No. 53 overall recruit away from the West Coast powers. Mixon, together with last year’s No. 3 RB Keith Ford and budding dual-threat QB Trevor Knight, could be a devastating rushing force in the Big 12 for years to come.

Oklahoma State

What to get excited about: The linebackers

The players: Gyasi Akem (Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow), Josh Mabin (Spring, Texas/Klein Oak), Kirk Tucker (Tucker, Ga./Tucker), Devante Averette (Melvindale, Mich./Ellsworth Community College), Justin Phillips (Pearland, Texas/Pearland)

The skinny: The Cowboys graduated a pair of all-conference linebackers in Caleb Lavey and Shaun Lewis, who played big parts in Oklahoma State’s defensive turnaround. But impressive help is on the way. Akem is a ESPN 300 prospect, and Tucker, the other outside linebacker in the class, ended up at Oklahoma State after failing to gain admission to Stanford. Averette should provide instant impact on the inside, and Mabin is a four-star recruit.

TCU

What to get excited about: The offensive skill talent

The players: Foster Sawyer (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal), Grayson Muehlstein (Decatur, Texas/Decatur), Shaun Nixon (Austin, Texas/Lake Travis), Corey McBride (Geismar, La.,/Dutchtown), Emanuel Porter (Dallas/Lincoln)

The skinny: The top five players in TCU’s class are offensive skill players, providing help where the Horned Frogs really need it. Sawyer and Muehlstein could battle for the starting QB job right away. The opportunity for playing time is there for receivers McBridge and Porter, too. TCU also pulled off a coup Tuesday by flipping Nixon, a four-star RB, from Texas A&M.

Texas

What to get excited about: Possible QB of the future

The player: Jerrod Heard (Denton, Texas/Guyer)

The skinny: Charlie Strong’s quickest path to putting Texas back on top is finding a solution at QB that eluded Mack Brown the last four years. Heard, an ESPN 300 quarterback who won two state titles in high school, could very well emerge as the answer.

Texas Tech

What to get excited about: A shutdown corner

The player: Nigel Bethel II (Miami, Fla./Booker T. Washington)

The skinny: The Red Raiders lose three starters from their secondary, but they have a player who can come in and help right away in Bethel. The ESPN 300 prospect is one of the better pure coverage corners in the country. To win in the Big 12, you have to defend the pass. And Bethel can defend the pass.

West Virginia

What to get excited about: The quarterbacks

The players: Skyler Howard (White Settlement, Texas/Riverside Community College), William Crest (Baltimore/Dunbar)

The skinny: Coach Dana Holgorsen struggled to replace Geno Smith last year, using three quarterbacks to limited success. But Holgorsen is bringing in a pair of talented players at the position who could be immediate factors. Howard was the No. 3 dual-threat juco QB in the country and is already enrolled for spring ball. Crest is the No. 11 high school dual-threat QB nationally.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

February, 3, 2014
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The final week of official visits didn’t disappoint, as four Big 12 schools combined for eight commitments going into Wednesday’s signing day.

TCU was the big winner, landing four players in the 2014 class. Here are some of this past week’s highlights:

Key recruiting visits -- Big 12 

January, 31, 2014
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It’s the last week of official visits, which means one last chance for coaches to make an impact before national signing day.

While many athletes have decided where they want to play college football, there are still a few players looking to use this final week as a measuring stick. Here are eight players to keep an eye on as they make an official visit. Also included are two 2015 players who will make junior-day appearances.


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Summer recruit wrap: LSU 

July, 23, 2013
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BATON ROUGE, La. -- With the spring/summer camp season winding down and August camp almost ready to start, here are 10 things we learned about LSU recruiting this summer.

Taking it slow

There was much optimism that with Louisiana enjoying arguably its strongest, deepest recruiting class since recruiting services started evaluating classes, LSU might not only finish with the nation's best class, the Tigers might run away and hide with it. That hasn't been the case as Louisiana's top seven players, included top target Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine). Remain uncommitted. The good news? LSU has nine ESPN 300 commitments already.

Harris becomes recruiter


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Bret Bielema and the Arkansas coaching staff probably wish they could have weekends like this more often.

After starting Sunday morning with only five commits, the Razorbacks are up to 12 after Saturday. Four players who were in attendance for the Razorbacks’ elite prospect camp -- all from the state of Louisiana -- gave their verbal pledges on Saturday. The Metairie (La.) Archbishop Rummel duo of safety/outside linebacker Dwayne Eugene and three-star cornerback Henre’ Toliver and the Geismar (La.) Dutchtown receiver duo of four-star Corey McBride and Torrance Mosley each committed to Arkansas.

“The Boot’s coming to Arkansas,” a proud Mosley said. “I guess the other guys felt the same way I felt. They fell in love with the campus and the coaches. It’s pretty cool; I’m not going to lie.”

