Latest 2014 Recruiting Roundup: Big 12, SEC Schools Score Big Talent
Alabama commitment Shaun Dion Hamilton via 247Sports
Friday is great for many reasons, but this Friday is extra special, as we here at the Signed, Sealed, Delivered blog are excited to reintroduce the weekly recruiting roundup.
This is your one-stop shop for everything that has happened in the recruiting world during the past week. We'll touch on the biggest news, provide you with all of the latest commitments and even watch a highlight clip or two.
If you're a recruiting fan, this is the only place you want to be on a Friday morning. If it happened between 12:01 a.m. last Friday and midnight Thursday night, we'll have it covered.
This week, the Big 12 and SEC both made big splashes, but a surprise program may be gaining some major momentum on the recruiting trail.
There's plenty to discuss, so click on "Begin Slideshow" and buckle up.
5-star running back Leonard Fournette via 247Sports
1. ESPN Releases First Top 150 rankings For 2014 Class
The release of the ESPN 150 is always big news in the recruiting world, but this year it came with a few surprises. 5-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand was widely considered to be the consensus No. 1 overall recruit, but ESPN ranked 5-star running back Leonard Fournette as its No. 1 instead.
For the record, this is a move I agree with, though I think Hand should be ranked higher than No. 4 overall.
2. Snoop's Son Offered By USC
2015 wide receiver Cordell Broadus picked up a big offer from USC (via Greg Biggins of Scout.com). He's just a rising junior, so that's a big offer for him, but he's also the son of famous rapper Snoop Dog.
Broadus is 6'2'', 180 pounds and runs a 4.50, according to 247Sports. He's a talented receiver recruit, and I expect this will be the first of many big offers for him.
3. 247Sports Football Recruiter Rankings Released
Recruiting site 247Sports.com had a big release week, and it was highlighted by a new recruiter ranking feature. Basically, the site determined who a recruiter brought in and factored in that player's star ranking and overall rating.
This is a great way for recruiting fans to tangibly see which assistants are dominating on the recruiting trail. 2013's No. 1 recruiter was new Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. So far, Texas A&M wideouts coach David Beaty checks it at No. 1 for the 2014 cycle.
Michigan commitment Drake Harris via 247Sports
Penn State: Troy Apke, 3-star WR, Mount Lebanon High School (PA), 4/13/13
Michigan: Drake Harris, 4-star WR, Grand Rapids Christian High School (MI) 4/14/13
Northwestern: Solomon Vault, 3-star APB, Gaithersburg Senior High School (MD) 4/18/13
The Big Ten had a very efficient week on the recruiting trail. The main recruit here to discuss is 4-star receiver Drake Harris, who committed to Michigan.
What makes Harris such an interesting recruit for the Wolverines is that he was formerly committed to their rival, the Michigan State Spartans. Harris projects to be a big-time receiver, and he'll fit perfectly into the Wolverines new pro-style offense.
Alabama commitment Shaun Dion Hamilton via 247Sports
Kentucky: Thaddeus Snodgrass, 4-star WR, Springfield High School (OH) 4/12/13
South Carolina: Bryson Allen-Williams, 4-star OLB, Cedar Grove High School (GA) 4/15/13
Auburn: De'Shaun Davis, 3-star ILB, Vigor High School (AL), 4/17/13
Alabama: Shaun Dion Hamilton, 4-star ILB, Carver High School (AL), 4/17/13
The SEC had a huge week in recruiting, and it wasn't just the "big names" that got better. Vanderbilt brought in two recruits, while Tennessee continued to gain momentum by picking up Lawrence Lee.
Alabama was the big winner this week, though, as the Crimson Tide picked up another talented defensive commitment: 4-star inside linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton. Hamilton is the No. 11 inside linebacker in the 2014, class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Stanford commitment Brandon Simmons via 247Sports
Stanford: Brandon Simmons, 4-star S, Timberview High School (TX), 4/13/13
Cal: Jalen Harvey, 4-star WR, El Cerrito High School (CA), 4/16/13
The Pac-12 was relatively quiet this past week, but the teams that did land recruits definitely have to be feeling good.
Stanford landed 4-star safety Brandon Simmons, who is the No. 12 safety in the 2014 class (via 247Sports' Composite Rankings). He's also a notable out-of-state recruit for Stanford. He's from Arlington, Texas, and is ranked as the No. 22 player from the talent-laden state, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Duke commitment Alonzo Saxton via 247Sports
North Carolina: Cayson Collins, 3-star OLB, Phillip O'Berry Academy (N.C) 4/13/13
Boston College: Thaddius Smith, 3-star ATH, Cardinal O'Hara High School (PA) 4/15/13
Duke: Alonzo Saxton, 3-star CB, Bishop Hartley High School (OH), 4/17/13
There's not much to talk about with regard to ACC recruiting this week. North Carolina, BC and Duke all got on the board, while the more notable programs (Florida State, Clemson, Miami) stayed the same.
