With less than 24 hours until recruits from around the country make their college decisions known, there are plenty of big time players who will have center stage on Wednesday morning. While Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack and Allen quarterback Kyler Murray are among the biggest names out there yet to make their decision known, there are plenty of other athletes who do know where they are going and aren’t exactly touching the national radar.
Since we’ve mentioned Mack’s name, let’s go ahead and give you the latest where he’s concerned.
According to NBC 5’s Newy Scruggs, a trusted source told him this morning that Mack has in fact decided to commit to the Texas A&M Aggies. Whether or not that source holds true, especially since there’s been no confirmation from Mack himself, or the coaching staff from Texas A&M or Mack’s other choice, TCU, this remains just a rumor — but a juicy one at that.
Kyler Murray’s situation could be very different. For one, Murray is expected to commit to Texas A&M tomorrow at some point but the Aggies, and head coach Kevin Sumlin, have something to keep in the back of their minds. Murray could very well be drafted during the 2015 Major League Baseball draft this summer. If that does end up happening, and he turns out to be a top three round pick, could Murray decide against a football career and choose baseball instead? That could be the bigger story than where the Allen quarterback commits to. Stay tuned for this one.
Speaking of Murray, a good friend of his, Cedar Hill wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge, was once a commit of the Aggies but opened his recruiting up again some time prior to the state championship game in mid-December. There are some who believe Lodge will re-commit to the Aggies when he puts pen to paper on Wednesday morning but there are those who don’t believe the Texas Longhorns are out of the race and the Ole Miss Rebels might also be in the mix. I got to see Lodge during the state title game and there were those in the press box comparing him to Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Dez Bryant in the way he catches everything thrown his way.
A couple of running backs who will get a lot of attention tomorrow morning are Jordan Stevenson from South Oak Cliff and Soso Jamabo from Plano West. Stevenson, as of right now, is committed to Wisconsin but there are rumors flying that a Big 12 school, Oklahoma State, is pushing hard to change that commitment, so we’ll have to see if Stevenson is dead set on being the next big thing for the Badgers or if the Cowboys look good enough for him to change where he ends up playing his college ball.
As for Jamabo, he currently sits uncommitted leaving any number of schools hoping they can land him. The leader in the clubhouse right now are the UCLA Bruins, who are coming off landing another big time Texas athlete in Aledo wide receiver Ryan Newsome but, as in the case of DeMarkus Lodge, the Texas Longhorns are lurking in the tall grass waiting to make their move. This decision will also come down to the pen going to paper on Wednesday morning.
Now that you know about some of the top attention getters, here are some names you may not have heard of before or aren’t getting the attention of those who cover recruiting nationally.
Let’s start with the SMU Mustangs and new head coach Chad Morris who could definitely put the Mustangs’ football program on the map tomorrow if he can keep every one of his commits locked in to the point of signing their letters of intent.
Coach Morris has three 3-star recruits, all wide receivers, including James Proche and Kevin Thomas who are both from DeSoto High School. The other wide receiver is Rockwall’s Xavier Castille who picked SMU over offers from Oklahoma State, Kansas, Tulsa, and University of Washington just to name a few. If SMU hadn’t changed coaching staffs, and still had June Jones as their head coach, would Castille have given the Mustangs a second look? I can tell you this much, a local quarterback, Lovejoy’s Bowman Sells, is doing exactly that because of Coach Morris and the change in regime. Don’t count out a few big flips for this coaching staff during Wednesday’s signing day.
One name you may not have heard of before is quarterback Jesse Drummer from Justin Northwest HS who committed to Angelo State last week. This is a young man who, surprisingly, didn’t get a single offer from a Division-I school and although a few tried to get into the race late, that offer never came and Drummer decided to end the process. He’s going to be a young man to watch over the next four years. He’s far better than a lot of big time schools gave him credit for.
Another who didn’t get a Division-I offer, at least not a full scholarship, was Azle High School linebacker Johnny Crow. Prior to this past weekend, Crow was bound for a Division-II school and although he and his family would have been completely happy with that, Texas Tech made a phone call to the linebacker and offered him a preferred walk on. There wasn’t a decision to be made as Crow made a visit to Lubbock over the weekend and made his commitment known. While I certainly won’t compare him to anyone in the NFL, especially at anyone at the position he currently plays, there’s a certain NFL linebacker who was not highly recruited out of high school, started his college football career at Central Michigan before leaving there and walking on to the University of Wisconsin. Oh by the way, that same linebacker is said to be one of the best players in the game currently.
Again, not comparing him, I’m just showing that even though a player may not be highly recruited doesn’t mean he can’t become a big time impact player at this level and the next.
Another underrated athlete flying under the radar, and without a Division-I offer, is Prosper wide receiver Zack English. He’s someone that will remind a lot of people of former SMU wide receiver, and current Dallas Cowboy, Cole Beasley. At 5’8″ he’s not exactly the kind of height recruiters look for but what they miss is English’s lightning fast speed, great hands, and ability to make a defender miss, not to mention he’s one of the strongest kids you’ll ever see for his stature and it shows on the field. He’s going to be something to watch at the next level.
Lastly, McKinney North safety Bryce Balous is probably one of the more talented safeties out there and will go pretty much unnoticed, unless you’re already in District 10-5A, tomorrow when he signs his letter of intent with the Cowboys of Oklahoma State over other offers from Iowa, Kansas State, and Nevada. He has a great knack for the football and he’s one of the harder hitting safeties out there. A quarterback will know where this young man is and he could become a name a lot of people get to know in the Big 12 conference.
For those of us who enjoy the recruiting race and getting to see the next big time college players get their start in high school football, tomorrow should be a lot of fun. There will be some surprises and more than likely a few shockers. All in all, signing day has become a bigger spectacle than anyone ever expected.