Eugene is a 6-foot, 218-pound defender with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, making him a target to be a hybrid safety/linebacker if the Razorbacks choose to utilize him in such a way. Toliver, a 6-1, 180-pound athlete, is a big, physical cornerback who might be the most intriguing recruit of the four. He has offers from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Nebraska and others.

“We’re doing big things in Louisiana,” Toliver said. “For me, it was my choice. I liked it athletically, academically and socially. I liked the town and everything.”

Perhaps the biggest pickup of the four is McBride, a 6-1, 172-pound receiver who is ranked No. 43 in his position. McBride said he and Torrance, a 5-10, 162-pound receiver, went in together to speak with the Arkansas staff. McBride is expected to be more of an outside receiver, Mosley more of a slot receiver.

“I’m very happy and lucky to be in the SEC with the Razorbacks,” McBride said. “It’s beautiful out here, kind of like another world. Plus, I want to major and drafting and architecture, and they’re like No. 2 in the country.”

Added Mosley: “I liked the coaching staff and the new facilities they’ve built. I met some of the team [Friday] night and had a great time. The coaches are real. I don’t think it gets any better than this.”

In addition to the Louisiana commits, Arkansas also scored a 2015 pledge Saturday in 6-6, 291-pound offensive tackle Colton Jackson (Conway, Ark./Conway). Jackson, who also had a Central Arkansas offer, is the third 2015 commit for the Razorbacks and the second in-state pledge.

Along with the five Saturday pledges, Arkansas picked up three-star offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) on Friday. On Thursday, junior college cornerback Kweishi Brown (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont College) became a part of the 2014 class. Three-star 2014 cornerback Christopher Murphy (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) kicked the week off with a verbal commitment on July 14.

New Orleans SPARQ All-Combine team

February, 19, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS -- Over 980 athletes gathered Feb. 2 at Joe Brown Memorial Park for the New Orleans stop of the Nike Football SPARQ Combine tour. Here is a look at the 25 standout performers who make up the New Orleans All-Combine team.

Note: Selections are based upon combine performance as well as past and projected on-field performance. Athletes must have completed two of the four combine tests to be eligible for selection. Athletes are in the Class of 2014 unless otherwise noted.

OFFENSE

QB: Donovan Isom, 6-foot-3 , 245 pounds, Destrehan (La.)
Results: 5.00 40-yard dash, 4.60 shuttle, 33-foot power ball throw, 31.3-inch vertical jump, 79.14 SPARQ rating
Breakdown: Good athlete with great frame who could end up on defense or at tight end in college if quarterback doesn’t work out.

RB: Dontrell Hilliard, 5-11, 186, Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville
Results: 4.62 40, 3.95 shuttle, 41.5’ PB, 34.9” VJ, 126.63 SPARQ
Breakdown: The 2012 District 4-5A Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year as a junior has the nation’s top SPARQ Rating through two combines.

RB: Jeremy Smith, 6-0 , 196, Hammond (La.)
Results: 4.72 40, 4.52 shuttle, 35’ PB, 33.6” VJ, 86.22 SPARQ
Breakdown: Bigger back also doubles as a linebacker and earned all-district on both sides of the ball as a junior.

WR: D.J. Chark, 6-0 , 170, Alexandria (La.)
Results: 4.55 40, 4.10 shuttle, 35’ PB, 37.0” VJ, 106.95 SPARQ
Breakdown: Totaled over 1,000 yards receiving and rushing and 11 touchdowns last fall.

WR: Gabe Fuselier, 5-10, 173, Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic
Results: 4.61 40, 4.06 shuttle, 35’ PB, 33.7” VJ, 101.58 SPARQ
Breakdown: Snagged 77 passes for over 1,200 yards and 19 scores last fall.

WR: Glenn Irons, 5-8 , 148, New Orleans Edna Karr
Results: 4.68 40, 4.15 shuttle, 32’ PB, 36.3” VJ, 89.73 SPARQ
Breakdown: Western Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama have offered Irons, who helped Karr to a state title in 2012.

WR: Corey McBride, 6-1, 173, Geismar (La.) Dutchtown
Results: 4.46 40, 4.40 shuttle, 32’ PB, 35.5” VJ, 94.08 SPARQ
Breakdown: McBride backed up his rep as one of the Bayou State’s fastest players with a 4.46 40.

WR: Speedy Noil, 5-10 , 176, New Orleans Edna Karr
Results: 4.45 40, 4.18 shuttle, 36’ PB, 41.7” VJ, 120.54 SPARQ
Breakdown: ESPN Watch List recruit locked up the second invite to The Opening this summer.