Oklahoma commitment Justice Hansen via 247Sports
Texas: Jermaine Roberts, 3-star CB, Saint Augustine High School (TX), 4/12/13
Oklahoma: Justice Hansen, 4-star Pro QB, Santa Fe High School (OK), 4/13/13
Dallis Todd, 4-star WR, La Mirada High School (CA) 4/15/13
Kansas State: C.J. Reese, 3-star SDE, James Madison High School (TX) 4/15/13
Texas Tech: Deionte Noel, 3-star OT, Byron P. Steele II High School (TX) 4/16/13
Demarcus Felton, 3-star APB, Andy Dekaney High School (TX), 4/17/13
The Big 12 had a monumental week on the recruiting trail, highlighted by Oklahoma pickup up two marquee recruits. Justice Hansen is ranked as the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, so he's a big pickup for the Sooners. Meanwhile, Dallis Todd is a massive wideout recruit at 6'5'', 210 pounds, and he has star potential.
It's also worth noting that Texas continues to be the hottest program in the 2014 cycle, picking up another commitment (14 total).
Notre Dame Commitment Sam Mustipher via 247Sports
Bowling Green: Jalen Dingle, N/R OLB, St. Clair Shores South Lake High (MI), 4/13/13
Chance Weitz, N/R DT, Elida High School (OH), 4/15/13
Western Michigan: Lucas Bezerra, N/R TE, Troy Athens High School (MI) 4/13/13
Chance Stewart, 3-star Pro QB, Sturgis High School (MI), 4/18/13
Temple: Brenon Thrift, 3-star ILB, Gateway Senior High School (PA) 4/13/13
Delvon Randall, 3-star S, Gateway Senior High School (PA) 4/13/13
Louisville: Micky Crum, 3-star TE, Hamilton Township High School (OH) 4/13/13
Detric Dukes, 3-star ILB, Tucker High School (GA), 4/15/13
Kavaris Harkless, 3-star OT, Trinity Christian Academy (FL) 4/16/13
Marques Gayot, 3-star S, Park Vista Community High School (FL) 4/16/13
Notre Dame: Sam Mustipher, 4-star OG, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School (MD), 4/15/13
Ohio: Kyle Kuhar, N/R TE, Avon Lake High School (OH), 4/15/13
Tulane: Peter Woullard, N/R SDE, St. Augustine High School (LA) 4/16/13
Rice: Aston Walter, 3-star ATH, Crosby High School (TX), 4/16/13
Austin Walter, 3-star ATH, Crosby High School (TX), 4/16/13
Georgia State: Malcolm Joseph, N/R RB, Valdosta High School (GA), 4/17/13
Toledo: William White, 3-star ILB, Cass Technical High School (MI), 4/18/13
There are a lot of conferences represented in this slide, and I won't be able to do all of them justice. Notre Dame picked up 4-star guard Sam Mustipher—the No. 9 guard in the nation (247Sports Composite)—and Western Michigan had a good recruiting week in-state.
The program that really stands out to me, though, is Louisville. The Cardinals landed four commitments this week, which is huge.
Recruit of the Week
Clifton Garrett, 5-star OLB, Plainfield South High School (IL)
Clifton Garrett is the No. 2 outside linebacker in the 2014 class, according to 247Sports.com's Composite Rankings. He has very good size at 6'2'', 228 pounds, but he combines that with excellent speed and explosion. He projects to be dominant against the run, and he's a very physical linebacker.
Garrett can take on lead blockers and "blow up" a play before it even starts, but he can also be effective in sideline-to-sideline pursuit. He displays a quick first step, and he's very decisive and aggressive once he reads the play and determines his angles.
He should make a lot of big tackles at the college level. Here's my complete scouting report for Garrett.
Program of the Week
Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports
As previously mentioned, Charlie Strong and his program had an exceptional week on the recruiting trail.
I have to believe that some of the Cardinals' momentum is derived from the basketball team winning the national championship, but even before that, it was very obvious that Louisville football was on the rise.
Strong and his staff had a monumental week, landing four recruits, two from the state of Florida (Kavaris Harkless and Marques Gayot). Florida is a state that generally produces a plethora of elite recruits, so being able to successfully recruit the state is huge for Louisville football.
In a week that saw Alabama land another big defensive commitment and Oklahoma bring in two talented recruits, the fact that Louisville wins this honor is a huge testament to how great the Cardinals' week was.