Winners and Losers for October on the 2014 College Football Recruiting Trail
With November arriving, that means it is time to reflect on October's recruiting events. Recruits and coaches were not solely focused on Halloween, as many visits and commitments were made.
However, several significant decisions took place during October that will help shape the 2014 recruiting class. Some decisions gave programs a feeling of victory, while other schools were on the losing end of the spectrum.
An SEC school is all smiles after an impressive month of recruiting. Yet a Pac-12 program lost its top target to a bitter rival.
Winner: Mississippi State
The Bulldogs struck gold in October by landing 4-star receiver Jesse Jackson.
Mississippi State has itself a future No. 1 receiver in the explosive prospect, as Jackson is a talented recruit.
At 6'2" and 195 pounds, Jackson's long frame also possesses great speed. He can surge off the line to immediately threaten safeties downfield. Jackson makes a ton of plays on the third level, plus head coach Dan Mullen can use him as a runner on reverses and options.
USC received three commitments in October, but they were all from little-known 3-star recruits.
The cloud of uncertainty rained again on the program's significant recruiting efforts during the month. USC lost 4-star linebacker Derik Calhoun, plus saw 3-star JUCO defensive end Michael Wyche fly the coop.
Wyche flipped to Miami, but Calhoun's change of heart is a bigger blow to the Trojans. Instead of seeing him play in Troy, USC will now have to face Calhoun as a member of Pac-12 rival Arizona State.
The lack of a permanent head coach continues to impact the Trojans' chances of signing a recruiting class full of difference-makers.
Alabama's defense used October to re-establish itself as a dominant unit, but the focus of this piece is on recruiting. The Tide received two big commitments in October, adding to an already impressive class.
Ronnie Clark, a 4-star outside linebacker/safety, pledged to play in Tuscaloosa. At 6'3.5" and 210 pounds, Clark has good range and ball skills.
'Bama also received a commitment from 4-star center Joshua Casher. Previously committed to Auburn, the 6'1", 297-pounder's commitment likely assures the Crimson Tide of signing the nation's best offensive line class.
Loser: Oregon State
The Beavers are in the middle of a great 2013 season; however, they have not made a big impact on the 2014 recruiting trail. Oregon State got bad news in October, as its top target Jalen Brown committed to rival Oregon.
The Arizona native had the Beavers among his finalists, per Benjamin Worgull of BadgerNation.com (subscription required). However, Brown chose to commit to playing in Eugene.
Not only did Oregon State strike out on the 4-star receiver, it will now see him playing for its arch nemesis.
Winner: Texas A&M
The Aggies were simply outstanding on the October recruiting trail. They received three big commitments which will help them finish with a high recruiting class ranking in February.
However, no commitment was bigger for Texas A&M than 5-star defensive end Myles Garrett. Garrett has the size, quickness and strength to come in and make an immediate impact for the Aggies next season.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.