OL: Alex Anderson, 6-3, 267, New Orleans O. Perry Walker
Results: 5.21 40, 4.78 shuttle, 35.5’ PB, 23.5” VJ, 67.56 SPARQ
Breakdown: Impressive two-way lineman held his own versus state’s best last fall.

OL: Ethan Frith, 6-7, 336, Summit (Miss.) North Pike
Results: 5.49 40, 5.41 shuttle, 33’ PB, 21.8” VJ, 67.26 SPARQ
Breakdown: Showed solid athleticism, and you can’t teach 6-foot-7, 336 pounds.

ATH: Dylan Moses (2017) , 6-1, 210, Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab
Breakdown: Youth league phenom picked up an offer from LSU at the Tigers’ camp last summer.

DEFENSE

DL: Deldrick Canty, 6-1 , 252, Baton Rouge (La.) Scotlandville
Results: 5.08 40, 4.69 shuttle, 37.5’ PB, 34.5” VJ, 94.32 SPARQ
Breakdown: Well-built defensive lineman displayed explosive athleticism for a 252-pound prospect.

DL: Christian Gill, 6-3, 237, Navarre (Fla.)
Results: 5.11 40, 4.34 shuttle, 34.5’ PB, 30.8” VJ, 84.60 SPARQ
Breakdown: A second-team all-area selection as a junior, Gill recently landed offer No. 1 from Louisville.

DL: Chuck Harlow, 6-3, 292, DeRidder (La.)
Results: 5.44 40, 4.52 shuttle, 34’ PB, 28.5” VJ, 83.31 SPARQ
Breakdown: Strong and athletic, Harlow was a breakout performer in New Orleans.

DL: Raekwan McClellan, 5-11 , 251, Biloxi (Miss.)
Results: 5.09 40, 4.89 shuttle, 40.5’ PB, 33.2” VJ, 94.44 SPARQ
Breakdown: Sturdy defensive end totaled 13 tackles for loss as a junior.

DL: Garrald McDowell, 6-1, 244, Covington (La.)
Results: 5.11 40, 4.75 shuttle, 32’ PB, 24.4” VJ, 60.60 SPARQ
Breakdown: Kansas State and Arkansas have offered this Class 5A all-state player who had 10.5 sacks as a junior.

LB: RaeJuan Marbley, 5-11, 211, Destrehan (La.)
Results: 4.84 40, 4.50 shuttle, 37’ PB, 33.0” VJ, 88.53 SPARQ
Breakdown: All-district selection as a junior, Marbley is regarded by locals as one of Bayou State’s best LB prospects in this class.

LB: Arthur McGinnis (2015) , 6-1 , 203, New Orleans Warren Easton
Results: 4.78 40, 4.70 shuttle, 41.5’ PB, 32.8” VJ, 96.12 SPARQ
Breakdown: Rising sophomore already physically resembles an SEC linebacker.

LB: Alvin Moore, 5-11, 183, Bassfield (Miss.)
Results: 4.40 40, 4.28 shuttle, 33’ PB, 36.4” VJ, 106.74 SPARQ
Breakdown: Southern Miss is the first offer for Moore, who totaled 103 tackles and four sacks last fall.

LB: Delvin Purifoy, 6-1 , 234, Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic
Results: 4.70 40, 4.87 shuttle, 36’ PB, 33.6” VJ, 89.64 SPARQ
Breakdown: Early FSU pledge racked up 116 tackles as a junior to earn Class 3A all-state honors.

LB: Josh Watson, 6-1, 233, Blue Springs (Mo.) South
Results: 4.83 40, 4.22 shuttle, 37.5’ PB, 31.7” VJ, 102.00 SPARQ
Breakdown: Big, sturdy Show Me State ‘backer made the 15-hour drive worth it with a 100-plus SPARQ Rating.

DB: Camyron Brown, 5-9 , 180, Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point
Results: 4.67 40, 4.29 shuttle, 34.5’ PB, 33.6” VJ, 91.32 SPARQ
Breakdown: Texas State and UTSA are first two offers for Brown, a second-team all-district pick as a junior.

DB: Molefi Maat, 5-10, 159, Cordova (Tenn.)
Results: 4.51 40, 4.44 shuttle, 33’ PB, 40.9” VJ, 97.38 SPARQ
Breakdown: Elite track performer also earned all-district honors on the gridiron as a junior.

DB: Curtis Mikell, 5-7 , 161, Bassfield (Miss.)
Results: 4.34 40, 4.46 shuttle, 32’ PB, 42.2” VJ, 105.93 SPARQ
Breakdown: Small, speedy corner had five interceptions as a junior.

ATH: Calvin Moore, 5-11, 184, Bassfield (Miss.)
Results: 4.53 40, 4.28 shuttle, 35’ PB, 38.6” VJ, 106.86 SPARQ
Breakdown: Alvin Moore’s twin brother was part of a tremendous showing by Bassfield prospects.

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