BEVO BEAT

2014 recruiting cycle: Halfway snapshot

Posted August 12th, 2013

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We’re in one of the quietest times of the year for recruiting with both coaches and recruits focusing on two-a-days and the upcoming football season.

As the Longhorns prep for one of the most important seasons for the program in recent memory, let’s take this brief quiet period to look at how UT’s class is stacking up with teams around the state and conference at this point in the 2014 cycle.

(In order of national class rank, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings)

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Texas A&M

National rank: 8th (4th in SEC)

The Aggies have used their newfound success under head coach Kevin Sumlin to get the ball rolling on what is shaping up to be a great class. A&M already has a verbal pledge from the country’s No. 1 pro-style quarterback, Arizona’s Kyle Allen. It also has three of the state’s top eleven players in La Porte linebacker Hoza Scott, Richmond/Travis corner Nick Harvey and West Mesquite safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner. If you look purely at average player rating, the Aggies would rank behind only Alabama with an average rating of 91.58.

Top remaining targets: Tony Brown – cornerback; Myles Garrett – defensive end; Solomon Thomas – defensive end; Joe Mixon – running back; Jamal Adams – safety; Gerald Willis – defensive tackle; Kevin Shorter – running back

Texas

National rank: 10th

Number of pledges: 22

The class is highlighted by dual-threat quarterback Jerrod Heard (Denton/Guyer) and defensive end Derick Roberson (San Antonio/Brennan). Pass-catchers dominate the class with six wide receivers and a tight end already on board. Armanti Foreman (Texas City) and Lorenzo Joe (Abilene/Cooper) lead what is a very versatile group of receivers. After not signing a defensive lineman in the 2013 class the Longhorns have verbal pledges from five in the 2014 cycle.

Top remaining targets: Tony Brown – cornerback; Jamal Adams – safety; Solomon Thomas – defensive end; John Bonney – safety; Kevin Shorter – running back; Edwin Freeman – linebacker/safety

Baylor

National rank: 16th

Number of pledges: 23

The Bears took a big jump in 247’s class rankings over the weekend with the additions of four-star wide receiver K.D. Cannon (Mt. Pleasant) and three-star cornerback Verkedric Vaughns (Mesquite/Poteet). Cannon- the Big 12’s highest ranked pledge at No. 39 overall – was a high priority for most regional schools, but it was Baylor and the high-octane Art Briles offense that won out. The Bears boast three other four-star prospects, including safety Davion Hall (Texarkana/Liberty-Eylau), the state’s fifth-ranked player. Ten of Baylor’s pledges are linemen – five on either side.

Top remaining targets: John Bonney – safety; Randal Cunningham II – quarterback; Cedric Johnson – defensive tackle

Oklahoma State

National rank: 26th

Number of pledges: 19

OK State has two of the top six players in Oklahoma with running back Devon Thomas and linebacker Gyasi Akeem. The quarterback of the class is three-star Mason Rudolph out of South Carolina. He committed to OSU over offers from LSU, Virginia Tech and Ole Miss among others. Eleven of the 19 future Cowboys are from Texas, most notably Chris Hardeman (Alief/Taylor), the state’s sixth-ranked cornerback.

Top remaining targets: Tyreke Hill – running back; Kenny Young – linebacker; Steven Parker – safety

Oklahoma

National rank: 29th

Number of pledges: 12

The Sooners have only four four-star pledges and eight three-stars at this point in the 2014 cycle. Oklahoma missed out on the state’s top two prospects, including quarterback David Cornwell, but they did snag two of the state’s top ten players – quarterback Justice Hansen and receiver Jeffery Mead. Four of the Sooners’ 12 pledges, and their two highest rated – Arizona’s Mark Andrews and California’s Dallis Todd – are receivers. OU has five Texans currently committed, including Pflugerville/Hendrickson running back Samaje Perine.

Top remaining targets: Joe Mixon – running back; Solomon Thomas – defensive end; Steven Parker – safety; Nathan Starks – running back

Texas Tech

National rank: 36th

Number of pledges: 16

Kliff Kingsbury is putting together a solid class in his first cycle as Tech’s head coach. He’s got his quarterback in Patrick Mahomes (Whitehouse) as well as a handful of skill players. Cibolo Steele running back Justin Stockton is the highest rated pledge so far. A good season under their first-year head coach could help the Red Raiders finish the 2014 cycle on a high note and potentially steal some late-blooming recruits.

Top remaining targets: Sylvester Hayes – defensive end; Will Coleman – defensive end; Dakota Allen – linebacker

West Virginia

National rank: 38th

Number of pledges: 13

Quarterback William Crest out of Baltimore, MD is the headliner of the Mountaineer class at the moment. WVU has once again gone into Florida to find some playmakers, gaining pledges from two Miami receivers – Jacob McCrary and Lamar Parker. After ranking eighth in the conference in sacks allowed last season, the ‘Eers have five linemen committed in the 2014 class.

Top remaining targets: Trevion Thompson – wide receiver; Dravon Henry – athlete; Montae Nicholson – safety; Juwann Winfree – athlete

Kansas State

National rank: 41st

Number of pledges: 15

You can’t judge a Bill Snyder class until all the junior college players come off the board. The Wildcats received a pledge last week from the nation’s No. 1 JUCO inside linebacker, D’Vonta Derricott. K-State’s top prep pledges include running back Dalvin Warmack and linebacker Elijah Lee, teammates from Blue Springs, Mo., as well as Humble/Summer Creek dual-threat quarterback Aaron Sharp. The East Texas QB is ranked No. 85 in the state and is one of six Texans currently pledged to the Wildcats.

Top remaining targets: Emanuel Beal – wide receiver; Dakota Allen – linebacker; Peyton Newell – defensive tackle

TCU

National rank: 46th

Number of pledges: 10

TCU ranks eighth in the Big 12 right now with just ten pledges, but the Horned Frogs have the third highest average player rating, 86.12, behind only Oklahoma and Texas. The headliner is Longview defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson. TCU also has a pledge from the country’s top JUCO offensive guard, Frank Kee. Fort Worth/All Saints pro-style quarterback Foster Sawyer and Dallas/Skyline offensive tackle Ty Barrett are two more top-50 in-state recruits committed to the Frogs.

Top remaining targets: Myles Garrett – defensive end, Edwin Freeman – linebacker/safety, Dakota Allen – linebacker

Iowa State

National rank: 55th

Number of pledges: 12

The easy headliner of the early Cyclone class is wide receiver Allen Lazard. 247Composite rankings has him 69th overall and the No. 7 wide receiver; Rivals.com lists him as the top receiver in the country and just outside of the five-star category. ISU has poached five players from the Lone Star State, but none that rank inside the top 100 Texas prospects. La Porte cornerback Victor Holmes is the highest rated Texan in the class.

Top remaining targets: Nile Sykes – linebacker; Dejon Brown – linebacker; Dakota Allen – linebacker; Cole Anderson – offensive guard

Kansas

National rank: 78th

Number of pledges: 7

Charlie Weis took a page out of in-state rival Kansas State’s book by signing 20 junior college players in the 2013 cycle. His headliner so far in the 2014 class is Gardner, Kan., four-star running back Traevohn Wrench. Two Texans have pledged to the Jayhawks – Nacagdoches center Jacob Bragg and The Woodlands wide receiver Tyler Patrick. Don’t be surprised if Weis goes back to the JUCO ranks later in the cycle to fill out his 2014 haul.

Top remaining targets: Peyton Newell – defensive tackle; Ladamian Coney – cornerback; De’Chavon Hayes – running back

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